Are you headed back to the gym after an eleven month hiatus? No judgement. Well, I know the treadmill might have been your bestie way back then, however as a full-time gym rat I am here to tell you that things have certainly changed on the gym floor yall. Cardio machines have never been so RAD and the good news is you don’t have to worry about figuring things out alone. You already know what’s up–I got you boo!
1. Treadmill Dreadmill
Do you like to burn rubber on the treadmill, yet seem to find that your workouts are getting a wee bit stale? Well don’t ditch your long-time friend just yet. Amp things up and check in with your form by following these easy tweeks: Create as much space as you can between your shoulders and your ears – basically no hunching. Keep your neck neutral and your head forward – that means don’t be trying to watch “Love & Hip Hop” on that TV to your left. Focus on taking shorter strides. A faster cadence will keep you running in the middle of the revolving belt as opposed to up on top of it, or worse, way back close to the edge. No accidental falls.
2. Elevate Your Elliptical Workout
Ellipticals have been stealing the show for quite awhile now, however have you met Mrs. Elliptical’s first cousin Mr. Arc Trainer? This similar cross-training machine offers a slightly different movement pattern that actually keeps your foot under your knee a bit better. So, next time you find yourself gliding away the calories, try adjusting the incline and not just the resistance. However be careful not to lean on those handlebars. Stand up straight, keep your head upright and power through with those super strong legs.
3. The Not-So Stationary Bike
Pedaling nowhere can get super boring, super fast. However, this joint friendly contender should not be eliminated from the cardio-burning machine game. One easy fix for those dreadful rides lies between your ears and your earbuds. That’s right– your music can take you from bored to buff. That is if you deliberately pedal it out to the right songs. Uptempo tracks are great for sprints, while slower tunes are perfect for those moments when you want to crank up the resistance. Oh yeah! Bring on the hills. P.S. Need new music? Click here.
4. Calling All Stair Climbers
Speaking of hills, what better way to bump up your buns than a good old stair-climbing workout. This often neglected machine is great for targeting the muscles in your quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves. But here’s the deal–your form has to be on point. First things first, use the handles only for balance–meaning no gripping. Too strong of a hold puts too much stress on your neck and shoulders, so unless you want a swole neck, hold on gently. Next, stand up straight. If you have to lean forward to keep up then that’s a sign that the speed is too fast- don’t sacrifice speed for form. And lastly no tiptoeing–use two-thirds of your foot every time you step.
5. Row Row Rowing Machine
Rowing is an excellent total body workout, however often times people end up using mostly just their legs. Shame. Don’t be that rower. Next time you jump on this mega machine by making sure your core and upper body stay engaged. Pull the handle just above your waist, elbows pointing down and close to your sides. Also bend forward at the hips so that your back is always flat–this will help keep your core tight. Happy rowing! Watch my workout review of City Row here.