How to use your elliptical trainer properly? Pratical Tips

how to use your elliptical properly

Learning how to use an elliptical machines

Elliptical trainers have become must haves in gyms and for good reason! This type of fitness equipment allows you to train efficiently without too much effort. The use of these devices involves a rather important energy expenditure, which makes them ideal tools for those who want to slim down. In fact, they allow you to work the muscles of the upper and lower parts of the body. Using an elliptical trainer gives you the opportunity to keep your muscle tone. To achieve this result, you will still need to know how to do your training sessions properly. In order to help you, we have prepared this article which will provide you with various information on this subject.


⬇ 🎥 Please take a moment to watch the video below for more in depth tips on how to use an ellitptical properly ⬇ 🎥


Make sure you have a suitable elliptical trainer

For an effective training, you need a machine adapted to your needs with a sufficient number of programs and resistance, comfortable equipment…


The basics and best practices for a comfortable elliptical workout

In addition to the elliptical trainer, you’ll also need a few “accessories” to be able to train effectively. First of all, you will need sportswear, preferably made of cotton. Exercising on this type of equipment usually induces a lot of perspiration. In this sense, avoid clothes made of synthetic material. It is also advisable to always carry a bottle of water to prevent dehydration. If you plan to train intensively, i.e. for more than an hour, you should instead bring an isotonic drink to give your muscles a little support.

Aside from that, you need a small tool that measures your heart rate. Ellipticals are indeed cardio-training instruments. In this sense, it is important to have a small gadget to measure your heartbeat. Moreover, a program on this type of device will most of the time consist of reaching the maximum heart rate. Finally, you can consider getting an MP3 player and a fan for more comfort of use. Good ventilation makes exercise more enjoyable. Also, listening to music can help you mentally get through your workout.

A few tips to train effectively

Regardless of your choice of elliptical trainer model, there are certain rules that you should follow to ensure that you get the most out of your workouts.

1. Warm up

Warming up is very important because it allows a gradual rise in body temperature and heart rate. This thermogenesis is essential to burn calories. In addition, the increase in the number of heartbeats per minute promotes good cellular oxygenation.

This phase is achieved by using the elliptical trainer for 5 minutes at minimum resistance. During this time you should pedal gently. Towards the end of the session, you should slow down gradually until you come to a complete stop at the end of this time.

2. Position yourself on your elliptical

During a workout on an elliptical trainer, it is important to position your body correctly to optimize your workout. Before starting your workout, position your feet in the center of each pedal, slightly forward, and place your hands on the fixed grips. Stand upright with your hips facing the console, looking forward. Start the elliptical by placing your body weight on the right pedal and then the left pedal and alternate the movement while keeping your chest straight. Once you find your cadence, place your hands on the swing arms. Start with a small warm-up of 5 minutes at your own pace. And that’s it!

3. The exercise itself

This is when you really train. During this stage, it is crucial to set the elliptical trainer to a resistance level that matches the power of your legs. You need to be able to pedal with neither too much ease nor too much difficulty.

During the exercise, you should alternate moments of effort with a moment of calm. The aim is to raise and lower your heart rate. The peak to be switched off called FC max (for maximum heart rate) is 226 beats per minute subtracted with your age. So, if you are 22 years old, this figure is 204 beats per minute.

Reaching this heart rate is more or less easy depending on the model. If you have chosen the right elliptical trainer model, there should be no problem. However, it can be quite easy with poor quality elliptical bikes.


4. Knowing the right body positions


Hands on the elliptical bikeHandles must be grasped without tension at the heart sensors. Initially, if your hands are too dry, the current between the skin and the sensor does not pass efficiently: simply moisten them by passing them over your forehead or neck.

The arms

The opening angle of the elbow must be at least 90°. Apart from that, keep your shoulders low, away from your ears, so as not to force yourself on the trapezoids and finish your session with a stiff neck.

The movement of the arms should lighten the movement of the legs, as the platforms and handles are connected. Every 5 minutes, for 1 minute, do not press almost any more feet on the wedges and only use your arms to work more on your back, shoulders, pectorals, biceps and triceps.

The back

the position of the handsIt should remain straight, with the natural arch and neck extended. Tighten the shoulder blades and lower your shoulders so as not to bend your back.


The movement of the platforms must be smooth. The buttocks, quadriceps and calves are stressed when pedalling forward. When you start back-pedalling (backwards stroke), you tone up the abdominal and gluteal muscles.

Even more interesting, you can practice back-pedaling without holding on to the handles. The more unstable position requires more contraction of the transverse abdominal and all the stabilizing muscles of the spine.

The feet

They must lie flat on the platforms. When you push down, press with the heel. Otherwise, the load is too great on the front of the ankle and you risk long-term inflammation of the tissue covering the bone.

Use your arms

You will get the best performance from the machine if you integrate your arms into it. So use the handles to push, pull and feel your upper body in action. This is where the elliptical machine gains its advantage; you can get more muscle into the activity.

However, be careful not to hold on too tightly, it is essential to relax your shoulders. Tightening your muscles too much can cause you pain and injury. In addition, you are likely to get tired faster and end up relaxing during training.

Speed and resistance

Adjust your speed according to your needs. This will increase your heart rate to maximize your caloric burn. Don’t ride too fast, as this will create a momentum which in turn will make it easier to train as soon as you start to bounce.

To lose weight, you will need to do at least 30 minutes at moderate intensity. If you want to burn even more calories, extend your workout. This will also help you build your endurance.

Drinking during exercise

Feel free to sip some liquids during the effort. The aim is not to drink 3 litres of water but half a litre of water for three quarters of an hour of elliptical trainer riding. This will allow you to compensate for the loss of water due to perspiration.

