Elliptical Workout For Weight Loss

Fitness, Running Workouts, Workouts

By: Chris Freytag, CPT // December 21, 2021

The elliptical trainer has been a favorite in gyms for decades. An elliptical workout puts less stress on the 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. 

How to Use The Elliptical Machine

To use an elliptical machine, carefully step your feet on each pedal and grab the handlebars or handle levers with both arms. Then begin to move your legs in elliptically shaped motions. Most elliptical machines have a motor and a programmable computer that can automatically create varying degrees of resistance.  

Related: Elliptical vs. Treadmill: Which Is A Better Workout?

Get the Most out of Your Elliptical Workouts

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, 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.

Benefits of Using The Elliptical Machine

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

  • Gives you a cardio workout that’s easier on your joints than jumping or pounding the 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 and can burn a high number of calories if weight loss is your goal.
  • Helps improve balance and mobility.
  • Offers quick workouts for busy days.
  • It feels great for the lower body, using different muscles than a jogging or biking routine.
  • Can be easily used for high-intensity interval training.
  • You can incorporate upper body movements while using the elliptical with light weights.

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

3 Elliptical Workouts for Weight Loss 

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

By working for different muscle groups and changing things up, these elliptical workouts will shape your lower body, burn more calories, and keep your routine 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 backward and forwards which helps you work all your leg muscles in one workout. If you make sure to follow the plan, this 15-minute workout will let you get in and out in record time.

Lunch Time Calorie Crunch Elliptical Workout Plan

0:00 – 3:005.05.0Forward
3:00 – 4:008.05.0Forward
4:00 – 5:009.08.0Forward
5:00 – 6:0010.08.0Backward
6:00 – 7:009.010.0Forward
7:00 – 8:0012.011.0Forward
8:00 – 9:0010.012.0Backward
9:00 – 10:0014.012.0Backward
10:00 – 11:0010.012.0Forward
11:00 – 12:009.010.0Backward
12:00 – 13:0010.05.0Forward
13:00 – 15:005.05.0Forward

Related: 4 Treadmill Workouts To Beat Boredom

2. The 12-Minute Tabata Elliptical Workout

Have 12-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.

The concept of elliptical Tabata is this – 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! Not many people realize an elliptical Tabata workout is an option, but it’s a high intensity way to get your cardio in.

Not everyone has 30 minutes for an elliptical session. No problem, within one minute of an elliptical Tabata workout, your upper and lower body will feel fantastic.

Tabata Elliptical Workout

Elliptical Warm-Up

MinuteResistance InclineDirection
2 Minutes4.05.0Warm-Up:
Keep a Steady Pace

Tabata #1

2 Minutes6.05.0Forward Pedal
20 Seconds Push Hard, 10 Seconds Rest, Repeat x 4


2 Minutes10.05.0Backward Pedal
20 Seconds Push Hard, 10 Seconds Rest, Repeat x 4


1 Minutes4.05.0Recover

Tabata #2

2 Minutes12.05.0Forward Pedal
20 Seconds Push Hard, 10 Seconds Rest, Repeat x 4


2 Minutes8.05.0Backward Pedal
20 Seconds Push Hard, 10 Seconds Rest, Repeat x 4

1 Minute4.05.0Cool Down

3. The “Go Big” Interval Challenge Elliptical Workout

This interval challenge will rev your metabolism and you’ll burn more calories as time flies by. In 30 minutes, you will 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.

Go Big Interval Challenge Elliptical Workout

0:00 – 5:003.05.0Warm-Up
5:00 – 10:008.06.0Endurance: Start to Work
10:00 – 11:008.06.0Push to Breathless
11:00 – 13:008.06.0Recover
13:00 – 14:0010.05.0Push to Breathless
14:00 – 16:008.05.0Recover
16:00 – 20:008.05.0Endurance: Steady and Hard
20:00 – 21:0010.06.0Push to Breathless
21:00 – 22:008.07.0Recover
22:00 – 23:0012.07.0Push to Breathless
23:00 – 24:008.07.0Recover
24:00 – 28:0010.06.0Endurance: Steady and Hard
28:00 – 30:003.05.0Cool Down

Take these elliptical workouts with you to the gym with your free printable below.

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

[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”bBGbfJzo” upload-date=”2020-03-17T12:29:36.000Z” name=”10- Minute Low Impact Intervals Workout” description=”Welcome to our 10 Minute Low Impact Interval Workout! So you want to do interval training but you are afraid of all the jumping and pounding on your joints? This low-impact interval workout will give you all the intensity and challenge of an interval workout without all the impact on your joints! This low impact interval workout is not only kick-butt for your muscles and heart rate, but it can be done in 10 minutes, saving you time and giving you fewer excuses to skip that workout!” player-type=”static”]

READ THIS NEXT: Healthy Post-Workout Recovery Options

Printed from GetHealthyU.com

(This will help us personalize your experience so that you can get the best advice possible from us!)
Skip to content
Send this to a friend