Elliptical HIIT: Intense Intervals for Maximum Calorie Burn

by Faye Edwards on Apr 02, 2024

Elliptical HIIT: Intense Intervals for Maximum Calorie Burn

Take your elliptical workouts to the next level with high intensity interval training. HIIT training is an effective way to increase fitness levels, improve muscle function and burn calories. The aim is to work to your maximum effort for a short period of time followed by a full recovery, before repeating that max effort interval. We can only work to our maximum capacity for a short amount of time before moving to a moderate pace and going into our aerobic threshold. It’s great if you’re under time restraints due to busy schedules or even if you may lack training motivation.

So, what is the science behind HIIT training? HIIT training boosts the body’s metabolic rate which also means the body can continue to burn calories up to 24 hours after working out, making it one of the most effective forms of cardio that vastly improves endurance.

There are many more health benefits to HIIT training;

  • Stabilises blood pressure
  • Improves heart and lung capacity
  • Increases strength and stamina
  • Improves oxygen consumption
  • Helps reduce body fat
  • Improves aerobic and anaerobic performance
  • Boosts mood and reduces stress

How effective is HIIT training on the elliptical? The elliptical is an effective piece of fitness kit that is designed to improve both muscular strength and endurance. The beauty of using the elliptical is that you can build this strength and endurance without impact on the joints, making it a safe way to get an intense workout and prevent injury.

A HIIT workout on the elliptical can offer varied programming keeping the muscles guessing and making your workouts fun. On each interval the purpose is to feel challenged, aiming to work to your maximum capacity for the set time.

An interval on the elliptical could be to increase the resistance in order to get the feel of a heavy load. With a heavy climb, made by resistance the pace may be slower but the effort level is high, this will focus more on muscular endurance.

Another option is to reduce the resistance which will increase the speed and focus more on improving your cardiovascular endurance. We can even have fun with directional change and take the strides backwards or challenge your balance and core stability by focusing on only using the legs.

Varied intervals will keep the muscles guessing, encouraging the body to not hit a plateau, another great reason why HIIT workouts are so effective.

What does a HIIT programme look like? Firstly, a HIIT workout won’t take you all day, you can get it done in as little as 15- 30 minutes and finish feeling accomplished. If you are unsure of where to start, the great thing is you can set up your elliptical to give you a pre-programmed workout.

If you want to do your own thing, you can vary the interval times and choose the number of rounds, which will decide your workout duration.

Here are some HIIT interval time examples:

20 seconds max effort with 10 seconds recovery

30 seconds max effort with 15 seconds recovery

45 seconds max effort with 30 seconds recovery

It is important to work at our personal fitness level and aim to progress at an incremental pace. For someone who is a beginner, starting off with shorter intervals such as the Tabata style of 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off for eight rounds, is a great protocol to simplify this training format. This can progress to longer intervals or an increase in the rounds.

In conclusion performing any HIIT protocol on your elliptical will get your heart rate pumping, endorphins flowing and improve your cardiovascular fitness while keeping your workout interesting, so happy HIITING!