How to Use an Elliptical Trainer?

22 minutes read

Using an elliptical trainer is a great way to get a full-body cardio workout. It simulates the motion of walking or running, but with less impact on your joints. Here's how to use an elliptical trainer:

  1. Start by adjusting the resistance level on the machine. Beginners can begin with a lower resistance level, gradually increasing it as they get more comfortable. Higher resistance levels offer a more intense workout.
  2. Step onto the foot pedals, ensuring that your feet are secure and flat. Your posture should be upright, with your core engaged. Grip the handles firmly for stability.
  3. Begin pedaling in a smooth motion, pushing and pulling the pedals with your feet. You can choose to pedal forward or backward, depending on your preference. Pedaling backward can engage different muscles in your legs and glutes.
  4. Keep your movements fluid and controlled, avoiding any jerky or sudden motions. Focus on a full range of motion, extending your legs fully and pushing through with your feet.
  5. Pay attention to your posture throughout the workout. Keep your back straight, shoulders relaxed, and chin parallel to the ground. Avoid hunching over or leaning too far forward.
  6. Engage your upper body by incorporating the handlebars. You can choose to keep your hands on the stationary handlebars for a lower-body workout or use the moving handlebars to engage your arms and upper body muscles.
  7. Maintain a steady pace that challenges you without causing excessive strain. Gradually increase your speed and resistance as you build endurance and strength.
  8. It is essential to listen to your body and adjust the workout to your comfort level. If you feel any pain or discomfort, slow down or reduce the resistance.
  9. When you're done with your workout, gradually decrease the resistance and cool down by slowing down your pace. Stretching your muscles after a workout is also recommended.
  10. Finally, it is important to use the elliptical trainer regularly to see noticeable results. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise routine, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions.

Best Elliptical Trainers of April 2024

BowFlex Max Trainer M3

Rating is 5 out of 5

BowFlex Max Trainer M3

  • ELLIPTICAL MEETS STEPPER: Combines the easy low-impact motion of an elliptical with the calorie burning power of a stepper.
  • RESISTANCE: Adjustable dial increases the challenge of your workout with up to 8 levels of resistance.
  • DISPLAY: Interactive LCD display with 2 workout programs.
  • BURN RATE DISPLAY: Unique burn rate display shows how many calories burned per minute and sets activity level targets
  • 14 MINUTE WORKOUT: Challenge yourself with the 14-minute Max Interval, or carve your own path in Manual Mode.
Niceday Elliptical Machine, Elliptical Trainer for Home with Hyper-Quiet Magnetic Driving System, 16 Resistance Levels, 15.5IN Stride, 400LBS Weight Capacity

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

Niceday Elliptical Machine, Elliptical Trainer for Home with Hyper-Quiet Magnetic Driving System, 16 Resistance Levels, 15.5IN Stride, 400LBS Weight Capacity

  • 【Light-commercial Grade Ellipticals】The precision-engineered magnetic system delivers an ultra-smooth elliptical exercise. The 15.5-inch natural stride minimizes knee stress, accommodates heights up to 6'4". The extreme comfort makes sticking to your workout routine a breeze. With every step, you'll be encouraged to stride even further.
  • 【Ultra-silent Magnetic Drive】The internal magnetic drive system provides an exercise experience even quieter than breathing. Whether it's early morning or late at night, your workout will never disturb your neighbors or family's sleep, and it won't interfere with your enjoyment of music and TV shows.
  • 【Built with Gym Quality】The 100LBS mainframe provides secure support for users up to 400LBS. The sturdy construction and premium materials are aimed at long-term durability, accompanying you on your journey to becoming a better version of yourself.
  • 【16 Dynamic Resistance Levels】The magnetic drive system and 16LBS flywheel ensure stable tension output. Whether you aim for cardio or weight loss, the 16 challenging resistance levels allow you to find the perfect exercise resistance for your needs. Gear up to embrace a more vibrant you.
  • 【Record Your Progress】The digital monitor tracks 5 key data including TIME, SPEED, DISTANCE, CALORIES, and PULSE, every step is in your mind.
YOSUDA Elliptical Machine, Ellipticals for Home Use with Hyper-Quiet Magnetic Drive System, Upgrade 14IN Stride,16 Resistance Levels, LCD Monitor & iPad Mount

