A bulging belly is not only unattractive but also unhealthy. And one way to address it is to hop on a cardio machine, like a cross trainer. But does the elliptical burn belly fat?

An elliptical trainer allows you to do full-body workouts, making you burn loads of calories. As a result, you reduce your body fat percentage and, eventually, your belly size. Burning abdominal fat is even more effective when you combine exercise consistency with a balanced diet.

Slimming down your waistline doesn’t mean spending hours on end on the elliptical machine, though.

Performing the same elliptical speed or intensity repeatedly is not the best strategy either.

If you want to optimise your time with an elliptical, using your fitness machine properly is a must.

Keep reading to find out how to improve your belly fat-busting workout routine.

Does the Elliptical Burn Belly Fat?

The elliptical machine can help you burn belly fat. However, contrary to what others might think, it is not through spot reduction.

You cannot use one exercise machine to specifically target your belly and burn fat in that area alone.

The way to do it is to control your energy intake and perform cardio exercises. These let you burn more calories than what you eat.

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

Now, we store fat in several areas, and it’s up to our bodies which fat stores to burn first. So, don’t feel discouraged if your love handles do not disappear right away.

Focus on doing your elliptical workouts religiously, and your belly will eventually slim down when its turn comes around.

Woman working out on the elliptical machine in a gym - does the elliptical work your stomach

Why is the Elliptical Good for Burning Belly Fat?

Any cardio machine lets you burn calories, lose weight and trim your waist.

But there are plenty of reasons why you are better off accomplishing all these with an elliptical machine.

It allows full-body workouts.

An elliptical works your leg muscles through the pedals while your upper body controls the movable handlebars.

With both body sections moving simultaneously, you’ll be burning more calories.

It’s an excellent way to make the most of your workout time and reduce your belly size faster.

It engages your core muscles.

The elliptical motion puts upper and lower-body muscles to work, including your midsection.

Your oblique and abdominal muscles get a good workout as they keep your body stable on the machine.

Moreover, with several muscles working simultaneously, your body burns more calories, speeding up your fitness journey.

It encourages workout diversity.

Depending on your elliptical model, your exercise machine may have multiple resistance settings to keep your workouts challenging.

Some units also have an adjustable incline option and built-in exercise programs to level up your routine.

Others, like the NordicTrack 9.9 Elliptical, even work with a compatible app for an extensive library of studio sessions, live classes and global workouts.

Diversity in physical activities is crucial to effective weight and belly fat loss.

That’s because your body burns calories less efficiently as it becomes used to one form of exercise. We call this fitness plateau.

Varying your routine should keep the body guessing and your metabolic rate up.

It is ideal for long-term fitness.

Using the elliptical machine is a low-impact exercise option that allows you to stay at a healthy weight for a long time.

The problem with shedding belly fat is that some eventually gain it back. And one cause of this issue is doing intense or too vigorous exercises.

While effective for fast-paced weight loss, these can be tiring and, at times, unhealthy.

When this happens, staying on an active lifestyle can be a struggle. People are quick to go back to their sedentary habits.

Elliptical exercises are more joint-friendly, which is good news for seniors and people with current weight issues.

An elliptical should allow you to work out harder or longer minus the pain.

A pair of girl working out in the gym

How Long Should My Elliptical Workouts be to Lose Belly Fat?

Now that we know the answer to the question “does the elliptical burn belly fat”, we move on to proper workout duration. As I’ve said, working out for long hours is not advisable.

Following a more doable schedule is better for stubborn belly fat. A good starting point is a 30-minute elliptical session, five days a week.

Make sure to allocate at least two days of rest per week to let your body recover. Also, combine your workouts with a balanced diet.

The general rule is that a 500-calorie deficit per day is ideal for most people unless given a different recommendation by a health professional.

Achieving this should help you lose about 2 kg per month, which may seem slow to some. But it’s healthy and sustainable in the long term.

You can then break down this caloric deficit goal between your elliptical exercise and diet.

For example, if your 30-minute session makes you burn about 330 calories, you can make up for the remaining 170 calories by eating less. Find out what happens to your body with only 15 minutes of elliptical workouts.

The calories you burn on the elliptical vary, though. These depend on body weight, age, gender and several other factors.

Wearing a fitness tracker or heart rate monitor while working out can give you your approximate energy expenditure.

It may not be super accurate, but it can give you a close enough value.

How Should I Use the Elliptical to Lose Belly Fat Faster?

We know that an elliptical can burn belly fat, and we need to use it for at least 30 minutes five days a week.

But to make your belly-busting routine more effective, here are more tips you can apply.

Maintain the proper elliptical exercise form

Step on the equipment and place your feet squarely in the middle of the foot pedals. Grab the static bars to get your body settled and comfortable.

Now, move your feet forward with your knees slightly bent. Push and pull the moving handlebars in time with your legs.

Move your right arm forward together with your left leg and vice versa.

Keep your posture upright, chest out, and shoulders pulled back and down.

You’ll work out the correct muscles and avoid soreness after with proper body positioning.

Use the handles to engage your entire body

Remember that losing belly fat is all about burning calories.

And you can do this more efficiently when you put more muscles into action.

The pushing and pulling action should activate your chest, arm, back and core muscles.

Woman exercising on an elliptical machine in her bedroom

Vary your exercise routine

Try doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on the elliptical.

You can increase the resistance, adjust the incline or speed up pedalling for a short period, followed by active recovery to regain energy.

This variation should burn lots of calories and prevent workout complacency.

It is also an instant remedy to diminishing elliptical training returns or fitness plateau.

Adding intensity to your routine is also essential in burning belly fat. You’ll get little to no results if your workout is too easy.

So, mix things up and keep challenging your body. Experts suggest changing your routine every 6 to 8 weeks.

Add strength training sessions

The elliptical trainer is excellent for burning calories and putting muscles to work.

But it won’t give you bigger muscles to help you lose more weight and keep it off.

You’ll be less likely to store excess calories as fat with increased muscle mass.

And so, add strength training or callisthenics to your weekly schedule. Try doing them on alternating days with your cardio workouts.


So, does the elliptical burn belly fat? Yes, it does 100%. But slimming down your waist needs more than getting the perfect workout machine.

Complement it with a sustainable workout regimen, effective exercise habits, lifestyle modifications and a healthy diet.

With this all-in approach, you’ll see results faster and stay motivated.

Are you interested in trying the elliptical for your weight loss goal?

Make sure you study its construction and features first. Read my elliptical reviews and buying guide next for more info!

1. Is an elliptical better than a treadmill for weight loss?

Both cardio machines are effective in burning calories and losing weight. But choosing between the two depends on your body, personal preference and fitness goals. An elliptical is best if you want full-body workouts with a low risk for injuries. On the other hand, people who love to run or need sport-specific training will likely enjoy a treadmill routine more.

2. How long does it take to see results from elliptical?

A 30-minute session on an elliptical trainer five days a week should burn enough calories to start seeing results in a month. The weight loss effects are more evident in weeks 6 to 8. Make sure to exercise regularly with a proper diet regimen to continue losing weight. Stretching your exercise time and adding challenging workouts should also help you burn more calories and see results faster.