elliptical equipment

Elliptical for Weight Loss: 7 Effective Ways to Lose Extra Pounds

To some, the elliptical is just an easy way to get their heart rate up without putting any real thought into their workout. To others, it’s a waste of time, and just a more expensive alternative to the treadmill it replaces. But for those of us looking to lose weight and add some definition to our bodies, the elliptical can be a tremendous tool for accomplishing both goals.

Whether you want to lose weight or just keep your current weight in check, an elliptical trainer is a great option. It is one of the most effective and best workouts you can do at home. It is also ideal for many people who cannot tolerate long-duration jogging or running. This guide will help you learn how to use the elliptical for weight loss and give you tips on how to use it right.

1. Set goals

When you set goals, you tend to stay motivated. Setting goals that are challenging is one way to keep yourself motivated but make sure that it’s realistic. For example, if your goal is to lose 20 pounds, an elliptical workout schedule that is 30 minutes long, five days a week, or biweekly, might work for you.

2. Use Your Entire Foot 

The next time you are on the elliptical make sure you are not pushing through your toes. Most people allow their heels to come off the ground causing a big reduction in calories burned. When you push through your entire foot, including your heel, it activates more muscles throughout your legs, which in turn helps you burn calories and build muscle.

3. Perform High-Intensity Interval

This workout regimen includes ‘sprints’ that last for a short amount of time, followed by longer periods of moderate exercise. When you do intervals, your body remains in a fat burn state for twice as long as it normally would (about 48-72 hours). ​​

Try picking up speed, increasing the incline of your elliptical, or adding resistance to perform a high-intensity interval. For example, you can try the Tabata-style workout on the elliptical. You should pedal for 20 seconds at a higher intensity, then pedal for 10 seconds at a lower intensity. Repeat eight times in a row to get a total of four minutes.

4. Engage Your Full Body by Swinging Your Arms

The elliptical offers a full-body workout because you are engaging different muscle groups when you pedal and swing your arms. Because of this, it’s more effective at burning fat and toning your core, shoulders, and back. However, some elliptical users don’t use the handles. You want to make sure that you are using your arms–not just letting them hang at your sides–to burn more calories.

5. Play with the Incline and Resistance

If you’ve never tried adjusting the resistance on your elliptical, now’s a good time to start. As you increase the incline or resistance on the elliptical, you need to use more effort with each stride. In doing so, you can burn calories and increase endurance while using this machine. You can also avoid lapsing into complacency and continue to challenge yourself.

Don’t be daunted if increasing the resistance means you can’t pedal as fast. This is common and worth it. You’ll get both a cardio and strength workout all at once. You’ll even develop stronger leg muscles, even if that’s not your goal.

6. Change Your Routine

If you’re feeling like your elliptical workouts are no longer effective, or that you’re not getting anything out of them, it may be time to switch things up. To avoid a performance plateau, keep experimenting and improving every six to eight weeks. For example, you can increase your speed or resistance to continue challenging yourself and to achieve weight loss through elliptical training.

You can also complement this by changing your diet. Add new and nutritious keto, paleo, or vegan recipes to your routine to help you stay on track with your fitness goals.

7. Add Strength Training

When it comes to losing extra weight through the elliptical, experts recommend adding strength training into your workout routine alongside cardio exercise. To get optimal results from your workout you need to combine elliptical sessions with consistent weightlifting or calisthenics.

​​By engaging in strength training, you can boost your metabolism and avoid any future weight gain. You are less likely to have excess calories stored as fat if you have more muscle mass.

Final Word

Elliptical training has rapidly grown in popularity because it’s a very effective workout for burning fat and calories. If you’re looking to lose weight and improve your fitness, make sure to follow the tips we shared to make the most of your training and to help you reach your goal. 

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