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Elliptical Workout Ideas

Updated on July 12, 2009

If you are looking for a way to burn the most calories possible in your workout, then try using elliptical exercise equipment. An elliptical workout works both the upper and lower body simultaneously, resulting in a higher heart rate.  The more you move the more calories you burn, and you can do it in less time with a cross trainer than most of the other machines you find in your local gym.

The energy you expend by exercising with an elliptical cross trainer is optimized with every movement you make.  Unless you are using the equipment to only work on the legs, you are 
actually working out the back, shoulders, chest, biceps, triceps, and leg muscles.  This is why you are burning more calories in less time. Cross trainers do take a little getting used to and learning the coordination of the movements, but once you have it down pat, this is the best calorie burning exercise on earth.

How To Burn Calories With An Elliptical

Elliptical cross trainers are not a miracle machine.  You have to be committed to your workouts to really make it work for you.  In order to burn calories you have to set the machine a resistance that makes your heart pump, your muscles burn, and your body sweat. You cannot go to the gym and ‘casually’ do a 10 to 15 routine on the elliptical exerciser at the lowest level of resistance possible and get a decent workout.  This simply is not how the machine works.

What makes an elliptical machine workout so good is the fact that it tricks your body into thinking its not working out as hard as you think you are because of the wide range of muscle groups being used.  This is known as the ‘rate of perceived exertion’ and you really are burning up more calories in a shorter workout.  You must have the resistance on your machine set to make you move and get your heart working in order to see results.

The Accuracy Of Calorie Readouts

Ellipticals are great exercise machines, and they provide you with a variety of readouts that can help you gauge your level of workout and how many total calories you have burned during your workout session.  The question is, however, how do you know whether the readout is accurate?  Do you really burn 400 calories while ‘walking’ 5 miles?  Or are the numbers on the machine simply estimation?

One way you can tell just how accurate these machines are is by considering the state of your body.  If your heart is pumping faster, you’re sweating profusely, and you are out of breath, then the number is probably pretty close to being accurate.  The more you raise your heart rate, the better the cardio workout provides and the closer to being accurate your machine is when it comes to the calories you’ve burned.

Remember this number that is being displayed throughout the elliptical trainer workout is really just an estimation of the energy you have expended in the routine you have completed.  You cannot base your calorie intake on the number or calories you’ve burned, and some people do burn calories at a higher rate than others.  This number is the average number of calories burned based on research that is done on people who are the same age as you and weigh approximately the same amount as you.  You must also remember that all exercise machines, like people, are all a little different.  Each manufacturer sets their computers with different empirical information, which is why your 5 mile workout that burns 400 calories on one machine may only burn 350 on another.

Elliptical fitness equipment when used properly will give you a very good workout that raises your heartbeat, makes you sweat, and makes you feel good overall with the results you are setting.  You can use the calorie burn readout as a benchmark for your own personal exercise routine, but you should keep in mind that as you improve your weight, your stamina, and your exercise routine, you may see changes in the readout based on the progress you have made.

Always double check with your doctor before starting a new workout routine to make sure that you are fit enough to engage in one.  If you haven’t worked out in a long time, an elliptical workout is a good way to start as you can set your pace and exertion level and get back on the road to fitness.


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      7 years ago

      I love doing my cardio on Elliptical machines..

      I'm into fitness. I worked in the fitness equipment industry for a number of years.

      I currently review Top Elliptical Reviews site

      Top Elliptical Reviews site and read more about Diamondback 1260 ef Elliptical Trainer which has been rated as one of the “Best Overall”


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