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How to Use an Elliptical Machine

Although intimidating to some amateurs, elliptical machines are actually quite simple to use. Plus, with the proper technique, they provide an effective and low-impact workout, blasting fat and calories without putting pressure on your knees. Unfortunately, ellipticals can be ineffective without the correct form and routine. To be sure that you know how to use an elliptical machine properly, use the tips below to give your workout a boost. How to use an elliptical Fitness Gallery

Don’t slouch. Just because an elliptical machine has handrails, that doesn’t mean you should lean on the rails. Slouching will reduce your workout’s intensity and can cause lower back pain. You can use the handrails for balance, but don’t place your weight on them.

Use the handles/levers. The beauty of an elliptical machine is that it allows your upper and lower body to share the work. For an effective workout, push and pull the levers as your legs move, pumping them at a 90-degree angle as if running.

Vary your workout. To ensure that you don’t reach a plateau, surprise your muscles by varying your workout routine. You can change the resistance, stride rate, and sometimes even the elevation to diversify your exercise sessions. Not only will this improve your workout, but it will prevent boredom and ensure that you don’t “phone in” your workout. Consider using interval training (alternating between moderate- and high-intensity effort) to get better conditioning.

Adjust the incline. When you adjust the incline settings on an elliptical machine, you transform the workout. A low incline provides a stride like a cross-country skier, a medium incline is more like a bike (and is the typical elliptical stride), while the high incline simulates a stair-climber.

Bump up the resistance. Although an elliptical machine is like a cousin of the treadmill, that doesn’t mean they should be used in the same way. With an elliptical, it’s not necessarily true that the faster you peddle, the better your workout will be. Instead of allowing the momentum to carry you, increase the resistance so that your muscles have to work harder to propel the machine.

Focus on your workout. If you leisurely watch TV or chat with a friend while you use an elliptical machine, you may slack off when it comes to employing proper technique and upping the intensity. Make your workout count!


If you enjoy using an elliptical machine to achieve your fitness goals, consider purchasing an elliptical for your personal use. Whether it’s raining, snowing, or a pitch black night, you will be able to fit in a workout. Plus, now that you know how to use an elliptical machine properly, you can maximize your workouts and amp up the intensity.

If you’re looking for an elliptical machine, a treadmill, an exercise bike, or strength equipment, Fitness Gallery is here to help. We handpick each piece of fitness equipment sold in our stores, so you know that you’re getting high-quality products at a great value. Plus, we have top-of-the-line used equipment for those on a budget.  To learn more, please visit our online store, or stop by our showrooms in Denver (CO) or Highlands Ranch (CO). Our knowledgeable staff can help you find the perfect equipment for your fitness goals.

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