Proper ergonomics transform workouts
Critical ergonomic factors
An elliptical cross trainer is a unique combination of a stair
climber and a cross-country ski machine, requiring the feet
to follow an elliptical motion that typically goes forward or
reverse. Some units also include arms that engage the upper
body as well. The advantage of these total-body machines
is that they require on upright, weight bearing position in
a natural, closed kinetic chain while training all the bodyʼs
major muscle groups - including the gluteals, hamstrings,
quadriceps, calves, lats, chest, deltoids, biceps, and triceps
- which, worked together, result in maximum calorie burn and
distinguishes ellipticals from virtually all other cardiovascular
The essential ergonomic factors for elliptical cross trainers
all contribute to its motion or feel, and exercisers should
evaluate the following when choosing equipment:
While biomechanics are integral in developing elliptical cross
trainers, ergonomics is really where the rubber hits the road.
Ergonomics is the science of adapting external conditions to
suit individuals, or in this case, using biomechanical analysis
to build the best feeling elliptical cross trainers to satisfy
exercisers and deliver results.
When it comes to elliptical cross trainers, the newest and
fastest growing category of fitness equipment, all definitely
are not created equal. Anyone can step onto several
different machines and quickly realize that each has its own
very distinct motion and feel, unlike other fitness equipment
such as treadmills and stationary bikes.
Stride length - Either extreme, long or short, can cause
hyperextension in the hip joint in the forward motion as
well as unnatural, forced hip flexion when going in reverse,
and both can cause discomfort. The optimal stride length
of 18.5”, should comfortably accommodate the majority of
individuals in both forward and reverse motion.
Stride angle / height - This refers to the shape of the actual
ellipse, whether it is more circular or oblong. It should not
feel too vertical like a stair climber of cycle or too flat like a
cross-country skier. The result is a natural, comfortable ride
that optimally engages all major lower body muscles.
Quality elliptical machines foster a smooth, natural, lowimpact cardiovascular workout that challenges everyone
from beginners to elite athletes. Studies have shown that
compared to other exercises, total body elliptical cross
trainers require significant oxygen consumption and result in
high caloric expenditure for efficient, effective workouts.
Also, total body machines that disperse the exercise
throughout enable exercisers to work at higher intensities
without actually perceiving greater exertion.
Stride width / pedal spacing - The wider the space
between the pedals, the greater the hips shift laterally during
the movement, which can create lower back pain. In addition,
a wide stance feels distinctly unnatural, since people walk
and run with their feet and legs close together.
Pedal acceleration - Anyone who has tried several brands
of ellipticals immediately notices the difference in how
quickly and smoothly the pedals move. Some are faster
on the downstroke and drag on the upswing, others have
a “kick” on the upswing that unnaturally propels the pedals
and can throw exercisers off balance. Without steady pedal
acceleration, the result is an uncomfortable and potentially
unsafe movement.
It is easy to see why these machines are tremendously
popular, but before investing in an elliptical cross trainer, it is
critical to evaluate its overall feel.
The importance of biomechanics
Biomechanics, which is the study of human movement, is an
important consideration for any piece of fitness equipment,
but even more so with the elliptical cross trainer due to the
complexity and variance of its movement. For the optimum
workout, the machine must fit the exerciser; individuals
should never be required to adapt their posture, position of
movement pattern to fit a piece of equipment. Elliptical
cross trainers ideally should simulate how the body naturally
moves for people of various shapes and sizes.
Inertia - Inertia deals with the amount of effort it requires to
get the pedals moving. With too much inertia, it is difficult to
get the machine going, but once started, momentum kicks in
and relieves exercisers of significant effort, which takes away
from the workout.
Pedal articulation - In most elliptical machines, the ankle
joint engages in dorsi flexion on the downstroke and plantar
flexion on the upstroke. Excessive plantar flexion leads to
transient paresthesia, a “numb toe” condition due to
compression of nerves in the foot, and extreme dorsi flexion
can limit knee and hip extension, which are essential for a
complete range of motion.
