Using An Elliptical Trainer

using an elliptical trainer

Not sure how to use your elliptical trainer? Here are some tips on using an elliptical trainer. When you first step on the elliptical trainer, your legs will probably start going backwards.

You don’t want your legs to go backwards. Instead, place your feet on the foot pedals and push forward. The trainer will begin to move forward and you simply follow the elliptical pattern.

Of course, you can vary the resistance and add more power to your push.

Remember to start off slowly. You may be tempted to power your way through the programs but try and stay in the mid range of the elliptical pattern. Work up to the more advanced levels.

What about handle bars?

Some elliptical trainers come with handles or dual action handle bars. If you prefer to use the handles, by all means, go ahead. Personally, I prefer to use the handles for balance and not as a part of the work out. By Keeping your hands free of the handles or using them for balance, you will place more emphasis on the legs and butt, which in my opinion is where you want the resistance.

Although using the handle bars will give you more of a total body workout. It's all about preference.

How long should you exercise for?

If you are a beginner to elliptical exercise equipment, I suggest you start out at 10 to 20 minutes per session in a slow rhythm. In conjunction with your muscle building program, you will want to train on the elliptical on the specified aerobic days.

As you progress, I suggest you add more programs and possibly some intervals which add to the intensity of the exercise.

Tip #1

Remember to stand up straight. Keep your head up and level.

Tip #2

I suggest you don’t pedal backwards. Pedalling backwards can be pretty hard on your knees.

Tip #3

Make sure you have good rhythm while your exercising. Your stride speed is affected by the amount of resistance that you set. If the resistance is too great, you’ll quickly lose momentum and stamina as you try and power the next set of strides.

Tip #3

Get used to the elliptical trainer before going all out. When you’re first starting out, it’s very important to let your legs and heart get used to the pace of the exercise. Try and workout for a longer period of time than expending bursts of energy.

This will give your body time to adjust to your workouts. As you progress, you’ll be able to increase your exercising intensity.

Tip #4

Vary the resistance. By varying the resistance, you can adjust the amount of exercise intensity.

Tip #4

Try increasing the intensity. Try this when you feel comfortable and ready. Use bursts of energy every once in a while at a higher level of intensity. I suggest using the last couple of minutes at higher levels of intensity and for the very last minute, back off and lower the intensity and cool off.

Tip #6

Make sure the elliptical trainer is sturdy. Avoid a wobbly elliptical machine. Elliptical trainers are fun and easy to use. Simply hop on the trainer and start up the momentum.

All the best,


As the owner of Building Muscle 101, I am committed to providing you the best practical weight training advice. I've been training for over 24 years (and still train to this day!) and the advice and guidance I provide comes directly from my experience and knowledge.

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