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5 Tips in Using Elliptical Machine More Effectively

February 2nd, 2010 · 21 Comments ·


I have introduced elliptical machine earlier, now let’s look at some of the tips in using it:

  1. Many use elliptical machine because they can work out their arms and legs at the same time. However, you don’t have to hold on the handles all the time. By not holding them, you work on your core muscles to stay balance while moving. Only when you go faster, then you should hold on the moving handles.  For me, if I go faster, I prefer not to hold them as I just don’t feel comfortable to “compromise” on my speed with the grip on the handles.
  2. Some elliptical trainers offer incline that you can increase or decrease while working out. You can adjust it accordingly to change the difficulty of the exercise. By doing this, your body will work harder and burn more calories.
  3. While one school of though encourage you to grab hand weights and swing your arms while striding, others think it does harm than good. I recommend you to go for both and see what fit you the most.
  4. elliptical-machine-girl-smiling.JPG

  5. Try to do backward movement too in addition to the common forward direction. By doing this, you will use different muscles. So, take advantage of this flexibility to burn more calories.
  6. If you are training for cardiovascular benefits, aim to keep your strides per minute in between 140 and 160.  If you want to burn fat, pay attention to your heart rate instead.

So, these are the 5 tips for you to have more fun in using elliptical machine while helping to burn more calories. Try them and let me know how it goes.

Check out some of the recommended elliptical machines from Amazon.

One of the popular mid range elliptical machines – Schwinn 460 Variable Stride Elliptical Trainer




Category: Fitness Gadget/Equipment

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21 responses so far ↓
  • Angie Tan // Feb 2, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    Great tips!! Not so sure how you can carry weights and run. I’ve seen folks cycle and carry weights though.

  • Patrick Kallie // Feb 2, 2010 at 12:57 PM

    You have to be in pretty good shape to be able to run with the weights. I would recommend the elliptical to anyone that is looking for a new workout.

  • foongpc // Feb 2, 2010 at 3:34 PM

    Thanks for the tips! I don’t feel comfortable carrying weights while on this machine. I agree not holding the handles work your core muscles which I feel is very effective.

  • Toms // Feb 2, 2010 at 5:14 PM

    Holding some light dumbbells in your hands is okay. I know some people who are running with a rucksack full of weight plates. You can do it only if you have superb core strength. Definitely not for beginners.

    Elliptic machines are great for winter training, when the weather is too harsh. My girlfriend has one, so I’m using it now and then.

  • Emilio Araujo // Feb 4, 2010 at 8:16 AM

    Walking and/or running with hand weights may increase blood pressure. Therefore, if you have a history of high blood pressure don’t do it. Unless you can get weights that strap on to your wrist.


  • Alex Golke // Feb 4, 2010 at 10:23 AM

    Interesting tips, I love the elliptical machine probably my favorite in the cardio room.

  • Peter // Feb 4, 2010 at 3:10 PM

    Brilliant. The typical perception is that you NEED to hold on to the handle bars in order to perform the exercise properly. Allowing yourself to achieve stability without help is a great idea! Thanks!

  • Andrea // Feb 5, 2010 at 7:03 AM

    I agree an Elliptical Workout is Awesome, Great Tips I’ll keep them in mind :) — As a busy mom it’s nice to know I can jump on for 30 minutes or so and get a great workout!

  • sandy // Apr 19, 2010 at 12:37 PM

    Fantastic submit once again mate. I believe you’ve hit the nail about the head there. It does not ought to be challenging yet Mose men and women fail to recognize the basics.

  • ali // May 2, 2010 at 6:52 AM

    hi just wanted to say that your tips were great, i have had my cross trainer for about 6 weeks but have only really been using it consistantly over the last two weeks, i never know if im doing right as the manual that came with it isnt that great, the best tip i found on your site was the one about not holding the handles, i really need to work on my core so that was interesting, also does it matter how fast you go whilst not holding on to anything? because i can see me being very slow lol also i need to burn fat but i dont understand this heart rate thing, any explanation to this would be very welcomed, thank you for your site it was well worth the visit

  • Rob // May 18, 2010 at 11:10 AM

    Keep it fun. Never do the same elliptical program routine for more than 2 weeks at a time. It’s great to work out to different programs and set different goals for yourself. Keep it fresh – and above all, pick out a machine that feels smooth, solid and works with your body motion, not against it.

