In your journey towards a fat-free midsection, an elliptical machine can be your ace in hand. Your stomach bulge will never do wonders for your confidence, and in the long term can lead to health issues like diabetes and another heart disease. So we can agree it has got to go. To lose this fat, you have to create a calorie deficit so that your body starts to burn some of the stored fat for energy. Your diet plays a major role in creating that deficit, and so does cardiovascular exercise – so this is where the elliptical machine will come into play.
An elliptical machine is great for a lot of purposes – you can get a low impact, stress- free, full-body workout targeted for calorie burning. To burn maximum calories on your trainer, use the programs installed in newer models. They are designed for optimizing weight loss – using interval training to change the stride length, speed, and resistance levels. Bi-directional pedaling coupled with handlebar movement will ensure a great cardio workout.
Indeed, you cannot point specifically at your midsection bulge and “get rid of it”. Cardio machines like the elliptical engage more muscles in your lower and upper body ( giving you a full-body workout) – especially when you turn up the workout intensity. This will leave your muscles working harder so that they consume extra calories. The source for this “extra” calorie can be the flab in your belly area.
In this article, we have taken the initiative to detail how elliptical machines can help lose your belly fat. We have brought up why it is necessary to get rid of the types of fat in your body, and also the steps you can take to maximize the effectiveness of your workouts. A few common FAQs have been included to address queries too.
Burning fat effectively with ellipticals
To ramp up calorie burning as you exercise on ellipticals, you can take up the following practices.
Use your elliptical for interval training by ramping the resistance up and down at regular intervals. Experts believe that as you work harder at resistance for a certain period of time and come down to the recovery resistance for the same duration, or work for a longer duration at higher resistance with a minimized period of recovery – you can pump up the heart rate and lose more calories efficiently. As interval training leaves you almost sprinting, you can reach your desired fitness and weight goals in half the time.
Increase resistance & incline
Increments to the resistance level and incline of your elliptical trainer will challenge you further even more – as you work harder to overcome it, you can see your belly fat reduce. Your cardio workout will allow various muscle fibers to recruit naturally when they are engaged a bit “deeper”. Know more about elliptical resistance types.
Upper body engagement
Your lower half is driving most of the movement on ellipticals. Workouts are more challenging whenever both upper and lower body is incorporated into your fitness routine. You can switch between intervals where you are driving more leg movement and more hand movement – ideally, this can be going an extra minute for the legs and 30 seconds more via the arms.
Go for bi-directional pedaling
It is possible to burn more fat by pedaling backward on your trainer. As you vary how your muscles are working – you will be using more energy. You can pedal backward for your full workout session or alternate in intervals.
Train longer but slowly
Training in such a way is ideal for taking stress off your joints and muscles while it leaves you huffing and puffing on your trainer as you burn calories. LSD will boost your aerobic endurance. The elliptical is designed such that your knees and joints will be protected while you engage in the stability and strength exercises.
Do not engage the handles (sometimes)
You can incorporate intervals where you have removed your hands from the handlebars. Doing so will engage your core more while challenging your stability on the machine. An alternative scenario can involve using weights or resistance bands to mimic hand movement while running. Go easy at the beginning so that you can adjust yourself, find the balance, and then opt for more intensity or speed.
Adding to the intensity of the exercise for the lower half of your body is a good option. You can bring about more bend in the knees and squat down to a lower profile while you are following the typical elliptical movement. Your quadriceps, especially, have to work through more intensity. While squatting down may put too much load on your knees, you can begin with 10 – 30 seconds and then go back to your upright position.
➥ Ellipticals are effective but most of them are costly. If you’re looking for ellipticals within your budget, here are two lists for you. These lists include ellipticals under $500 and ellipticals under $1000.
Basics of belly fat
Your abdominal fat is harmful and can be broken down into two categories. Just under the skin, you can find subcutaneous fat which is also available near their midsections. This fat can create medical complications when they are present in massive quantities.
You can also find “visceral fat” that accumulates around organs found in the midsection. This fat can create major concerns since you will not be able to see them using your naked eye and only medical scans can identify their location. Even if you are relatively slim, visceral fat can build up around your midsection. This fat can compromise the functionality of organs it will ensnare while causing inflammation and releasing fatty acids into your blood. Diabetes, heart disease, cancer – all these chronic and deadly diseases have been associated with visceral fat – especially if you find them present in abundance on your belly.
