Is elliptical good for losing weight?

Exercise on an elliptical machine is a good opportunity to increase your endurance, strength, good cardio training to burn calories and lose weight. One of the advantages is that the joints are less affected than when running or training on a treadmill. In this review, we will answer the question “Is elliptical good for losing weight?” which one of our subscribers asked. Okay, here we go.

The main condition for weight loss is a calorie deficit. Therefore, you need to understand the volume of daily calorie intake and the necessary amount of expenditure due to training. Let us consider the advantages and disadvantages of training with this fitness equipment. [1]

7 Benefits of an Elliptical Workout

Elliptical Workout

1. Excellent cardio practice.

This cardio machine provides you with a great opportunity to improve your heart’s endurance. Aerobic exercises have an excellent effect on the cardiovascular system, lungs, and muscles. You can choose a comfortable workout mode and gradually increase the intensity.

2. Safe for joints.

Compared to other training options, this training option puts less strain on the joints. Especially when running is overweight, your knees, ankles and hip joints are significantly affected. According to research PubMed Central it has been found that an elliptical training machine can effectively reduce weight without damaging the joints, even during intensive training.

3. Burns calories well.

Exercises allow you to burn large amounts of calories in a short time. Depending on several factors, you can burn between 270 and 400 calories in a short 30-minute workout. You can adjust the intensity of your workout and track your results on the electronic display.

4. Upper and lower body workout.

In contrast to a treadmill or bicycle simulator, you can work out with your back, triceps, biceps and chest muscles. You can also passively grip the handles, but it will be more effective to engage in work and hand movement.

5. Full-fledged foot training.

If you do the exercises correctly, almost all the leg muscles are included in the work. Various training options are available, in which the buttocks, calves, quadriceps are trained. The movement can be performed in both directions.

6. Improves the balance.

An additional option is to improve the balance. You do not have to hold the handles. Just don’t hold on and start the workout. In addition to the basic muscles, you’ll also get stabilizer muscles.

7. Suitable for rehabilitation after injuries.

If you have had injuries to your ankle, knees or spine, but you want to get fit, other types of training may be contraindicated. So you can gradually improve your physical condition starting from light training.

Treadmill vs. Elliptical Trainer

Often when choosing a cardio machine for home, users choose between a treadmill and an Elliptical Trainer. These are the two most popular calorie burners. Each of the machines has advantages and disadvantages. We can recommend that you try both and compare the results and comfort of your workouts. However, it will be difficult for you to guess the result in the long run.

We have studied many studies on this topic and the general conclusion is that if you have problems with your musculoskeletal system or are afraid to suffer similar injuries, choose Elliptical. If in addition to burning calories you want to develop leg strength and speed, a treadmill will give you more opportunities to do so.

How many calories does elliptical machine burn?

is elliptical good for losing weight

As we said at the beginning of this article, an important task for slimming is to create a calorie beneficiary. You can achieve this gradually. You can reduce your calorie intake by 200-300 calories per week in stages. There is an indicative proportion that says 3500 calories need to be removed to lose a pound a week. It will be difficult to reduce the calorie intake for this amount of calories, so it can be divided into savings and additional burning at a workout.

Burning calories behind elliptical machines allow you to actively burn calories. The number of calories spent depends on some factors, one of the main ones being the weight of the user. According to Harvard Health [2], a thirty-minute workout on an elliptical machine will burn between 270 calories at 125 lbs and 400 calories at 185 lbs.

We also found the following more information:

120-pound woman 30 minutes 250-310 calories
60 minutes 450-600 calories
150-pound woman 30 minutes 300-400 calories
60 minutes 550-800 calories
180-pound man 30 minutes 375-500 calories
60 minutes 750-950 calories
200-pound man 30 minutes 400-550 calories
60 minutes 800-1000 calories

Keep in mind that this indicator is influenced by individual factors. Body weight is one of the main factors, but it is not the only factor. Let’s consider what else to consider.

