An elliptical trainer is nowadays a common machine in gyms. It burns more calories than a stationary bike or a treadmill even in less time, allowing to save precious time while getting better results than with many cardio equipments. The reason is that ellipticals are self-propelled as opposed to treadmill or exercise bike. With an elliptical used to its full potential, you can work all the muscles of the body. By including upper body movements and settings for interval use, you get the most of an elliptical workout to lose weight. Its method of operation is simple: two pedals on which one walks and a pair of vertical bars to support the hands, the movement is circular as in the pedals of a bicycle. Practicing workouts with an elliptical bike is recommended for all audiences, it is easy to get on it and the risk of injury is minimal.
What are the benefits of exercising with an elliptical trainer
We can say that the aerobic exercises that this machine provides may be more beneficial than most of those found in the fitness room. In addition, it is ideal for beginners in the aerobic workout world, even for people with overweight. For the simple fact of working a good part of the musculature easily, besides the little risk of injury or fatigue, the results of the aerobic exercises with this machine are of the most advisable.
For people with the desire to improve their aerobic base, it is not the same to do 30 minutes of elliptical compared with 30 minutes of race or bicycle. This is because the work of this trainer is continuous, smooth and without any kind of ups and downs in pulsations, an aspect that initially conditions the onset of fatigue.
It is a complete trainer, in addition to toning buttocks and legs, the arms are also worked because with them the verticality is maintained by holding the bars. Running or jogging does not work so completely.
How many calories can you burn with this machine
According to studies from the Harvard Medical School, a person who weighs 125 pounds can burn 270 calories with a regular elliptical exercise in 30 min, while a person who weighs 185 pounds will burn 400 calories. This data is proof that body weight plays an important role in calorie expenditure.
You can burn more calories in an elliptical when you increase the resistance. Resistance strengthens the muscles and gets the heart pumping. The endurance level ultimately determines the number of calories you burn.
The use of “interval programs” are also recommended to optimize calorie burning. To get the most productive training in the shortest possible time, you must alternate between a high effort level and short recovery periods. This high-intensity interval program (HIIT) gives you maximum calorie burning.
Simple tips to get the most out of the elliptical bike to slim down quickly
Using an elliptical trainer is one of the most effective ways to burn fat and lose weight quickly for many people. However, you must know how to use the device. Follow these simple tips to get the most out of the elliptical when it comes to weight loss.
1- Some machines will ask for your height, weight, and age to find your target heart rate. Be sure to make height and weight measurements correctly. You can also estimate your maximum heart rate (MHR) with the formula 220 – your age.
2- Stay in your target heart rate throughout your elliptical workouts.
3- Do not start your cardio exercise with a full stomach in the morning. Taking a small protein snack, for example, a tablespoon of buttermilk or a couple of eggs is enough. Fat burning is not negatively impacted by proteins intake. Proteins can actually help in losing weight.
4- Drink plenty of water before exercise. Increase your water intake about 2 or 3 hours before exercising. Take between 473 to 710 ml (16 to 24 oz.) of water during and after exercise. The elliptical can be an exhausting cardiovascular exercise. You may sweat and have shortness of breath.
5- Align your feet with your hips. Your feet should not tilt in or out, but be straight forward. Most machines have very large spaces where you place your feet. For many people, the hip is on the inner edges, but it is not important to place your feet against any of the edges of the pedal, as long as your feet and hips are aligned.
6- Stand upright, keeping the spine in a neutral position to reduce stress during exercise. Push your pelvis forward, so that you are not arching your back more and pull with your abdominal muscles to support the back.
7- Do low to medium intensity training, not just high. High-intensity training burns more calories, but while the calories burned with low or medium intensity come directly from body fat, those of high intensity often come from muscle tissue.
8- Alternate intensity. To burn fat, it is much more effective to alternate regular pedaling intervals with periods of intense activity (pedaling as fast as you can).
9- Some elliptical machines record progress with steps per minute, heart rate, weight, calories, and time. Use these statistics to set goals to follow while following a routine. Take into account that these statistics may not be accurate on all machines.
10- Be constant. To lose fat, it is best to use the elliptical for at least 3-4 days a week and half hour sessions (minimum). This can vary depending on your goal for weight loss.
Examples of elliptical workouts for weight loss: beginners and advanced routines
As in any other resistance exercise, an elliptical routine is based on the total duration of the activity, not only on the load applied to the specific movement. That is why, it is very important to understand that these exercises serve to increase the respiratory and cardiovascular ability, and above all to lose weight.
Also, it is convenient to mention that in the elliptical, there are no variations of the type of movement that is performed, beyond pedaling forward or backward.
An elliptical workout routine for beginners
A beginner can perform various exercise routines designed to lose weight, one that is quite common is based on:
– Starting with 5 minutes warm-up on the machine at a moderate pace.
– Then about 30 seconds of intensity at a very fast pace on the bike.
– The next step is recovery for one minute at a slow level.
– After recovery, again 30 seconds of fast-paced intensity.
– Finally, between 15 and 20 minutes on the bike at medium intensity.
An advanced elliptical training routine
– Heat on (5 minutes)
For a warm-up, you can pedal forward without any kind of load, having the flywheel completely free until you reach 100 or 110 beats.
– Main portion (25 minutes)
1- In this case, you can raise a resistance level to the movement and start pedaling forward for about 5 minutes.
2- You can then raise the load to two more levels by changing the pedaling direction backward for 30 seconds; when this time is over, place the elliptical load free going in forward for 2 minutes. Repeat this sequence 4 times in total.
3- Next will be the time of progressive aerobic. Here you must pedal forward with the load on the first level or with nothing, then you can increase the speed in periods of 2 and a half minutes to complete the 10 minutes in a high heart rate that corresponds to 14 or 15 on the Borg rating of perceived exertion (RPE).
– Calm return (5 to 10 minutes)
Finally, you can release the resistance to pedal smoothly so that your heart rate gradually decreases until you get down below 120 beats.