Thankfully, elliptical machines are just perfect to kickstart your journey for a flat and healthy midsection.
Intensity of Workouts
One of the best ways to make sure that your elliptical workout intensity is “high” enough would be to engage in interval training. This is very different from the typical cardio workouts on other fitness equipment where the heart rate stays constant throughout the duration of the workout. Interval training will leave your heart pumping faster so that both during and after your elliptical workout sessions, your body is burning calories very fast. Interval training or HIIT (High-intensity interval training) is perfect if you want to burn more calories quickly – getting rid of the harmful visceral fat we have mentioned above.
Another way to use interval training for burning more calories would be to reach a heart rate that is within the ideal heart rate zone. To find out your target heart rate as you are exercising, subtract your age from the number 220. The result needs to be multiplied by 70 or 60 so that you can get the target range for heart rate. Interval training will have you exercising for shorter bursts at a high intensity and then bring you down to a lower intensity. This cycle is repeated and is an effective means to help you maintain your pulse with the target zone.
Bring variations in aerobic exercises
While you are using ellipticals for aerobic exercises that get your heart pumping – it may be the case that you are feeling disengaged, you find your workout routines to be monotonous, or you feel that the machine is not delivering the optimal output. Whatever may be the case, experts find that this “plateau” in performance can be avoided by adjusting the workout routine on your elliptical every 2 months. You can strive for faster exercise speed or add more resistance.
The more diverse workout you engage in, it is possible for you to efficiently get rid of the fat in your midsection. The typical elliptical workout can be coupled with sessions of cycling or running to add variety to your aerobic exercise. Pacing steadily during HIIT can be alternated with long elliptical workout sessions that can drive you towards your weight goals.
Enhance the resistance & incline
It is possible to get rid of more calories increasing the incline and resistance. This facilitates deeper engagement of the several types of muscle fibers available in both your upper and lower body – working on your hip extension in due process.
You can hike up the resistance level in your elliptical machine to bike your muscles, which will aid you to get rid of a larger number of calories while at rest. A higher resistance may leave you pedaling slowly, but you can get strength and cardio workout simultaneously. More energy will be needed as input to work against the resistance while calories are being shed. This will help to burn fat.
Integrate complementary strength training
While you can use elliptical machines to engage in training sessions that aim to kick your cardio fitness into running shape – you have to do more if your ultimate goal is losing the extra weight in your belly. This is where strength training is so effective – you can combine this with elliptical sessions to meet your needs in the short runs and keep you from gaining that weight again.
Strength training is very effective to minimize the fat in your body while building up your muscles, boosting your metabolism, and in the due process burn more calories. You can do elliptical sessions and strength training on the same day, or alternate days. 30 minutes of dumbbells or free weights exercise can create a difference. Free-hand strength training includes pull-ups, push-ups, leg squats, or abdominal crunches. These will allow you to build a foundation for your body so that the weight you have lost does not come back again. The increased muscle mass due to strength training will need more energy and they settle for the excess calories in your body otherwise known as fat.
Keeping yourself motivated during workouts
Pain or struggle is the biggest obstacle in your quest to lose your fatty belly. Quitting is comparatively easier, as you can avoid the physical and mental pain. If you weigh more than the average user – you will find that during the 5 minutes at the beginning of your workout, the urge to quit is the strongest. On the other side of the coin, the clock hands often tend to slow down for you as you reach the end of your workout session. So to drive you during both these situations, you must have the correct motivations to fuel your drive. Set both short and long term workout goals – like trying to cut down a certain number of pounds over a specific time period. Many elliptical consoles can be paired up with apps so that you can compare your weight put-downs to that of your friends. These types of ellipticals (that come with consoles) are great for home use as working out alone is always boring. Features such as speakers will also offer just the correct amount of distraction. Using VR while you are using an elliptical machine can be an option too.
Maximizing effects of your workouts
#1 Boosting metabolism by consuming certain food & beverages
You can use specific food and beverages to boost your metabolism. An hour before you begin your workout, you can have beans, coffees, almonds, berries, or turmeric so that you have the additional power to finish a workout effectively and efficiently. This will facilitate more calorie burn – thus better weight loss.