  • Body weight – the more your weight, the more energy you spend
  • Half – women usually burn more calories
  • Enjoy the muscle mass
  • Length and intensity of training, availability and duration of rest
  • Upper body workout increases calorie consumption
Do you want to pick up this kind of equipment?
Browse the best models for home use in our review: Best Cheap Elliptical Under $300

Exercises on an Elliptical Machine

The principle of elliptical is quite simple, but you should get used to it. You can do three basic exercises with different resistance. You can also exclude or include the upper body part of your work. So, the exercises:

  1. Moving forward and backward. For more active calorie burning it is worth to alternate forward and backward movements. This will allow you to distribute the load on all muscles used evenly and to burn calories more actively.
  2. Tilt use. This way you increase resistance and change the type of load. Alternate between normal movements and tilt use.
  3. Increased intensity. Changing the resistance level will shorten the training time and increase the difficulty of training. It is worth using the alternation of simple and more difficult exercises, tilt and pace.

What Muscles Work?

Muscles Work

  • Hams and Glutes These muscles do most of the work. They take part in stretching the hips, especially when tilting.
  • Quads The anterior thigh muscles work to straighten the leg. In motion on an elliptical machine, this muscle group is evenly loaded.
  • Calves are also important, because your feet are actively moving on a circle. This muscle group gets good training.
  • Back, Arms, Chest Enable if you use the appropriate handles. This loads the upper body and allows you to create an aerobic load. You will not build muscles, but you will keep your upper body toned as well.
  • Core Muscles Since you have to hold the body directly to the cortical muscles are included in the work. They are used more actively if you do not hold the handles to hold the balance.

How to do elliptical training for beginners?

It would be ideal if you had a coach advise you before training or watch the corresponding video instructions. The efficiency and safety of your training depend on the correct exercise technique. Also, we would recommend you:

  1. Start training from a low load, first get it done correctly, then increase the load
  2. Warm up beforehand
  3. If there’s a breath, pause
  4. Train three times a week for 20-30 minutes initially
  5. Fix your results and gradually increase the load
  6. Stretch out after workout

To get the most out of your workout for weight loss, it’s worth controlling your heart rate. For this purpose, most elliptical machines have special sensors. The optimal heart rate zone is determined by gender and age. If you have entered all the data in the elliptical control panel before your workout, it can show you the optimal value.

Usually the borders are determined by a formula (220 – your age) multiplied by 0.6 / 0.7. A workout of 30 minutes or more at these boundaries provides better conditions for burning fat.

Workout Routing: Elliptical 30 Minutes a Day 2 Months

Consider one of the possible training options, “Elliptical 30 Minutes a Day 2 Months”. With 3 to 4 workouts per week for 2 months, most of my clients have seen visible results.

5 minutes Warm up at a comfortable speed by holding the handles
4 minutes Increase resistance to the average level and continue alternating forward and backward
3 minutes Decrease resistance and include the upper body
4 minutes Increase resistance and tilt angle to the average or higher level. Use upper body movements
3 minutes Reduce resistance and make movements in both directions holding hands on ramps
5 minutes Increase resistance to your maximum and alternate movements in both directions, use upper body movements
5 minutes Min resistance to a comfortable level
Want to get this Workout Routing as an infographics?
Download it by following this link Elliptical 30 Minutes Workout Routing

You can determine for yourself the maximum and minimum resistance level. In the case of breathlessness, you can go to rest faster or stop for 1-2 minutes. Beginners can shorten the time for each exercise, but you should not do the training shorter than 20 minutes. You should not ignore the warm-up. It is important even for trained athletes.


We can confidently say that elliptical is good for losing weight and safer for joints than other similar equipment. It strengthens muscles, the cardiovascular system and allows you to actively burn calories even at short workouts of sufficient intensity.

I hope this article will be useful for you and you will be able to decide on the choice of cardio machine. If you still have any questions, we would appreciate your feedback.

4 Sources

In preparation of the article specialists of different profiles take part in the work. But to confirm these facts, we check the information on trust resources, which are listed below.

  • [1] Mayo Clinic – “Are elliptical machines better than treadmills for basic aerobic workouts?”
  • [2] Harvard Health – “Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights”


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