How to Lose Weight With Elliptical Workouts

How to Lose Weight With Elliptical Workouts

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Arm handles strengthen biceps and triceps.

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Elliptical machines provide cardiovascular exercise with less stress on your knees, hips and back compared to running on a treadmill, according to Because it's a low-impact exercise machine, the elliptical can help reduce the risk of overload injuries which occur from continuous use of the joints and muscles. Although it is low-impact, you can still maximize your workout and burn many calories to achieve weight loss.

Use the elliptical machine at least three to five days per week. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 150 minutes of exercise per week broken up tinto 30 minutes of exercise five days a week, or three days for 50 minutes. For clinically significant amounts of weight loss the ACSM recommends 250 minutes of exercise, 50 minutes five days a week, or more.

Incorporate interval training into your elliptical workout. Interval training is alternating between segments of high-intensity work and segments of low to moderate-intensity work. For example, pedal slowly for two minutes then pedal quickly for one minutes, for a total of 20 minutes. The more vigorously you exercise, the more calories you will burn even if it's for a few minutes at a time.

Target more muscle groups to burn more calories. Push and pull the arm handles to engage the biceps and triceps. If the elliptical does not have moving arm handles, let go of any handle and pump your arms by your side as if you were running. When you don't hold on, you engage the abdominal muscles or your core muscles. Pedal backwards to engage the hamstrings. The more muscles you engage, the more calories you will burn according to the ACSM.

Create a caloric deficit by burning more calories than you consume on a daily basis. According to the ACSM, women should consume at least 1,200 calories per day and men 1,800 calories. To lose one pound, you must burn 3,500 calories more than you consume per week. For example, if you consume 1,200 calories per day, you must burn at least 1,700 calories per day to lose one pound per week.


  • Follow a low-calorie diet to assure you are burning more calories than consumed. Always monitor your heart rate to achieve maximum results, without overexerting yourself.