How Elliptical Training Can Help Get Rid of Belly Fat

Belly fat is a source of worry, concern, and insecurity for most people. Having your midsection look like foldable pounds of flesh can do a number on your self-esteem, not to mention detrimental to your health. As a result, losing unwanted fat around the body’s midsection is imperative.

So whether you want a trim and well-sculpted body or want to improve your overall health, it will do you good to shed some belly fat. Exercise and diet have proven to work wonders where belly fat reduction is concerned. And one such exercise machine that can help you burn calories around that area is the elliptical machine.

Why Should You Lose Belly Fat?

Though the desire to lose belly fat is typically driven by cosmetic reasons ( we all want to rock our favorite pair of jeans and look fabulous in a bikini), body image concerns shouldn’t be the sole motivation for losing belly fat. In fact, shedding abdominal fat is a key health consideration that transcends physical looks.

Scientific evidence attests that abdominal fat triggers more serious health concerns than fat stored in other parts of the body. Abdominal fat is medically categorized into two; subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. And both types of fat can cause serious health implications. Subcutaneous fat lies beneath the skin and can also be found in other locations. It is present in the midsection of the body where it plays either a healthy or harmful role. Subcutaneous fat is only healthy in small amounts but it can birth medical issues when stored in large amounts.

Visceral fat on the other hand is even more damaging than subcutaneous fat. It commonly enshrouds the organs of the midsection. What makes it more problematic is its inconspicuousness— it is rarely visible and can only be detected by advanced medical scans. Both slim and big-boned individuals can harbor large quantities of visceral fat around their midsection, leading to a noticeable increase in belly size.

Abdominal Fat is Detrimental to Health


Abdominal fat, particularly visceral fat is injurious to health. Visceral fat is implicated in several health challenges that hinder the function of the affected organ. Both types of fat secrete harmful chemicals that induce inflammation and expose the bloodstream to fatty acids. However, visceral fat secretes more chemicals and releases a larger quantity of acids into the bloodstream. This can lead to the development of life-threatening diseases like certain cancers, heart diseases, and diabetes.

Losing Belly Fat with an Elliptical Machine

elliptical benefits

Fortunately, you can get rid of visceral fat and its potential health risks by adopting some effective methods that serve to reduce belly fat. As earlier mentioned, using an elliptical machine is one such method. The elliptical is designed to perform full-body cardio workouts and other body strengthening exercises. Belly fat is typically linked to weight gain, stemming from an unhealthy diet and a lackadaisical attitude to exercise. Consuming too many fatty or junk foods generates more calories than your body can handle, hence the body resorts to storing the extra calories as fat.

Further to this, certain lifestyle habits like excessive alcohol consumption and stress can make your stomach region double in size. It is important to note that genetics also play a definitive role in a person’s potential to develop unhealthy abdominal fat. The good news is, you can prevent or get rid of the excess fat by eating healthy and exercising religiously. But here is the thing: shedding belly fat is no walk in the park. This is because the stomach area is known to host a higher concentration of lipolysis-resistant fat cells, which are fat cells that are not easily broken down. So while exercise and dieting are quick to produce weight loss results in other body parts, your abdominal cavity might be a tough nut to crack.

Weight loss exercise regimens that target the belly are the go-to option for individuals looking to shave some pounds off their bodies. This is known as spot reduction weight loss regimens. However, this weight loss solution is next to impossible as it is difficult to hone in on one area of your body for a specific outcome. For instance, if you focus on continuously exercising your core, your expenditure and caloric intake will affect your entire body. Thus, you may not burn belly fat in your midsection and instead gain some muscle. The Bottom line? You can’t choose where to lose weight on your body. Now is this is where elliptical training comes in.

