Elliptical Machines: Types, Benefits, Workouts, vs Treadmill… FULL GUIDE

Elliptical Machines: Types, Benefits

Table of Contents

Elliptical machines have become increasingly popular in the world of fitness and for good reason. These versatile and low-impact machines offer a fantastic way to achieve your cardio fitness goals while minimizing the stress on your joints. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about ellipticals.

From understanding the different types to discovering the benefits, workouts, and maintenance tips, we’ve got you covered. Let’s embark on a journey to a healthier, fitter you!

Table Of Contents

History Of Elliptical Machines

Types of Elliptical Machines

1. Front-Drive Ellipticals

2. Rear-Drive Ellipticals

3. Center-Drive Ellipticals

Benefits of Using Elliptical Machines

1. Low-Impact Workouts

2. Full-Body Workout

3. Cardiovascular Health

4. Weight Loss

Elliptical vs. Treadmill: Which Is Better?

Elliptical Workouts for Weight Loss

Maintenance and Care of Elliptical Machines

Buying Guide: How to Choose the Right Elliptical

Elliptical Workout Routines

History Of Elliptical Machines

Elliptical machines, although relatively modern in their popularity, have an intriguing history. The first elliptical trainer, known as the “Elliptical Bike,” was invented in 2004 by Larry D. Miller and patented by Danny Musico in 2007. This innovative design combined the benefits of a bicycle and elliptical machine, offering a low-impact, full-body workout.

As ellipticals gained popularity, they evolved to include various features and designs, such as adjustable stride lengths, heart rate monitors, and advanced workout programs. The development of the elliptical has been a journey of innovation, making it a versatile and effective fitness machine for users of all fitness levels.

Types of Elliptical Machines

Elliptical machines come in various types, each with its unique design and features. Understanding these differences will help you make an informed decision when choosing the right elliptical for your needs.

There are three main types of elliptical machines:

1. Front-Drive Ellipticals

Front-drive ellipticals have the flywheel located at the front of the machine. This design tends to be more compact and affordable. They offer a smooth and natural stride, making them a great choice for users with limited space

Front-Drive Ellipticals

2. Rear-Drive Ellipticals

In contrast, rear-drive ellipticals have the flywheel at the back of the machine. This design often provides a more stable and comfortable feel during workouts. Rear-drive ellipticals tend to be larger, making them suitable for spacious home gyms.

Rear-Drive Ellipticals

3. Center-Drive Ellipticals

Center-drive ellipticals have the flywheel positioned on either side of the machine, near the pedals. This design mimics a natural walking or running motion and is known for its ergonomic design, making it comfortable for extended use.

Benefits of Using Elliptical Machines

Elliptical machines offer a wide array of benefits that make them a fantastic choice for cardio fitness. Let’s explore some of the key advantages:

1. Low-Impact Workouts

One of the most significant benefits of ellipticals is their low-impact nature. Unlike running on a treadmill or outdoor pavement, ellipticals minimize the stress on your joints. This makes them an excellent choice for individuals with joint issues or those looking to prevent them.

2. Full-Body Workout

Ellipticals engage both the upper and lower body, making them a comprehensive workout solution. As you pedal, you’ll work your legs, glutes, and hamstrings, while the moving handles engage your arms, shoulders, and core. This full-body engagement ensures an effective calorie burn and muscle toning.

3. Cardiovascular Health

Regular use of ellipticals can improve your cardiovascular fitness. By elevating your heart rate during workouts, you’ll strengthen your heart and lungs, reducing the risk of heart disease and improving your overall cardiovascular health.

4. Weight Loss

Ellipticals are a popular choice for those looking to shed pounds. Their combination of low-impact exercise and full-body engagement allows for effective calorie burning. To maximize weight loss, it’s essential to maintain a consistent workout routine.

Elliptical vs. Treadmill: Which Is Better?

Elliptical vs. Treadmill

One common question that arises when considering ellipticals is how they compare to treadmills. Both machines have their merits, and the choice ultimately depends on your fitness goals and personal preferences.

Elliptical Machines

Low Impact: Ellipticals are gentle on the joints, making them ideal for users with joint issues or those looking to minimize the risk of injury.

Full-Body Workout: They engage both upper and lower body muscles, providing a comprehensive workout experience.

Variability: Many ellipticals offer adjustable resistance levels and workout programs, allowing for a versatile training experience.


High Impact: Running or walking on a treadmill is a higher-impact activity, which can be tough on the joints, particularly for individuals with existing issues.

Simplicity: Treadmills offer a straightforward workout – you walk or run.

Calorie Burn: Running on a treadmill often burns more calories per minute compared to ellipticals.

In conclusion, if you are looking for a low-impact, full-body workout with versatility, ellipticals are an excellent choice. If you prefer traditional running or want a simple workout, treadmills may be more suitable. Consider your fitness goals and personal preferences when making your decision.

Elliptical Workouts for Weight Loss

Whether you’re aiming to lose weight or maintain a healthy body weight, ellipticals can be your trusted companion. Here are some workout tips to help you on your weight loss journey:

Interval Training

Interval training involves alternating between high-intensity and low-intensity periods during your workout. This method is highly effective for weight loss as it maximizes calorie burn in a shorter time. For example, you can sprint for 30 seconds and then recover at a slower pace for 1-2 minutes. Repeat this cycle throughout your workout.

