Aside from saving your knees, the low-impact elliptical can be a time-saver too, mixing a little strength training into your cardio. Hopping on a machine with moving handles means you can work your upper body; push the handles to work your chest more, and pull the handles with focus more on your back. Skipping the handles altogether gives you a chance to focus on your core. Just place your hands on your hips and keep the movement as smooth and steady as possible. And pedaling in both directions means you work both the quads and the hamstrings nicely.
Here's a half-hour workout that does all that, while getting your heart rate up too!
|07:00-09:00||170||Hands — Pull|
|11:00-13:00||170||Hands — Push|
|16:00-18:00||130||Backward with hands|
|18:00-19:00||150||Forward no hands|
|19:00-21:00||170||Hands — Push|
*SPM = Stride per minute
Set incline to 20 to 30 percent
I found it challenging to keep my SPM at 170 with the level set to nine, but it felt great to push myself. As always, if this is too easy or too hard, change the amount of resistance and the strides per minute. My elliptical has a fixed incline of 20 percent, so set your machine with at least some incline if you can. If this workout doesn't float your boat, check out my other cardio plans. I have received comments from some readers that their elliptical machines don't have SPM readout. For a machine that uses RPM (revolutions per minute), simply halve the number listed for SPM. If your machine uses MPH (miles per hour), use the rate of perceived exertion chart.
Click here for an image-free printable version of this workout.