7 Elliptical Workout Ideas for Weight Loss

It’s remarkable how useful ellipticals are! A lightweight, multifunctional machine that provides you the option to do cardio workout and drop a few extra pounds with ease. There are numerous workout plans designed for ellipticals that concentrate on your abdomen, thigh, and overall body fat, for both beginners and professionals.

Some of the top elliptical workouts include leg-butt interval workout, seesaw workout, tabata workout, and more. They are exceptionally effective for burning fat throughout the body, as well as focusing on specific muscles that tend to hold more fat.

Losing weight is comparatively a difficult task to follow for some people. As our bodies are different, progress can also vary. Some of you might be able to lose weight quicker than others. However, you shouldn’t lose hope when you see poor progress. In this article I will be sharing some elliptical workouts for weight loss that will definitely help you reach your weight loss goals.

How to Get Started

Love it or hate it, a pre-workout routine is a must. You have to do a few simple things before working on your elliptical machine. Not only would it help you to lose weight faster, but it would also prepare you mentally for a good exercise. Remember, it’s all in our head, and how we perceive it. If you can make yourself believe something, you can definitely achieve it!

Begin with food. I understand that some of you don’t like eating before working out, but some people need to eat, for medical conditions or other factors. However, do not eat anything heavy, or oily before starting. Depending on what you have, select a protein shake, or a bar. Also, fruits that provide you with energy, such as bananas, and dates, are recommended.

Drink plenty of water throughout the day. If you don’t, workouts are going to be extra difficult for you, because it would make you dehydrated. Another important thing is- warmups. It would raise your body temperature by increasing blood flow to the muscles. This process reduces the risk of injury and decreases the likelihood of muscle soreness after working out.

Elliptical Workouts: 7 Best Plans for Weight Loss

The workouts listed below would guide you through every aspect you would need to know about how you can lose weight faster, and more effectively. Warm-ups and rest periods are included too. Besides, I have provided tables so it is easier for you to follow. Try them, and decide which one works the best for your needs.

1. 40 Minute Leg-Butt Elliptical Workout

As the name says, this exercise is for your lower body parts; legs and butt. It will give you toned and stronger muscles, with an added benefit- the infamous thigh gap! As usual, this workout starts with a 10-minute warm-up, which gets your body started for the whole exercise. When you are doing this, try to put pressure on your stomach too, if you want to lose belly fat.

For the first 10 minutes, the machine’s resistance should be set to low, about 3-5. The following 10 minutes will be the moderate workload stage, involving 150-170 strides per minute, and now the resistance should be increased to 7-8. It is important not to hold the handles during this process, as it will decrease the pressure from your legs.

During the next 15 minutes, you will need to go all the way, setting your resistance to 12-15. Maintain a speed of 170-180 strides per minute while keeping your back straight. This is to locate your entire body pressure on your back, and abs. Keep pushing yourself, and if you feel this is too easy or hard for you, by all means, you can pause in between.

In the last 5 minutes, reduce your resistance to 5 again, and slow down the strides, as naturally as possible. This will allow your body to slowly come back to its natural state. Catch your breath, and drink water. Check out the table below for easy instructions!

Time (Minutes)Intensity LevelStride Per MinuteResistance

2. Full Body 20 Minute Tabata Workout

The Tabata technique is one of the most popular interval training exercises. A specific pattern is followed, which is-20 seconds of maximum effort, followed by 10 seconds of rest. However, for this workout with the elliptical, I’ve designed a more effective version that would give your body the time to increase heart rate and give you sufficient rest time.

So at first, start with a 10 minutes warm-up as usual. It’s not a part of the routine, but it’s highly recommended for you. Divide your 20 minutes of workout time into 4 minutes of hard work and one minute of rest. So that makes a total of 4 sets. As this is a full-body workout, you would have to equally use the handles as well, for achieving toned arms.

The resistance and intensity of this Tabata would be entirely dependent on you, and how much load you can take. The ideal resistance, however, is 12, and you should aim for 160-180 strides each minute. The incline of your elliptical can be adjusted to 5-7. For a 20 minute workout, repeat the table below four times.

Time (Minutes)Intensity LevelStride Per MinuteInclineResistance

3. 30 Minute Tabata Belly Fat Workout

This is the same process, but it’s more focused on your abdomen, hips, and abs. As Tabata is a part of HIIT (High-Intensity-Interval-Training), it has a sufficient amount of every process your body needs to go through, for burning fat effectively. It also gives your body the chance to undergo an exhaustion process, which lets you recover from the sudden increase in heart rate.

This plan consists of 5 minutes of intense work, and one 1 minute break. As this workout is for your upper body and abdomen, you need to set the incline to 10, and resistance to 15. It may sound difficult, but this is what you need to do when you have to focus entirely on your stomach area. For covering a 30-minute exercise, you would need 5 sets.

During the resting periods, you have to sit straight throughout the time, so that you don’t lose the concentration you have built while exercising. Using the handles of your elliptical can be beneficial because it also helps you work on your sides, and chest. And if you have moveable handles, then you can at the same time work on your shoulders too.

This exercise is also similar to the cardio exercises ‘High Knees’ and ‘Butt Kicks’. If you have done those before, you’d know much pressure it puts on your ab area, and how you have to keep your back straight to really get those muscles to get concentrated. So it’s highly recommended to follow those basic rules. Repeat the table 5 times, for a complete 30-minute workout.

Time (Minutes)Intensity LevelStride Per  MinuteInclineResistance

4. 45 Minute Seesaw Workout

The reason why it’s called ‘seesaw workout’ is, the motions of the paddles would go forward and backward every 5 minutes. This particular system would make all your leg and arm muscles work constantly, but without the fear of cramps in between. As you will be focusing on different directions every five minutes, your muscles would get the time to unclench.

