Elliptical workouts are getting more popular in the gym for good reason. Training on an elliptical is a low-impact exercise that effectively gives you a great cardio experience without putting excessive stress on your joints and muscles.
Like the treadmill, today’s ellipticals offer a variety of resistance and incline settings that can really help to give you an excellent aerobic workout.
Alternative forms of exercise like elliptical workouts, can give someone like a dedicated runner a chance to rest their legs and reduce the risk of the impact injuries that go with the sport.
If you are a beginner with elliptical machines, we have an information page that can help you to get started.
The elliptical can provide amazing gym workouts for women to lose weight
If your goal is to burn fat and calories and you don't have a lot of time, Interval training should be an active part of your elliptical workouts. Interval training is an effective style of exercise to improve your fitness and also accelerate calorie burning faster than a standard cardio workout because of it's intensity.
By adding bursts of higher intensity followed by slower recovery time you can burn more fat and calories both during and after your workout. The speedier intervals raise your metabolic rate which can stay elevated for hours after your workout is over.
Most of the elliptical machines let you go forward or backward. Feel free to go in different directions during your routine to work different muscles. You can set your own interval to change the direction every 5 minutes.
You can improve your rear assets with the Elliptical Machine. By upping the incline on the elliptical machine, you will work your butt and hamstrings quite a bit more. These types of elliptical workouts will not only tone your rear end, it will also ramp your metabolism to torch extra fat and calories.
It is important that you stick your butt out a little and really push down on your heels to lessen the workload on your front quad muscles and really make your butt do the work. You can also pedal backwards to work those muscles more.
Studies show that cross-training by using different exercises than running can be the best thing for the runner to limit the chance of injury and to increase strength and stamina.
You should mirror the time you spend on a run with the time you spend on the elliptical machine. If you are replicating an easy day of running, try an elliptical manual workout at 55-65% of your maximum heart rate.
If you want a medium to hard session, raise the incline or increase your resistance on the elliptical machine and exercise at 70-90% of your maximum heart rate.
Monitoring your heart rate and keeping it in a Heart Rate Zone (HRZ) while you are cardio training is one of the best ways to get a good workout without overdoing it.
Keeping yourself in these zones can be extremely efficient for helping you to reach your fitness goals.
We have heart rate zone calculations tables listed below.
We all have a maximum heart rate calculation for exercising. That calculation is found by taking the number 220 and subtracting your age from it. So if you are 40 years old, your maximum heart rate would be 180. Your exercise "target heart rate" zones will be anywhere between 50% to 90% of your maximum heart rate.
Here is an example of a 65% and 85% target heart rate for a 40-year-old. You’ll notice that for a target heart rate of 65%, this individual will want to keep their heart rate at 117 beats per minute as they exercise.
65% Intensity: (220 − (age = 40)) × 0.65 → 117 beats per minute
85% Intensity: (220 − (age = 40)) × 0.85 → 153 beats per minute
If you are a beginner you should keep your target heart rate in a range of 55% to 65%. As your cardiovascular condition gets better you can slowly move to a 70% - 90% range.
It's important to note that the target heart rate is recommended for individuals that don't have any health problems. Please take the time to check with your physician to be sure this type of intense exercise is ok for you.
Elliptical Beginner Exercise Instructions:
Including the warm-up and cool down, this example workout took 22 minutes. Once you are comfortable and ready to challenge yourself, try and increase the time to 30-45 minutes and slowly increase your resistance and incline levels.
If time gets to be a consideration, the interval training workout listed below is designed for those who want to get more done in less time.
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I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.