Proper Elliptical Posture: Do You Have It?

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By Natalie Martin

It’s surprising how many people don’t have proper posture, even when they are not working out on an elliptical. Slouching not only affects your appearance, it can also make you more susceptible to injuries and other health problems. Having good posture on an elliptical not only makes it more comfortable to use, it can also make your workouts more effective.

Here are a few tips on how to have the proper stance on an elliptical.


Keep your back straight

Experienced trainers all agree that bad back posture is one of the most common problems they see with elliptical users at the gym. People often use the moveable arms as support, and this causes them to lean forward too far resulting in slouching. Not only does this minimalize the effectiveness of the workout, it often results in sore, stiff muscles afterwards.

Keeping your back and shoulders straight and your head up allows you to effectively work the muscles in your legs and core so you can get the most out of the workout. This can also help reduce or even eliminate lower back pain.


Pain free feet

Foot pain can be a common problem with elliptical users, but it can also be easily prevented with the correct stance. Your weight should be on the heels of your feet and not on your toes. Some experienced trainers suggest that you use an elliptical just like you were walking on an even surface. Not only will this prevent painful tingling in the bottoms of your feet, it can also reduce your risk for developing plantar fasciitis. Since your feet as less likely to ache you don’t have to worry about them forcing you to cut your workouts short.

Proper Elliptical Stance


Don’t grip too hard

The elliptical is a stationary exercise machine that is also extremely stable, and this means that you don’t need to have a “death grip” on the handles in order to keep your balance. Trust us when you assure you that an elliptical machine is not going to suddenly move across the room, no matter how fast you work the pedals.

Gripping the handles too hard typically means that you are hunched over, instead of having proper posture. This will minimalize the effectiveness of your workout, and it can even increase your risk for injury. Since you don’t need to worry about balance the handles should be used to effectively work your upper body and not help you stay on the elliptical.


Distribute your weight evenly

Your weight should be distributed evenly, without having to lean on the machine. It should also be placed on your heels, not your toes. You want your weight to be supported by your quads, thighs and glutes since this will help you maintain your balance when you are pedaling. Distributing your weight evenly will also reduce your risk for injury. An added bonus to evenly distributing your weight is that it can help improve your posture, and ease lower back pain.


Having proper posture is not only important when you are working out on an elliptical it is something that you should always have, regardless of the activity. Not only will you look more confident with proper posture, you will feel better as well.

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