This page was created by Riscerroth.  The last update was by Brandon C. Thomas.

How to Use an Elliptical Trainer

How to Use an Elliptical Trainer

Using an elliptical trainer is a great way to exercise if you have a knee, back or hip injury. Such injuries limit the type of exercises that you can perform and rule out most high impact exercises such as jogging or running. This can be frustrating if you like the feeling of running or jogging or believe that these exercises give you a good workout.

While running and jogging certainly give you a good cardio workout they are not the only ways. Learning how to use an elliptical trainer will help you to have a good cardio workout without hurting yourself. When you learn how to use an elliptical trainer you also burn more calories and maximize your workout.

Moving Your Legs

An elliptical trainer involves moving your legs properly. Learning how to use an elliptical trainer properly means achieving the right stride. Having too long a stride is uncomfortable and you will not enjoy your workout. On the other hand having too short a stride will feel uncomfortable as well.

In the first case you may feel that this workout is not for you and abandon it before you really have given it a chance. In the second case you are not burning as much calories as you could. Aim for your stride to feel natural, it should feel the way you do when you are walking.

What to Do with Your Arms

When it comes to your arms there are several things you can do when learning how to use an elliptical trainer. Some machines will offer you an upper body workout by connecting the handles with the foot pedals. This gets your upper body involved as your arms move in sync with your feet.

Another way to deal with your arms when learning how to use an elliptical trainer is to hold on to the handlebars without moving them. Some people choose to do this to keep balance if they are not confident when using this machine. Aim to move your arms the way you would when running. This burns the most calories and helps you to build your core muscles as your body keeps balance.

Challenge Yourself

You need to challenge yourself just as you would with any type of workout. When learning how to use an elliptical trainer make sure that you vary the speed. Another thing that you should keep an eye on is resistance levels. Start small with resistance but you should aim to increase this with each workout.