This 30-minute weight loss elliptical workout torches fat, helps you tone up

The short, intense routine is broken into three-minute intervals to maximize the calorie-burning effect

Woman exercising on an elliptical machine
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're looking to lose weight but have a busy schedule, you need to prioritize workouts that give the best fat-burning results. Fortunately, you don't have to spend hours on a treadmill to drop inches.

Whether you already own one of the best elliptical machines or you're hoping to add one to your home, these treadmill alternatives offer a low-impact way to lose weight and tone up. 

You can use them at your own pace, though many people like the motivation of a group class. This 30-minute elliptical machine workout from virtual workout studio Fitscope is a great way to get started. 

The session is broken into three-minute intervals, with the incline gradually increasing before dropping back down for the final cooldown. You'll jog for one minute, sprint for 30 seconds, run for 30 seconds, then finish with a one-minute jog. 

Watch Fitscope's 30-minute elliptical machine low-impact workout

As your feet don't leave the pedals, elliptical machines (sometimes called cross trainers) are more joint-friendly than treadmills. It's an exercise for your legs, but you get a full-body workout too. 

There are often two sets of handles on the machine. If you distribute your weight so that it's balanced between the upper and lower body, then it'll work your legs and chest, back, and arms. Increase the resistance, and it'll develop strength in your upper-body.

This low-impact, whole-body training makes it ideal for recovering from injury or starting out exercising after a period of inactivity. But you can also go all-out with Fitscope's routine to lose weight as well. 

The resistance level stays consistent at a level 4. Depending on your machine, some come with different numbering, so the important thing is to increase the incline by two at the start of the next interval up to 10 before reversing back to where you started. 

You can use any of the best fitness apps to stay active, though Fitscope's sessions are focused on machine-based workouts. If you take out a subscription, you'll find options for rowing machines, static bikes, and treadmills, alongside strength training and yoga. 

Of course, machines aren't the only way to trim down. The best exercises for weight loss are primarily equipment-free, while kettlebells and dumbbells can improve their fat-burning potential. 

James Frew
Fitness Editor

James is a London-based journalist and Fitness Editor at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.

In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.