The elliptical trainer is one of the most sought-after workout machines in the gym. People who prefer home workouts also have an elliptical in their home gyms. The reason for the popularity of this workout machine is not far-fetched; it offers a low-impact cardio workout that’s beneficial in many ways. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the top elliptical benefits, including weight loss, joint strength, and more.
1. Weight Loss
Cardiovascular exercise aids weight loss in several ways (1). Firstly, it increases the body’s production of enzymes that break down fat cells. Enzymes such as lipase and carnitine are released during exercise, which helps to break down stored body fat (16).
Secondly, cardiovascular exercise helps to reduce the amount of fat that is stored in the body by increasing the rate at which it is used for energy (1) Finally, cardiovascular exercise helps to increase the body’s metabolism, meaning that more calories are burned even at rest.
2. Joint Strength
The low-impact nature of elliptical training is beneficial for those with joint problems or injuries. The majority of the impact is absorbed by the elliptical trainer, which takes pressure off of the joints (10).
Additionally, the elliptical trainer strengthens the muscles around the joints, which helps to support and protect them.
3. Increased Stamina And Cardio Capacity
The elliptical trainer is an excellent way to improve your cardiorespiratory fitness. Cardiorespiratory fitness is the ability of your heart and lungs to supply oxygenated blood to your muscles during exercise (13).
The elliptical trainer strengthens the heart and lungs, which leads to increased stamina and cardio capacity.
4. Improved Balance And Coordination
The elliptical trainer is a great way to improve your balance and coordination. The moving handlebars of the elliptical trainer force you to use your arms and legs in a coordinated manner, which improves your overall balance and coordination (4).
5. Increased Muscle Tone
Elliptical training helps to tone the muscles of the arms, legs, and core. The resistance provided by the elliptical trainer helps to build muscle, which leads to increased muscle tone.
Additionally, the elliptical trainer works the upper and lower body muscles simultaneously, which leads to more efficient muscle toning.
6. Low-Impact Cardio Workout
The elliptical trainer is a low-impact workout machine, which means that it is easy on the joints. The low-impact nature of the elliptical trainer makes it an excellent choice for those with joint problems or injuries (10).
Additionally, the low-impact nature of the elliptical trainer makes it an excellent choice for beginners or those new to exercise.
7. Full-Body Workout
The elliptical trainer is a great way to get a full-body workout. The elliptical trainer works the upper and lower body simultaneously, which leads to more efficient muscle toning. Additionally, the elliptical trainer provides a great cardio workout that benefits the entire body (2).
8. Increased Energy Levels
Elliptical training helps to increase energy levels by improving the efficiency of the body’s cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Additionally, elliptical training helps to release endorphins, which are hormones that have mood-boosting and pain-relieving effects (6).
9. Improved Mental Health
Elliptical training has been shown to improve mental health in several ways. First, exercise helps to reduce stress and anxiety by releasing endorphins (17).
Second, exercise helps to improve sleep quality by reducing the time it takes to fall asleep and increasing the duration of deep sleep (15). And third, exercise helps to improve cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain (5).
10. Reduced Risk Of Disease
Cardiovascular exercise, such as elliptical training, has been shown to reduce the risk of several diseases, including heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes (12).
It does so by reducing the risk factors for these diseases, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. Additionally, elliptical training has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer (3).
Proper Form On The Elliptical Trainer
Using proper form on the elliptical trainer is important for several reasons. First, using proper form will help you to get the most out of your workout.
Second, using proper form will help to prevent injuries. And third, using proper form will help to ensure that you are working all of the muscles in your body.
Here are some tips for using proper form:
- Stand up straight with your shoulders back and your core engaged.
- Hold onto the handrails or armrests for balance, but do not use them for support.
- Keep your feet flat on the pedals and your knees aligned over your ankles.
- Do not arch your back or hunch your shoulders.
- Pump your arms in a natural, rhythmic motion.
- Breathe deeply and evenly throughout your workout.
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Common Elliptical Trainer Mistakes
Avoid these elliptical trainer mistakes that may result in injury or an ineffective workout:
1. Setting No Resistance
Resistance is important on the elliptical trainer because it provides a challenge for the muscles. Without resistance, the elliptical trainer becomes nothing more than a glorified walking machine.
Ensure that the resistance is set to a level that is challenging but doable for you. If you can conversationally chat while working out, then the resistance is too low.
2. Leaning On The Machine
Leaning on the elliptical trainer, either on the handrails or armrests, takes away from the workout because it takes away the challenge for the muscles. Additionally, leaning on the machine can lead to injuries such as strains or sprains.
