Waiting in a line for an elliptical machine at your gym is very typical because people seek an elliptical trainer the most. It has also risen to popularity as a home workout equipment. Elliptical benefits aren’t what you’d want to miss out on because they can greatly aid you to reach your desired fitness goals.
Elliptical machines are remarkable for building stamina and giving your body a complete workout. It provides a low impact workout but targets your upper back, lower back, and your whole body to improve joints and muscles besides losing weight. You can also decrease blood pressure with it and improve your overall balance and mobility.
In addition to elliptical benefits, you will also want to know how to get an effective workout from your elliptical machine and maximize burning calories. Something I will also discuss in detail later on in this article. But first, let’s talk about 9 benefits of elliptical workouts, as that’s what you came here for in the first place.
9 Benefits of Using an Elliptical Machine
There are undoubtedly more than nine health benefits of using an elliptical machine, but these nine are the elliptical benefits that will convince you to get one today. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it.
Improves Stamina and Helps with Weight Loss
High-intensity workouts improve your stamina by the day if you’re consistent with it. It’ll help you get active and lose weight faster. These workouts are known as HIIT (high-intensity workout training), which has intense workouts and shorter recovery periods.
An elliptical is excellent for starting your HIIT journey, and it will also enable you to get maximum benefits within a short time. Your metabolic rate will be high hours after you end your workout routine. You’ll also burn extra calories after you stop exercising.
Besides, elliptical machines are also remarkable for increasing your aerobic capacity. Aerobic exercises generally mean cardio, which is a term everyone more or less is familiar with. It’s key to having a balanced workout routine. You will be maximizing the oxygen consumption rate, and the more oxygen you consume, the longer you can exercise.
Doctors recommend people who have high risks of developing heart diseases engage in cardiovascular exercises. It’ll strengthen your heart, which will result in a more efficient blood flow throughout your body.
Besides, these machines are also excellent for burning away your excess belly fat. With a combination of HIIT workouts and cardio, you can aim high for those incredibly toned abdominal muscles.
Being overweight can cause many issues like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. With just a simple motion, the elliptical can burn more calories and keep you safe from these risks. You’ll be engaging your core, especially if you don’t use the arm supports. Overall, it’s an excellent way of shedding those extra pounds of fat in your body.
It’s Low Impact and Strengthens Legs
With an elliptical machine, you won’t be getting any jolt down your joints, spine, and bones. You can’t say the same about other workout machines like a treadmill. Because treadmills are mostly running, you might get some impact on your joints as you build speed.
Other high-impact exercises, even without equipment, can also damage your joints over time if you don’t do it right. These damages can accumulate and cause severe issues in your joints. The elliptical doesn’t need you to lift your foot off the pedals, so there isn’t any harmful impact on your body.
Besides being low-impact, elliptical machines can also strengthen your joints and improve weak leg muscles. Elliptical machines do a better job of targeting quadriceps and hamstring muscles than treadmills, jogging, running, and cycling.
If you have trouble engaging these muscles, an elliptical is the best place to begin a journey of strengthening them. Reverse pedaling will be better for the hamstring muscles. If you’re comfortable with cycling and running, an elliptical is the best equipment for you.
Cycling isn’t the best exercise for having strong outer hips and glutes, which are your butt muscles. And it may also leave them weaker than your other leg parts. If you’re struggling with this issue, the elliptical will boost your muscles and do an excellent job of improving strength over there.
Elliptical machines are excellent for people who struggle with a runner’s knee, which is a term that describes different conditions that induce pain in the kneecaps. Repeated stress in the joints can cause this disorder, consequently being more common among runners. A study from 2014 shows that elliptical machines don’t cause wear and tear as it’s low impact.
Targets Both the Upper and Lower Body
In contrast with running, an elliptical machine will target both your lower and upper body. When you’re walking or running, you’re primarily engaging your lower body. But with an elliptical, you’re using your arms and legs to pedal, so you’re engaging your entire back.
The elliptical target’s main areas are the hamstring muscles, quads, glutes, calves, core, and back. I’ve already talked about how the elliptical engages hamstrings and the quad muscles, so let’s look at the others.
