5 Myths About Elliptical Training and Why You Should Be Using One

Chances are, if you walk into your local gym, you will not find a line of people waiting to use the elliptical trainers. For whatever reason, the elliptical tends to get a bad rap and is often passed up for its sexier sister the treadmill. Why is there so much love lost for the elliptical and how can you use that to your advantage? Let’s find out:

5 Myths About Elliptical Training

Myth 1: The Elliptical is Boring

What indoor cardio machine isn’t boring? And, are you at the gym to be entertained or to work up a sweat and maybe build some endurance or power? Let’s face it; each machine in the gym is what you make it. They can all be boring; it’s what you do when you’re on the machine that matters.

Try this bore buster for your next elliptical workout:

Warm-up: 10-15 minutes easy

Main Set: 2 x (5-4-3-2-1 minutes at 10K race pace. Easy pace in between efforts should make half the duration so recovery is 2 min 30 sec on 5 min, 2 min on 4 min, etc.)

Cool Down: 5-10 minutes

Myth 2: The Elliptical is Too Easy

If this is what you think, you’re most likely doing it wrong.

You are in complete control of the resistance and incline. The best way to make it less easy is to push out of your comfort zone by upping one of those two manipulations. Like the above workout, do hard efforts for short periods of time, followed by periods of recovery. The workout is what you make it!

Myth 3: It is Too Complicated

Any piece of equipment you haven’t used before can be intimidating or seem confusing. The elliptical is one of the easiest machines to figure out if we break it into steps:

Step one: Get on and, before turning it on, just move your legs on the pedals to get a feel for the motion.

Step Two: Most elliptical machines will have a “quick start” button to select.

Step Three: Start moving your legs (and arms if applicable) find the resistance button and keep moving it up until you reach a pace that is comfortably uncomfortable. 

Myth 4: It Doesn’t Burn Enough Calories

Assuming the same level of exertion, a workout on the elliptical burns only slightly fewer calories then one on the treadmill. The reason for the slight difference is that your feet obviously leave the ground when you’re running on a treadmill, but not when you’re on the elliptical. Of course, when both feet leave the ground at the same time, you are putting a lot more pressure on your joints.

Saving a little pounding on your body may be worth the fewer calories.

Myth 5: The Elliptical is Only A Good Option For Injury Recovery

Although it is an excellent cross training option for runners who find themselves sidelined with an injury, the elliptical is a great way to avoid it in the first place! The elliptical is almost a perfect simulation of running without the significant impact to your joints. Plus, most elliptical trainers offer an upper body option and reverse stride option – – two things you definitely cannot do on a treadmill.

The bottom line is that an elliptical workout is a great way to change up your cardiovascular routine without losing fitness, or calorie burn. Remember to push up the resistance and take advantage of the upper body workout option as well as the reverse stride for an extra boost!