The motion on an elliptical cross trainer should replicate
movements like walking or running, which involve similar
biomechanics. Engineers therefore must consider
numerous factors to make the exercise biomechanically
correct while eliminating unnatural alignment of excessive,
repetitive stress or torque.
On most elliptical cross trainers, the biomechanical analysis
is as follows: the body moves in a linear direction through
flexion and extension at numerous joints in the sagittal
plane, including the shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, and ankle.
Machines with arms may also include a minimal amount of
radial and ulnar deviation in the frontal plane at the wrist
joint. Also, in total body units, the erector spinae may engage in a bit of rotation in the transverse plane throughout
the range of motion.
Upper body pivot point and range of motion - Unlike
treadmills, stationary cycles and stair climbers, many
elliptical cross trainers engage the upper body in movements
that should be synchronized with leg motion. Arm handles
should simulate natural shoulder and arm flexion and
extension as seen in walking or running, and that excessive
radial or ulnar deviation may cause wrist discomfort.
Heart Rate Training Maximizes
Advances in fitness equipment
Premium cardiovascular machines feature technology that
facilitates accurate heart rate monitoring using telemetry or
hand sensors. With telemetry, exercisers wear a chest strap,
and the machine wirelessly picks up the heartʼs signal and
displays the heart rate on the console. Some manufacturers
also offer hand sensors that exercisers grip to get a heart
rate reading. Because muscle contraction interference can
cause erratic readings with hand sensors, telemetry is
generally more accurate.
During exercise, the heart beat, or pulse rate, is a valuable
gauge of intensity level - the more vigorous the workout, the
faster the heart must pump to deliver oxygen rich blood to
hard working muscles. Research shows that exercising in
target heart rate zones is the best way to improve
cardiovascular health while preventing under-training which
minimizes results, as well as over-training and risking injury
or burnout. Essentially, it amounts to smarter, more effective
Some fitness equipment also offers pre-designed programs
that take the guesswork out of heart rate training by keeping
exercisers at predetermined heart rate zones. For example,
in a workout that requires 80% MHR, the machine picks up
the heart rate from the exerciserʼs chest strap and
automatically varies resistance levels so the user maintains
the proper intensity.
Cardiovascular exercise should be performed at 55% to 90%
of oneʼs maximum heart rate (MHR), one way to determine
your MHR is by using the following equation: 220-age=MHR.
Or by using a chart:
The advantage is that exercisers donʼt have to continually
monitor and readjust to ensure that they are at the
appropriate level because the machine does it for them.
These programs also provide valuable variety, enhance
motivation and help improve performance.
Technology boost heart rate monitoring
Heart rate can be measured by palpating an artey and
counting the beats. But even simpler is using a heart monitor,
which consists of a strap worn around the chest that picks
up the heartʼs electric signal and a wristband receiver that
displays the number of beats. Quality monitors are nearly as
accurate as clinical EKGʼs.
The first heart rate monitor was developed in 1977 as a
training tool for the Finnish National Cross Country Ski
Team. During the 1980s, heart rate monitoring became more
popular with athletes, as they saw its effectiveness in
enhancing their performance. Endurance athletes like elite
runners, competitive cyclists, and even Olympic athletes
have attested to better overall results due to heart rate
Save these instructions
If you have elected to assemble this product yourself,
please read and follow each of the steps in the enclosed
assembly instructions. It is recommended that assembly
be performed by an authorized retailer. If you have any
questions regarding any part or function of your E5, contact
your retailer.
Failure to follow any of the following safety instructions may
result in injury or serious health problem:
•Use this exercise product only as intended and
described in this Ownerʼs Manual.
Do not use attachments not recommended by the
Moving your E5
•Never drop or insert any object into any opening, or
on the Pedal Arm Guide Rails.
Your E5 has a pair of transport wheels built into the front
foot. It is easy to move your E5 by picking up the back end
and rolling it on the front wheels.