  • K.V.SUBBAIAH DIVAKAR // Aug 18, 2010 at 7:43 PM

    Dear Sir:……………………………India-Bangalore-18th Aug 2010-Wed-5PM
    I have found the cross trainer that use in the gym very useful and also find that your write up on cross trainer gives very useful tips..
    Kindly then,clarify me the following..
    1) I am 64 years old..Can I work on the trainer for thirty min..
    2) There are no like 2..3 ascending order and the resistance to pedalling increases..should we have to use higher nos for fat burning?
    3) I also climb steps for about 10 min after 30mins of cross trainer at the lowest no3..Does this do any harm to my knees ..
    4) Sometimes my knee pains and swells marginally after doing CT for three days continuously at 30 min per day..Your suggestions please..
    However,i also do stretching exercises and weight training for about 35 min both put together…

  • Kate // Sep 14, 2010 at 8:47 PM

    Im very very over weight is a cross trainer a good thing for me to lose weight and start excercising?

  • bobo // Sep 25, 2010 at 12:56 AM

    I have just bought a cross trainer and at the moment 2 mins is all i can manage !!Probably because i am 3stones over weight and very unfit.Has any one progressed from such a poor start or have any advice to help me.I must get fit for health reasons.

  • Ajay // Nov 4, 2010 at 2:16 AM

    @bebo and kate:

    im no expert on ftiness, infact im a novoice.

    BUT.. all i can tell u this: losing weight is all in the mind. please dont leave what you have started now. keep going.

    This is what i followed for a start:

    When i decided to join the gym, i said to myself: OK. Im gonna go to the gym for an hour no matter what. My mind was switched off for an hour a day while at the gym, like it or hate it.”

    And now, i’m loving it. :)

    Trust me, i was a very lazy guy. So for me to start loving it, it just shows that you need to build up the mental strenght and start learning to tolerate pain atleast initially, and once you get past it, you’ll love it and it’ll be just another activity.

    @kate: Anything that burns calories is good, execpt running if u r too overweight. So do all in moderation. And PLEASE do not expect miracles.. No they dont exist when done naturally, atleast for weight loss.

    i can tell this after 5 months of pretty decent workout. keep a monthly target. mine is 2kgs per month. i do elliptical for 15-20 mins 3 times a week and im happy with it.

    Hope this helps.

  • steven // Dec 23, 2010 at 1:18 AM

    Does the cross trainer help loose weight from your stomach ??

  • The Baker Boy // Feb 11, 2011 at 2:32 AM

    Bobo & Kate
    Not to put to fine a point on it Im a fatty 311 Ibs worth
    I started a diet along with buying a X trainer on Jan10 2011
    because I heard so many good things about them
    Now I struggled to go for 2- 3 Mins because I was trying to hard I thought the faster you weent the quicker the pounds would fly off.
    The funny thing was I wasnt out of breath or anything my legs just didnt have any strength to do a 10 /20 min routine
    So I slowed down to a quick ish walk and Im up to 20 mins now and I enjoy it I up the pace a little bit if I can but theres no use killing yourself my goal is 30 mins by the end of this month .
    So Im now 277Ibs 20 Mins or 4 laps on the X trainer ,
    the machines got 8 levels Ive not tried any yet when I get to 45 mins I will give it a go .
    I do 2 laps which take me about 9 Mins in the morning
    4 laps in the evening and 2 at night before bed so Im nearly at the 40 min a day excerise which is recommended .
    Looking a the monitor doesnt help
    watch the TV ,music what ever ,just keep plodding away you will be surprised how much you can do with just a little effort ,just takes time to get into a routine .
    Getting the results weight wise, and the more minutes you can work on your machine is a great motivater
    Stick in and good luck

  • Dr. Vipin // Feb 20, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    Very useful tips. Especially the one on not holding handles.

    thanks a lot

  • barbara // Dec 22, 2011 at 2:39 AM

    Just started using the elliptical at the gym as i have a patela femural problem and after 3 days of doing 10 min of the elliptical and then 10 more other mins in between 10 min of bycicle…it trully feels amazing to the knee and the leg…I couldnt do the elliptical before so I spent 3 months doing physio exercises and the bike at the gymn until I could go on the elliptical…
    As others advise for lazies or too mentals like me just keep going to the gymn no matter what…sometimes reverse psychology works best maybe you dont need to mark yourself goals that you will procastinate upon…i tend to do that, so this time I had no goals for 4 months except going for 1 hour to the gymn…I seemed to be able to do this one goal..and gradually you build strength and your internal resistances also gradually you start playing with goals and small targets…make it fun..and love your body as you do the workouts…

  • Jerry // Jan 17, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    hi barbara ive also got problem knee so painful and iam thinking of getting one are you saying that the trainer actually helped or physio,,,Thanks Jerry

  • Martin // Jun 7, 2019 at 7:28 PM

    I’ve got a cross trainer , highly recommend it , listen to music or watch tv , and take things slowly at first then build up , they are great for an all over workout .

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