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How to Work Out Harder on the Cross Trainer

author image Craig Smith
Craig Smith covers weight loss and exercise programming for various online publications. He has been a personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise since 2001. Smith also holds a diploma in exercise physiology and kinesiology from the National Personal Training Institute.
How to Work Out Harder on the Cross Trainer
A woman is training on a cross trainer machine. Photo Credit: FlairImages/iStock/Getty Images

Elliptical cross trainers provide a non-impact workout that mimics the foot pattern of running. Achieving a harder elliptical workout requires using a few techniques that include speed and resistance intervals, hill climbs and cardiovascular endurance. Consistent and progressive high-intensity cross-training can improve weight reduction, cardiovascular fitness, and overall muscular toning. Understanding how cross trainers affect your body will help you achieve that tough workout you desire.

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Step 1

Use resistance intervals for increased intensity. Perform resistance intervals by using a higher resistance level for 60 seconds and then immediately decrease resistance to an easier level for two minutes. Repeat this cycle for your desired amount of time. This type of cross training interval prevents boredom and increases your calorie expenditure.

Step 2

Perform a hill climb cross trainer workout. Most cross trainer models have an incline setting that increases your stride height. Increase the incline to a challenging level and attempt to maintain it for your desired exercise duration. Incline workouts increase your exercise intensity and target different muscle groups for toning.

Step 3

Add speed intervals to your cross trainer regimen. Stride as fast as you can at a lower resistance level for one minute followed by a two-minute recovery period at a comfortable stride pace. As your interval training progresses, increase your sprint time and decrease your recovery periods. Interval training triggers your metabolism to remain elevated long after your workout.

Step 4

Implement aerobic endurance workouts into your elliptical cross training routine. Increase your endurance by working at a intensity level you can maintain for 45 to 60 minute durations. Training at moderate intensities increases your aerobic capacity and adds to a well rounded and challenging elliptical cross trainer program.

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