We’ve seen our share of wasted gym time. Use these four ways to stay in shape with basic cardio machines
By MH Staff - Posted on 11th October 2013
Four ways to stay in shape with basic cardio machines
Warm up on any of the machines for five minutes, and then use the speed control and built-in heart-rate monitor to do the following workout: Start with one minute at 85 to 90% of your maximum heart rate. (Multiply your age by 0.7 and subtract that number from 207 to estimate it.) Recover for two minutes at 55 to 65% of your max. That’s one interval. Do eight, using the tips on this page to accelerate your gains. Too difficult? Do six intervals of two minutes at 70 to 80% of your max followed by two minutes of recovery.
2 The Stationary Bike
You stay in your seat.
“During the intense portion of each interval, increase the resistance and stand up as if you were mountain biking uphill,” says Dowdell. You’ll engage your core and upper body, turning a leg-dominant cardio workout into a total-body sweat session.
3 The Rowing Machine
You use your upper body to initiate your strokes.
The legs are the primary movers on the rowing machine, says Dowdell. Initiate the drive with your legs and then pull the handle to your sternum. On the recovery, keep your legs flat until the handle travels past your knees.
4 The Elliptical
You set the resistance too low.
Most people let momentum do the work instead of using their legs to propel each step. Set the resistance high enough to feel like you’re pushing the ramp down. “It’s still a low-impact workout, but you’ll burn far more kilojoules,” says Dowdell.
5 The Treadmill
You run on even ground.
Set the incline at 1 to 1.5%. That slight elevation will increase the intensity (and fat-burning potential) of your workout without overloading your leg muscles, says Dowdell. It also shortens your stride, which reduces your risk of injury from overstepping.