The crosstrainer, or elliptical trainer, is your perfect ally for burning calories at the gym. Learn to make the most of it with these tips
The elliptical trainer or crosstrainer is one of the most popular cardiovascular stations at the gym, whether to warm up before a class or do some aerobic exercise to burn calories and fat.
In this article, we want to talk about how to make the most of the benefits of crosstrainers to burn fat and lose weight, as it is one of the machines that burns the most calories. Depending on the intensity, resistance and speed, you can burn up to 500 calories in just 30 minutes of exercise.
Plus, the crosstrainer is considered a low-impact workout, because your feet are strapped to the pedals and the movement doesn’t have any negative effect on the joints or back. If you use the arm handles, you can work both the upper (arms, pecks and back) and lower body (quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves). The more muscles involved, the more calories you will burn.
How to burn more calories on the crosstrainer
So, how can you optimise your time on the crosstrainer to burn as many calories as possible? Below, we have a few tips and tricks:
Choose the ‘fat burning’ setting
Our crosstrainers have a special ‘fat burning’ setting on the control panel. By choosing this training, the machine automatically sets the right resistance and length to achieve your goal.
It is important to work at a moderate level, around 60% – 70% of your maximum heart rate. You can calculate your MHR here and follow the instructions on the screen (where it shows you your heart rate if you are holding the fixed handles by the metal area).
Change your pace
Another training option on the crosstrainer is to keep changing pace and resistance, like for example the ‘fartleck’ training or HIIT, which stands for high intensity interval training. You can choose the Sprint 8 HIIT setting on our Matrix crosstrainers, which will make you follow the changes the program applies, or do it manually by changing your pace: 2 minutes at moderate intensity, 30 seconds sprinting (reaching 90% of your MHR), back to 2 minutes at moderate intensity, then 30 seconds sprinting, etc. You can do this alternating intensity for 20 minutes maximum.
Give every movement your most
Above all in how you hold the handles, if you want to burn as many calories as possible, you should make the effort to mark the pace with your arms and not just let inertia move them. It is also important to stand up straight, with your stomach muscles engaged, so that your whole core is also working. Remember, the more muscles involved, the more calories you will burn.
Use the crosstrainer at the end of your workout
If you want to burn more calories from fat, we recommend starting a workout session with the weight machines, like for example this routine to work legs, and then head to the crosstrainer. The exercises you do on the weight machines will burn the glycogen in your muscles (the way our bodies store carbohydrates) so most of the calories you burn on the crosstrainer will be fat.
With these tips, we hope your workouts on the crosstrainer are more productive and that you see the changes in your body as quickly as possible. Also remember to change up your work out once in a while (for example, also using the treadmill or indoor cycle) because if your body adapts to a specific level of effort your performance will plateau.
Now it’s time to put these tips into practice. If you’re not a DiR member yet, download your free pass to any gym here and come try out our facilities.