•Do not place fingers, feet or any other object into or
near the moving parts.
Placement in your home
•Never turn foot pedals, pedal arms or crank by
•To avoid entanglement and possible injury, do not
expose hands or arms to the drive mechanism.
It is important that you place your E5 in a comfortable and
inviting room. Your E5 is designed to use minimal floor
space. Many people will place their E5 facing the TV or a
picture window. To make exercise a desirable daily activity
for you the E5 should be in attractive setting.
•Do not dismount the E5 until the pedals are at a
complete stop.
Leveling your E5
•Warn bystanders to keep a safe distance away. Do
not allow anyone (other than the user) to touch the
machine while it is in operation.
If your E5 wobbles when you have placed it where you
intend to use it, raise or lower the four adjustable levelers.
Two are located on either side of the rear stabilizing frame,
and two are on each side under the housing.
•Do not remove the side covers. Only on authorized
retailer should perform maintenance or repair
Foot position
Your E5 has a large foot pedal, offering you a variety of foot
positions. When using your E5 you may notice that your
heel rises off the footpad. This is normal heel-toe-plant
walking or running motion and you should not try to prevent
•Do not use outdoors.
•Keep children off and away from your E5 at all
•When the E5 is in use, young children and pets
should be kept at least 10 feet away.
How to use the E5
To start using the E5 simply stand on the foot pedals with
the toes of your shoes close to the front edge of the foot
Place your hands in a comfortable position on the
handlebars. Simply move your highest foot forward and
follow the natural path of the machine.
Other safety tips for your E5
•CAUTION! If you experience chest pains, nausea,
dizziness or shortness of breath, stop exercising
immediately and consult your physician before
•Donʼt wear loose clothing that might catch on any
part of the E5.
E5 motion handles
•Read this Ownerʼs Manual in itʼs entirety before
operating the E5.
•Use a damp cloth to wipe your E5 and console free
of sweat and dust. Always avoid getting extra
moisture on the console. By keeping the console
face free of sweat, you can extend the consoleʼs life.
•Important Reminder: NEVER use petroleum - based
solvents when cleaning. Doing so will damage the
finish on your E5.
Working in unison with the adjustable resistance of the
elliptical stride, the motion handles are designed to work
your upper body in rhythm with your lower body. The
ergonomic design encourages good posture and proper
technique. When working with the motion handles for the
first time, start out at slow pace to get accustomed to the
total body motion.
The stationary handles are there for additional support. On
the stationary handles are the metallic contact heart rate
pads, to be used if you are not wearing a Heart Rate
Monitor Transmitter.
Converting from metric to standard
This readout will display your speed in miles per hour.
First locate the switch on the reverse side of the panel.
Flipping the switch to the upper position means your
readouts are in the STANDARD format. Flipping the switch
down converts the readouts to METRIC. Remember that
1 mile equals 1.6 kilometers.
The calories display will show the approximate number
of calories you burn during your workout. Your can also
program your elliptical to notify you when you have burned
a specific number of calories.
Turning the screen display on
You can turn your console on by either pressing the START
button at the bottom of the console or by simply getting on
your elliptical and beginning your stride.
Top program a calorie countdown:
Turn on the console by pressing the RESET button. Press
the SHIFT button to cycle through the feedback windows
until CALORIES is displayed. Next, press the “+” button
until the desired number of calories are displayed. Then,
start pedaling. The CALORIES display will show your
specified calories counting backwards to zero. When you
have reached your goal, the console will beep until you
press the RESET button again.
Clearing previously stored information
Your elliptical will retain information from your previous
workout such as calories and distance for a few minutes.
You can clear this information by holding down the CLEAR
RESET button.
Console feedback
The HEART RATE display will show your heart rate in beats
per minute. During your workout, press the SHIFT button
until HEART RATE is displayed. Next, grasp the inner
upright handles with your palms on the heart rate sensors.
