If you have ever used a health club or gym’s elliptical machine, you know there are time you have to wait in line. Treadmill and elliptical trainers are more popular, widely used home gym cardio machines. But elliptical is a safer stationary piece of equipment for fitness, than a treadmill. One of the top elliptical benefits is that exercises on elliptical trainers do not put strain, or stress on your limbs, there are many other benefits to reap.
Before the outbreak of corona virus pandemic, gyms had their peak hours. But with the lockdown and movement restrictions, home exercises are the most sort-after. An elliptical is one of the best cardio home machine for low impact workout and a lot of benefits.
In this article, we explore elliptical machine benefits and disadvantages. The elliptical workout advantages don’t depend whether you exercise at home gym or at fitness centers. At the end of the article, you would conclude that an elliptical machine is one of the top choice home exercise equipment to own. What then are the benefits?
Elliptical benefits and disadvantages
Let us go straight to see how an elliptical workout is good for your body, health and overall lifestyle. As a cardio machine, too much of an exercise on elliptical may result in loss than in gains. Wrong cardio exercise routine or plan, may hurt, injure and reduce gains, rather than help you build a healthy body and an active lifestyle.
So what are the benefits of using an elliptical machine that you should focus on, when working out?
Related: Best affordable elliptical trainers
Elliptical Benefits #1: It improves your cardiovascular endurance
To stay active and healthy, your body must get constant supply of blood and oxygen to your muscles. Cardiovascular endurance is how hard, and fast your heart and lungs work, to supply oxygenated blood to muscles.
The best exercises to build cardio capacity, strengthen heart muscles is Cardio. Also called aerobic exercises, cardio helps to strengthen your heart lungs and muscles.
Amongst the many fitness equipment for cardio home workout, is the elliptical machine. Doing high intensity interval training on an elliptical trainer is a stress-free way to build stamina and endurance. Runners, racers, and seniors adults can use ellipticals, because it is low impact cardio machine.
In USA, CDC recommends 150 minutes exercise weekly, to stay healthy. So to improve your breathing and heart rate, use ellipticals and do good aerobic workouts.
Elliptical Machine Benefit #2 : It burns calories faster
Too much calories always end up causing excessive weight gain. You know, overweight is ticket to becoming obese. If you are worried of weight gains during the last pandemic lockdown, burn as much calories as you can.
Elliptical trainer is the best low impact cardio machine that burns calories faster. A 30 minute cardio exercise on can elliptical burns about 250 to 450 calories, for people weighing 120 to 190 pounds.
If you have one single goal, to lose weight, walking or running on elliptical is good for weight loss. Dieting of less of calorific foods, and doing moderate to high intensity elliptical workouts will burn more calories.
Th fat-burning benefits of the Elliptical Machine depends on several factors. Be it 30 minutes or 60 minutes elliptical workout, the amount of calories you burn depends on stride speed, ramp height,and resistance level.
Elliptical Workout Benefits #3 : It is impact-free or it puts less stress on your joints
Walking, running and jogging on treadmills, or pavement road, puts a lot of stress on knees joints. A high impact cardio exercise can potentially cause injury, or make worse and existing one.
So people with knee arthritis, knee and ankle injury pains, could not workout pains-free. The coming of an elliptical machine in the early 1990s was a relief for most fitness enthusiasts. An elliptical trainer can train cardiovascular system without putting pressure on your joints.
When exercising on ellipticals, you never need to lift off your feet from the pedals. An elliptical, this machine offers a low-impact type of cardio workout that is less weight bearing than running.
With many benefits, medical expert and physiotherapist recommend low impact workout to patients. You can burn calories on a cross trainer machine without getting your limbs injured. No wear and tear, no matter the intensity of your elliptical workout.
Elliptical Trainer Benefit #4 : It targets and tones both upper and lower body muscles
Unlike treadmills that work only the lower body muscles, ellipticals tone both lower and upper muscles. If you have a cross trainer elliptical machine, you may not need special forearm exercises to work biceps and triceps.
Very few cardio machines can distribute weight and resistance equally, over your entire body. But an elliptical will work your arm muscles, at the same speed as your legs are moving..
An elliptical can targets both an upper- and lower-body muscles. They include glutes, hamstrings, back, quads, chest, biceps, triceps, and core muscles.
Paddling an under-desk elliptical tones your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors and calves. Your lower muscles also get worked when you stair-climb on ellipticals. So ellipticals, like treadmills, are best for losing excess fat from around your belly, hips, and thighs.
if you want to have an integrated full-body workout, get an elliptical trainer with handlebars. The handle levers work to engage your upper body muscles- arm, chest, and shoulders, as you push or pull them.
Since elliptical machines tone the entire(lower and upper) body, they offer great exercises for weight loss and calories burn.
