How Does an Elliptical Machine Work?

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An elliptical is one of the best pieces of equipment for a cardio workout. The machine helps reap maximum benefits, given the fact that we know how to use it correctly.

Although an intuitive fitness machine, several individuals don’t maintain the right posture when using it.

Such wrong postures elevate the risk of injuries, minimize the workout’s effectiveness, and don’t give expected results.

Hence, getting a clear idea about how an elliptical machine works will help maximize exercise benefits.

What Are the Features of an Elliptical Machine?

Every model is different, and the primary differences are in the features provided by each manufacturer. Some of the key features available in ellipticals include the following.

Adjust distance, speed, time, resistance, and inclination levels to customize exercises according to fitness needs.

Increase resistance, speed, and inclination levels to make the sessions challenging, thereby breaking the monotony of the cardio session.

This way, the metabolism levels are boosted, and calorie-burning abilities improve.

For those individuals who recover from injuries (bones or muscles) and are in rehabilitation, low-impact workouts are suggested. An elliptical machine is a piece of superb low-impact fitness equipment (compared to treadmills and exercise bikes) ideal for recovery.

Also, the risk of injury while working out on an elliptical is minimal. The machine is designed to keep the individual as safe as possible when performing complex cardio workouts.

Besides these primary features, the availability of different secondary features depends on the model, the pricing, and the manufacturer.

Some models come with speakers and MP3 players, which helps combine effective exercise sessions with absolute entertainment. Play your favorite music while pedaling away furiously.

If there is a cooling fan present, it helps cool down while working out. Such provisions motivate in try challenging levels while enjoying the fitness session.

Though a low-impact machine, an elliptical guarantees high-intensity interval training. Combine recovery intervals and HIIT exercises to keep the heart pumping fast.

Types of Elliptical Workouts

Every elliptical helps individuals walk or run on the machine using adjustable speed options. Newer models are designed to accommodate reverse cycling, which helps target opposite muscles in the lower body.

Besides the regular workouts, some ellipticals come with provisioning to do cross-country skiing and stair climbing exercises by changing speed and incline levels to suit the individual’s fitness levels.

We predominantly move our legs while pedaling, but unlike a treadmill that provides training solely to the lower body (enhances calorie-burning abilities in the core area), we can move our hands using the handlebars provided in the elliptical.

Such movements trigger abs, upper body, back, and legs, simultaneously enabling us to reap total-body fitness benefits.

So, besides using a treadmill to build stronger leg muscles, an elliptical can either be solely used or combined with a treadmill to tone the abs and arms beside the lower body.

Hence, ellipticals assure intense aerobic exercises that enhance metabolic rate, increase fat breakdown, and make it easy for the body to convert fat into energy.

Finally, working out on an elliptical guarantees low-impact training and minimal stress on the hips, ankles, and knees, unlike a treadmill.

What Are the Benefits of Elliptical Workouts?

Any workout is beneficial for fitness, but there are various health benefits of using an elliptical that are not known by many.

The core benefits of using an elliptical include:

  • Accelerated metabolic rate
  • Rapid fat burn leads to a fitter, leaner, and a well-toned body
  • Improved respiratory, cardiovascular, and digestive system functioning
  • Using an elliptical reduces the risk of stress, motivates individuals, and improves mood levels
  • Stimulates circulation promoting better skin health
  • Promotes digestion of foods and liquids and helps in detoxification

Elliptical Workout Routine for Beginners and Pros

Are you a beginner trainer who has never used an elliptical for workouts or an experienced cross-trainer who loves challenges and aims for taking up the fitness routine to the next level? Belong to any level, the fitness program below helps form an exercise routine.

The programs are split into one—the first one is for beginners, and the next one is for experienced trainers.

Each program must be performed a week thrice where. Every session lasts not more than 20-30 minutes each.

A word of recommendation here—it is better to spread the three sessions across the week rather than doing them on three consecutive days. This way, there is an opportunity to break between the exercise routines.

Elliptical Trainer Workout Routine for Beginners

Day 1

Warm-Up: Always start the session with a 3-minute warmup activity where the exercise intensity is upped gradually

Main Workout: Perform 15 minutes of running. Maintain the intensity of the exercise such that it’s possible to talk while exercising at that particular intensity

Cooldown: Don’t halt suddenly but gradually decrease the intensity, walking for 3 minutes before halting altogether

Day 2

Warm-Up: Start the session with a 3-minute warmup activity where the exercise intensity is upped gradually

Main Workout: Perform 14 minutes of interval training by combining 30 seconds of full-intensity workout with 1.5 minutes of low-intensity exercise.

Repeat the same for 7 rounds.

Cooldown: Don’t halt suddenly but gradually decrease the intensity, walking for 3 minutes before halting altogether

Day 3

Warm-Up: Start the session with a 3-minute warmup activity where the exercise intensity is upped gradually

Main Workout: Perform 15 minutes of running, starting with the highest possible resistance level. Keep reducing the resistance levels gradually when the legs feel heavy.

Do this for the first 10 minutes. During the last 5 minutes, stay at the resistance level reached during the first 10 minutes of the workout and exercise steadily at this range.

Cooldown: Don’t halt suddenly but gradually decrease the intensity, walking for 3 minutes before halting altogether

Elliptical Training Routine for Veteran Trainers

Day 1

Warm-Up: Start with a 3-minute warmup activity increasing the intensity levels gradually.

Main Workout: Run continuously for 25 minutes at a pace at which it’s possible to talk while exercising

Cooldown: 3 minutes of walking

Day 2

Warm-Up: Do a 3-minute warm-up, gradually increasing the intensity level

Main Workout: Perform 13 minutes of interval training in the following format:

  • Full-intensity training for 3 minutes
  • Low-intensity training for 3 minutes
  • Full-intensity training for 2 minutes
  • Low-intensity training for 2 minutes
  • Full-intensity training for 1 minute
  • Low-intensity training for 1 minute
  • Full-intensity training for 30 seconds
  • Low-intensity training for 30 seconds
  • 7 minutes of running at an intensity where it is possible to speak while exercising

Cooldown: Gradually cool down with 3 minutes of walking

Day 3

Warm-Up: Do a 3-minute warm-up, increasing the intensity gradually

Main Workout: Run for 25 minutes, starting with the highest possible resistance. Don’t stop pedaling but reduce resistance levels and halt not until the legs feel heavy.

Gradually reduce the speed and keep doing this for the first 10 minutes.

For the next 5 minutes, work out maintaining the resistance level attained during the first 10 minutes.

Decrease the resistance slightly and follow the same for the next 5 minutes maintaining the tempo. Keep pedaling at the minimum resistance level for the last 5 minutes but give the best shot.

Cooldown: Walk for 3 minutes

Final Words: Is Elliptical Workout Any Good?

Despite the availability of a wide range of cardio fitness equipment, the elliptical remains one of the best choices possible.

The legs move in an elliptical motion on an elliptical, but the arms swing back and forth, providing a workout for the upper body.

Hence, we can be sure of total body toning and strengthening when using an elliptical.

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