Elliptical Machine Workout for Beginners

Easing your way into cardio workouts with an elliptical trainer is a good idea if you are a newbie. It is an ideal machine for you if you don’t want too much stress on your joints without compromising the heart and lower body conditioning.

It offers low-impact exercises when examined in contrast to walking or running on a treadmill. That is why it is easier on your hips and knees for maximum effectiveness. Also, it has the weight-bearing capability, hence, you can be sure of the effective formation of strong bones, connective tissues, and muscles.

If you get a machine with arm handles, you will be able to work out your whole body so that you can burn more calories. As a starter or if you have not been exercising for a long time, you don’t need to rush yourself.

If you go too hard in the beginning, you may expose your body to grave injury. It is important for you to give your body the time to build strength as well as endurance so as to get the most satisfactory result.

Preventive Measures

In most cases, low-impact workouts are recommended to lessen health dangers and sustain physical build-up. You should speak with your doctor before you try this workout, especially if you have injuries, illnesses or you are using drugs that alter your heart rate.

When you work out on the elliptical for the first time, you feel more impact on the muscles in the front of your thighs. The feeling of a burn is normal as you work out your muscles, hence, you should start with a short time of about 10 minutes. You should increase the time gradually as you gain more strength and endurance.

How to Go About the Workout

How to Go About the Workout

It is advisable for you to abide by every section of the workout so that you will be able to discover a pace and resistance that will make it possible for you to operate at the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) suggested. If you discover that you are feeling breathless or your muscles are weak, you should back off immediately.

You should carry out this workout at least three times every week, resting a day in between. Stretching of your lower body is very important after your workout, and you should not forget to drink water before and after your exercises.

Also, you should monitor your intensity by checking your RPE, which is usually between a scale of 1 and 10. This will make it possible for you to know how hard you are exercising so that you will be able to achieve your goals. The first time you can try mini ellipticals under 200.

For this exercise, you should maintain an RPE level of between 4 and 6. Level 4 is an easy warm-up pace and level 6 is a bit out of your comfort zone. However, you should make the necessary adjustments during sessions so that you can remain at a modest intensity.

Beginner Elliptical Workout – 20 Minutes

Time Intensity/Pace Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE)
5 minutes Warm-up at a convenient pace.
Keep your resistance or ramps low.
3 minutes Add to your resistance and/or ramps one to four increments, or till the time you are working harder than your warm-up pace. You should have the feeling that you are working out, but you should be able to maintain a conversation. This will be your baseline pace. 5
2 minutesAdd to your resistance and/or ramps again till
the time that you are working slightly harder than baseline.
5 – 6
3 minutes Reduce the resistance or ramps back to baseline. 5
2 minutes Add to your resistance and/or ramps once again
until you're working slightly harder than baseline.
5 – 6
5 minutesReduce the resistance or ramps back to a
convenient level so as to cool down.

Total Workout Time: 20 Minutes

Forging Ahead With the Elliptical Workout

If you want to forge ahead, you can add another 3 minutes of more effortless ramps at level 5. You can then increase the time for 2 minutes, and go for the 5-minute cool-down.

You can maintain this level for one week before adding another section of 3 minutes of undemanding exercise and 2 minutes on a harder one. This brings you to the 30-minute level, which is the minimum recommended for a day.

The Total Body Workout

You can achieve a full-body workout using an elliptical with handles. You can alter the resistance as well as the incline of the machine so that you won’t have issues sustaining your pace when you are pedaling and pushing/pulling the handles.

If you can pedal for about thirty minutes, you will be able to work out both the upper and lower parts of your body effectively for a full-body workout. You can back-pedal so as to put more focus on your upper legs’ hamstrings.

In order to avoid back pain, you should face forward at all times, and ensure that your shoulders are pulled back and down. As your fitness improves and you master the machine properly, you should increase resistance or speed so that you can move to the next level.

The HIIT Workout


The HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout is a bit challenging, and you can do it on an elliptical. It is very effective for burning belly fat if done properly.

As a beginner, going the HIIT way on an elliptical requires warming up with a 5-minute easy-to-maintain pace. Thereafter, you can step up the speed for 30 seconds until you are breathing heavily. After 30 seconds, go back to the undemanding pace. Alter the intensities consistently down to 30 minutes of the session.

On A Final Note

As a new elliptical user, you need to find the right rhythm that will enable you to enjoy your exercises. The more enjoyable it is, the more likely you are going to keep going on. You should not forget to put on protective clothes and shoes so that you will be in a better position to get the best result safely.

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  • Updated March 22, 2023
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