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3 Tips From A Personal Trainer
Let’s face it – we all want to burn more calories and get more out of our elliptical trainer time. So how do you do it?
Having a personal trainer for a best friend comes in handy sometimes – especially when writing a blog about fitness equipment.
So I asked her for 3 top tips on elliptical crosstraining and what she would do to burn more calories.
Here they are:
Elliptical Calorie Burning Tip #1: Don’t Lean On the Handrails
This is a problem especially with cheaper ellipticals.
Cheaper ellipticals (the kind you find in big box department stores that seem like a good deal at $399 – but start falling apart around the 3 month mark) are usually designed poorly. The ergonomics are so poor that when you use them, you’re halfway leaning on the handrails.
This means that some of your body weight is also leaning on the handrails as you workout – and you’re burning less calories overall.
This is another reason I don’t recommend cheaper elliptical trainers. It may seem like a bargain price – but you can’t fix poorly designed machines with poor ergonomics.
This can sometimes also happen on a quality brand of elliptical as well – not because of poor design, but because we are human.
If you get tired during your workout – even on a quality elliptical – the temptation can be to shift some of your weight onto the handrails to give yourself a rest. My friend’s advice to me was – don’t do this if you want to burn maximum calories.
It’s better to go slower and stand up straight, without leaning over – than it is to go fast and lean on the handrails. You can still use the arm bars to work your arms – just make sure you’re not using them for support.
Elliptical Calorie Burning Tip #2 – Build In High Intensity Intervals
If you want your body to stay burning calories throughout the day (and up to 24 hours after your workout), build in some high intensity intervals.
These don’t have to be long – from 20 seconds to 2 minutes. But the key is to go at a pace where you are out of breath (not gasping mind you – just out of breath) and really pushing yourself for a short time.
Then relax. Get your breath. Let your heart rate calm down a bit for say 2-5 minutes.
Then repeat. Then relax. Then repeat…you get the idea.
This challenges your body and keeps your metabolism revved on high – even for hours after your workout.
Elliptical Calorie Burning Tip #3: Change It Up – Always
There are a lot of ways to change it up – but the idea is to never let your body be comfortable. Because when it gets comfortable, it gets efficient. And this slows your calorie burning.
So you may change the time of your workout. You might change the style of interval (high resistance, high incline, forwards and backwards motion, arms or no arms, etc.)
You might change the length of your regular workout. Whatever it is – just change it up as much as you can.
This is another thing that will help keep your metabolism revved and on high throughout the day.
So those are 3 ways to burn more calories on your elliptical trainer. Ok, here’s one more of my own: use iFit.
Most Nordictrack ellipticals have iFit now. With this option you can go online and set goals, see your past performance and track all sorts of stats.
You can also take a new fitness class every day. This keeps you occupied and the trainer can help push you to go further than you would on your own.
So it’s a great way to add some challenge and interest to your workouts.
Whatever you choose to do to burn more calories on your elliptical, please remember to listen to your body and never push yourself beyond your limits! Good luck and happy calorie burning!