The Backwards Workout

by Rachelle on October 16, 2015

Elliptical trainers are one of the top pieces of exercise equipment purchased. They are great tools for simultaneously working both the upper and lower body. Incredibly, you can get an even more efficient total body workout by reversing the motion during your exercise sessions. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your minutes on the elliptical machine.

Elipitcal Backwards Workout Elipitcal Backwards Workout

When you use only the forward motion on an elliptical trainer, you limit the number of muscles used during your workout. By reversing your motion, however, you also target opposing muscles in the lower body. The more muscles you work during your workout, the more efficient your workout and the more calories your body will burn.


Elliptical Tips

If your focus is cardio:

Watch your strides per minute. Strides per minute is the number of times your legs go around in 60 seconds, a stat most ellipticals conveniently track for you. After warming up, aim to keep your strides per minute between 140 and 160. If you’re doing intervals on the elliptical, make sure your “sprints” are above 160.


If your focus is toning your thighs:

Pay attention to your feet. Pressing more with your heels will work your hamstrings and butt more, while pressing more with your toes will tone your quads on the front of your thighs. Pedaling backward on the machine is also a great way to tone your backside — hamstrings and glutes. Increasing the incline is another way to focus the work on your glutes.


If you’re short on time:

Use your arms and legs equally. To get more bangs for your cardio buck, make sure to work your upper body along with your legs. This will help raise your heart rate into an intense, calorie-burning zone and tone your upper body too. Push the handles to work your chest and pull the handles to work your upper back and shoulders.


To work your core:

Go hands free. Letting go of the handles on the elliptical challenges your sense of balance and targets your core. Make sure not to sway from side to side once you let go of the handles. Place your hands on your hips to monitor your posture.


Try this 25 minute elliptical workout that uses both forward and backward elliptical movements that will work more muscles to maximize your workout!


Time                      Direction              Level                     Focus

5 minutes          forwards              5                              warming up with easy resistance and quick feet

5 minutes            forwards              5-8                          gradually increase resistance from 5 to 8

2 minutes            backwards          8                              pedal backwards as fast as you can

1 minutes            forwards              6                              sprint for the entire minute

2 minutes            forwards              7                              slow slightly but keep a quick pace

5 minutes            backwards          7-9                          maintain a quick pace and gradually increase resistance

2 minutes            forwards              9                              pedal forward as fast as you can with high resistance

1 minutes            backwards          6                              sprint backwards for the entire minute

2 minutes            forwards              5                              slow your pace and breathe for two minutes

Cool down and stretch



Health Contributor at Creative Bioscience
Hi I'm Rachelle, or "Elle" for short. I am a busy body, but always been a plus sized kinda girl. I've learned that my curves are sexy, and I can feel good about how I look without looking like a stick! I'm a work-a-holic and stay as active as I can with lots of projects, so I have to prioritize my health choices. Working for Creative Bioscience has opened my eyes to what you can do to supplement your diet, and manage things in a natural way. The advances that are being made in the health arena are so exciting, and we are on the front lines bringing the best of the best. Rachelle's favorite product is hCG 1234

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