Your back muscles run all along your body, and it consists of smaller muscles. The upper back muscles pull the arm handles towards your body with every rep. Your biceps will work in sync with your back when you engage in this motion. A strong back will build your physique better and also make your waist look slimmer.
You can also do other kinds of exercise like push ups, pullups, and other cardio workouts. Besides, you’ll also get the core working with an elliptical machine. Your core keeps you upright all the time, and if you want those toned abdominal muscles, you’ll need to engage your core at all times.
Finally, the glutes will overwork when you switch from a sitting to a standing position in an elliptical machine—these work side by side with the hamstring and quadriceps muscles. Strong glute muscles will enable you to do more squats, deadlifts, lunges, and other lower body movements with ease.
Boosts Stamina and Blood Circulation
One of the most significant elliptical benefits is the maintenance of cardiovascular health. A healthy cardiovascular system, meaning the blood vessels and heart, is vital for a long lifespan.
Besides, as I’ve already outlined before, a 30-minute elliptical workout with moderate intensity will make your lungs and heart work the extra mile and boost your cardiovascular stamina. If you practice a consistent routine for at least thirty minutes a day, you will see a massive improvement in your cardiovascular stamina levels.
An elliptical machine will undoubtedly get your heart rate up and pounding. Studies have shown that elliptical machines are better than your typical treadmill, cycling, and stair climbers. The best part is, you won’t have to use that much energy on an elliptical, in contrast with the other types of equipment.
It’s also likely that you’d be more tired on these machines than on an elliptical. Other studies point to evidence that runners feel more tired after a treadmill workout and other aerobic exercises, particularly on their legs, than on elliptical machines. You can use several tricks to get the most out of your elliptical machine, like inclining more and pedaling.
You might already be aware of the cardio workout benefits. Besides losing weight and burning calories, cardio exercises can make you sleep better, expand your lung capacity, lower stress, and even have psychologically sound effects.
Besides, elliptical workouts can also improve your blood circulation. If you recall, I talked about how elliptical exercises can tone your entire body and burn calories throughout. And because you’ll be having an effective cardio workout, you’ll also be improving your blood circulation by the day.
Increased blood circulation will pump more oxygenated blood into your body and keep your brain active. Your heart and lungs will function properly, and your immune system will also strengthen. An efficient blood circulatory system will also eliminate your body waste more quickly and keep harmful diseases at bay.
You Can Rehabilitate Yourself After an Injury
An elliptical machine is an excellent way to start your recovery process if you have injuries. If the doctor has advised you not to take part in straining physical activities, you could still use an elliptical machine to maintain your fitness after an injury. As it is low-impact, it will not put a strain on your muscles and joints.
When you’re in a consistent workout routine and suddenly experience an injury, you might have to pause physical activities. And doing so can cause a dip in your endorphin levels. Your brain produces “feel-good” hormones when you exercise, which stops with your sudden halt in working out.
The solution is to stay in touch with low-impact exercises, and an elliptical is a perfect choice you can make here. The elliptical movement ensures that all vital muscles of your body are moving without causing any wear and tear.
Many clinics suggest you use an elliptical workout routine because it’ll be less stressful to your knee caps, back, and leg muscles. You can also work both your arms and legs with the movable handle of an elliptical. The reverse motions of the pedals will work your hamstrings, making sure everything is moving.
When you have recovered from your injury, you can go ahead and resume more physically challenging activities. But before that, make sure to stick to less strenuous workout routines to heal better. Scientific evidence also backs up all these claims, and you can check it out here.
If you want to target particular leg muscles, you can change the incline and resistance of your elliptical foot pedals. Doing so will tone specific areas of your lower body, like your calves and glutes. Because you’ll be burning more calories with an elliptical machine, you’ll also be toned faster. To accomplish that, you can engage in high-intensity workouts.
Improves Musculoskeletal Health
Musculoskeletal health is one of those elliptical benefits you want in your life. This system comprises bones, muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments. Having a well-functioning musculoskeletal system means that all these components will function well without causing you any pain. Your bones and joints will be stronger, denser, and healthier.
