Fitness has never been more popular. Today we are bombarded with adverts, Instagram stories and plenty of new health and fitness products that are all encouraging us to be fitter and stronger. Gone is the trend of ‘clean eating’ or counting calories. Today, it is all about keeping healthy, loving ourselves and working out well.

There are more and more food and fitness bloggers who are all ready to give us advice on how to stay healthy. You can find a million or more workout videos, programmes, and books that will promise to help you. It can often seem overwhelming and confusing. The key is choosing the right workout plan for you. Think about what exercise you enjoy, what parts of your body you want to work on, and what your aims are. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to gain muscle? Do you want to improve your core stability?

Once you know what you want to achieve, you can start thinking about the right workout plan for you. Then you can look for the right programme to suit your needs. It is really important to remember to never compare yourself to others. Your exercise journey is your own. It is personal and unique.

There are lots of ways to exercise. You can go to a class, hire a personal trainer, run outside, swim, go to the gym or do exercises in your own home. Our workouts focus on using an elliptical trainer. We will guide you through how to use an elliptical machine to lose weight. Generally, using an elliptical means you will have to go to a gym to use one, but you can also buy one for your own home and workout there too.

In our guide, we will cover everything you need to know to lose weight using an elliptical trainer. We will take you through their benefits, how to use one, cover four workouts, and give you our top tips!

Benefits of an Elliptical Machine

using elliptical machine: Benefits of an elliptical machineYou may think that using an elliptical won’t produce the same results as running or using a treadmill, but you would be wrong! It is true that you can have an easy workout on an elliptical, but you can take shortcuts with any workout. The key is knowing what level you should be working at, for how long, and really pushing yourself. In fact, there are lots of benefits of using an elliptical trainer, here are our top ten.

Great for Losing Weight

You may be surprised to know that using an elliptical burns a similar amount of calories as using a treadmill! What is better, is that it often feels easier, so you can lose weight and not feel awful! You can burn around 400 calories with an elliptical machine in just thirty minutes!

Good for Your Joints

using elliptical machine: Good for your jointsIf you like running, but find the impact of jogging on concrete and sidewalks really hurts your knees and joints, then using an elliptical machine is for you. The machine mimics the motion of jogging, but whilst stressing your joints much less. This is because you aren’t pounding the streets but gliding forward, whilst also spreading the impact across more muscle groups.

Do More Than Just Workout

Unlike a treadmill, you can multitask whilst using an elliptical machine! You can listen to music, an audiobook or podcast, but also rest a book on the display and read. If you are using your elliptical machine at home, then you can also watch tv, take phone calls or chat with your friends and family!

Full Body Workout

Using an elliptical is about much more than just toning your legs and bum. You can get a great full body workout by using an elliptical machine. This is achieved by using both the legs and the handlebars. If you are moving the arm bars, then you are working your upper body as well as your lower body. If you choose to not use the arm bars, then your legs and core will work harder as well.

Low Impact Safe Exercise

We’ve talked about how using an elliptical machine is much safer and lower impact than running on the street. As well as this, it is really easy for you to stop if you want to. Your own strength and resistance is creating the machine’s fixed and fluid motion, so as soon as you stop, the machine stops. Unlike a treadmill, the machine won’t run away with you! This all proves that ellipticals are better than treadmills in some cases.

Great for Strength Training

using elliptical machine: Great for strength trainingIf you want to improve your strength whilst losing weight, then increase the resistance on your elliptical machine. Your whole body is having to work a lot harder to go at the same speed, which makes it a great exercise for improving strength.

Improves Balances

Elliptical machines also help improve your balance. You have to use all four of your limbs, coordinate the motion and stay on the machine! It is a great way to tone your core and improve your balance.

Helps Your Heart

Using an elliptical machine is a really good exercise for getting your cardiovascular system working well. It will increase your capacity and strengthen your heart, by increasing your heart rate and improving your aerobic strength. Make sure you’re using elliptical machine around three times a week though, for more than half an hour, that way you will see a difference and help your heart!

