Elliptical Results: 4 Ways Elliptical Cardio Transforms Your Body

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Cardio is great for your health as it strengthens your heart, builds endurance, and burns calories.

But when it comes to cardio, where should you start? With the rowing machine? On the treadmill? How about running outside?

If you’re like a lot of gym-goers, you’ll actually find yourself gravitating toward the elliptical machine.

They’re less intimidating than other machines and can be kind of fun to use.

But does the elliptical actually get results?

Absolutely! Here are 4 ways using the elliptical machine regularly can change your body.

1 - Weight loss

As with any other cardio exercise, you can burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time on an elliptical.

In general, the average person can expect to burn over 300 calories in a 30-minute session on an elliptical.

Of course, the intensity with which you train will have a huge impact on this number.

This extreme energy burn can help you create a calorie deficit, which is ultimately the key to consistent weight loss.

But in order to see results, you’ll have to get your diet in check, too.

Try to fuel your body with nutritious and filling foods like whole grains, lean proteins, and vegetables — without overindulging in extra junk snacks after your workouts.

Stick with the plan and you’ll start to see the pounds come off as a result of your elliptical work. 1 to 2 pounds of fat loss per week is generally considered safe and realistic for most people.

2 - Endurance

If you’re looking to build endurance, then an elliptical is one of the best machines you can possibly use.

A recent study showed how the more fluid exercise offered by ellipticals provided a reduced rate of perceived exertion. That means the more you exercise, the less you realize how hard you’re actually working.

As you build stamina on the elliptical, you’ll be able to go longer and harder in your workouts, building even more stamina and burning even more calories.

Within just a few weeks, you’ll carry that endurance into your everyday life.

For instance, you’ll have more energy playing with your kids, going up and down stairs, or working in the yard.

The best part is that you should be able to see the benefits in about 30 days.

3 - Muscle and Strength

Cardio equipment is great for people who want to lose weight.

But what if one of your workout goals is to build muscle?

You’re in luck! Elliptical machines are great for developing specific muscle groups.

Dr. Nicole Lombardo, a physical therapist and CrossFit coach, says:

“The elliptical is driven primarily by your legs, making your quads, hamstring and glute muscles work. You also need to stabilize your body with your trunk muscles, making your core stronger as well.”

She adds that you should expect to see visible results from high-resistance elliptical work in about six to eight weeks.

Don’t expect a bodybuilder physique from only using the elliptical — you’ll need to incorporate weight training for that — but this machine is a solid overall strength builder.

4 - Mind and Mood

Engaging in any type of exercise is massively beneficial for your mental health.

Even just 20 minutes of exercise will give you an endorphin boost that puts you in a better mood.

Just remember to keep pushing the intensity, otherwise you’ll struggle to keep that so-called “exercise high” going.

Remember the low rate of perceived effort on the elliptical? That means it’s easy to get complacent and mail in your workouts.

Steadily crank up the resistance or total workout time to continue challenging your body and mind. If you can continue making incremental progress, in a few weeks you’ll have better energy levels, increased self-confidence, and you may even have fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety.



An elliptical is a great machine to incorporate into your regular workouts.

As long as you’re committed to exercising regularly and gradually ramping up the intensity, you should start to see some results in one to three months.

Expect to see the biggest improvements in your endurance and your waistline (if you get your diet in check, that is).

Your arm and leg muscles will improve over time, but don’t expect Arnold’s biceps or massive quads just from the elliptical. You might want to supplement with weight lifting if that’s your goal.

And, of course, your everyday mood and energy levels are likely to improve quickly once you start using the elliptical.

All that’s left now is to get started!

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