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The Best Elliptical Workout for Weight Loss

This elliptical workout offers low-impact movements that torch major calories.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Let's be honest: Finding the perfect workout routine that melts away pounds while keeping you entertained can feel like a never-ending quest. But what if I told you there's a machine that combines low-impact movements with the ability to torch calories while allowing you to catch up on your favorite shows? Enter the elliptical, your new best friend in the gym. This versatile piece of equipment is more than just a fancy gadget; it's a powerhouse for weight loss and fitness. I've put together the ultimate elliptical workout for weight loss that'll upgrade your routine.

The elliptical offers a fantastic cardiovascular workout, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking to slim down. Its smooth gliding motion is easy on the joints, which is perfect for those with knee or hip issues. Plus, the elliptical engages both your upper and lower body, providing a full-body workout that boosts your metabolism and helps you burn more calories in less time. Whether you're a fitness newbie or a seasoned gym-goer, the elliptical can be adjusted to suit your fitness level, making it a versatile addition to any workout routine.

Ready to kick your weight-loss journey into high gear? In this article, I'll guide you through the best elliptical workout for weight loss. We'll cover everything from the warm-up to the cool-down, with plenty of tips to keep you motivated and maximize your results.

As a personal trainer with years of experience crafting effective workout plans, I've seen the incredible transformations that can happen when clients incorporate the elliptical into their routines. Let's dive in and start sweating to a fitter, healthier you!

Warm-up (5 Minutes)

fit woman in pink sports bra using the elliptical at the gym in a bright room

Getting your body ready is crucial before jumping into the intense part of the workout. Start with a five-minute warm-up on the elliptical at a low resistance level. Focus on gradually increasing your heart rate and loosening up your muscles. Use this time to familiarize yourself with the machine and ensure your posture is correct—shoulders back, core engaged, and a light grip on the handles.

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Interval Training (20 Minutes)

fit woman on the elliptical, concept of worst exercises for weight loss

Intervals are where the magic happens for weight loss. They help you burn more calories in a shorter amount of time by alternating between high-intensity bursts and recovery periods. Here's how to structure your interval training on the elliptical:

  • Minutes 1-3: Increase the resistance to a moderate level and pick up your pace to a brisk, steady speed.
  • Minutes 3-4: Ramp up the resistance and speed to a level that challenges you but is sustainable for one minute. You should be breathless by the end.
  • Minutes 4-6: Drop back to your moderate pace and resistance, allowing your heart rate to recover.
  • Minutes 6-7: Push yourself again with high resistance and speed.
  • Minutes 7-9: Recover at a moderate pace.

Repeat this cycle until you reach the 20-minute mark. Adjust the resistance and speed according to your fitness level, but ensure you're challenging yourself during the high-intensity intervals.

Hill Climb (10 Minutes)

fit man on elliptical, concept of cardio exercises to stay fit as you age

After your intervals, switch things up with a simulated hill climb. Gradually increase the resistance every minute until you're at a level that feels like climbing a steep hill. Maintain this high resistance for five minutes, focusing on keeping a steady pace. This will engage your glutes, quads, and calves, helping to build muscle and burn fat.

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Cool-down (5 Minutes)

woman on the elliptical, concept of the best workout machines for weight loss

Finish your workout with a five-minute cool-down at a low resistance level. This helps gradually bring your heart rate down and prevent dizziness. Use this time to stretch your muscles and reflect on the hard work you just put in.

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Stretching (5 Minutes)

mature couple stretching at home on yoga mats

Never underestimate the power of a good stretch to kick-start your recovery! After your cool-down, spend a few minutes stretching your major muscle groups. Focus on your legs, back, and shoulders to release tension and promote flexibility. This will aid in recovery and prepare you for your next workout.

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Tips for Success

man working out on the elliptical in his home gym
  1. Consistency is key. Aim to incorporate this elliptical workout into your routine one to three times a week for the best results.
  2. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout to stay hydrated and maintain energy levels.
  3. Mix it up. To prevent boredom and plateaus, vary your workouts by adjusting the resistance, speed, and duration.
  4. Track your progress. Keep a workout journal or use a fitness app to monitor your progress and stay motivated.
  5. Stay dedicated to your diet. Eat a healthy, nutritious diet to complement your hard work in the gym.
Jarrod Nobbe, MA, CSCS
Jarrod Nobbe is a USAW National Coach, Sports Performance Coach, Personal Trainer, and writer, and has been involved in health and fitness for the past 12 years. Read more about Jarrod
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