Elliptical Workout to burn twice the calories

Does anyone else out there love the elliptical?

I use to be a runner. Occasionally all growing up and through college. I wouldn’t say I
was consistent but I was persistent. Then when my first child was seven months old I realized that I would never lose my baby tummy if I didn’t do something about it. That is when I really became a runner.

This lasted about six months until one of my knees started hurting. I probably pushed myself too much thinking, “run through the pain.” Well folks, don’t “run through the pain.” That just causes the injury to multiply. Shortly after this, I got pregnant again and my running days have pretty much been over since then. When I have tried to run I quickly get the pain to my knees and have to stop. I wear braces, I ice but, as I’m sure a lot of you know, when your knees are injured there isn’t much you can do but give yourself a break.

So back to the elliptical, this is a great piece of exercise equipment for those of us with tender knees. On an elliptical, our feet never leave the pedals and therefore, there is less pressure on the knee joint. My husband was recently offered an older model from a co-worker and we jumped all over that. (Not literally! Gotta watch the knees!) Seriously, though this has been so cool! I have never owned anything like this and, although I don’t get on it but once or twice a week, I feel such freedom in being able to “run” again. 

Elliptical workout, especially good for the busy mom!

Until we move I am stuck working out in the garage with the rest of the boxes.

You can challenge yourself in many ways on an elliptical. Any of these four ways will ramp up your calorie burn! Try these different tips to keep yourself present and give yourself a challenging during your elliptical workout:

  1. Stay above a certain speed the entire elliptical workout. For example, if I choose to run for thirty minutes I will try to stay above a 6 on the speed display. If I am only running for 10 minutes, then a 7.
  2. Try to go a certain distance under a challenging amount of time. For example, I have just started running on the elliptical again so it is pretty challenging for me to do a 9-minute mile. Therefore, I am always trying to hit the mile marker  under 9 minutes.
  3. Run for a longer amount of time than usual. This added time challenge will confuse your body and help you burn extra calories. This is good to do about once a week.
  4. Choose an interval program. When the difficulty level goes from easy to hard and again over and over you are basically doing a High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout and this, not only increases your burn but also helps your body to continue to burn calories up to 24 hours later.

elliptical workout that will burn twice the calories

Elliptical workout to burn twice the calories

10 minute on the elliptical, aiming for at least 1 mile

1-minute burpees

1-minute plank

1-minute Russian twists

1-minute push-ups

1-minute tricep dips

Beginners: Do the circuit 1 time with 5 minutes stretching cool down

Intermediate: Repeat circuit twice with 5 minutes stretching cool down

Advanced: Repeat 3 times with 5 minutes stretching cool down

Why does this burn twice the calories?

You are challenging yourself in a few ways. First, you will be running fast in order to make that distance in that time. Thus a harder cardio workout. Second, including the HIIT intervals in between the cardio ups your calorie burn. Third, you are also lifting your bodyweight which ramps up the intensity of your workout.

I am off to get my elliptical workout in, are you?

The inspiration for this post came from SweetonPoint. Check it out if you have a spin bike you use for your workouts!

Women's Running Community


  1. Mollie says:

    This is awesome! I’m so glad you were inspired and adapted this for the elliptical! I need to take your advice…my knee has been bugging me for a couple weeks and I keep just trying to run through it! We’ll be in traveling the next week so I’m totally going to the hotel gyms and doing this workout! 🙂 have a great weekend!

  2. Stephanie Dunlap says:

    Thanks for the elliptical workout! Here’s the debate in my household… hubby wants an elliptical (he’s a non-runner) and I want a treadmill (I am a runner). If we were to get an elliptical, I do not think my husband would actually use it since he currently does not workout (besides a daily walk on his break from work). I, however, run and/or go to the gym six days a week. Do you think if we were to get an elliptical, I could use it and count the elliptical workouts towards my running goals?

    • Callie says:

      Oh dear, I hate to get in the middle of your argument!

      Having said that, I love the elliptical. It really is easier on your joints and would give you a nice break from pounding the pavement. You can definitely count it towards your running goals! It keeps track of distance, you can change the resistance, AND you are in control of the speed, not the machine. My husband and I both try to run on the elliptical without using the arms machines to make it more challenging and more like running.

      Also – if you are anything like me you want your husband to work out more. If you get the elliptical he basically has to run. Think about it, you can walk on a treadmill but on an elliptical you can slow run at the least.

      Plus, you can hold it over his head that this was the machine he wanted. 😉

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