Weight-bearing exercises are responsible for building bone density. These are exercises where your bones work against gravity to hold your weight. You can consider strength training and activities on the feet as weight-bearing workouts. These activities exclude swimming and cycling.
A majority of the American population remains at a risk of developing osteoporosis. However, if you can regularly perform weight-bearing activities, you can reduce this risk. But if you have joint aches, weight-bearing exercises aren’t the best option for you. Here are the elliptical machines to save your day.
According to Professor of Medicine at Creighton University Robert Recker, an elliptical workout is almost equal to a run if you want to build your bone density. Besides, if you have an osteoporosis diagnosis, elliptical workouts are the perfect and safest option for you.
The constant weight of your body on your feet, bones, and muscles will undoubtedly make your bones stronger. It will also pull your muscles and make bone cells grow. The best part is saying goodbye to broken hips!
Prevents Inflammation and Risks for Developing Type II Diabetes
Diabetes is one of the most dangerous diseases one can develop, and it’s particularly crippling during old age. Experts recommend switching from a treadmill to an elliptical machine because it’s one of the best and most effective preventive measures against diabetes.
If you exercise regularly on an elliptical machine, you’ll remarkably reduce your chances of developing type II diabetes, which is a chronic illness with insulin dysfunction in your body. Generally, it shows up in people from the age of forty, and one out of ten people are at risk of developing it.
Glucose is essentially food for your brain, and insulin is responsible for providing your body cells with glucose to use as an energy source. If there is any dysfunction in insulin production, there will be an excess sugar amount in your blood.
People developing type II diabetes can’t produce insulin, and sugar starts to deposit in their blood, a condition called hyperglycemia. Diabetes has several complications which can later turn out to be severe. Among these are kidney failure, cardiovascular accidents, and blindness.
Those who lead a sedentary lifestyle are at a higher risk of developing diabetes. Working out on an elliptical machine will have positive effects on your body and blood sugar level. When you exercise, your body needs energy, and so, your muscles will need the additional storage of glucose.
It will also make your body more sensitive to insulin. So, you won’t need that much insulin to get a considerable amount of glucose from your blood. You can then counteract the risks of diabetes with proper exercise.
Inflammation is the cause of several debilitating diseases. Over time, chronic information can potentially attack the healthy tissues of your immune system. It can also leave you at risk of developing heart conditions and cancer if you don’t seek treatment for it. So, in a nutshell, chronic inflammation is your body’s enemy.
If there’s any foreign body trying to enter your system, your immune system will fight it. Elliptical machines can make a huge difference in developing your immunity. Medical professionals say that exercise can strengthen your immune system remarkably. A 20-minute workout session on an elliptical machine can be your anti-inflammatory therapy.
Improves Mobility and Balance
Previously, I’ve talked a bit about weight-bearing exercises, and you know that it strengthens your bones. But you might also not understand that they also improve your balance. If you stand straight and let go of the handles on your elliptical machine, you can work your abdomen and core muscles, which will help you with balance.
Balance and mobility are essential if you’ve had injuries like hip damage or have gone through hip surgery. An elliptical machine is designed to imitate the natural running or walking motion. The machine’s platform and the simultaneous leg and arm movement will boost the coordination between your brain and limbs.
We generally function on our muscle memory, and our brain processes all the information that we need. As you’re training on an elliptical for your balance, the motion will imprint itself on your brain and become muscle memory. It will also be effective when you aren’t on the machine, and you can get used to walking again.
Besides, after your surgery or injury, if you use an elliptical machine, your hips can have complete control in your motion range. It will help you more than simply walking as the motions of an elliptical machine is not high-impact, and your recovery journey will be a bit easier. It will also reduce your chances of developing further injuries.
Straightforward to Use and Versatile
The final benefit of using an elliptical machine is its versatility and how easy it is to use. These machines are super convenient and compact. It won’t take up much space in your house. You can keep them in your bedroom, basement, or anywhere you want with a bit of room to spare.
With an elliptical trainer, you can bring the gym to your home because it’s an especially all-in-one package. Elliptical machines are also very convenient because you can work out a high intensity and get a full-body workout. Besides, they’re also so straightforward to use. You only have to stand on the machine, select your preferred setting, and get going.
