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What Muscles Does Elliptical Work? (Explained)

Before you decide on buying an elliptical machine for working out, it is important to determine what your body goals are and what exactly you are willing to achieve through this purchase.

Luckily, the elliptical machines are very commonly used due to their high levels of efficiency in regards to full body workouts and you can determine exactly what muscles does the elliptical work.

Targeting specific muscles by the use of an elliptical is highly achievable and effective because this particular machine is considered to be among the most popular ones.

Key Takeaways


  • An elliptical machine is one of the most popular pieces of equipment for home use.
  • Exercising on an elliptical machine can help you perform full-body workouts.
  • Leg muscles can be successfully worked by the use of an elliptical machine.
  • Targeting arm and back muscles is highly achievable with the elliptical.
  • Engaging the core muscles with the elliptical machine also causes loss of body fat.
  • The efficiency of elliptical workouts is also dependent on intensity and duration.

A Detailed Run-Through

Leg, arm and core muscles can be effectively worked by an elliptical machine. This piece of equipment for exercise is aimed at achieving full body workouts in an effective and successful way.

Working Lower-Body Muscles

The elliptical is considered to be a very versatile and multifunctional machine offering the possibility of working lower-body muscles and build the necessary strength you need in your legs as well as the gluteus.

Hip extension can be easily achieved by the use of the elliptical which further helps in working the gluteus and shaping this area by pressing the pedals on the elliptical and cause contraction in this area of your body.

The back part of your thighs can also be targeted by the use of an elliptical machine. How this works is by using all the force from this part of your body in order to press the pedal and flex your knee.

The thighs and calves are also a part of the lower body muscle structure that can be worked with the elliptical machine. To achieve ultimate strength in these parts of your body, the strokes performed on the elliptical should be done with a lot of power.

Also Read: What You Need To Know When Running Braless

Targeting Upper-Body Muscles

Apart from the possibility of working the muscles in your lower-body area, the elliptical offers the efficiency in targeting upper-body muscles such as the arms and the back.

Using your strength to push and pull the handle will aid in working your arm muscles, especially your triceps.

The best part about workout sessions that can be performed on an elliptical is that you do not need weights. Instead, the elliptical motions lead to engagement of arm muscles.

Although this may seem as an easy way to get some exercise in your routine, it is actually very effective when it comes to building strength in your upper body muscles and targeting every specific area that you need improvement on.

Core Muscles Engagement

The multifunctional features of an elliptical machine also provide the possibility of engaging and working your core muscles.

Tightness and strengthening of your core is achieved on an elliptical by keeping a proper posture and engage both legs at the same time during your workout session.

The stability of your legs while using an elliptical machine can lead to transferring this engagement to the muscles in your core, thus providing definition and loss of belly fat.

Your core muscles need to be given the same attention as the leg and arm muscles during exercising on an elliptical because only in this way will you create your desired physique and burn enough calories.

Does Intensity Matter?

When you are working out on an elliptical machine, it may seem self-explanatory to you that you have to perform the same motions over and over again in order to achieve your body goals. However, the force and intensity you implement can also make significant changes.

Light exercise on an elliptical machine is a great way of staying active and making sure that you burn enough calories in order to live a healthy lifestyle. Casual elliptical training with enough force can build endurance in muscles and help to strengthen them.

However, if you try to implement more intense exercises in your routine, the results may be visible right away. You will burn more calories and fat if your workouts are more intense. But this can only be achieved by also maintaining a healthy diet.

Intensity, force and speed may not be the most effective if you do not pay attention to what you eat. In order to get toned and build enough strength in your muscles with the elliptical machine, you also need a balanced, healthy and nutritious diet.

Also Read: What Exactly are Zero Drop Running Shoes?

Is Duration of Elliptical Workout Significant?

If your goal is to work your muscles in a proper way, regardless of whether you are targeting upper-body, lower-body, core muscles or aiming for full body workouts each and every time, you need to be consistent with using the elliptical machine on daily basis.

Apart from consistency, the efficiency of working out on an elliptical machine also depends on how long your workouts tend to last.

If you exercise for 30 minutes to an hour, by letting yourself use one to two rest days throughout the week, you will be able to see clearly visible signs of improvement and significant results when it comes to your body goals.

Working out for less than 30 minutes on an elliptical machine and skipping more days throughout the week will slow down your progress which can become very frustrating.

Also Read: What Is Considered a Long Run?

Final Words

Due to the different functions and features offered by the elliptical machine, this piece of equipment for exercising is known to be highly efficient for working the muscles.

By purchasing an elliptical machine, you will be able to target almost all muscles you need improvement on, which also makes it worth the money and suitable for every household.