Beginners Guide to the Cross Trainer

If you’re a beginner when it comes to using a cross trainer, or you haven’t encountered one outside of a gym before, then they may be somewhat intimidating to you. However, as unsure as you might be about these machines, it is important not to disregard them just because you haven’t used one before. A heart-pumping session spent using a high-quality cross trainer can help to improve your body’s fitness and overall health in various ways. Combined with other methods of cardio, such as walking and running, the cross trainer offers a great workout for exercise beginners looking to get fit. One of the best things about cross trainer hire is that you can muddle your way through the first couple of sessions, getting used to the machine and figuring out your own pace, without having to worry about holding other people up at the gym.  Here’s our Beginners guide to the cross trainer.

Tips to get you started

One of the major problems that most people experience with cross trainers is that when you’re new to the exercise, you may develop some soreness in your calf muscles, simply because of the heel position on your trainers’ foot plate. Most of the time, your heel will be extended upwards throughout the exercise, and you should do your best to keep your foot flat whenever you can in order to stretch out your calf muscles and prevent cramping.

When using a cross trainer machine make sure that you:

  • Place your feet towards the centre of the foot pedals.
  • Warm up before any exercise, intensive or otherwise, especially stretching out your lower leg and calf muscles. This will help to build your heart-rate up slowly, preparing your cardiovascular system for a workout, as well as preventing strains.
  • Aim for larger, more controlled motions, using your arms to control the speed.
  • Avoid excessively rotating your waist in an attempt to push the hand levers forward quicker.
  • Always have a towel and bottle of water nearby – dehydration can not only make you feel terrible, it can also limit your ability to exercise properly by decreasing your blood volume, thereby increasing your heart rate and blood pressure. The more water you drink, the more you’ll be able to do.
  • Set the resistance level properly – remember, too easy and you’re not getting a good workout, too hard and you’re going to cause yourself unnecessary strain.

It is usually a good idea to speak to your doctor before you start taking part in any exercise, especially if you are over the age of thirty-five, or haven’t engaged in regular physical activity for a while. Sometimes, there are underlying medical reasons that mean you should not be exerting yourself in a particular way, so it’s best to get your GP’s go-ahead if you’re unsure. Also, make sure that you dress appropriately for a work-out, even if you’re in your own home using a hired piece of equipment. Remember that you are using a professional machine, and shouldn’t have any loose hair or clothing hanging around that may get caught in the moving parts as you exercise.