Top 5 ways to get the most out of every elliptical workout

August 4, 2014

When it comes to cardio on home fitness equipment, you have three options: stationary bikes, fitness treadmills or elliptical machines. Each individual has their own personal reasons for preferring one over the other – maybe you train for marathons or enjoy the repetitive motion of spinning pedals.

For those who love exercising on home elliptical machines, there are a variety of benefits. This equipment is low-impact, so it’s great for people with joint pain or those who are recovering from injuries. It can also offer a high-intensity session for those who are looking for a serious sweat sesh.

1. Consider the handlebars: Ellipticals either have stationary or moveable handlebars. The True Fitness M30 Home Elliptical Trainer offers both, and you should certainly take advantage. Add an upper body workout by engaging your arm muscles while pushing and pulling on the moveable handles, then let go and pump your arms to increase your heart rate. This also works your core because your ab and back muscles must activate to keep you balanced. Then you can grab the stationary handlebars during a low-intensity interval to catch your breath.

2. Use the technology: Many treadmills, including the M30, offer a heart rate monitor. True Fitness includes its patented Heart Rate control technology, which allows you to incorporate heart rate-based training to hit your target and maximum heart rates. Working toward different ranges shows how intensely you are pushing yourself, and the harder you push, the better results you will see.

3. Add weights: Another way to bump up your elliptical workout is to add light hand weights. While you exercise your lower body with the home elliptical machine, you can perform shoulder presses, bicep curls, tricep extensions and standing chest presses for a total body session that will burn more calories.

4. Increase resistance: If you are always running on a resistance level of zero or one, you don’t have to push very hard to finish a session. However, increasing the resistance level forces your muscles to push in order to keep the machine moving at a steady pace, so you exert more energy and get a better overall workout.

5. Change directions: There’s a good chance you only run forward on your elliptical machine, but switching it up and rotating your feet backward activates a whole other set of muscles. Alternating between forward and backward continuously challenges your mind and body, which will make both work more to complete the session.