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12 July 2019

5 Mistakes You Are Making on Your Elliptical Machine


An elliptical machine might look a little strange, and it might look like something that is just doing all the work for people who think that they’re exercising on it, but there’s actually quite a few benefits to using one.


Unlike running on a treadmill, it’s a low-impact exercise because the machine moves with you and this means that pretty much anyone can make use of it. It also serves as a workout for both your upper and lower body. 

If you exercise on an elliptical, you are optimizing your energy expenditure, which means you can burn calories more efficiently than you would with other exercises. Having said all of that, a lot of people don’t reap these benefits because they don’t use the machine the right way.

Here’s a few mistakes you might be making on your elliptical machine:

1.    You Don’t Change the Resistance


When you’re just starting out on the elliptical machine, it’s probably okay for your resistance to be pretty low, but you’re body is going to get used to this pretty quickly. Possibly without you even realizing it.

If it’s easy for you, then you’re not doing it right. You need to be pushing and pulling through every individual stride. The sweet spot is to make sure that it’s not impossible for you, because then you’ll never get anywhere, but that it is a challenge.

It’s the only way that you are going to see results. Ellipticals can be a little bit complicated with all of the buttons and numbers on the face, but what you are looking for here is pedal resistance. 

If you are doing elliptical workouts consistently, you should be able to increase the resistance a little bit with every single workout. 

2.    You Don’t Maintain Your Speed


Unlike a treadmill, you can’t rely on an elliptical machine to control how quickly you are going. That’s all up to you and your movements. To get the best results from an elliptical workout, you need a combination of speed and resistance.

This can be tough to maintain for 20 or 30 minute straight. By the time you’re finished, you might feel like you’ve done a full workout, when in fact you’re speed started to slip about halfway through and you didn’t burn close the amount of calories you were aiming for.

If you set yourself a goal, you have to stay on track to meet that goal. It’s hard to keep moving but if you keep focused, you keep control of your breathing and the speed and resistance is at a level you are capable of, you should be able to push through this.


3.    Your Weight Isn’t Evenly Distributed


If you’ve noticed while you’re on the elliptical that your toes start to get numb part way through the session, this is a problem, and it’s probably happening because you’re weight is not evenly distributed on the pedals. 

You should try to mimic the movements you would have while running, so start on the balls of your feet and then roll through onto your heels. If you place all of your weight on the balls of your feet the entire time you’ll be putting a lot of stress on your ankles and knees.
Also, you’ll be working different muscle groups by shifting the weight distribution as you use the machine. 

4.    You Don’t Enter Your Information


Another big difference between an elliptical and a treadmill is that you can usually update a machine with details of your size, so that it can relay information about your progress. While you can just jump on exercise, you’re missing out on the benefits if you do that.

Entering your height and weight allows for the machine to give you a more accurate reading of how many calories you are burning so you can keep an eye on it. This should also help you in maintaining your speed since you can see if the calorie-burning is slowing down and react accordingly to that.

Some of the best machines out there will also come with a whole host of other features too. Some have virtual training in-built or pre-coded High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) programs that you can use, and that you will benefit more from if your information has been entered into the machine’s operating system. 

5.    You’re Relying Too Much on the One Machine


So as awesome of a device as it is, an elliptical is still just one machine, and you should probably have a bit more variety It’s easy to plateau on weight loss or muscle training if you stick to the same exercise over and over.

Your body will become accustomed to the training and it will be more difficult for your to continue making the same progress. If you don’t want to incorporate too much more equipment into your exercising, then just start doing some bodyweight exercises.
You could still use the elliptical like 4 or 5 times a week, but in addition to that, work in a couple of other workouts too. You could try and do yoga or pilates too if you don’t want to focus on strength but still want a bit more variety.

At the end of the day, this is still a terrific machine that you can get all kinds of benefits from, provided you know how to use it. And all of these issues can be very easily dealt with anyway so it should be simple enough for you to stay on track with it. 

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