Every gym sports a few elliptical machines, and for good reason. When used right, the elliptical machine is highly effective, yet easy on the joints thanks to its low impact nature. It’s one of the most used machines in the gym, and also one of the most misused. You’ve probably used an elliptical machine before, but if you aren’t panting and sweating after your workout, you probably aren’t doing it right. Here are a few tips to get you back on track:
1. Up the ResistanceNo matter how fast you’re moving on the elliptical, it’s pointless if your resistance is set to zero or some low number. Because it’s a flywheel, it runs on momentum, thus doesn’t require much work on your end to move the machine. If you want an effective workout, set your machine to a higher resistance.
2. Pay Attention to PostureIf you’re slouching or leaning on the machine, you’re detracting from its effectiveness. To effectively work your body, focus on how you standing on the machine, and try not to just hold onto the handles but use your strength to push and pull them. In other words, you should be the one moving the machine, not the machine moving you.
3. Keep Up the SpeedIn order to maximise your time on the elliptical, you should be going at a speed that makes it difficult for you to have a conversation. Anything less than that means you’re going too slow and are not getting an effective workout.
4. Use the handlesThis is pretty much common sense. You aren’t getting as rigorous a workout as your body needs if you don’t use the moving handles.
5. Switch Up Your WorkoutsIf you keep doing the same routine over and over again, your body gets efficient at it which reduces its efficacy. Feel free to try out a new routine on the elliptical, or switch machines from time to time for the best results. Below are two elliptical interval workouts formulated by fitness expert Lyn Kong that will help you improve your cardiovascular fitness and burn that stubborn fat:
Total Body Blaster (Advanced)Do 5 rounds of the following with no breaks in between exercises:
> 2 mins Maximum effort on the Elliptical at 80% HR (heart rate) or RPE 8-9 (see RPE chart here)
> 10 Push Ups
> 10 Dumbbell Front Squats
> 30 Secs Front Plank
> 15 Pull Ups
> 15 Kettlebell Deadlifts
MAX-Out Sprints (Beginner to Intermediate)Do the following for 30 minutes:
Every First Minute (1st, 4rd, 7th etc): Increase the resistance level to your best and then maximise your effort till you reach the RPE of 9+.
Every Second Minute (2nd, 5th, 8th etc): Reduce your resistance level to 50% and recover.
Every Third Minute (3rd, 6th, 9th etc): Do 7 burpees