The resistance and incline level of the elliptical would also shift with time. You have the liberty here to adjust these as you go. You can increase the resistance and decrease the incline, or vice versa. Therefore, this also mimics the seesaw movements. Nevertheless, this shouldn’t mean that you would slack off, and set those to lower settings.

In order to begin, relax your muscles and do some stretching. Try 10 jumping jacks, 10 squats, 10 high knees, and 10 arm circles. By activating all your muscles, these exercises will make your movements easier and your chances of injury would be reduced. If you don’t feel comfortable doing these, then you can always warm-up in your elliptical for additional 10-15 minutes.

The workout would start with a 5 minute forward pedaling, with low resistance and high incline. It can be set to 5 and 15, depending on what you like. Next, you have to reverse pedal for 5 minutes, with the same volume of resistance, and incline. Once you’ve covered the initial 10 minutes, repeat as you go to cover all 45 minutes. The table below can be your guide.

Time (Minutes)Stride Per MinuteInclineResistanceDirection

5. 30 Minute Burn and Build

This 30-minute elliptical workout would surely do wonders for you, if you are looking for exercises that will burn your fat, and at the same time, build your muscles. It’s very rare to find a program that works both ways. Hence, this routine would become your ultimate favorite in no time!

For a workout involving this variety of advantages, the optimal incline and resistance are 10 and 12, respectively. You need to keep your attention focused on how many pedals you are performing each minute, and that’s all! The more you pedal, the more calories you will burn, so keep track. However, the ideal amount is 130-150 per minute.

If you are a beginner, it’s natural for you to feel overworked, so feel free to rest in between if needed. You can also decrease the levels of incline and resistance as you go, but do try to keep up with the actual system. Try to push yourself as much as you can, so that you get to experience the benefits this workout has to offer.

The workout offers recovery periods, so whether you are new to this or an experienced athlete, you would not be forced to do too much as this workout is designed to be non-stressful. Follow the table, and adjust as you need to. Remember to keep your resistance fixed to one level, and it should take 60-70% of your overall effort.

Time (Minutes)ResistanceInclineStrides Per Minute

6. 30 Minute Beginner’s Workout

This beginner’s workout is very light and requires moderate effort. People who just bought an elliptical or who have only recently started working out will benefit from this plan. It’s very important for beginners to understand their machine first before they jump into it. There are different types of machines, so know yours better.

The workout starts with a 10-minute warm-up session, where you have to properly move all your muscles, through the elliptical. That means, you have to use both the handles and the pedals, so it works for your arms, legs, thighs, hip, and shoulders. After 10 minutes, you will notice your stamina increasing, which means you are ready to push harder!

So, for beginners, the slots are divided into 5-minute time frames, for easy comprehension. Start slow, and increase your pace as you go. Incline and resistance should be adjusted to your needs as you are new to this machine. Do not, however, reduce those to a level lower than 10. Keep in mind that you should take breaks between the slots, never during them.

You should try to stick to this workout as much as possible; otherwise, you will not lose any weight. This workout is designed for moderate levels, so you need to follow it religiously, to see the best results. 5 days a week should be a good practice for the most part, but you can try 3 or 4 days too. Check the table for understanding the procedure.

Time (Minutes)InclineResistanceStride Per Minute
0-10< 9< 9100
10-15< 9< 9120
15-20<9< 9135
20-25< 9< 9140
25-30< 9< 9100

7. 30 Minutes Incline Booster

This workout focuses on building muscles and shedding off excess weight. As you continue working out to this plan, you would notice your legs and back have a more defined muscle structure than before. The belly fat will disappear in less than 2 weeks if you go through this work out 4 times a week.

Incline booster workout is suitable for beginners too, as it would slowly increase and decrease the difficulty level with time. As the incline increases, it becomes more difficult to pedal and keep a steady balance. Therefore, this is most effective for legs and thighs. However, it will also boost your metabolic power to the max, which means you will lose weight faster.

You should aim for a moderate resistance level between 10-12. The warmup period is not included in this method, so spend at least 10-15 minutes extra on cardio, or on any warmup that you like.

Time (Minutes)InclineResistanceStride Per Minute

Getting the Best Out of Your Elliptical Workouts

Yes, ellipticals are a very straightforward machine and are fairly easy to use. But that does not mean, there are no tips you can use to get the best results in less time! Do not worry, I will not push you to exercise more! These are some unique ways to improve your posture so you can burn more calories while exercising.

So first of all, never lean on the handles. You may automatically grab something when you get tired, but if you do it, you’ll burn lesser calories, and you may also experience muscle tightness. Secondly, always stand straight! It engages your core muscles and stretches your abdomen. Hence, making you lose more fat near your belly area.

Finally, when you’re pedaling, you need to remember to never stand on your toes or the balls of your feet. It puts extra pressure on your knees and makes you more vulnerable to injuries. And when you have injuries, adjust your difficulty levels, so it’s easier for your body. Never put too much pressure on yourself, as progress takes time.

In the meantime, exercise regularly and consider eating a healthy diet. Food is very important when it comes to weight loss. If you are in a position to monitor your calorie intakes, then remember that you should always burn far more calories than what you consume!


Ellipticals are excellent for losing weight. They are great low impact exercising tools that make losing weight very early. But you won’t go much far without a proper workout routine. So, hoping these 7 elliptical workouts for weight loss will be helpful to you on your journey to achieving a healthier body.

Thank you for reading, and stay fit! See you next time!

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