Low-impact exercise on an elliptical burns calories and tones muscles.
An elliptical trainer machine is a cross between a stair machine and a stationary bike. To use it, you step on a set of peddles and hold on to a bar as you pump your legs. The machine is easy on your joints and can be used as a replacement for walking, running or stair climbing to give you a low-impact, cardiovascular exercise which you can set the level of resistance for. An elliptical machine targets several muscles, including your hips, thighs and butt.
It's In the Way You Sway
As you use an elliptical machine, you move your hips. The movement of your thigh or the top of your pelvis moving forward engages your gluteus maximus, the main muscle located in your butt. A number of major muscles at the rear of your thigh are also used when you move forward. These muscles are your semitendiunosus, semitendiusosus, biceps femoris and your adductor magnus muscle, which is located in the inner part of your thigh.
Hitting An All-time Thigh
When you use the peddles of an elliptical machine, you move your lower leg away from the back of your thighs. This action engages your quadriceps femoris, the major muscle group located at the front of your thighs. The heads of these muscles are called the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius and vastas medialis.
Hip, Hip, Hooray
As you work your thighs and move your hips, you engage your hip abductors, a small muscle in your butt called the gluteus minimus, another small muscle located at the very top of your thigh called the tensor fasciae latae, and your sartorius muscle, which runs down your inner thigh. This muscle is also the longest muscle in your body.
The Spine is Fine
As you move from side to side while peddling, your spine moves and your neck bobs toward each shoulder. This movement engages the sternocleidomastoid, scalene, spenius and levator scapulae muscles in your neck. The other muscles used are the ones connected to your neck that run down your spine. These include your longissimus capitis, along with your longissimus crevices and iliocastalis muscles.