Elliptical Benefits and Disadvantages: The Pros and Cons of Elliptical Training

Elliptical Benefits and Disadvantages

Have you been googling for elliptical benefits and disadvantages? Do you want to know if there are any dangers associated with elliptical trainers? Or are you simply just curious about what this strange-looking machine is all about?

Whatever your agenda is, you will have the answer by the end of this article!

I’ll show you both the positives and the negatives -no BS or sales pitches!

Let’s get on with it:

The Benefits of Elliptical Trainers

First off; we’re going to get the ball rolling by looking at some of the main benefits of using the elliptical trainer in the gym.

My base when judging the benefits of the elliptical trainer is the two models I looked at in my Bowflex vs NordicTrack elliptical machine reviews. These are the benchmark when it comes to this kind of exercise equipment.

Here are several reasons to choose the elliptical over the treadmill the next time you’re working out:

Burn Calories Like Crazy

First and foremost, one of the main benefits of using the elliptical trainer is the elliptical machines ability to burn calories.

Weight loss is tough; using machines or exercises that actually work is essential!

Elliptical machines provide impressive numbers when it comes to calories burned!

While I can’t give you precise numbers as each person is different; generally, you’ll burn anything from 270 – 400 calories in just 30 minutes on the elliptical.

Graph showing calories burned using an elliptical trainer.

Impressive, or what?

Less Stress on Your Joints

Everybody thinks of running as the be-all and end-all when it comes to losing weight and getting fit.

The truth is that, although beneficial, running can cause stress and damage to your joints.

Many runners experience pain and discomfort in their joints, especially the ankles, knees, and hips. This is because of the impact the joints absorb during each footfall.

The solution?

If you suffer from joint pain, or if you want to protect your joints from further damage, elliptical machines are fantastic!

Because of their unique design, they’re a low-impact form of exercise that goes easy on your joints.

Elliptical machines mimic the movements of cross-country skiing. This means that you glide with your arms and legs, instead of run.

For looking after the joints, you’ll seriously struggle to find anything better!

Elliptical Trainers Work Great for Shaping Your Upper and Lower Body

Another key reason to train with an elliptical machine is because they’re great for toning your upper and lower body.

When you use the elliptical machine, you pump your arms and legs evenly.

This helps to distribute your weight evenly and to add resistance to your workout.

The main muscles worked when using the elliptical machine are:

  • Quadriceps,
  • hamstrings,
  • calves,
  • glutes,
  • core,
  • triceps,
  • back,
  • deltoids,
  • traps,
  • biceps,
  • and chest.

Basically, your entire body with this one exercise!

Not bad, huh?

A Chance of Scenery Can do Wonders

We all know that the treadmill is the cardio machine of choice in commercial gyms all across the land.

You are probably a fan of treadmills, and you probably use them during your cardio sessions.

But what about when you’re sick of the sight of them?

Then, its time to switch the treadmill for the elliptical.

Elliptical machines offer you a fun alternative to cardio on a treadmill.

Burning calories on an elliptical is an entirely different experience to burning calories on a treadmill.


If you’re looking for a fun alternative to running, elliptical machines are fantastic!

Plenty of Variety

Just like treadmills, elliptical machines come complete with a series of pre-installed workout programs designed to give users plenty of variety.

Some programs mimic hill climbs, programs for fat loss, programs for stamina and endurance – and plenty more.

This pre-installed programs not only help you get more from your training, but they also make the workout more enjoyable as well.

And exercise should be fun, right?

The Disadvantages of Elliptical Trainers

With the smooth, you must also take the rough.

Though elliptical machines are incredibly popular and highly effective, they’re not perfect.

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Yeah, the pros outweigh the cons by quite a margin, but there are some drawbacks.


Here’s a look at a couple of disadvantages associated with elliptical machines:

Not The Best Fit For Everybody

Generally speaking, elliptical trainers will save your knees as elliptical training is very low-impact.


If you suffer from a pre-existing knee injury or condition, the movement could make things worse.

Want to know why?

Well, because of where your weight is distributed on an elliptical machine, pre-existing knee injuries could be exasperated. If you do have a knee issue, you may benefit more from a stationary bike.

Not Beneficial For All Sports

Whereas there are plenty of sports and physical activities that will benefit from elliptical training, it isn’t ideal for all.

If your sport of choice involves a lot of running or jogging, using a treadmill would be more beneficial.

This is because the motions associated with elliptical training are not as comparable to running, as say, running on a treadmill.

Logical, right?

Final Words: Elliptical Benefits and Disadvantages -Should You be Using One?

Yeah, that is a lot of information all at once…

As with all exercise equipment, there are both elliptical benefits and disadvantages. If the elliptical trainer is suited YOUR needs is up to you to decide.

I have given you all the facts; how do they fit into your current fitness level and goals?

Personally I use an elliptical trainer a couple of times each month -mainly to have some variation from my regular cardio routine. This works perfectly for me!

Want to learn more about cardio? Well – go and bookmark my SUPER POPULAR at-home cardio resource! You will thank me for it…

See you there!

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