Is It Efficient to Back-Pedal on an Elliptical Trainer?

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Effective fat burning is possible using the elliptical trainer as it offers cardio workouts. However, you need to provide variety to your training to engage a different set of muscles. You must change the stimulation to strengthen every muscle group.

It is also necessary when you aim to intensely train a single muscle group in every manner possible. The long-term effects are fantastic when you integrate backpedaling training into your programs. They offer extensive stimulation to the muscles you’re forward pedaling could not activate.

Benefits of back-pedaling on an elliptical

Using the back-pedaling motion, the main advantage you get is that you can work the elliptical machine to target deeper muscles. It not only targets different muscles but also does so intensively, giving you an extra benefit.

It burns more calories than normal activities as it races your heart significantly during this motion. Even the lymphatic drainage is improved, leading to a healthier body. During the usual motion, you get to engage your buttocks and quadriceps.

However, if you plan to engage your hip extensors and hamstrings along with the above two, back-pedaling is the way. You can gain the advantage of engaging most lower body muscles.

When you pedal without the help of handles, it forces you to involve your back and abdominal muscles. With this method, you get to tone your muscles, improve stability, and reinforce the abdominal strap deeply.

What are the other benefits?

Ellipticals’ job is not to build muscles but to offer low-impact fitness with cardio benefits. It exerts very little stress on your knee joints as you implement single-point touch on elliptical trainers.

However, when you melt your fat and activate your muscles, making them take good shape and build themselves is an added advantage. Ellipticals can be pedaled in two directions, i.e., forward and backward. This facility allows you to vary the workouts and target various muscle groups.

Muscles used

The forward motion works your quadriceps present in the front of your thighs and the buttocks. When using backward motion, you get to involve your hip extensors and hamstrings present at the back of your thigh.

The handles on an elliptical move in coordination with your arms creating body resistance using your weight. Your arms that grip the handle get to tone up well by developing the biceps and triceps.

Since the action also involves the back and shoulder, where trapezius muscles are present, they get strengthened too. Back-pedaling allows you to shape your upper and lower body as it offers a full-body workout.

Create a complete workout

Both the forward and the backward pedaling motions provide a complete body workout by targeting most of the major muscle groups. You can get to sweat those extra calories and improve your cardiovascular health effectively using an elliptical.

How to include back-pedaling in your elliptical session?

Forward pedaling is easier than backpedaling, helping you perform it at full speed. It involves high-intensity activity that requires some recovery by altering it with a lower intensity exercise. This is where you include backpedaling into your exercise regime.

Let us see in detail how to implement it. Any exercise program starts and ends with warming up and winding up exercise. Here, the same is the case with the elliptical trainer also.

To gently increase the heart rate and avoid injury to your muscles, you should start with a warm-up.

Then you pedal at high speed for 3 minutes forward, followed by a low-intensity recovery of 2 minutes. Then you alter this 5-minute session of low and high resistance. Repeat the process using the reverse motion for the 5-minute interval in high and low variations.

Finally, you finish it with a 3-minute recovery involving low intensity and low speed. This plan can be further adapted according to your stamina. Above all, backpedaling offers excellent muscle strengthening that complements brisk walking when you use it properly.

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