Homy Gyms 101

Elliptical For Weight Loss: How Many Calories Are Burned On An Elliptical

Elliptical can be of great aid in burning extra calories, increasing strength and stamina, and in the end, losing weight.

But, cardio exercises on the elliptical should be combined with proper and healthy nutrition, weight and even some other exercises in order to lose weight, just keep in mind that no exercise can outrun bad diet...

Published: May 19, 2022.

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Calories Burned on an Elliptical

As a cardio exercise machine, the elliptical allows the users to burn plenty of calories using practically full body, without additional stressing joints like ankles, knees, and hips - a great advantage when compared with treadmills or exercise bikes, for example.

Calorie burn depends on the user's weight, age, stamina level, exercise intensity, cadence, time, etc. so it can be tricky to accurately calculate calories burned on an elliptical.

However, such calculation is not very accurate for other exercise machines (treadmills, bikes, steppers, etc.) either...

The following chart lists some physical activities with calories burned per hour of activity per kg of body weight:

Type of Activity Calories Burned per Hour per KG of Body Weight
Aerobics, general 6.5
Aerobics, low impact 5.0
Aerobics, high impact 7.0
Aerobics, step aerobics 8.5
Aerobics, instructing class 6.0
Aerobics, water aerobics 4.0
Archery 3.5
Backpacking, hiking with a backpack 7.0
Badminton 4.5
Ballet, twist, jazz, tap 4.5
Ballroom dancing, slow 3.0
Ballroom dancing, fast 5.5
Basketball, competitive game 8.0
Basketball, non game playing 6.0
Basketball, shooting baskets 4.5
Billiards 2.5
Body building, weight lifting, light workout 3.0
Body building, weight lifting, vigorous 6.0
Boxing, ring 12.0
Boxing, punching bag 6.0
Boxing, sparring 9.0
Bowling 3.0
Calisthenics, light 3.5
Calisthenics, vigorous, situps, pushups ... 8.0
Canoeing, camping trip 4.0
Canoeing, rowing, light 3.0
Canoeing, rowing, moderate 7.0
Canoeing, rowing, vigorous 12.0
Carrying infant, level ground 3.5
Carrying infant, upstairs 5.0
Carrying 7 - 11 kg, upstairs 6.0
Carrying 11 - 22 kg, upstairs 8.0
Carrying small children, level ground 4.0
Climbing hills, carrying up to 4 kg 7.0
Climbing hills, carrying 4.5 - 9 kg 7.5
Climbing hills, carrying 9.5 - 19 kg 8.0
Climbing hills, carrying more than 19 kg 9.0
Circuit training, minimal rest 8.0
Cricket 5.0
Cross country snow skiing, slow 7.0
Cross country snow skiing, moderate 8.0
Cross country snow skiing, vigorous 9.0
Cross country snow skiing, racing 14.0
Cross country snow skiing, uphill 16.5
Curling 4.0
Cycling, mountain bike, bmx 8.5
Cycling, < 16 km/h, leisure bicycling 4.0
Cycling, 16 - 19 km/h, light 6.0
Cycling, 19 - 22 km/h, moderate 8.0
Cycling, 22 - 25 km/h, vigorous  10.0
Cycling, 25 - 30 km/h, very fast, racing  12.0
Cycling, > 30 km/h, racing  16.0
Cycling, stationary, very light  3.0
Cycling, stationary, light  5.5
Cycling, stationary, moderate  7.0
Cycling, stationary, vigorous  10.5
Cycling, stationary, very vigorous  12.5
Darts 2.5
Elliptical, light 3.8
Elliptical, moderate 4.9
Elliptical, high 6.1
Elliptical, very high 8.0
Fencing 6.0
Football, competitive match 9.0
Football, general 8.0
Frisbee, general playing 3.0
Frisbee, ultimate frisbee 8.0
Gardening, general 4.0
Gardening, cultivating, weeding 4.5
General housework 3.5
Golf, general 4.5
Golf, walking, and carrying clubs 4.5
Golf, miniature golf 3.0
Golf, using a power cart 3.5
Gymnastics 4.0
Handball, team 8.0
Hiking, cross country 6.0
Hockey, field hockey 8.0
Hockey, ice hockey 8.0
Horseback riding, general 4.0
Horseback riding, saddling a horse 3.5
Horseback riding, grooming a horse 3.5
Horseback riding, trotting 6.5
Horseback riding, walking 2.5
Horseback riding, galloping 8.0
Ice skating, < 15 km/h 5.5
Ice skating, moderate 7.0
Ice skating, fast 9.0
Ice skating, competitive 15.0
Jumping rope, fast 12.0
Jumping rope, moderate 10.0
Jumping rope, slow 8.0
Kayaking 5.0
Lacrosse 8.0
Loading / unloading car 3.0
Marching, military style, rapid 6.5
Martial Arts 10.0
Mowing lawn, walk, power mower 5.5
Mowing lawn, riding mower 2.5
Paddleball, playing 6.0
Paddleball, competitive match 10.0
Playing with children, standing, light 2.8
Playing with children, walk, run, moderate 4.0
Playing with children, walk, run, vigorous 5.0
Polo 8.0
Rock climbing, ascending rock 11.0
Rock climbing, rappelling 8.0
Roller blading, in-line skating 12.0
Roller skating 7.0
Rowing machine, light 3.5
Rowing machine, moderate 7.0
Rowing machine, vigorous 8.5
Rowing machine, very vigorous 12.0
Rugby 10.0
Running, 8 km/h (12 minutes per mile) 8.0
Running, 10 km/h (10 minutes per mile) 10.0
Running, 12 km/h (8 minutes per mile) 12.5
Running, 16 km/h (6 minutes per mile) 16.0
Running, cross country 9.0
Running, general 8.0
Running, upstairs 15.0
Skateboarding 5.0
Ski machine 7.0
Sky diving 3.0
Snow shoveling 8.0
Soccer, competitive match 10.0
Soccer, playing 7.0
Softball, general 5.0
Softball, pitching 6.0
Squash 12.0
Stair machine 9.0
Stretching, hatha yoga 4.0
Stretching, mild 2.5
Swimming, freestyle, fast 10.0
Swimming, freestyle, slow 7.0
Swimming, backstroke 7.0
Swimming, breaststroke 10.0
Swimming, leisurely 6.0
Swimming, sidestroke 8.0
Table tennis, ping-pong 4.0
Tai chi chuan 4.0
Tennis, playing 7.0
Tennis, doubles 6.0
Tennis, singles 8.0
Track and field (shot, discus) 4.0
Track and field (high jump, pole vault) 6.0
Track and field (hurdles)  10.0
Trampoline 3.5
Volleyball, beach 8.0
Volleyball, competitive 8.0
Volleyball, playing 3.0
Walking downstairs 3.0
Walking, under 3.0 km/h, very slow 2.0
Walking, 3.0 km/h, slow 2.5
Walking, 4.0 km/h 3.0
Walking, 5.0 km/h, moderate 3.5
Walking, 6.0 km/h, brisk pace 4.2
Walking, 6.0 km/h, uphill 6.0
Walking, 7.0 km/h 6.3
Water jogging 8.0
Water polo 10.0
Wrestling 6.0

