Gazelle workouts increase aerobic fitness and muscle tone. The Gazelle gliders let you work out your whole upper body, targeting the arms, back, thighs, calves and glutes. There are six – ten basic exercises from the basic glide, wide glide, low glide, high glide, forward push and power glide. Another option is to hold your arms at your sides to challenge your balance as you are not touching the machine except with your feet.
- Grip Options
Gazelle gliders have padded foam handlebars at the top of the swing arms. Where you grab the handlebars changes how much work your upper or lower body gets. Gripping the middle of the handlebars in a neutral grip causes the upper and lower body to work equally, but holding the handlebars low by the crossbar makes the lower body work harder. Holding onto the crossbar instead of the handlebars is called a front bar grip, which places all the work onto the legs.
The Gazelle is a low-impact workout that offers six to ten different exercises within one workout. The Gazelle provides both aerobic and resistance training within one exercise session. The Gazelle gives you all the benefits of stretching, walking, running, cross-country skiing, aerobic dancing and resistance training without jarring impacts or damaging movements to your body. The versatility of the Gazelle appeals to both the beginner and the fitness enthusiast.
To operate the gazelle, stand with one foot on each foot plate with each hand grasping an arm lever. Swing the legs and arms back and forth in a scissoring motion. Some Gazelle models are fitted with pistons that can be used to vary the amount of resistance to increase aerobic intensity. You can vary the program by leaning forward, leaning backward, bending knees or releasing the arm levers.
Gazelles are made primarily for cardio workouts. The machines let you raise your heart rate and keep working without having to stop from muscle fatigue because it has so little resistance. This lack of resistance is one of the major criticisms of the Gazelle. According to a calories-burned-by-activity calculator at FatBurn, however, the Gazelle burns a similar amount of calories as an elliptical used at the same pace.
The Gazelle uses a combination of body weight and machine resistance settings to provide a muscle-building workout. The Gazelle allows users to target specific muscles, based on how users position their body during the workout. For example, lifting the heels off the pedals during a workout requires users to use more calf muscles. Crouching down requires users to push up with the quadriceps. Leaning forward and using more arm than leg effort to move the machine requires the use of more biceps and chest muscles. Leaning backward in the machine and relying primarily on the legs works the hamstrings and buttocks. Changing this exercise by using less leg effort and moving the elbows outward works the lats and shoulders more. Standing sideways on the machines allows users to perform adduction and abduction exercises to work both the inner and outer leg.
The Gazelle allows users to stretch arm and leg muscles past their comfortable range of motion. Long strides stretch the muscles more, while a long stride-and-hold allows users to achieve a temporary static stretch. Relying more on the pedals requires more leg stretching, while a reliance on the arm pistons provides an upper-body stretch.
Gazelle exercise machines use two pedals and two arm poles to create a back-and-forth movement that stretches your muscles as you move the pedals and levers. You stride, similar to cross-country skiing, with your knees bending less since the pedals move upward, rather than staying on a straight plane. The faster you work, the more natural momentum you generate, decreasing your need to manually move the pedals and levers. This can decrease your calorie burn.
By standing on the Gazelle in different ways, you can target specific muscles to work. For example, if you stand on your toes, you use more calf muscles. If you lean backward, you use more of your hamstrings, butt and hips to move the pedals. If you stand sideways on the machine, you work your inner and outer thighs. If you take long strides and hold them, you work your abs.
Gazelles with resistance can help those without large, developed muscles tone and build muscle, as well as improve muscular endurance for sports. Gazelles without resistance provide fewer muscular benefits, but still require you to move your body’s weight. Moving the pedals without using your arms to move the levers increases your leg muscle use and effort. Using your arms only to move the machine increases upper-body benefit.