Whether elliptical machines are your preferred type of cardio exercise or you’re simply looking for an effective cross-training technique that’s easy on the joints, the elliptical machine is an excellent choice. The elliptical has a reputation in some circles for being a less physically demanding type of cardiovascular exercise, but ultimately it’s up to you to make the elliptical work for you and help you reach your fitness goals. Before you spend another minute on the elliptical, read FitClub’s five tips below for getting the most out of your next workout!
- Push yourself. Just like any other form of cardiovascular exercise, the machine won’t do the work for you. If you find that you generally spend thirty minutes at a moderate or low intensity, you won’t see results as quickly as you might like. Each machine has programming options that allow you to increase the resistance or try intervals to give your legs and glutes a better, harder workout. Experiment with the resistance and your own speed until you find yourself being better challenged during an elliptical workout.
- Use your arms. Don’t let yourself use the machine for balance while you drive your legs. Whether the machine has the movable arm component or not, you can swing your arms just like you would during a run. It’s not only good movement for your arms, but it will increase your calorie burn and require you to use your core for balance as your feet move the pedals. The next time you use the elliptical, challenge yourself to keep your arms and your feet moving at full speed.
- Try a high intensity interval workout on the elliptical. High intensity interval training can be applied to every form of exercise. Watch the clock on the monitor or use your own stopwatch or watch to challenge yourself to go as quickly as you can at a high resistance for twenty seconds, rest for ten and repeat. High intensity interval training (commonly known as HIIT) raises your heart rate, resulting in greater calorie burn even when you’ve finished your exercise. You can incorporate periods of HIIT into an elliptical workout with periods of slower speed or lower resistance throughout the course of your workout.
- Add the elliptical to your circuit training. FitClub makes it convenient to hop from one machine to the next to cover every muscle in one workout. Use the elliptical to warm up and raise your heart rate and then add strength training to your repertoire to get the most out of your time at FitClub. Breaking your workout into shorter circuits also gives you a mental break, allowing you to better focus mentally and physically on the task at hand.
- Add the elliptical to your cross-training. Whether you’re a runner, a swimmer, or a weight lifter, the elliptical is an excellent cross-training activity. Easy on the joints with minimal impact, opting for an elliptical workout on your cross-training days is an excellent way to further improve your cardiovascular health without compromising sore muscles or strained joints.
Do you favor the elliptical machines? What advice would you give your fellow FitClub members?