12 Elliptical Benefits – Why This Cardio Machine Is So Useful

Have fun and burn your calories without getting injured with this home exercise machine.

Medically reviewed by Madhu Sharma, RD Madhu Sharma Madhu SharmaRD
Written by , MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist Charushila Biswas MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist linkedin_icon Experience: 6 years
Edited by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health linkedin_icon Experience: 8 years
Fact-checked by , MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Payal Karnik MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 2.5 years
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The elliptical machine is a popular piece of equipment for cardio. Exercising on the elliptical trainer has many benefits. It works on the lower and upper body, helps in core strengthening, and burns calories while you listen to songs or watch your favorite show. And yes, it is safer compared to a treadmill and is easy on your knees. It is indeed a good option for endurance training and an improved posture. Here are 12 elliptical trainer benefits and why you must use it for 20 minutes every day. Scroll down!

protip_icon Workout Blueprint: Elliptical Exercise
  • Frequency: Daily
  • Benefits: Aids weight loss, boosts cardiovascular health and stamina, and tones the entire body
  • Equipment Needed: Elliptical machine
  • Space Required: Small area (need enough space for the elliptical machine)
  • Assistance Required: No
  • Who Should Avoid: Individuals with joint problems or injuries, lower back pain, or balance issues

12 Benefits Of Elliptical Exercise 

1. Can Aid Weight Loss

Woman working out on an elliptical machine to reduce weight
Image: Shutterstock

An elliptical machine or trainer is great for weight loss. It burns somewhere between 150-400 calories in 30 minutes, depending on your current weight and elliptical speed.

The exertion level is less when you use an elliptical machine for cardio. Hence, by the end of your 30-minute elliptical workout, you will still have the energy for a few more fat-burning exercises.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Check your posture and avoid leaning on the machine’s handles to minimize muscle injuries and back pain.

2. Low-Impact Exercise

Elliptical workout is a low-impact and a joint-friendly exercise. It is gentle on your knees, is great for the elderly, and is a great rehabilitation exercise for people after a knee injury, osteoporosis, ankle injury, and knee arthritis (1).

Walking or running on the treadmill is a high-impact exercise and may cause an injury or aggravate an old one. Hence, choose elliptical machines if you want to burn calories without getting injured.

3. Targets The Lower Body

Elliptical trainer exercise targets the lower body
Image: Shutterstock

The pedaling or stair-climbing action of the elliptical machines targets the leg muscles. It acts on the quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, glutes, and calves and builds good muscular endurance.

This is precisely why elliptical machine workouts are great for losing extra fat from your lower body, i.e., the lower belly area, hips, and thighs.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Gradually increase the resistance and incline to make the most of the workout.

4. Tones The Entire Body

Woman flaunting her toned muscles
Image: Shutterstock

An elliptical trainer gives you an integrated full-body workout. Unlike treadmills, elliptical trainers not only work on your lower body but also engage your upper body.

Elliptical trainers have handle levers, which are pushed and pulled in synchronization with the leg movements. They target the biceps, triceps, deltoids, lats, lower belly, hips, and thighs, thus offering a full-body workout.

5. Boosts Cardiovascular Health

The health of your heart and blood vessels is crucial for a better and longer life. Spending 20-30 minutes on the elliptical will help increase the heart rate, which helps strengthen the heart muscles. The elliptical machine can also be used for High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts. HIIT involves alternating periods of high-intensity exercise with periods of lower-intensity exercise or rest, with the goal of maximizing calorie burn and improving cardiovascular fitness in a shorter amount of time.

6. Improves Cardio Stamina

A high-intensity elliptical session for 15 minutes or moderate-intensity sessions of 30 minutes every day can help improve cardio stamina. The lungs and heart work extra hard to pump oxygen to all parts of the body. Practice daily for at least 10 days to see increased stamina. Your performance level will also increase for other types of exercises.

7. Reduces High Blood Pressure

Elliptical trainer exercise reduces high blood pressure
Image: Shutterstock

Spending just 5 minutes on the elliptical machine can help you feel less stressed. That’s because exercising releases serotonin, the “feel-good” hormone. Serotonin has blood pressure-lowering or antihypertensive effects (2), (3).

Doing low-intensity or moderate-intensity elliptical workout every day can have a positive effect on hypertension. However, you must consult your doctor if you are taking medicines for hypertension or have undergone major surgery.

8. Improves Balance And Mobility

Balance and mobility are extremely important for preventing falls and injuries and improving flexibility and agility. Elliptical trainers are good for conditioning your body for better balance and mobility. The high-rise platform and simultaneous movement of the legs and arms help improve coordination between the limbs and the brain.

9. Decreases Chronic Inflammation

Chronic low-grade inflammation may be caused due to poor food habits and a sedentary lifestyle, which may cause you to gain weight (4). Elliptical trainers help with calorie burning, lower blood pressure, and release serotonin. This, in turn, helps in stress relief and inflammation in the body. This is the reason you lose weight and your mood improves after a 20-30 minute session of elliptical trainer workout.

10. Improves Blood Circulation

Elliptical trainer workout also helps improve blood circulation and energy expenditure. Better blood circulation helps maintain oxygen flow to all parts of the body. It boosts immunity, reducing the risk of diseases and chronic sickness. Good circulation also keeps the vital organs healthy and helps improve sleep quality. It also reduces your skin and hair issues.

