Are Ellipticals Bad for Your Back: The Truths, Myths, and Misconceptions

Are Ellipticals Bad for Your Back: The Truths, Myths, and Misconceptions
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For many people, the idea of working out isn’t as simple as it is for others mostly because they are dealing with some type of physical ailment or the worry of repeating an injury that they’ve had in the past. Even with a low-impact exercise such as an elliptical, people still wonder, “Are ellipticals bad for your back or not?” Unlike any other machine that you have in your gym, the elliptical may be your best bet when it comes to finding a safe exercise for your upper and lower back for many reasons.

What Is the Meaning of Low-Impact?

Low-impact exercises are an excellent option for people who have previously suffered from joint or back injuries or who are at risk for experiencing some type of injury in the future. It essentially means that your body will not be responsible for absorbing any type of shock because of impact.

For example, when you run, and your feet impact the floor, your knees, lower back, calf muscles, and more, absorb the shock. This is what makes running a very high-impact exercise, and over time, your body can wear down as a result of it.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have low-impact exercises that are essential for relieving unnecessary pressure and preventing excessive shock from affecting your limbs, joints, and especially your spine. Going on the elliptical is one of the best low-impact exercises that you can do as it gives you the ability to work your body just as much, if not more than with a treadmill but with far less pressure on your delicate body.

Do Ellipticals Help Prevent Back Injuries?

There are plenty of exercises that you can do to help prevent a variety of injuries, and the elliptical is surely one of them. The best way to protect your body from stress injuries or repetitive injuries is to build up the muscle around the affected area. For example, if you’re prone to lower back pain, you’re going to want to build the muscle in your lower back so that your spine has more support and it will be far less likely to become injured.

By creating a reasonable workout schedule for yourself and sticking to it, you’ll not only be able to build muscle in your back, but you will also be able to work the muscles, so they are far leaner and less likely to tear or be pulled. This is because the elliptical works on numerous parts of your body at once and gives you the ability to exercise without worrying about stress injuries.

Can You Use the Elliptical while Recovering from a Back Injury?

Even though many people may assume that using the elliptical is a high-powered exercise that you should avoid, especially if you’re recovering from an injury, that is not always the case. It’s recommended that you first speak to a medical practitioner or physical therapist before engaging in any exercise after suffering an injury, but it’s likely that an elliptical will be a part of the recovery process.

The vast majority of physical therapy clinics and hospitals are equipped with ellipticals because it’s a great way for physical therapists to work with their clients and help them achieve high levels of mobility after a surgery or a long period of stagnation. However, there are specific ways that you should use the elliptical if you’re on the rebound from an injury and it’s essential to gather advice from your team of doctors before engaging in the exercise under your own accord.

What Are the Other Benefits of Ellipticals?

Aside from the fact that it’s easy to answer, are ellipticals bad for your back, it’s also important to think about the other benefits that they have to offer. As one of the most, if not the most, versatile machines in your gym, you can guarantee that there are a wide variety of benefits associated with using an elliptical for your workouts.

1. Working Out with the Natural Motion of Your Body

First and foremost, using an elliptical gives you the ability to work out and perform movements that come naturally to your body. Unlike with running, where you have to achieve the perfect stance in order to prevent the likelihood of stress injuries, ellipticals have a specific motion that engages your knees, all areas of your feet, and your lower back as if you were walking. This is ideal for people who are worried about their back, as you won’t be putting any excessive pressure on your back muscles or spine than you normally would.

2. Ideal Exercise for All Ages

If you head to the gym wondering if ellipticals are bad for your back, the first thing you’ll notice is that people of all ages will be on the machines. You don’t have to be muscular and bulky nor do you have to be a marathon runner, as anyone above the age of 16 will be able to use the machine to their advantage. You’ll be able to benefit from the safety and security that the machine provides, and the machine’s incredibly user-friendly functions as well as simple adjustments and tracking parameters.

3. Working All Areas of Your Body at Once

For most people, the idea of spending an hour or two at the gym can be overwhelming, especially if you have specific exercises to work on certain parts of your body. However, with an elliptical, you’re going to be able to work everything from your feet to your shoulders at the same time. This is what makes it one of the most efficient exercise machines you’ll find in your gym, as it’s a total body workout that requires half of the effort of a treadmill and is far gentler on your back.

Final Thoughts

Protecting your body is of the utmost importance, especially if you’re recovering from an injury. With the help of an elliptical, you’ll not only be able to burn more calories and achieve your ideal physique, but you’ll be able to do so without having to worry about your back. To put it simply, the answer to, “Are ellipticals bad for your back?” is yes, and you should certainly try using one as soon as you can!

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