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

YOSUDA Elliptical Machine, Ellipticals for Home Use with Hyper-Quiet Magnetic Drive System, Upgrade 14IN Stride,16 Resistance Levels, LCD Monitor & iPad Mount

  • 【Upgraded 14 Inch Magnetic Elliptical Machine】The newest member of YOSUDA elliptical machine family, designed to fit your needs and budget. With the enhanced 14 inch stride length and adjustable pedal position, you'll enjoy smoother, more natural movement, making your workouts effortless.Accommodates heights up to 6'3". Now the whole family can use this next-level elliptical trainer!
  • 【Advanced Magnetic system】Equipped with a 10-pound flywheel and an innovation silent magnetic resistance system, our elliptical machine allows you to enjoy your favorite TV series or immerse yourself in a free class without distractions. Nearly no maintenance ensures long-lasting durability, no need to worry about the wear and tear of parts!
  • 【Customise your workout】We've upgraded our elliptical trainer with a robust 10lb flywheel and a precision-engineered 16-level micro-tension controller, delivering double the resistance range compared to ordinary elliptical trainers, ensuring a smooth and challenging workout for muscle toning. Tailor your full-body workout effortlessly to match your preferences and fitness level, from gentle recovery to intense endurance building, it's all in your control!
  • 【Solid Build】Crafted from robust, ultra-durable steel, it's designed to support up to 265 lbs, making it the ultimate exercise partner for users of all sizes.Experience rock-solid stability even during high-intensity cardio workouts!
  • 【Precise Data Monitoring】Our advanced machine features a built-in sensor that meticulously tracks your pulse. Access real-time exercise data, including time, distance, speed, heart rate, and calories burned, on the easy-to-read large-screen monitor, ensuring you always stay within your target heart rate zone. With a convenient stand, you can effortlessly place your phone for video viewing during your workout.
FEIERDUN Elliptical Machine, Cross Trainer for Home Use with Hyper-Quiet Electromagnetic Front Driving System, 32 Resistance Levels, 20IN Stride, 400LBS Weight Capacity

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

FEIERDUN Elliptical Machine, Cross Trainer for Home Use with Hyper-Quiet Electromagnetic Front Driving System, 32 Resistance Levels, 20IN Stride, 400LBS Weight Capacity

  • 【Only 10% Assembly Required】: Taking into consideration the experience of every home exerciser, 90% of the FEIERDUN elliptical machine is pre-assembled before leaving the factory. With the included installation tools, almost anyone can finish unboxing and installing within 30 minutes.
  • 【Noise Elimination】: Compared with traditional magnetic elliptical machines, we've adopted the most advanced ultra-quiet electromagnetic drive system. Even with prolonged use, the noise can be controlled within 10 dB. You can fully immerse yourself in the fun of exercise without worrying about disturbing your husband/wife/children's sleep or study.
  • 【Suited for 5.2 -6.8 ft】: This elliptical machine employs the latest front-drive design with a stride length of 20". The movement trajectory is elliptical, which not only stabilizes the center of gravity and increases stride but also prevents knee damage during long-term use. It is particularly suitable for home exercisers who are 5.2 - 6.8 ft.
  • 【32 Levels of Progressive Resistance】: Our elliptical offering the maximum of 32 adjustable resistance levels on the market, and features an inbuilt 11 pound magnetic flywheel that feels smooth and frictionless, with stronger resistance and longer lifespan. It meets different resistance needs for both beginners and fanatics.
  • 【Exactly Calculated Data】: The control panel accurately records heart rate, resistance, speed, time, distance, and calories. You can check these real-time data. Moreover, it can be connected to "KINOMAP" via Bluetooth to create more precise workout plans to achieve your exercise goals.
  • 【Sturdy & Durable】: FEIERDUN's main frame is made of 50 mm ultra-thick commercial steel tubes capable of bearing up to 400 pounds. The body of the machine is 46*23*54 inch and has almost no space. With six anti-slip supports on the bottom, it remains stable even with extended use.
pooboo Elliptical Machine, Elliptical Machines for Home Use with Hyper-Quiet Magnetic Driving System, 16-Level Resistance, LCD Monitor, Rotatable Ipad Mount&Soft Pedal Cushion, 400LBS Weight Capacity

