To avoid the crowds of gyms, investing in a home fitness machine is tempting. Here are our tips for choosing outdoor fitness equipment and using Exercise bike, elliptical trainer and treadmill.
Exercise bike: how to choose it
This is the cheapest and least bulky device: 2 m2 on the ground is enough.
The exercise bike is easy to use and accessible to all, regardless of age and shape. You can do it even if you are overweight because the work is done sitting without supporting the weight of the body.
Only people who suffer from patella pain or knee tendinitis should prefer the elliptical or walking.
Finally, caution in case of back problems, sciatic type, because the prolonged sitting position, with the back leaning forward, is not recommended.
How to use an exercise bike?
You must adjust the saddle, neither too high nor too low: “When you pedal and the foot is down, the leg must be almost elongated but it should not need to be on tiptoe,” says Dr. Krzentowski. Also adjust the handlebars to have the right back possible.
Start with 5 to 10 minutes of low intensity warm up. Then, to progress in endurance, the ideal is to work in a fractional way.
Choosing an exercise bike
There are simple models from a hundred euros: the change of resistance is done through a controller.
- If you have a small space, opt for a folding bike, which fits in a closet: they are a little less comfortable but remain solid. Some are guaranteed for five years.
- If you prefer comfort, bet on a wide saddle, a simple spanning and a high handlebar to have the back straight.
- Do you want to pedal at a good pace? Choose a mixed handlebar with several arm positions, to be able to change during the session. Some mains-powered bikes offer programs with automatic variation in intensity and speed: a good way to stay motivated, but count at least 250 €.
Elliptical trainer: how to choose it?
If some models of elliptical are foldable, make sure you have enough space: 3 to 4 m2 minimum to have room to move your arms.
Those who walk a lot or already do sport will work their endurance and sculpt their silhouette. Thanks to the alternating movement of arms and legs, the elliptical stretches the upper and lower body, as well as the back and abdominals.
It is therefore a good option if you are looking to lose some weight, especially since the lack of impact protects the joints, knees like hips.
You can even practice, without forcing too much intensity, in case of mild back pain because the movement requires to stand up straight and helps to relax (not during a sciatica or lumbago).
However, if you are very sedentary, or suffer from a heart problem, it is better to return to the activity with a treadmill, or start with the bike in case of significant overweight.
How to use an elliptical bike?
“You have to make sure to put both feet in the same way in the pedals to be symmetrical,” advises the coach. And not to be swayed: the bust remains as straight as possible, abdominals tight, look straight ahead. The arms are not completely stretched, otherwise adjust the pedals to bring them closer.
Start with 5 to 10 minutes of warm up, until you feel a start of breathlessness and sweating, then alternate a few minutes a little faster and recovery, changing the pedaling speed and / or the intensity of resistance.
Choosing an elliptical trainer
Everything depends on the goal: to maintain one’s fitness, to work one’s endurance, to tone one’s muscles.
- If you plan to use less than 3 hours a week, opt for a basic model with manual resistance adjustment.
- If you schedule more workouts, count at least 250 to 300 €. Some say the heart rate, useful to measure his effort, but prefer those provided with a heart rate monitor, more reliable than the sensors in the hands.
Test the device in store to see if the movement suits you: when the arms are at maximum distance, the back should be able to stay straight and the pedaling fluid, without jerks.
The treadmill and running: how to choose?
Walking or jogging, it allows everyone to work his endurance. If you have room: at least 4 m2; even if some bend, you only win half the floor space. Another downside: it is often very noisy.
Proper use of a treadmill
If you walk, do not put your hands in front of you on the console as this can cause tension in the back, shoulders and neck. Instead, use the swinging arms, along the body or bent elbows, to accompany the movement, straightening the shoulders.
Alternate speeds: better to 30 seconds at 5 km / h then recover 1 minute at 2 or 3 km / h, than walk for 1 hour at 3 km / h. Finally, using the 10% incline allows you to burn twice as much calories as walking flat. “Adopt good running shoes and socks adapted to avoid the risk of blisters or wounds in people with diabetes,” says the doctor.
Choosing a treadmill
Soft recovery of a physical activity, maintenance work, regular training, and the palette is wide.
- If you are looking for a space-saving model (40 x 100 cm for the carpet) and simple to use (zero mounting), some specific mats for brisk walking offer a speed of 0.5 to 8 km / h. Starting from 250 €.
- If you want a tilting model, to vary the intensity of walking, you will need to increase your budget a bit.
- If you want to run, a mat that goes up to 14 or 16 km / h is enough and can be used by the whole family, both running and running. It also requires a running surface wide enough and long to be comfortable, at least 45 x 120 cm. Count at least 500 to 700 €.