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6 Tips On How To Use An Elliptical For Beginners

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Being a beginner means learning how to maximize a machine and all of its features. A lot of experienced users have to go through the ups and downs of owning a new machine before they get the hang of it. However, for beginners that want to get ahead of the learning curve, it’s time to focus on what to look for.

Here are some of the most important tips on how to use an elliptical for beginners.

Fitness coach helps woman on elliptical trainerKnow the Settings

Do you know how to use the new machine? Do you know how to adjust the pedals, increase the resistance, play around with the display (if there is one present)? You have to know all of this information before you ever step onto the elliptical.

A lot of people assume they can learn it during the first session but that is only going to be a waste of time. It is hard to learn things on the go, especially when your body is under duress. You won’t be able to focus and that can lead to injury. Be smart and prepare in advance by going through the various settings, playing around with them, and even taking a look at the user manual if possible.

Compared to other exercise equipment like treadmills, elliptical trainers are fairly simple and intuitive. While there are often numerous settings and technology to learn, especially for the upper-grade models, it is normally a quick lesson and you’re ready to go.

Start with Minimal Resistance

Resistance is something people love playing around with when it comes to an elliptical. You have to understand resistance is great when you get the basics right. This is why fundamentals are key, especially for beginners that are still getting the hang of how to do the movement.

Related: Read our review of the Efitment E006 Elliptical

As you start, you want to keep the resistance down. There is no need to increase it because you will likely get injured. After a few sessions as you learn the movement pattern, you can start to increase the resistance by a little.

Learn the Movement Pattern First

Your main focus has to be on the movement pattern because this is how you get full value out of the machine. This is going to vary depending on how long you have been using ellipticals and/or other machines.

For those who are brand-new to the world of ellipticals, you will want to focus on slowly learning the movement. This means focusing on your breathing, how to hold the handlebars, and how the various muscles in your body have to work together. Each detail matters when it comes to learning any type of movement in the fitness world.

If you have little room to work out and find yourself wondering if you could even fit an elliptical into your apartment or personal gym, read our comparison of the best elliptical trainers for apartments and small spaces.

Woman in white tank top wiping sweat after workoutBuild Through Progression

Progression is your best friend and it is something anyone can implement. Whether this progression is based on the amount of resistance per session or how long the session is will depend on you. However, the goal has to be to get just a little bit better than the previous workout.

Even if this means adding 10 seconds to your time then that is what you are going to do. Gradual progression is wonderful because it is going to encourage you and will continue to help as you get fitter.

Focus on Your Rhythm

The beauty of an elliptical is seen through the development of rhythm as you work out. You are going to start to sense a pattern develop as you continue through a longer session. This rhythm is key because it is going to help minimize hitches in your movement pattern and get the most out of your workout (see what an elliptical can do for your legs).

You want everything to flow like a well-oiled machine and that does take a bit of time to master. After a while, you are almost going to get lost in the rhythm and zone out because of how fluid everything is. This is what the most experienced users can do well.

Maintain a Strong Core

One of the more common mistakes made by beginners has to do with their posture. When you are using an elliptical, you will want to make sure the core is tight. There is no reason to loosen the core because this is going to ruin your entire movement pattern.

Take the time to gradually increase the resistance, but only when you have control over your core. This means purposely focusing on the core and tightening it as much as possible.

Final Thoughts

These tips are going to go a long way for beginners. There is no reason to be in a position where you continue to struggle with the machine and don’t know how to optimally use it. This happens all the time and it can greatly reduce the benefits of using the elliptical.

If you are someone that wants to get more out of the elliptical and wants to do things the right way then it’s time to use the tips mentioned here. You will start to see a serious improvement in your workouts by making the most of your elliptical and using it to its fullest potential.