Looking to change up your workout? Step over to the elliptical. When you get comfortable, you can add some challenges that will take your routine to the next level.
Ellipticals combine the fluidity of running and low-impact motion of cycling, making them ideal for people with joint pain or who are overweight, according to the American Council on Exercise. Although a Mayo Clinic study found that jogging on a treadmill burns more calories than a steady-state workout on an elliptical, seeing results from using either machine ultimately depends on your level of exertion.
The key to getting the most out of your elliptical workout is proper technique. Adjusting the resistance level and changing your stance or pace can stimulate different muscle groups and improve your overall endurance, said Neal Pire, an exercise physiologist at HNH Fitness in Oradell, N.J.
“You can emphasize different muscle groups that are primary movers in the exercise,” he said. “By going forward or backward, it changes the emphasis of which muscle you’re using. But ellipticals are designed to be used over a duration that will decrease the muscle load and increase the cardiovascular load.”
If you’re ready to ditch the treadmill or just looking to shake up your elliptical routine, check out these tips on maximizing your time and challenging different groups of muscles.