How To Get An Effective Elliptical Workout

How To Get An Effective Elliptical Workout

As one of the most popular pieces of gym equipment around, the elliptical offers a unique way to get your cardio and strength training on the one machine.

While treadmills and exercise bikes still remain some of the most loved gym machines, the elliptical has managed to share the spotlight with these trainers and offer something truly unique to the user.

Woman Using an Elliptical Machine

One of the best things about elliptical machines workout is just how enjoyable they can be, and there are so many variations available designed to suit all fitness goals and physical requirements. With the right elliptical trainer in your home gym, you too can benefit from everything this unique piece of equipment can offer and tailor a workout to give you a challenge.

The Benefits Of An Elliptical Cardio Workout​

So, just how can you benefit from an elliptical workout plan? Spending just 30 minutes a day on this machine has some huge advantages over other pieces of equipment, so here are just a few ways you can benefit from your elliptical workout.

All Over Workout

Not many gym machines can target this many areas of your body like the elliptical can. With your core engaged, legs and arms moving, and back and shoulders being worked out, just a 20-minute elliptical workout can use every single muscle and part of your body.

Weight Loss

A standard 30-minute workout on your elliptical can burn 350 calories, according to a study by Harvard Medical School. This is for a 160-pound user and can increase even more with the more body weight you have. The elliptical workout calories you burn are even greater still when you incorporate interval training as well.

No Impact

Whether you suffer from bone or joint illnesses, injuries, or just a lower level of fitness than you would like, the elliptical is the most gentle gym machine of all. While treadmills and bikes offer a low impact workout, there is virtually no impact from an elliptical workout so it’s great for everyone.

Enjoying a Workout on an Elliptical Machine


If you’re bored with treadmills and exercise bikes, an elliptical workout can be incredibly enjoyable. It may take a few minutes to get your footing and balance correct, but once you do you’ll find it far more enjoyable than other machines. This enjoyment will turn into motivation as you’ll be eager to get back on and work out more often than before.

Elliptical Workout For Beginners

For beginners, you should aim to work out at least three times a week and for 30 minutes each time. If you need to, you can adjust this to just 20 minutes provided you push yourself as hard as possible for that time.

Begin on the lowest resistance and make your focus for the first few weeks learning how to use the machine effectively and comfortable. When ready, you can begin to increase the resistance level and push yourself harder through the strides. Aim to eventually work out five days a week and for a minimum of 30 minutes each time and you’ll see results in just a few weeks.

Elliptical Workout For Weight Loss

If your main goal is to lose weight with your trainer, a HIIT elliptical workout is best. These types of exercises involve a change in intensity and they’re designed to continue burning calories even after you finish working out.

Working Out on an Elliptical Machine

Always begin every workout with a five-minute warm-up intended to get your body ready, and help you to learn how to use the machine most comfortably. This workout will use a moderate and intense speed, so figure out what each of these means for you.

  • Warm up for five minutes until feeling comfortable and relaxed
  • Perform 30 seconds at high intensity, working hard enough that you’re not able to speak
  • ​Move down to a moderate pace for two full minutes, ensure that you’re working hard but not at your peak performance level
  • ​Do another 30 seconds of high-intensity movement, and continue to repeat this cycle for a full 20 minutes
  • Once complete, spend the remaining five minutes of your workout moving at a slow pace so that your body can completely recover. Perform some static stretches once off the machine if you want to stretch further

Elliptical Workout For Runners

Although runners usually prefer to get outside and run, the elliptical can be a great backup plan if you ever find yourself unable to perform your favorite exercise. Whether it’s snowing outside, you’ve injured yourself, or you’re on holidays and there’s nowhere to go, using an elliptical machine can give you just as good of a workout.

Stick to your usual running plan when deciding how long and at what intensity you want to work out, and use the elliptical as your mode of transport. Some runners might like to use elliptical workout routines every few days to give their body a break from the high impact of running, so you can tailor an exercise to suit your fitness levels exactly.

The Importance Of A Good Elliptical Trainer

While knowing the right exercises to perform is half the battle, having a quality machine to work out on is the rest of the challenge. When you don’t have a good elliptical trainer at your disposal, not only are you doing yourself potential physical damage but you’re less likely to want to use the device.

Our Top Pick:

Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine

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Elliptical Machine By Schwinn

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With hundreds of different trainers now available, it’s easier than ever to find one that suits you. Everything from the ergonomic handles, to its design, and even digital displays can be altered to meet your needs so that you can find a machine you truly enjoy to work out on. From here, you’ll learn to love exercise even more and improve your health and fitness out of sight.

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