Tips for Getting the Best Elliptical Workout

Fitness Tips

Tips for Getting the Best Elliptical Workout

We all want to get the most out of our workouts, so we sat down with Precor Global Education Manager Erica Tillinghast to find out how to get the most out of a workout on the Precor EFX® elliptical.

Erica is the Global Education Manager for Precor. Over the last 15 years Erica has worked as a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, performing artist, product developer, and master coach.  Erica specializes in fitness product education, business development, network building and curriculum design. She travels globally as an educator, coach, and industry presenter, and has authored and contributed to more than 20 continuing education courses adopted on six continents. She holds an MS in Exercise Science and Health Promotion, and is a certified Personal Trainer, 3D MAPS, and an NASM Group Personal Training Specialist.

Read on for tips on how to get the most bang out of your exercise buck -- and the best elliptical workout possible

What’s the best way to get a great workout on an EFX elliptical?

Erica: "The best thing to do is continually vary your training stimulus -- within any given workout, change your speed and resistance and incorporate the upper body by using the moving handles. For an added challenge, incorporate intervals into your workout and add sections that reverse the direction of your stride."

How does the CrossRamp on the EFX increase muscle engagement and calorie burn?

Erica: "As the elevation increases on the CrossRamp, heart rate, oxygen uptake and overall calorie expenditure increase significantly. The CrossRamp feature on EFX ellipticals mostly targets the quadriceps, especially as the ramp angle goes up."

What are three ways to increase muscle engagement on the EFX?

Erica: "The best way to increase muscle engagement is to vary the ramp angle to engage the quadriceps. Increasing the CrossRamp angle also recruits the glutes, core and hamstrings to a lesser degree. Another great way to get a more effective workout is to actively push and pull the handles -- the EFX has been shown to activate upper body musculature more than treadmills and bikes; specifically the biceps, triceps, pectorals and trapezius. Lastly, increasing resistance makes your muscles work harder and increases calorie burn."

Any tips for maximizing muscle engagement and calorie burn on the EFX with CrossRamp?

Erica: "The most effective way to burn calories on the Precor EFX is by increasing resistance, and increasing speed. Training in the reverse direction has also been shown to notably increase heart rate and is also a good way to vary workouts without compromising training intensity."

Erica’s Top 4 Tips for Getting the Best EFX Elliptical Workout

Below are Erica's top tips for getting the most out of your elliptical workout.

  • Integrate intervals into your conditioning – avoid doing the same workout each time.
  • Select a Precor program to vary your workout and track your progress.
  • Don’t rely on the handles. Improve balance and coordination by training hands-free during part or all of your training session.
  • Avoid spinning on the elliptical without resistance. The most effective workouts combine resistance and speed.

Now that you know how to get the best workout possible on the elliptical, check out some heart-pounding interval workouts:

Visit the Precor Coaching Center

Author Information

Dani Wolfe
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Danielle Wolfe is a native of the East Coast, but she currently resides in Seattle, WA. She is a fitness blogger, an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and is always on the lookout for the latest trends in fitness and nutrition.

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