Working out on an elliptical machine provides one of the fastest ways to burn calories at the gym. But if your chief workout goal isn't to slim down your body but to gain muscle, the elliptical machine can still play a role in your fitness regimen. This machine won't allow you to build muscle as quickly as weight-training exercises, but it can strengthen a vast number of muscle groups throughout your body.
A Full-Body Workout
A benefit to exercising on an elliptical machine is its ability to work your upper and lower body together, provided the machine has moving handles for you to operate. Elliptical machines strengthen a long list of muscles throughout your body, including muscles in your legs, midsection, back, chest, shoulders and arms. To increase the strength-building benefit of the workout, elevate the machine's resistance level.
- Harvard Medical School: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- American College of Sports Medicine: Selecting and Effectively Using an Elliptical Trainer or Stair Climber
- Spine-Health: Elliptical Trainer
- Ben Greenfield Fitness: Six Reasons to Use an Elliptical Trainer -- and a Killer Elliptical Trainer Workout