The Only 20-Minute Elliptical Workout You Need to Build Stronger Glutes Over 50

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older couple working out on an elliptical machine and lifting dumbbells at home
This 20-minute elliptical workout raises your heart rate while strengthening your glutes.
Image Credit: LWA/Dann Tardif/DigitalVision/GettyImages

When you're looking to build stronger glutes using a cardio machine, a treadmill workout might be the first thing that comes to mind. While it does help with strengthening your posterior, another great way to challenge yourself is with an elliptical.

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According to a June 2011 study in ‌Gait Posture‌, the elliptical may be a better exercise choice for people who struggle with stability. Holding onto the handlebars on an elliptical allows individuals who have issues with balance to exercise safely in a more challenging manner.

Because our balance declines with age, ellipticals are particularly great for strengthening your glutes, especially for people who are over 50. This is important because having weak glutes contributes to chronic pain and injury, according to a July 2019 article in the ‌International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy‌.

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As we age, our fall risk also increases, so it's important to do at least two strength-training sessions each week in order to maintain muscle mass, per the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In this 20-minute elliptical workout, you'll climb hills that will build your glute strength while increasing your heart rate. For a portion of the workout, you will also do some strength movements on the ground; these complement your work on the elliptical and will help you get the best results.

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​Check out more of our ​​20-minute workouts here​​ — we’ve got something for everyone.

20- Minute Elliptical Workout for Stronger Glutes

  1. Start by warming up on the elliptical for 3 minutes at a resistance of 6 at 70 RPM (rotations per minute).
  2. For the next 3 minutes, you will climb a hill, adding at least one point to the resistance every minute. Start at a resistance of 9 at 80 RPM. Add one point of resistance each minute for the next 2 minutes. You can add more resistance if one point doesn't feel challenging enough.
  3. Safely get off the elliptical and do 10 reps of each of the 5 lower-body exercises (below) on the floor, then return to the elliptical.
  4. For the next 4 minutes, climb the hill starting at a resistance of 10 at 80 RPM, adding resistance every minute.
  5. Safely get off the elliptical and do 10 reps of each of the 5 lower-body exercises, then return to the elliptical.
  6. For the next 3 minutes, climb a hill starting at a resistance of 11 at 80 RPM, adding resistance every minute.
  7. For the final minute, lower the resistance, returning to a resistance of 6 at 70 RPM.

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20-Minute Cardio and Strength Elliptical Workout

Resistance of 6 at 70 RPM

3 minutes

Resistance of 9 at 80 RPM, add 1 point per minute

3 minutes

Get off the elliptical and do floor exercises

10 reps per move

Resistance of 10 at 80 RPM

4 minutes

Get off the elliptical and do floor exercises

10 reps per move

Resistance of 11 at 80 RPM

3 minutes

Resistance of 6 at 70 RPM

1 minute

Source: Brittany Hammond

Ellipticals We Love

  • Precor EFX 885 Elliptical Crosstrainer ($5,499.99, Amazon)
  • NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer Series FS10i ($1,999, NordicTrack)
  • Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902 Air Walk Trainer Elliptical Machine ($99.99, Amazon)

1. Glute Bridge

JW Player placeholder image
Sets 2
Reps 10
Body Part Butt and Legs
  1. Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent.
  2. Bracing your core, press your heels into the ground to drive your hips up until your body forms a diagonal line from the top of your knees to your shoulders. Squeeze your glutes at the top.
  3. Lower your hips back down to the ground to return to the starting position.

Tip

The glute bridge is effective using only your body weight, however, you can also place a weight at your hips to make it more challenging. Try to really focus on isolating your glutes (not your lower back) to lift your hips.

2. Sumo Squat

JW Player placeholder image
Sets 2
Reps 10
Body Part Butt and Legs
  1. Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes turned out at a 45-degree angle. Clasp your hands together at your chest.
  2. Hinge your hips back, bend your knees and lower down until your thighs are as close to parallel to the floor as possible. Drive your knees out over your toes.
  3. Press through your heels to stand back up and return to the starting position.

Tip

Make the sumo squat more challenging by holding a dumbbell or kettlebell with straight arms between your legs.

3. Deadlift

JW Player placeholder image
Sets 2
Reps 10
Body Part Butt and Legs
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing you.
  2. Hinge your hips back and soften your knees, tracing the weights down your legs until you feel tension in the back of your legs, about mid-shin height.
  3. Make sure your back is straight, your core engaged and your shoulders are down and back.
  4. Drive through your feet into the ground to stand back up and return to the starting position.

Tip

For a less challenging version of the dumbbell deadlift, try it without the weights and lace your fingers together behind your head, hinging at your hips. This is also a great way to learn proper deadlift form because it keeps your back from slouching.

4. Front Squat

JW Player placeholder image
Sets 2
Reps 10
Body Part Legs
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand at your shoulders with your palms facing you.
  2. Hinge your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your butt back and down until your thighs are as close to parallel to the floor as possible.
  3. Drive your feet into the ground to stand back up and return to the starting position. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the move.

5. Lateral Lunge

JW Player placeholder image
Sets 2
Reps 10
Body Part Butt and Legs
  1. Start with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Take a big step to the right side, pushing your hips back and bending your right knee. Make sure your right ankle is aligned with your right knee. Your left leg should be straight without locking out your knee. Both feet should be flat on the floor and parallel to each other with toes pointing forward.
  3. Drive through your right leg to step your foot back to the starting position. This is 1 rep.
  4. Repeat on your left leg, alternating legs.

Tip

Progress the lateral lunge by holding a dumbbell or kettlebell with both hands "goblet style" at your chest.

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