The elliptical, that forgotten machine. Once upon a time it ruled. Now go to any gym and you will see an elliptical trainer relegated to a corner with people giving it side looks with a, ‘What’s this doing here?’ kind of expression. It is outdated, boring and as a machine for cardio, doesn’t quite manage the trick. Or is it? A good deal of evidence exists, backed by science on the benefits to the elliptical.

How to Lose Weight On an Elliptical Machine?

Create A Weight Loss Plan

The elliptical is much favored amongst enthusiasts in providing that low-impact, steady-state cardio sessions. To stay healthy, at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio is prescribed by the Mayo Clinic. This is where the elliptical scores big; it is a moderate-intensity exercise.

You need to have a plan before hitting ‘start.’ Set an intention for the workout. Overseeing your discerned level of effort is next. If you think you’re not working, you probably are not. The recommended norm is to lose a pound a week. This is both safe and prevents the weight from coming back.

Comprehending Calories

Any kind of a weight loss plan hinges on calorie deficit. You burn more than you take in. For example, you consume food of 1000 calories and you burn 1500 through exercise. Where is the extra 500 coming from; fat loss, your body fat, belly fat is being utilized. To burn a pound a week, your calorie deficit has to be 3500, so roughly 500 a day should get you there safely. A heavier person will burn more calories than someone much lighter. Your diet is significant. You are restricting calorie intake significantly by cutting down on carbs, oil, fats, sugar and so on. Concurrently, up your protein intake along with veggies, fruits, and nuts.

Getting to Your Target Rate

What is Target Rate? To burn calories efficiently on the elliptical, this is the desired heart rate for optimum output. Remove your age from 220. 60-70% of the derived figure is the perfect heart rate band for you. For example, if you are 40 years old, the desired heart rate is 60-70% of 180 which is 108-112 as any calculator will tell you. The best way to stay in this band is by interval training; you increase pace till the rate just overshoots, then ease off till the rate undershoots. Interval training has shown to yield fast and excellent benefits.

Extending Length of Workouts

Plateauing occurs when the body assumes that your workout is part of its function. No results are perceptible at this stage till you change things around a bit. To lose weight sensibly, break your workout into sessions. Do three sessions of 30 minutes a day to start with. Gradually step this up to 5 sessions. You will certainly achieve the best results with maximum weight loss.

Easy Elliptical Workouts for Weight Loss


  • For that total body, workout, use the handles.

Between torso and lower body, power is shared on the elliptical. For an effective workout, push and pull the levers forcefully. Maintain an upright posture with shoulders pulled back and abdominals engaged. Your arms need to be involved too.

  • Put that iPad down.

Being distracted by a magazine or Kindle or anything is a killer. If you have to focus, it has to be your workout, not a plotline.


  • Do not slouch.

People often grab on to the handrails, lean forward and let the legs do the work. Slouching forward is poor form. Instead stand straight with a firm core. Don’t hunch over. You are asking for low backaches and muscular pains by adopting a slouched posture. Also by holding the handrails, you are cheating the machine which will show a higher calorie expenditure.

  • Steer clear of repetitive routines.

Your body will plateau out unless your workouts are a little variable which is a big help.

Mix things up a bit:

Forward and Backward Workouts

Using the elliptical forwards works your glutes and hamstring and backward, your calves and quads. Working backward is a great cardio burst. You can feel it before and after and see your heart rate pick up rapidly. The recommended workout is 5 minutes forward, 2 minutes backward for 6 cycles.

Incline Challenge

For burning calories, the increasing intensity is a sure shot. The harder you work, the more oxygen is required and so higher your MET, or metabolic equivalent of your workout. A higher MET means more energy used which is more calories burnt.

Using the incline, two ways to achieve this are, keep the pace steady and increase the incline, or, increase your pace keeping the incline steady.

High-Intensity Interval Training

The Mayo Clinic suggests that HIIT should consist of short 1-2 minutes of high-intensity exercise using elliptical. The demand is such that you cannot hold a conversation. Then you slow down, the recovery period, for the same 1-2 minutes during which phase, conversation is possible. Low-intensity training such as push-ups or plank exercises is another option during the recovery period.


Languishing in a corner is not for an elliptical. As you have seen, it is a versatile machine and works wonders for fat burning. So next time at the gym, hunt it down and jump on. You know what to do.

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My philosophy centers around ceaseless lifelong learning as I work towards enhancing the well-being of my readers by engaging them with the knowledge, skills, support, guidance, and resources to help and inspire them on their journey to a less weight & healthier life. Through my writing, I wish to transform the weight & body of my readers through active participation in regular fitness activities and the integration of guided fitness programs, to make their health goals become a reality, in a caring, fun, and dynamic environment. Fitness and nutrition are an imperative piece of a sound way of life. I started blogging focusing on the core issues of fitness like body fat loss, lean muscle gain, corrective fitness, performance enhancement, endurance training. I am a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, specialized in weight loss and a sports journalist by profession. I live in California with my wife


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