Are Ellipticals Good for Exercise?

Are ellipticals good for exercise, you ask? I can tell you that most gyms have long lines of people waiting to exercise on them. Ellipticals are, in fact, one of the most popular machines in any gym and one of the most widely used exercise machines at home.

The many benefits of an elliptical at home make it an excellent exercise for burning calories, losing weight, toning up, increasing endurance, and staying in shape. These exercise machines are among the best since they provide a low-impact workout for people of all ages and fitness levels.

They make a great addition to any home gym, or as your only piece of cardio equipment at home. Ellipticals come in a variety of prices, models, and options, and some can even be folded up for easy storage.

Are Ellipticals Good for Exercise?

Ellipticals make a great way to exercise to stay in shape, increase endurance levels, burn calories, and lose weight, just to name a few benefits. I think if you were only going to have one piece of exercise equipment, this is the best choice.

Is an Elliptical a Good Workout?

Elliptical machines mimic the motion of jogging, but with less strain on your joints. You can burn a lot of calories exercising on them.

Here’s a few reasons an elliptical makes a good workout

  • A single workut on an elliptical machine targets glutes, quads, chest, triceps, biceps, hamstrings, and core. That’s a hard workout to beat.
  • You exercise both your lower and upper body on this low-impact exercise bike at the same time. That’s called a full body workout and means you are burning a lot of calories.
  • The full body workout of an elliptical means you can lose weight with this exercise at the same time you are improving cardiovascular health.
  • Losing weight and improving your heart, lungs, and muscles are all advantageous. As you exercise on the elliptical machine, blood flow to your entire body improves.

Your joints will thank you for getting your regular exercise on an elliptical machine.

They make an excellent choice if you suffer from joint pain or arthritis. You’re less likely to get hurt if you take care of your joints. This means that you may be able to exercise longer and burn more calories in a day, which could lead to even more success over the course of months and years.

There are a lot of variations to how you workout on an elliptical.

If you get bored with your elliptical exercises, it’s easy to vary your workouts. Most ellipticals come with built in workout programs these days, so you never get bored with exercise. You can choose from pre-designed workout programs that simulate running outdoors, with hills and varying speeds, to keep you motivated. If you get tired of pedaling forward, just go backwards for awhile.

Are Ellipticals Good for Bad knees?

That’s a hard question to answer truthfully.

I have osteoarthritis in my own knees, and find that exercising on an elliptical machine is good exercise for my knees. And here’s why it’s good for my knees:

Even though my knee joints are getting plenty of exercise and motion, the exercise is low, or no impact. On the other hand, running and even walking is a high impact exercise and takes a toll on my knees without a good knee sleeve for arthritis.

It’s easy to neglect exercise with bad knees, and that’s the worst thing you can do. The best thing I can do for my bad knees is to maintain and improve muscle tone and strength in my legs. Keeping my legs strong with an elliptical means I help keep my upper body weight off the knee joint itself.

I prefer ellipticals to stationary bikes because I get a full body workout, burn more calories, and it’s easier on my knees.

That’s my own experience with an elliptical and bad knees. My conclusion is that ellipticals are good for bad knees because they are low impact with a pretty gentle, almost sliding motion rather than up and down.

Are Ellipticals Good for Losing Weight?

Losing weight requires you to get yourself into a calorie deficit. What on earth does that mean?

A caloric deficit simply means you burn more calories than you eat.

How do you do that? I’m glad you asked. The best approach to losing weight is to cut back on calories consumed every day, and burn 250–400 calories with exercise several times a week.

Elliptical machines are an effective way to burn calories and lose weight!

Elliptical exercise machines are actually one of the best machines for burning calories and losing weight. And they can be a fun as you vary your speed and the tension settings on the machine.

On average, using ellipticals for exercise burns between 250 and 400 calories in a 30 minute session. The sessions are easy on your back and provide you with a full-body workout that no other exercise bike can match.

Most elliptical trainers these days are equipped with a control panel that can keep up with calories burned and heart rate. That gives you the opportunity to keep your workout at optimum levels for the highest calorie burn.

However, one of the outstanding benefits of this trainer is the fact that you don’t have to workout at high intensity levels. You can get quite a good non-impact cardio workout with light intensity in accordance with the speed of your workout and the resistance you set the machine at.

Because your fitness level will improve and your muscles tone on an elliptical trainer, you will actually burn more calories with each session. Combine that with a healthy diet and you’ll agree soon enough that ellipticals are good for losing weight.

What is an Elliptical Machine?

Are ellipticals good for exercise
Are Ellipticals Good for Exercise? 3

Ellipticals are a fairly new piece of exercise equipment and are in the aerobic or cardio workout category. It is a stationary exercise machine that provides a full-body, low-impact exercise. As you can see from the image above, you use both the pedals and handles for your workout.

It’s called an elliptical trainer, or machine, because, unlike an exercise bike or bicycle, the pedals carry your feet backwards, forwards, and up and down at the same time. Bike pedals always continue in a perfect circle.

The elliptic motion gives you a workout as if you were climbing stairs, walking, running, and even skiing. Because there is very little pressure on the joints as you workout, there is little risk of injuries to any of your joints.

