Whether you’re looking to lose weight or maintain muscle mass using an elliptical, you can achieve just about every fitness goal in only 30 minutes, but only if you know what to do.
Unlike other workout machinery, the elliptical is a low-impact machine that doesn’t pack the same punch as a full-body workout. But it’s still intense enough to burn calories and then some. Let’s not forget, an elliptical is a cardio machine.
So, if you want to give your heart some healthy exercise, your muscles some lactic acid, and your energy a boost, here is the only 30-minute workout plan you’ll need, followed by some tips and tricks that’ll help you benefit more from cycling like a demon and putting your all into it.
If you have limited space in your house and view that you cannot accommodate an exercise machine inside your house, you must get the best elliptical for small space; these are compact machines that take less space and a low ceiling is not an issue.
The 30-Minute Challenge Workout
Before we begin, let’s warm-up by doing some stretches.
In these 30 minutes, you’ll be changing up the resistance and using various speed intervals to improve your calorie burn. So, before you hop on the elliptical, here are some stretches to start with:
i) Upper Back Stretch (5 Times For Each Shoulder Blade)
Sit on the edge of a chair, and put your feet flat on the ground. Interlock your hands and straighten your back, then reach up with one hand. You want to feel like a string is pulling your shoulder socket gently upward. You’ll feel the stretch down the side of your back.
Bring the shoulder down and do the same with the other shoulder.
ii) Neck Stretch
You’ll notice that your shoulders may be hitched up, so relax them. Next, place one hand on the top of your head, then move your head gently into the arm’s direction.
It would be best if you only went so far that it feels comfortable. Hold for 12 – 15 minutes, then let go. Do the same on the other side.
iii) Side Stretch
Place your feet hip-width apart, raise your arms high, then clasp your hands. Lean your body to the side, letting the stretch go down to the back of your body. Wait 12 – 15 minutes before letting go. Do the same for the other side.
iv) Quad Stretch
Stand next to a wall or a chair if you have balance issues, and keep your feet hip-width apart. Keeping your glutes straight, raise your foot behind you, and hold it with the corresponding hand.
You’ll feel your thigh muscle stretch in the front. Feel that stretch in your hips and thighs. Hold for 7 – 10 seconds. Let go, then repeat the same process for the other leg.
v) Hamstring Stretch
Stand with your back against the wall. Gently bend your knee forward as you would when going to sit. Place that leg outright, and point your toes up at the ceiling. Bend your hip forward and feel that stretch up the back of your leg.
You’ll want to hold this pose for 12 – 15 seconds. Then do the same for the other leg.
vi) Calf Stretch
Face the wall and place both hands straight out against it for support. Using one foot, place it behind you, pushing your heel to the ground gently while the other stays bent.
You’ll feel the stretch run from the back of your knee down to your calf and ankle. Hold this position for 12 – 15 seconds, then release. Repeat the same for the other leg.
Once you’ve stretch properly, you’ll want to climb on the elliptical and crank up the incline to a 5.
Keep in mind that this is not for beginners. Unless you’ve used other machinery and are aware of how intense an elliptical workout can be, this one will quickly overwhelm your muscles. Here’s how you will want to maintain your resistance and incline
Resistance: 3.0 – 8.0 – 12.0 – 10.0 – 3.0
Incline: 5.0 – 7.0
Starting from 3.0, you’ll crank up the resistance to 8.0, where you will remain while in recovery mode. You will only go to 12.0 once, in the latter half of the 30-minute workout. Here is the workout you’ll need to follow:
30 Minutes Workout Plan for Elliptical
|0 – 5 (5 Minutes)||5.0||3.0||Start the warm-up|
|5 – 10 (5 Minutes)||6.0||8.0||Endurance mode: start pedaling|
|10 – 11 (1 Minute)||6.0||8.0||Push to intense mode|
|11 – 13 (2 Minutes)||6.0||8.0||Recovery mode|
|13 – 14 (1 Minute)||5.0||10.0||Push to intense mode|
|14 – 16 (2 Minutes)||5.0||8.0||Recovery mode|
|16 – 20 (2 Minutes)||5.0||8.0||Endurance mode (steady pedaling)|
|20 – 21 (1 Minute)||6.0||10.0||Push to intense mode|
|21 – 22 (1 Minute)||7.0||8.0||Recovery mode|
|22 – 23 (1 Minute)||7.0||12.0||Push to intense mode|
|23 – 24 (1 Minute)||7.0||8.0||Recovery mode|
|24 – 28 (4 Minutes)||6.0||10.0||Endurance Mode (Steady)|
|28 – 30 (2 Minutes)||5.0||3.0||Slow down toward relaxed mode|
How Many Calories Will I Burn on an Elliptical?
That depends on what your current weight is.
According to Harvard Health, calorie loss is based on your body weight and composition and the intensity of your workout. For example, if you are a 155-pound person and you exercise on the elliptical for 30 minutes, you’ll lose an average of 335 calories.
That will go up to 400 if your weight is upwards of 185 pounds.
Short Tricks to Improve Your Workout
i) Improve Your Metabolism
You are what you eat, so why not be a little healthy with your choices? Improve your metabolism by incorporating various ingredients into your diet like berries, almonds, beans, coffee, and turmeric. In other words, make your food naturally colorful.
Aside from keeping you full, these ingredients will give you extra energy for your workout.
ii) Get in that Protein
A healthy after-workout snack can make all the difference. After you’ve done working out, have your fair share of healthy food, like Greek yogurt, avocado, fish, eggs, and meat.
This way, you’ll give back to your body what you lost, but by supplying it with a healthy fat.
iii) Drink Water
About 1.5 liters of water a day should suit. Water is a miracle ingredient for the body and can push your workouts from stagnancy. Water also replaces all the liquid and salt you lose while working out. So, ply yourself with water throughout the day, and stay hydrated while working out.
Have flavored water by using fruit if you’re used to tasting while drinking. Drinking water is the most ignored trick there is, despite being the most effective for workout lovers.
iv) Keep Your Posture Right
What’s worse than aching muscles after a workout? An aching back, of course! Unlike a recumbent elliptical, a stationary bike or elliptical doesn’t offer any back support, which causes you to curve your spine without knowing.
As a result, you get shoulder pain, lower back pain, arm pain—all because you forgot to keep your posture straight. Keep your back straight and round your shoulders in if it’s too much. But don’t let go of the rigidity.
Ready to Get Started?
Follow the tips above and program your workout in your elliptical for your next exercise regime.
You’re about to get a full-body workout that you’ll thank us for later. We promise!
Our comparison of elliptical vs stepper helps to understand why a stepper cannot replace the elliptical even it’s much cheaper than the standard elliptical machines.