Top 10 Elliptical Safety Tips: How to Avoid Injury

Last Updated on May 24, 2020 by Sam Corbin

how to be safe on an elliptical

Using an elliptical machine is a lot of fun but it’s important to think about your safety too.

Experts state a lot of injuries occur because people don’t take the time to do their homework and assume everything will be okay. This is not the way to go and it’s best to take the time to learn about your elliptical machine before diving in and starting to work out.

This read will take a glance at the ten most important safety tips for using an elliptical machine in this day and age.

Top 10 Elliptical Safety Tips

1) Pace Yourself

a woman stands on a horizon elliptical

Always take the time to pace yourself and that’s a key safety rule with any machine.

If you hop onto an elliptical machine and put it on the hardest setting immediately, the chances of getting hurt will skyrocket. Most people assume you have to be the best version of yourself right away but that’s rarely the case and is not the right mindset to have!

You want to start on the lowest setting and let your body get used to the movement.

This applies to experienced users as well. The body is coming in raw every single session and that has to be accounted for while using a machine. Start with the lowest setting (even if it’s for a minute!) and get the heart rate pumping a bit before you increase the resistance.

2) Learn To Respect Your Body

Your body is a well-oiled machine but that doesn’t mean you’re invincible.

It is easy to get hurt if that’s the approach you end up taking. An elliptical machine is a great tool but it has to be used appropriately. This means you need to listen to your body and make sure you don’t get hurt while working out.

For example, it’s best to keep tabs on your heart rate and make sure you’re feeling okay throughout the workout. This should include drinking water at various intervals to stay as hydrated as possible.

3) Use Proper Resistance

An elliptical machine is great because it will give you the opportunity to play with the settings.

You will want to take a look at the “resistance” settings on the machine and see whether you can increase the incline or “resistance” with the press of a button. In most cases, you’ll be able to do this in one second and it’s something you should look into as soon as possible.

Why is resistance a good thing?

a guy rides the horizon advanced 7.0 AE elliptical

It has to do with making sure the rest of your body remains aligned with the machine and doesn’t overdo the movement. When there’s no resistance, the legs can start working faster than the rest of your body and it can cause you to get hurt.

4) Hold the Handrails

This is something people assume isn’t necessary but it is a key part of your “form” while using an elliptical machine.

The idea is to hold the handrails as gently as possible so you’re able to maintain your balance at all times. However, you don’t want to grab it too tightly as that might lead you to overcompensate and get hurt. Just keep a light grip on the handrails and make sure your body is in line with the machine.

This is a big part of how you complete the movement so taking your time to focus on this is never a bad thing. It will make life easier for you while using an elliptical machine.

5) Maintain Your Balance

bowflex elliptical bxe116

Balance is one of the most important parts of using an elliptical machine.

You want to take the time to assess your alignment with the machine. Everything should be pointing forward and the transfer of weight should be pushing ahead. This means you shouldn’t lean back or to the side as the machine is put to use.

If you do this, you’re going to get hurt and it will not be a pretty sight! This is a key safety tip and it is something you have to look into as soon as you start the movement. This is also one of the reasons for starting slowly so you have the time to recalibrate in the beginning.

6) Ensure the Machine is Stabilized

Not only should your body be stable, the machine has to be balanced as well.

It is essential to take a look at where you’re putting the elliptical machine and how it is set up. If it is on a slope then you’re taking a real risk and it might lead to injury. In fact, you could also end up seeing the machine break down if that’s the case.

Take the time to find a stable surface to put it on.

7) Stay Hydrated

Are you drinking enough water during the workout session on your elliptical machine?

It’s important to stay hydrated so you don’t end up falling over during the session. This happens all the time because people don’t know how much to workout or how to listen to their body. Take the time to stay hydrated and make it a habit as soon as you can.

This is a key safety tip because of how often people faint while using machines such as this one.

8) Place Machine in Open Space

Where is the machine located?

As mentioned above, you have to look at finding an even surface but you also have to ensure it’s put in an open space. The general rule is you should be looking to work with at least 20 square feet of space with a machine such as this one.

This will ensure the elliptical machine has enough room to work with and you’re not hitting into anything as soon as you start up.

9) Understand the Control Panel Features

A lot of people use an elliptical machine and assume they’ll learn the features on the go.

This is a horrible line of thinking and it’s the reason you’re not going to know what to do as soon as you step on the machine. Learn all of the control panel features and make sure you’re able to play around with the settings as soon as you need to.

If you’re confused then take the time to read the user manual and avoid getting hurt because you weren’t aware.

10) Get the Form Right

It’s great to use an elliptical machine and start to lose weight but is your form perfect?

Too many people hop on and assume it’s going to be a breeze. However, they end up getting injured because they didn’t respect the machine. You have to start slowly by learning how to maximize the machine with appropriate form/posture.

This is why it’s best to look at keeping your back straight, wrists loose, and core engaged. This is the only way you will start to reap the rewards of using this machine.

Otherwise, it will become a real hassle to get on the machine and work out because the body will gradually break down.

This is how injuries happen and it can become a tedious road to recovery if that’s the case. Take your time and get your form spot on before ratcheting up the difficulty level (i.e. incline/resistance).

11) Buy a Top-Rated Elliptical Machine

A final step to ensuring your safety on an elliptical machine, is to buy one that is designed for safety (see our top-rated ellipticals here).

There are plenty of great machines out there, so do your research and find one that fits your needs and budget. If you’re looking for a good one to start with, we recommend checking out the new Bowflex Ellipticals.

Final Thoughts

These are the most important safety tips for using an elliptical machine and should be implemented as soon as you can. Don’t leave these tips for later because you’re going to get hurt and that’s the last thing anyone wants.

Be smart and stay safe in the long-run!