Which cardio machine should you use when you want to quickly burn off last night’s cheesecake?
How to Burn the Most Calories on the Elliptical
When it comes to calorie burning, the two most common mistakes made on the elliptical trainer are:
excessive leaning against the rails on the trainer (on those ellipticals that don’t have arm movement);
inadequate resistance (similar to the same problem on the bike).
So to get the most benefit, try to use the rails as little as possible, and challenge yourself with the resistance settings. Shoot for a cadence or stride rate of 120-140.
Quick and dirty tip for the elliptical: Choose a resistance that is actually high enough so that the machine isn’t doing all the work for you. If you don’t feel your muscles contracting during the forward and back stroke of the elliptical, they probably aren’t!
How Many Calories Does the Rowing Machine Burn?
An incredible upper and lower body cardiovascular challenge, the rowing machine can burn over 1000 calories per hour. Just ask Ben Hur. But this quasi-torture device can also be nauseatingly boring when you try to go for long periods of time. To make time go by faster while still maintaining a high intensity, incorporate short periods or distances of very hard pulling combined with easy pulling. For instance, row for 250 meters as hard as possible, then 100 meters easy, and repeat 6-8 times. Be sure to use as many body parts as possible when rowing, including the torso and the legs--not just the arms.
Quick and dirty tip for the rowing machine: It’s actually pretty easy to throw out your low back if you don’t know what your doing, so look at the little diagram that appears on the instruction panel of most of the machines; see how it shows a little stick figure pulling with the whole body, including upper back and legs? Make sure you do that.