1. Home
  2. /
  3. Can You Use an Elliptical Without Power?

Can You Use an Elliptical Without Power?

Last Updated on November 4, 2021 by Jeff

Can You Use an Elliptical Without Power?



Knowing how you’ll power your elliptical is crucial to where you’ll place it, how you want to deal with it, and what kind of ongoing costs you will be facing. Subsequently, we’ll discuss different power options for ellipticals, along with some of the controversial points that surround these training machines.

The Short Answer

Yes, of course, you can use an elliptical without power. As a matter of fact, the majority of ellipticals are self or human-powered, as in, the movement of your body is what turns it on through the mechanism of the flywheel.

Powered vs. Non-Powered Ellipticals


Any powered fitness machine can be powered through a battery, which is excellent as it gives the machine a lot of freedom. You can place it anywhere without looking for an outlet. Yet, batteries need to be either recharged or replaced, so it’s an ongoing cost.

On the other hand, there are AC adapters which don’t cost you anything, except your electric bill. However, you’ll have to place your machine next to an outlet which could be limiting.

Anyway, the thing about electrically powered ellipticals is that they’re so much smaller in size. Actually, the majority of these ellipticals are” under-desk” ones so that you can squeeze in a workout during your busier days.


Non-powered ellipticals are the more common models, and they rely entirely on your own energy. Whether you’re using a magnetic elliptical or a flywheel elliptical, you’ll be powering it completely by yourself. 

Even the screen won’t light up unless you start actively training for a few seconds. Some of the best ellipticals are the Body Rider 2-in-1 Cardio Dual Trainer, the Professional Elliptical, the Gold’s Gym Elliptical Machine, and the Exerpeutic 1000xl.

Other Elliptical Dilemmas

Ellipticals do confuse a lot of people. Everyone has a different opinion in regards to these workout machines. These thoughts might stop them from approaching them, although they provide an excellent non-traumatic workout for most of the body.

Seconding Treadmills  can you use an elliptical without power cord

The very first thing that we need to speak about is the ongoing rivalry between ellipticals and treadmills. Ellipticals train your legs, backside, arms, and shoulders. 

Unless you run at a race speed on the treadmill, you won’t be getting the same kind of results as treadmills don’t work all of these muscle groups. So, if you want to go for a multi-advantage cardio session, ellipticals will win hands-down.


Music is an excellent addition to your exercise. Nevertheless, don’t go too far, as distractions can easily throw your effort down the drain. 

Watching a movie or a TV series while you’re working out will take your attention away from holding the correct posture, tightening your core, and handling the arm stands the right way; consequently, decreasing the overall quality of your elliptical workout. So, always keep your focus on what you’re doing.

Gives No Results

Some claim that ellipticals produce no results, that they don’t burn enough calories, enough fat, or that they don’t bulk up the muscles as other machines do. The first thing you want to keep in mind is that ellipticals are cardio machines, so you can’t compare their results to other machines specifically built for muscle bulking.

Still, they focus on all aspects of the workout together. Their action, which requires constant effort, helps build your muscles and burn calories and fat. That is as long as you’re doing the workout properly. So we’ll discuss some mishaps that can lead to loss of results after exercising.

No Resistance  can you use an elliptical without a power source

The resistance knob is mostly placed at the center of an elliptical, and it’s a detrimental aspect of your workouts. You have to keep increasing your resistance as you go. It’s the easiest thing in the world for you to do a mile per minute when you have zero resistance. 

Your elliptical will start sounding like a plane taking off. This is almost useless! Start slow, and build up your resistance as you go. You must always feel that you’re pushing against some kind of force to move the pedals without going too far.

Stunted Resistance

You can’t reach a specific resistance and just stay there. If the pedals are easy and light for you to push, you must know that it’s time to advance to a higher level of resistance. Staying at one level exclusively will cause no progress whatsoever.

Excluding Backward Training

This is a vital part of elliptical training that many people skip. Everyone’s natural impulse is to go forward when training on the elliptical. Yet, if you stop and start going backward, you’ll be incorporating your hamstrings and exercising them.

So, mixing your workout with forward and backward pedaling will contribute to a more uniform exercise.

Wrong Posture body posture elliptical

There are so many things that can go wrong with your posture when you’re working out. That’s why we’ve stressed the point of your attention being given to that aspect.

Primarily, you must stand straight, keep your back upright, your shoulders to the back, and your neck straight. Furthermore, your heels should be resting comfortably on the footrests while bearing most of your weight.

You shouldn’t ever stand on your toes when you’re on an elliptical, as that will totally mess with the weight distribution and forbid your legs from doing the work that they’re supposed to be doing. 

Lastly, try to keep your core as tight and tense as possible to incorporate its muscles as well.

Incorrect Handles Management

The elliptical handles are there to train your arms. However, they’re not there to bear your weight. 

You can’t be slouching on your handles and expect to lose weight or build muscle. You only need to grab the handles as light as possible and move your hands accordingly without putting any weight on them.

Lack of Input  power source elliptical

The screen that comes with the elliptical shows you a lot of information, such as your vitals, the program that you’re using, how many calories you’ve burned, how many miles you’ve gone through, etc. 

Nonetheless, the results will change from one person to another, and that’s all related to your own measurements, age, and gender. Hence, it’s crucial that you input your information as accurately as possible before you jump on the elliptical. A 160-lb male will burn calories much differently from a 120-lb female.

Using Ellipticals Exclusively

Having a routine is great with everything except for exercising. You can’t fixate on your elliptical; train every day for exactly 45 minutes with this specific resistance and this incline level, and expect awesome results. You’ll lose weight, but not at the rate that you desire.

Subsequently, mixing the elliptical with other machines and incorporating other exercises, such as HIIT and aerobics, will definitely lead to a much better outcome.


To sum up, the majority of ellipticals are self-powered by their users, which is the reason behind their success as cardio machines. They require you to put in your all, and they work on several different groups of your muscles. Still, there are some powered options that cater to certain individuals.