Do It at Home

using elliptical machine: Do it at homeYou can buy an elliptical trainer for your home easily and relatively cheaply! This saves you having to join a gym and spend time getting down there. They are quite small, compact and quiet, so can go in the corner of a room nicely, and by having it at home you will probably find you will be training more.

Varied Workouts

Elliptical machines have lots of settings and programmes, which mean you can really mix up your workouts. There will be a number of pre-set workout programmes you can use. These will include things like ‘hill climb’ mode or ‘race track’ mode. You can also create your own workouts and adjust things like the incline, speed, resistance, time and distance. There are loads of options to really vary your workouts and keep it interesting. The different settings also allow you to mimic other kinds of exercise, which provides great variation and keeps you interested!

Steps of Using an Elliptical Machine for Beginners

using elliptical machine: Steps of using an elliptical machine for beginnersUsing an elliptical machine is really easy. However, it can be daunting when you walk into a gym and have no idea what to do. You really don’t want to be that person that does it wrong or falls off! So, we can take you through the steps of how to use an elliptical machine.

  1. Step onto the elliptical machine facing in the direction of the display screen.
  2. Put one foot into each of the pedals firmly.
  3. Hold one hand onto each handle and stand up straight.
  4. Consciously engage your core, keep your back up and roll your shoulders back.
  5. Begin pedaling your feet forwards, similar to the motion of walking forwards. This will turn on the machine.
  6. Push and pull your hands forward on the handles and pedal at an even pace, making sure not to lock out your knees.
  7. Now the machine is turned on you can turn up the resistance, speed and adjust the settings to create your workout for weight loss.

Your Elliptical Workouts for Weight Loss

There are four main types of workout we suggest you do on your elliptical for weight loss. You can alternate through these in the week and keep your exercising interesting!

Workout 1: High-Intensity Short Intervals (30 minutes workout)

using elliptical machine: High-Intensity Short Intervals

  • Settings: If your elliptical machine has a high-intensity interval setting, then choose this at the beginning when you step on the machine. If not, step on and start peddling forward.
  • Warm-up: If you have selected the HIIT setting, then the machine will give you a five-minute low-level workout. If not, you can do this yourself. Time five minutes where you move at a low-level pace.
  • Main Set: Once you have completed your five-minute warmup session you need to find your maximum level. You can do this by adjusting the resistance, height, and speed to find your maximum effort zone. On a scale out of ten, you should be looking to work at about an eight or nine in this zone. If you have selected the HIIT programme on your own elliptical machine, then you won’t need to manually adjust between these levels. The machine will do it for you. Work at this level for one to two minutes, then reduce the settings to rest for the same amount of time that you were at maximum effort. You should feel you are working at a two or three out of ten in these rest periods. Repeat these intervals of hard work and rest until you are at 27 minutes.
  • Cool down: For your cool down, reduce the speed and resistance levels to a bit lower than your rest level. Spend three minutes working out here while you slow your breath and take down your heart rate. After three minutes, slow the machine to a top and get off safely and correctly.

Workout 2: Mid Intensity Long Intervals (45 minutes workout)

using elliptical machine: Mid Intensity Long Intervals

  • Settings: If your elliptical machine has a mid-intensity long interval setting, then choose this at the beginning when you step on the machine. If not, step on and start peddling forward.
  • Warm-up: If you have selected the machine’s own program, then it will start you off with a five-minute low-level workout. If not, you can do this yourself. Time five minutes where you move at a low-level pace.
  • Main Set: For the main set increase your levels to a six or seven out of ten for effort and work at this level for five minutes. After each five minute set, reduce your settings so you are working at a four or five out of ten and rest. Repeat these circuits until you reach 40 minutes of elapsed time.
  • Cool down: For your cool down, spend five minutes working out at about level three effort. This will allow you to slow your breath and take down your heart rate. After five minutes, slow the machine to a top and get off safely and correctly.

