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How to Use an Elliptical Trainer in your Cardio Workout Routines

Your Mission? To get the best cardio workout possible.

Instead of programming the elliptical for your usual workout, do your body a favor and take advantage of the machine's versatility. You'll blast fat and calories, work your entire body, and maximize your exercise time and the benefits of physical fitness while using only one piece of equipment.

Learning how to use an elliptical trainer means learning about the different stride (or incline) settings, turning it into a different cardio machine:

  • At a low incline (a horizontal motion) the action is more like a NordicTrack cross-country skier.
  • At medium settings it's similar to a bike (the typical elliptical movement).
  • At a high, more vertical incline it approximates a stair-climber. (Choose a model with arm levers for total-body toning.)

Get comfortable with adjusting the incline and level and you'll rediscover why the elliptical continues to be one of the most popular workouts in any gym.

How The Best Cardio Workout Works After a brief warm-up, adjust the incline and level every few minutes. You'll be done in half an hour. But if you're craving more action, repeat it for a hard-to-beat calorie-blasting workout. Adjust the level as necessary to meet the recommended rate of perceived exertion (RPE*).

Your Workout Routines
InclineLevelRPE* (1-10)

workout routines: intensity moderate to hard
machine needed elliptical
total time 30 minutes
calories burned 300**

**Calorie burn is based on a 145-pound woman.


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