04 November 2007

Calories burned on an Elliptical Trainer.

If you're trying to choose between an elliptical trainer and another piece of exercise equipment like a treadmill or an exercise bike, one of the most popular questions is

'How many calories can I burn with an elliptical trainer?'

You want to get the most bang for your exercise buck - that's understandable. Here are some calories burned estimates for elliptical workouts - and 4 tips to burn more calories with your elliptical trainer!

General Estimates of Calories Burned with An Elliptical Trainer:

  • 150 pound woman, 30 minutes of elliptical exercise: 387 calories
  • 180 pound man, 30 minutes of elliptical exercise: 464 - 500 calories
  • 120 pound woman, 30 minutes of elliptical exercise: 310 calories

General Estimates of Calories Burned (According To Elliptical Manufacturers)

  • Elliptical manufacturers claim you can burn up to 720 calories an hour with an elliptical workout.

Factors that dictate how many calories you burn include:

  • Workout Duration
  • Interval Training
  • Elliptical Tension Settings
  • Body Composition (Muscle to Fat Ratio)
  • State of Cardiovascular system (regular exerciser or new to exercise)
  • Weight
  • Sex
  • Upper Body Arm Usage

And for those of you who want to burn the maximum amount of calories on your elliptical machine, here are 4 tips to increase your calorie burn:

  • Build in Intervals
Most elliptical trainers offer incline and or tension that you can increase or decrease while workout out. Try building in 30 second incline intervals every couple of minutes to your workout.

This will not only push your body further and burn more calories during your workout - but it can also elevate your calorie burn for up to 24 hours after your workout.

  • Use Upper Body Arms

Many ellipticals offer you upper body arm bars that you can use to build your arms muscles into your workout. More muscles worked = more calories burned. If there are no upper body arms, grab a couple of 2 - 5 pounds handweights and swing your arms while striding.

  • Take Advantage of the Forward and Backward Directions

Using more muscles (and ones you may not have used before) also increases your calories burned, even after your workout. So take advantage of the fact that most ellipticals allow you to go forward and backward. Switch up your routine every few minutes to rev your calorie burn.

  • Break up your Workout

Experts are now telling us that 2 mini-workouts may even be better than 1 long workout as far as fat burned. Why

Any exercise will temporarily rev up your metabolism - so if you can do 15 - 20 minutes in the morning, and 15 - 20 minutes in the afternoon, your metabolism will stay charged up for a longer time. (If you can't do this, don't worry - remember that a 30 minute workout will still burn more calories than a 15 minute workout!)

So these are some tips to skyrocket your calories burned on your elliptical. Remember however that the best workout is one you enjoy - since it increases the likelihood that you'll want to do it again!

Kathryn O'Neill is chief editor for Elliptical Review offering unbiased elliptical trainer reviews, best buys & tips.


Unknown said...

You are correct in mentioned the importance of the upper and lower body workout. However, many people are missing out on the full value of an elliptical trainer when they apply most of the effort through the lower body, and just go through the motions with the upper body handlebars.

It is important to divide the resistance equally between the upper and lower body in order to get the most benefit out of an elliptical.

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Chip Westley said...

Very comprehensive and informative article of the benefits and proper use of elliptical trainers.

These exercise machines are, I believe, a leap forward in home exercise. The fact that they engage your upper body has benefits in burning more calories as well as adding muscle tone to the arms, upper back, and chest.


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eshu said...

You explained it perfectly. This is suffice for basic understanding. Good post.

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Very comprehensive and informative article of the benefits and proper use of elliptical trainers.
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Unknown said...

Great information..
Elliptical machines are incredible pieces of equipment and there is no other way of putting that, it is simple, they work!

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Jason Smith said...

The Elliptical trainer is a great calorie burner and is extensively used in hit intensity training in many exercises to do away with the extra flab.

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