After 10 seconds your heart rate will be displayed and will
change as your heart rate changes. NOTE: Always consult
a physician before starting an exercise program. This will
be helpful in determining your target heart zone.
Your E5 provides you with the information you need for an
effective workout every time.
There are two modes of time display. You can choose
either Count Up Mode or Count Down Mode for a
programed time limit.
Setting the main display window
To operate in Count-Up Mode:
Simply get on the elliptical and start striding. The console
will automatically turn on and the time display will advance
from zero and keep time until you finish your workout.
The automatic display mode on your elliptical is set to
SCAN. In this mode, information from each of the feed back
windows is cycled. If you desire to keep one feed back
function on for quick reference, press the SHIFT button
until the feed back function you desire is displayed. When it
does, you will see your selected feedback information.
To operate in Count-Down Mode:
Turn on the console by pressing the RESET button. Press
the SHIFT button to cycle through the feedback windows
until TIME is displayed. Next, press the “+” button until the
desired number of minutes of your workout is displayed.
Then, start pedaling. The TIME display will show your
specified time counting down to zero. When you have
reached your goal, the console will beep until you press the
RESET button again.
Turn the screen display off.
The elliptical console automatically shuts off after a few
minutes of inactivity.
The DISTANCE display will show this amount of mileage
you have “traveled” in your workout. Keeping a record of
your progress is a great motivational tool. You can also
program the amount of distance you desire for your
To operate a specific distance:
Turn on the console by pressing the RESET button. Press
the SHIFT button to cycle through the feedback windows
until DISTANCE is displayed. Next, press the “+” button
until the desired distance for the workout is displayed.
Then, start pedaling. The DISTANCE display will show your
specified mileage counting backwards to zero. When you
have reached your goal, the console will beep until you
press the RESET button again.
2.) Main
LED Readout
1.) Program Function
7.) Enter
3.) Readout
8.) Start /
4.) Readout
Function Lights
1.)Light will indicate
which progra has
been displayed.
5.) Select
6.) Scan
9.) Increase / Decrease
2.) Main Readout: 3.) Displays the
displays where value of each
you are in the
4.) Light indicates
which function
is selected.
5.) Select Button:
Allows you to select which information you would like to input and
6.) Scan on / off Button:
Will turn on or off the scan feature (see page 13).
7.) Enter Button:
Will enter the information that you have given, so you can move
onto the next catagory.
8.) Start / Stop Button:
Will start and stop your program. If you hold this button down for
more than 2 seconds, it will allow you to reset all information.
9). Increase Button:
Will increase the value of resistance in the program, and select the
9). Decrease Button:
Will decrease the value of resistance in the program, and select the
The elliptical motion exercise machine is the result of combining the vertical
motion of a stair climber and the striding motion of a treadmill. The machine
generated elliptical shape is designed to move in both a forward or reverse
motion and when combined with the upper body workout supported by the
moving handles, train all the bodyʼs major muscle groups: Gluteals, Hamstrings,
Quadriceps, Calves, Lats, Chest, Deltoids, Biceps and Triceps. The low impact of
the elliptical motion provides a cardiovascular workout for everyone from
beginners to serious athletes. When compared to other cardio exercises, the
elliptical trainerʼs unique motion requires a higher level of oxygen consumption
that results in a more intense workout with the same amount of effort typically
required on other cardio equipment.
The main exercise programs are designed for two reasons; get you moving
quickly with the least amount of set up, and also to guide you through a number
of different and motivating routines that maximizes your workout.
1. Get on, and press the “Start” button, this will start the Manual program.
During any of the programs, you can use the “+/-” buttons to adjust the Level of
resistance, at any time.
Press the “+/-” button, until the “MANUAL” light is on. Press the
“ENTER” button.
Press the “SELECT” Button, until the Level light is on. Press the “+/-” to
set, press “ENTER”.
Press the “SELECT” Button, until the Time light is on. Press the “+/-” to
set, press “ENTER”.
Press the “SELECT” Button, until the Weight light is on. Press the “+/-”
to set, press “ENTER”.
