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Elliptical Core Workout

Fit Tip: How to Maximize Your Time on the Elliptical

Although the elliptical provides a great total-body cardio workout, it can be easy to cheat when on this joint-friendly machine. If you find yourself slacking after a few minutes in, consider letting go of the handles at different points during the workout. Doing so will test your balance and engage the core.


Although using the handles gets the heart rate pumping and engages the arms, it also causes hips to bounce from left to right, which allows your quads and core to take it easy. The next time you head for the elliptical, consider doing an interval workout, alternating between using the handles and placing your hands on your hips. Without help from your arms, your hips will move less, your core will tighten, and your quads will be challenged. This and maintaining good posture will help you achieve results fast!

A simple way to tackle intervals, or in this case hand position, is alternating by songs playing on your iPod. You can also print this 30-minute elliptical workout that varies hand position and resistance.

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
mtiger mtiger 8 years
I love the elliptical! It's my cardio staple.
yadiet yadiet 8 years
after I work out on this machine for about 45min my feet go numb?? hmm..weird
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
I do this as part of my intervals! I'll do one min forwards, one min backwards, one min forwards without handles, one min backwards without handles on random setting! Seems to work OK.
Bebeshopper Bebeshopper 8 years
What if your elliptical has the arms that move back and forth? I feel like using the arms gives me a stronger workout that just pumping my arms like I'm running.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Thanks for this tip! When I work out on the elliptical, there's a personal trainer program that tells you to not use your arms for a little while. I always try to figure out how to do it without feeling like I'm going to fall off, lol.
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 8 years
huh? I always just pump my arms like I am running, is this poor form? Thanks in advance!
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
thanks for this suggestion. i 'm an elliptical girl and it's a staple in my workout so knowing that i could increase the intensity by just putting my hands on my hips could really help. the challenge though is that i feel like i'm not coordinated enough and that i'm going to fall off.
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