How to Use the Handles on an Elliptical Trainer?

24 minutes read

Using the handles on an elliptical trainer is an important part of maximizing your workout and engaging your upper body. Here's how to use them effectively:

  1. Stand upright on the pedals of the elliptical trainer, keeping a slight bend in your knees and your feet flat.
  2. Take hold of the handles with an overhand grip, making sure your hands are positioned around shoulder-width apart.
  3. Engage your core muscles and maintain an upright posture throughout your workout. This helps protect your back and ensures proper alignment.
  4. During the workout, coordinate the movement of your legs and arms. As you start pedaling, begin moving the handles forward and backward in a smooth, controlled motion.
  5. To engage your upper body muscles further, actively push and pull the handles with each stride, as if you are walking or running with your arms.
  6. Focus on maintaining a natural rhythm between your arms and legs. For example, when your right leg is forward, your left arm should also be forward, and vice versa.
  7. Consider adjusting the resistance level on the elliptical trainer to increase the intensity of your workout. Higher resistance will require more effort from your upper body as well.
  8. Remember to breathe regularly and avoid holding your breath during the exercise.
  9. Gradually increase the time and intensity of your elliptical workout as your fitness level improves.
  10. Finally, cool down by gradually reducing the intensity and speed of your elliptical workout. Allow your body to recover by slowing down your arm movements and gradually decreasing resistance until you come to a complete stop.

By following these guidelines, you can effectively use the handles on an elliptical trainer to engage your entire body, burn calories, and achieve a well-rounded workout.

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

What are some safety tips when using handles on an elliptical trainer?

When using handles on an elliptical trainer, it is important to follow these safety tips:

  1. Maintain proper form: Stand tall with a straight back, and engage your core muscles. Avoid slouching or leaning too far forward or backward during your workout.
  2. Start slow and gradually increase intensity: Begin your workout at a comfortable pace and gradually increase the intensity or resistance as you become more comfortable. This will help prevent muscle strains or injuries.
  3. Use handles for balance and support: The handles on an elliptical trainer are designed to provide balance and support. Hold onto them lightly, but do not rely on them for all your stability. Use your lower body to drive the movement.
  4. Avoid pulling or leaning heavily on handles: While it is normal to lightly grip the handles for stability, avoid using them as crutches by pulling or leaning too heavily on them. This can put excessive strain on your upper body and compromise the effectiveness of your lower-body workout.
  5. Alternate between using and not using handles: To engage your core muscles and enhance the workout intensity, try alternating between using and not using the handles. This can help improve coordination and balance.
  6. Do not stop suddenly: When you are ready to finish your workout, gradually reduce the resistance and slow down your pace before coming to a complete stop. Suddenly stopping can lead to dizziness or loss of balance.
  7. Wear appropriate footwear: Make sure to wear proper athletic shoes with good support and traction to prevent slipping or foot discomfort during your workout.
  8. Keep the handles clean and dry: Regularly clean the handles of your elliptical trainer using a disinfectant wipe or a mild soap solution to prevent the buildup of bacteria or sweat, which can make them slippery.
  9. Familiarize yourself with emergency stop features: Know where the emergency stop button or feature is located on your elliptical trainer and be familiar with how to use it in case of any emergencies.

Remember, if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or concerns, it is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any exercise program.

What are the necessary warm-up exercises before using elliptical handles?

Before using elliptical handles, it's important to warm up your muscles and prepare your body for exercise. Here are some recommended warm-up exercises before using elliptical handles:

  1. March in place: Start by lightly marching in place, lifting your knees high. This helps increase blood flow to the muscles and warms up your leg muscles.
  2. Arm circles: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, extend your arms out to the sides. Start making circles with your arms, gradually increasing the size of the circles. Reverse direction after a few rotations.
  3. Shoulder rolls: Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Roll your shoulders forward in a circular motion, gradually increasing the size of the circles. After a few rotations, reverse the direction and roll your shoulders backward.
  4. Torso twists: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and place your hands on your hips. Slowly twist your torso to the right, then to the left, keeping your hips facing forward. Repeat this movement for several reps.
  5. Leg swings: Stand next to a wall or support for balance. Swing one leg forward and backward, keeping it straight, and repeat for 10-15 swings. Switch to the other leg and repeat the same exercise.
  6. Ankle rotations: Sit on a chair with your feet lifted off the ground. Rotate your feet in clockwise and counterclockwise circles, targeting both ankles. Repeat this motion for a few rotations in each direction.

Strive to spend 5-10 minutes on these warm-up exercises before using elliptical handles. Warm-up exercises help elevate your heart rate, increase body temperature, and prepare the major muscle groups for the workout ahead.

How can I maximize calorie burn using the handles on an elliptical trainer?

