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A man using an elliptical machine

Want a no-nonsense, low-impact workout that can potentially burn crazy calories? Just jump on the elliptical!

But, before you do…read the below tips first to make sure you’re actually getting the most out of that workout.

Stand Up Straight

This actually goes for most pieces of workout equipment (and working out, period): proper posture is everything. Standing up straight helps to lengthen your abs, which engages your core and works your upper body. Also, unless you’re on an elliptical with an upper body component, don’t lean on the armrests – research suggests that it may reduce calorie burning.

Personalize Your Workout

According to fitness experts, most machines are calibrated for a 150-pound person. Unless you actually are 150 pounds, enter your weight (and age, if it’s an option), for more accurate results.

Have A Goal

Trainers agree that, on average, you should be trying to burn at least 100 calories every 10 minutes.

Elliptical Movement 101

First, use enough resistance to push and pull through your strides and keep your heart rate up. Second, keep a steady, moderate, and controlled pace.

Try Interval Training

Intervals are a great way to make your workout less boring and burn more calories. For example: try alternating between faster and slower paces with the same resistance, or try keeping a steady pace while you alternate between two different resistance levels.

Change Directions

Going backwards gives your other muscle groups a better work out. Moving forward works your quads, while moving backwards works your hamstrings and glutes.

Pedal Right

Be careful not to put too much pressure on your toes. Instead, let your weight shift to your heels, which helps you work out harder and more safely.

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