Cardio is a great workout to tone the whole body. An elliptical trainer allows one to work the muscles, making it an excellent trainer of users of any ability. There is no need to move from one machine to the other to perform different exercises as an elliptical provides an all in one workout routine.

However, while spinning on the elliptical may seem like an easy thing to do, a lot of people end up using the trainer wrongly.  Some of these mistakes considerably reduce the efficiency of the workout. Moreover, the mistakes can make the elliptical harmful to one’s health. Some of the popular mistakes that people make on the elliptical trainer include:

Little to no resistance

Working out on an elliptical using zero to little resistance adds no value to one’s workout routines. You’re not working out any muscles, instead you are just moving the pedals. Adding resistance to an elliptical helps work the muscles and raise one’s heart rate. A low setting resistance would be ideal if you’re looking to raise your heart rate. Switch the setting to maintain the difficulty for a long period of time.

Slouching when exercising

This is a common practice among numerous fitness enthusiasts.  Slouching while on the elliptical only strains the back. Stand up straight when on the elliptical to lengthen your abs. Moreover, you will be able to work the upper body muscles and engage your core. There are some trainers that have an upper body component that allows one to engage more muscles and burn fat. You can easily check out different types of elliptical trainers at

Not working the upper half

Unfortunately most people focus on their legs and ignore their upper bodies. Aim to incorporate the moving handles twice a week to work the upper body. Try using intervals where one minute is spent on the arms and four minutes on the legs to get a full body workout. You can add a fairly high resistance for more muscle toning and use the lower body less. Move your arms from time to time to get the most out of your daily workout.  You can also assume the position of a runner when on an elliptical trainer.

Putting too much resistance

While low resistance won’t benefit you, straining your feet to workout isn’t a smart option either. If you’re looking to add resistance to your workouts, choose a level that doesn’t strain your back or interfere with your posture. Your resistance is too high if you have to twist sideways or slouch forward. Before adding any resistance, work on one level of resistance for a given period of time. Be moderate when building up through the resistance levels.

Not entering one’s information

While most elliptical trainers are calculated to fit a certain weight, you’re likely to not get the correct calorie burn if you haven’t entered your height and weight details. This information gives you an idea of how many calories you’re burning after a 30 minute workout.

Only using the elliptical trainer

Using the elliptical trainer on its own won’t do you any good. It is essential to add on to your routine with other cardio and weight training equipment. This helps build muscle mass and get your body used to different movements to keep the metabolism boosted.

Training until your feet is numb

Putting a lot of pressure on the toes can leave you feeling numb and cut one’s workout. Instead of using your toes, sit back on your heels to allow the muscles to work harder. This also provides one with the energy to go longer while working out.

Using the same routine

Doing the same workout limits your body to certain movements. Elliptical trainers provide you with the ability to incorporate different cardiovascular workouts. High intensity interval training allows you to burn calories in a short period of time. Furthermore, you’re able to increase the metabolic rate. Switch in between intervals as many times as you can.

These are some of the simple mistakes to avoid if you’re looking to maximize the outcome of your workout.  Elliptical trainers not only give you a full body workout, they also help you build muscle.  Remember to switch up your workouts to get the full benefits.