3 Elliptical Workouts For Weight Loss

Fitness, Workouts, Running Workouts

By: // March 16, 2020

The elliptical trainer has been a favorite in gyms for decades. An elliptical workout puts less stress on knee and hip joints than running or walking on a treadmill or the road making it a great low-impact alternative cardio workout.

Even better, the elliptical machine workouts are considered weight bearing which is needed for building bone mass. 

Benefits of Using The Elliptical

Here are a few of the reasons to do an elliptical workout:

  • Gives you a low-impact cardio workout that’s easier on your joints than jumping or pounding pavement.
  • Good for all fitness levels; even if you are a beginner or you’re getting back into exercise after an injury.
  • The elliptical is a total body workout.
  • Helps improve balance and mobility.
  • Offers quick workouts for busy days.

How to Use The Elliptical Properly

There are 5 keys to making the most out of your elliptical workout, keeping your workouts fresh and avoiding boredom:

  1. Vary your incline. More incline, more lower body muscles used.
  2. Don’t forget resistance. More resistance, more effort needed.
  3. Change direction.  You can pedal forward or backward
  4. Add intervals. Pushing yourself for short bursts of time increases calorie burn. 
  5. Use the handles. Most Elliptical trainers also have handles making it a great total body workout.

We’ve utilized these tactics to give you 3 calorie-burning elliptical workout plans to help you lose weight. 


Try these intense interval-style elliptical workouts to boost your weight loss.

3 Elliptical Workouts to Beat Boredom And Blast Calories

The workouts below are designed to give you an elliptical workout plan that will make your time a little more interesting and a little more challenging.

By working different muscle groups and changing things up, these elliptical workouts will keep you on your toes and help things stay fresh.

1. The Lunch Time Calorie Crunch Elliptical Workout

When you only have 15-minutes, you need an elliptical workout that gets your heart rate up and torches calories fast. Enter: Our Lunch Time Calorie Crunch.

Changing up the resistance and incline often in this quick workout helps you make the most of your time. By using varying inclines and resistance levels, you move your heart rate through different zones.

Plus, you’ll alternate between pedaling backwards and forwards which helps you work all your leg muscles in one workout. This 15-minute workout will let you get in and get out while burning calories in record time.

Related: 4 Treadmill Workouts To Beat Boredom

2. The 20-Minute Tabata Elliptical Workout

Have 20-minutes to spare? Then you’ll love this Tabata elliptical routine.

This workout gives the elliptical a fresh spark using the tabata interval training technique. Tabata is a form of HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training.

By going as hard as you can for 20 seconds and then resting for 10 seconds several times in a row, you keep your brain busy and your heart pumping.

The incline remains 5.0 the entire workout, but the resistance and the pace or speed at which you push changes. So have fun and enjoy the ride!

3. The “Go Big” Interval Challenge Elliptical Workout

This 30-minute interval challenge will rev your metabolism and make the time fly as you change your resistance and use speed intervals to crank up your metabolism.

Pay attention to the column on the right that says “feeling” and adjust the speed you pedal to match that feeling. Try to vary the forward and backward motion between the intervals to keep all your leg muscles working evenly.

Looking for another way to get your low-impact cardio in? Try this free 10-Minute No Running Cardio Workout!

READ THIS NEXT: Healthy Post-Workout Recovery Options

Printed from GetHealthyU.com


on November 5, 2019 at 7:53 AM Reply

Is there a particular speed (RPM) to maintain during the workouts?

    on August 18, 2020 at 11:05 AM Reply

    Hi Tam - the speed you will want to maintain is something you can hold onto for the entire length of the workout. So for instance if the workout is a 30 minute elliptical workout - you will want to hold onto a pace that you can do the entire 30 minutes. You do not want to start off too fast and not be able to make it through the entire length of time. This number/ RPM is going to be different for every individual.

on May 3, 2019 at 12:45 AM Reply

This is very detailed and informative! I am giving these elliptical workouts a try after I've fully recovered from giving birth. Thank you for sharing this!

    on May 21, 2019 at 5:14 PM Reply

    Yay - go you! You will have to stop back after you try these elliptical workouts and let us know how you liked them! It is a great way to switch up your cardio and the elliptical is less impact on the joints than running which can be a nice change of pace! Keep on moving!

on January 6, 2019 at 12:47 PM Reply

I did 55 minutes of interval elliptical today, 30 seconds forward at a fast speed, and then 30 seconds backwards at a slow rate, changing direction and speed every 30 seconds, I have high blood pressure and im trying to get it down any advice ?

    on February 20, 2019 at 6:54 PM Reply

    Hi Joe - While exercise can lower blood pressure and it's a great idea to live a healthy lifestyle as best you can with eating well and exercising, you will want to make sure you consult your doctor on how to best lower your blood pressure! Continue exercising and eating a healthy diet as this will help, but consult your doctor on additional ways to lower your blood pressure!

on December 4, 2018 at 10:51 AM Reply

Hi Chris, I got to Planet Fitness, and I don't believe their elliptical machines have an incline option. Any suggestions on how to work around that?

    on December 5, 2018 at 1:30 PM Reply

    Hi Jason - I would say to then increase your resistance!

on November 13, 2017 at 5:22 PM Reply

I am overweight, I am 5ft 5in and weigh 195 lbs and I can barely stay on my elliptical for one minute. How do I work up 2 the 15 minutes without killing myself.

    on November 14, 2017 at 7:37 AM Reply

    Hi Debbie - just take it slow. Do what you can and then every day or every few days slowly increase. Good luck!

on September 13, 2017 at 5:01 AM Reply

Where should we hold the elliptical?shoulder level or chest level

    on September 19, 2017 at 11:51 AM Reply

    It doesn't matter! Whatever feels comfortable for you - just make sure to not scrunch your neck!

on April 4, 2015 at 7:00 PM Reply

Can't wait to try this workout! On the 20 minute Tabata workout should I come to a complete stop on the 10 second rest or pedal slower?

on March 25, 2015 at 10:11 AM Reply

I'm definitely going to try the first workout, probably today. I don't think the elliptical machines at my gym have an incline however.

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