Cross Trainers are one of the most available training equipment in gyms and homes alike. So, once you decide to banish your pesky muffin top, the first thing popping into your mind is using this equipment. But do cross trainers really help lose love handles?
Cross trainers help lose love handles only if you keep it consistent and intensive. Preferably, do it 3-5 times a week for 30-60 minutes. Maintain a proper form while pedaling and alternate between a hard and easy pace. Don’t forget about your diet, and don’t stick to the same cross-training style.
Read on to learn how elliptical machines can do away with abdominal fatty areas and how you can put more emphasis on your core muscles when using one.
How Can Elliptical Machines Get Rid of Love Handles?
Cross trainers let you mimic lower-body workouts such as running, walking, stair climbing, and cycling indoors. So they mostly engage your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and anterior tibialis. But how are they supposed to slim down your muffin tops?
They get rid of your love handles by burning your overall body fat, and since abdominal fat is the first fat that burns, they’re very effective at trimming your waist area. Also, they can burn about 600-800 calories per hour, depending on your weight, speed, and techniques.
Besides, cross trainers can also hit your back and abs if you know how to use them.
Their non-impact character means the applied force to your bones and joints is menial. So, you can push it harder without any pain or strain. They’re suitable for all fitness levels, especially those with arthritis, bad knees, and other chronic pains.
Tips for Using the Cross Trainer
Your dreamy flat torso doesn’t come true easily, and you have to consider a few points.
Do It Regularly
Cross trainers cannot eliminate your love handles unless you have a regular schedule.
Ideally, you need to do it five times a week and for at least half an hour. But if you can’t hit that target, set out to practice fewer days with more extended periods—up to an hour per session.
But in this case, distribute your sessions through the weekdays. For example, cross-training on alternate days pays off far better than three consecutive days.
All in all, you need to cross train 2.5 hours a week to kick your muffin tops to the curb. Besides, you must stick to a fixed plan every time you work with the trainer—at least for a few weeks.
Alternate Between Cardio and HITT
In this phase, your breathing speeds up (but not to the point that you can’t talk), and you face an oxygen deficit. So, your blood circulates faster to send more oxygen to your muscles and break down the stored glycogen to gain its needed energy. As a result, your metabolism improves, you burn more calories, and your belly fat decreases.
However, if you want to skyrocket your workout effectiveness, you need to combine this method with interval training—especially if you want to get rid of your spare-tire tummy in a short time.
Studies suggest alternating between short bursts of hard intensity and recovery periods (HITT) burn more fat than continuous aerobic sessions. As an anaerobic activity, it directly affects your visceral and subcutaneous fats. Not only that, HIIT extends your calorie burn process even to 24 hours after a workout.
So, here’s what to do:
- Perform a 5-10 minutes pre-running warm-up.
- Once your body is ready, run or pedal as fast as possible, so you start sweating and get so short of breath that you cannot hold a conversation.
- Sustain this pace for 1 to 3 minutes, depending on your capacity.
- Then, shift to an easier pace for the same amount of time. But remember not to go less than half of the previous speed in the cool-off or recovery period.
- Then turn back to the maximum pace, and repeat the cycle 8-12 times per set, and for better results, do the plan for two or three sets.
- Finish your session with 5-10 minutes of cool-down.
Increase Your Speed and Duration
At the very first sessions, your cool-off period lasts the same as your intense phase, but once you get familiar with the exercise, you can decrease them in favor of maximizing the intense intervals.
Also, you can gradually add to your speed to whittle down more fats in a shorter time frame.
Keep a Good Posture
The Cross Trainer isn’t specially designed for spot-reducing. So, if you target your midsection with this machine, you have to go beyond simply pushing the pedals.
For example, your back should remain in a linear position and in line with your head. Your shoulders must stay down, not stretched toward your ears. And it’s not good to bounce your torso up and down while pedaling, as it can reduce the effect of moves on your muscles.
Gripping the handlebar ensures you engage your arms, pecs, and other parts of the paper body. However, don’t grasp it so tightly that it makes you bend over the handles, placing your weight onto it—this can restrict your movements and wreak havoc on your efforts.
And most importantly, twist your torso left and right while cross-training to activate your core muscles maximally.
Sometimes Release the Handles
If your love handles mainly remain in your back and the thoracic spine area, working without grabbing the handlebars could be more effective.
That’s because, without handles, you have less balance, so your body automatically applies some force to your core in an effort not to fall on the ground. As a result, your torso gets engaged, and you’ll have a slimmer waistline after a while.
Let Go of the Pedals Occasionally
Just like unhanding the handlebars can double up force on your core muscles, relying solely on your arms is another way to better work out your biceps, shoulders, and back.
Therefore, you may sometimes want to stop pushing the pedals and move them only with your arms.
Vary Your Workouts
If you consistently perform the same exercise, you hit the training plateau, which means your body gets accustomed to the workout and starts to show diminishing results. Other than this physical adjustment, you can even get mentally sick of the workout and lose your willingness to proceed with it.
Therefore, instructors recommend switching up your workouts every five to eight weeks.
For example, you can switch between cardio, HITT, and Extended Cardio Workouts. You can even go jogging or outdoor cycling every now and then. Or switch between forward and backward pedaling.
Here’s a workout plan you can follow:
Switch to a Healthy Diet
Exercise can never take effect unless you combine it with a proper diet. And cross-training isn’t an exception.
Sugar, too much carb, saturated fats, and alcohol are the main causes of visceral fat around your stomach. So, if you keep eating them, it’s like you’re milking the ram.
Cut back on these foods and instead eat healthy lean proteins and other essential minerals.
You also need to control your overall calorie intake to encourage fat loss. As a rule of thumb, taking 500 fewer calories a day can bring huge results to your HIIT sessions.
There are many other nutritional and lifestyle hacks to fight with muffin tops.
Love handles, also called spare tire and muffin tops, are one of the trickiest fat depositions to burn, and at the same time, the biggest enemy of your appearance. However, a high-intensity interval workout with a cross trainer can make these creepy fat pockets disappear from around your waist and hips.
All you need is to make it regular with at least three 30-min sessions a week. Also, take a low-calorie, healthy diet, and change your workout plan after a while to avoid a plateau.