Belly fat is perhaps one of the most common reasons why people start looking for weight loss options. While some people prefer to use a treadmill, there's a growing amount of interest in elliptical machines. This begs the question: does elliptical burn belly fat? In this article, I'll answer all your questions regarding ellipticals and belly fat reduction.
First, the short answer…
So does elliptical burn belly fat? Ellipticals are quite effective for working muscles all over your body from your hamstrings and glutes right up to your chest and back. Training with an elliptical will help you tone your body, burn calories, and most importantly reduce body fat.
Now for the deep dive…
Does Elliptical Burn Belly Fat?
Elliptical trainers, alongside treadmills, are a steady part of every gym you go to. Also called a cross trainer, it's a stationary machine that simulates walking, running, or climbing a hill. Unlike the treadmill, instead of only getting faster as the resistance increases, it gets steeper. It's quite low impact and not as heavy duty as a treadmill, but it provides just as much workout value to your body. Such is the effectiveness of this machine that many trainers have recommended the use of an elliptical for weight loss. You might be wondering why an elliptical, which looks like a machine for improving general fitness, is being talked about as a belly fat burner. I'll tell you why…
It is a known scientific fact that targeted weight loss workouts aren't as effective as many of us hope. For example, if you turn to intense core and midsection workouts, it still doesn't guarantee you weight loss in your stomach because your caloric intake and expenditure applies to the whole of your body. It's more likely that you either gain muscle in that area, and even if you lose weight, you can't guarantee it'll be from your midsection. The best way to burn belly fat then is to start a general weight loss plan for your whole body. This is where an elliptical comes in…
The key to losing weight is to burn more calories than you consume, and ellipticals are topnotch calorie burners. They can burn up to 400 calories in only thirty minutes depending on your weight and workout intensity, of course. Now the elliptical is by no means the only machine that gives you such a high rate of calorie burning, but it comes with the added advantage of being a low impact workout. Because you never lift your feet off the pedals, you don't stress your muscles as much as you would with other more intense workouts. You'll work your entire body and burn a ton of calories without putting your body under so much stress. No wonder runners in the 1990s when ellipticals became popular considered it a miracle. Now that you know how ellipticals help you shed belly fat, let's look at some other benefits…
Benefits of Ellipticals
Builds Stamina and Cardio Health
Have you ever tried to play football after a long hiatus? I'm betting you ran out of breath within thirty minutes or less. It's not that you're tired, but your heart and lungs are unable to produce the oxygen you need for that activity. This is why it's important to stay fit. Every well rounded exercise program must include aerobic exercise, usually referred to as cardio. When performing a cardio workout, your heart and lungs work harder in order to supply your muscles with more blood and oxygen. When your heart and lungs are trained to produce all the oxygen you need, it'll build up your stamina, endurance, and cardiovascular health. You can get a that by training with an elliptical.
Reduces High Blood Pressure
You can feel less anxious by using the elliptical machine for just five minutes. This is because according to a study in the National Library of Medicine, when you workout, your body releases a hormone called serotonin, also known as the "feel-good" hormone. Serotonin is not only a feel good hormone though, it also has blood pressure-lowering or antihypertensive effects. So regular elliptical exercising at a low or moderate intensity can help control hypertension. That said, if you use hypertension medication or have had major surgery, please consult with your doctor.
Minimal Stress on Your Joints
You've heard some of this before. Your knees, ankles, hips, and other joints can come under serious pressure when you engage in high impact workouts like running, jumping rope, or cycling. When working out on an elliptical, your legs never have to leave the pedals. Per another study in the National Library Of Medicine, this makes life much easier for your joints with low impact movements, but doesn't sacrifice any intensity or workout value. This makes ellipticals awesome for injured runners looking to nurse themselves back to fitness.
Full Body Workout
You've already learned that a full body workout is necessary to burn the calories you need to achieve belly fat loss. One of my favorite benefits of using an elliptical is that it works your entire body. Your legs, heart, hands, stomach, and back are all under stress when you get on an elliptical. This is particularly effective when you use the handles as you workout so that as your legs pump, your hands aren't left behind.
