5 Routines Designed to Help You Break Your Elliptical Rut

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

At some point, everyone has ventured on an elliptical. Gyms are filled with rows of them, and what’s not to like? Ellipticals are easy on the joints and make for a great total-body workout. But if you’re tired of the same old elliptical routine or aren’t seeing the results you’d like to, you may need to try mixing up your next workout. These routines can all be done on an elliptical. They focus on different paces, resistance, and intensity, making for a great calorie burning workout. Plus, when you’re switching up your paces and resistance every few minutes, you’ll find that your workout goes by faster. Ready to break out of your elliptical rut? Here are five routines designed to spice up your next workout.

1. Booty Workout

This routine will target your glutes and hamstrings simply by switching up the incline on your elliptical. It’s everything you could hope for in a workout. It will tone your tush while simultaneously putting you through a great cardio routine. Ready for your best possible booty? Try this Fit Sugar inspired routine.

  • For the first two minutes, 30 seconds, set your resistance to three and your incline to five. Keep your strides per minute (SPM for short, and it should be displayed on your elliptical screen) between 110 and 130.
  • From two minutes, 30 seconds to five minutes, set your resistance to five and your incline to seven, with your SPM between 120 and 130.
  • Between minutes five and 10, up your resistance to nine and your incline to 11, maintaining a stride between 130 and 140.
  • From 10 to 15 minutes, keep your resistance at nine and raise your incline to 13, staying between 130 to 140 SPM.
  • You should stay at a nine resistance for minutes 15 through 20, but you’ll want to increase your incline to 15, maintaining your SPM between 130 and 140.
  • For minutes 20 through 25, you’ll up your resistance to 11 and keep your incline at 15, with your SPM between 120 and 130. For an extra boost, move your feet in a backwards motion.
  • Minutes 25 through 30 should be at a nine resistance with a 15 incline. Keep your SPM between 130 and 140 — switch your movements to forward.
  • Minutes 30 to 32 minutes, 30 seconds will be at a resistance of five, an incline of five and an SPM of 120 to 130.
  • From 32 minutes, 30 seconds to 35 minutes, slow down to a three resistance, a five incline, and an SPM of 120 to 130. You’re done!

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

2. Interval-Inspired Workout

Try this interval-inspired elliptical routine, per Fitness. This routine is 35 minutes and will have you burning around 300 calories.

  • For the first five minutes, warm up at an easy RPE (this stands for rate of perceived exertion, which is used to gauge the intensity of your cardio workouts) four pace.
  • For the next two minutes, go at a moderate RPE five pace.
  • The following three minutes should be a brisk RPE seven pace. You should be breathless when going at this pace.
  • You should drop back down to a RPE five pace for the next two minutes.
  • For the next four minutes, speed up to a RPE seven.
  • Then, bring it back down to a RPE five for the next two minutes.
  • The next five minutes should be back up to an RPE seven. Feel the burn!
  • Take a breather as you decrease to a RPE five for the next two minutes.
  • Pick up the pace. You’re back up to a RPE seven for the next six minutes.
  • You’re almost there. For a nice and easy cool down, slow down to an easy RPE four. Workout complete.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

3. Total Body

If you’re looking for an elliptical workout that takes advantage of everything an elliptical has to offer — ramp height, speed, and resistance, try this Ace Fitness workout. It’s all about alternating high and low intensities. Make sure you really push yourself when you’re in a high-intensity zone — that’s what makes this routine work. Expect to spend about 25 minutes on this workout.

  • Warm-up: Begin with five minutes of low to moderate intensity. Then, for the next three minutes, spend some time switching up speeds, exploring ramp heights and checking out the resistance levels to find what it takes to make you exert maximum effort.
  • Give your maximum effort for the next 30 seconds. Make sure you have the height, speed, and resistance going as high as you’re comfortable with. Then, drop to a moderate intensity for the next two minutes. Jump back up to 30 seconds of high intensity movement, and then head back to moderate intensity for another two minutes.
  • The next 30 seconds should be high intensity, followed by one minute, 30 seconds of moderate activity. Follow this up with another 30 seconds of high intensity movement, and then drop to a moderate pace for another minute. Quickly jump back to high intensity for another 30 seconds, and then spend another one minute, 30 seconds at a moderate pace.
  • You know what’s coming next. Jump back up to 30 seconds of high intensity, followed by two minutes of moderate intensity. Repeat this set one more time.
  • Cool Down: Spend three minutes at a slow pace, letting your heart rate gradually decrease.

Workout Tip: “As your fitness level improves and you are able to recover faster than the suggested time, reduce the time that you spend in the recovery phase,” per Ace Fitness.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

4. Treadmill-Like Routine

“Sometimes, you head to the gym craving a treadmill run and arrive only to find all the machines full. Bummer! But remember — there are some creative ways to work around this situation. Instead of throwing in the towel and heading straight for the sauna, try this elliptical workout instead. To make this joint friendly machine feel like running, don’t hold the handles and pump like you do when you’re running,” per Fit Sugar. Using the elliptical hands free is also great for your core, so it’s a win-win all around.

  • The first two minutes: This is your warm up, so take it easy and start out with a three resistance.
  • Minutes two to five: This still counts as a warm up, but increase your resistance to a five so you can begin to ease into your workout.
  • Minutes five to 10: Crank your resistance up to a seven and keep your strides per minute between 155 and 160.
  • Minutes 10 to 15: Add some more resistance here. You should be around a 10, with a SPM of 140.
  • Minutes 15 to 18: Head back down to a seven resistance and keep your SPM at 160.
  • Minutes 18 to 21: You guessed it — head back up to a 10 with a SPM of 10.
  • Minutes 21 to 24: Decrease your intensity to a seven and keep your SPM at 160.
  • Minutes: 24 to 25: Rev your intensity back up to a 10, keeping your SPM around 150.
  • Minutes 25 to 26: Decrease your intensity to an eight, and keep your SPM around 140.
  • Minutes 26 to 27: Head back up to a 10 with a SPM of 150.
  • Minutes 27 to 30: Slow down to an intensity of seven, with a SPM of 150.
  • Minutes 30 to 35: Go backwards for this five minutes with an intensity between five and seven, depending on how you’re feeling. Take an extra minute to slow down and cool off, and that’s it — your workout is complete!

Fit Sugar recommends keeping your incline level set to at least 10 degrees, but feel free to go higher if you’d like.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

5. Interval-Inspired Workout: Version 2

Here’s another interval-inspired elliptical work, per Active. This cardio blast routine is guaranteed to make you sweat and amp up your heart rate.

  • Program the elliptical setting to manual. Start at level five (if there are 20 resistance levels) for one minute.
  • Minute two: Increase your resistance level to six.
  • Minutes three to five: Crank up your resistance level to seven for one minute. Continue increasing one level each minute until you reach level nine.
  • Minute six: Decrease your resistance to level six.
  • Minutes seven to 10: Increase to a level seven for one minute. Then, continue increasing one level each minute until you reach level 10.
  • Minute 11: Drop your resistance to a level seven.
  • Minutes 12 to 15: Increase to a level eight for one minute. Then, continue increasing one level each minute until you hit a level 11.
  • Minute 16: Drop back to a level 8 resistance.
  • Minutes 17 to 20: Rev up your resistance to a level nine for one minute. Then, continue increasing one level each minute until you reach level 12.
  • Minutes 21 to 24: Decrease the resistance to level six.
  • Time for your cool down. Make sure you spend at least three minutes cooling down. According to Active, the cool down prevents blood pooling, which is when your blood supply is in the areas where your body needed it the most during your exercise. Giving your body some time to cool off can help prevent injuries.

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