#2 Consider consuming sufficient protein
You will need to ensure that after you have completed an hour of a grueling workout, your muscles have access to sufficient protein from fish, meat, greek yogurt, eggs, or other sources. You have to couple them with olive oil or avocado – which are great fat sources. Your muscles can be restored in this way while ensuring that your body can get rid of the surplus fat that has accumulated.
#3 Curb out alcohol consumption
Alcohol contributes directly to your belly fat. So, no matter the amount of workout you put in – as long as you keep up drinking, you will not be able to meet your weight loss goals.
#4 Consume plenty of water
You will need to drink at least 1.5 liters of water every day – but of course, you can go above this threshold as per your preference. If you are suffering from elevated blood sugar levels, it is a good idea to keep yourself hydrated – especially if you are working out on the elliptical.
#5 Try eating fresh food
Avoid anything this is processed and comes in a package. The best practice would be to settle on fresh food ( made by nature ) as packaged food is kept fresh using food additives. This keeps contributing to your belly fat.
F. A. Q.s
Q1. How do I lose weight on an elliptical?
Ans.: As you work both the lower and upper half of your body during elliptical exercises, more simultaneous muscle engagement can help to burn the extra calories. The low-impact workouts still facilitate weight loss as you train harder and longer – especially if you are obese or have joint-related issues.
When the hard and long elliptical workout sessions cannot shed the belly fat – there could be something wrong with how you have positioned your upper body on the machine. Ideally, you should be able to climb onto your elliptical trainer easily. Just make sure that your feet are planted at the center of the pedal always. Try to avoid balancing your weight with your toes or heels since doing so will put your knees under unnecessary pressure.
It is a good idea to get the moving handles involved in your workout routine. Your push-pull on them will hike up the workout intensity. Again, your form while you use the handlebars is important. Maintain an upright posture – with chest puffed outwards while the shoulders have been pulled down and backward. As you pedal faster, the muscles in your legs have to work more to overcome the machine’s resistance. More calories burnt will mean the fat in your midsection has been used up too.
Q2. How long should I be on the elliptical to lose weight?
Ans.: To get rid of 1 pound every week, you have to ensure that every 7 days your calorie deficit amounts to 3500J. You can easily lose 1750J by working out on your elliptical trainer while the rest of it can be lost by making dietary adjustments.
30 minutes of elliptical workout for a 125 lb person will create a calorie deficit of 270J. This number would go up to 335 for someone who weighs 155 lb while 432J can be exhausted by a 200lb individual for the same time duration.
For beginners, 3 sessions that last for 10 minutes every day is great for starting with weight loss on elliptical machines. You should work up to sessions that are between half an hour and an hour. Additionally, workout frequency on your cross trainer should be increased too – from twice a week to a minimum of 5 sessions. As you do so, you can see the results being reflected by the weight you are losing – great motivation to push you even further.
Q3. Is elliptical better than walking?
Ans.: Both walking and ellipticals can offer evidence to support their cause. Typically, an elliptical machine will go easy on the joints and muscles of your body – in comparison to walking down a variety of terrain. The circular motion we see in ellipticals is responsible for the workout to be free of impacts- something that is crucial for individuals recovering from injuries and issues with the knees, hip, ankles, or lower back. The fact that the feet and pedal are in constant contact with each other is ideal for beginners too. So whenever you see that the weather outside is not favorable or you do not have access to a walking route that is safe – ellipticals will do you better.
On the other hand, if you are walking outdoors – your brain is much more engaged. Machines do not have the ability to engage your brain’s receptors unlike walking, and of course, the drag resistance that could have ramped up the difficulty of your walk is missing indoors too.
If you do a 30-minute comparison of the activities mentioned above – check the intensity for both of them. Remember that you can easily adjust the intensity by ramping up the speed or slowing down while the incline and resistance can have a considerable effect on intensity too. With more muscular effort – you can burn excess calories. So to settle the debate between walking and elliptical workouts – the best cardio workout will be offered by whichever you do more consistently and with care.
Remember that it will take some time to lose that belly fat. It will seem difficult, but if you are using an elliptical to address this issue – you are on the correct path. Plan your cardio workouts and incorporate intervals of strength training. 15 – 30 minutes on your elliptical – ideally 5 days a week, should be enough to burn the fat in your abdomen.