The Benefits and Disadvantages of Using The Elliptical

Elliptical Benefits and Disadvantages

Elliptical trainers are known to be among the hottest pieces of fitness equipment available in the market today because they are very easy to navigate and they provide a great workout if you are looking to lose some weight.

Using this machine will give you a great cardio workout, similar to jogging, and will help you tone your lower body as well.

What are elliptical benefits and disadvantages? An elliptical offers low-impact cardio exercise, providing an easier way to lose weight. Its disadvantages include not being appropriate for building muscles, being very expensive, and providing a limited range of exercise.

This article will offer a list of all the benefits you can get from working out with an elliptical machine. But it is not all positive, as there are some drawbacks to this type of exercise.

The important thing here is to know the balance so that you can compensate for one disadvantage to another.

What Is an Elliptical Trainer?

An elliptical machine, or most commonly known as an elliptical trainer, is a stationary exercise machine that is used to climb, walk, or run without putting excessive pressure on your joints.

This is a favorite of many gym-goers or at-home fitness enthusiasts. The reason is that it helps decrease any risk of impact injuries

This is why many people with minor injuries can use this machine to stay fit, as the impact affects them very little.

Elliptical trainers provide people with non-impact cardiovascular exercise that can vary from light to moderate to high-intensity. This is based on the exercise’s speed and the resistance you set on the machine.

It is also well-known that elliptical trainers have been in the market since the 1990s.

The purpose of this machine is to provide a workout for the user’s upper and lower body. Though elliptical trainers are considered minimal, they are a prime example of a weight-bearing form of workout.

They can be either self-powered, which means they can be powered by user-generated motion, or plugged into an electronic console and resistance systems.

Are Ellipticals Easy to Use?

When it comes to elliptical trainers, many of their models are known to be easy to use. The actual action will take some time to get right, and it requires you to have a good posture to maneuver the machine itself.

If you have bad posture, you will most likely develop some injuries, and it might be a less effective exercise.

The only issue you will face if this is your first time using this machine is that the elliptical is actually made for an average individual. This will come as a challenge because not everyone is average.

So, before you proceed to get one for yourself or commit to a regular workout, make sure that the machine is comfortable for you.

Always check the machine’s stride length, as if you have a short stride, your workout may be choppy and unsatisfactory. This will always be the case if you have long legs.

On the other hand, having a long stride length machine may leave you overreaching and cause muscle strains if you are shorter.

It is recommended that you check on whether the hip-width is a natural fit for you. The hip-width is the distance between your two footplates.

Most elliptical trainers are set to average hip-width sizes, but if you are narrow or wide in the hip department, the resulting stance while exercising can lead to knee and hip issues.

The Benefits of Elliptical Trainers

Elliptical machines are among the most common physical training instruments, and they have been named after their elliptical motion.

There are many elliptical trainers available in the market, and they all vary in size and purpose. An elliptical is a perfect tool for people who want to lose weight, and it helps them tone their bodies.

Here are some of the benefits you can get from exercising using elliptical trainers:

Low-Impact Exercise Equipment

In comparison to walking or running, working out using an elliptical machine will not put your joints in danger of jarring when your foot hits the ground.

In addition, if you have arthritis or other joint-related concerns, this machine can help support your knees.

For this reason alone, you will be able to work out longer than if you were running around in circles, walking, or jogging in the park.

Effective Cardio Workout

Working out with an elliptical machine gives you a lot of options in terms of exercise. You will be able to do some aerobic exercise to achieve a great cardio workout.

Some models out there have an adjustable resistance that will help you build muscle strength in your legs.

As a result, you are not only helping your legs but also developing a good workout for your lower body.

Other models enable you to perform a reverse paddling motion to do a different workout.

Moreover, some models have ski-like hand controls, which are perfect, as you can exercise your shoulder and your arms to achieve a full-on whole-body workout.

Faster Weight Loss

There are many forms of elliptical machines, like treadmills, spinning bikes, and many more.

All of them are great tools to help you lose weight faster. How fast you lose weight will always depend on which elliptical machine you decided to use.

For instance, if you opt for a treadmill, you will lose more weight than you would on a spinning bike. This is because running requires a lot more stamina and energy than just plain cycling.

In addition, when you run, your entire body functions actively. This means your body weight also matters. The heavier the person, the more energy they will have to put into running.

Spinning or exercise bikes target only the lower body. Also, people who suffer from joint pain should not consider running. Cycling would be the best for them.

Put Less Stress on Your Joints

When the elliptical machine hit the market back in the 1990s, many runners who had achy joints and overuse injuries rejoiced at the thought of being about to train their cardiovascular system.

When you run, your knees, ankles, hips, and other joints usually take a beating. This is pretty common when you are doing high-impact cardio exercises.

However, because you are not lifting your foot off the pedals of an elliptical, this machine is the perfect fit for you, as it can offer a low-impact cardio workout.

Many studies showed that an elliptical workout significantly reduced weight-bearing as compared to running, jogging, and similar workouts.

Using an elliptical, you will be able to train without the fear that comes with high-impact workout routines.

Entire-Body Exercise

Elliptical machines are designed in a way that targets all of your body muscles. When you hold on to the handles using your hands while moving back and forth, it helps to grow some muscles in your hand.