Standing upright and looking ahead

With the fatigue, it was easy to bend over and look at your feet. However, in order to reduce this tiredness, reduce the tension on your back and make a better effort, you have to keep your eyes straight and look straight ahead.

The return to calm

Calming down is almost as important as warming up. So at the end of your training, you will gradually reduce your speed, to finish at a very slow speed after 5 min. You will then be able to stop and do some stretching if you wish.

The end of the exercise

After you’ve done your training well, you shouldn’t stop all at once. You should gradually reduce your pace until you come to a complete stop. Afterwards, it is advisable to do some stretching. The muscles of the thighs, calves and other muscle groups should then be stretched according to your wishes.

This practice facilitates recovery after the effort. In addition, we also advise you to plan a weekly session of massage or electrotherapy if possible. This treats and prevents aches and pains and thus contributes to your well-being.


Strengthen and toning your muscles with the elliptical trainer

To increase your muscle mass, choose high-resistance exercises with a slower speed. Muscles develop during short exercises of a few minutes with high resistance. If you want to strengthen the lower part of your body, you will have to increase the resistance of your machine in order to perform movements with greater difficulty. To work the muscles at the front of your thighs, more commonly known as the quadriceps, you will need to perform forward movements, as in a classic pedal stroke. And if you want to shape and tone your buttocks, you’ll need to use the back-pedalling technique, which simply consists of reversing the direction of pedalling, in other words, pedalling backwards. As for the upper body, you can also use the mobile handles of your machine to strengthen your arms, especially your triceps. The exercise is simple: simply push the swinging arms of the elliptical with your hands instead of pulling them, all with high resistance.


Increase your cardiovascular capacity with an elliptical machine

Muscular endurance, on the other hand, is developed through longer exercises and training with less resistance. If your goal is to improve your breathing capacity, build endurance and thus increase your heart rate, you should instead lower the resistance of your elliptical trainer and increase your pedalling speed. Pedaling should be neither too difficult nor too easy! And for an even more complete cardio workout, use your arms by pulling on the moving handles of your elliptical.


The elliptical trainer: an effective weight-loss device

A real calorie burner, this complete cardio-training device will allow you to lose weight efficiently. The two movements combined allow you to work both the top and the bottom: by working your whole body and therefore all your muscles, you will promote a greater loss of calories. Half an hour’s practice on an elliptical not only allows you to work 80% of your body’s muscles, but also to burn superfluous fat very efficiently and thus lose weight and lose weight in a healthy way. Instead, work at a moderate intensity: you should pedal at a medium pace without getting out of breath. 3 sessions per week for 45 minutes are enough to give very satisfactory results and thus achieve a slim and harmonious figure. It is essential to pay attention to your health and your body, especially when starting a slimming programme. To do this our coaches advise and recommend training sessions of duration, frequency and intensity adapted to your level and morphology in order to lose weight and refine your figure in the best possible way. By following this advice and according to the fitness programs offered by your elliptical trainer, you can target, solicit and train the right muscles in a precise and effective way without any risk of injury, during and after the effort.


The different programs on elliptical trainers

The elliptical trainer is a very effective cardio machine for burning calories and losing weight, however it is also very tiring and can be stressful for some people suffering from obesity, the elderly or new to sports. It is strongly recommended that you consult your doctor before using the elliptical trainer. Remember to take the time to warm up for at least 5 minutes before each workout by increasing the resistance of your elliptical trainer and then finish your workouts with 5 minutes of cool-down by completely lowering the resistance of your elliptical trainer for a gentle recovery. These 2 steps are essential for the maintenance of your muscles and in your progression. In general, elliptical trainers have a console that integrates many pre-recorded fitness programs that automatically vary the resistance of the bike, HRC programs (speed varying according to a target zone of constant pulse), programs that can be customized by the user to vary his runs, 1 manual program and goal programs that allow the athlete to define goals to achieve. The slightly more advanced consoles even offer a fitness test – a recovery test based on the heartbeat at the end of the sessions in order to monitor the athlete’s state of fitness. All your exercise data is displayed on your console screen. You can read them simultaneously at any time, or you can read them in scan mode (scan mode allows you to display the data one after the other). This data is essential for the proper monitoring of your workout and its progress over time. For quick and visible results, it is recommended to do at least 3 elliptical sessions per week, each lasting 45 minutes.


Your fitness program

For those who have been to the gym before, it is clear that there is more to explain about the need for a fitness program. Indeed, having a roadmap that suits your goals allows you to train more effectively.

We won’t go into detail about the type of program that suits your needs given the many web pages that address this topic. However, we can already tell you that it is necessary to plan at least 2 to 3 20-minute sessions per week and to have a balanced diet in order to lose weight.

To maintain your shape, a single weekly session of 45 minutes is sufficient. You can use your fitness equipment as many times as you want in a week. However, you should plan a day of rest if you decide to do a session longer than 20 minutes.

How to adjust your elliptical

Many people complain about not knowing how to adjust the resistance of their device. Helping them is quite difficult given the number of models on the market that each have their own configuration. For the time being, we advise these people to read carefully the user manual section that explains this task.

For those who have misplaced this document or have received a foreign language user help, you should look for a user help on the internet. If you cannot find one, ask for answers on specialized sites or on the manufacturer’s or seller’s page.


Coach’s advice for a successful and efficient training

Stay motivated! Whatever your objectives, respect the level of resistance and your pedalling cadence. The first few sessions on an elliptical trainer are often very strenuous. Space your workouts at least a day apart to give your muscles time to recover. And don’t hesitate to use the programs included in your console to follow a guided workout with exercises adapted to your goals. (Physical and sporting activity is ideal when accompanied by a balanced diet: make sure it’s healthy).

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