Avid sports enthusiasts know that the best way to trim the excess fat in our bodies is to stick to a balanced diet and get involved in physical activity. Many of them start their training with an elliptical trainer – a stationary exercise machine that provides an effective cardiovascular workout without the adverse impact on knee joints and lower body muscles. In addition, it provides full-body training. Knowing this, it’s no wonder sportsmen in gyms stand in line to start their workout routine with a low-impact warm-up. But what if you are just a beginner and pondering losing weight? In this case, the elliptical trainer is a great place to start since this machine helps you not only activate the whole body muscles but also get rid of annoying calories. An elliptical calorie burner is often compared to a treadmill. A treadmill, as well as an elliptical trainer, has benefits and downsides but it is essential to acknowledge that one of them can impose pressure on your knee joints while the other one is knee-friendly. But which of them is more effective when it goes to cutting calories? If you desire to lose weight and have no clue what to opt for – a treadmill, elliptical machine, or even simple walking then this article is a good choice. Elliptical weight loss – enjoy low-impact training and shed those calories.
Is The Elliptical An Effective Workout?
Elliptical is not only effective but also quite a pleasing workout since it doesn’t demand any jumps, push-ups, or heavy weight lifting. That is why some people prefer using them on a daily basis and order ellipticals for weight loss in their homes. These machines are very easy to use. All you need to do is to put both feet on the footholds and move in a circular or elliptical pattern. It’s similar to riding a bike but instead, you remain standing on an elliptical machine (4).
Simultaneous arm and leg movements give the benefit of a full-body workout. You can alter the speed and make your training even more effective. Here are some more crucial elliptical benefits that make it stand out from other machines.
- Protects your joints. An elliptical is a great option for people who have arthritis or joint pain. The more joint pain you have the more risk of injury you get. Plus, in case of joint pain, you will need to stop the training and with less training, you burn fewer calories (3).
- Boosts stamina. The elliptical machine allows you to get a good aerobic workout, which helps you build stamina and endurance. On top of that, an elliptical machine gives you a chance to perform high-intensity interval training.
- Serves as a low body and upper body workout. One of the greatest elliptical benefits is that this machine perks up your whole body. When you use the handles you move your arms as fast as your legs, thus burning more calories and toning your body. In addition, the elliptical machine also targets the glutes, hamstrings, chest, back, biceps, triceps, and core muscles.
- Enhances balance. You can improve balance by not using handles. Before that check whether you have chosen a suitable resistance and incline.
- Gives you a chance to work out after the injury. People who have issues with knee problems for example can’t jump on a treadmill and run because in this way they will harm their knees. An elliptical machine is a low-impact workout that is suitable for people who faced health problems and decided to get back on track.
- Burns calories. Probably the most common reason why people jump on the elliptical machine is that it scorches calories. In 30 minutes of working out on an elliptical trainer, an average person can burn 270-400 calories.
- Helps you lose belly fat. There are many workouts to lose belly fat and this machine is one of the best belly fat crushers. It is because elliptical fat burn happens while we are engaging our core either. As was mentioned already, the elliptical machine is a full-body training which means you don’t only lose belly but whole body fat. When you move your arms and legs you simultaneously engage your abs and work them out. This helps you trim belly fat too.
How Long Should I Be On The Elliptical To Lose Weight?
The amount of time you should be on the elliptical entirely depends on your goals. As you know, the average person should engage in moderate physical activity for at least 150 minutes per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous training (6).
Therefore, if you spend 30 minutes per day on the elliptical trainer 5 times a week then you will hit 150 minutes. This is the perfect pace you can start with. If you feel like 30 minutes is too much for you then push 15-20 minutes at first and gradually move to 30 after getting stronger.
To use the HIIT elliptical for weight loss, try changing the pace or resistance of the elliptical machine. During high-intensity intervals, it should be hard for you to speak, during the recovery period you need to feel comfortable enough to talk.
You can set the high-intensity level for 1-2 minutes and then move to a low-intensity level for 2-3 minutes and alternate like this during training.
To lose more weight you can also combine elliptical workouts with other bodyweight or weightlifting training. Some sportsmen use elliptical machines as a simple warm-up because it activates the whole body. For example, after 20 minutes of an elliptical workout, you can head to squats, push-ups, or other machines if you have a gym membership.
Do not try to hit a serious target from the beginning because you can cause your body to ache. Start with easy movements, then alter the intensity and involve other activities.
Feel free to move from 30 to 50 or 60 minutes when you feel strong enough. Listen to your body and choose the most comfortable and effective pace for yourself.
Is 30 Minutes A Day On The Elliptical Enough To Lose Weight?
People fight obesity annually because this is a serious problem that leads to negative consequences. People who suffer from obesity have a risk of potentially life-threatening conditions:
- type 2 diabetes
- some types of cancer
- coronary heart disease (5).
The causes of obesity can be different but one of the most common ones is the consumption of large amounts of calories from sugary and fatty foods.
