The beauty of the elliptical is that you can find one in almost any gym—even that dodgy hotel one with bad lighting. The less appealing part? There’s nothing to do but slog through your allotted time on it, dutifully moving your legs forward and backward while watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey.
Hold up: That is not true. There’s so much more you can do on the elliptical than move in a boring linear motion, and certified personal trainer and creator of the Fit Body Guides Anna Victoria is here to prove it. “I didn’t use the elliptical for a while because I felt it didn’t do much, but then I was like, ‘How can I make this more interesting?’” she says.
She started upping the resistance and changing positions to see how she could safely engage her muscles, keep her heart rate up, and make the time go by faster. “Sometimes you associate low-impact workouts with being like, ‘Meh, I’m not doing anything,’ but you can still have a really intense low-impact workout,” she says.
Don’t believe her? Just try this workout she created the next time you’re on the machine.
How to use this list: Grab an elliptical at the gym. Anna Victoria is on the Technogym Cross Personal. Perform the moves for the times indicated below. Repeat the circuit 3 to 4 times through. “Really engage your core and abs so you’re not just moving your body,” she says. “That will help you get a better workout overall.”
1. Upright Backward Pedal
2. Squat Back, Stationary Hold
3. No Hands
4. Single-Leg With Abdominal Crunch
5. Push-Up Pedal
6. Squat Back and Pull
7. Upright Pedal Push