Elliptical Exercise Benefit #5 : The equipment burns muscle fats
The one other exception about elliptical is, they burn more calories in a shorter time. This is not common with other cardio fitness equipment. Combine the high calorie burning interval workout and proper diet, you’ll lose body fats faster on ellipticals.
There are a lot of elliptical’s multiple settings that can target your whole body. Include elliptical machine’s short interval program into your weekly workout routine.
How to Get Fat-Burning on elliptical
Do 30 minutes high-intensity short intervals exercises or 45 minutes of hill climbing. Take max 1 minute for recovery.
During HIIT, keep Pushing and pulling on the arms handles and increases the elliptical’s resistance. When your RPMs increases for max 2 minutes, lower the workout intensity(lower perceived exertion) and slow your RPMs to recover.
By alternating and repeating high intensity elliptical exercises at intervals, with periods of cool down, you can burn enough fats per session.
Note: Always warm up for three minutes before working out and keep moving your legs, by moving the padels at slower speed, during recovery.
Benefit Of Ellipticals #6 : The machine helps you to target specific muscles
Ellipticals can help you work out specific muscles in your legs. Elliptical cardio workouts like pedaling or stair-climbing targets the leg muscles seriously.
If you;re overweight, ellipticals are best low impact fitness machine to specifically target and tone thigh muscles.
To reap this elliptical benefit for legs, adjust the resistance level during your elliptical exercise, and the incline of foot pedals. This little adjustment seriously works the thighs, quads, glutes, hamstring and other lower body.
A higher incline elliptical creates more resistance you have to overcome. As you pull your legs forward and backward, you feel a burn at the back side of your lower body.
You can also change both the resistance and incline of the foot pedals on an elliptical. This helps you to target different muscles in your lower body including quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves.
Elliptical machine benefits #7 : It helps you gain more stability and balance
One other accomplishment of exercising on an Elliptical machine is the improved posture. At an entry level, beginners and seniors never need to let go the elliptical handlebars.
But when you gain more experience on elliptical, you can workout with great stability. At first, it may be hard to let go elliptical handles, but try to stand straight without holding the stability bars.
Walking is one of the Weight-bearing exercises that make your bones stronger and improves coordination between your limbs and the brain. The easiest way you can maintain a stable posture, is to do natural walking exercises that strengthen your bones.
If you can walk or run on elliptical bike without holding the handlers, that’s a great achievement. Walking is a bodyweight exercises that targets your core muscles and works on your balance.
A better way to improve balance, flexibility and agility on elliptical, without inflicting distress, is to set moderate resistance and incline. You can exercise on elliptical machine more safely without using the handles, only if you exercise at moderate intensity.
Apart from recoveries, gaining more stability serves as an added health bonus for people with balance and mobility problems. Just imagine what stability would mean for those elderly persons who are over 60 years.
Elliptical Bike benefits #8 : The fitness equipment supports and maintain fitness after injury
Are you suffering from arthritis, arching knee after surgery? Are you currently nursing an injury around ankle, leg, hip or lower back? Maintaining fitness lifestyle after injury is one most important benefit of elliptical trainers. It is rehabilitating and rewarding for patients to workout on elliptical.
Ellipticals are the most joint-friendly cardio machines that anyone can use. Injury can imped and upset your elliptical training, especially if you are competing for a race.
One of the elliptical benefits for legs is that you can keep doing physical low-impact exercises even after injury. The advantage of doing regular physical exercise on elliptical is to maintain fitness, while recovering.
Since you never need to take up your feet from pedals or platform, ellipticals puts little stress and strain on bad knees. This feels more comfortable and easier on your ankles, hips and lower back, than the high impact running and jogging workouts.
Exercising with injured knees mean you need assistance, and elliptical is the right equipment for it. It assist you to regain full range of motion, strengthen muscles and joints, while reducing the stress from the injured area.
Elliptical Training Benefit #9 : They offer plenty of pre-programed elliptical workouts
You can enjoy many workouts as you want, if your ellipticals comes with a variety of programed exercises. Depending on your fitness goals, you can simulate hill climbing physical activity. Stair-climbing is more common body-weight exercise on elliptical. Just understand that one of the blessings of having elliptical is the customization. You can try any workout you want.
Elliptical Trainer Benefits #10 : You can learn to use elliptical quickly
You have seen how elliptical cardio machines can be useful to you. One fundamental step to reaping all these elliptical benefits is learning to use it.
It does not take long to master how to use an elliptical. The operating performance is less cumbersome than for home gym treadmills.
Surprisingly, even senior citizens who haven’t seen it before, can do it. The good news is that among all cardio machines, the learning curve for elliptical machine is fairly an easy one.
The first step on using ellipticals is to learn the movement of the whole equipment. The handles move in sync with the pedals. So you have to master the useful tips on riding the pedals first, before going for the handles.
