Machine Spotlight: The Elliptical

Cardio is an important part of fitness, but it’s more than that. It’s key for weight loss, fat loss, heart health, mood, circulation, endurance, and overall health and wellness. However, it’s easy to lose motivation if you’re in a cardio rut and doing the exact same thing every day. At SWEAT in Dallas, TX, we have several different kinds of state-of-the-art cardio equipment so that you can add some variety to your routine, get out of your rut, shock your muscles, and stay motivated to reach your goals.

Today we want to reintroduce you to a cross-training machine and gym staple that will add some variety to your cardio routine, build different muscles, increase your endurance, and burn calories: the elliptical. The elliptical appears the least threatening of all the cardio machines in the gym, but don’t underestimate its potential. 

You can get an incredible burn on this low-impact machine if you put in the work and utilize it the right way. With a better understanding of all it can do and the right approach, this machine can help you improve your fitness levels, whether you’re just starting a lifestyle transformation and are new to the gym, you’re an experienced fitness professional, or you fall anywhere in between.

A Machine Made for the Warm Up

The elliptical is the perfect cardio machine if you’re looking for a way to get an effective warm-up before your strength training workout or even before moving on to some more intense cardio. It can increase your core temperature and simultaneously work your arms and legs. Plus, you can adjust the incline and resistance as needed to tailor your warm-up to target the upper body, lower body, or both. Because it’s designed to be low-impact, it won’t stress the hips or knees. Aim for five to ten minutes for an adequate warm-up before you move on to the rest of your workout.

A Machine That Can Change Up Your HIIT Workouts

While you may see gym members jumping on an elliptical for a five-minute moderate-paced warm-up, the elliptical can also deliver an intense workout that may surprise you. If you’re not in the mood for treadmill HIIT sprints, try moving your HIIT to the elliptical. The most important part of an elliptical HIIT workout is creating the right amount of tension. Too little, and you’ll look and feel like you’re about to fly off the machine and really won’t be getting that great of a workout. Too much, and you’ll feel like you’re treading through thick mud, which isn’t ideal for HIIT and definitely won’t be sustainable. 

You’ll need to choose a resistance level light enough to stabilize your movements but heavy enough that you feel the burn through your legs. Those last ten seconds of your interval should feel difficult and nearly impossible by the end of your workout. Based on your fitness level, aim for ten to 20 minutes of HIIT work and choose an interval breakdown that aligns with your goals, such as 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest or, for the more advanced, 40 seconds of work followed by 20 seconds of rest. 

A Machine That Protects Your Joints

Those with joint issues who need to avoid high-impact cardio can use the elliptical to clock their cardio without increasing the risk of injury. A low-impact elliptical workout will increase heart rate while protecting the joints. At the same time, runners who need a break from pounding the pavement but still want to get in their cardio can benefit from 20 to 30 minutes on the elliptical to use some different muscles while still maintaining an elevated heart rate. 

Climb Out of Your Cardio Rut

If you need help climbing out of your cardio rut and finding some new motivation, we can help. We have a fitness environment, state-of-the-art equipment, and personal trainers who can motivate you to reach new goals. Our trainers can design a customized workout tailored to your fitness goals. Contact us today at SWEAT in Dallas, TX, to learn more about memberships, personal training, and our group fitness classes.