How to do HIIT on Your Elliptical


Summer is coming up, and it’s time to take your workouts to the next level. An easy way to maximize your workouts is by doing HIIT on the elliptical. Not only is it super easy to change things up, HIIT is also effective and will shape you up in no-time.

HIIT stands for High-intensity interval training which basically means, work hard and you get to rest in-between each set. By doing a HIIT workout means you maximize your work, you get to rest, and it’s super quick compared to other types of cardio.

Already got your elliptical machine? Variate your workouts without losing any intensity by doing HIIT. Working out on the elliptical will keep your cardio up while you can target different muscle groups.

What’s also so good about the elliptical is that you can target your heart rate, set up goals with calories, steps per minute and distance, it is easy to measure your progress as if looking in the mirror and feeling healthier isn’t enough!

Workout 1

As with any workout you need to warm up for around five minutes before you start your HIIT, this is vital so that you don’t get injured, but also to prepare your body for the hard work you are about to do!

After warming up – it’s showtime! By calculating your heart rate 0.80 x [220- age], you find out the minimum of your heart rate during the high-intensity workout. But don’t forget, you get to rest too!

Each interval should range between 30 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on your fitness level and also how hard you push yourself. What is fantastic about HIIT is that you can fit it in your schedule and not lose any gains for your fitness.

After each interval, it’s finally time for the well-deserved resting period of active rest, which means lower the resistance but still move, though very slowly. The best thing is to repeat this cycle for 10 – 20 minutes. After a completed workout, cool down.

Workout 2

To get the best result when you’re working out on the elliptical, use both the resistance and incline, as long as you get your heart rate up, it is HIIT! For example, a 20-minute workout where you do two minutes of rest and one minute work.

The workout could look something like this: first, warm-up for two minutes with level 5 on both resistance and incline, the next minute is hard work, resistance up to 10 and the incline stays the same. Minute 3-5 increase incline to 7, and resistance 5.

The next interval, minute 5-6 you go up to 10 resistance and incline stays on 7, minute 6-8 down to the same rest resistance at 7 but incline up to 9 which is the incline you’ll stay until minute 12.

Minute 8-9, resistance is up to 12, for the next two minutes of “rest” back down to resistance 7, and guess what, we are more than halfway through. At minute 11-12 back up to resistance 12, the incline goes up to 9.

For the final push, two minutes of rest at resistance 9 and incline 11, minute 14-15 means hard work at resistance 14 and incline 11, but now we’re on the final stretch!

The last three sets all have incline 9, minute 15-17 have a rest at resistance 9, to the last push at minute 17-18 with resistance 12 and then the final two minutes at resistance 7. And now: 20 minutes of interval training completed!

Workout 3

Not all ellipticals have the nifty incline, and only have resistance, but don’t let that hinder you from getting that HIIT workout in and get the ultimate fat burn session of the day!

This workout is 28 minutes long, and don’t let that 8 extra minutes scare you, we are still resting 2 minutes between each interval! Warm up for 2 minutes at resistance 0-2 and then extend it with three more minutes at resistance 2-3.

The next minute will be pushing at resistance 8, down back for two minutes at resistance three, repeat this cycle ones more and then up at 9 minutes to resistance level 10.

Then, 2 minutes rest on resistance level 3 and repeat this cycle once more. At 13-14 minutes your final interval is at 8 and then two minutes rest on resistance level 2. Halfway there, you’ll now repeat minute 5 – 15 but pedaling the other way around (i.e., backward if you did forwards first or the other way around of course).

When you are done, at minute 25 do a three-minute cool-down to get both your heart rate and breathing down as it promotes recovery and mitigates the effect of cramping. Also, your body temperature gets gradually cooled down with is good for the muscles.

Workout 4

Another way to spice up your HIIT workout on the elliptical, by having your incline set at 9% and alternate every 3 minutes going backward and forwards. This workout is 30 minutes, with both warm up and cool down.

The work out begins going forward for three minutes, at a warm-up on resistance 6, then a three-minute interval also forward on resistance 12, the next three minutes is backward also on level 12.

What you do next for the following three 6-minute sets when you go forward increase the resistance with one each set. So, at 9 minutes go three minutes forward on level 13, and then the same but backward, at minute 15, forwards again but at 14.

The final set at 21 minutes, forward at resistance 15, with leg rotation backward at 24 minutes also on level 15. The last three minutes, go down to resistance level 6 and cool down to recover in the best possible way.

Workout 5

What is good to remember, no matter if you are a beginner or if you are a pro, is actually how versatile the machine is and can cater many fitness goals and make your HIIT also hit other target areas than ’just’ fat burning and ultimate cardio,

If you want to have a more quad focused HIIT session, pedal forward, and if you want booty and hamstring gains, pedaling backward. That way an alternating workout can really make you have an amazing leg session when you do HIIT.

Also, by using and pushing the handles, you can activate your chest muscles if you’re pulling them you work out your upper back! If you want to focus on your entire core, let go of the handles, stabilizing your balance while keeping the pace up!

As you might see, the elliptical can be used by any fitness level, it can benefit a lot of people with different schedules and goals. It’s a machine where you can experiment and alter your workout after what your wants, needs, and level.