Get More Out of Your Elliptical Workout

When it comes to cardio many people think treadmills are your best beat, when in reality elliptical machine can offer just as an effective fat-burning workout, as long as you are using it to it’s full potential that is. Check out 6 Reasons to Exercise on Ellipticals if you’re not so sure yet.

According to an article from, “The biggest mistake people make using an elliptical machine is staying at a steady, slow or moderate pace for the entire session.” Now I’m sure you’ve heard of interval training before, check out All About Interval Training if you need a refresher of why it’s so amazing. Yet interval training is not just for treadmill running, it can be incorporated into any cardio workout to increase your calorie burn in less time.

Elliptical Machine WorkoutYou can use interval training on your elliptical in time frames, such as going at a slower, steady pace for one minute, then increasing your pedalling or resistance to full speed for 30 seconds, then repeat. You can also do it by mileage, 0.5 miles slower speed, then crank it up for the next 0.25-0.5 miles. Or if you are one who likes to watch TV while you workout, you can increase your speed on the commercials!

Besides adding interval training, there are other tips one can do to maximize their calorie burning on the elliptical, check out these tips from the previously mentioned Fitbit.MSN article, you can check out the article for more detailed descriptions and examples on each tip.

Change Directions. By changing up between forward and backward pedaling you can target different muscle groups than if you were to just stay going in one direction. “Moving forward fatigues quads, while moving backward puts emphasis on hamstring and glutes.”

Set Adequate Resistance. If your resistance is set at 0, momentum will be doing most of the work for you. While this may seem like the easiest approach, you’ll be burning less calories and simply be wasting your time. “Set the resistance high enough to feel like you’re pushing the ramp down.” This will help increase your workload to crank up your heart rate to burn more calories while also toning your things in the process.

Sit Back in Your Heels. “Avoiding putting too much pressure on your toes while you’re on the elliptical. This can make your feet go numb and cut your workout short.” Instead you should be focusing on sitting back a bit and putting the pressure on your heels, “this [also] allows your large muscle groups to work harder.”

Enter Your Information. This is true with any exercise machine, you need to set the machine to your specific information to get a more accurate calories burned reading. Most machines are set to calibrate for 150-pound person, so you need to make sure it’s set to your age, weight, and gender to ensure you know how many calories you are burning.

Check out even more Tips to Improve Your Elliptical Workout and the Mistakes to Avoid.