Message Boards » Fitness and Exercise

TOPIC: Elliptical - Hands or No Hands?

 
Ic_disabled_photos
Topic has been inactive for 30 days or more and images have been disabled.
Display All Images
January 23, 2011 4:25 PM
Hi everyone,

My favorite cardio workout is the elliptical, but I was wondering if anyone knows if there is any difference in the workout (i.e. calories burned) if you have your hands on the moving arms or not? I assume using my hands may tone my arms slightly, but do you think there is any difference in calorie expenditure either way?
  3050876
January 23, 2011 4:31 PM
I tend to feel I'm using more of my leg muscles when I don't use the handles. Although I'm still pumping my arms:)
  229358
January 23, 2011 4:31 PM
My Favorite too. I am not sure if there is a difference besides with out my hands i feel like i am going to fall down. I will have to check it out the next time i work out.
January 23, 2011 4:32 PM
The elliptical I use makes me put my hands on the bars because it can't detect my heartrate unless they are. So, I guess I'm saying I probably shouldn't be answering this question because I've only done it with my hands on the bars. Sorry - no help at all from me. blushing
  3320987
January 23, 2011 4:32 PM
Look ma! No hands!! hahahaha jk. :)

Yes... the fact that your muscles lengthen and shorten while u use the hands part would make you burn a little bit more calories. Also, some elliptical trainers have a personal trainer mode where they tell you to "pull" or "push" with your hands because it works diff parts of your arm. :)
January 23, 2011 4:32 PM
A trainer told a friend that you're not supposed to look as if your dancing on it. I guess you're supposed to hold your core steady. I tried it and my heart rate goes up. As far as hands, I guess you would need them to hold steady. Otherwise, you'll be going all over the place.
  3650969
January 23, 2011 4:32 PM
Its my fav to,I don't really use the bars but it may burn alittle extra I can't imagine much though
  2763730
January 23, 2011 4:36 PM
HANDS! My last gym only had no-hands ellipticals and I definitely had a greater calorie burn (because I had to work harder to keep it going, versus "pushing" it with my arms") but it was more of a work out for my thighs... and right now I'm working my thighs too hard on my strength days that I wouldn't be able to last even 30 minutes on cardio days on the elliptical so I like the hands-included ellipticals now! bigsmile
Edited by aippolito1 On January 23, 2011 4:37 PM
  746692
January 23, 2011 4:38 PM
I printed some workouts to go with my elliptical. All of them have sections that say "no hands" and I feel it more in my legs during that time. They also have a section that says "backwards" this is with hands but "pedaling" backwards. I definitely feel it in my thigh more and I have always been told that backwards does burn more calories. Its fun, try it.
January 23, 2011 4:40 PM
I don't know about calorie burn - but I feel like I get a far better workout when I don't use my hands. My core is strong enough now that I can keep my balance without ever needing to hold on - so I go with it! I guess to really know you would have to use a heart rate monitor to see the difference in calorie burn. Or you could do two sessions - one with your hands on, and one without, maybe for 15 minutes each if you normally do 30, so you can see if there is a difference!
  1812240
January 23, 2011 4:41 PM
Most of the time I go No Hands. I feel like it works my legs better and possibly my core too because I need to use it for balance.

When I do premade programs on the ellipticals at the Y, they force me to use the bars so they can get my heart rate.
  1504135
January 23, 2011 4:46 PM
My trainer told me no hands, because then the legs (largest muscle group = more calorie expenditure) must do the work. Your hands help distribute the weight and work off the legs. Also, VERY important is to make sure that your weight is centered over the middle over your body - not being shifted and bounced from the right to left side and back. The weight stays centered and knees are slightly bent and bottom is out (think squat position but not down in a full squat).

No one at the gym uses this correct form, but if try it you'll discover that the elliptical is about 10,000 time more challenging then previously experienced - at least I did. I didn't think much of the elliptical before but now it whips my _ _ _ (fill in the blank!! LOL..laugh
  2776312
January 23, 2011 4:46 PM
Mine doesn't have that option but I do find myself dancing to MJ when he pops up on 80s pop on Pandora :0)
  946419
January 23, 2011 4:48 PM
QUOTE:

A trainer told a friend that you're not supposed to look as if your dancing on it. I guess you're supposed to hold your core steady. I tried it and my heart rate goes up. As far as hands, I guess you would need them to hold steady. Otherwise, you'll be going all over the place.


Really? But the dancing makes it more fun.
  2710687
January 23, 2011 5:10 PM
Thanks for all the advice everyone! I think I will try no hands next time so I can work out my core. It seems like switching it up between hands and no hands will give some variety to my workout. :)
  3050876
January 23, 2011 5:11 PM
QUOTE:

I don't know about calorie burn - but I feel like I get a far better workout when I don't use my hands. My core is strong enough now that I can keep my balance without ever needing to hold on - so I go with it! I guess to really know you would have to use a heart rate monitor to see the difference in calorie burn. Or you could do two sessions - one with your hands on, and one without, maybe for 15 minutes each if you normally do 30, so you can see if there is a difference!


Totally agree. I'm a no hands girl. It's a great core workout. It takes core to balance yourself on the elliptical. I know if the machine starts to wobble a little, it stops if I tighten my core (it's become a little game to see how still I can make the machine). I also do overhead arm stretches while on the elliptical. I like to switch things up, otherwise I get bored:)
  1822043
January 23, 2011 6:20 PM
I nearly fall off it I don't use my hands. ha!
The one I use has the moving handle bars and ones that don't move. I switch between the two, mainly because I end up leaning on the non-moving ones. The elliptical kicks my butt! I'm hoping that soon I can kick it's haha!
  4093668

Message Boards » Fitness and Exercise

Posts by members, moderators and admins should not be considered medical advice and no guarantee is made against accuracy.