What are the Benefits of Using an Elliptical?
As a senior, marathon participant, and physical therapist I am always searching for injury prevention techniques and longevity with my fitness. I like to think I am working toward resisting physical decline as I try to hold onto mental acuity physical performance and purpose for as long as possible. In this blog I will concentrate mostly on physical performance specifically running and the bad rap it gets as it relates to potential repetitive trauma and injury.
So, can you replace some running with elliptical training and not lose fitness. If you ever followed a race training plan you know it’s not just about running; it’s about running strategically. When preparing for your race you need to have recovery days, you need to do tempo runs and speedwork drills. To run every day can break down your body. For those of us who love to work out or feel the need to exercises 5-7 days a week one must be careful of repetitive injury. Of course, walking is a great alternative but let’s chat about the elliptical machine. The elliptical was literally invented to mimic the motion of running without nearly the same kind of impact forces induced by running. It’s a bit more specific to running as compared to biking or swimming. With elliptical training you take out the impact and eccentric contraction of your leg muscles. Over loading eccentrically causes ease of muscle fatigue and breakdown of muscle fibers which can lead to an injury. Especially those who are troubled with shin splints this is a great alternative and rest to the anterior tibialis or shin muscle. Because the elliptical is a low impact activity it will feel easier than a run of similar intensity. To combat this, use the elliptical for one and a half to two times the duration of a training run.
What is it about this low-impact machine that makes it so popular?
Check these 5 components out:
Running friends, continue to do your key running workouts but do give yourself a rest day or two or change it up with a day or two on the elliptical. Stay well and stay safe. Questions regarding a nagging injury, pain, or dysfunction, contact us at mmidocs.com or call 301-694-8311.