Don’t Waste Time on the Elliptical Unless You’re Doing This

July 28, 2015

Don’t Waste Time on the Elliptical Unless You’re Doing This

In the world of cardio machines, the elliptical definitely isn’t the cool kid on the block. In fact, the machine often gets the reputation for an easy, mindless workout choice.

If the elliptical is too easy, I’m sorry to say, you’re the one to blame. The elliptical can be a complete waste of time if you’re not using it properly. However, if you do use it properly, it has just as many benefits as the biggest, baddest cardio machines in your gym. Ever tried elliptical intervals on high resistance? Killer.

Before swearing off this machine, try these little changes that will cut your workout time in half and double your results!

DO: Have proper posture.

Posture can make or break a workout. Get a total body workout by standing up straight while pushing and pulling the elliptical handrails with your arms. Another option is to engage your core by ditching the handrails altogether and pump your arms back and forth like you’re running—just be careful you don’t lose your balance!

DON’T: Use the handrails as a crutch.

By leaning forward and using the handrails, you’re not only fooling yourself into thinking your workout is effective, but you’re fooling the machine! The machine will think you’re working harder and up your calorie expenditure. Avoid this by always making sure you’re standing up straight.

DO: Have a plan of action.

Before you even step foot on the machine, have a plan about the intensity level and timing of your workout. Many people feel like simply being on the elliptical, even if it is an “easier” machine, is better than nothing, but that’s not always the case. Have a plan so you don’t waste your time or your workout.

DON’T: Have the same routine.

Our bodies are able to adapt to a workout routine in four to six weeks, which means around then we’re susceptible to plateauing. Avoid this setback by keeping your elliptical routine fresh! You have a lot of variables on that machine (pace, incline, and resistance,) so don’t be afraid to switch it up.

Need a little help? Download the BeatBurn Elliptical Trainer app and the beats and personal trainer keep your motivated.

DO: Add resistance and play with difficulty levels.

If you keep zoning out during your workout, that might be a sign it’s too easy. Kick it up a notch and play with the resistance, pace and incline. Start with five-minute intervals and increase resistance or incline each time. This is also a great way to start because you can track your progress as you amp up the resistance weeks from now.

DON’T: Pick up the magazine.

Put down the magazine, ignore the latest Housewives episode drama and resist the urge to pick up your iPad. Stay engaged in your workout and avoid zoning out. Instead, try listening to a podcast. This won’t demand your eyes be focused on one point and slow down your workout to read.

DO: Use to bounce back from injuries.

The elliptical doesn’t have to be an easy workout, but it’s definitely can be a gentle one. For someone with joint, knee or lower back pains, the elliptical can be a lifesaver. If you’re training outdoors for a big race (think half marathon or marathon), the elliptical can help your joints recover from the pain of pounding on the pavement.

Remember that the next time someone gives you the side eye for making a beeline for the elliptical, that “easy” workout machine can raise your heart rate more than the fan favorite treadmill. Just remember these tips and you will be able to maximize your elliptical workout!

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