If you own a Gazelle exercise machine that offers resistance, you can build muscle, with how much muscle you build depending on your starting size and strength. For non-bodybuilders, a Gazelle with resistance, used correctly, should provide enough resistance to help build some muscle every workouts. Models that don’t offer resistance won’t be useful in building significant muscle mass. If you’re looking to create a so-called “toning” workout, a Gazelle with resistance can help you target specific areas of your body, such as your calves and the upper arms.
A Gazelle with adjustable resistance helps you build muscle.
Gazelles and Muscle Building
You build muscle by placing it against resistance, such as lifting a heavy weight or pushing against an object you can’t move, like a wall. This creates micro tears in muscle fibers, which then repair themselves and grow larger. This process is called hypertrophy. Using a higher resistance setting on a Gazelle requires you to use more muscle. If you do this long enough, you will stress your muscles enough to start the process of hypertrophy. This is what happens when you “feel the burn.”
Resistance Settings on the Gazelle
Depending on which Gazelle you have, the machine may have two, three or four resistance settings. If your goal is perform aerobic workouts, using the highest resistance setting will raise your heart level, but the effort may be too difficult to maintain for 30 minutes or longer.
Body Mechanics Matter
How you stand on the machine affects muscle use. If you raise your heels off the pedals, for example, you will use more calf muscle to move the pedals. If you do not have a Gazelle with resistance settings, you can challenge your muscles by leaning forward or backward on the machine and using your body’s weight as the resistance. This is more effective if you use only your upper body to move the levers.
Leaning forward, keeping your elbows in and using only your arms to move the levers will create the greatest resistance against your biceps and chest, and will be the exercise most likely to build muscle. If you move your elbows away from your sides, you will use more triceps and back muscles.
Exercising Core Muscles
If you take a long stride on the Gazelle and hold still, you will recruit your abdominal muscles to help hold the pause. This will create isometric contractions that promote muscle growth. This is the only move on the Gazelle, other than a double-stride, that challenges the core. A Gazelle is not as effective at building abs as crunches or other traditional core exercises; however, if you want to target your abs while you use a Gazelle, this exercise will help.
Muscular Endurance Benefits
The heavier the weight you lift or resistance you use to perform an exercise, the more muscle you build. For bodybuilding, you lift fewer reps of heavy weights, taking several minutes of rest between sets. Using a Gazelle, you can build muscular endurance, which is your ability to use muscles over a period of time. Using your muscles on a Gazelle until they start burning will help promote muscle growth, but not as much as lifting heavy weights. You will, however, build some muscle and improve muscular endurance.