30-Minute Total-Body Elliptical Workout


Confession: I’m not a real fan of the elliptical machine. I think it dates back to my college days when I used to read a magazine during some so-called “workouts” and barely break a sweat.

But after avoiding it like the plague for years, I figured it was about time to reconsider my attitude toward the machine — especially since my sister happens to love hers.

So I started playing with different elements to keep things fresh, and I added in a few strength-training moves mid-session for more of a total-body workout.

The result? A fun, non-impact way to cross-train on those days off from running…or a great way to break up the monotony of typical treadmill time at the gym.

Here’s one of my favorite workouts, which will get your heart pumping and your muscles burning — all in 30 minutes (not including warm-up and cool-down).


Once you’ve mastered the moves above, kick things up a notch by throwing in some backward pedaling and alternating between pushing and pulling the handles.

Another tip: Work the core, test your balance and challenge stabilizing muscles by going hands-free for a 10-20 count of strides every few minutes.

Happy ellipticaling!

6 thoughts on “30-Minute Total-Body Elliptical Workout

  1. Thanks for the ideas! I have a bum knee, so elliptical workouts are a key way I stay active. My feet regularly go numb on the elliptical machine, so I developed a few strategies to work around that. I set a hill program and then 1) I switch directions (pedal forward vs pedal backwards) every 4 minutes. 2) I get off the machine every 4, 5, or 6 minutes to do a set of pushups or a set of lunges. 3) for a minute in between sets of pushups, I try to pedal at a faster speed.


  2. I found that when I used to get on an elliptical, I would get bored quickly and rarely pushed myself like I could. A friend told me about some killer elliptical workouts on iTunes. They basically have a top-notch trainer taking you through a HIIT routine for the elliptical. It’s great for weight loss and seriously kicks my butt every time, in just 20 minutes: http://bit.ly/EllipticalExpress_iTunes.


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