Elliptical machines are designed to reduce impact while mimicking the running motion and engaging your running muscles, which makes it good for both low-intensity replacement cross-training as well as performance cross-training.
If you’re on the elliptical machine for performance cross-training, work out on it just as you would during a standard running session. Follow the same intervals and resting points as you would if you were training outdoors. “Do your best to stay light on your feet. Focus on moving like a runner instead of someone stuck on the machine,” says McCrann.
If you’re using the elliptical as replacement cross-training, however, try the workout below. You can also supplement your replacement cross training with daily walks to build up your strength.
Sample Elliptical Workout: 40 mins.
Warm-up: 10 mins. at an easy level. Build effort from easy to steady using controls.
Main Set: 2 sets of 12 mins., with 3 mins. of rest after each set. Each 12-min. interval is divided into two 6-min. sections:
- 4 mins. at steady endurance pace
- 2 mins. at a steady hill climb
Cool Down: 5 mins. of easy effort