Do Ellipticals Provide a Good Workout?

If you’re wondering whether or not ellipticals provide a good workout, you’re in the right place. In this post, we’ll dive into the science of elliptical training and what it can do for your body.


Exercising on an elliptical machine can be an efficient and effective way to get in a good workout. Ellipticals tend to provide a low-impact, full-body workout that involves both an aerobic and strength component. This combination of traits makes them suitable for a range of fitness goals, from weight loss and muscle toning to general fitness and endurance training.

The standing position on an elliptical trainer encourages users to engage their core muscles while also providing support and stability to the base of the spine. This engagement helps tone the abdominal region while working other muscles throughout the body in a consistent and comfortable position. Additionally, ellipticals allow users to vary their speed by adjusting the resistance levels, allowing them to customize their workouts according to their needs.

By propelling the foot pedals backward or forward with each stride, users are able to target different muscle groups in the lower body as they work out; this helps maintain balance throughout the duration of the session by engaging both major muscle groups in either direction. Some models also offer moving arm bars for upper body exercise for an even more comprehensive routine without having to switch machines or take breaks between activities.

Benefits of Ellipticals

Elliptical trainers have been gaining in popularity for a few years now due to their convenience and flexibility. These machines can provide a great full body workout, and they are easy on the joints and ligaments. Ellipticals also offer many additional benefits that make them a great choice for anyone looking for an efficient, effective way to get in shape. Let’s explore some of the benefits of using an elliptical trainer.

Low Impact Exercise

Ellipticals, also known as cross trainers, are beneficial for those who want an effective and low impact form of exercise. Elliptical machines enable you to achieve a challenging workout involving both your upper and lower body at the same time.

The non-weight bearing nature of ellipticals appeals to those with joint pain or osteoporosis because it avoids stressing any particular joint area while still providing an aerobic and muscle building workout. This unique feature allows you to move in a natural range of motion rather than completely circular like on a treadmill or stepper.

The adjustable stride length feature of most ellipticals provides users with the ability to customize their routine for each muscle group. In addition, adjustable resistance levels enable users to increase their workouts intensity level as they progress over time.

Finally, the diversity of exercise positions keeps your routine interesting by allowing you to target different muscles groups in different ways. Using arm handles is an effective way of building upper body strength, while pedaling only with your legs provides a great way to strengthen your lower body muscles.

Improved Cardiovascular Health

Ellipticals are an incredibly effective form of exercise to improve cardiovascular health because they involve both an aerobic (with oxygen) and anaerobic (without oxygen) component. This means you can get the benefits of a low-impact, high-intensity workout in a short amount of time. The gliding and pushing motions that the elliptical provides will give your body a complete workout, including your lower body muscles, upper body muscles, and core muscles.

Additionally, because of the low-impact nature of this machine, people with joint pain or weak lower body muscles can also benefit from it by being able to safely push more weight than usual on their joints and be able to do more reps than ever before. It is even beneficial for those who are just staring out with their fitness regime since its low impact on joints. Furthermore, due to its efficient motion movements when using the elliptical trainer you can burn more calories in less time therefore providing an improved cardiovascular system over time. In addition to burning calories while working out on it you also strengthen your heart and lungs while improving balance, flexibility and coordination as well as mental sharpness through increased focus on form while using correct motion technique.

Full Body Workout

The ellipticals provide a good full body workout for several reasons. First, the design of the elliptical, which resembles a stair climber, is ideal for engaging multiple muscle groups in one movement. Your legs, glutes and calves will be used continuously through each stride in order to lift the foot rails aggressively up to your chest. You can also boost your upper body workout by using your arms to help pump the handles on an elliptical.

The low-impact nature of an elliptical is also useful as compared to more heavyweight equipment such as treadmills or free weights as it reduces stress on joints and tendons. It is gentle on the joints and places very little stress on your knees but provides effective work on all major muscle groups. Ellipticals are generally easier to use than other gym equipment because they require very little balance or coordination which makes them suitable for beginners too.