3. Striding Too Fast
Striding too fast on the elliptical trainer can lead to joint pain or injuries (9). Additionally, striding too fast takes away from the workout because it becomes more about speed than endurance.
4. Not Engaging The Core
The core muscles are responsible for stabilizing the body. If these muscles are not engaged, you will be more likely to experience pain in the lower back or hips. Additionally, not engaging the core muscles takes away from the workout because you will not be able to put forth your full effort.
Slouching means that your shoulders are rounding forward and your back is not in its natural alignment. This can lead to pain in the lower back or hips (14).
Your posture on the elliptical trainer should be the same as your posture when you are standing. This means that your shoulders should be back and your core should be engaged.
6. Using The Same Routine For Months
If you do the same elliptical trainer routine for months, your body will eventually adapt to the workout and you will no longer see results. To avoid this, it is important to change your routine regularly.
Some ways that you can change up your routine include adding intervals, increasing the resistance, or changing the direction of your pedaling.
How Long Should You Be On The Elliptical To Lose Weight?
Successful weight loss comes down to how well you can maintain a calorie deficit over time (7). A calorie deficit is when you burn more calories than you consume. You can create a calorie deficit through diet, exercise, or a combination of both.
The elliptical trainer is an excellent tool for creating a calorie deficit and losing weight. However, how long you need to be on the elliptical to lose weight depends on several factors, including your starting weight, diet, and fitness level.
If you are new to exercise, you may need to start slowly and gradually increase the duration of your elliptical workouts. However, if you are already active and looking to lose weight quickly, you may need to be on the elliptical for up to 60 minutes per day.
It is also important to note that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. In other words, if you are eating more calories than you are burning, you will not lose weight, no matter how much time you spend on the elliptical.
Therefore, to lose weight successfully, you need to create a calorie deficit through both diet and exercise.
Are Ellipticals Good For Losing Belly Fat?
Belly fat, or visceral fat, is a type of body fat that is stored around the abdominal organs. Belly fat is considered to be more dangerous than other types of body fat because it is associated with an increased risk of several diseases, including heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes (8).
The elliptical trainer is a great tool for losing belly fat. This is because elliptical training helps to create a calorie deficit, which leads to weight loss. Additionally, elliptical training helps to tone the muscles in the abdominal area, which can help to reduce the amount of belly fat (11).
Note that you can’t spot-reduce belly fat. This means that you can’t lose belly fat by targeting the abdominal area with exercises like sit-ups or crunches or spending hours on the elliptical. Instead, you need to lose weight overall through a combination of diet and exercise.
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The elliptical trainer is a great piece of fitness equipment that provides many benefits. These benefits include weight loss, improved cardiovascular health, and reduced risk of disease. Additionally, elliptical training is a great way to tone the muscles in the abdominal area and improve mental health.
If you are looking to lose weight, you should aim to be on the elliptical for at least 30 minutes per day. However, it is important to note that you cannot lose weight through exercise alone. You also need to maintain a calorie deficit through diet to see results.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Aerobic exercise alone results in clinically significant weight loss for men and women: Midwest exercise trial (2012, onlinelibrary.wiley.com)
- An Elliptical Trainer May Render the Wingate All-out Test More Anaerobic (2014, journals.lww.com)
- Cancer, Physical Activity, and Exercise (2014, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Comparison of elliptical training, stationary cycling, treadmill walking, and overground walking (2011, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
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- Exercise for Mental Health (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Fat loss depends on energy deficit only, independently of the method for weight loss (2007, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Health Risks of Overweight & Obesity (2018, niddk.nih.gov)
- Influence of Stride Frequency and Length on Running Mechanics: A Systematic Review (2013, sagepub.com)
- Knee joint forces: prediction, measurement, and significance (2012, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Maximal Fat Oxidation: Comparison between Treadmill, Elliptical, and Rowing Exercises (2021, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Physical activity, exercise, and chronic diseases: A brief review (2019, sciencedirect.com)
- Physical Activity and Physical Education: Relationship to Growth, Development, and Health – Educating the Student Body (2013, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Posture – Physiopedia (n.d., physio-pedia.com)
- The bidirectional relationship between exercise and sleep: Implications for exercise adherence and sleep improvement (2014, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The Regulation of Fat Metabolism during Aerobic Exercise (2010, mdpi.com)
- The Role of Exercise in Stress Management (2013, journals.lww.com)