Elliptical Training for Belly Fat Reduction

Where belly fat reduction is concerned, experts recommend a holistic weight loss program that zones in on the whole body and rapidly burns calories. Guess what? the elliptical machine fits the bill! Elliptical trainers are well-equipped cardio machines that target full-body workouts while burning lots of calories. They activate the muscles in both the upper and lower body regions with minimal stress on the body joints. However, elliptical training can only work to reduce belly fat when used correctly and combined with other weight loss approaches such as dieting. You should note that an elliptical machine is not a spot-specific weight loss approach to burning belly fat. And you have to incorporate certain tips to maximize elliptical’s calorie-burning advantages. These include :

Performing High-intensity Interval training

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is your best bet to maximizing the elliptical’s calorie-burning potential. In contrast to performing elliptical-based workouts at a constant pace, the HIIT routine involves switching between intense exertion and active recovery. You can stimulate high-intensity workouts using the machine’s incline, speed, and resistance settings. Several studies suggest that HIIT exercises produce significant weight loss and can be influential to burning visceral fat.

Optimizing the Handlebars for Upper Body Engagement

Elliptical machines stand out because they offer both upper and lower body workouts. Simultaneously using the pedals and handles activates a host of muscle groups, including the quads, glutes, chest, core, and hamstrings. If you want to make the most out of your elliptical workout for significant calorie burn, you should use the handlebars as often as you can. Don’t neglect the handles and focus on the pedals only.

Varying Workout Routine

Let’s face it, working out on an elliptical isn’t the most exciting activity! The monotony can get to you causing your interest and effort to wane. So if you notice your desire to hop on the machine is beginning to dwindle, you should spice things up by changing your routine. You can add spinning or running sessions to your routine or embrace other cardio exercises. You can also play around with the resistance and incline settings for extra elliptical exercise effectiveness. Let your regimen be as dynamic as possible so you can get desirable results.

Alternating Cardio with Strength Training

Again, elliptical machines can’t do it alone; you need to incorporate some strength training to eliminate those stubborn fat cells in your midsection. Strength training can lend much-needed support to cardio exercises in eradicating belly fat. Strength training exercises like weight lifting and calisthenics, when combined with elliptical-based workouts, generate rapid calorie burn. You can also use this particular workout as a preventive measure against future weight gain — it builds your muscle mass, making it less likely for calories to build up and be stored as fat.

Increasing Incline and Resistance Settings

Higher incline and resistance settings equal more effort, and more effort translates to more calorie burn! When you increase the incline or resistance settings, you will need more energy to keep up with the stride, thus burning more calories. As an added advantage, your leg muscles may become stronger. Ensure you are not being propelled by momentum alone when using an elliptical machine but rather by exertion, so you don’t sell your efforts short.

Final Thoughts

Getting rid of belly fat is a struggle for most but the key is to adopt a healthy diet and a practical exercise regimen. Cut down on carbs and excessive alcohol consumption to achieve your goal. Working out without paying attention to your diet won’t get you anywhere and vice-versa. Also, the elliptical machine will only support your belly-fat loss if you use the equipment correctly. Otherwise, you will simply be chasing shadows. Remember to also add strength training and other forms of cardio to your exercise regimen, because elliptic-based workouts alone may not be as effective!

Sayed Hamed Hosseiny
Sayed Hamed Hosseiny

Hi, my name is Sayed Hamed Hosseiny. I am a professional health and fitness trainer with nearly 20 years of experience using ellipticals, rowing machines, and spin bikes. I also have my own EU-based Rock Fitness Pro fitness brand where I design, import and sell exercise equipment such as rowing machines and spin bikes. I and writers on my team also often receive fitness equipment to review and evaluate their functionalities and performance from tens of different exercise machines manufacturers. Fitness equipment tips, guides, reviews, and comparisons on this website are my opinion (and opinions of my fitness expert colleagues) based on tens of criteria. I never accept payment to write reviews of products or say positive things about fitness equipment products. If brands are interested to have me review their rowers, ellipticals, or spin bikes, they can get in touch with me via email provided on the contact page and send a sample of their product.