Another benefit of an elliptical machine is that it increases cardiovascular endurance while building strength at the same time due to its range of intensities available and versatility in terms of its customized speeds, inclines and other features present within each individual model. Additionally, using an elliptical can help you lose weight faster since you are able to burn calories quickly since it increases metabolic rate as much as 75%. Lastly, using an elliptical helps strengthen core muscles by targeting several large muscle groups from different angles.

Drawbacks of Ellipticals

Ellipticals are a great way to get an aerobic workout without the hard impact on your joints of activities like running. However, there are a few drawbacks to using an elliptical trainer that need to be kept in mind. These include potential for poor form, limited uses, and the potential to become bored with the device. Let’s explore these in more detail.

Lack of Variety

Ellipticals don’t provide the same level of variety in terms of workout options that some other pieces of exercise equipment can offer. Most ellipticals are designed with one stride length and a single mode, making it difficult to customize your workouts. Additionally, many ellipticals do not provide an adjustable resistance to increase your intensity during a workout. This limited range in customization makes it difficult to incorporate variation into your routine, which has been proven to be important in order to promote weight loss, build muscle and maintain long-term fitness results.

Furthermore, because they lack the push-off action seen during activities like running or biking, the impact on muscles is significantly reduced when using an elliptical machine. As a result individuals may find it difficult to reach their upper body and core toning goals while still challenging their cardiovascular system. Research has suggested that elliptical machines are not as effective as walking or running for burning calories due to their low level of intensity so you may want to consider opting for alternative methods of exercise if you are serious about achieving fitness objectives such as weight loss or strength building.

Potential for Injury

Elliptical machines can be a great cardiovascular workout and have many benefits, so it is important to understand the potential for injury when using one. It is recommended that you warm up before using an elliptical and always maintain proper form during your workout.

Ellipticals work most major muscles in your body, particularly those in the legs, which can increase fatigue and lead to muscle strains or tendon injuries if you overwork them. The arms and upper body also benefit from an elliptical workout; but if you use too much resistance this can increase your chances of developing an injury of the rotator cuff. Additionally, a high impact workout on low tension can lead to foot, ankle, or knee pain due to repetitive stress injuries or poor technique.

When using an elliptical machine it is beneficial to find a comfortable stride length that allows for full range of motion from ankle to hips without going too deep or straining your joints. If possible, you should adjust settings on the machine for maximum comfort during long periods of exercise such as low levels of resistance and shorter strides that are taken at a more moderate pace with less impact on knees and ankles compared to higher levels of intensity settings. Make sure you vary your workouts and stay hydrated throughout as this will give your muscles time to recover in between sessions while still providing all the benefits associated with an elliptical session.


If you are looking for a low-impact aerobic workout, have limited space in your home or gym and want to add variety to your workouts, an elliptical may be right for you. For best results, find an elliptical that meets your budget and caters to your fitness needs. Allow the machine to help you customize the routine with adjustable resistance and incline settings. Using an elliptical can contribute to overall body fitness while providing a fun and time-efficient workout.

Tips for Safe and Effective Elliptical Use

Ellipticals can provide a good workout if used correctly. In order to get the most out of your machine, it is important to understand some key safety and usage guidelines.

1. Before beginning your elliptical session, warm up for at least five minutes to increase blood flow and reduce the risk of injury.

2. It is important to set your stability controls correctly before getting on the elliptical so that you don’t put too much strain on your joints due to sudden movements or uneven resistance while exercising. You will want the resistance setting to be challenging enough but not overly strenuous.

3. Keep good posture while using the elliptical by keeping your back straight, standing with your feet at hip width apart, and holding on lightly with both hands during each stride. This will help you maintain a more natural gait and help prevent muscle fatigue or strain.

4. Set realistic goals for yourself when using an elliptical in order to make sure you are getting a full body workout without overburdening any one part of your body such as arms or legs; for example, if running a mile is too difficult then set shorter goals like running three-quarters of a mile until you are able to master longer distances over time.

5. Make sure that you are taking rest breaks every 15 minutes or so to give yourself adequate time for recovery between workouts; this helps decrease potential exhaustion which can lead to overexertion if not monitored properly during exercise sessions on an elliptical machine

By utilizing these tips when utilizing an elliptical machine, you can make sure that each session is safe and effective while getting great results from each workout!

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