On an elliptical machine, you’ll be engaging in simple but effective workouts. There isn’t a complex learning curve to this machine, and you can adjust yourself to it very quickly. Although it looks very straightforward, I still advise you to see the advice of a professional trainer before implementing a routine.
The trainers can suggest using the elliptical machine correctly and what exercises will work the best for you. Also, you can multitask while you’re exercising on your elliptical. You can keep it in front of a television and watch the news while you’re working out or dance to some fantastic songs.
Besides, you can also read a book or listen to music while you’re at it. Some models of the machine also support speakers. So, you can get one of those and time into your favorite songs.
There are so many programs that you can customize to your comfort. You can also imitate and combine different types of exercises on some specific models. These are also low maintenance and generally affordable. Fitness equipment is not generally inexpensive, but you can get the best value for your money.
Maximizing the Benefits of Elliptical Workouts
Now that you have learned all about the elliptical benefits, let’s know more about how you can maximize them. The key to getting the most out of your elliptical workouts is burning more calories and having more effective workout sessions. So, here are five tips on how to accomplish those goals.
Fitness trainers advise customers about this tip the most. If you’re on an elliptical machine, the best way to lose more calories and having an effective routine is to incorporate intervals in your training. You can begin by decreasing and increasing the resistance every minute or so.
I suggest exercising with a 2 to 1 ratio, which is working out for 30 seconds at high intensity and then giving yourself a 15-second recovery period. You can slowly build that up to a minute of exercising and thirty seconds of recovery. In the recovery periods, I suggest you keep your legs moving and pedaling slowly.
This way is great for spiking your heart rate. Also, getting a heart rate tracker is an excellent idea while you’re training. You can also see how you’ll burn more calories in a short time. Besides, it’ll also show you everything you need to know to track your progress.
Increase Resistance and Use the Incline Feature
If incorporating intervals in your training isn’t your cup of tea, you can switch to this alternative and still burn more calories. In this method, you’ll have to up your resistance and inclination. The more naturally you use your glute muscles, the more effective your workout will be.
Consider how you feel when you climb a flight of stairs. It’s more taxing on your muscles, and your heart rate goes up very fast, mainly if you’re doing it at a rapid pace. With the incline feature, you can target those large posterior muscles and make your workout sessions a bit more intense but effective.
You can manually set the settings to what feels comfortable. It’s best to start with a few tries before completely committing to a specific pattern. You can begin from one to twenty and build it up as you go.
Mix Some Core Exercises and Add Some Dumbbells
An elliptical doesn’t always work your core directly unless you’re working it specifically. For an effective workout, you’ll need to engage those abdomen muscles and have a tight core. You can step off the machine and do anything about me plank now and then while you’re at it.
If you’re using a pair of dumbells, you’ll be targeting your biceps. You can pause the timer every couple of minutes or so and work those arms. Doing so will also engage your core. Remember to suck your abdomen muscles in while you’re working on the elliptical.
Reverse Your Movements
As you already know, elliptical machines mimic the natural walking motion. So, it’s undoubtedly more comfortable to peddle forward. Although it may sound funny, backpedaling will burn more calories.
When you’re reversing your movement, you’re changing the way muscles usually work. Because your muscles don’t typically work like that, you’ll need more energy to carry out these movements. You can do so by rotating your legs clockwise at the beginning. Then slow your pace, and move counter-clockwise. You’ll soon feel the difference.
Let the Handlebars Go
Leaning on the handlebars might make your workouts less effective. When you’re taking your arms off the handles, you’re relying entirely on your body, particularly your core, for stability.
To do so, I suggest you start with slow movements. Once your balance and mobility improve with time, you can increase the intensity and speed. Your legs will follow along, but invest all your efforts not to use the handles and engage your core muscles.
As you have probably learned by now, there are plenty of elliptical benefits that make these machines an excellent option if you are building a home gym. I have shared only 9 in this article. But in reality, the number of benefits far exceed that. It will undoubtedly be one of the best additions to your life and keep you healthy.
Thanks for reading this article and I hope I was able to educate you on the benefits of elliptical workouts. Best of luck getting into shape.