Frequently Asked Questions About Elliptical Machines

Check out the answers to these commonly asked questions about elliptical machines.

What does the elliptical do for your body?

Ellipticals are a great low-impact option for improving your cardio and endurance without stressing your lower body joints.

Regular cardio exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight, increases your body’s efficiency and ability to deliver much needed oxygen to your muscles, which makes everyday tasks easier, reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and improves your mental health through the release of endorphins, which reduces your stress and elevates your mood. It also helps you improve your balance and mobility.

Many elliptical trainers nowadays include heart rate monitoring so that you can control your workout intensity, and as your fitness level improves, you can increase your intensity and continually make progress.

Does the elliptical work for weight loss?

Coupled with a healthy and nutritious meal plan, using the elliptical can help you burn extra calories so that you can lose weight safely.

Many people find that because the elliptical is low impact and so easy to use, they enjoy using it and are more consistent with sticking to a workout regimen, which helps for weight loss.

The best weight loss plan will include not just dietary changes and cardio but also some type of resistance training to build and maintain muscle, which helps you burn even more calories in the long run than if you only did cardio.

If you use a higher-end elliptical that includes upper body resistance options, that would be a great choice for creating a more comprehensive total body workout with an elliptical.

Does the elliptical work your stomach / abs?

While the elliptical does not offer an ab-specific workout, it does help reveal your abs in a roundabout way.

Sticking to a consistent healthy diet that focuses on eating more whole foods instead of processed foods and regularly using the elliptical can help you lose unwanted body fat and extra bloat. You can’t target your stomach specifically, but you will lose fat everywhere on your body, your abs included.

Plus, the elliptical mostly works your lower body, which is where your largest muscle groups are. Working your legs and lower half of your body will increase your metabolism and help you burn more calories faster as well as strengthen your core as you try to maintain your balance and stabilize yourself on the elliptical.

What does the elliptical do for your legs?

If you are consistent with using the elliptical and are watching what you eat, the results from using it will include slimmer legs and improved definition to give your legs a leaner, firmer look.

Does the elliptical work your buttocks?

Short answer: Yes, the elliptical works your buttocks.

In a 2007 review by the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, NE, the elliptical came in second to the treadmill as far as cardio machines with the most glute activation.

Try increasing the incline or using the elliptical backwards for an even more effective glute exercise on the elliptical!

What muscles does the elliptical work / what do elliptical machines target?

Ellipticals primarily work your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Some elliptical trainers come with extra features to provide increased resistance and an adjustable incline for working your calves.

Elliptical machines may also include handlebars so that you can get a great back and upper body workout in by pushing and pulling, and there are even some that come with resistance bands.

What muscles do you work by using the elliptical backwards?

Pedaling in reverse on an elliptical helps you work much of the same muscles as going forward but with more emphasis on your quads and glutes.

However, if you want even more glute activation, pedal forward on an incline.