The line for the elliptical always wraps around the corner, but even so, this machine often gets put down as an easy alternative to other cardio options. Hopping on and pedaling slow isn't going to cut it if you want to burn major calories, but the powerful elliptical trainer can offer one kick-ass gym session — you've just got to be willing to do the work.
If you're committed to this piece of low-impact equipment, then the following tips will help you create the most effective calorie-blasting plan possible.
Pick up the pace: So often on the elliptical, I observe a sea of sweat-free women moving slowly, reading magazines, staring deep into the TV. These slow pokes are not getting the cardio they need, and their workout appears to be an afterthought! To get your heart rate up on the elliptical, you've got to look alive and move quickly. Other than your periods of warmup and cooldown, you should be moving at (at least) 140 strides per minute for a quality calorie-burning session.
Go for intervals: A fat-blasting technique for any cardio workout is to perform intervals, alternating between short periods of pushing your body to the max with recovery. If you've never done intervals on the elliptical trainer before, then this 30-minute printable is a perfect plan to bring to the gym. You'll definitely get your heart rate up with this workout.
Keep reading for two more ways to burn more calories on the elliptical.
Switch up the resistance: Upping your elliptical's resistance might not make your legs move more faster, but it will require more effort for each movement. If you're going slow and not following a specific workout plan, then up your resistance to seven or eight, and pedal between 140 and 150 strides per minute.
Use the handles: If you're sprinting at 190 strides per minute or faster, then holding onto the elliptical's handles with your hands might not be possible. But if you want a good total-body workout that gets your heart rate up, your legs don't want to do all the dirty work alone. Actively use the handles so your arms are sharing the job with your stems. Make sure you are pushing and pulling the handles, not just holding onto them for support, to burn more calories.
What's your favorite technique to burn the more calories on the elliptical? Tell me below!