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

pooboo Elliptical Machine, Elliptical Machines for Home Use with Hyper-Quiet Magnetic Driving System, 16-Level Resistance, LCD Monitor, Rotatable Ipad Mount&Soft Pedal Cushion, 400LBS Weight Capacity

  • Warm Tips: The pooboo elliptical machine designed 80% pre-assembled. Say goodbye to the traditional complicated setup process and the pre-assembled also can avoid sound problems caused by improper installation. Guided by the detailed user manual and installation video, you can easily finish the assembly within 30 minutes. Besides, when not in use, it can be quickly and easily folded up.
  • 【Light Commercial Elliptical Machine】The thickened steel pipe frame contributes outstanding stability and loading capacity of 400 LBS. The 15.5" stride simulates the natural movement path of human body and height fits up to 6' 5". The transparent non-slip and rebound pedal cushion offers a smoother motion feeling like space walk and reduce ankle&knee stress. D-shape handrail structure with dipping process more like a commercial elliptical that satisfying the needs of all-round workout experience
  • 【Multi-function Exercise Handle Position】3 Hand Grip Positions, 3 exercise experience. ①The Fixed Low Position on fixed handlebars built-in pulse sensor for heart rate monitoring. This position use for low height, sitting back with your weight during exercise, give you a peachy hip. ②The D-shape Wide Outer Position does arm stretching exercise, suitable for users with high height and wider arm span. ③The D-shape Wide Inner Position, a comfortable handle position, exercise waist and back.
  • 【Hyper Quiet Magnetic Rear Drive System】The pooboo E399 elliptical features a smooth and natural motion provided by a quiet magnetic drive system. The Rear Drive combined the heavy 16LB flywheel allows the center of gravity to shift back for safer and easier workout. Functions in both forward and reverse motion. Control the sound at 20DB, your workout will never disturb your neighbors or family, just enjoy a peaceful and effective exercise in your own home.
  • 【16 Adjustable Resistance Levels】Equipped with 16-Level Magnetic Resistance Knob, E399 elliptical can adjust to the target range for different members' needs. ①0-5 Level: Soothing and Relaxing Mode, relieving your limb pressure. ②6-10 Level: Moderate Intensity Mode, improve your Physical Flexibility. ③11-16 Level: Highly Effective Fat Burning Mode, burn your calories. All stages exerciser can get efficient exercise with different resistance and no matter you're a beginner or professionals.
YOSUDA Elliptical Machine - Elliptical Machine for Home Use, Elliptical Cross Trainer with Hyper-Quiet Magnetic Drive System, 16 Resistance Levels, with LCD Monitor & Ipad Mount

Rating is 4.5 out of 5

YOSUDA Elliptical Machine - Elliptical Machine for Home Use, Elliptical Cross Trainer with Hyper-Quiet Magnetic Drive System, 16 Resistance Levels, with LCD Monitor & Ipad Mount