How to Use Elliptical for Maximum Weight Loss?
Your diet can nullify all your exercising no matter how hard you go. This makes it imperative to get the right diet to complement your weight loss program. Protein, for example, is a must. 30 to 60 minutes after your workout is over, feed your muscles enough protein to help them recover. You can get it from several foods including eggs, fish, and meat, and you can use protein powder supplements too. Combine it with a healthy fat like avocado, olive oil, or coconut oil to help you rebuild your muscles and guarantee that the extra fat your body has gathered is burned. You also want to take tons of water to keep your body fresh and hydrated.
Vary Your Workouts
There are several elliptical workouts to lose belly fat, but sticking to one regiment for a long time has its disadvantages. Experts recommend changing up your workout regimen every six to eight weeks to avoid getting to a plateau where you're not making any real progress. It's important because when you get bored with your workout, you feel less engaged and start to put in less effort than you used to. When you no longer enjoy the challenge, there's no motivation to beat it. Change on the elliptical machine could involve increasing the resistance or working at faster speeds, but that's not all.
You could also start routinely switching up your cardio routine by incorporating elliptical workouts into your jogging or cycling sessions. Ultimately, diversity helps produce some of the best results when it comes to weight loss workouts.
Use the Handles
One of the advantages of elliptical training I mentioned earlier is that it targets your whole body, but some people miss out on that by ignoring the handles. When you use the handles, the majority of your body is involved, from your quads to your back and core. This is important because having every part of your body actively using energy is beneficial seeing as decreasing belly fat involves burning calories. If you ignore the handles, you're basically focusing all the training on your lower body. If you want a completely holistic training, you better grab those handles.
Our Recommended Elliptical
If you like what you see and would love to try using the elliptical to lose weight, the Smart Elliptical Exercise Machine from Sunny Health and Fitness is the one to go for. It's a super stable wheeled elliptical that will make your experience a joy. It comes with sixteen different levels of resistance to give you as much challenge as you need, and will monitor your heart rate and performance as you workout.
It's strong and dependable, gives you as much of a challenge as you'll need, and lets you track your progress. You can even connect your phone to the machine via Bluetooth to see your metrics in real time. If you're looking to use an elliptical for belly fat and cardio workouts, you really can't go wrong with this elliptical trainer.
Is elliptical good for weight loss?
Elliptical trainers are essentially a full body workout that targets muscles all over your body. If you use your elliptical properly and follow all the tips in the article, you'll get a well toned body, superb cardio, and reduced belly fat.
Does the elliptical work your stomach?
Perhaps what you're asking is does elliptical work abs? An elliptical helps you reduce belly fat and burn calories but if you'd like to build abs, you'd better start thinking of something much more intense than an elliptical trainer.
You started this article with the question: can you lose weight with elliptical trainers, and specifically belly fat? By now you should know not just that an elliptical is good for burning belly fat, but how exactly it burns the fat. You've also learned some tips to make your elliptical experience a wonderful one. Belly fat is one of the most common reasons people start exercising. The good news is you're not alone and you can get rid of your belly fat. If you like the sound of the elliptical, my recommendation is the Smart Elliptical Exercise Machine.
I'd like to hear from you now. Do you have some belly fat you need to get rid off? Have you used an elliptical before? Is there anything else on your mind? I'll be in the comments if you need to talk.
- Brain serotonin and blood pressure regulation: studies using in vivo electrochemistry and direct tissue assay // National Library of Medicine: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2414630/
- Referent body weight values in over ground walking, over ground jogging, treadmill jogging, and elliptical exercise // National Library of Medicine: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24095267/
- Post-Workout Nutrition: What to Eat After a Workout // HealthLine: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/eat-after-workout
My name is Ihor and I have been a professional weightlifter since 1996. With over 20 years of competition experience, my resume includes European Champion in 2009 and the silver medalist at 2011's Senior World Championships – 105kg division.
I competed at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.
After hanging up my own competitive lifting shoes, I decided to share my huge background as a coach. I am currently coaching multiple athletes who are competing at national and international competitions.