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.

Here are some helpful articles for you:

Low Impact Exercise Equipment – These Machines Are a Good Choice - Gain the advantages of aerobic exercise without putting undue stress on the joints.

Elliptical Trainer vs. Treadmill - Which is better? Find out here

Elliptical vs. Bike - Why the crosstrainer provides the biggest fitness bang for the buck.

Elliptical vs. Running: The Advantage Goes to the Crosstrainer - There are solid arguments why riding an elliptical trainer is superior to running and walking.

How to Use Elliptical Trainers – Get the most out of your workout for best results.

Three Reasons Why an Elliptical Hurts the Knees - The 3 most common reasons why an elliptical hurts the knees; how to easily address problems and eliminate any pain you feel during or after a workout.

Eliminate Elliptical Trainer Sleepy Foot Syndrome - Prevent the tingling and numbing sensations before they start.

Can You Lose Weight Using an Elliptical? - Achieve optimum cardio output and burn the most calories during your workout. (Read this review submitted by one of our visitors who lost 30 lbs in 2 months!)

Elliptical Trainer Evaluation for Cardio Respiratory Fitness - The ideal cardio apparatus is the one that is the most effective and burns the most calories while still providing a lot of fun for the user.

Calorie Counters on Elliptical Machines - The skinny on elliptical trainer calorie count; how to do your own estimate and how to use the HRM to determine calories burned.

Reading Racks for Ellipticals - Aftermarket offers a variety of sizes and styles.

The SurfShelf Elliptical Laptop Holder - The best product on the market for walking and reading from an electronic device at the same time.

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.

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).

Elliptical Fat Burning Workouts by Jillian Michaels - America's toughest trainer has brought her brand of killer workouts to iFit® Live, the downloadable fitness programming exclusive to ICON Fitness cardio machines.

Elliptical Trainer Interval Training - Alternating between high and low bursts of effort, interval training is an effective method for losing weight faster than using other settings on your machine.

Benefits of Elliptical HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) - Give HIIT workouts a try and see for yourself how an elevated metabolism lasting up to a day and half later will help you lose more belly fat than your previous workouts.

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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