May 20, 2024
Does Elliptical Build Muscle

The elliptical is a great piece of equipment to make full-body workouts. But you may have the question Does Elliptical Build Muscle? This article will be a guide in your muscle-gaining journey. As elliptical training can engage your whole-body workout including the major muscle groups of your body, you can use an elliptical machine. 

However, if your goal is to gain muscle, you need to understand the science of building muscle in the human body, properly utilize which muscles you are going to target, and what you should do the potential thing to build muscle. So, here we are going to share with you all the potential things or guides you need to perform to build muscle. Let’s get started!   

The Science of Building Muscle

Losing fat and attaining muscle is a usual anticipation of those who exercise regularly, but there are fewer people really understand how this method works. Understanding the science behind muscle build can help you to set a much more general understanding of how your body performs in general. This can encourage you to stick to your workout regime as you are less possible to be disappointed by what you perceive to be slow results.

However, the science of building muscles is a comprehensive method.  When we speak about making muscle, we are referring to the skinny or skeletal muscles within the body. These muscles are made up of muscle fibers, composed of myofibrils and sarcomeres.

There are 650 skeletal muscles in your body and they work by contracting when signals are acquired from motor neurons. These motor neurons instruct your muscles to contract. As the efficiency of these movements improves, the stronger these muscles become. This is the way to build muscles in your body.

Anyway, you may have a question that does elliptical build muscles? The answer is “Yes”, If your goal is to build muscle mass, you have to follow the specific types of exercises and movements that are most effective. Let’s note the following points:

Choose the Right Machine

There are some elliptical trainers that isolate your arm and leg movement more than others. In order to confirm your arms receive an adequate workout, you have to choose an elliptical with handles that allow for the most independent arm rotations. Pulling and pushing the arm poles instead of allowing the foot pedals to power your upper body movement. So, you will be able to target your shoulder, biceps, triceps, back, and pectoral muscles. 

Use the interval programs

The interval programs are more effective to engage your muscles. The options allow you to raise the angle to target larger muscles of your body. So, you can engage various muscle groups by pedaling from different directions. Because here you can do high-intensity interval training and work out on low resistance for a long time. By using this interval training, you can achieve muscle, specifically in your legs.

Set your hands free

Using an elliptical machine, not only you can do just work on your arm and leg muscles, but also you can do more exercises too. If you release your hands from the handles and either places them on your hips or pump your arms. So that, you can give your core muscles an effective workout. This is because your abdominal muscles and other core muscles must engage in order to help you keep your balance.

Turn up the resistance level

The resistance levels of the elliptical help to make your workout more challenging. But keep in mind that you have to make sure you are using the right portion of resistance for the right amount of time. If you use a high resistance level, it helps to build muscle. Because your muscles work hard enough on a high resistance level. Yet, you should be careful while using the resistances. But keep in mind that working out on a high resistance level for a long time might result in side impacts like numb toes.

Try different positions

You won’t be able to grow muscles if you constantly exercise in the same position. Exercising in different positions will help you to engage in various muscle groups in your body. On the other hand,  working on the same muscles over and over again isn’t going to help you to build muscle. So, if you want to build muscles on various body parts by working out on the elliptical trainer, be sure to alter your positions.

Elliptical Training and Muscle Building

Muscles Used on Elliptical

Elliptical Training is a fantastic way to build your muscles. It offers you low-impact workouts that can effectively target your muscles. Since the machine involves pushing and pulling both your feet and your hands, it can be used to build muscle in your both lower and upper body. 

An elliptical is an excellent low-impact workout machine for anyone looking to add cardio and strength training into their routine to build their muscle. An Elliptical machine provides you with a full-body workout, targeting the specific muscles in your body. It works the Quadriceps, hamstrings, Calves, Gluteal Muscles, Upper body muscles, chest, shoulder, triceps, and biceps. 

Here in this section, we will discuss which muscles do elliptical targets. we will also provide some tips on how to make your elliptical exercises more useful. Let’s get started!


The quadriceps are a big group of muscles found in the front and sides of your thighs. Quadriceps usually work during elliptical workouts, as they can help to boost power and endurance while reducing the risk of injury to the knees. These muscles are responsible for extending your knee joint, and they also work to stabilize your knee during activities such as walking and running.  This workout on an elliptical machine can help to strengthen these muscles and improve knee stability. 

