What Muscle Groups Do Elliptical Machines Target

What Muscle Groups Do Elliptical Machines Target?

If you want to start with elliptical training, you might be wondering which muscles to target. And will the targeted muscles help your fitness goals in the long run or improve your overall health?
You will be glad to hear that using the elliptical is usually a full-body workout, especially if you use the best compact elliptical for home use.

That means you don’t have to do any extra exercises once you have trained on your elliptical machine. As much as elliptical training is wholesome, you will still need to do some weightlifting. When it comes to building strength and endurance, weight lifting is the undisputed king.

That leaves elliptical training as a great way to achieve cardiovascular fitness or muscle endurance. It won’t, however, have the same effect on your muscles as doing a set of lunges, squats, or bench presses. Let’s, therefore, look at some of the muscles elliptical training will help tone.


The first group of muscles that will benefit most from elliptical machine training are the quads. Quads are the muscles that run from the front of your hips to the knees. It is overall the most significant leg muscle for most people.

How to Work the Quads

You can target the quads by setting the machine’s elevation relatively high. Each time you transfer your weight, then push the pedal down, you work your quad muscles. With higher elevation, your quads will have more work to do to climb you to that height. Therefore, lowering the elevation will target the quads less.

What Are the Fitness Benefits?

Stronger quads will better prepare you to perform most other lower body exercises. Such exercises include lunges, squats, leg extensions, or split squats. If you prefer cycling as your cardio training, then working quads on the elliptical will help you cycle fast.

Lifestyle Benefits

Lifestyle Benefits

Quads are constantly called into action doing everyday actions such as climbing stairs. Thus, you will benefit by doing these daily activities more easily than before because of strong quads.


In addition to the quad muscles, the hamstrings are the other muscle group that will benefit from the elliptical machine. Hamstrings are the reverse of the quads, meaning their function is opposite to the quads function.

Their function is to complete the actions initiated by the quads. They are usually at the back of the legs, directly opposite the quads. They run from the glutes (your butt) to the knee joint.

How to Work Them

Hamstrings will also benefit with every movement cycle on your elliptical, just like the quads. They will help press the pedal downwards before reverting it to the original position. For a hamstring dominant elliptical workout, try doing the usual leg movements but in reverse. This will focus more on the hamstrings than the quads.

Fitness Benefits

Fitness Benefits

Like the quads, strengthening your hamstring muscles will also help you build greater endurance when performing the traditional lower body workouts. They are extremely critical in doing the deadlift, which is one of the best strength training tactics. If you love cycling, then strong hamstrings will make it a breeze to cycle uphill.

Lifestyle Benefits

Since they are the reverse of quads, they will help you to walk down stairs easily. Stronger hamstrings will also help you to get up from a chair easily.


The calves are the muscles that run from the back of the leg to the ankle. They are an endurance type of muscle and are called into action each time you walk.

How to Work Them

Calves work in coordination with the hamstrings and quads, which means they move every time the other muscle groups move on the elliptical machine. They are also a great way to stabilize your body as you work on the elliptical machine.

Fitness Benefits

Strong calves will reduce the risk of ankle injuries. It will also mean there won’t be any weak link in your muscles as calves are prone to injuries.

Lifestyle Benefits

Calves contract whenever a person walks. Therefore, more muscular calves will make it easier for you to walk farther without tiring.


The glutes are the muscles on your butt at the top of the leg.

How to Work them

The glutes are called into action whenever a person moves from a sitting position to a standing position. They work in conjunction with the hamstrings and quads to push the leg down.

Fitness Benefits

The stronger your glutes, the easier it will be to do squats, lunges, or deadlifts. Glutes are essential in any exercise that won’t solely involve your upper body.

Lifestyle Benefits

The glutes help while standing, meaning they can transfer to any activity you undertake that isn’t sitting.

Core Muscles

Core muscles are the muscles at the center of your body. They help keep you upright all the time. They are popularly known as six-pack muscles, and most people would want them.

How to Work Them

The elliptical machine won’t directly work the core. Still, since you will try and maintain an upright posture, it will benefit indirectly. By maintaining stability as you work out, you exercise your core.

Fitness and Lifestyle benefits

A stronger core will help you be good at doing every other fitness activity. It will help you have an upright posture and reduce back pain.

Back Muscles

Back muscles run all along the back of your body. They are a major muscle group and consist of several smaller muscles.

How to Work Them

When working out on the elliptical, each time you pull the handlebars towards you, work the back muscles. The bicep muscles also work in concert with the back muscles to pull the handlebars.

Fitness and Lifestyle benefits

A stronger back will give you a better posture and a stronger physique. Working out the back will give you the V-taper figure that makes your body look fitter. You will also have an upright posture and open doors easily.

Chest and Front Delts

The chest and front delts are at the front of the body. They work in opposition to the back muscles. They push while the back muscles pull.

How to Work Them

When working on the elliptical, each time you push the handlebars away from your body, you work your chest and front delts. Also called into action are the triceps which help the shoulder and extend the elbow.

Fitness and Lifestyle Benefits

A stronger chest will come in handy whenever you are doing workouts that involve your shoulders. Such activities include bench presses, pushups, or the incline press. You will also build the triceps, which form a significant part of the arm, making you have stronger arms.

A stronger chest will work wonders in your posture and help you in lifting things easily.
An elliptical machine is an important machine that can help you work out nearly all your body’s major muscle groups. If you need to get one, you can visit https://www.fasthealthcares.com/ and get to use it to tone all the major muscle groups.

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