How to Use an Elliptical Trainer

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The elliptical trainer is the standard exercise equipment found in most of the gyms. It is unique because it’s a hybrid of a stepper, cross-country skier, bike, and treadmill, which moves your legs in an elliptical pattern, i.e., elongated oval way. It feels like a mix of fast walking, cross-country skiing, and stair climbing. This easy to use machine is good on your knees, burns a lot of calories, helps you lose weight, and builds up muscle.

Follow these tips to make the best of the machine, and find yourself in the best shape:



Step on the trainer, face the console. Push the pedals in order to turn the monitor on.



Usually, elliptical trainers are fitted with the digital monitors. Heed the instructions. You can either begin with your own program, or there will one that is pre-designed. Pay attention as to where the important controls are located such as starting, pausing, stopping, and inclining.



Pedal in the forward motion. They even go backwards. However, pedaling forward makes balancing easier, while pushing the pedals in the backward motion can be strenuous to your knees.



Machines have both moving and fixed handlebars. Making use of the handlebars gives you a full body workout, but it also takes away the emphasis from your butt and legs.

In case you are using fixed handlebars, remember to stand straight, and do not lean your weight on the console or handlebars.



You can decrease or increase the resistance whenever you feel like it, and if your balance allows, you can also switch between backward and forward pedaling while working out.

Other helpful tips:


  • Make use of the versatile features of the machine, which will help you adjust your workout’s intensity.
  • Avoid locking your knees, bend them slightly. This keeps the motion smooth.
  • Remember to stretch your muscles before you climb onto the elliptical trainer. The trainer works the abdominal obliques, gluteal muscles, legs, and your upper body, which includes your chest, shoulders and arms. Therefore, stretching is important.
  • For a half an hour workout, the exertion on a scale of 1 to 10 should be:

5 minutes exertion level 2,

5 min level 3,

2 min level 6,

2 min again at level 3,

2 min at level 6,

2 min at level 3,

2 min at level 7,

2 min at level 3,

2 min at level 6 and

6 min at level 2, in order to cool down

We hope this explains the working of an elliptical trainer. Working out now becomes interesting!