How Good Is an Elliptical Workout?

A look at the benefits of an elliptical workout and how it can impact your overall fitness routine.


Many people are turning to cardiovascular exercise to lose weight and gain overall fitness. An elliptical machine offers a low-impact workout that is effective for both burning calories and building muscle. Understanding how these devices work and their benefits can help you decide if the elliptical is right for you.

The main attraction of an elliptical device is its low-impact nature; the elliptical footpads absorb most of the impact associated with running or jogging, making it easier on delicate joints. This makes it ideal for people with bone or joint problems such as arthritis, as other activities may be too taxing on worn or aging joints. The device also engages various muscle groups concurrently; while working out, you must push and pull simultaneously with your arms and legs, which helps improve both endurance and coordination. As a result of its fluid motion, an elliptical machine delivers an efficient aerobic workout without causing undue strain to your body.

Benefits of Elliptical Workouts

An elliptical workout is a great way to get your heart rate up, burn calories, and improve your overall fitness. It is also a low-impact exercise, so it is gentler on your joints than running. Additionally, the use of the handles on the machine helps to engage your upper body and arms, giving you a more full-body workout. Let’s take a look at some more benefits of this type of workout.

Low-Impact Cardio

Ellipticals are highly-effective for low-impact cardiovascular exercise, which means that your body is not subjected to the same strain that would occur with higher-impact exercises such as running. This makes ellipticals a great option for those who may be suffering from joint issues, or anyone looking to give their joints a break from higher impact activities. Low-impact cardio can still provide you with an intense workout; ellipticals typically have adjustable strengths and levels of resistance to accommodate anyone looking for a more vigorous workout.

Improved Muscle Strength and Endurance

Elliptical workouts have several benefits that make them an ideal choice for anyone looking to improve their overall physical fitness. Among the many benefits, working out on an elliptical is known to improve muscle strength, endurance and aerobic capacity. The low-impact nature of the exercise also makes it easy on your joints and reduces the risk of injury.

The most obvious benefit of elliptical workouts is improved strength. Each time you workout, your muscles begin to adapt to the new challenge, growing stronger in order accommodate it. Over time, this strength can increase significantly and result in improved performance across a variety of physical tasks.

In addition to increasing strength, regular workouts on an elliptical can also boost stamina and endurance. Your muscles are under constant tension while using the elliptical machine, which forces them to endure greater demands and last longer during difficult physical activities such as running or jumping. This increased quickly builds up muscle memory that allows them to last longer as they become familiar with repetitive movements.

Finally, working out on an elliptical also helps build aerobic fitness levels by improving cardiovascular health and lung function. As you consistently challenge yourself through more advanced workouts, your cardiovascular system becomes more efficient at bringing oxygen-rich blood to your body’s cells for energy production. This not only allows you to perform better during high-intensity activities but also prevents fatigue from setting in quickly during lower intensity ones as well.

Increased Cardiovascular Endurance

Elliptical workouts can have a tremendous impact on your overall cardiovascular endurance, as they offer an aerobic workout that is low-impact but also allows you to challenge your body. With an elliptical machine, you can change the incline, resistance and speed settings, which enables you to adjust the intensity of your workout. By varying this, you will push your body further, helping improve your stamina and endurance over time. Cardiopulmonary fitness will also be improved, allowing for improved oxygenation of blood cells throughout your body’s circulatory system. With regular use of the elliptical machine, it is possible to become better able to deal with intense physical activity without feeling overly fatigued afterward.

Types of Elliptical Workouts

Elliptical machines are becoming more popular because they offer a great low-impact total-body workout. But what types of elliptical workouts are available to you? Depending on your goals, you can use different combinations of speed and resistance to get the workout you’re looking for. Let’s take a look at the different types of elliptical workouts.

Interval Training

Interval training is an effective way to maximize the benefits of an elliptical workout. Interval training refers to alternating the intensity of a workout, typically alternating between high and low intensity levels. For example, a person could set the machine to complete 30 seconds at a high resistance level followed by one minute at a lower resistance for approximately 20 minutes. By varying the intensity of your workout, you can burn more calories in less time and also add variety to your routine. This type of exercise helps increase metabolism as well as improving physical and mental endurance without sacrificing muscle strength or joint integrity.

Hill Climbs

Hill climbs are an excellent way to increase endurance and burn calories quickly. For a hill climb, the resistance setting should be set to a moderate-to-high level to challenge the user and simulate an incline. Depending on energy level and fitness goals, you can complete anything from a short hill sprint to a more protracted climb. Remember, it’s important to stay focused during your workout and not lose form.

