(Closed) Does the Elliptical Work?

posted 9 years ago in Fitness
Post # 3
4822 posts
Honey bee

1) never believe the calories it says you burn

2) if you dont normally move a lot, no matter what you do will have an effect

3) its important that you are breathing heavy and look into HIIT

4) mix in weight lifting into your cardio routine (body weight routine or actual weight workouts- just google)

5) eating is the first step to dropping pounds! so watch that.

Food makes your body look good with clothes, exercise keeps the weight off and makes your body look good without clothes.

Post # 4
2546 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Well if you are sweaating like a pig, you are getting a workout, and fat is being burned. The elliptical is one of the most popular workout machines, and I know for a fact it works. In fact, years ago, I only used the elliptical as cardio and it did help me shed some lbs. The calorie counters are all off on those machines because it is just a rough estimate. I wouldn’t go by that, but just try to hit a goal each time you work out. Add some weight training into your routine as well, and that will help burn calores when you are at rest. Also, losing weight is mostly diet, so make sure you cut back on sodium, refined sugars, and other junk. Goodluck!

Post # 5
592 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I use the elliptical all the time.

Like you, I have asthma, although I still try to run and was doing couch to 5k. But I prefer the elliptical to the treadmill as I find it easier to do for longer. I usually just set it to cardio then let the machine increase resistance as necessary to get my heart rate up.

I wear a heart rate monitor and according to it I usually burn close to 300 calories in 30 min on the elliptical.

I’m loosing weight, but I do other exercise besides just the elliptical – although I use the elliptical the most. I also count calories and eat mostly healthy foods.

Post # 8
5117 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I love the elliptical (and need to get back to it!). I agree with the PPs about not relying specifically on the cals that it’s telling you, and lefeymw gave you lots of good info.

My habit on the elliptical is to switch it up. Change your levels and your resistance, go backwards as well as forward, do intervals, etc. It will keep your muscles working in different ways and you will see more results/better toning. Same with a treadmill…when I’m stuck inside for the winter, I can even do my side and back lunges on the treadmill (be VERY careful and go slow when learning these). 

Post # 9
1633 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

I think the elliptical can be a great part of an exercise routine.  If you’re doing only that, you’ll probably plateau eventually just because your muscles get so used to working in the same way, so varying resistance, speed, etc., is important, as well as incorporating other activities.  But it’s a great way to get moving, and as one of the previous posters already said, being active in any way is better than doing nothing at all.  And you really can work up a sweat on an elliptical – it definitely gets your heart rate going if you’re pushing yourself.

I really like the elliptical because I can read magazines or documents from work while I’m on it.  I tend to get bored while on cardio machines, so I like to have something to read.  So if it comes down to a treadmill versus elliptical, I’ll do the elliptical (and I like to do my jogging actually outdoors as opposed to on a treadmill).

The other thing about the elliptical is it’s not as hard on your knees as running (outdoors or on a treadmill).  MY Fiance likes the elliptical for this reason.

Post # 11
2818 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I know you mentioned that you are not a big bike fan, but does your gym have a spin/cycle class? If so, you should totally check it out. I am a spin class ADDICT. Its pretty much a class where you ride bikes and can change the resistance as you go. The instructor plays music and you do sprints, hill climbs, etc. It was my favorite cardio exercise and I’ve lost a ton of weight doing it. I also wear a heart rate monitor when working out and in my one hour of spin class that I do 3 times per week I burn a little over 600 calories! Its great, check it out! =]

Also, if your looking to lose weight definitely start counting your calories. What you eat is even more important then working out. Check out my fitness pal, its an awesome tool that can help you keep track of your calories.

Post # 12
454 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

When I read the title of this post, I thought, “Work for what?”  It’s better than doing nothing but it might not be the best choice depending on your goals.

You will absolutely lose weight if you expend more calories than you take in.  A guideline that I have seen pop up on a lot of calorie counting and fitness sites is that 1 lb/week loss roughly equals a calorie deficit of 3500 calories per week, or a deficit of 500 calories per day.  You don’t mention what your calorie intake is like so it’s hard to say if using the elliptical will work or not.  If you end up eating extra calories your weight won’t go anywhere.

Personally I find the elliptical and most steady-state cardio workounts mind-numbingly boring.  For exercise, I do heavy weight lifting two to three times per week.  For me, it burns just as many calories per session as steady-state if not more, plus it is more mentally stimulating to me, plus it allows me to retain muscle mass if I am losing weight.  I also do zumba once or twice per week for fun.

But really as long as you achieve a calorie deficit you will see weight loss.  Everyone has their own way of making that happen!  Stick with what you find fun and challenging!

Post # 13
1150 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I like the elliptical- on intervals it really tones my legs, butt and arms.  I’m a runner, but whenever my IT bands bug me, I head straight for the elliptical and watch tv shows or read while sweating bullets.  Crank the resistance up and go.  I actually think it is the best machine in the gym…second only to running and spin for calorie burn (i hate spin lol).  Weight loss is more than calories in/calories out.  If you’re constantly in a calorie deficit, your body will eventually drive you to replenish what you have expended.  What is relevant is what you eat.  Be sure to get sufficient protein and fat and consume veggies.  In my experience, dump the bread products- they make me doughy <- both pun and truth.

Post # 14
3620 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I am not a fan of the elliptical – I just don’t feel like I get as good of a workout on it, but that’s largely my own fault because the stride on it is not the right length for my little legs, so it’s not comfortable to me. I’d rather run on the treadmill. BUT if you’re looking to use the elliptical, try interval training on it – you can print out workouts at http://www.fitsugar.com, just search “printable elliptical workouts” and there are a ton.

Post # 15
2495 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

I prefer an elliptical over running, but I hate running. 🙂

Ellipticals are great, but they can’t be used alone.  You should try to do cardio one day, then weights the next day to vary your routine.  It keeps things fresh and interesting, and your body doesn’t have time to get too used to one thing. 

Building muscle is one of the best ways (if not THE best way) to permanently help keep weight off.  When you add muscle mass, your body automatically burns more calories, thereby helping you drop weight.  Cardio helps with improving cardiovascular fitness and burning fat effectively, but it can’t really help you build muscles and make them lean as well as weight training.

I personally LOVE Jillian Michaels’ DVDs.  She’s got a bunch to pick from, and I would recommend doing the elliptical, and adding one of her DVDs (30 Day Shred is a good one to start with) to your workout routine.

Oh, and yoga is also a great addition too.  It’s very relaxing and helps you get more flexible! 🙂

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