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What muscles does the elliptical machine work?

Last updated on November 4th, 2021 at 03:27 am

If you find a perfect cardio workout and full-body workout equipment then the elliptical cross trainer is the best option. Few other machines also give some related advantages but a full-body workout has the best opportunity to tone up the muscles. I am very sure that you are looking for the actual answer to the question of What muscles does the elliptical machine work?

In this article, I am going to discuss elliptical works on what muscles? Normally elliptical cross trainer works on a large group of muscles on your body and besides this, I will discuss more health benefits of an elliptical machine. Workout on an elliptical trainer your full body will be involved with this workout.

Now I am going to discuss one by one elliptical work what muscles?

Upper Body Muscles Lower Body Muscles
Biceps Hamstrings
Back Quadriceps
Triceps Gluteus Maximus
Chest Calves

What muscles does an elliptical tone on the upper body?


During the workout, you must move your hand during the pull and push the handlebars. When the pull motion works you hand will come towards your chest or body so your biceps will be involved with this movement with contractions and pressure. So your biceps muscles will go for the tones up.


During push and pull of the handlebars, your back muscles also involve with your biceps. When you relax your hand from your body towards the elliptical your back muscle will contract with resistance. Finally, your back muscles and biceps become stronger with this elliptical exercise.


When you move your hand to move the handlebars of the elliptical machine your hands become engage. That way your hand muscles become stronger especially triceps. The triceps are the muscles that exist in your arms backside. So for more stamina, more power your triceps muscles required to develop properly.


During your workout, you must move the levels from your chest or towards your chest. During moving the levers the chest muscles involved to create pressure. Ultimately your chest muscles also become tones up easily.


Specifically, the elliptical cross trainer has no direct effect on your abdomen muscles. But using elliptical cross trainer you can lose your belly fat easily. When you run on an elliptical machine with high resistance for one hour you will be able to lose about 800 KCAL. So when you burn your calories you will burn more fat from your body. Most of the fat stored into your belly and maximum fat loss also goes from your belly.

Elliptical works what muscles of your lower body?

There are plenty of elliptical benefits for legs, thigh, and other lower parts of the body. So, now we are going to have a nice look at what muscles of your lower body become tone up.


Hamstrings muscles are the core muscles of your upper legs that help to go forward to you and bear your weight. Hamstrings are consisting of three main groups of muscles (semitendinosus semimembranosus and biceps femoris). All of the three muscles are jointed with the largest bone of the human body named firmer. During workout on a cross-trainer, you’re all core muscles of legs become engaged. So, Hamstrings are also involved with your workout. During flexion and extension, your hamstrings muscles go for stronger.


Quadriceps is also made of four major muscles (femoris, vastus intermedius, vastus lateralis, and vastus medialis). When you push up paddle of an elliptical machine your quadriceps flex for your forward movement. A wrong position exercises your quadriceps muscles may become thin due to more tones up. So, before any training take the trainer’s advice on how to use the elliptical machine properly for tones up of muscles. But the elliptical trainer is more suitable for beginner compared to the other cardio training. It has low chances of injuries and aces.

Gluteus Maximus

The gluteus maximus muscles are known as the hip muscles. They exist on your lower back and up to sides of your upper thighs. Gluteus maximus consist of the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. Hips are really engaged during your elliptical exercise. If your elliptical workout would not perfect exercise your hip muscles become small and your hip looks ugly. So, before elliptical exercise, you must take trainer advice properly otherwise you will get the negative impact of the workout.


Claves are located lower back part of your legs. Claves are always involved during a workout on an elliptical cross-trainer. So, chances are very high that your claves muscles will be more tones up and your legs muscles will get more stamina for a workout or any kind of work.

Heart muscles

Workout on an elliptical cross trainer is an aerobic exercise. During a workout, your body muscles movement becomes higher and required more oxygenated blood. So, your heart and lungs start to pump more blood to make it oxygenated. As a result, your heart muscle capacity increased and your heart muscles become stronger.

Elliptical trainer for weight loss

If you want to use an elliptical trainer for weight loss that will be a very good decision.  I already included an article on the best elliptical trainer for heavyweight users. An elliptical trainer has different resistance levels for a more efficient workout. I already include a table below that loss the calories in different resistance level within one hour:

Resistance Levels Loss of calories
Low 400-450 KCAL
Medium 600-650 KCAL
High 800-850 KCAL

What muscles does the elliptical work going backwards

You may know that the elliptical is one of the best cardio workout equipment that can improve your total body fitness without stress. But, many people don’t know what muscles the elliptical work going backward does.

Undoubtedly, each workout can improve your total body fitness, but over-exercise can cause injuries. When you’re working out on an elliptical machine, your heart rate will frequently increase, that is good for your muscular health.

When working out on elliptical in a backward position, your lower body muscle also improves, especially your glutes, calves, quads, etc., will improve. According to a study, an elliptical workout in a forwarding position can improve your heart rate from 106 bpm to 156 bpm, perfect for burning calories.


Can elliptical machine tone your stomach?

An elliptical plays an important role in developing your core muscle. But, many people don’t know about elliptical that it can improve your core strength without putting too much pressure. Toned and abs not only improve your appearance but also play a big role in improving your strength levels.


We can say that an elliptical cross trainer is the best cardio equipment for home or fitness club. You can use it for tones up your muscles, cardio fitness, weight loss and reduce belly fat. If you hike an elliptical for the apartment then your time also will not spend on fitness class or workout. We hope you understand about What muscles does the elliptical machine work.

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