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Fit Tip: Focus on Strides Per Minute

Everyone, well most everyone, loves working out on the elliptical. It provides a great cardio workout and is kind on your knees. To make the most of your workout, make sure you are keeping your strides per minute is a challenging zone. Strides per minute is the number of times your legs go around and the elliptical tracks this statistic for you — how great is that. Aim to keep your strides per minute in between 140 and 160. If you're doing intervals on the elliptical, make sure your "sprints" are closer to 160 than 140.

The motion of the elliptical is so smooth and meditative, you need remember to push yourself. Strides per minute is just the number to motivate you. This is one of the reasons I think covering up the display on cardio machines is detrimental to an effective workout.


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Spectra Spectra 9 years
Oh man, my elliptical reads out in rpm, not strides per minute. Oh well...I'm not sure about the conversion but I do know that the fastest I can go is like, 60 rpm. When I'm doing the higher resistance, I usually do about 37 rpm.
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 9 years
do ellipticals burn as many calories as treadmills???
Molly4630 Molly4630 9 years
I love the Octane Ellipticals. They have built in fans and you can adjust not only the resistance, but also your stide length. It's also been the most accurate when it comes to taking my heart rate. I'm sort of over the LifeFitness ellipticals...I always feel like its my momentum that's pushing me and not actually ME. The Arc Trainers (the gazelle looking machines) are good, too. I change up my resistance and speed a lot to pass the time....
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Great tip. I used to do this myself but not because of your reasoning. Ha.
GrapeBubbleGum GrapeBubbleGum 9 years
I don't really pay attention to my strides per minute unless I'm doing intervals...I don't go slow though. I like to mix it up...I change the resistance a lot and I do the crosstrainer so the crossramp is always changing. I usually end up going with the beat of my music, but if I find that the beat is slow I'll just increase the resistance to keep my heart rate up.
syako syako 9 years
Ok I have a question for you Fit (or anyone else who knows) I was on one of those machines that looks like a gazelle (I don't know what it's called --- arc trainer, maybe?) I wanted to run on the treadmill but since everyone and their Grandma made a resolution to get fit by signing up at MY gym, they were all taken. So I hopped on there and put the resistance at like 15 (out of 100 I think) and just went at it. I hated that they didn't have mph, because that's how I think in terms of speed, but I was doing about 150-160 strides per minute the whole time, my heart rate was the same as on my runs. Well after a good 30 minutes on there I was going through the stats and it said I had gone 1.8 miles! I was like, WTF!?, I would have gone 3 miles EASY on a run. So what's up with that? And did I get a really crappy workout? I'm just wondering because if that is the case, I'll never use that as an alternative to a treadmill ever again.
ElectroPopTart ElectroPopTart 9 years
People need to STOP bouncing!!!! That's the BIGGEST pet peeve of mine, that, and hanging on to the bars and leaning back...I mean, hello, are you sure you're getting a work out like that???
avienndha avienndha 9 years
I'm getting used the the new machines at my gym...for a pretty *tough* level, do you guys think about 100 strides are ok? I'm not sure what exertion level you are talking about... Sorry, kinda' new at the elliptical thing!
mwjank mwjank 9 years
These are my elliptical pet peeves: Don't hunch over. Drive the motion of the elliptical trainer with your heels - not the balls of your feet. If you are bouncing a lot, you are not getting the best workout. Gravity is doing some of the work for you and your form is suffering.
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
i know covering the display can be bad but if I don't I stare at the screen and the time CREEEEPS by. I do the intervals and listen to music. I push myself to the beat and check the screen every couple songs. It's the only way I can do it without going crazy haha
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