Elliptical machines are among the most popular and enjoyable ways to exercise, but if you really want to put their fat-burning potential to use, you’ll need to challenge yourself.
Below, you’ll learn a variety of tips that will help you burn more fat while you build muscle.
Elliptical Fat Burning Potential
Many people assume that because elliptical machines are a low-impact form of exercise, you won’t be able to burn as much fat using one as you would by running or spinning. In fact, if you use your elliptical the right way, you can burn as much fat as you would by doing any other form of aerobic exercise. The benefit is that you’ll get all the perks of running without the impact, so the elliptical will protect your knees and prevent other injuries you could sustain by running. And remember that the more fat you burn, the more muscle you’ll build, which will help you burn more calories even while you’re at rest.
Identify Your Target Heart Rate
In order to burn fat, you need to keep your heart rate up, but to do it right it’s important to know your target heart rate range. If you aren’t sure how to calculate your target heart rate, it’s incredibly simple. Simply subtract your age from the number 220. This number is your maximum heart rate. If you multiply this by .6, you’ll arrive at your minimum heart rate zone. If you multiple your maximum heart rate by .8, you’ll get your maximum target heart rate.
As you use your elliptical, pay attention to your heart rate and keep it within this range. This will help you ensure that your workout is safe and also effective. If you want to push yourself harder and burn more fat, try to get your heart rate closer to the higher number.
Get Your Resistance Level Right
By choosing a challenging resistance level, you’ll burn more fat. This is because when your muscles encounter resistance, they need to use more fibers to respond, which in turn burns more calories. While higher resistance is good for fat burning, you don’t want to strain your body, so it’s a good idea to choose a resistance level that challenges you while allowing you to complete a full range of motion without strain.
If you choose a resistance level that is too high, you’ll shift into an anaerobic rather than an aerobic mode. This mode will help you build muscle, but aerobic exercise is better for burning calories and fat. Keep an aerobic intensity by monitoring your heart rate as described above.
Maintain Proper Form
If you don’t use proper form during your elliptical workout, it will be difficult to burn fat. Stand up tall on the machine and focus on keeping your head over your shoulders and your shoulders over your hips. This will ensure that you use all of your muscles to their maximum potential.
Use the Handles
Although you can sometimes go faster on an elliptical machine if you don’t use the handles, using the handles can help you burn more fat and calories. Make sure you push and pull the handles rather than simply holding on to them to make the most of your workout. Don’t grab the handlebars too tightly as this will wear out your shoulders and forearms and cause bad posture that reduces the amount of fat you can burn.
Pay Attention to Your Speed
Most elliptical machines feature monitors that will track your RPMs or revolutions per minute. If you increase your RPMs, you’ll increase our intensity, but if you go too fast you won’t use your full range of motion and will fail to completely engage your muscles. If you notice that you are bouncing up and down or your feet are lifting off the pedals, slow down your speed to maximize your results.
Now that you’re aware of how to use your elliptical machine to burn more fat, download this month’s promotion and learn how much you can save on fitness equipment.