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Reverse on the Elliptical?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

So I've been hitting the gym pretty hard in preparation for the upcoming season. While on the elliptical the other day, I was thinking about doing motion analysis on a bump skier (yes, I'm a ski nerd). I was thinking about the backpedaling motion that you see when you watch a good bump skier. So obviously, I stopped the elliptical, and started cranking it in reverse. I immediately noticed a bigger burn in my quads, which is something I was looking for. After humming along in reverse for a few more minutes, I realized I wasn't quite getting the intensity of burn that I would get even from doing GS turns, nevermind from doing bumps. Then I climbed back into my internal motion analysis, and thought about the upper body. I immediately realized that I was going in reverse, which is great, but my shoulders were bouncing up and down as I worked my legs, and cranked on the handles. I took my hands off of the moving handles, and put them on the stationary handle. Then I quieted my upper body, and kept it level while I worked my legs. BAM! Within ten seconds, my quads were screaming, just as they would on a bump run. It was an epiphany, for me at least. 


Has anybody else tried this? Have you noticed a translation onto the snow? 

post #2 of 4

I went "hands free" on ellipticals 3-4 years ago and spend half my workout pedaling in reverse.  To add even more variety, change the tension setting and ramp angle to mix it up.  Focusing on a quiet upper body helps concentrate the effort in the core and lower body.  I also concentrate on even balance and pressure on my feet as I change settings.


I think it's hard to say how much working on the elliptical has improved my skiing, but the varied workout has strengthened my legs.  I used to have occasional pain in my right knee that I don't these days.  I think the elliptical workouts, combined with squats, have strengthened the muscles around the knee so that there is far less stress on the joints.


Next try doing the elliptical with your hands off the stationary handles.  It's an even better workout. 

post #3 of 4

Many of the ellipticals have exercise programs that specifically tell you to alternate pedaling forwards and reverse.


As for the arm thing, while holding the stationary handles does increase the pressure on your leg muscles, you don't burn as many calories as you would if you held onto the moving handles.  If given a choice, I'd always opt for the greater calorie burn.

post #4 of 4

What ellipticals do you use?  Is it is an Arc  Trainer or what? 

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