Keep your back as straight as possible throughout with shoulders relaxed, arms bent 90 degrees at the elbow and your feet firmly planted in center footpads while pushing through every stride to your desired workload (or res full resistance). When completed at high intensity, Hill Climbs can help you build strength, improve balance and flexibly while burning up to substantially higher amounts of calories compared to other exercises such as walking or jogging at the same duration. Utilize interval training by alternating between sprints for shorter periods with steady hill climes for extended periods of time for maximal calorie burn.


Cross-training elliptical workouts are the ideal way of keeping your body challenged and pushing you out of your comfort zone. The variety of cross-training can be useful for weight loss, improved muscle tone and overall fitness goals. Cross-training on an elliptical includes changing the resistance levels or steepness of the incline to help vary the intensity or fatigue levels for an effective workout. Cross-training can also be achieved by switching between one-directional forward strides, backward strides and alternating between both. This action will keep your muscles from becoming too accustomed to any single stride, while still getting a good cardiovascular workout. This type of training is also known as interval training, which consists of alternating the resistance or timeline of your current workout with a specific set period such as fifteen seconds each direction followed by sixty seconds forward motion. With this type of cross training you should focus on gradually increasing the time spent in each direction to get more benefits from this type of workout. Overall, cross-training will work all parts of your body and make sure that you don’t become too familiar with any one motion as it keeps your body challenged every time you get on the machine – great for weight loss success!

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Elliptical Workout

Elliptical trainers are a great way to get a full body workout with low impact on your joints. It is a great choice for those who want to get fit but don’t want to put too much strain on their bodies. It is important to optimize your workout on an elliptical trainer to get the most out of it. Here are some tips to help you maximize your elliptical workout.

Increase Resistance

If you’re looking to get the most out of your elliptical workout, increasing the resistance on your machine is key. When you increase the resistance, the exercise becomes more challenging and allows for greater calorie burn. The physical benefits of increased resistance can also improve your muscle tone, cardiovascular performance and endurance. To achieve higher-intensity workouts, consider changing up your speed and/or incline throughout each session or try intervals. By pushing yourself to work harder during short bursts of increased resistance, you can customize your journey to better fitness even more. When adding more intensity to your workouts through increasing resistance and incline levels, make sure to adjust them as needed based on how you are feeling. It’s recommended that if you feel any pain or discomfort in any part of your body while exercising at an intense level that you reduce the intensity until the pain subsides or stops completely.

Change Directions

Your elliptical workout can be much more effective if you mix up your routine by changing the direction in which you are pedaling. This may seem like an insignificant change, but it can make a big difference in how well your muscles respond. Changing directions focuses different muscles and adds variety to your session, making it a productive and interesting workout. Take care when changing direction as it could be dangerous if you are new to the exercise, so always make sure to adjust the speed on the machine before changing directions.

Increase Intensity

One of the best ways to maximize the effectiveness of your elliptical workout is to increase its intensity. This can be done by manipulating the resistance or incline settings, or by pushing yourself harder when using a low resistance. This type of exercise will keep your heart rate up and help you burn more calories while increasing your cardiovascular endurance and strength.

It’s also important to monitor your body’s signals during your workout. If you find yourself getting tired, don’t be afraid to slow down or take a break. Just make sure that you don’t give up — continue pushing until the end of the session in order to maximize its benefits.

In addition, there are a variety of other tips that can help you get the most out of your elliptical workout:
– alternate between different resistance levels, incline angles and workout modes;
– switch it up with intervals — push yourself hard for short periods followed by rest;
– do “intervals on steroids” — go as fast as possible for 30 seconds followed by rest for 30 seconds;
– aim for at least 20 minutes per session (the longer, the better);
– focus on form and technique since bad posture or incorrect form may negate your effort entirely;
– add strength movements such as weights and core exercises between sets in order to increase lean muscle mass.

By applying these tips during each session, you are sure to experience improved results from your elliptical training program.


In conclusion, an elliptical workout can provide a great cardiovascular workout and muscle toning. In addition, using the elliptical at a higher resistance will also allow you to target your lower body muscles, making your entire workout more effective and efficient.

The type of routine you choose is going to depend on your own fitness goals and physical condition. It is advisable to start with a low intensity routine for a few weeks until you are comfortable with the machine, before increasing the duration or intensity of your workout. Regardless of which type of routine you eventually decide on, it’s important that you focus on proper form and technique in order to get the most out of an elliptical workout.

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