Elliptical Workouts for Beginners
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults perform a minimum of 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise each week. Although this might sound like a lot, it really is just 30 minutes of exercise on five days of the week. In addition to helping to control your weight, exercise can reduce your risk of getting high blood pressure, various cancers, heart disease, stroke, or diabetes. However, if you’re new to exercise, going to the gym can be intimidating. It might take a while to figure out how all of the machines work, and sometimes, you’re better off hiring a trainer. One machine that’s easy to operate and ideal for a beginner’s workout is the elliptical machine. Elliptical machines provide a low-impact workout. The pedaling motion is easier on your knees than when you jog or run on the treadmill. Also, many elliptical machines have movable handles, so you can work your lower and upper body at the same time. To prevent boredom on the elliptical machine, incorporate various beginner workouts so you remain challenged while having fun and watching time fly by.
The Total Body Workout
If you use an elliptical machine with handles, you’re basically combining the motions of cross-country skiing and climbing stairs. You can adjust the resistance and incline of the machine so it’s easy to maintain your pace as you pedal and pull and push the handles. Continue pedaling for half an hour. By working both your upper and lower body, you get a full-body workout. You can even pedal backward to put more emphasis on your hamstrings at the back of your upper legs. It’s important to always lightly hold onto the handles, and although it’s sometimes tempting to raise your heels, you should keep your feet flat on the platforms. To prevent back discomfort, always face forward and pull your shoulders back and down. As you get more experience and your fitness improves, continue to add resistance or increase your speed to challenge yourself.
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The Butt and Core Workout
A sculpted rear end is often desired by many, and even if you’re a beginner, you can still work on achieving this on the elliptical machine. Start peddling on the machine at an easy-to-maintain incline, and as you get more comfortable, slowly increase the incline. By exercising at different incline levels, you target your butt slightly differently each time. You can even add extra resistance to really challenge your glutes and make them work harder. Some elliptical machines have a display that will tell you which muscles you’re working based on the incline. If you also want to work your core, either on its own or at the same time, avoid grasping the handles. Your core will have to work harder just to keep you upright and balanced on the machine.
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The HIIT Workout
HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, can be done on most cardiovascular exercise machines. This type of workout is challenging and eliminates boredom. According to the Journal of Obesity, HIIT is also more effective than any other type of exercise when it comes to burning belly fat. A beginner’s HIIT workout on the elliptical machine can consist of a five minute warm-up at an easy-to-maintain pace. Then, increase your speed for 30 seconds to the point where you’re breathing heavily and can’t talk anymore. After 30 seconds, return to the easygoing pace. Go back and forth between the intensities until you complete 30 minutes. You can modify the intervals. Instead of pedaling faster, you can increase the resistance or the incline. You can also make the intervals longer. HIIT is often thought of as an advanced workout, but because you can modify it to your fitness level, beginners can also enjoy it.
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Other Effective Forms of Cardio
For those days when you just don’t want to exercise on the elliptical machines, there are other machines you can use. Briskly walking on a treadmill, riding a stationary bicycle, or using a rowing or stair-climbing machine are all good forms of cardio. When it comes to exercise, find out what you prefer. The more enjoyable your workout is, the more likely it is that you’ll stick with it. Always make sure to wear appropriate exercise clothes and athletic shoes, and don’t be afraid to ask for help or instructions when you’re new to the gym.