|By U.S. Navy photo by|
Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Joshua Valcarcel
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
I was never actually convinced by going backwards, although a few years ago - before I became an instructor - part of my programme was to do backwards intervals on this machine. I don't think I did it for long.
Reasons for not going backwards on the cross trainer:
- First and foremost, the cross trainer is a cardio machine - you are trying to raise and maintain your heart rate. Going backwards slows you down and lowers your heart rate.
- If you want to work your leg muscles, do some leg weight exercises - squats and lunges are awesome.
- Our legs are designed to propel us forward, it makes no sense to train them to go backwards.
- Current research suggests the same muscles are working backwards and forwards, there is no extra benefit, but it may put extra stress on the knees.
- If you really want to work your muscles harder, letting go of the handles works well. Your abs and inner thighs work harder to keep you upright, and your glutes work harder because you can't cheat and lean over the machine.
Do you use the cross trainer backwards?
How do you find it?
Will you give no holding on a go?