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Top Tips and Tricks for Getting a Great Workout on Your Elliptical Machine

group of women at the gym doing exercise on the xtrainer machines

Elliptical machines have stayed a constant in the workout repertoire of equipment. It is gym equipment and more importantly home fitness equipment that is the most popular of the bunch. It’s a great cardiovascular workout that is great for all varying types of athletes and people looking to lose weight. If you have an elliptical or are looking to buy one, then it’s important to know the best way to use one.


Training Options


An elliptical is a great machine for runners, because it is light on the joints on tendons of the body. It can be a great side exercise for this class of athletes.  For many using an elliptical it’s a central tool in losing weight for nearly every level of someone who works out and is on a weight loss training program.


Elliptical machines are unique machines as they engage both the upper and lower body muscle groups. It’s a calorie depleting exercise that tones out the major muscle groups of your lower body. It’s ability to move both ways strengthen the anterior and posterior chains of the body. This can help runners with form and assist other athletes.


Getting the Most Efficient Workout


Even though the elliptical might seem like a simple piece of equipment, there is a right and a wrong way to work out on it. The first thing you should properly take note of is form. At all times you want to maintain an upright and straight posture.


Before every elliptical workout, engage in some body work that stabilizes the core. This might include a variation of bridges, planks and other abdominal holdings throughout.  Engaging your core will get the stabilizers going. Tightening the stomach is the simplest way to think about it.


Proper posture means an open non-sunken chest and pulled back shoulders. Your hands are light on the handles and there’s a swift kick in the hips. Make sure not to neglect reverse strides in your workout. Include periods of reverse training to ensure proper posture throughout. This will also improve your balance and strength.


Settings on the Machine


There’s already the reverse setting on the machine that should be a necessary part of any training regimen. Make sure to include the popular High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), a necessary part of a cardio workout. One of the best benefits of elliptical machines is the added intensity without contraction of the joints and tendons on impact.


If your main concern is losing weight on the machine, make sure you’re adding interval sessions that come on some of the machines. Check out some elliptical machine reviews, some machines are better than others. They come with a built in system to track speed, efficiency and intensity. You want to maximize your time in the anaerobic training zone and keep your metabolism on high alert to get the most out of losing weight.


Combining Workouts


Any good workout should be a combined mix of strength training paired with elliptical cardiovascular training. The elliptical machine targets the entire broad muscle parts of the body, being unique to be a machine that targets both the upper and lower body. It can be a great warm up to get the body going and ready for some even more intense action.


Additional strength training assists in toning and creating muscle that will replace fats. Activating your major muscle groups through increased circulation helps prepare you for more strenuous work. This will help you improve your strength and power.


Don’t neglect your form and stretching either. Yoga can be a great recovery option for athletes that intensely work a lot. The combination of an intense burst driven elliptical training session and relaxing stretched Yoga can make a whole lot of difference.


Getting Constant Workouts


Elliptical workouts offer effective training options for athletes and people all over the physical spectrum. It can help to improve form and strengthen balance in a number of ways. Making sure to stay efficient and combine it with other workouts is a fast way to being on a successful workout program.


If you’re going to use the elliptical in your tool set then it is important to know that consistency is key. Make sure to get onto a schedule that you’ll be able to commit to in the long run. Over time it will become a habit you’ll do without even thinking twice about. Having an elliptical in the home is a great first fitness step.


Jonathan Talbot works part-time as a personal fitness trainer, something he is very passionate about and hopes will become his full-time career in the future. Until then, Jonathan fills his spare moments writing about fitness, staying motivated at the gym, and technique.