How To Use An Elliptical For Beginners: 5 Quick Simple Tips

Here you will find the steps you need to take as a beginner using an elliptical machine, and how to use it. Read on to learn more.

How To Use An Elliptical For Beginners: 5 Quick Simple Tips


Category: Fitness Machines & Workout Tips

An elliptical machine, known more commonly as a cross trainer, is a very commonly used piece of equipment within regular gyms. In this article you will find the steps you need to take as a beginner about how to use an elliptical machine to get the most out of it.

An elliptical is a piece of equipment which will give you fantastic results in terms of weight loss and muscle strengthening/toning, and it will also help to avoid any impact injuries.

The fact that an elliptical machine is stationary and often pneumatic, means that the person glides rather than ‘thumps’ down, helping to avoid joint stress and injuries. Of course, as with any type of gym equipment, it’s important to know how to use it properly, not only for safety, but also for the best results.

How To Use An Elliptical For Beginners: How And Where Do You Start?

As a beginner, you might look at an elliptical machine and want to run away in fear. There is nothing to be scared of! These machines can be tailored to your intensity level, and you can work slowly to build up your confidence.

Below you will find the steps you need to take as a beginner using an elliptical machine, and how to use it.


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How To Use An Elliptical



5 Quick Simple Tips On How To Use An elliptical For Beginners:


1. Consult Your Doctor

Before you start any type of exercise program, and especially if you have any existing medical conditions, simply head for a quick chat with your doctor. This will clear your mind that you are free to exercise as you like, and if you need to make any adjustments to your workout routine, you are best to know about these from the start.

You should also communicate these adjustments to your personal trainer, or gym staff when you attend for your introduction program.

2. Familiarize Yourself With The Elliptical Machine 

Most models are quite similar to one another, but there are some which have extra features. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the machine before jumping on it, and if you have access to a gym introduction program, whereby the instructor explains the features of the machine, make sure you take them up on the offer.

Elliptical machines go backwards as well as forwards. So if you are a beginner and trying to learn how to use an elliptical, stick to the forwards motion and avoid going backwards until you are more comfortable with the way to use the machine, and how to stabilize yourself too.

There are also likely to be different settings, such as speed, resistance, and incline. Work slowly through the range of settings and don’t go too quickly or too hard at the very start. It’s also a good idea to use the arm workout motion slowly, and first start with the handles, until you gain your balance. It won’t take too long before you’re using all the features comfortably.

3. Always Stretch Before Using An Elliptical Machine 

You should stretch before any type of workout, but it is very important when using this type of machine. This ensures that your risk of injury is dramatically lowered, because your muscles are warm and supple before you begin. Concentrate on your legs, i.e. your calves, hamstrings, buttocks, and thighs.

4. Start Slowly 

Do not try and run before you can walk – literally! The first time you use an elliptical machine it might feel like you are totally off balance, but you will quickly find your stride. It depends on your fitness level as to how long you remain on the machine, but no more than 10-20 minutes is a good starting point.

Keep the resistance at zero to begin with and keep your frequency at around twice or three times per week. Basically, you should know you’re having a workout, your heart rate should be up, and you should be a little out of breath, but you should still be able to talk to someone next to you. That is the level you are aiming for.

5. Increase Your Frequency 

After around one month, you can increase the frequency of your elliptical machine usage and the settings, e.g. incline and resistance. You can move between them, e.g. starting off on a low incline and then moving up after a few minutes, change speeds, and add a little resistance at certain parts. This is called ‘interval training’ and it has many benefits.

However you choose to incorporate elliptical machine workouts into your routine, make sure that you start slowly and allow your body and fitness level to increase before you start to add in more complicated settings and intervals.


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An elliptical machine will give you the workout you desire, and you will certainly see results, but whether you are a beginner or a seasoned fitness professional it’s important to work with your body’s limits to avoid injury.

We hope you found these 5 Quick Tips on how to use an elliptical useful. Please feel free to share this article with friends.


Check out the Apple Fitness Store, Garmin Fitness Tech Store, or the Fitbit Store for cool and in-demand fitness wearable tech gadgets.


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