Elliptical Machine Workout Exercises

By Heather Mark

  • Overview

    Using an elliptical trainer is a complement to any cardio workout. The gliding action allows you to move as though you are jogging, but without the jarring impact of your feet repeatedly striking the ground. Starting any new fitness routine can be intimidating. Once your strength and endurance is built up, getting stuck on those frustrating plateaus can be discouraging. Here are some ideas to get the most out of your elliptical workout whether you're a beginner or an old hand.
    Elliptical Machine Workout Exercises
  • 8-Week Elliptical Workout For Beginners

    • Step 1

      Start by committing to work out every other day for 20 to 25 minutes. During the first two weeks, work up to the point where your breathing becomes heavier. On an intensity scale of 1 to 10, work out at about a 5. Be sure to get your upper body moving by using the alternating handlebars.


    • Step 2

      At weeks three through five, increase your exertion level. If you aren't breaking a sweat 10 minutes into the workout, it's time to get fired up and really start moving. Start interval training by increasing resistance and speed for 30 to 60 seconds at a time, followed by a 1- to 2-minute recovery period without any resistance. Start with just a few repetitions and add more each week.
    • Step 3

      For weeks six and seven, perform intervals for the entire duration. At week eight, move on to the intermediate workout.
  • 8-Week Elliptical Workout For Intermediate/Advanced

    • Step 1

      If the elliptical trainer is your only cardio workout, increase your workouts to 5 days a week for 20 to 25 minutes. During weeks one and two, work up to a 6 or 7 on an intensity scale of 1 to 10 without performing any intervals.
    • Step 2

      Start introducing intervals in week three the same way you did in the beginner program. This time, push yourself almost as far as you can to get that heart rate up. By the end of the seventh week, you should be able to do a full 25 minutes of interval training.
    • Step 3

      Break any bad habits by correcting your form. Stand as though you're a puppet on a string, your spine perfectly aligned from the top of your head to the tip of your tailbone. Avoid leaning forward, to reduce strain on your back.
    • Skill: Challenging
    • Ingredients:
    • Sneakers
    • Elliptical trainer
    • Tip: Begin every workout with a 5-minute warm-up of casual gliding. Finish each workout with a 5-minute cool-down.
    • Tip: Keep your toes to the front of the foot plate, as they may slide back during the workout.
    • Tip: Take your hands off the handlebars entirely to get an intense core workout.
    • Tip: Know your target heart rate, and try to stay within your fat burning cardio rate.
    • Warning:
    • Always consult your doctor before beginning any fitness program.

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