Workout 3: Hill Climb (45 minutes workout)

using elliptical machine: Hill Climb

  • Settings: Most elliptical machines will have a hill climb setting, so select this and set your time to 45 minutes. The programme will take you through everything you need from warm-up to the main set and cool down.
  • Warm-up: If you have selected the machine’s own program, then it will start you off with a five-minute low-level workout. If not, you can do this yourself. Time five minutes where you move at a low-level pace.
  • Main Set: All elliptical trainers will have a hill programme, so simply follow their hills. These programmes will ramp up your incline and resistance over a period of about two to five minutes each time, and then let you rest.To make the hills interesting, you can climb the first half by keeping your arms in the center of the arm handles, and then for the second half you can move your hands to the top and really push/pull with a lot of effort. This way, you are targeting and working different parts of your body. Continue to follow the hill programme until you reach 40 minutes of exercise time completed.
  • Cool down: For your cool down, spend five minutes working out at about level three resistance, and gradually decrease the incline from ten to one. This will allow you to slow your breath and take down your heart rate. After five minutes, slow the machine to a top and get off safely and properly.

Workout 4: Ladder (60 minutes workout)

using elliptical machine: Ladder

  • Settings: If your machine has a ladder workout, then select this programme and choose your time at sixty minutes. If not, then follow our workout below.
  • Warm-up: If you have selected the machine’s own program, then follow the five-minute low-level workout. If not, you can do this yourself by peddling at a low-level pace for five minutes.
  • Main Set: The main workout is made up of three 15 minute sections. Every five minutes into each interval increase the workout level as per below:
    0-5 minutes work at a five or six out of ten, with relatively low resistance and incline.
    5-10 minutes work at a six or seven out of ten, with relatively medium resistance and incline.
    10-15 minutes work at a seven or eight out of ten, with relatively high resistance and incline. In between each 15-minute interval you can exercise at a rest level of three or four out of ten for two minutes. If you’d like you can also pause your workout, get off the machine and complete 25 lunges or squats. Once you have completed each of the three 15 minute sections, you should be at about 56 minutes of exercise completed, and ready to cool down.
  • Cool down: For your cool down, spend four minutes working out at about level three resistance, and gradually decrease the incline from ten to one. This will allow you to slow your breath and take down your heart rate. After four minutes, slow the machine to a top and get off safely and properly.

Tips:

using elliptical machine: TipsExercise regularly!
To see some real benefits of using your elliptical machine, then you need to exercise regularly. We would recommend you workout two to three times a week, for at least half an hour. So, you can start off by doing two of our workouts in a week, and then maybe work towards doing thrice a week. This regular exercise will give you the best weight loss results.
Engage your upper body
For a full body workout, you need to really push and pull on the handles. Don’t just hold on, but engage your core and upper body to lose weight from your arms.
Don’t lean
When you lean forward on the machine you are more likely to injure yourself. It also makes you perform badly, and you won’t see good weight loss results if you do this. Make sure you hold your position correctly and properly on the elliptical.
Increase your RPM to a certain level
When you increase your RPM you make the exercise harder. You can do this through speed or resistance increases. Make sure not to go really fast though, as you will stop engaging your body and muscles, and instead rely on the momentum of the machine to keep you going. The latter will not help you lose weight!

Elliptical machines are great for weight loss. Having read our article you should be ready to go out there and burn some calories! We’ve given you four elliptical workouts for weight loss! Our four exciting and challenging workouts will help you lose weight safely and enjoyably. Remember to follow our top tips to also help you really optimize your workouts.

Don’t worry if you have a day when you really don’t feel like exercising, we all have those. Maybe come back to this article and read the benefits of an elliptical machine again. This will remind you of all the great things you can achieve for your body by working out. Most importantly, it is proven that exercising and being healthy genuinely makes us happier, so by exercising you will see your mood improve!

You have everything you need to use an elliptical trainer to lose weight, so start your training sessions!

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