Resistance Training

Increasing the resistance on the elliptical helps build muscle and boost metabolism. Muscle burns more calories at rest, making it an essential component of weight loss. Gradually increase the resistance as you become more comfortable with your workout routine.

Longer Workouts

To burn more calories, consider longer workouts. Aim for at least 30-60 minutes of elliptical exercise, several times a week. The longer duration allows your body to tap into stored fat for energy.

Proper Nutrition

Remember that weight loss is not only about exercise but also about maintaining a balanced diet. Combine your elliptical workouts with a healthy eating plan to achieve the best results.

Proper Nutrition

Maintenance and Care of Elliptical Machines

To keep your elliptical machine in optimal condition and ensure its longevity, regular maintenance, and care are essential. Here are some tips to help you maintain your machine:

Regular Cleaning

Dust and debris can accumulate on your elliptical, affecting its performance. Regularly wipe down your machine with a clean, damp cloth to keep it free of dirt and sweat.


Lubricate the moving parts of your elliptical machine as recommended by the manufacturer. This will help prevent squeaking or stiffness in the pedals and handles.

Check for Loose Bolts and Screws

Over time, the vibrations from your workouts can cause bolts and screws to loosen. Periodically inspect and tighten any loose hardware to ensure your machine’s stability.

Keep It on a Level Surface

Elliptical machines should be placed on a level surface to prevent unnecessary stress on their frame. Use a leveling tool to ensure that your machine is balanced.

Buying Guide: How to Choose the Right Elliptical

Purchasing an elliptical machine is an investment in your health and fitness. To make an informed decision, consider the following factors:


Determine your budget before you start shopping. Ellipticals come in a wide price range, so understanding what you’re willing to spend will help narrow down your options.


Consider the available space in your home. Measure the area where you plan to place the elliptical to ensure it fits comfortably.

Stride Length

The stride length of an elliptical affects your comfort during workouts. Taller individuals may require a longer stride length for a natural and comfortable motion.

Resistance Levels

Look for a machine with adjustable resistance levels to accommodate users of various fitness levels. The ability to increase resistance ensures your elliptical will remain challenging as you progress.

Console Features

Ellipticals often come with various console features, such as heart rate monitors, pre-programmed workouts, and Bluetooth connectivity. Choose a console that aligns with your fitness goals and preferences.

Brand and Warranty

Research reputable brands and read reviews to ensure you’re getting a quality machine. Additionally, consider the warranty offered, as it provides peace of mind should any issues arise.

Brand and Warranty

Elliptical Workout Routines

Well, you can certainly train whatever you like to train but we have a workout plan for you already.

Beginner’s routine:

Warm-Up (5 minutes): Begin with a slow and steady pace to warm up your muscles.

Workout (20 minutes): Maintain a moderate pace, focusing on proper form and posture.

Cool Down (5 minutes): Gradually slow down your pace to bring your heart rate back to normal.

Intermediate Routine

For those who have some elliptical experience and want a more challenging workout:

Warm-Up (5 minutes): Start with a gentle pace.

Interval Training (20 minutes): Alternate between high-intensity intervals and low-intensity recovery periods. For example, sprint for 30 seconds and recover for 1 minute. Repeat.

Cool Down (5 minutes): Slow down your pace.

Advanced Routine

For experienced elliptical users looking for an intense workout:

Warm-Up (5 minutes): Begin at a moderate pace.

Interval Training (30 minutes): Increase resistance and pedal at maximum effort for 1 minute, then recover at a low intensity for 2 minutes. Repeat.

Cool Down (5 minutes): Gradually decrease your pace.

Remember to stay hydrated during your workouts and listen to your body. If you experience any discomfort or pain, it’s essential to stop and consult with a healthcare professional.

In this ultimate guide to ellipticals, we’ve covered the various aspects of these versatile machines, including types, benefits, comparisons, workout routines, maintenance, and buying tips.

Armed with this knowledge, you’re well-prepared to make the most of your elliptical workouts and embark on a journey to improved fitness and health. Enjoy your elliptical journey and stay motivated!

Share the Post:


Dr. Mehmet Eren Aksu In addition to his medical background, is a big fitness enthusiast. He has been interested in fitness and has been actively doing it for over 7 years. During this time, he had the opportunity to experience using many cardio machines. And he wants to convey these experiences to you, our valued readers.

How this article was written? How we choose the best cardio equipment?

We take help from AI in certain parts of the articles. This does not mean that our choices and evaluations are made with AI. We strictly hand-pick the best equipment and single product evaluations.


We are aware of how difficult and long a process it is to find equipment according to your needs. As Healthy Bodies 101, we want to help you in the purchasing and evaluation process by minimizing this process.

We may earn commission fees from purchases you make through our links. This helps us continue our work and enjoy doing it.

People Also Viewed

Scroll to Top
Seraphinite AcceleratorOptimized by Seraphinite Accelerator
Turns on site high speed to be attractive for people and search engines.