What do Elliptical Machines Target?

What do Elliptical Machines Target?

Have you been eyeing up that elliptical machine in your local gym in Baton Rouge or fitness showroom? Interested in learning more about what you can expect from an elliptical machine and whether or not its worth the investment?

Read on to learn more about what muscles elliptical machines target, and how, you too, can get the most from this innovative, low-impact and high result exercise machine.

An Overview of the Baton Rouge Elliptical Machine

What is It?

Elliptical machines, also known as “cross-trainers” or “X-trainers”, is a stationary fitness machine that (to some degree) simulates running, walking, and stair climbing in a low-impact way. The range of motion is generally limited to that of each machine, and many come with integrated programs for various health and fitness goals that you can tailor to your specific needs.

Uses & Benefits

  • Low impact cardio exercise
  • Great for those with joint or mobility issues
  • Full body workout (when arms are incorporated)
  • Often utilized for warm up and cool down periods

Types of Elliptical Machine

When it comes to elliptical machines, you have your options. Below is a quick breakdown of what’s available on the market:

  • Foldable vs Non-foldable options (for easier storage)
  • Standard Elliptical Trainer such as the Horizon Fitness EX59
  • Elliptical Cross-trainer such as the Horizon Elite E9
  • Elliptical Glider
  • Seated elliptical trainer such as the Octane XR6X
  • Front, center, and rear drive options

Muscle Targets

One of the best features of elliptical machines is their ability to simultaneously target a broad range of muscle groups, providing a low impact and efficient full body workout.


Located along the backside of your upper legs (opposite of your quads), these muscles are involved in leg flexion. By design, your Baton Rouge elliptical machine will stimulate your hamstrings without further intervention.

However, some makes and models allow you to adjust the incline. Doing so simulates going uphill, and will engage your hamstrings to a greater degree. Similarly, those machines that allow you to go in “reverse” will also engage the hamstrings to a higher degree.


Your quadriceps are located on the front side of your thigh and are activated during movements involving leg extension. In comparison to cycles or stair climbers, elliptical machines place less emphasis on your quads, and instead, disperse workloads evenly across a range of lower and upper body musculature.

Gluteus Maximus

Your gluteus maximus, or as you likely know it, the “butt”, is one of the key muscle groups actively involved in hip extension. Your elliptical machine will engage your gluteus to varying degrees based on your posture and incline of movements.

Chest and Triceps

Many Baton Rouge elliptical machines come equipped with upper body levers. These levers can be incorporated into your workout to engage a number of muscles located in the upper body, including both your chest (pectorals) and triceps during the back and forth push and pull motions.

Biceps and Back

While often lesser thought of as muscle groups that can be impacted when using an elliptical machine, those models with arm levers can, in fact, be highly effective at working out these body parts. By focusing on squeezing your back during the reverse motion and by flexing your biceps during the pull portion of the movement, you can effectively engage both muscle groups.

Deep Core Muscles

Opting to ignore the arm levers, and for those machines without them, allows you to engage your core for stability and balance.

The Heart

While less thought of in the context of muscles, your heart, is, indeed, a muscle. And a vital one at that. Elliptical machines are great for cardiovascular workouts, helping improve endurance, aerobic capacity, lowering of blood pressure, and more.

Ready to Find the Perfect Elliptical Machine?

Are you in the market for the perfect elliptical machine here in Baton Rouge? Have questions about the right make or model? Interested in testing out the top-of-the-line, affordable and effective machines that will help you get the best workout day in and day out? Then reach out to the team at Fitness Expo Stores today!

Our local team of fitness equipment professionals can help you find just what you need.