Excel on the Elliptical

Make the most of your time on the elliptical and get a great workout.


By Tesa Johns


Row after row of treadmills and ellipticals is the sight you will see in almost any gym or fitness center. Some gym goers may be warming up on the elliptical while others may be putting in a hard workout. However, it can be hard to tell your perceived effort on such a smoothly operating elliptical machine. So how can you actually get a good workout in? Try straying away from the leisurely stroll. It can be easy to do especially if you're reading a magazine or watching Netflix. Watching and reading helps the time go by while on the elliptical, but you have to remember you’re on the machine for exercise benefits!

What is the elliptical?

The elliptical machine features two pedals that move in a smooth uninterrupted circular motion. This type of pedal and movement allow for an impact-free workout. This type of machine can be very valuable for people with injuries and weakness in their lower body.

Two long handles extend upward from the base of the machine and place resistance on your upper body. This makes for a full-body workout and significant calorie burn.

Potential drawbacks about the elliptical are its structure and set up. The structure of the machine controls and limits your range of motion to the movement your body goes through during a step or run. The stride length is built into the machine, although some machines allow for adjustment. The machine set up allows for you to control the pace, whereas a treadmill provides a motorized speed. This can make it challenging to maintain speed, especially if you aren’t highly motivated.The best option to stay motivated and burn away the calories is to go in with a workout in mind, whether its speed training, intervals, or a resistance workout.

Elliptical Calorie Burning workouts!

Speed training

Speed training changes the speed of your stride. The resistance level can remain the same, so you should pick a level that is challenging but allows you to move quickly. After a 5-10 minute warm up at your pace, work to get your stride rate to 125 for 60 seconds.

Drop to 115 for two minutes to recover, and then boost yourself back up to 125 or more. Depending on your rate of calorie burn, you can burn around 500 calories in 55 minutes with this workout.

Interval Training

Interval training allows for your heart rate to fluctuate for high calorie burn. Start with a 5-10min warm-up and adjust your resistance level to a comfortable but difficult resistance. Cruise along at that speed for 3 minutes followed by a 90 second easy ride. Continue switching it up from comfortably hard to easy for 6 cycles. Then really ramp it up by doing 6 cycles of hard resistance for 45 seconds followed by a 2 minute easy pace.This is another 500 calorie burn workout in about 55 minutes.

Resistance Workout

This is like speed training but instead of increasing the speed, you would increase the resistance. Choose a comfortable stride rate and warmup for 5-10 minutes at incline level 4. After you're warmed up, jump to level 6 for one minute then level 7 for the next minute, followed by level 8 and level 9 each for a minute.

Drop down to level 6 for a rest minute, then boost up to level 7, level 8, and level 9 for each 60 seconds. Cycle this for 6 times. On your last round complete the workout just as before but try increasing your resistance as high as you can go for two minutes. Drop back to level 4 for a cool down. This workout should also come close to the 500 calorie burn in 55 minutes.

Tesa is new to blogging, but hopes to make a big impact with her vast knowledge of athletics and experience. Tesa recently earned her bachelor's degree at the Pennsylvania State University. While majoring in Athletic Training and minoring in psychology, she worked with various division one collegiate sports teams. Tesa is continuing her education by pursuing her Master's of Science in Kinesiology with a concentration in sports pedagogy at The Louisiana State University. Tesa is a board certified Athletic Trainer and a Performance Enhancement Specialist. Outside of the training room, Tesa enjoys going on runs and working out for leisure.

Main Photo Credit: Nithid Memanee/; Second Photo Credit: wavebreakmedia/; Third Photo Credit: holbox/; Fourth Photo Credit: Andor Bujdoso/

Thu Mar 10 05:29:16 UTC 2016

Sadaf Sajid might find this useful..

Thu Mar 10 10:58:04 UTC 2016

Hanan ....I can't see the article

Mon Apr 04 12:21:30 UTC 2016

Told u.! Guanina Pineiro