The person who sets a goal to lose weight should change their eating habits and implement physical activities into their lives. Thus, a lot of people trek to gyms because there you can take advantage of effective machines and use the trainer service to perform all the workouts accurately.
An elliptical trainer is a whole-body machine that helps you shed calories. 30 minutes per day on the elliptical trainer burns on average 300 calories. However, when you have the question of whether 30 minutes on the elliptical is enough, here is when you should take your aim into consideration.
Through time your body adjusts to any physical activity and will consider it not challenging enough anymore. In this case, it would be advisable to experiment with the incline, and level of resistance on the elliptical machine. If it feels too easy after you build stamina, you can add other physical activities to fat burning elliptical workout.
If you wish to free yourself from all the extra pounds that have been weighting you down for way too long, start using the BetterMe app and overhaul your entire life!
Can You Lose Weight Doing Only The Elliptical?
As far as we understood, elliptical machines imitate running but only with less impact on the knee joints. Like running elliptical for weight loss helps us shed calories and build stronger muscles. However, if your goal is to lose weight it is recommended not only to rely on this machine because your body will not find this workout challenging over some time. Here are a few tips on how to lose weight by doing elliptical and more:
- Make sure you have a caloric deficit. Let’s imagine you had a great elliptical calorie-burning training. Then you head to your house and devour more calories than you had lost. In this way, you wouldn’t be able to lose weight since you consumed more calories than you lost.
- Add healthy food to your regime. Sounds too simple but you won’t get the results you desire if you hesitate to eat healthy food. Add food that is full of nutrients, like fish, legumes, seeds, fruits, and veggies, and avoid processed food, white bread, baked goods, and foods with added sugar, oils, and butter (1).
- Combine elliptical with other training. If you have an elliptical machine at home you can use it for 20 minutes and then head to a bodyweight workout. Search for workout plans at home and choose the most suitable one. In case you use an elliptical trainer only at the gym then implement other fitness appliances and burn even more calories.
Note that one of the elliptical drawbacks is that it has less impact on our lower body which makes our legs not as strong as after treadmill running for example. That is why combining elliptical machines and other workouts will not only benefit weight loss but strengthen your muscles.
Is An Elliptical Or A Treadmill Better For Weight Loss?
Elliptical trainers and treadmills are two powerful cardio machines that activate our muscles and help us lose weight. Treadmills or ellipticals for weight loss are effective enough to implement in the sporting routine.
With the help of treadmills, we activate our muscles by walking or running on the moving belt. We can change the speed and incline which makes it easy to start. The elliptical machine is used by placing your feet on the platform and moving in ellipses, or elongated circles.
The elliptical machine is low-impact which is a good option for people with knee joint pain. According to a study in 2014, while walking we generate our forces to the equivalent of 110 percent body weight while we involve only three-quarters of the body weight while using elliptical machines. It makes it preferable for people with achy hips and knee joints (7). Mayo Clinic indicates that a 160-pound person can lose 365 calories while using an elliptical machine for one hour (2).
When it comes to a treadmill workout for fat burn, this machine helps us build stronger leg muscles and burn more calories. Running 5 miles per hour for instance burns 600 calories due to the high intensity of this training (2).
Both elliptical or treadmill for weight loss are good options, but you need to be aware of your physical state before choosing one of them. If you have problems with your knees especially when you run then an elliptical low-impact trainer is a perfect option. Plus, even though it sheds fewer calories it helps you avoid injuries unlike running on a treadmill.
Therefore, running on the treadmill is a better option if you focus on weight loss. Preferably consult a doctor before starting any workout.
The Bottom Line
There are a lot of ways to lose and maintain a healthy weight. Elliptical training is one of them. This is a special machine created to activate your muscles and burn extra calories. The main benefit of an elliptical trainer is that it puts no pressure on knee joints and enhances stamina. Plus, it is a full-body workout machine that involves both leg and arm movements.
However, you can lose more calories when you use a treadmill machine instead. However, treadmill running will not be good for everyone since it is a high-intensity training that puts more pressure on our knees. That means, you might feel pain during running.
Both elliptical and treadmill training will not be effective in weight loss if you don’t stick to a balanced diet and provide caloric deficiency.
To make your elliptical training more challenging you can alter the inclines and resistance. You are able to combine it with other exercises and fitness appliances. There you have it, elliptical weight loss – enjoy low-impact training and shed those calories.
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!
- 10 tips for successful weight loss (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Exercise for weight loss: Calories burned in 1 hour (2021, mayoclinic.org)
- Health Benefits of Elliptical Machine Workouts (2021, webmd.com)
- How to Choose a Home Elliptical Machine (2021, webmd.com)
- Obesity (2021, nhsinform.scot)
- Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight (2022, cdc.gov)
- Referent body weight values in over ground walking, over ground jogging, treadmill jogging, and elliptical exercise (2013, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)