Top 3 Elliptical Workouts For a Fast Weight Loss

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Last updated on September 5, 2022

The elliptical trainer has been a staple of gyms worldwide for many years now. So why is it often overlooked when it comes to a killer workout? Here’s why it shouldn’t be. The elliptical trainer provides a low impact, high-efficiency workout. With the ability to burn more calories than a regular exercise bike, and do so in less time, elliptical workouts for weight loss are hard to beat. Although they are low impact, they’re still viewed as a weight-bearing exercise.

They are designed to work-out upper (including biceps, triceps and abs) and lower body muscles (including quads, hamstrings and glues). Regular use can also help with hip mobility and balance.

Regular cardio exercises and healthy eating will ensure long term weight loss. On average a one-hour workout on an elliptical trainer could burn up to 800 calories, or 400 calories for a quick half hour session.


Benefits Of Using An Elliptical Trainer

elliptical cross trainer

By far the biggest benefit of an elliptical trainer is its low impact on the body. It puts far less stress on the joints and the lower back allowing the user to get all the results of running without the wear and tear on the body.

It combines both upper body and lower body movements allowing for a full body workout. No other piece of equipment will work, as many muscle groups, as the elliptical machine does. It will target your quads, glutes, hamstrings, back, arms and chest. Just remember to focus on the arms as much as the legs when using it.

While it can be seen as a rather passive exercise don’t be fooled, the number of calories you can burn in one session may surprise you. It’s believed because of the low impact you are able to exert yourself for a longer period on the elliptical allowing you to burn more calories and with it fat.


4 Tips For Elliptical Workouts

Elliptical workouts for weight loss can be very effective if you follow these tips:

Tip 1:

Try and incorporate an elliptical workout at least 5 – 7 days per week. Daily cardio exercise is recommended for best weight loss results. A 15-minute blast on the elliptical is a great warm up before strength training.

Tip 2:

There are several different programs to try for elliptical trainers. By varying your workouts as much as possible your body will continue to burn fat and build muscle every session. Not only that you won’t get bored of the same old routine.

Tip 3:

Switch up the intensity of each workout. Incorporate steady state cardio with HIIT interval training each week. If you are new to exercise your goal should be to increase the intensity over time. You will burn more calories and increase cardio endurance for maximum weight loss.

Tip 4:

Keep your feet flat. When running we tend to push through our toes, it’s recommended to keep your feet flat and push through the entire foot. This will ensure you activate all the muscles throughout the leg and burn more calories.


30 Minute HIIT Cardio Workout for a Weight Loss

Sometimes life gets in the way of a good workout, with this quick and easy 30-minute routine you’ll get a great cardio workout by increasing the intensity at set intervals.

The HIIT workout below is great for maximum calorie burning in the shortest amount of time possible.

TimeResistanceStrides Per MinuteSpeed
0:00 – 3:003 – 4130Warm Up
3:00 – 6:004140Warm Up
6:00 – 7:008160Sprint
7:00 – 9:006140Jog
9:00 – 10:008160+Sprint
10:00 – 12:006140Jog
12:00 – 13:008160+Sprint
13:00 – 15:006140Jog
15:00 – 16:008160+Sprint
16:00 – 18:006140Jog
18:00 – 19:008160+Sprint
19:00 – 21:006140Jog
21:00 – 23:008160 +Sprint
23:00 – 30:005 – 6130 – 140Cool Down


Although the above graph is a great guide to HIIT it’s not always a one size fits all type scenario. There are many forms of HIIT some use the 20 sec 100% effort and 40-sec rest method, while others use 30 sec 100% effort 1 min rest or even 2 minutes rest, experiment what works for you and stick with it.

If you want to lose weight fast you should be incorporating a high-intensity workout into your exercise routine.


The 15 Minute Elliptical Workout

15 minute elliptical trainer workout

Only have time for a quick workout? If done correctly they can be very effective. While many people head to the gym and jump on the exercise bike for 10 – 15 minutes, often scrolling through their phone, this 15-minute routine will have you maximizing your time on the elliptical trainers.

Use this workout as a warm-up before strength training if you’re not strapped for time. As you’ll be setting the incline from 5 up to 12 for the duration of the workout, it’s designed to target your quads.

Here is the 15-minute workout below.

0:00 – 3:0055Forward
3:00 – 5:0055Backward
5:00 – 6:0088Forward
6:00 – 7:001010Forward
7:00 – 9:001212Backward
9:00 – 11:001212Forward
11:00 – 12:00108Backward
12:00 – 13:0055Backward
13:00 – 15:0055Forward


Full Body Elliptical Workout for Losing Weight

full body elliptical trainer workout for weight loss

Full body interval workouts are great if you want to spend less time in the gym. This 30-minute full body elliptical routine will target your, glutes, quads, hamstrings and upper body. Incorporate this workout a few times a week.

While it’s not recommended you do a full body workout every day, 3 – 4 times per week is fine. It’s a great workout for beginners who are looking to maximize their time spent in the gym.


Check out the workout plan below.

0:00 – 3:00Forward – Push & Pull Arms3 – 4
3:00 – 8:00Forward – No Arms6
8:00 – 13:00Backward – Push & Pull Arms6
13:00 – 15:00Forward – Push & Pull Arms7
15:00 – 17:00Backward – Push & Pull Arms7
17:00 – 22:00Forward – Push & Pull Arms8
22:00 – 27:00Backward – Push & Pull Arms8
27:00 – 30:00Forward – No Arms3 – 4



These three elliptical workouts for weight loss are perfect for the avid gym nut, or a newcomer, looking to get into the world of fitness. They are a fast, low impact workout suitable for anyone of any age. Actually, if you’ve suffered an injury, the elliptical trainer is a great way to get back into the gym.


So whether you’re looking to lose weight, gain muscle or accelerate fat loss, you now have three workouts that can get you in and out the gym in 30 minutes or less. You can also check our guide on how to lose weight at home without equipment. For more guides and tips follow our fitness blog.

Joe Martin is a NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) Certified Nutrition Coach (NASM-CNC) and Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-PST) with over 15 years’ experience in personal training and nutrition. Joe was also a former New York Giants Football Player and has his own fitness website

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