11. Weight-Bearing Exercise

Elliptical exercise is weight-bearing. This means your muscles and bones need to work to push the pedals. This causes muscle wear and tear, which is good for building stronger muscles and bone density improvement. It also helps with muscle toning. This workout is great for people with osteoporosis and those with a high risk of fracture.

12. Enjoyable Workout Program

Enjoyable workout program of elliptical trainer exercise
Image: Shutterstock

The alternate, rhythmic movement of the legs and arms makes it an enjoyable workout. It is not high-impact but burns a good number of calories and helps you get back in shape. Using the elliptical machine as a cross-training exercise can help prevent boredom and provide variety to your workout routine, which can help keep you motivated and consistent with your exercise program. Create your own personalized workout routine where you listen to music or a podcast or even watch a show or a match while on the elliptical to make the fitness process a fun one.

While ellipticals offer a host of benefits, they also have certain disadvantages. Learn about them to make an informed choice.

Disadvantages Of Using An Elliptical Trainer

  • Elliptical trainers offer fewer bone-strengthening benefits compared to weight-bearing exercises like running or walking.
  • Repetitive, linear motions may lead to boredom and reduced motivation for some users.
  • Elliptical trainers provide a less intense upper body workout than dedicated strength training exercises or other equipment like rowing machines. Hence, those looking to build upper body strength may need to incorporate additional exercises into their routine.
  • High-quality elliptical trainers can be relatively expensive and could take up a significant amount of space.
  • Overusing an elliptical trainer may aggravate any pre-existing injuries, particularly in the knees, hips, or lower back.

A blogger, in her experience with elliptical machine wrote that this machine promotes rapid fat burning, particularly in the abdomen and buttocks, with consistent exercise and a balanced diet. She says “I have decided to try the elliptical machine for home exercise. It has positively impacted my overall health” (i).

Infographic: 6 Most Effective Benefits Of Elliptical Exercises

An elliptical trainer is a popular workout equipment that helps in burning calories without too much exertion. Apart from this, they come with a host of benefits that make them an excellent addition to your workout routine. We have rounded up the 6 most effective benefits of elliptical exercise that you should know about in the infographic below!

6 most effective benefits of elliptical exercises (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Elliptical exercise ranks high in terms of burning calories, so it certainly aids weight loss. Moreover, they are low-impact workouts, making them safe for the elderly and those with knee issues and bone disorders. An elliptical trainer benefits the body in many other ways, like toning the entire body, improving cardiovascular fitness and strengthening heart muscles, enhancing stamina, reducing hypertension, and improving blood circulation to the entire body. Exercising on this equipment also helps boost your coordination and leaves you with improved balance. It can be good for mental clarity as well. So, include elliptical exercise in your fitness regimen and see the results for yourself within a few weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 30 minutes on the elliptical enough?

Yes, 30 minutes on an elliptical machine every day is enough for burning 150-400 calories. Of course, it will depend on your current weight and the intensity of exercise. You may also do bodyweight exercises at home and HIIT exercises to burn more calories and be fit.

Can I do elliptical every day?

Yes, since it is considered a good aerobic exercise, you may do the elliptical workout every day for 20-30 minutes.

Will elliptical make legs bigger?

No. The elliptical workout will make your legs toned and strong.

Does the elliptical tone your arms?

Yes, the elliptical machine exercise helps tone the arms.

Is jogging better than elliptical?

If you have bad knees, it is best to do elliptical exercise.

Does elliptical help lose love handles?

No, the elliptical will not help you lose love handles. You must have a special diet and exercise plan to lose side fat.

How many times a week should I do the elliptical?

This depends on your health and fitness goals. Individuals with a sedentary lifestyle should work out on the elliptical for at least 10 to 15 minutes two to three times per week. Consult a doctor or a fitness coach to help you set your fitness goals.

Key Takeaways

  • Elliptical trainers are low-impact exercises suitable for people with knee injuries and osteoporosis.
  • They target lower muscle groups like the legs, hips, and thighs
  • Using the elliptical trainer for 20 minutes may aid in weight loss and build endurance.
  • This cross trainer helps improve blood circulation, which boosts immunity and improves sleep quality.
elliptical trainer benefits

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Referent body weight values in over ground walking, over ground jogging, treadmill jogging, and elliptical exercise. Gait & Posture, ScienceDirect.
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0966636213005997
  2. Brain serotonin and blood pressure regulation: studies using in vivo electrochemistry and direct tissue assay. Life Sciences, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2414630
  3. Serotonin and the blood vessel wall. Journal of Hypertension, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2939211
  4. Chronic Inflammation in Obesity and the Metabolic Syndrome, Mediators of Inflammation, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2913796/
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Madhu Sharma is a member of the National Executive Committee of IDA. She has been associated for almost three decades with Pediatric Nutrition at PGI while serving in the Gastroenterology Department (20 years) and then the Advanced Pediatric Center (10 yrs) at PGIMER, Chandigarh. She is former Senior Dietitian from PGIMER, Chandigarh, retired in 2012.   Madhu has been closely...read full bio

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