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Top 10 Tips for Easy and Effective Elliptical Workouts

The Precor Elliptical Fitness Crosstrainer is one of the most effective cardio machines available and a favorite of both home and gym exercisers. To get the most out of your elliptical workout, follow our fitness expert’s tips on proper technique and training. Your body will be thanking yourself in 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 years.

Tip 1. Maintain Good Posture

  • Plant your feet firmly on the pedals with your body weight balanced throughout your feet.
  • Keep your back straight, shoulders pulled back, and head held high, looking straight ahead during the workout.
  • Avoid leaning in or slouching forward toward the console.

Tip 2. Don’t Exercise on Your Toes

  • Stay light on your feet and roll your body weight from your heels to your toes, akin to a natural walking motion.
  • Avoid exercising on your toes as it can reduce blood flow and may affect your balance.
  • Maintain a midsole position and then roll through to the forefoot—if you have to move your feet, don’t land on the forefoot first.

Tip 3. Go Easy on the Grip

  • Wipe the handle grips of the moving handlebars or the fixed handgrips before and during your workout to ensure sweat doesn’t affect your grip.
  • Grip the handrail grips lightly—don’t squeeze tightly as this can make your hands, arms, and back tense up. Think of holding an uncooked egg or an ice cream cone.
  • Alternatively, instead of holding the fixed or moving handlebars, you can always release the grip and allow your arms to swing at your side in a natural motion.

Tip 4. Change Your Hand Position

  • Work out with and without using the handle grips.
  • Exercise hands-free to work on your balance, core stabilization, and leg muscles, swinging your arms at your side or at 90 degrees.
  • Add resistance for a total body workout by actively pushing and pulling the moving handlebars.

Tip 5. Vary Your Workout

  • Increase speed, resistance, ramp incline, and direction of pedal rotation to get the most out of your elliptical workout.
  • High-intensity interval training is a great way to add variety to a single, low-impact workout.
  • Try changing the time of day for your workout to when you are most alert.

Tip 6. Mix Up Your Elliptical Training

  • Try a different workout or program each time to maintain your motivation and exercise a wider range of muscle groups.
  • Track your training progress with one of Precor’s wide range of programs—whether you’re looking for maximal gluteal impact or a variety of arm and leg workouts.
  • Bump up your resistance and change the incline so your arms and legs must work harder to keep the elliptical moving.

Tip 7. Don’t Hold Yourself Up

  • Keep your body weight evenly balanced on your feet on each pedal, regardless of the pedal direction.
  • Support yourself with your arms—don’t lean on the bars or the console—as this minimizes the effectiveness of the workout and could put strain on your body.
  • Stay hydrated to prevent dizziness, tiredness, or weakness.

Tip 8. Get in the Zone

  • Use the heart rate features on the elliptical to help you exercise at the right intensity to reach your health and fitness goals.
  • Train your heart rate by either wearing a chest strap or grasping the touch-sensitive handrail grips.
  • Learn more about heart rate target zones.

Tip 9. Remember to Cool Down

  • Be sure to slow down gradually and never lock your knees to stop exercising.
  • Cool down with slow, gentle movements for 3-10 minutes.
  • Stretching after exercise decreases lactic acid build-up and is highly recommended.

Tip 10. Track Your Progress

  • See the best performance improvement over time when you track your progress.
  • Set weekly goals to maintain your motivation and see how far you’ve come.
  • Use a fitness tracking app or device to help track your workouts so that you can see your progress.

Give these tips a try and see the difference they make in your next elliptical workout.

Need help building out your home gym and selecting the best equipment for your needs? Chat with our team online or visit your local Precor authorized dealer. Our trained fitness experts are happy to help answer your questions and find the best options to fit your needs.