The elliptical is one of the most used products in the gym. However, it is often misused and does not take advantage of all its benefits. While a number of calories burned in any session depend on machine optimization, resistance level or speed used, you can usually burn around 270 and 400 calories in just 30 minutes. In addition, a great benefit of the elliptical bike is that it provides a low-impact workout since by keeping feet always on the pedals, the movement generated is friendly to the joints and back.
The elliptical is one of the cardio equipment that allows more muscles to work at the same time. It increases muscle strength and endurance in the quadriceps, hamstrings, buttocks and calves, but also exercises arms, chest and back when actively using the handles. The more muscles you are working on, the more calories you burn.
Advantages of using an elliptical
There are many reasons to choose an elliptical, but here we mention the most important:
- Work the buttocks, quadriceps, hamstrings and twins in the lower body also the lateral, pectoral, and biceps and triceps upper body.
- Helps reduce bone mineral loss in weight-bearing bones.
- The feet never leave the pedals, avoiding the impact. An elliptical workout is quieter and more comfortable.
- The resistance and inclination of the elliptical can be adjusted, as well as changing the speed.
- When combined with healthy diet and strength training, keep in mind the elliptical can help achieve weight loss goals.
- Regular cardio exercises also reduce stress, improve mood,
The elliptical with respect to other Cardio
Performing the same exercise over and over again, conditions the body to adapt to it. Over time, they burn fewer calories and maintain, rather than improve, cardiovascular health. The ideal for burning more calories and increasing fitness faster is to alternate the routine, even if performed as the main mode of exercise, the elliptical.
Fixed Bikes: Like another low impact cardio machine, the stationary bike also allows you to sit while exercising, which helps maintain balance and is ideal for people with joint or back pain. However, while you can adjust the resistance, you cannot adjust the incline or use the control rods as you would in an elliptical.
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Outdoor Bike: The main disadvantage of cycling outdoors is that you cannot control how you do it in the gym. There are hills and obstacles to take on, besides having the added challenge of core stability and the importance of making sure you stay on your bike. In general, cycling is low impact; however, beginners or those who have joint problems should continue to choose the elliptical, at least at the beginning.
Running on treadmills: Although the elliptical is ideal for beginners because their body weight is fully compatible with the machine, the treadmill has a lot of potential for burning more calories, especially for advanced runners, depending on speed and incline. However, on the treadmill, you will get a high impact workout. In addition, it only trains the lower part of the body. Those who want a full body cardio session or those with joint problems should opt for the elliptical.
Climbing stairs: As long as you do not lean too much on the stair railings, this machine can provide great training for the lower body, pointing to the buttocks and quadriceps, even more than the elliptical machine. But, like most other cardio options, the elliptical is still the best choice for lower impact training.
Practice Properly on the Elliptical
Firstly, there are several things to keep in mind during each workout on an elliptical. Performing it properly will help you gain more benefits: It is imperative to stand up with a correct posture, keeping your head firmly over your shoulders and shoulders in front of your hips. To work the upper body, you should actively push and pull the handles, not just hold on.
Often, fatigue in the forearms and shoulders can tempt us to lean on the machine and make a very common mistake. This movement can reduce the strengthening and fat burning effects. In addition, over time, you can tighten your shoulders and back.
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It is also important to always check the speed. Going too fast in elliptical routines can be counterproductive and does not actually compromise your muscles. In other words, speeding, such as inclinations, cheats your legs and decreases the benefits of strengthening and burning calories. The movement of the feet must be self-driven and not come from the pedals.
Elliptical training to take to the gym
Below we can find four workout sessions that use various adjustments of the elliptical machine to orient the entire body. It is recommended to incorporate at least one workout in the weekly routine, or if the elliptical are used several times during the week, try a pair or more.
High-intensity short intervals (30 minutes)
Settings: Select the short range program of the machine. If there is not one, use the manual mode. Set the slope (or ramp) from low to moderate (you will not change for this exercise). Instead, adjust the resistance to change the intensity.
- After a three-minute warm-up period, follow the machine’s interval program (generally 30 seconds to two minutes). If performed in the manual mode, increase the resistance considerably for one or two minutes. Pushing and pulling the handles will help increase the RPM.
- Reduce the intensity and slow the RPM to reach a rest period of the same length as the intense interval (for example, one minute intense, one minute of rest).
- Repeat intervals until the total exercise time is 27 minutes. Then cool between three and five minutes of light effort.
Hills (45 minutes)
Adjustments: Choose a “Hill” program that gradually increases resistance and incline for a period of between two and five minutes and then offers a rest period. Most machines will offer four to six reps per hill workout.
- After the heating phase (three to five minutes), perform the hill and take into account the total time.
- Cool for five minutes.
Medium length long intervals (45 minutes)
Perform in manual mode. In addition, the intensity can be increased by adjusting the ramp and RPM.
- After the warm-up (three to five minutes), perform five five-minute intervals at an intermediate-high stress level. Use the following parameters:
- Low ramp, low resistance, high RPM
- Medium ramp, low resistance, high RPM (pedal back)
- High Ramp, Low Resistance, High RPM
- Medium ramp, low resistance, high RPM
- Low ramp, medium strength, high RPM (pedal back)
- Between each interval, it recovers for three minutes at a moderate intensity (average effort level).
- Cool for three to five minutes.
The staircase (60 minutes)
- Warm up for five minutes, with hands-free swing. Then perform three 15 minute intervals. During these intervals, the intensity will increase every five minutes by doing the following:
- The first five minutes: low ramp, low resistance (medium effort level)
- Next five minutes: average ramp, medium strength (medium-high effort level)
- The last five minutes: high ramp, high strength (high effort)
- After completing the first 15-minute interval, stride for two minutes, then lower the machine and do 25 squats with body weight only.
- Perform the second interval (with the same structure as the previous one, including strides and squats).
- Carry out the third interval.
- Cool with five minutes of easy steps, allowing the arms to swing freely.
Tips for using the elliptical
- It is important to wear shoes that are suitable for surface and elliptical operation.
- Consult a physician before starting any weight loss regimen, especially if you have injuries that would make use of dangerous gym equipment.