What Muscles Do The Elliptical Work

Certified personal trainer and strength and conditioning specialist Laura Arndt says spot reduction of certain body parts is difficult, if not outright impossible. Instead, she suggests viewing the elliptical as an opportunity to burn calories and work out your major muscle groups.

“In general, you can’t shrink anything,” adds Cunningham. “For example, if you’re trying to build a really big butt, then just doing the elliptical won’t get you there. You also need to add resistance training. If you’re trying to reduce a certain area, like your inner thighs, add resistance, speed and incline can help. Pushing your heels against your toes will also help work your glutes and hamstrings. However, you still need combined resistance training and elliptical work to get the best results you want.

Main muscles and elliptical exercises

types of muscle contractions: concentric, eccentric and isometric.

Concentric contractions occur when the force generated by the muscle working the resistance overcomes and the muscle The shortening of the triceps muscles when pushing the elliptical handlebars is an example of a concentric contraction. ica.

Triceps and pecs (pecs)

Depending on the model of elliptical machine you use, you may be able to use upper body lifts. These allow you to activate upper body pushing muscles like the triceps and chest.

  • Training your triceps will dramatically improve your upper body strength and allow you to do more push-ups, bench press more, and make your arms bigger.
  • Your triceps stabilize your elbows and shoulders, reducing the risk of injury.
  • The chest also stabilizes the shoulders, so training the pectorals will improve overhead support and shoulder strength.


The quadriceps are one of the strongest muscles in the body and are made up of four individual muscles: vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, and the right femoris . They help with hip flexion and knee extension.

What muscles does the elliptical train?

To some extent, the muscles worked during your time on the elliptical will be dictated by whether or not you choose to grip the handles provided toward the front of the machine, the movement of which very superficially resembles the movement of a fist. used by cross-country skiers.

In theory, the elliptical handlebar can be pushed forward, which would primarily work the pectoral muscles and anterior deltoids, and then pulled back, emphasizing the lats. In practice, most regular elliptical users I’ve come across either let their arms travel freely on the poles, or they just push the handlebars forward, putting all of the upper body work on the handlebars. the chest and shoulders.

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