When all that is done, choose the various types of workout that best suit your fitness goals.
Elliptical Health benefits #11 – it reduces risk of diseases
While ellipticals boosts your cardiovascular health, they still prevent or reduce blood diseases.
Elliptical trainer reduces possibility of suffering high blood pressure and diabetes. Engaging in a daily cardio workout of 30 minutes on ellipticals, releases feel-good hormones.
The serotonin is a hormone has some antihypertensive effects. It aids in lowering blood pressure. But you need to get your doctor consulted if you suffer from hypertension or have done surgery.
One other bonus of ellipticals is the prevention of chronic Inflammations. You know, it is not easy to practice and maintain a good eating habit.
Inflammation is possible when you have a poor foot habits, or lives a sedentary lifestyle. A single session of elliptical trainer workout can relieve stress and improve mode.
As long as you exercise to improves your blood Circulation, you boosts your immunity. proper blood circulation also keeps your cells and vital organs healthy. At the same time, elliptical exercises improve your sleep quality, and reduces brain fatigue.
Elliptical workout benefits #12 : Versatility
When you consider the overall benefit of aerobic exercises, ellipticals stand favorite. Like treadmills, you work against a defined set of resistance levels. Depending on your fitness level, ellipticals offer a variety of challenging exercises and interval training.
More importantly too, elliptical trainers are equipped with heart rate monitors. Some of the machines also support music, and interactivity. These versatile features let you optimize your workout performance.
Elliptical Advantages #13 : Ellipticals are low Maintenance machines
One convenience of owning an elliptical at home, is the relatively lower cost of maintenance, then treadmills. A weight-bearing exercise can cause tear and wear on platform, if you are overweight. Luckily, you are never going to make foot impact on the elliptical, like walking, running down a street.
The zero-impact is one of the greatest elliptical benefits, when compared to other cardio equipment. One reason for the reduced maintenance, is that it has fewer moving parts than rowing machines.
You never need to get worried about rollers, belt slipping, or motors overheating like in treadmills. Generally speaking, elliptical machine are relatively budget-friendlier and requires less servicing.
Health Benefits of elliptical # 14 : Elliptical exercises lower blood cholesterol levels
If you keep doing regular weekly aerobic exercise on ellipticals, continuously for at least 3 months, your bad d cholesterol levels will shrink. Make sure you stick to at least regular 30 daily 30 minutes or regular weekly 150 minutes of elliptical cardio exercises.
Elliptical workout Health Benefits #15 : It aids to decrease chronic inflammation
There are some sicknesses that won’t stop if you keep visiting the hospital, but your body will immediately self-heal when you make few regular visit to the health club or gym.
An elliptical workout is one of the activities that will keep your body’s immune system active and fighting against viruses, bacterial infections, repairing of damages cells and tissues.
But will elliptical machine exercises help you recover from or decrease chronic inflammation? Research from University of California San Diego School of Medicine, reports that a moderate exercise is an anti-inflammatory therapy.
If you have arthritis, fibromyalgia, a few sessions of about 20 minutes moderate activity on an elliptical machine reduced the number of stimulated immune cells known to cause tumor necrosis factor (TNF), by 5%.
Healing is one powerful benefit of elliptical machine, that everybody would want to try out, as an alternative way to cut yearly medical expenses.
Elliptical Health Gain #16: Ellipticals Reduces the risk of type-2 diabetes
The calorie burning power of ellipticals can help to eliminate risk of suffering from type-2 diabetes. If your body start accumulating too much sugar in blood, you get hyperglycemia. Insulin is the body’s natural hormone that assists to regulate the level of blood glucose and if it is not produced, glucose builds up in your bloodstream.
Where the insulin fails, exercises come in. The better way to reduce the excess sugar from blood is to burn more of it (as calories in muscles) through regular daily exercises.
Exercising on an elliptical cross trainer is well known to lower blood glucose levels (blood sugar level). The more elliptical impact-free workout you do, the more your muscles require energy. So the body cells will start burning more sugar stored in your blood.
It is more advisable for diabetic patients to participate in outdoor sports. Experts recommend that diabetic seniors should walk to grocery store, jog around the county, jump ropes, rebound on mini trampolines. Younger adults can engage in a more vigorous exercises like cycling, rowing, mountain racing and baseball playing.
If outdoor fitness activities are not suitable for you, a treadmill or elliptical training at home will still make your body more sensitive to insulin. This is the better way for elliptical exercise to aid regulate blood glucose levels.
Elliptical usefulness #17 : Easy for multitasking
You want to watch your favorite TV shows or series or use your iPad or tablet while working out on cardio machine? Elliptical is the best multi-tasking cardio machine any business man would want to have in the office or at home.