Check out my reviews of the best ellipticals for home.

Are Elliptical Trainers Low Impact?

Because your feet never leave the pedals, you never experience any impact at all.

If you are familiar with the once very popular stair stepper, I can tell you it was great for raising your heart rate and burning calories. However, the stepping up and down over and over was extremely hard on the ankles, knees, hips, and lower back.

Then came the elliptical machine to overcome this impact on joints. It is designed to pretty much completely eliminate stress on your joints while exercising.

The motion is very fluid, and mimics perfectly the natural way a body moves when not using a machine. It’s very low impact, or no impact, while providing a less stressful workout than either a stair stepper or treadmill.

Anyone, regardless of age, can get a good low-impact and full body workout and is great for anyone who tends to get shin splints or has bad knees.

The exercise is somewhere between walking, running, or riding a bike as most of the work is done with your legs in a standing position. The kicker is that it adds an arm and upper body workout as your arms help with the movement.

Ellipticals are about as low-impact as they come. In fact, it’s the safest exercise machine for anyone with bad or injured knees. That’s because even though your knee bends during the exercise, you never pick your feet up; they remain firmly on the foot pads at all times.

What are the Benefits of Ellipticals for Exercise?

Burn More Calories in Less Time

Ellipticals work your lower and upper body simultaneously, so you are burning far more calories than with any other exercise machine. And the interesting thing about this workout is that studies have proven that you actually exert less effort while exercising.

Who wouldn’t want to use less energy and burn more calories? Because you are burning calories at a high rate, your workouts don’t require so much time either.

Low Impact and Safe Exercise

As much as I like treadmills, there have been many injuries associated with their use. On the other hand, ellipticals are much safer to use because they have very little impact and are safe to mount and dismount.

That makes them the perfect choice for anyone of any age, and especially for people with knee, back, or joint problems. You can get a tremendous workout for fitness and not worry about injuring yourself or adding to existing injuries.

Fun to Use

On a treadmill, you basically have two options: run or walk. And because they are so boring to use, the vast majority of home machines are never used.

On the other hand, elliptical exercise is much more fun and interesting to use because you use both your arms and legs. The best ellipticals have different movement programs and programs that can vary the intensity and speed of the workout.

Excellent for Cross Training

They will make climbing steep slopes and even stairs so much easier that you will be pleasantly surprised.

Because you can program ellipticals for different speeds, inclines, and going backwards and forwards, they are excellent for cross training.

Space Savers

Another benefit of a home elliptical is saving space. Unless you have a folding treadmill, it seems to be bigger and bulkier and takes more space.

Elliptical trainers provide you with more space and allow you to add additional exercise equipment if you want.

Check out my reviews of the best ellipticals for home.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Makes Ellipticals So Popular?

Ellipticals have been around for about 20 years, which is pretty new compared to other exercise machines. However they have never stopped gaining in popularity because they are so effective for burning fat, calories, and no impact cardio exercise.

What is Low Impact?

The term “low impact exercise” means that, compared to high impact exercises, your body comes into contact with the ground or floor less often and with less stress. With elliptical trainers, your feet never leave the foot pads. Compare that with walking or running, and you can see why there is virtually no impact on the joints while exercising.

Are Ellipticals Good for Weight Loss?

Yes! Because elliptical machines are aerobic exercise machines, you will burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. Because you are using your arms and legs at the same time, you are activating all muscle groups to burn calories fast and effectively. This full body exercise is so good that you will sculpt and tone your legs, buttocks, hips, arms, chest, and back.

Are Ellipticals Good for Bones?

Osteoporosis and bone density are an important part of good health. And keeping strong bones depends on engaging in regular weight-bearing exercises. Most people think of weight bearing exercises as free weights or weight machines, but elliptical machines fill the bill quite well. Elliptical exercise provides a great weight resistance workout as well as cardio exercise.

Who Are Ellipticals Good For?

One of the best things about elliptical exercisers is that they are great for anyone, regardless of fitness level. They are very easy to use because they simulate walking, running, or the sliding motion of skiing. They even make great exercise for pregnant women and older people because they provide a low impact workout.

Are Ellipticals Good For More Advance Fitness Levels?

If you are already working out and are at a more advanced fitness level, don’t worry about these machines giving you all the challenge you want. You can advance the tension level and vary your speed for more challenging workouts over and over.


Most fitness experts agree that elliptical trainers provide just about the best total workout you can get. Ellipticals have movable handle bars that mimic the natural movement of cross-country skiing and burn a lot of calories with each exercise session.

Treadmills and other home cardio machines can be extremely hard on the joints. However, ellipticals are a great way to get a thorough workout without risk to joints, tendons, and ligaments.

Check out my reviews of the best ellipticals for home.

You’ll get a more intense workout while exerting less effort and feeling like you’re walking or running on air. It may take a time or two to get used to the elliptical motion, but once you do, you will never go back to other cardio machines.

If you’re still wrestling with the question “are ellipticals good?”, the bottom line is that ellipticals provide what could be the best total body workout for just about any body type.

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