The many benefits of elliptical machines make them a popular choice among fitness enthusiasts. They give you a good cardio workout for effective caloric burn and weight loss. Elliptical trainers are more forgiving to your joints, too.

But there’s a lot more to gain from doing regular elliptical workouts. And if you’ve never used one, here are a few other reasons you should try it.

1. It is low impact.

If you cannot decide between a treadmill and an elliptical machine, then consider one of the essential benefits of elliptical machines: minimal joint stress.

Both pieces of equipment mimic outdoor running exercises. See if working out on an elliptical machine helps improve running.

However, running on a treadmill means you have to constantly pound your ankles, heel and feet against the deck.

On the other hand, your feet stay on the elliptical foot pedals, resulting in shock and impact-free movements. It’s like running in mid-air!

That means it’s easy to shift to a high-intensity elliptical exercise stressing your legs too much.

This elliptical benefit is also one of the reasons why this fitness equipment is ideal for the elderly.

This low-impact machine helps rehabilitate people with lower-limb injuries or surgeries, too.

Runners or athletes who constantly train and compete using their legs and feet can also benefit from an elliptical workout.

Specifically, it allows active recovery, prevents joint issues and lessens the risk of injury.

2. It burns a lot of calories.

Depending on your body weight and other factors, you can burn about 15 calories in a 20-minute elliptical session.

The best part is you should start seeing results in a month by doing this weekly for 3 to 5 days.

It is perhaps one of the all-important benefits of elliptical machines.

And to make the most of it, you can try using the cardio equipment for an hour three times a week.

Also, try putting cardio and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) together for a more effective workout.

But what makes it excellent for burning calories? One reason is that a cross trainer moves several parts of your body in one go.

It’s also a versatile machine where you can:

  • Adjust the resistance. Crank up the resistance level of your machine for toned muscles.
  • Increase your speed. Pedal at a faster pace to switch from walking to running to stair climbing.
  • Modify the incline setting. Adjust the incline of your cross trainer to low or high to match your skill and fitness capacity.
  • Use the pre-set programs. Choose a different workout daily to combat boredom and fitness plateau.
  • Do exercise variations. Pedal forward and back, stride slow or fast and push or pull the arm handles.

Users of the elliptical trainer also link its high-calorie-burning ability to low rate of perceived exertion (RPE).

Because of the low-impact advantage of an elliptical trainer, users do not feel extremely tired or worn out.

It’s easy to stretch your exercise time or do other exercises after your routine to burn more calories.

Benefits of Elliptical Machines and Weight Loss

3. It helps burn belly fat.

Burning lots of calories is among the best benefits of elliptical machine workouts.

But aside from weight loss, this leads to a reduction in body fat percentage as well.

With fewer calories to burn, your body burns fat to compensate. In turn, your body fat percentage reduces along with your belly size.

One thing to note, however, is that you cannot use one exercise machine to burn fat in your belly area alone.

The way to do it is to control your energy intake and perform cardio exercises, like elliptical workouts.

These let you burn more calories than what you eat.

Using your elliptical constantly will eventually slim down your waist.

4. It works out the entire body.

Weight loss is not the only advantage you get from a full-body workout using an elliptical machine. You also get to target several muscle groups.

However, building muscle mass is more than getting a slimmer and toner physique. It also results in calorie burn even while at rest.

The benefits of elliptical training cover the lower and upper body muscles.

Specifically, pedalling targets the glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves. Pedalling backwards further enhances the effects on these leg muscles.

On the other hand, pulling the machine’s moveable handles puts your biceps to work. Repeating this arm motion, in turn, tones your triceps.

Working your arms means you also get your back and chest moving.

If you let go of the handles, your upper body also gets enhanced posture, better balance and strengthened core muscles.

Remember to apply elliptical exercise tips and habits to optimise your full-body cardio workout.

Young man wearing blue top with headphones around his neck working out on his elliptical cross trainer in his home

5. It improves your stamina level and balance.

The benefits of elliptical machines are not all about making you look good. They can make you feel good, too.

Specifically, elliptical trainer workouts boost the heart rate.

The combination of movement variation, increased resistance and faster pedalling makes you work harder.

In turn, your heart rate increases. Your heart muscles also become strong.

Daily activities or heavier workloads will surely be a cinch with improved stamina and aerobic capacity.

You can also use the elliptical to build strength before doing more challenging exercises.

Also, an elliptical trainer workout may help you build stronger lungs, especially if you have health conditions like asthma. Just make sure to consult your doctor first.

But the best advantage of this would have to be a healthier, longer life. Regular elliptical workouts can protect you from all sorts of cardiovascular diseases.

Researchers of a 2018 study even concluded that cardiorespiratory fitness is key to reducing all-cause mortality risks.

Aside from longevity, ellipticals provide weight-bearing exercises that enhance body balance and mobility.

You can protect your body from falls and injuries with better agility and range of motion.

Weight-bearing exercises also promote new bone formation. One study showed that these improve bone density among older men.

Loading exercise also increases bone mineral density plus boosts muscle strength and balance among older adults.

6. It brightens your mood.

Stress reduction is also one of the crucial benefits of elliptical machines or any form of exercise.

If you’re feeling unhappy or stressed out, a few minutes of pedalling can do you good.

That’s because physical activity generally allows the release of happy hormones called endorphins and serotonin.

As for me, the fact that I’m doing something good for my body and health is enough to make me stress-free!

Elderly woman exercising on an elliptical cross trainer in the gym


The benefits of elliptical machines are for beginners and experienced gym-goers alike.

With one at home, you can effectively burn calories and fat, boost your cardiorespiratory fitness and lose weight.

People recovering from an injury can also use this low-impact machine for rehabilitation.

Even the elderly can use it to stay active and perform moderate exercises without hurting their joints.

Ellipticals are 100% for every fitness level. And pairing them with a good workout plan plus a balanced diet will lead to a successful health journey.

Do you think an elliptical will help with your fitness goals?

Check out my list of top elliptical cross trainers in Australia to learn more.

1. How much does an elliptical cost?

A good elliptical trainer costs $1000 to $1500 on average. This price range should give you a machine with the essential features for an effective and comfortable workout. But more expensive models are also available. The choice depends on your budget and needs.

2. Is a rear-drive elliptical better?

If cost and space are your priority, then the less expensive, more compact front-drive elliptical is best for you. It’s a better option if you are a beginner or casual elliptical user. However, if performance and longevity are more important, consider spending more on a rear-drive elliptical. This choice is also best for more experienced users.

Infographic of 6 Benefits of Elliptical Machines