  • 【Easy to Assemble】We provided a detailed manual with clear assembly video instructions (tools are included). Almost all people can start exercising within just 30 minutes, very friendly to every home exerciser.
  • 【16 Levels Adjustable Resistance】This elliptical machine for home use comes with a wide range of workout intensity options, satisfying the different needs of your family. You can easily switch the knob to adjust resistance, ensuring your workout is challenging and effective.
  • 【Whisper-Quiet Magnetic Drive System】This elliptical exercise machine adopts the latest magnetic control and mute system and can control noise below 20DB. You will get smooth, nearly silent exercise without disturbing your family!
  • 【LCD Monitor With Pulse & Device Holder】The advanced LCD monitor exactly displays your Calories, Distance, Pulse, Speed, and Time. The stationary handlebar with built-in pulse sensors for monitoring heart rate. This elliptical machine with a tablet stands for placing your Ipad or mobile phone. Put your device on it to enjoy your favorite workout class videos or music!
  • 【Full Body Workout】YOSUDA Elliptical machine offers a low-impact alternative to running, while still providing high-efficiency full-body exercise and protecting your knee. With a 13" stride, you get a full range of elliptical motion( forward and reverse). It is also a great option for people who recover from knee surgery!
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical Trainer Machine w/Device Holder, Programmable Monitor and Heart Rate Monitoring, 330 LB Max Weight - SF-E3912

Rating is 4.4 out of 5

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical Trainer Machine w/Device Holder, Programmable Monitor and Heart Rate Monitoring, 330 LB Max Weight - SF-E3912

  • DEVICE HOLDER: Keep your favorite media devices close to you during your workout sessions when you place them on the built-in device holder
  • RESISTANCE: Challenge yourself with the programmable magnetic resistance when you power on this elliptical. Complete smooth strides as you engage the internal flywheel and the belt-drive mechanism
  • WEIGHT CAPACITY: Take advantage of the 330 lb weight capacity and its floor stabilizers, which will keep the elliptical steady
  • PERFORMANCE MONITOR: Use the onboard, backlit display to track your speed, time, distance, calories burned, RPM, watt generations, and magnetic resistance level
  • POWERFUL WORKOUTS: Take advantage of 24 unique workout modes, including manual, pre-program, watt, body fat, heart rate, and user programs

How to breathe properly during an elliptical trainer workout?

Proper breathing is essential during any workout, including elliptical training. Here are some tips to help you breathe correctly during your elliptical trainer workout:

  1. Maintain a rhythmic breathing pattern: Sync your breath with your stride. Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
  2. Breathe from your diaphragm: Deep diaphragmatic breathing helps oxygenate your body more efficiently. Focus on expanding and contracting your belly rather than chest breathing.
  3. Inhale during the easier phase: As you push the pedals down with your dominant leg, inhale deeply. This can be the downward or upward motion of the elliptical trainer, depending on the specifics of the machine.
  4. Exhale during the more challenging phase: As you push against resistance, such as during the upward or downward motion of the elliptical trainer, exhale forcefully, as if you are blowing out through a straw.
  5. Relax your shoulders and neck: Avoid tension in your upper body while breathing. Keep your shoulders relaxed and your neck aligned with your spine.
  6. Stay hydrated: Proper hydration is essential for efficient breathing. Make sure to drink an adequate amount of water before, during, and after your workout.
  7. Listen to your body: Adjust your breathing technique according to your comfort level and intensity of the workout. If you find yourself gasping for breath or feeling lightheaded, slow down and catch your breath.

Remember, everyone's breathing pattern and capacity are unique, so find a rhythmic breathing pattern that works best for you to maximize your workout performance and oxygen intake.

What is the difference between an elliptical trainer and a treadmill?

An elliptical trainer and a treadmill are both popular cardiovascular exercise machines, but they have some key differences:

  1. Motion: The most obvious difference is in the motion of these machines. A treadmill has a moving belt that you walk, jog, or run on, simulating the natural motion of walking or running. On the other hand, an elliptical trainer has foot pedals and handgrips that move in an elliptical or circular motion, giving you a lower impact workout.
  2. Impact: Treadmills have a higher impact on your joints and bones because your feet repeatedly hit a solid surface. This can be harder on your knees, ankles, and hips, especially for people with joint pain. In contrast, elliptical trainers have a smoother, low-impact motion since your feet remain in contact with the pedals throughout the exercise, reducing joint stress.
  3. Muscle activation: While both machines provide a good cardiovascular workout, they engage different muscle groups. A treadmill primarily targets the muscles of your lower body, such as your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves, as well as your core for stability. On the other hand, an elliptical trainer offers a full-body workout by engaging both the upper and lower body simultaneously. It targets muscles in your arms, shoulders, chest, back, as well as the lower body.
  4. Calorie burn: Due to the involvement of more muscle groups, an elliptical trainer generally burns more calories in the same amount of time compared to a treadmill. The exact number of calories burned will depend on factors like intensity, duration, and individual characteristics.
  5. Versatility: Treadmills provide more versatility when it comes to workout options. Besides running or walking, you can simulate incline training, adjust the speed, and do interval training, making it suitable for a wide range of fitness levels and goals. Although elliptical trainers often come with resistance settings, they are generally more limited in terms of creating workout variations.

