Running is a great form of exercise to increase your fitness and overall health. It has advantages that go beyond its physical advantages which include psychological and emotional benefits as well. It can help reduce stress by boosting your mood, giving you more energy, and giving you more stamina. However, it can be difficult on your joints.

If you are a runner, including the elliptical machine in your training can help develop a safe and easy muscular pattern that mirrors outdoor running.  It can help lower body impact and energy consumption while improving your running technique and stride pace.

So, if you are trying to get leaner, stronger, and fitter, without the risk of overtraining and getting injured, this might be the best fitness machine that you can consider.

Let’s find out more.

What is an Elliptical Machine?

For those who are new to the fitness world, there are many machines that are available to choose from and honestly, it can be overwhelming as to which of them will work best for you.

An elliptical is a stationary exercise machine that is meant to simulate walking or jogging without putting an undue amount of strain on your joints. Elliptical machines, in contrast to treadmills, offer a low-impact cardiovascular workout that is gentle on the knees and ankles.

They are a wonderful option for persons with joint difficulties because they are low-impact while giving the upper and lower bodies a workout. And because of its versatility, it can also be used for training if you are a runner.

How Does Using an Elliptical Help Runners

Elliptical machines offer a full-body workout and may be modified to offer different levels of resistance. By adjusting the pedal angle, an elliptical can also be used to target particular muscle areas.

Great for Active Recovery

Many people who run every day risk developing aches, pains, and injuries. Active recovery exercises are introduced into a running program to provide a break from the high degree of impact and vary the routine to keep motivation strong in order to prevent this.

The elliptical machine, which simulates running action without causing physical impact, is an effective active recovery technique. It delivers a low-intensity workout that is essential for good recovery, bridging the gap between running workouts and is easy on the muscles, tendons, and joints.

Provides High-Intensity Workouts

Using the elliptical for high-intensity training with minimal effect on the body is another helpful technique. This is an excellent running technique for beginners and people who are prone to injuries. Short bursts of high-intensity exercise lasting 30 seconds to 2 minutes are interspersed with easy effort recovery in high-intensity interval exercises. They complement easy effort runs and offer a powerful combination for enhancing fitness, increasing metabolic rates, and preparing athletes for heavier training.

Has Inclined Steps

Your fitness level will improve by using the elliptical slope feature to train your gluteal and quadriceps muscles. This is crucial because it will help increase your strength and endurance for running up hills and lower your chance of injury from weak gluteal muscles. This is one of the best-kept running secrets and an effective method for raising performance is climbing cross-training exercises.

Retro Elliptical Training

Retro-elliptical training, which involves moving backwards on an elliptical machine, is a simple but highly efficient method for building up the opposing muscle groups used in forward running (and elliptical), such as your quads, calves, and shins, and ultimately achieving muscle balance between your quads and hamstrings.

For balanced strength, performance, and knee joint function, several experts advise a 60/40 quad to hamstring strength ratio. Injury risks to the knee joint and overuse of the hamstring muscles are both increased by forward running. In essence, retro-elliptical movement is comparable to strength training (squats and knee extensions) and hill running in that it helps you establish a more balanced muscular system, which can lower your risk of problems brought on by musculoskeletal imbalance.

A short and simple Retro workout consists of the following:

  • Five minutes on the forward elliptical followed by six to eight intervals;
  • One to two minutes of retro movement followed by three minutes on the forward elliptical
  • And five minutes on the forward elliptical to conclude.

Try raising the intensity or incline once you’ve mastered this exercise for a more challenging workout routine.

Best for Recovery

The elliptical machine is a very useful tool for recovering from an injury and will make it easier for a runner to get back on track. Many runners can use the elliptical as their primary training method early in their recovery because it is low impact.

It allows a person to test the waters safely before gradually engaging in difficult workouts which your body allows. It also gives the runner a way to keep up their fitness in a way that is very comparable to running, while gradually increasing their running to avoid getting injured again.

Boosts stamina and cardio strength

A well-rounded exercise program must include aerobic exercise, usually referred to as cardio. Your heart and lungs must work harder when you engage in aerobic activity in order to supply your muscles with more blood and oxygen.

You can get an excellent cardiovascular workout on the elliptical machine, which can help your heart, lungs, and muscles. As a result, your stamina and endurance can subsequently increase.

Targets specific leg muscles

While using an elliptical, the foot pedals’ resistance and incline may both be adjusted. You can target your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves in addition to other lower body muscles.

Additionally, because the foot pedals can also slide backwards, you can shift the direction of your stride and concentrate more on your glutes and hamstrings.

Helps improve your balance

Weight-bearing exercise can help your bones get stronger and can also help you become more balanced. You can strengthen your core muscles and improve your balance if you hold the elliptical handles loosely while standing up straight.

To operate the elliptical machine safely without using the handlebars, just make sure the resistance and slope are set at manageable levels.


The elliptical can be quite helpful for runners, especially those who are injured or over-exhausted. However, it cannot substitute running outdoors or on a treadmill. When your joints need a rest, the elliptical offers a lower-impact experience.

Runners who might require a day off from their regular running regimen can use the elliptical for active recovery and low-impact conditioning. For runners who want to avoid injury or who simply want to change up their exercise regimen, ellipticals can be a terrific tool.

1. What are the benefits of using an elliptical cross trainer?

The elliptical trainer is an effective exercise machine that provides many benefits. It works on both your lower and upper body and burns calories. The best part of using the elliptical is that it is easier on your knees and safer than a treadmill.

2. How to avoid overtraining after a long break?

When you stopped exercising for a long time, it is best to check with your doctor first to know your current overall health before engaging in a workout routine. Be sure to take your time, start slow while building your workout routine, and don’t engage in too many strenuous exercises. Make sure that you drink enough water and take short breaks every time you exercise.