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Best Elliptical Workouts for Weight Loss

Last Updated on November 4, 2021 by Jeff

Best Elliptical Workouts for Weight Loss

Elliptical workouts are an excellent option when it comes to having an all-rounder exercise avenue. Because of the weight-bearing motions that ellipticals offer, less impact is placed on your delicate knee joints, making it a safe alternative to running. It helps you simultaneously tone and strengthen muscles while also giving you cardiovascular exercise modes. 

The elliptical machine can easily be embedded in your weight loss plan, and knowing how to use this machine to lose weight can be paramount to your success. Continue reading to find out which elliptical workouts will help in your weight loss.

Why Elliptical Workouts Help With Weight Loss

If you’re looking for a way to burn calories in a short amount of time, then the elliptical is your answer. The elliptical can burn about 270 to 400 calories in approximately 30 minutes, depending on how much you weigh, of course. 

When you burn more calories than you consume, you’ll shift the weight. The elliptical gives you the flexibility to increase the intensity through resistance and incline, making you use more energy, which burns the excess calories. 

Elliptical machines also give the advantage of providing cardio exercise, which is essential as part of a balanced fitness routine. Combined with the versatility of adding in resistance and incline, you can make your workout more intense to maximize fat burn.

You can also incorporate high-intensity interval training with your cardio workout, which is impossible with many other cardio machines. HIIT workouts burn calories in short periods, which helps you shed that body fat and give your muscles the toning they need. 

To help you find a workout to get you burning maximum calories for weight loss, we’ve put together three calorie-burning plans to help you on your way to your goals.

High-Intensity Interval Training

Your elliptical workouts can incorporate HIIT training. In this training plan, you have 30-40 seconds of high-impact work, where you put in your maximum effort, then have 10-15 seconds of rest. In your rest period, you should continue moving your legs but just slowly. 

Warm-Up: Begin with a warm-up to allow your body to get ready; spend about 5 minutes pedaling at a moderate pace to raise your body temperature slowly. While pedaling, play with the resistance, speed, and incline to see what settings suit you enough to give you a challenge.

Work: Set your timer to about 20 to 30 minutes. Put your maximum effort in and work for 40 seconds and then slow down for a 15-second break. Do this until you complete 20 minutes. Make sure that you aren’t just pedaling with no resistance or incline – have some setup so that your body is challenged to work hard and push through.

Cooldown: When the 20 minutes are up, reduce your speed and pedal slowly for about 5 minutes to lower your heart rate. Come off the machine and stretch out your hamstrings and quads as well as your back to safely complete the workout. 

When you’re ready to move from beginner level to intermediate level, you’ll notice how your recovery times are faster. That’s when you can start your intense bursts for 60 seconds and rest for seconds.

This HIIT training plan on your elliptical is a weight-burning beast. It gives you a fast and effective method to shift weight and burn fat rather than a regular-paced elliptical workout. Short bursts of high intensity will improve your metabolic rate and help you burn calories even after the exercise has been completed. 

Incline Ramp Challenge  elliptical machine workouts for weight loss

This incline challenge is 20 minutes long and uses a combination of pedaling (RPM), incline, and resistance at variable levels to make your muscles work hard to complete a full pedal cycle. 

This workout will add resistance to your pedaling, making it challenging to move your feet. Therefore, you must start slow and add more time to the particular incline level instead of increasing the incline level first. 

Warm-Up: Begin with a 5-minute warm-up to allow your muscles to get ready. Pedal at a moderate pace, which will warm you up, and while pedaling, add some incline and resistance, minimal at first.


  • Set your timer for 5 minutes, perform fast momentum RPM (pedaling) at a low incline and a medium-resistance level.
  • Set another 5 minutes but now perform low momentum RPM (pedaling) at a medium incline and a high-resistance level. 
  • Set 5 minutes again and perform fast momentum RPM (pedaling) at a high incline and a medium-resistance level. 
  • Set 5 minutes and perform medium momentum RPM (pedaling) at a low incline and a high-resistance level.

Cooldown: When your 20 minutes of work are up, reduce your speed and incline and pedal slowly for about 5 minutes to lower your heart rate. Come off the machine and remember to complete the cooldown by stretching out your hamstrings, quads, and glutes to complete the workout safely.

Low to Mid-Intensity Intervals  effective elliptical workouts for weight loss

In contrast to the high-intensity workout that is 20 minutes long but with maximum resistance levels, this one lasts for 45 minutes but at a less intense resistance and incline level. Of course, it does mean that you’re working out for longer, but if you prefer not to use maximum resistance levels, then this one would be ideal for you.

Some elliptical machines have a setting specifically for mid-intensity long intervals, but if they don’t, then follow the steps below.

Warm-Up: A warm-up, to begin with, will support your muscles to prepare them for the work ahead. Pedal slowly with a low level of resistance and incline and do this for 5 minutes.

Work: Split your 45-minute workout into 5 minutes of work. Next, alternate 5-minute sets with difficulty levels of 6/10 and then 4/10, where you apply resistance and incline to challenge yourself. Repeat these circuits till the 45-minute mark.

Cooldown: After completing the workout, spend 5 minutes at a difficulty level of about 3/10, which will allow you to return your heart rate to a resting level. Make sure you complete the essential stretches for your legs to finish. 

Final Words 

Elliptical machines provide perfect workouts for weight loss. Some of the best ones are the Schwinn Elliptical 430, the Proform Elliptical 520E, the Spacesaver SE7i, and the Body Rider Dual Trainer.

Use the HIIT on elliptical workouts above to plan your workouts so that you can burn maximum calories to aid your weight loss journey. 

All three workouts have different styles, and some have shorter periods than others, so even if you’re short of time, there’s no excuse not to take advantage of your elliptical machine. If you’re a beginner, start gradually and build your endurance and muscle mass so you can perform better. 

Don’t be put off if you aren’t able to complete the whole 20 minutes at first. But remember not to give up; remind yourself of the benefits working out can provide!