Keep in Shape with Elliptical Trainer Workouts

Elliptical trainer workouts are popular for a number of reasons, not the least of which is their overall effectiveness. The main reason you will enjoy elliptical trainer exercise, however, is that it has so many advantages that can’t be found with other types of exercise equipment.

  • Elliptical trainer workouts combine the full, natural stride of a treadmill with the simple ease-of-use of a stair climber. Treadmills seem simple, but can be tricky if you don’t pace yourself just right.

  • Elliptical trainer workouts provide a cardiovascular workout without jarring any of the joints or your back. This is a distinction that no other type of exercise equipment can deliver. If you have problems with arthritis or bad knees or ankles, there is nothing safer than an elliptical trainer workout. (Read Cross Training Benefits of the Elliptical Trainer)
  • Because you stand upright in a natural position, there is no back strain. You also don’t have to reach for or pull anything, which could lead to back pain with other types of exercise equipment such as rowing machines.
  • With elliptical trainer workouts you have the option to work your upper body or simply work the lower body. If you choose to leave out the upper body workout, you can hold the hand rails for support and comfort.
  • With many elliptical machines, you have both forward and backward motion, each of which exercises different muscle groups. This gives you one of the most comprehensive workouts available for the lower body, providing excellent overall toning and sculpting.
  • Because of the ease of use of elliptical trainers, you are actually burning more calories while feeling less exertion than you would with a treadmill. This makes it easier to get noticeable results and stick with your workout program without getting discouraged.
  • An elliptical home trainer is suitable for beginners, intermediate and intensely dedicated individuals, so you will never outgrow your machine. You can simply intensify and vary your workout routine to suit your level of fitness and ability. You can even exercise on on elliptical during pregnancy.

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The Right Elliptical Trainer Workout for Your Week

Endurance E4 Elliptical Stepper

With so many obvious benefits, purchasing an elliptical machine is a wise fitness investment for almost everyone. Once you purchase your exercise machine, be sure you develop elliptical trainer workouts that will help you attain cardiovascular health and tone your body without overdoing it. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Warming Up and Cooling Down is Essential

Whether you are a beginner or an old hand at working out on an elliptical trainer, a warm-up and cool-down period is essential each time you use it. Figure on five minutes to warm up and five minutes to cool down at a slow and steady pace that give you the same feel as a comfortable walk to loosen up your muscles.

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Use Your Elliptical at Least 3 – 5 Times a Week

Plan on working out on your elliptical trainer three to five times a week. Three times a week is probably plenty for the first few weeks, working up to five times a week.

Exercise Every Other Day

Stick to every other day so that you can rest your muscles on the days in between until you’ve reached a solid fitness level. At that time, you can add a few days in a row if you wish or do other types of exercise on your “off” days.

Put Variety into Your Exercises

Vary your speed and exertion level. This is very important to getting the best results from your elliptical trainer workouts. Start with a slow but steady pace for five minutes (after your five minute warm-up). Follow this with five more minutes at a moderate pace, then five minutes pushing yourself to the maximum you can handle for about five minutes, then bring it back down in reverse (five moderate, five easy, then your cool-down). This is fine for the first few weeks. Once you’ve reached the point where you don’t feel like you’re pushing yourself enough with this, add on until you reach a maximum of about 45 minutes (for the average person).

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Sample Weekly Workout Routine

Elliptical Trainer Workouts

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays using your elliptical trainer for 45 minutes each session. At each session, you could follow this workout routine:

  • Warm-up Period - 5 minutes
  • Low Exertion - 5 minutes
  • Easy Does It - 5 minutes
  • Moderate (get ready to "push it") - 5 minutes
  • Hard Exercise (reach your target heart rate) - 5 minutes
  • Moderate - 5 minutes
  • Easy - 5 minutes
  • Low - 5 minutes
  • Cool-down - 5 minutes

You can modify or juggle these a bit to vary your routine, adjusting how long you do each one to keep it interesting (read our article Elliptical Machine Training - 6 Tips to Get Results Fast). Just remember how important it is to keep the muscles warm during your workout at all times. If you keep this in mind and do your elliptical trainer workouts regularly, you’ll soon look and feel better than you have in years.

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