How to use an Elliptical Trainer

How to use an Elliptical Machine

Elliptical Machines

An elliptical can be used many different ways and for various reasons. Here are a few different ways an elliptical can be used.

Choose the Best Elliptical for Your Needs

The first thing you need to do is choose the best elliptical for your needs. In this instance, think of what you are trying to do with elliptical trainer. Some people purchase an elliptical machine because they want to lose weight, burn calories, get a great cardio workout or generally be in better shape. Select an elliptical machine based upon the goals you wish to achieve. Other factors you should consider when you are looking for an elliptical machine to suit your needs is the price and level of expertise. The price of an elliptical trainer is based upon the level of expertise. There are intermediate, advanced and professional level elliptical trainers available. The price of these trainers will increase the higher you go in expertise level. Another factor you should take into consideration are the different styles and sizes that are available. Determine the amount of available space you have in your home and where you like to put the elliptical. Considering these instances will put you on the right track to purchasing an elliptical that meets all of your needs.

How to Use an Elliptical for Beginners

As a beginner, an elliptical trainer can appear intimidating and difficult to use. They are commonly found in gyms and workout stations in many homes. The basics of using an elliptical machine are less complex than a lot of people believe.

Learning the Basics and Proper Stretching

First, you need to familiarize yourself with functions and features of the elliptical machine before you attempt to use it. Make sure you make yourself comfortable with the reverse movement function, if you choose to try it, incline varieties, speed and resistance options available.

Whether you are a beginner or expert using an elliptical trainer, stretching is essential because it reduces the risk of being injured. Calf stretches and hamstring stretches are ideal to perform before using an elliptical machine. The primary reason for stretching is to prevent injuries from the areas that are targeted by the elliptical.

Remember to pace yourself so you do not overdo it on your first few workout sessions. When you feel you have had enough, listen to your body and rest. Make sure you have plenty of water nearby to avoid dehydration. Allow your body to get used to the machine and its features. When you feel you are ready to increase the speed or change other customizable features, proceed to the next available level instead of training out of sequence.

Using the Elliptical

Handling the Elliptical

Do not grip the handles of the elliptical too tightly. These handles ensure your safety, provide support and offer exercise efficiency by ensuring your arms move simultaneously with your legs. When you are ready to mount yourself on the elliptical, use a neutral position to get on the pedals. As you step on the pedals, grip the handles. Make sure you are stable before you program the machine. After one week of using the machine, try to challenge yourself and create new goals with each goal being higher than the last. This is one of the best ways to get the most out of an elliptical machine and the perfect way to give your body a great cardio workout.

How to Use an Elliptical for Weight Loss

Everyone wants to look and feel their best which is why weight loss is always a popular topic. There are three workouts you can perform on an elliptical machine to reach your target weight loss goal, look great and be a lot healthier.

Lunch Time Calorie Crunch

The lunch time calorie crunch is a 15-minute workout that burns calories quick by using different resistance levels and inclines. This elliptical workout uses both forward and backward directions to give a thorough workout.

elliptical workout lunch time calorie burner

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20-Minute Tabata Workout

20 minutes of your time out of a 24-hour day is not a lot to ask for, for a workout that provides desirable results. The Tabata workout uses the interval training method. This workout includes both rigorous and relaxed exercises for a complete workout.

elliptical workout 20-minute tabata torcher

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Go Big Interval Challenge Workout

The Go Big Interval Challenge Workout is ideal for boosting the metabolism by altering speed intervals and resistance levels. This 30-minute challenge workout is the toughest elliptical workouts of the other two that are mentioned.

elliptical workout interval challenge

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How to Use an Elliptical for Cardio Workouts

There are many different cardio workout equipment that can give you a cardio workout, but the elliptical is by far the best equipment to use. Although many people believe elliptical machines are ineffective, boring or useless, the scientific facts prove otherwise. An elliptical machine raises your heart rate and improves fitness in an efficient manner. There is a correct and incorrect way to use an elliptical trainer for cardio purposes. In order to get the desired results, the trainer needs to be used correctly. Here are a few things you can do for a great cardio workout.

Create A Plan

Before getting on an elliptical machine, you need a plan. Within your plan, set goals you wish to achieve for the day or week, the amount of time you plan to workout and the type of workouts you plan to perform.

Do Not Slouch

Many people make the mistake of using the handrails on an elliptical to lean forward. This is an incorrect way to use the elliptical trainer. Slouching gives you an ineffective cardio workout and relaxes you more than anything.

Beginner’s Workout 

If you’re a beginner, you may not be ready for a rigorous workout just yet. A beginner’s cardio workout on an elliptical trainer is enough to get you used to workout out and improving your cardio. Here is a basic cardio workout routine chart you can use to help you get started.

elliptical workout plan

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Other Cardio Workouts

00:00-3:00  3 130 Warm up
03:00-5:00  5 130 Warm up
05:00-10:00   5 140 Speed up
10:00-15:00  7 140 Backward
15:00-20:00  7 140 Forward
20:00-22:30  7 140 Push
22:30-25:00  7 140 Pull
25:00-30:00  5 140 No hands
30:00-35:00  3 130 Cool down

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Other Cardio Workouts

Short on Time

If you are short on time, you can still get a great cardio workout. You have more time than you think right before work or right after work. Sometimes you can get a quick cardio session during your break times. The warm up consists of 3 minutes of working out at resistance level 3 and 2 minutes at resistance level 5.

30-Minute Complete Body Workout

30 minutes is all you need to transform your body. With the 30-minute complete body workout, you can work your entire body without spending a lot of time at the gym.

00:00-03:00 3 130 Warm up
03:00-05:00 3 150 Warm up
05:00-07:00 5 150 No hands
07:00-09:00 7 170 Hands — Pull
09:00-11:00 5 150 No hands
11:00-13:00 9 170 Hands — Push
13:00-15:00 5 140 No hands
15:00-16:00 7 200 Hands
16:00-18:00 7 130 Backward with hands
18:00-19:00 7 150 Forward no hands
19:00-21:00 9 170 Hands — Push
21:00-23:00 5 130 No hands
23:00-24:00 7 200 Hands
24:00-26:00 5 130 Hands
26:00-27:00 3 120 Cool down
27:00-29:00 3 120 Backwards
29:00-30:00 3 110 Cooldown

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How to Calculate Calories Burned on an Elliptical Machine

Calculating the amount of calories you burn on an elliptical machine can be done by a simple mathematical equation or a chart. Using a chart, start with your current weight using pounds of kilograms.  Add the minutes of your workout then determine if you used low, mid or high intensity. If you are using a mathematical equation,


Calories Burned = [(Age x 0.074) — (Weight x 0.05741) + (Heart Rate x 0.4472) — 20.4022] x Time / 4.184.


Calories Burned = [(Age x 0.2017) — (Weight x 0.09036) + (Heart Rate x 0.6309) — 55.0969] x Time / 4.184.

Written by Treadmills & Ellipticals