A beginner’s guide to the cross trainer

An elliptical trainer, a X-trainer or, as it is better known, a cross trainer is a piece of machinery you may or may not yet have come across in one of our NuYu gyms. But what is it, and how is it going to help your workout?

How do you use a cross trainer?

A cross trainer has two platforms on which to put each foot, and two handle bars set either side of a screen for you to hold onto. After stepping onto it carefully, align your feet hip-width apart and take hold of the handles. As you start to pedal with your feet, the handle bars will move as well, meaning one foot and arm will be moving in opposite directions each time. It is important to keep your spine straight to avoid any pain and damage to your back or back muscles.

What are the benefits of working out on a cross trainer?

If you are looking for an intense cardio work out, a cross trainer set to a high level of resistance will ensure that you burn off calories and get your heart beating faster. The cross trainer engages all parts of your body for a full workout, increasing your tone and strength. The movements made combine those that you would experience on a treadmill, exercise bike and stair stepper, but all in one machine. The handle bars work your upper body, including your shoulders, chest and arms, at the same time as the pedalling movement works your legs. Letting go of the handle bars and just pedalling with your feet will also engage your abs.

Who is the cross trainer suitable for?

Most cross trainers can be set to different levels of resistance, meaning that each movement takes more effort to complete. This makes the cross trainer suitable for use by a variety of abilities. You are also in charge of your own speed/resistance, so you can take it at your own pace, and add in bursts of high-intensity where you want to. This is another reason why the cross-trainer is so safe to use; when you stop, the machine stops too.
Working on a cross trainer is easy on your joints so if you suffer from joint pain, or are recovering from an injury, this could be a good piece of equipment for you, whereas an activity like running or jogging could put strain on those areas.

Try it out for yourself!

If you’d like to be shown how to use the cross trainer, do ask an instructor in your local NuYu branch. See great results for yourself from this great piece of machinery. 20 minutes is great to boost your cardiovascular system and get your heart and lungs pumping.



Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates, a keen sportsman, in the 1920s. Creating a fitness training system where people...



What Is Stretching? Stretching is a type of physical exercise in which a specific muscle group is deliberately flexed...


Join our community

Stay ahead of the game and be the first to preview our new articles each month by signing up below for our Top Tips newsletter.

Select a club

Membership type

Monthly from