If you’re researching exercise equipment, you may be wondering is the elliptical a good workout and, if so, what is the elliptical good for. And, if you are interested in not only toning up but also losing weight, you will no doubt have questions regarding elliptical workouts for weight loss.
With the variety of exercise machines on offer, we can become confused about which will best suit our requirements. First released in 1995 by Precor Inc., the elliptical was an immediate hit with the fitness crowd. Its popularity has never waned, and today it rivals the treadmill in terms of sales.
This article will discuss the benefits of the elliptical machine, answer your questions is the elliptical a good workout and, if so, what is the elliptical good for. It will also cover elliptical workouts for weight loss and a whole lot more. Most importantly, it will help you decide if elliptical workouts will be right for you.
So, is the Elliptical a Good Workout?
Some years ago I signed up for a one-month trial membership at my local gym. One of the first things I noticed was how popular the elliptical machine was. It was almost always in use, and I was lucky to get a turn on it twice. That was enough for me to know that I liked elliptical workouts and that I wanted to buy my own machine.
Elliptical workouts have been a part of my exercise routine for several years now, and I can say without a doubt that the elliptical machine delivers on its promise of promoting weight loss, toning muscles and improving fitness.
Keep reading to find out more about the elliptical machine and the benefits of the elliptical.
Key Elliptical Benefits
Ease of use
If you’re only going to buy one piece of exercise equipment, I suggest you consider an elliptical machine. They’re comfortable and easy to use, so workouts are enjoyable. Upon using an elliptical trainer for the first time, people will often question whether it could be doing them any good as they don’t really feel as if they’re working out.
The elliptical machine delivers a low-impact workout, making it suitable for people who can’t use other exercise machines due to suffering from joint pain or an injury. Elliptical workouts are also a great option for the older generation.
Weight-bearing exercise involves movement that forces the body to work against gravity. Done regularly, it helps to tone the muscles and strengthen the bones. It also improves balance and coordination. When combined with a diet containing sufficient calcium, weight-bearing exercise is your best defense against developing osteoporosis later in life.
Other low-impact exercise machines, such as spin bikes and step machines, mainly work the lower body. With its movable arms, the elliptical machine delivers a balanced, full-body workout. This makes it ideal for busy people who don’t have a lot of spare time in which to exercise.
Variety of programs cater for different fitness goals
Most elliptical machines come with pre-programmed workouts that allow the user to focus on cardio, endurance, weight loss or general fitness, depending on their requirements. These programs make tracking your progress easy, and they can help you to stay motivated.
Variable resistance prevents fitness and weight loss plateaus
If you are new to exercise start with no or light resistance. If you are already reasonably fit, start with a higher level of resistance.
Varying the intensity of your sessions will prevent your body from adapting to the workout and hitting a plateau.
A practical home workout option
Many elliptical machine manufacturers offer portable units that can easily fit into most homes. With a broad range of models in various price brackets to choose from, finding one that is just right for your requirements and situation should not be a problem.
The initial monetary outlay may be higher than paying for a gym membership. Owning an elliptical machine will be more economical in the long run, though.
Elliptical Workouts for Weight Loss
If you want to lose weight as well as shape up, you probably want to know how effective elliptical workouts are for weight loss. The good news is, the elliptical machine ranks highly for weight loss, the primary reason being due to its whole-body approach to exercise.
Despite what the manufacturers of some exercise machines would like us to believe, it’s not possible to target weight loss solely to specific areas of the body. By working the entire body, as the elliptical machine does, our metabolism increases optimally, and faster weight loss occurs.
Furthermore, elliptical workouts for weight loss are effective due to the user-friendly design of the elliptical machine. Beyond the fact that it delivers a low-impact workout, many manufacturers have created models with low-access heights that enable people who are out of shape or recovering from an injury to board the machine easily.
In fact, everything about the elliptical machine is made for ease of use. This being the case, people who exercise on an elliptical are far more likely to stick with their exercise regimen and therefore ultimately achieve their fitness goals.
3 Elliptical Workouts for Weight Loss
If you are looking for the best elliptical workouts for weight loss, concentrate on those that burn the most calories. This will entail going faster and working at high resistance. Working slowly with a low level of resistance, even for an extended period, will not be as effective.
Following are some of the best elliptical workouts for weight loss:
Climbing is an elliptical workout that progresses from easy to hard, ending with a Cool-Down. When using this program, you will burn fewer calories each minute than when doing some other programs. However, it should be easier to do if you are not yet in good shape.
The Hills program has varied levels of speed and resistance. It will elevate your pulse rate to burn calories, without pushing you over the edge into fatigue.
- Fat Burn
Most elliptical machines have a Fat Burn program which enables the exerciser to enter the number of calories they want to burn. An onboard computer machine then sets the workout time according to the intensity level selected.
How do I Track Elliptical Calories Burned?
Some of the best elliptical workouts for weight loss involve using a tracking program. The program saves your workout stats in the computer’s memory, enabling you to monitor your progress. If your machine doesn’t have this option or if you are using one at the gym, note your elliptical calories burned manually. It’s also a good idea to keep a food log. Adjust your diet if necessary, so that you are taking in fewer calories than you are burning.
If you regularly do elliptical workouts for weight loss, you will lose weight. Following a healthy diet and controlling the portion size of your meals will enable you to accelerate weight loss. It’s important not to take in too few calories, though. A diet with insufficient calories combined with the stress of doing intense elliptical workouts for weight loss will push your body into starvation mode. If this occurs, your metabolism will slow, and you will burn fewer calories.
To achieve steady weight loss, consistently take in around 500 calories per day less than you expend.
Is the Elliptical a Good Workout Summary
Elliptical workouts deliver a full-body, low-impact exercise that can help you achieve your health and fitness goals.
Easy to use, the elliptical machine can provide a workout that is as effective as jogging, without stressing the knees or other leg joints. Movable arms enable you to exercise your upper and lower body simultaneously.
Elliptical workouts can burn a lot of calories, allowing you to drop pounds. They provide an efficient way to improve muscle tone, even if you are new to exercising, recovering from an injury or have joint problems that require you to do low-impact exercise.
Elliptical machine workouts can help to prevent bones from thinning, which can results in breaks when we are older.
With many quality models on the market that are quite affordable, it shouldn’t be difficult to find an elliptical that is perfect for you.
I hope this article has answered your questions, is the elliptical a good workout and what is the elliptical good for, along with any other queries you may have had regarding elliptical workouts, including whether they are good at promoting weight loss.
For more information on the benefits of elliptical training, click the blue link to the right to read the Top 6 Elliptical Benefits.