The elliptical also targets your hip muscles as your hand moves. From the elliptical handles alone, you are exercising both your hand and hip muscles.

An elliptical machine will help your lower body when you move the pedals onto the lower side.

This targets all your lower body muscles, such as the hamstrings, buttocks, calf, quads, etc. All of these muscles get active when you start pedaling.

As you work on your lower body while using the pedals, your abdominal muscles are getting engaged as well. This is where belly fat will vanish.

Adjustable Intensity

This is already mentioned in the above benefits, but to explain it further, high-intensity exercise means that the exercise requires a lot of effort and energy. Low-intensity exercises require less effort and energy.

With the use of an elliptical machine, you can freely adjust the type of intensity you are after. A higher-intensity workout will help you lose weight faster.


In terms of safety, you won’t have to worry if you use an elliptical machine. This is because it is completely safe.

There is always a chance of falling on a treadmill, especially if you are running at a higher speed. This is not the case if you are working out using an elliptical machine.

The pedals have some toe straps that will secure your foot position. As a result, if your foot is balanced, there is no chance that you will trip or fall.

Home Workout

Having an elliptical machine is very convenient for a lot of people who enjoy working out at home. If you have a regular office job, then going to a gym after working is an irritating thing to do.

Not all people are into the idea of going to the gym. An elliptical machine can help with this because you can easily set it up in the comfort of your home.

This means that you can exercise at any given time, and you don’t have to lift weights around sweaty people.

The Disadvantages of Elliptical Trainers

In this world, nothing is perfect. The same thing applies to many machines you use for your workout routines.

With all the benefits and advantages you get while using an elliptical machine, there are still cons to keep in mind. You should consider the motion of the elliptical because it is slightly different from running or walking.

For this reason, it can lead to potential injury if the body does not adapt quite well to the new muscle and movement patterns.

Here are some disadvantages of using elliptical trainers and why it is important to know all of this information:

Elliptical Trainers Are Not for Muscle Building

If your focus is on building muscles, developing bigger biceps and shoulders, and getting six-pack abs, then an elliptical machine probably won’t be able to help you.

This is because you are only toning your muscles and burning fats by using an elliptical machine. This is not the best machine to help you build or gain muscle.

They Are Costly

Homes, some health clubs, and gyms are the most popular places to see many elliptical machines. If you have a gym membership, you don’t have to pay to get a hold of an elliptical trainer.

If you buy one for yourself, you will pay from $100 to $1000 for some of the high-quality machines.

Elliptical trainers are known to be very expensive compared to just buying a pair of shoes for jogging or walking.

Elliptical machines usually come with a very expensive price tag, which is why a lot of people can’t afford them. Not only do you have to pay $1,000, but you also have to invest in maintenance.

This is because you have to maintain its motor, belt, and other pieces, and these things normally cannot be done by an ordinary person. You have to hire a professional to do its repair and maintenance.

They Are Low-Impact

Elliptical trainers offer some lower-impact exercises, and they might be good for some people, but not for young people.

For people who have joint issues and cannot perform high-impact exercises, an elliptical is perfect. However, for people who can perform high-impact workouts, an elliptical isn’t the right choice.

This is because high-impact workouts are responsible for improving overall body muscle and enhancing your bones’ and joints’ strength.

They Provide a Limited Range of Exercises

Exercises requiring you to bear some weight are a good workout to protect you from osteoporosis, which is of importance for women who suffer from post-menopausal issues.

An elliptical machine provides only minimal benefits in terms of weight-bearing. Some people even find these machines hard to operate because you need to initiate the pedals’ motion, which requires a lot of effort.

If you plan to use an elliptical machine, you must put an unequal amount of effort or strain on your lower body and legs.

This is actually imperative for most models that offer arm and hand controls.

For this reason alone, you have to supplement elliptical machine workouts to fully exercise your upper body and arms.

They Have No Incline

When it comes to inclination, this is where an elliptical falls flat. Adding an incline to your workout not only targets your glutes at a higher level but is also a huge cardiovascular push exercise.

The Movement Is Unnatural

This is probably not a problem for everyone, but many elliptical fitness enthusiasts suffer from injuries in their hips and lower backs.

This is because when you use your upper body simultaneously with your lower body, it can tend to twist unnaturally.

It is also worth mentioning that elliptical machines are made for a single average height, so the pedals may not fit your hips and legs.

If you feel some unnatural movements pulling on your joints, you should not power through it. Otherwise, you will get hurt.

The Stats Are Less Accurate

A lot of workout equipment does not necessarily offer an accurate representation of readouts or stats. This also applies to the counter of calories you have burned. Having an elliptical machine is no different.

Many workout machine models give inaccurate stats regarding how much the user has lost and his current pacing.

Using an elliptical machine will also give you an unnecessary rest compared to a treadmill, which keeps you at a steady pace.

If workout equipment does not provide the right result, you won’t be able to keep up with your fitness goals.


When you include elliptical routine exercises in your fitness regime, they will help you strengthen your lungs, heart, and muscles.

In addition, an elliptical can boost your stamina, improve your balance, and help you burn a lot of calories. It is the perfect choice for people who have joint issues and just want to build and maintain their physique.

While there may be more benefits than disadvantages, it is also important to consider all of the cons when determining which equipment will suit your physical training.

As always, it is better to consult a professional before going into this kind of workout routine.

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