What else can you do with an elliptical?
March 28, 2011 1:10 PM   Subscribe

Alternative exercises on an elliptical? What else can I do with this thing, besides run on it, to spice things up?

I loves me my elliptical. I loves it so much, I wonder what else can be done with it.

* Spinning-class style workouts?
* Running backward?
* Intervals?
* Something with hand weights?

Give me your best ideas.
posted by Cool Papa Bell to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I was going to put GO BACKWARD but I see you have that. Try going low. Basically crouch while you're going backward. Haha sure, I said, and did it. And after about 10 seconds on something like level seven I felt my hamstrings start to twang off like broken guitar strings. Try it.
posted by cashman at 1:21 PM on March 28, 2011

From ones in my gym, if you're running one of the programs on it, it stops and makes you go backwards regularly. Does yours not do that ?

Try not holding onto the machine while running. (Assuming there isn't an arm-bar swing dohickey. Some folks lean heavily on the machine and that's bad for your back and slackens your workout, as you're taking weight off your legs)

Does it have lots of incline settings ?
posted by k5.user at 1:24 PM on March 28, 2011

Do you have a heart rate monitor? I use mine to do the HR workouts on it - interval and steady. Spices things up.
posted by hepta at 1:31 PM on March 28, 2011

Intervals, for sure, which could involve either speeding up, or increasing resistance, or a combo of the two. (If you can manage hand weights on the elliptical, you are WAY more coordinated than I am. Which would not be difficult.)
posted by Kat Allison at 1:50 PM on March 28, 2011

How about wrist and/or leg weights that you can securely strap on your person? I tried using hand weights but I found holding them to be tiring (not in a good way) on my hands and didn't allow me to easily use my hands/fingers (which I often do - changing the incline, upping resistance, fiddling with the iphone, etc). Also if you need to put them down for whatever reason it's rather awkward to have to bend over and drop them on the floor (unless you have some sort of side table close to your machine).

One of the my "exercise routine TODOs" is to get some wrist and leg weights and start using them on the treadmill and elliptical.

I currently do incline intervals (either my own or one of the machines pre-programmed routines) along with increasing resistance and alternating between going forward and backward.
posted by moxiequz at 1:55 PM on March 28, 2011


Dude if I am alone in the gym (and sometimes when I'm not) I will be dancing and possibly singing along with the music, if it has lyrics. I mean obviously it is not going to really be the world's most cutting edge choreography, since your feet are still going in circles, but you can still shake your hips and wave your arms around.

If I had a home elliptical I would be hell of embarrassing working out.
posted by kavasa at 2:03 PM on March 28, 2011

Do not lift your heel from the pedal and see if that gives you more workout and a little diversion for bit.
posted by JayRwv at 2:49 PM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Bench press it.
posted by monkeymonkey at 4:21 PM on March 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

The other day at the gym I saw a lady doing the elliptical on one leg (alternating between the left and right). I assume this is for strengthening purposes? It also seems like it would be good for balance.
posted by paddingtonb at 5:00 PM on March 28, 2011

Incorporate the elliptical into circuit training. 5 minutes on the elliptical, hop off, do pushups, squats, lunges, burpees, jump rope, ab work, etc. then hop back on.

5 rounds of 5 exercises

Thats what i do
posted by leading question at 6:02 PM on March 28, 2011

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