Press the “START” Button, and begin the program.
Press the “+/-” button, until the “INTERVAL” light is on.
Press the “ENTER” button.
Press the “SELECT” Button, until the Level light is on. Press the “+/-” to
set, press “ENTER”.
Press the “SELECT” Button, until the Time light is on. Press the “+/-” to
set, press “ENTER”.
Press the “SELECT” Button, until the Weight light is on. Press the “+/-”
to set, press “ENTER”.
Press the “START” Button, and begin the program.
Press the “+/-” button, until the “HILLS” light is on.
Press the “ENTER” button.
Press the “SELECT” Button, until the Level light is on. Press the “+/-” to
set, press “ENTER”.
Press the “SELECT” Button, until the Time light is on. Press the “+/-” to
set, press “ENTER”.
Press the “SELECT” Button, until the Weight light is on. Press the “+/-”
to set, press “ENTER”.
Press the “START” Button, and begin the program.
Press the “+/-” button, until the “FAT BURN” light is on.
Press the “ENTER” button.
Press the “SELECT” Button, until the Level light is on. Press the “+/-” to
set, press “ENTER”.
Press the “SELECT” Button, until the Time light is on. Press the “+/-” to
set, press “ENTER”.
Press the “SELECT” Button, until the Weight light is on. Press the “+/-”
to set, press “ENTER”.
Press the “START” Button, and begin the program.
Press the “+/-” button, until the “CARDIO” light is on.
Press the “ENTER” button.
Press the “SELECT” Button, until the Level light is on. Press the “+/-” to
set, press “ENTER”.
Press the “SELECT” Button, until the Time light is on. Press the “+/-” to
set, press “ENTER”.
Press the “SELECT” Button, until the Weight light is on. Press the “+/-”
to set, press “ENTER”.
Press the “START” Button, and begin the program.
Press the “+/-” button, until the “HEART RATE CONTROL” light is on.
Press the “ENTER” button.
Press the “+/-” Button, to set your Target Heart Rate (see the graph on
page 3). Press “ENTER”.
Press the “SELECT” Button, until the Time light is on. Press the “+/-” to
set, press “ENTER”.
Press the “SELECT” Button, until the Weight light is on. Press the “+/-”
to set, press “ENTER”.
Press the “START” Button, and begin the program.
While you are working out, you can press the “SCAN on off” button,
so the Scan light is on. This will scroll through the information during
your workout.
You can press the “SCAN on off” button, so the Scan light is off,
while it is showing the information you would like to see consistently
through your workout.
At any time during your workout, you can press the “SELECT” button,
and change which information is being displayed.
What is cross training?
With more fitness tools available than ever before, today it is
easy to cross train, or incorporate variety in workouts such as
jogging on Mondays and Wednesdays and lifting weights and
swimming on Tuesday and Thursday. Or it can be spending 15
minutes each on a stationary cycle trainer and treadmill for a
45-minute session.
Varying workouts ultimately produces the best outcomes
whether that means losing weight, running a race or playing
better golf.
Breaking habits
Why not just do the same exercise routine day in and out?
Because performing the exact exercise routine over time
actually can hinder progress.
The body adapts, over time, to the demands imposed on it. By
repeating the same exercises, the neuromuscular system will
become stronger and better coordinated, so that eventually
the body is more energy efficient at that activity. As efficiency
increases, caloric expenditure can drop by as much as 25%,
which can result in less effective workouts and plateaus.
Therefore, cross training is instrumental to continually
challenge the body and deliver results.
Benefits of cross training
In addition to sustaining physiological progress, cross training
leads to a myriad of other benefits:
Better overall fitness level-no single activity can yield all
the potential benefits of exercise such as better
cardiovascular health, stronger muscles and bones,
enhanced flexibility and lower body fat.
