Fitness equipment & Coaching

10 mistakes to avoid on an elliptical bike

Popular and accessible to all, the elliptical bike is ideal for getting back in shape, losing weight or exercising without injuring the joints. Discover 10 common mistakes to avoid when you start using an elliptical bike, to optimise your training and easily reach all your goals.

Why train on an elliptical bike?


Getting back in shape, toning up your figure, improving your cardiorespiratory capacity, losing weight, whatever your goal, the elliptical bike is ideal for getting quick results. This fitness equipment is the big trend of the moment thanks to its many advantages:

  • It mimics the natural movement of walking and does not cause impact, thus limiting joint trauma and injuries, especially for beginner athletes.
  • Compact and easy to install, it allows you to train regularly at home, in your own time and without transport constraints.
  • Considered one of the best pieces of cardio training equipment, it involves the whole body.
  • It is an easy-to-use piece of equipment, suitable for athletes of all levels, even after physiotherapy or for women who want to resume physical activity after pregnancy.

The 10 mistakes to avoid when cycling on an elliptical bike


To get the most out of your elliptical bike, be sure to avoid the following 10 mistakes, which could reduce your enjoyment and compromise your progress.

Not creating a custom workout

Elliptical bikes come with factory settings, based on average body mass. By entering your profile and adjusting all the device’s settings according to your preferences and body type, you will enjoy a more efficient and comfortable workout, as well as closer monitoring of your progress.

Not selecting the right resistance level

Working with too little resistance offers poor results, even if you feel you are working hard. Conversely, too much resistance can be frustrating and sometimes cause injury. NordicTrack elliptical bikes have 20 to 26 levels of resistance, depending on the model, and this setting can be changed at any time using the One Touch® system. If you use a pre-recorded programme or an iFit® training session, the resistance is adjusted automatically.

Not paying attention to the sound of your fitness machine

During the workout session, listen to your elliptical bike: If it makes too much noise, the resistance level is probably too low. For a manually set up workout, this tip can be very useful to know.

Not maintaining good posture

Keep your back straight on your elliptical bike to strengthen the abdominal strap and put pressure on the whole body while protecting the lumbar area. Also, pay attention to the movement of your feet: If you have calf cramps, you may be leaning too much on your toes, which is not ideal for burning calories. It is best to carry the weight on your heels instead.

Not using all the features of the elliptical bike

Try back-pedalling at different intervals: Pedalling in the opposite direction changes the ways leg muscles are stimulated, thus putting pressure on the hamstrings at the back of the thighs and the buttocks.

Neglecting upper body workouts

The elliptical bike can also be used to work the upper body, thanks to its movable handles. Go back and forth as you pedal and focus on upper body movements.

Overusing the handles of the elliptical bike

Exercising the upper body using the movable handles of the bike should not overshadow the focus on the legs. Test your balance from time to time by pedalling without handles: You will soon feel the difference!

Not varying your training routine

As you have realised by now, the key to a successful elliptical bike training is to vary the exercises! Split workouts by changing pace, pedal forward and backwards, with or without the arms, and try different resistance levels and inclinations. Who said workouts should be monotonous?

Using the incline ramp incorrectly

Some premium elliptical bikes have an adjustable incline ramp, but don’t assume the higher the incline, the more resistance you’ll feel, like on a treadmill. This feature is designed to make the elliptical bike work like a stepper, to further vary the workout.

Only using the elliptical bike and not trying other sports activities

Your elliptical bike is always available in your home and helps you to exercise often. Nevertheless, to complete your sports routine and avoid fatigue, add a few muscle-building sessions or more strenuous exercises. Why not try swimming, outdoor walking or jogging?

Not adapting the training routine to your goals H3

To burn calories, do long sessions with a relatively low resistance to tap into your energy reserves or try split exercises. Calculate your target fitness heart rate and set the elliptical bike in the lower range of your training zone. If you do cardio training to improve your cardiorespiratory capacity, work on a higher heart rate.

Not maintaining your elliptical bike

As soon as you finish a workout session on your bike, don’t leave the room: Clean your elliptical bike right away and take the opportunity to take a look at the components and their condition. If you notice a damaged part, replace it immediately.

Check out our Fitness & Training page for more advice.