Can I Build Muscle on an Elliptical?

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An elliptical is a low-impact machine that provides a full-body workout for the calves, thighs, glutes, arms, back, pecs, and abdomen, making all-in-one fitness equipment.

Using elliptical machines is also a great way to strengthen the heart, elevate weight loss, and enhance overall breathing capacity.

Besides this, we can use ellipticals to build muscle strength all through the body as almost 80% of muscles are engaged while using the machine.

There are a couple of other reasons also that make the elliptical machines one of the safest and most commonly-used pieces of gym equipment:

  • Many individuals are suffering from knee-related problems and joint pain. For such people, using an elliptical is a boon as the machine goes easy on the joints mimicking the natural movement without any impact. Hence, many women use it post-pregnancy to get back into shape
  • As the weight is spread evenly on both legs, there is no imbalance formed while flexing the muscles
  • We love simple machines, and an elliptical is one of the simplest machines as it has a zero learning curve. We can simply use the machine soon after setting up as the risk of practically making a wrong move or a bad posture is very less.

All these are ample enough reasons to make use of the elliptical regularly to stay fit and healthy.

A Complete Workout for the Lower Body, Upper Body, and Abs

If you are wondering whether building muscles is possible on the elliptical, be double assured as the elliptical machine offers a complete workout for the legs from top to bottom.

Hence, the glutes and hamstring muscles are impacted positively besides feeling the burn in the muscles located right in front of the thighs, quads, calf muscles below the knee, and the tibial.

All in all, the elliptical is a machine that helps in well-toned sculpting legs.

While the treadmill and the exercise bike provide a good workout to the lower body, an elliptical has moved and attached handlebars that help in achieving an intense workout for the whole body.

During every session, the following steps happen:

  • A good workout for the back muscles every time we pull the handles
  • The biceps (while pulling the handlebars) and the triceps (while pushing them) get an optimal workout all through the session, all of which help in strengthening the arms.
  • Pecs gain a good workout with the continuous arm movement
  • Even the abs are contracted when trying to maintain balance and keeping an upright position while doing the pedaling movement. The benefits of working out on an elliptical can be compared to that of situps and crunches, as we can be assured of a flat tummy and a toned back. Isn’t this amazing?

Work out at Your Own Pace

While an elliptical can help in toning the body from top to bottom, add strength, and provide overall body toning, if there is a goal in mind, don’t forget to achieve it.

How each of us makes use of the machine differs depending on the goals in mind.

For those interested in burning fat, it is better to reduce the resistance levels in the machine and increase the speed levels.

Make use of the High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) formula, switching between high-frequency steeping and slow-frequency recovery to achieve fitness goals.

When the primary motive is developing muscle tone, it is better to increase the machine’s resistance levels. As the movements become slower and the actions demanding, developing muscle strength is a definite advantage.

Whatever might be the goal, it is recommended to do at least 40-45 minutes of workout twice a week as this helps in maximizing the goals and maintaining fitness levels.

Never train daily but take 1-2 days of rest every week and rotate between various exercises. Maybe, include some sports and do other cardio activities to break away from boredom and achieve a good exercising experience.

Stop Not Until You Succeed!

Now that we know about the elliptical’s advantages of working out all muscles in the body without affecting the joints, all that remains is to choose the apt model for home gym use.

Make the exercise session likable and entertaining by getting a pair of wireless headphones or speakers. Using these, keep the fitness session rocking while stimulating the whole body.

Easy Tips to Reap Maximum Benefits from the Workout

Increase the workout efficiency by using the following tips:

  • Use the elliptical in the backward direction at times to provide workout benefits for different muscles in the body
  • Stand on the tip of the toes, thereby activating the calves much more than during regular workouts
  • Never lean over the fixed handlebars of the elliptical. Else, the abs don’t get sufficient workout as the back is in a bent position.

For those who wish to provide intense workouts to the abdominals and thighs, keep the knees in a slightly bent position outwards. It is suggested to practice this move with a trainer partner watching over your moves, mainly because these moves are not simple. But, in due course, they prove to be extremely effective.

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