Elliptical Trainer: Which Muscles Work?

Do you want to tone your glutes, thighs and legs? Or work your arms a little more? 

The elliptical bike is the perfect fitness machine for strengthening almost any muscle in the body! 

In addition, the elliptical has a great advantage: it is possible to vary the exercises and movements and thus accurately hit the weakest muscles or those you want to work. 

Find out which muscles the elliptical trainers and discover the exercises that will allow you to effectively train the parts of the body you want to tone.


What muscles work with the elliptical?

The first muscle involved is also the most important: the heart! As with any cardio machine, the elliptical exerciser works the heart and increases its contraction force, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease (read more about the benefits of the elliptical bike on the body ).

The elliptical bike offers the advantage over the stationary bike to train the muscles of the lower body such as those of the legs , thighs and buttocks , as well as the muscles of the upper body such as those of the arms , belly and back .

Finally, and this is rule # 1, muscles need stamina to work! Exercising without any resistance will have very little impact on your muscles, so be sure to increase the resistance of your elliptical bike if you want to work and tone your muscles.

Muscles that work with the elliptical

The muscles that work with the elliptical are:

The muscles of the lower body

  • The quadriceps and hamstring muscles , the anterior and hamstring muscles, work continuously when pedaling or walking. The hamstring muscles work harder when pedaling backwards , while the quadriceps work harder when pedaling forward .
  • The glutes (large, medium and small glutes), also called gluteal muscles, are also trained while pedaling, especially when pedaling backwards. An effective exercise to maximize the effect on the buttocks to tone the mucosa is to hold the dumbbell motionless in the center and put the buttocks back a little as if you want to sit down, holding the knees at a 90 degree angle and doing so in a HIIT workout.
  • The calves , called the triceps surae muscles, located in the back of the leg, also work while pedaling.

Your lower body muscles (in red on the diagram) are constantly involved when you exercise on the elliptical bike, while your upper body muscles will more or less work depending on your workout and movements.

The muscles of the upper body

  • The biceps and triceps , the muscles of the front and back of the arms, work mainly when you actively pull or push the moving handlebar of the elliptical bike and then use the strength of the arms. When you actively push the bars to pedal, your triceps work while your biceps work when you pull the dumbbell.
  • The chest muscles are trained when you push the handles.
  • The back muscles , the latissimus dorsi dorsal muscle (which forms a V in the back) are affected when pulling the moving handles of the elliptical bike. A very beneficial exercise is to pedal without your hands (without holding the handles) for a few minutes to work your balance and improve your body posture.

Don’t put all your weight on your toes or the front of your feet while exercising. Put your weight lightly on the back of your feet, this will make your body muscles work harder.

Also make sure not to look at your feet during the exercise, but rather in front of you to keep your back straight!

The higher the resistance of your elliptical bike, the more you work your muscles. Muscles only get stronger when you work hard and put in enough effort!


Exercises and training programs with the elliptical to strengthen the muscles

The advantage of the elliptical bike is that it is really easy to train the muscles of the body you want to work by varying the movements and the way you exercise.

 For example, you can do a training session where you actively pull the dumbbell in motion to strengthen the triceps, which are the muscles located under the arms, or do a HIIT workout where you hold the fixed handles in the center and put your butt lower as if you were willing to sit down to tone your buttocks. 

These targeted exercises allow you to strengthen the weakest muscles in your body.

Which elliptical workout is most effective for strengthening muscles? Knowing that you need to increase the resistance of your elliptical bike to strengthen and tone your muscles, it is recommended that you do an interval workout (HIIT) in which high intensity phases alternate with high resistance phases (30-60 seconds) and phases recovery at moderate intensity (1-2 minutes).

Here are 5 elliptical bike workout programs to tone muscles and lose weight effectively.

Find more HIIT workout programs in the Vescape cross trainer app compatible with elliptical bikes with bluetooth.

Which workout to tone muscles and lose weight at the same time? Recent studies show that the most effective way to lose weight is to alternate between 45-60 minute cardio workouts and interval training (HIIT).

 HIIT training will allow you to train muscles, provided you increase the resistance of the elliptical machine during the high intensity phases, and burn calories and fat at the same time.

It is important to rest for a day between two HIIT workouts. It is actually during recovery that the muscles develop!

Here are two elliptical training plans for weight loss: # 1 (Goal: 0.5kg / month) and # 2 (Goal: 1kg / month):

Training program N ° 1

  • Cardio workout on Tuesday (30 min)
  • HIIT workout on Thursday (20 min)
  • Cardio workout on Sunday (45 min)

Training program N ° 2

  • Cardio workout on Mondays (30-45 min)
  • HIIT workout on Tuesdays and Thursdays (25 min)
  • Cardio training on Saturdays (45 to 60 min)

The elliptical bike is the ideal sport for strengthening the leg muscles , firming the thighs and buttocks , but also for toning the arms and working the back and chest muscles .

 Don’t hesitate to vary and adapt these exercises to target different muscles in your body!

Does the elliptical bike make your thighs and legs bigger? The elliptical bike remains a cardio fitness machine and is not a strength machine.

 It will allow you to tone your muscles but not to inflate them as you would by lifting weights! So don’t worry: your thighs and legs won’t get any bigger unless you push the resistance to the max and train several hours a day!

Always start with a 5 to 10 minute warm-up by pedaling at medium speed to gradually increase your heart rate.


How long does it take to get results when training with the elliptical?

As is often said, you have to suffer to be beautiful! Results don’t happen overnight, but progressively! However, you need to persevere, be consistent in your efforts, and most importantly, exercise regularly.

If you do 2 or 3 exercises a week , you will notice that after 4 or 6 weeks your training seems easier and less demanding, which means that you have made progress and that your body is adapting.

 Also, the legs, thighs and buttocks are already starting to feel a little more muscular and compact.

 Your arms also have more strength if you have done interval training (HIIT) on the elliptical (actively pulling and pushing the dumbbell with your arms).

If you continue to practice regularly at the same pace, after 3 months you will see the effects of the elliptical on your body.

 Body fat percentage decreased and muscle mass increased.

 Your body becomes more and more athletic. Continue like this and you will see all the benefits that the elliptical bike can bring to your body over time.

Last but not least, the elliptical gives beautiful muscles because it is a soft and smooth sport that constantly works the muscles. 

The elliptical is therefore the ideal fitness machine to refine muscles, lose weight and have a beautiful body.

Start training now to make the most of the benefits of the elliptical bike on your body and muscles.


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