Elliptical trainer – which muscles work?


Choosing a cardio simulator is not an easy task. Since Soviet times, the most popular bicycle and treadmill in our country. And most athletes completely undeservedly ignore such an invention of engineering as an elliptical trainer. What muscles work during the lesson, and how to create an individual training program? You will learn more about this later..

Elliptical trainer which muscles work

Want to make cardio workouts as effective and safe as possible? Choose an elliptical trainer. What muscles work during exercise? Yes, almost everything!

What is the advantage of an elliptical trainer?


  • What is the advantage of an elliptical trainer?
  • Who should not be involved?
  • Elliptical Trainer Efficiency
  • Recommendations before starting classes
  • Examples of training programs on an ellipsoid

What are the benefits of training on an elliptical trainer?

  1. The mechanics of movement on an elliptical trainer are pleasant in itself. Moving along an elliptical trajectory in many ways resembles flying, swaying along the waves or fast skiing. It perfectly relieves stress and is exciting in itself.
  2. No shock loads and minimal grass hazard. The legs are always in a slightly bent position, and the main load falls on the muscles, not the joints. Unlike running, when practicing on an ellipsoid, the risk of injuring a knee or dislocating an ankle is practically absent. Exercising on an elliptical trainer is an ideal cardio for people with sore joints and overweight, as they exclude bumps and shaking.
    Simulator ellipse

    The ellipse simulator does not imply a shock load on the joints.

  3. Impact on all muscles of the body, not just on the legs and buttocks. Perhaps this is one of the main points in the list of benefits. You do not overload your legs and can train all muscle groups in one workout. Classes on an elliptical trainer equally load both the muscles of the lower and upper parts of the body. The closest analogy is skiing, where foot movements are complemented by sticks. Although the mechanics of skiing are, of course, somewhat different.
  4. A unique opportunity to walk back. It allows you to work out muscle groups inaccessible to other simulators..
  5. Almost silent work on the simulator. This item becomes especially important if you buy a home fitness machine. So, for example, energetic running on the track creates a fairly strong rumble even with good cushioning. But classes on the ellipse simulator can only be compared with quiet rustling. Therefore, if you have a small child, an ellipsoid will suit you much better.

Who should not be involved?

Cardio classes have contraindications

Listen to your own feelings during class.

Training on an elliptical trainer is one of the safest cardio loads. However, in some cases, cardio loads alone are contraindicated. As a rule, people with the corresponding diseases themselves know what they can and cannot, but just in case, we’ll give you a list of restrictions.

Like any other cardio training, training on an elliptical trainer is contraindicated in:

  • heart diseases: heart failure, angina pectoris, tachycardia and others;
  • regularly occurring edema;
  • thrombophlebitis;
  • severe forms of diabetes and cancer.

In addition, intensive classes are prohibited during infectious diseases..

We recommend (even if you are an absolutely healthy person) to always focus on your subjective feelings and always consult with qualified specialists (doctor and trainer).

Elliptical Trainer Efficiency

So, after weighing all the pros and cons, you have chosen an elliptical trainer. What muscles are involved during training? Due to the design of the simulator, which provides special mechanics of movements, you will work perfectly and bring in tone:

  • muscles of the arms and shoulder girdle;
  • muscles of the abdominals, back and entire body;
  • muscles of the hips and buttocks.

You should correctly understand the result that the elliptical trainer gives. What muscles work? Yes, almost all the muscles of the body! However, this does not mean that they will grow in volume. An ellipsoid, like any other cardio training machine, can tone your muscles and help you lose fat. But a set of muscle mass should not be expected. To do this, buy a pair of dumbbells and do strength exercises.

Ellipsoid classes

Exercises on an ellipsoid can increase endurance and tone muscles.

In addition to the muscles during your ellipsoid exercises, you train your stamina. Stamina is due to the body’s ability to efficiently supply oxygen to muscles during exercise, and therefore to the work of the cardiac and respiratory systems.

Just 2 months of regular training can increase your stamina by 20-30%.

Recommendations before starting classes

Do not turn the simulator into a hanger.

The simulator is a working tool. Do not turn it into a hanger or bed for a cat.

In order to make the loads easier to carry, build on your habits. If you are a typical “owl”, it makes no sense to plan a lesson in the morning. If you are a “morning person”, then boldly train in the morning. But keep in mind that you can’t train earlier than an hour after waking up and later than 2-3 hours before bedtime..

Spend five minutes and figure out how the elliptical trainer works, what muscles are involved during the session. This will help you understand how to distribute the load correctly and what additional exercises you need..

Do not exercise on an empty stomach. It is best to do this 1.5 hours after a light meal. If you are thirsty during class, rinse your mouth with water or drink a few sips. Drinking a lot of water, or even less snacking during an intense workout, is not a good idea.

Start each workout with a warm up to prepare your body for the upcoming workout. Within 5 minutes, perform squats, bends forward, backward and sideways, as well as hand swings.

Try to supplement strength training. The secret of an ideal body in the harmony of the training program.

If you study at home, do not turn your ellipsoid into a clothes hanger and a bed for a cat. You did not buy it for this. The ellipse simulator is your friend and work tool.

Examples of training programs on an ellipsoid

Now you know the features of the elliptical trainer, which muscles work during exercises and what are the advantages of regular exercises. It remains only to draw up a training plan. Their intensity, duration and frequency depend on your goals..

If your task is to improve your health and keep yourself in good shape, just 3 30-minute classes per week are enough. If you want to lose weight, increase the intensity and duration. You need 4-5 workouts of 45-60 minutes per week.

In order to maximize your lessons, you need to calculate your training pulse. If you are a beginner, then you can achieve success by practicing with an average heart rate (PE) of 110-120 beats per minute. In the future, it is necessary to increase this indicator. The maximum state of emergency that is acceptable during cardio training is determined by the formula: 220 minus your age. The effect of fat burning is achieved during training with an emergency, which is 60-70% of the maximum.

Fat Burning Heart Rate

The pulse rate at which fat burning occurs – 60-70% of the maximum.

For a successful lesson, you do not need a heart rate monitor at all. Arm yourself with a stopwatch and measure your heart rate for 10 seconds. Multiply the resulting value by 6 and find out your emergency. In the future, you will be able to train, focusing on your own feelings.

Option 1: Intensive Interval Training

  • 10 minutes – moderate load, gradual exit to an emergency of 50-60% of the maximum;
  • alternating intervals – 4 minutes 50-60% and 2 minutes 80% (repeat 5 times);
  • 5 minutes of hitch – slow walking to restore normal heart rate.

Option 2: moderate endurance training

  • 40 minutes of work in the zone of 50-60% of maximum emergency;
  • 10 minutes of hitch.

Now you know how to exercise effectively on an elliptical trainer, what muscles are involved in working with it, and how to conduct training. Exercise regularly and get amazing results soon.!