Why You Should Have A Workout Plan Before Getting On An Elliptical

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By Natalie Martin

Whether you are exercising at the gym or in the comfort of your home before you get on an elliptical you really should have a workout plan, even if you just want to improve your overall health. According to Marc Santa Maria, a recognized national group fitness director at Crunch, not having a workout plan is one of the biggest mistakes people make on an elliptical machine.

Your workout plan should clearly state your fitness goals, along with the results you want to achieve that day on the elliptical. Creating a workout plan really only takes a few minutes once you have decided on a fitness goal, and it is the best way to ensure you get an effective elliptical workout. If you don’t have a set workout plan it can be difficult to monitor your progress, which in turn will make it harder for you to reach your goals.

Creating your own workout plan is relatively easy, especially when you consider all of the available information. You can find several examples of elliptical workouts online, and an experienced trainer will also be able to help you create one that is safe and effective for you. Some elliptical machines even come with preprogrammed workouts so all you have to do is select the one that will be best suited for you.

 Elliptical Workouts

How to Create an Elliptical Workout Plan


The first step when you are trying to create a workout plan for an elliptical is to decide on your goals. You also want to take a few minutes to think about your fitness level. While the workout should increase your heart rate, it shouldn’t leave you out of breath. You don’t want to start off with the resistance or incline set to high since this can result in injuries.

Elliptical machines are generally used to help people reach the following goals,

  • Improve cardio vascular health
  • Lose weight
  • Tone muscles

Working out three to four times a week on an elliptical can also help athletes improve their performance. If your goal is to recover your endurance after an injury, an elliptical can help you safely achieve it.

Once you have your goal set it is time to think realistically about how often you can work out per day and week on an elliptical. While getting any amount of exercise is beneficial, you do have to work out regularly if want to see noticeable results. Most experienced trainers recommend starting out with 20 to 30 minute workouts three days a week, especially if you are a beginner. You can gradually exercise longer and more often on the elliptical as your strength and endurance increases.

Elliptical Workouts

Tips on Creating the Perfect Elliptical Workout Plan


An elliptical is a versatile exercise machine that can help you meet your fitness goals, if you take advantage of all of its options. When you are designing your workout plan these tips can help you create the perfect one.

  1. If you want a full body workout from an elliptical include reverse pedaling in the workout plan. You will also want to pull the handles to target back and arm muscles.
  2. Adjusting the incline allows you to target your glutes and hamstrings.
  3. Pedaling faster without moving the handles will target core muscles.
  4. Breaking up a daily 40 minute elliptical workout into two short sessions can help you burn more calories, and allows you to get in some exercise when you are short on time.
  5. Adjusting the resistance and incline at different intervals can help prevent some plateaus.


These tips should help you create an elliptical workout plan that is safe and effective. An experienced trainer can also give you advice. Before you start any elliptical workout plan it is always best to speak with your primary health care provider.

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