Ellipticals are a great option for days off for runners, or for anyone who wants a good workout and calorie burner, but running isn't really for them. There are certain ways to enhance your workout on the elliptical, and here are some tips to make your workout better than ever!
Start and End Slowly
Though you may have all the energy in the world to project toward your elliptical workout, start and end slowly. When you begin on the elliptical, start at a slow and steady pace, then increase your speed in increments. When your muscles feel warmed up, it's time to kick up your workout for most of the duration. When you're three to five minutes away from concluding your workout, start going more slowly until your heart rate is at a lower level. This ensures too much stress isn't placed on your heart as you adjust from the elliptical machine to the rest of your workout, or as you leave the gym.
Target Problem Areas
The elliptical machine can work many different muscle groups. You just have to know how to use the machine properly. If your buttocks are your problem area, pressing back on your heels with the elliptical machine can help to tone the thighs. If you're hoping to build muscle in your legs, particularly your quadriceps, propelling forward with your toes can help.
Move In Reverse
Although you may be accustomed to the forward motion of an elliptical motion, you can reverse the circular motion of an elliptical machine. This means you can work different muscle groups, such as the hamstrings, when performing your exercise. Change your workout by moving forward for five minutes, then moving in reverse for five minutes, and continuing throughout your routine.
Don't Neglect Your Arms
Elliptical machines can have moving arms that allow you to adjust resistance--or sometimes they don't. Regardless, you can use your arms to enhance your workout. If you do have moving arms, throw your body into each. Push with your biceps when moving forward, then pull with your triceps to boost your arm muscles. If your elliptical doesn't have moving handles, go hands-free, according to FitSugar.com. You can place your hands on your hips while continuing on the elliptical, which can enhance your balance and provide a greater workout for your abdominal and back muscles.