Showing all posts in ‘Running’

Cross Trainer vs Treadmill

Running machines and cross trainers are the two most popular pieces of fitness equipment. And when people are looking for a superb aerobic workout, they will more often than not choose one or the other to complement their exercise equipment collection!

Elliptical Cross Trainers are relatively new to market, compared to Treadmills. Consequently, the treadmill is better known and has long been the number one choice. But which machine should you chose to give best performance and hence best value for money?

Quite simply, personal choice will outweigh most other aspects of the decision. Some people just love to run, whereas some prefer the lower impact cardio exercise a cross trainer can bring. In effect, this signifies the main difference. Treadmills, although nowadays commonly well cushioned, do affect higher impact on the body. Also, they are more limited ion respect of giving a whole body workout. Having said that, for the dedicated runner, they offer a true training experience, which will undoubtedly be worthwhile.

Elliptical Cross Trainers are impact free, and the dual handlebar and leg motion, which can be reversed, offers a broader whole body workout, whereas running machines focus on the lower body as they simulate outdoor jogging.

Interestingly, although both types of machine are excellent at burning calories and improving cardio respiratory health, because of the lower impact, cross trainers may burn more calories with effectively a reduced felling of ‘effort’.

Again, personal choice will lead most buyers, but if you are unsure, then the thoughts above provide a few aspects that may weight your judgement and are well worth considering.

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Knee Pain and Running?

We all know that running produces a high level of direct impact force on the body and joints. Well scientist have developed a space age method of reducing these forces, which allows professional athletes to train longer, harder and more frequently with minimal stress and recover from injury.

For us mere mortals, if we get knee pain when running, for example; then we need to look at other solutions. Maybe we need to consider better quality, better suited footwear. Take some good advice, and don’t be swayed by some heavy discount labels. They may not save you in the long run.

We can also move our training patterns, from a regular road run, to a cushioned deck treadmill workout. Or we can even move away to a different exercise that provides very low impact levels, such as Elliptical Cross Trainers, indoor exercise bikes, road bikes or rowing machines.

In reality, we should probably do a combination of both. Maybe combine different activities, but always be sure that footwear is adequate.

But for U.S. Olympic runner Jenny Simpson, the options were much more futuristic! Take a look at she used a zero gravity treadmill to help recuperate and train hard for the race of her life.

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Simple steps to improve your running technique

 

Good running technique comes more natural to some of us than others.

The good news for those with poor natural technique is that will a little work, your running style can be improved allowing for more efficient and effective fitness training.

Here are a few simple tips on how to improve your running technique, which are designed for the long distance targets, like 10k or marathon junkies, but can also help give the exercise novice a more effective and safe running experience, be it on the road or on your treadmill running machine.

Change one part at a time – Concentrate on one aspect of your style at a time, and try and alter that first, before moving onto the next.

Land on your midfoot – landing on your toes, your calves will fatigue quickly, on your heels and you are probably over striding and you will be wasting momentum and risking injury.

Keep your hands at waste level – let your hands slightly brush your hips

And arms at 90 degrees – To help with the push off and building momentum

Relax your hands – cup your hands and relax. Tension can result in tightness in the shoulders, neck and arms

Keep the posture straight – straight and erect posture will balance the load correctly

Don’t bounce – Keep you stride low to the ground to maximise forward energy and minimise wasted effort.

You can get more details on this and other great running tips at the runners guide.

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