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Weighing In On Elliptical Trainers

Updated on November 25, 2011
Getting fit on an elliptical trainer
Getting fit on an elliptical trainer

Ellipticals are becoming more popular each year with 2011 shaping up (pardon the pun) to be it's most popular year yet and it looks like 2012 the elliptical trainer trend will continue.

With the growth of it's use, I wanted to look deeper into why the elliptical has become one of the top pieces of fitness equipment and does it actually deserve to be or is the elliptical just the last craze?

Over the next few minutes we will look at the elliptical's benefits, it's drawbacks and it's future as a fitness star.

Elliptical Trainer Workout

More Workouts for your Elliptical

Running on an elliptical for foot rehab

Elliptical Trainer Quick FAQ's

Unlike many pieces of fitness equipment, the elliptical trainer is suited for both men and women and not surprisingly the elliptical trainers users are split down the middle with 50% men and 50% women.

How many Calorie can you burn per 30 minute workout?

Based on elliptical manufacturers specs, it is estimated that you burn approximately 720 calorie per hour.

By checking fitness websites, the data looks more like this:

Most elliptical users workout for 30 minutes per session with a woman of 150 pounds burning 400 calories per 30 minutes and a man of 180 pounds burning 525 calories per 30 minutes.

Now if you compare that to a walking workout 30 minutes at 4 miles per hour.

The 150 pound woman would burn approximately 160 calories and the 180 pound man would burn 195 calories.

For the same 30 minutes the elliptical burns more than twice the calories of walking and is quite impressive.


Ellipticals on an average cost less than a treadmill, starting around $500 and going up to $1400.

Is it considered a cardio workout?

Most definitely! Many newer ellipticals have heart monitors or EKG trackers you that you can work out at your optimum heart rate for cardio fitness.

How is the elliptical on your joints?

Ellipticals are considered a low or close to no impact activity.

Switch your routines around

Don't forget to switch around your elliptical workout for the greatest benefits.


For example:

Day 1

Use only your legs on your elliptical and keep your hands on the stationary grips

Day 2

Use both the moving arm and leg features

Day 3

Use your elliptical as though you were jogging with arms moving as you jog.

Your elliptical is part stair climber, part treadmill, part bicycle and part cross trainer so there are many benefits of owning this one machine instead of several.

It doesn't matter what activity level you are at right now, whenever you use a new piece of fitness equipment always go slowly until you get used to how your body works with it. This will help you avoid injury.

If you have not been exercising for while please consult with your health care practitioner before starting any type of a new physical activity.

The workout that you get on an elliptical is considered a weight bearing exercise. Weight bearing exercises help keep the bones strong and can help you avoid hip fractures in your senior years. This is especially important for women.

We would like to hear your opinion

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    • Treadmills101 profile image

      Treadmills101 5 years ago from Utah

      There are many factors when determining how many calories you will need to burn when you workout.

      For example: Men on average burn more calories than women do when they work out, then age comes into play. As you get older you burn less calories, so younger people have the advantage.

      The you have to look at the type of exercise that you plan on doing. When you look at walking compared to swimming, swimming has walking beat.

      Then you have to look at your current fitness level. If you are currently a couch potato that gets little exercise then you will find that even a small amount of exercise will burn a great deal of calories, however if you are currently fairly fit the same exercise will not burn as many calories.

      Don't be too concerned about how many calories you will burn.

      Just start exercising (slowly at first) and then as you feel more confidant and the workouts get easier try to shake them up a bit by working out more intensely and have your workouts last a bit longer.

      This way you will continually push your body and will keep your calorie burning at its maximum. Don't overdo it, but you want to be sure that you are not just going through the motions but are actually giving it your best. When you give it your best you will see maximum results for your body.

      Good luck!

    • profile image

      Must workOut 5 years ago

      How much calories will it take to lose wight if I workout for a month??

    • Party Girl profile image

      Party Girl 9 years ago

      When I went to the gym (okay I have not been for ages!) I used to enjoy the workout from this type of machine because I felt it worked a lot of me allat teh same time.

    • Treadmills101 profile image

      Treadmills101 9 years ago from Utah

      Infomonster, it is best to change up your routine every 9 weeks or so because your body gets used to the exercises. Some people prefer to alternate their exercises during the week, so that they are always using different muscles and it breaks up the "going through the motions" type of a workout.

      If you have 3 different routines and alternate them so that they hit each routine once a week. This gives your muscles a chance to rest inbetween workouts. In doing so it then takes the body longer to get use to the workouts and you wouldn't need to swap them at 9 weeks.

      A realy good way to use your elliptical is using the bavkwards motion (most ellipticals allows this, some don't) when you do it you will notice your muscles aching the next day in places that you didn't feel before. This just shows you how each different routine works the body differently.

      If someone doesn't want to change their routine ever, they are still getting a good workout!

    • profile image

      infomonster 9 years ago

      This is very informative. I too am a fan of elliptical trainers. You might also want to check my hub about it. However, I really have to ask, is the switching of routines really necessary?

    • Treadmills101 profile image

      Treadmills101 10 years ago from Utah

      In order to get the best elliptical for you, you really need to sit down and decide on your personal fitness goals, your current fitness level and where you want to attive at.

      Of all the brands I like the ProForm for many reasons - one being that I have found that they are truly made for the way the body works.

      The stride, and the distance from the pedals to the grips are the most ergonimically developed. In terms of specific models I do favor the the ProForm Epic 1200 ( ) since it has a new body targeting system where you can work one area of the body more than another.

      For example if your thighs needed more toning than your butt, this eppiltical automatically adjusts so that you target that area more. Since most people usually have one area that needs more works, this elliptical will help them with that. It does have other good features but the targeting I think is the most important, at least for me, and it doesn't cost any more than other ellipticals -which is also a plus.

    • SendaCowChip profile image

      SendaCowChip 10 years ago

      Ok, you sold me on the concept! Now what's the best model to get that provides the most value and where can I get it?