Can You Really Gain Muscle on an Elliptical Machine?

An elliptical machine is excellent for cardiovascular exercises. If you want to lose weight, it is, without a doubt, your best gym buddy. However, getting a slim figure might not be your only goal. You might also want to build your muscles. So, it is understandable if you wonder whether or not does the elliptical build muscle?

An elliptical machine can be used to build muscle. You can build muscle on both your lower and upper body parts by working out on this machine. Working out on an elliptical machine will strengthen different muscle groups such as quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus, and hips.

You can only develop muscle on an elliptical machine if you work out correctly. Using the elliptical machine at high resistance and incline can aid in muscle gain. To gain muscle, you must exercise according to a set of guidelines. This article will help you to get rid of all your curiosities regarding building muscle on an elliptical machine.

How Ellipticals Help Build Muscle?

An elliptical machine can provide a complete body workout. Though you won’t bulk up like a bodybuilder, the elliptical machine will help you develop muscle strength. It’ll be ideal for those who want to build muscle while maintaining a lean and fit physique.

The best thing about the elliptical machine is it targets almost 80% of your body’s muscles. Let’s discuss some of the muscles elliptical machine targets-

Muscles of upper body

The muscles of the upper body generally get less involved when you work out in an elliptical. However, you will definitely develop some muscles here if you specifically focus on allowing your upper body to do more work.

  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Pectoral
  • Latissimus dorsi
  • Deltoids

These are some of the upper body muscles that get engaged when you work out on your elliptical. As you move your arms throughout the course of elliptical exercise, so the muscles of your upper body start to get engaged. Pulling the handlebars closer to your body engages your biceps, thus pushing them further engages your triceps and chest muscles.

Core muscles

Your core muscles also get engaged in an elliptical exercise. Abdominal muscles are mainly targeted among your core muscles while working out on an elliptical.

However, elliptical workouts don’t specifically target the core muscles. When you exercise on the elliptical, the core muscles get indirectly involved. As the whole body engages when you are on the elliptical machine, your core muscles, especially the abdominal, start to get involved in stabilizing your body.

Muscles of lower body

The muscles of the lower body are strongly engaged while you work out on the elliptical machine. The lower body part muscles that get targeted are-

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
  • Gluteus

When your legs go forward during the elliptical exercise, your quadriceps get engaged. And, the reverse motion involves the hamstring muscles. Pushing the pedal of the elliptical machine includes the calves. Using the elliptical engages the gluteus muscle in the same way as running or walking does.

As you can see, working out on the elliptical machine engages various muscles in the body. So, muscle building on an elliptical machine is a distinct possibility.

How to Build Muscle on Elliptical Machines?

If you want to build muscles on an elliptical machine, you have to use it on high resistance. Other than that, maintaining a healthy diet, warming up before starting exercise, and using short and long interval programs are a few things you need to follow to build muscles on an elliptical machine.

Elliptical machines are not actually built for building muscles. So, it is a bit hard to gain muscles on them. But if you follow certain tips, you will be able to develop a little muscle by working out on the elliptical machine-

1. Eat more

To develop muscle, the first thing you have to do is following a healthy diet. Your body needs more calories to build muscles. So, you must ensure that you are consuming enough calories to allow your body to grow muscles.

You are already aware that elliptical machines help to burn calories. As a result, you need to eat more than you would usually eat to build your body doing other exercises.

  • Never miss breakfast.
  • Have fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat a lot of protein and healthy fats.
  • Eat every three hours.
  • Drink more water.

2. Turn up resistance level

This feature of the elliptical machine helps to make your work out more challenging. You have to make sure you are using the right amount of resistance and for the right amount of time.

Using a high resistance level helps to build your muscle. Your muscles will work hard enough on a high resistance level. However, be careful while using this feature as working out on a high resistance level for a long time might result in side effects like numb toes.

3. Use the interval programs

The interval option allows you to increase the angle to target larger muscles. You can engage different muscle groups by pedaling from different directions.

  • Do fast bursts of high-intensity interval training.
  • Work out on low-resistance for a long time.

By using interval training, you can gain muscle, mainly on your legs.

4. Try different positions

You won’t be able to develop muscle if you always exercise in the same position. Trying different positions will help you engage various muscle groups. Working on the same muscles over and over again isn’t going to help you develop muscle.

If you want to develop muscles on various body parts by working out on the elliptical machine, be sure to alter positions.

5. Choose the right elliptical machine

You have to use the correct type of elliptical machine to ensure muscle development. There are many types of elliptical machines. Not every kind will be suitable for gaining muscles.

Consider using an elliptical machine that comes with handles and has resistance and incline features so that you can make the most of it.   

Benefits of Using Elliptical Machines for Building Muscles?

The most significant advantage of an elliptical machine is it helps to keep you healthy and fit. It aids in boosting your cardiovascular health and your immune system. Moreover, using the elliptical machine gives you an overall body workout. 

Many other benefits make the elliptical most sought-after gym equipment-

  • An elliptical is a great machine for people with joint pain and lower back issues as it is softer on the body.
  • It helps to engage most of the muscles of the upper and lower body.
  • The machine is easy to use.
  • Working out on an elliptical helps to improve your balance and mobility.
  • It doesn’t stress or strain your legs and helps to reduce high blood pressure.
  • Working out on an elliptical machine does not require much time. So, you can add it to your tight schedule.
  • You don’t need a lot of energy to work out on an elliptical machine.
  • By using the resistance and incline feature, you can change the type of workout. So, it is undoubtedly a versatile machine.
  • The elliptical is a low-maintenance workout machine, and there is a lower chance of getting injured by exercising on it.

So, you can get tons of other benefits if you use an elliptical machine for building muscle. It is the perfect choice for you if you want to gain a little muscle in your body.

There are lots of health benefits of elliptical workouts. But, does the elliptical build muscle? By now, I’m sure you have learned that the answer is a resounding yes. And in this article,I have given some tips on how you can build muscle on an elliptical machine to help you on that journey.

Thanks for reading and best of luck with bulking up.

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