To maximize calorie burn using the handles on an elliptical trainer, here are a few tips:

  1. Engage your upper body: Instead of just holding onto the handles passively, actively engage your arms and shoulders. Bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle and push and pull the handles back and forth in sync with your leg movements. This will involve your chest, back, and arm muscles, burning more calories.
  2. Increase resistance: Most elliptical trainers come with adjustable resistance settings. Increase the resistance level to make your arm muscles work harder. This will add more intensity to your workout, resulting in higher calorie burn.
  3. Use interval training: Incorporate interval training into your elliptical workout routine. Alternate between periods of high-intensity exercise, where you push and pull the handles with maximum effort, and periods of lower intensity or rest. This method elevates your heart rate, burns more calories, and helps increase overall cardiovascular fitness.
  4. Incorporate upper body exercises: Some elliptical trainers have movable handles that allow you to perform more complex movements. Utilize these features and incorporate exercises like bicep curls, overhead presses, or tricep extensions while pedaling. This will increase calorie burn by engaging additional muscle groups.
  5. Maintain proper form: It's essential to maintain a proper posture while using the handles. Keep your back straight, engage your core, and avoid leaning on the handles for support. By maintaining good form, you will engage more muscles and maximize calorie burn.

Remember, the actual number of calories burned depends on various factors such as weight, intensity, and overall fitness level. It's best to engage in regular exercise and maintain a balanced diet for overall calorie burn and weight management.

What is the proper form when using handles on an elliptical trainer?

The proper form when using handles on an elliptical trainer may vary slightly depending on the specific model and design of the machine, but generally, the following guidelines can be followed:

  1. Stand upright: Maintain an upright posture while using the elliptical trainer, with your chin up and shoulders relaxed. Engage your core muscles to support your posture.
  2. Grip the handles lightly: Hold the handles with a comfortable and relaxed grip. Avoid gripping them tightly, as it may lead to muscle tension and fatigue.
  3. Maintain a natural arm swing: Allow your arms to follow a natural motion as you stride. The handles should move back and forth with your leg movements, coordinating with your stride.
  4. Move your arms, not just your legs: Use the handles actively by pushing and pulling them. This will engage the muscles in your arms, chest, and back, resulting in a full-body workout. Avoid resting your hands on the handles without any effort.
  5. Avoid leaning on the handles: While it is common to hold onto the handles for stability, try not to lean or rely heavily on them. Instead, focus on using your legs and core muscles to support your body weight throughout the exercise.
  6. Coordinate your movements: As you push down with your right leg, simultaneously pull back the left handle, and vice versa. This coordinated movement will help maintain a smooth and efficient stride.
  7. Adjust resistance levels: Depending on the elliptical trainer, you might have adjustable resistance levels. Increase the resistance to challenge yourself and engage more muscle groups effectively.

Remember, it is important to listen to your body and adjust the handle usage according to your comfort level. If you experience any discomfort or pain, consult a fitness professional for guidance on proper form and technique.

How can I track my heart rate while holding onto the handles of an elliptical trainer?

Tracking your heart rate while holding onto the handles of an elliptical trainer can be challenging, as the movement and gripping may interfere with the accuracy of heart rate measurement. However, here are a few methods you can try:

  1. Built-in heart rate monitor: Some high-end elliptical trainers come equipped with built-in heart rate monitors. These typically have sensors on the handles that can measure your heart rate when you hold onto them. Make sure your elliptical trainer has this feature and consult the user manual to learn how to use it.
  2. Wearable heart rate monitor: Using a wearable heart rate monitor, such as a chest strap or a wrist-based fitness tracker, can provide more accurate readings. These devices typically pair with compatible apps or display screens, allowing you to monitor your heart rate in real-time. Simply wear the device as instructed and monitor your heart rate while working out on the elliptical.
  3. Cardio machine compatibility: Some elliptical trainers are compatible with wireless heart rate monitors. These machines have Ant+ or Bluetooth connectivity, so you can use your own heart rate monitor or fitness tracker to track your heart rate. Check the user manual of your elliptical to see if it supports wireless heart rate monitors and follow the manufacturer's instructions for pairing the devices.
  4. Manual heart rate tracking: If you don't have access to any of the above options, you can manually track your heart rate during your workout. After exercising for a while, stop briefly and take your pulse by placing your fingers on your wrist (radial artery) or neck (carotid artery). Count the number of beats you feel for 15 seconds and multiply that by 4 to get your heart rate in beats per minute (bpm). This method might not be as accurate as using a monitor, but it can give you a rough estimate.

Remember, it's important to prioritize safety while exercising. If tracking your heart rate while holding onto the handles of an elliptical trainer becomes too difficult or if you are concerned about accuracy, consider alternative methods like using a wearable monitor or manually tracking your heart rate during rest periods.

What is an elliptical trainer?

An elliptical trainer, also known as an elliptical machine or cross-trainer, is a piece of exercise equipment that simulates stair climbing, walking, or running without excessive pressure on the joints. It is designed to provide a low-impact cardiovascular workout.

The elliptical trainer features two foot pedals and two handlebars, with the user standing upright and holding the handles while moving their legs in an elliptical motion. The pedals move in an oval or elliptical path, hence the name.

Elliptical trainers usually have adjustable resistance levels, allowing users to increase or decrease the intensity of their workout. They also have built-in monitors that display information such as speed, distance, time, and calories burned. Some models may also feature additional functionalities like heart rate monitors or pre-set workout programs.

The elliptical trainer offers a full-body workout, targeting various muscle groups including the legs, glutes, arms, and core. It is a popular choice for individuals seeking a low-impact exercise option while still getting an effective aerobic workout.

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