Maximize Your Elliptical Trainer Workout with These Routines

There are many workout techniques out there, but probably the most loved and supported for many years now is HIIT, short for, High-Intensity Interval Training. HIIT, as the name suggests, forces you to have a high-intensity workout in a short amount of time with low to medium breaks. The productivity of this technique is well-studied, burning as much as calories stationary workout does, but in a shorter time. To almost every kind of exercise, either with equipment or nothing at all, the HIIT technique can be applied. In using your cross-trainer or elliptical machine, HIIT will produce the best results you’re looking for.

Doing Elliptical HIIT Workout

In this specific elliptical HIIT workout, we will have eight rounds of 30 seconds HIIT workout. Meaning, there will be 30 seconds of intense exercise, pushing you to your maximum effort, and then 90 seconds of low-intensity workout or recovery time to prepare you to the next, more intense round.

1. Warm-Up

  • Do warm-up for 5 minutes to prepare your mind, muscles, and joints.
  • Run your elliptical light and easy.
  • Keep your resistance and incline at the lowest level, and increase them a level every minute.
  • Just before you finish your warm-up, take your incline down to level 2 and your resistance to level 4.

2. Start the First Round

  • Currently, at incline level 2 and resistance level 4, run your elliptical for 30 seconds with your maximum speed. Make sure you will feel the intensity of your workout.
  • After 30 seconds, slow down and take your resistance and incline down to the lowest level.
  • Regain your breath, slow your heart rate while still running your elliptical light and easy for 90 seconds.

3. Start the Second Round

  • Thirty seconds before you finish your 60 seconds recovery time, increase your resistance to level 5.
  • After 20 seconds or 10 seconds before you finish your recovery time, increase your incline to level 5.
  • Then, run your elliptical for 30 seconds with your maximum speed.
  • After 30 seconds of intense running, slow down and take your resistance and incline down to the lowest level. Run light and easy for 90 seconds.

4. Repeat the Process up to 8 Rounds

  • You’re going to repeat the process for eight rounds and
  • Increase the resistance level higher than the previous round but not increasing the incline level higher than 7.
  • End with a 3-minute cooldown, still running light and easy.
  • You will finish this workout in about 24 minutes.

Some Tips and Advice

Tip 1: While doing this HIIT routine, and even other routines, always keep your shoulders level, your chest lifted, and avoid leaning forward to avoid losing the effectiveness of the routine and the elliptical machine itself. This form puts tension on your core muscles.

Tip 2: In using your elliptical machine or cross-trainer, always keep your body straight. Avoid rocking your body left and right, putting your body weight on the pedals because you are not using your leg and arm muscles and consequently losing the effectiveness of your cross-trainer.

Tip 3: Use your arms effectively by pushing and pulling the handlebars. In this way, you will be able to put tension on your shoulders, arms, and chest. Furthermore, it allows you to increase your heart rate higher, which means higher calorie burn.

Tip 4: Unlike treadmills and other electrical cardio machines, ellipticals don’t actually force the users to perform or exert energy. Instead, ellipticals only use resistance and incline that oppose the energy that the users themselves exert. This means you need to be honest with yourself and don’t be sluggish. Push yourself to your maximum effort, but not to the point you can’t move the pedals at all.

Tip 5: The intensity and levels of these steps, especially HIIT workout, can be modified to suit your capabilities. The beauty of this workout routine is its applicability to beginners, intermediate, and advanced trainers. As long as you’re experiencing resistance and difficulty, to the point that you cannot do more than 30 seconds, then you are doing the right thing. But if you’re not pressing yourself, to the point that you can easily do more than 30 seconds, then you have to put more intensity and resistance.


It may be too repetitive, but you should hear it over and over: do not overwork. Give yourself a break. With HIIT workout, you can do a twice or thrice a week routine. If, on the other hand, you still want to stick with your stationary exercise, then the advice still applies: do not overwork. What you truly need are discipline and motivation. It all boils down to these two. Whatever routine it is, it will not work if you’re not motivated enough to do consistent workout and disciplined eating habits. Fix your eyes upon the body you are aiming for and run for it. Keep yourself motivated and disciplined, keep working out, but do not overdo it, and, of course, stay happy.

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