Ultimately, the choice between an elliptical trainer and a treadmill depends on personal preference, fitness goals, and any specific physical limitations or needs.

How to monitor your heart rate on an elliptical trainer?

Monitoring your heart rate while using an elliptical trainer is essential to ensure you are exercising at an appropriate intensity. Here are a few ways to monitor your heart rate on an elliptical trainer:

  1. Use the built-in heart rate monitor: Many modern elliptical trainers come with built-in heart rate sensors on the handles or grips. To use this feature, you need to place your hands on the handles with the sensors and wait for a few seconds for the machine to detect your heart rate. It will then display your heart rate on the console.
  2. Wear a heart rate monitor chest strap: Some elliptical machines are compatible with heart rate monitor chest straps, which provide more accurate heart rate readings compared to grip sensors. These chest straps usually connect wirelessly to the elliptical's console, transmitting your heart rate data in real-time.
  3. Use a fitness tracker or smartwatch: Another option is to wear a fitness tracker or smartwatch capable of monitoring heart rate. These devices use optical sensors to measure your heart rate from your wrist. Most fitness trackers and smartwatches have dedicated exercise modes that can track your heart rate during elliptical workouts.

No matter which method you choose, make sure to follow the instructions specific to your equipment or device to obtain accurate heart rate readings. Additionally, consult with a healthcare professional to determine your target heart rate range for effective and safe workouts based on your fitness goals and overall health.

How to track your progress on an elliptical trainer?

There are a few different ways you can track your progress on an elliptical trainer:

  1. Time: Monitor the duration of your workouts. Set specific goals for yourself, such as increasing your workout time by 5 minutes every week or aiming for a certain number of minutes per session.
  2. Distance: Many elliptical machines have a distance tracker that estimates the distance you would have covered if you were running outside. Keep track of the distance you cover during your workouts and aim to increase it gradually over time.
  3. Calories burned: Most elliptical trainers have a built-in calorie counter that estimates the number of calories you burn during your workout. This can be a useful metric to track if your goal is weight loss or calorie expenditure.
  4. Speed: Measure the speed at which you're pedaling on the elliptical. Some machines have a speed display, or you can use a fitness tracker that provides this information.
  5. Resistance level: Keep note of the resistance level you use during your workouts. Gradually increase the resistance as your fitness level improves to track your progress in terms of intensity and strength.
  6. Heart rate: Monitor your heart rate during your elliptical workouts. Many elliptical trainers have sensors on the handles or are compatible with heart rate monitors. By tracking your heart rate, you can ensure your workouts are within an appropriate intensity range and monitor improvements in cardiovascular fitness over time.

Additionally, you can use fitness apps or wearable devices that sync with the elliptical trainer to track your progress automatically. These apps often provide detailed statistics, performance summaries, and even virtual challenges to keep you motivated and engaged in your workouts.

What is the ideal duration of a workout on an elliptical trainer?

The ideal duration of a workout on an elliptical trainer can vary depending on an individual's fitness level, goals, and overall health. However, a general recommendation is to aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on the elliptical machine per session. This duration allows for an effective cardiovascular workout and provides time to engage multiple muscle groups. For those with more advanced fitness levels, extending the workout to 45 minutes or even an hour can be beneficial. Ultimately, it is important to listen to your body and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workouts over time.

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