As one can see, exercising on the elliptical burns from ~3.5 to 8.0+ kcal per kg of body weight per hour of exercise.

How Many Calories Are Burned on the Elliptical for 30 minutes?

The following chart lists approximate values of burned calories depending on the level of exercise and the trainee's bodyweight:

Bodyweight / Exercise Difficulty Light
(3.8 kcal/kgh)
(4.9 kcal/kgh)
(6.1 kcal/kgh)
Very High
(8 kcal/kgh)
100 lbs (45.3 kg) 86 kcal 111 kcal 138 kcal 181 kcal
 150 lbs (68 kg) 129 kcal  167 kcal  207 kcal  271 kcal
 200 lbs (90.6 kg)  172 kcal  222 kcal  276 kcal  362 kcal
 250 lbs (113.3 kg)  215 kcal  278 kcal  345 kcal  452 kcal
 300 lbs (136 kg)  258 kcal  333 kcal  414 kcal  543 kcal

As one can see, with the increase in intensity, so are the calories burned increased.

The good thing about having an elliptical at home is that cardio sessions can last much longer than 30 minutes - just be sure to set the intensity according to your fitness level.

For example, a 200 pounds (~91 kg) athlete can burn 222 kcal at a moderate intensity level in 30 minutes. However, if the athlete watches a favorite movie, sports match, or something similar, the exercise can last much longer, for example, 2-3 hours.

Note: whenever going for a weight loss or planning on longer and/or more intensive exercises, just to be sure, check your health at your doctor's office first - better safe than sorry...

How to Stay Hydrated During Exercise

Staying hydrated during elliptical exercise is relatively easy - first of all, wear clothes that make You feel comfortable. Second, set the room temperature to suit your needs during exercise. Also, if the elliptical has a cooling fan, use it if required.

Last but not least - keep your water bottle filled with water or some sports drink that also contains electrolytes and vitamins.

Note: some sports drinks also contain small amounts of caffeine, BCAA, and simple carbs to keep the energy at required levels - choose such drinks according to your own needs and preferences.

How to Lose 1 Kilogram Per Week

1 kilogram of pure fat has 9000 kcal, but 1 kilogram of fatty tissue has ~7500 kcal.

So, in order to lose 1 kilogram of fats, one has to burn an extra 7500 kcal per week, which is ~1100 kcal per day.

In order to burn 1100 kcal in each cardio session using the elliptical at moderate intensity, a 200 pounds (91 kg) athlete must use it for:

T = 1100 kcal / (91 kg * 4.9 kcal/kgh) = ~2.5 hours

As one can see, if the 200 pounds athlete doesn't lose nor gain weight without the cardio exercises, he/she will lose 1 kg (~2.2 pounds) per week if he/she trains for 2 hours and 30 minutes every day on the elliptical at a moderate level.

Of course, this is just an approximation, but it shows perfectly the importance of having balanced nutrition when trying to lose some weight.

Long Story Short: Ellipticals are excellent cardio exercise machines and are often part of home gyms or they are owned by people who just want periodic and thorough cardio workouts at home.

Although ellipticals may help their users to burn rather large amounts of energy, when going for a weight loss be sure to train regularly and to eat healthy, without extra calories in the form of simple carbs, unhealthy fats, and similar. But that is a topic for another article(s) ...


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