Whether you are fat, overweight, obese or heavy, whatever description that fit you, elliptical machines are perfect for low impact exercises to lose belly fats while watching TV series.
The fact is that on ellipticals, your feet never leave the pedals, and won’t be making pounding impact on the platform. So you can keep exercising while using your smartphone, and electronic gadgets, than any other cardio equipment.
What then are the disadvantages of ellipticals?
Ellipticals are not without drawbacks since in this our world, nothing is very perfect in design. We have listed you many pros for using ellipticals, there are few cons that you should also note.
Unlike treadmills that simulate natural walking, elliptical has a different style of motion. The oval-pattern of movement activates your muscles differently, as confirmed by physicians.
The harm in the difference in muscle activation, is that, a beginner can easily get hurt if their body hasn’t adapted to it. The muscle contraction and relaxation pattern on elliptical is a high risk for new users.
I suggest, you walk few steps on road or pavement to warm up your lower muscles. All the warm up natural exercises are there, to check your welfare before training.
Another bad fortune about ellipticals is that the low impact develops less muscle gains than high exercises. High impact running and walking build more strength into bones. Ellipticals place less stress on legs and so build less muscles and burns slightly less calories.
Another potential misfortune with using elliptical is the little increment in bone density. Running on pavement or bare road, are high impact exercises, that also support your weight. It is this weight that generates lots of load on your feet and that aids to improve your bone density.
Do ellipticals work abs?
Like treadmills, elliptical machines is one of the staples for outdoor and indoor gyms. Although the elliptical support cardiovascular workout, and works your entire body, the elliptical machines don’t specifically work on your abs.
Elliptical trainers instead engages your body’s core muscles, helping to build your core strength that you will need for doing everyday activities. Your abs support the spine and help to make larger muscles like glutes more stable.
Pulling your abdominals make your core muscles are more stable, which aids in posture and the ability to stand up straight. the only thing is that you must do your abdominal elliptical exercises more effectively, else, you suffer your back muscles.
To avoid straining your neck and back, please use ellipticals with reduced resistance level. You can also slow down your strides and hold the elliptical handles for balancing if you have mobility issues.
What experts come to notice is that elliptical machines work your abdominals but do not provide comprehensive workout for your abdominal muscles. They therefore recommend adding strength training into your cardiovascular training. This will strengthen each of your muscle groups, without leaving out your abdominals.
- Stand up straight for your entire elliptical session, do not lean on the machine
- You also have to navel your spine. Just pull your belly inward during the elliptical training
from time to time, you should allow the handlebar so as to gain stability without external support. The elliptical benefits here is that it greatly works your core.
- Alternate your manual elliptical workouts with some pre-programmed elliptical routines – interval training exercises as well as interactive heart rate will challenge your body, pushing it to conditioning. Integrating short intervals of strength training with days of cardio is a better way to target your body core muscles, including abs
- You can do other exercises like planks, pilates, yoga, crunches and twists
What muscles do ellipticals work?
Ellipticals are not only cardio machines, they are full-body workout equipment to have in every gym or health club. If you want to tone your entire muscle groups, elliptical trainers and cross trainer machines make the best options. Read what muscles ellipticals work on
Walking or running on ellipticals targets your lower body muscles such as glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and leg muscles in general. Pushing and pulling the elliptical machine’s movable handlebars work your upper body muscles like latissimus dorsi (lats), pectorals, triceps and biceps.
Do ellipticals help lose belly fat?
You want to get a flat stomach by using elliptical? It is very possible to slim your slim belly with cardio exercises. A proper diet, weight training and cardiovascular exercises on ellipticals can flatten your tummy.
Belly fat consist of subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. Subcutaneous fats are found below the skin while the visceral fat is an insidious inflammatory fat that’s harmful to your overall health.To get rid of these types of body fat, you must undergo weight loss to flatten your stomach.
Elliptical can help burn more calories and cut down belly fats if you engage in a regular 30 minutes daily workout to tone your body. Because elliptical exercises target many muscle groups, they burn calories faster than treadmills.
Is elliptical good for weight loss?
Are ellipticals good for weight loss? The number of calories burned working out on an elliptical machine in a 30-minute workout is 250 to 400 calories. A 150 pound man exercising for up to 60-minute in each daily workout session would burn about 650 calories. if you vary the resistance, and do other activities, stairs climbing, high speed running in a day, then ellipticals are the good for weight loss. The only exception is that it is low impact, so you must lose weight doing a higher intensity workout to shed more pounds than walking.
Low impact elliptical workout causes less muscle wear and tear. Frequent use of ellipticals make you get stronger muscles and bones. Even people with osteoporosis can use the equipment without a high risk fracture.
Seniors also need exercise for improving balance and coordination and ellipticals are good. Besides slowly building of bone strength, and muscle endurance, ellipticals target many muscle groups than any other cardio machine available.