Reduced risk of injury- Excessive in one activity can
lead to overuse injuries. Distributing the exercise stress
throughout the body results in a stronger, more balanced
Improved athletic performance- Peak performance in
virtually all physical activities more than just one physical
attribute. So a sprinter still benefits from weight training to
build overall strength.
Enhanced motivation and reduced boredom- Trying
new activities can prevent burnout and keep exercisers
committed over the long haul.
Cross training within one machine
The elliptical cross trainer is currently the fastest growing
piece of fitness equipment. A cardiovascular machine
breakthrough, ellipticals combine the motion of a cross
country machine and a stair climber, with the feet traveling in
an egg shaped, or elliptical, motion, delivering a weight
bearing, easy on the joints, simple to use, effective workout
unlike any other fitness product.
Units easily facilitate cross training on the same machine
by allowing for forward and backward motion and including
arms for synchronized, total - body movement. Studies have
shown that total - body elliptical cross trainers engage
numerous muscles, including the gluteals, hamstrings,
quadriceps, calves, pectorals, lats, deltoids, biceps and
triceps in a natural closed kinetic chain, unlike any other
modalities such as treadmills, stationary cycles or stair
climbers. Plus, core musculature strength and stability are
constantly taxed on a total-body machine, as exercisers
must recruit the abdominals and lower back to maintain
Another benefits is that total-body elliptical may not feel as
intense as other machines due to the movementʼs low impact
nature and dispersion of effort throughout the entire body.
Furthermore, simulating realistic motions such as walking or
running on a total-body elliptical cross trainer can lead to
“ transferable” gains that help improve performance of
everyday activities. Ellipticals also may enhance balance,
coordination and fluidity of motion, all of which play a critical
role in activities of daily living.
The bottom line is a more intense workout with greater
oxygen and muscular demands and caloric expenditure, all
at a lower overall perceived exertion level and with practical
Cross training is the most effective way to train. Taking
advantage of an elliptical cross trainer provides unique
options all within one workout on one machine.
A little exercise is good for you, so more must be better, right?
Well, sometimes more is just that-more. In the search for better health and fitness, it is sometimes difficult to quell oneʼs
enthusiasm and take a break from exercise. But if exercise is leaving you more exhausted than energized, you could be
suffering from a case of overtraining. Individuals who excessively exercise are risking more than poor performance: theyʼre
risking their health. If you recognize the following symptoms in yourself or a friend, it is essential that you seek
professional help. Here are 10 signs of overtraining.
Decreased performance
Agitation, moodiness, irritability or lack of concentration
Excessive fatigue and malaise
Increased perceived effort during normal workouts
Chronic or nagging muscle aches or joint pain
Slower reaction times, reduced speeds and lowered endurance levels are all common signs of
Too much exercise and too little rest can wreak havoc on the hormones, cause mood swings and create
an inability to concentrate.
A body that never has a chance to fully recover from a previous workout will continue to feel more and
more fatigued. Some people describe this feeling as “heavy legs.”
Overtraining takes a toll on the body, and workouts that were once a breeze can begin to feel like a grind.
Overused muscles and joints can cause constant aches, which may go unnoticed until the body is given
proper rest.
More frequent and illnesses and upper-respiratory infections
Insomnia or restless sleep
Loss of appetite
Too much exercise taxes all of the bodyʼs systems and makes it more difficult to ward off infections.
During sleep the body has time to rest and repair itself. An overtrained body, however, is sometimes
unable to slow down and completely relax, making it difficult to recover between workouts.
Overtraining can cause an increase in hormones such as epinephrine and norepinephrine that tend to
inhibit appetite. The physical exhaustion and anxiety that often comes with overtraining can also have the
same effect.
Chronically elevated heart rate at rest and during exercise
Menstrual cycle disturbances in women
A clear sign of an overworked heart muscle is a chronically elevated heart rate. Also, people who
overtrain will often find that it takes longer for their heart rate to return to normal after a workout.
Exercising excessively and not consuming enough calories may disrupt a womanʼs menstrual cycle.
While some may experience irregular periods, others will stop menstruating altogether.