There are several various ways that you can work out the quadriceps on an elliptical trainer. One option is to use the pedals backward, which will target your quadriceps more than if you pedaled forwards. You can also adjust the resistance level on the elliptical to make the workout more challenging and target your quadricep muscle more effectively.


The gluteal muscles, usually called glutes are a group of three muscles that make up the gluteal area generally known as the buttocks: the gluteus medius, gluteus maximus, and gluteus minimus. The glutes are one of the most important muscle groups to target when using an elliptical trainer. because they are liable for a lot of the power that is needed to keep the elliptical moving ahead.

There are a few ways that you can make sure that you’re targeting your glutes properly on an elliptical machine.

  • Use a resistance setting that is contesting enough. If you feel like you could go quicker or longer without having to stop, then the resistance is likely too low.
  • Make sure your feet are in the correct position on the pedals.
  • Use a full range of motion on your elliptical machine.

Find out the truth about the 5 worst cardio machines for glutes and the best alternatives to tone and shape your booty. Learn from our expert analysis and make an informed decision for your next workout.

Upper body muscles

Your arms are the primary mover in your upper body during an elliptical exercise. The legs and feet deliver stability and power to the elliptical, but the arms are what give you full-body exercise. 

However, relying on the handlebars you use, you can target different muscle groups in your arms. Standard handlebars work the biceps, triceps, and shoulder muscles while moving handlebars also engage your chest muscles. You know that most elliptical machines have moving handlebars, which let you target additional muscle groups in your arms. For example, it allows you to target your triceps by utilizing the outermost handles.


The hamstrings are a group of muscles located at the back of your thigh. These muscles are reliable for extending your hip and knee. And these muscles are often used in movements such as running, walking, and cycling. Elliptical machines provide a great way to work on your hamstrings, as they allow a low-impact cardio workout.

But remember that when you use an elliptical trainer, it is important to keep the knees slightly bent, to avoid putting too much pressure on your hamstrings. Besides, those with weak or tight hamstrings should warm up before using an elliptical machine, as this can prevent injury.

Chest and Triceps

You can easily target your Chest and Triceps using an elliptical machine.  To work your chest and triceps on an elliptical trainer, you need to adjust the resistance and incline settings. Higher resistance levels help to tone your muscles, while a higher incline help to target your chest muscles more particularly. You may also want to assume using hand weights or holding onto the moving bars for added resistance.

However, you should remember to keep your arms near your body and use a slow, controlled motion to avoid your injury. Start with a few minutes of warm-up at a lower intensity before raising the resistance and incline for your main exercise. 

Tips for Maximizing Muscle Growth with Elliptical Training

Elliptical Work Abs

The elliptical is a super-user-friendly workout that offers you full-body exercise options targeting your important muscle groups. But you have to exercise by following routine-based workouts which help you to build muscles. Here are the tips for maximizing muscle growth with elliptical training.

Focus on form

There are some form pointers on an elliptical machine that you should hold in your mind around. While you work out on the elliptical machine, make sure that your shoulders are relaxed, your core engaged, and your chest open, and drive down with your heels.

You need to use the upper body handlebars and push with your chest and pull with your back. But should keep a light grip, so your legs will do most of the work. You should also try going backward to work your hamstrings.

Increase the incline

When you have the incline of your elliptical machine set to zero, it is like running on a flat surface. While this is still a good workout, it is not as challenging or calorie-burning as running up a hill. When you raise the incline, you mimic the effort it would take to run up a slope. The higher the incline, the more vertical the slope. This also means the higher the incline, the more you work your glute muscles.

Use your time wisely

It’s essential to have a plan that includes how long you’ll use the elliptical to maximize muscle gain. If you’re warming up for a strength-training workout on the elliptical machine, you need to ride for five to 20 minutes. But if you desire to really maximize the cardio benefits of the elliptical machine, it is best to stay on for at least 15 minutes, or at most an hour.

Wrapping Up

It’s time to break free from the discussion of Does Elliptical Build Muscle? The elliptical machine is the best adaptable exercise equipment. So, it lets you many types of resistance to make a whole-body aerobic exercise for the potential of elliptical training to build muscle in your body. While your goal is to build muscles by using an elliptical machine, you should incorporate elliptical training into your training routine on it.

Nevertheless, if you want more effective results from doing elliptical training to build muscles, you should follow the fitness routine to achieve your muscle-building goals. So, vary your workouts and attempt to occasionally let go of the handlebars on the elliptical trainer.