The elliptical machine creates wars between trainers and exercisers alike. Some love the tool for putting the entire body to work, and others avoid it like the plague. You might’ve seen it get a bad rep, but don’t swear it off yet. A lot of the elliptical machine’s results depend on the work you put into it.

In short, avoid making the common mistakes most people make and get ready to reap the great benefits a quick elliptical training routine provides!

1. Stop obsessing over the numbers
A lot of people get stuck on tracking the calories burned on the machine. This is mainly ineffective since the device doesn’t know your fitness level and how hard you’re working. Besides your age and weight, there’s not much to go on except generalities programmed into it. Instead, focus on how hard you’re breathing and how much you’re sweating. Don’t set calorie goals. Instead, vary the intensity and resistance to see how hard you can push yourself in a set time frame.

2. You’re leaning on the center handles
Stand up straight and use the moving handles! This engages your entire body and lets you get the cardio workout the elliptical is meant to provide. You might opt to take a break by switching to center handlebars or switch back and forth if you’re just starting, but try to go hard for a short period rather than doing it halfway for longer.

3. Use resistance
You should be going through multiple resistances during your workout to get a full-body workout. To engage your muscles, make sure you’re going up in resistance at least once in your session.

4. Maintain your speed
If you’ve changed resistance, which you should, make sure you’re maintaining your speed. Don’t slow down to a crawl because the resistance is a bit higher. You should aim to keep at the same speed as at the lower resistance levels.

5. Don’t get distracted
It’s tempting to hop on a phone call or get wrapped up in a movie or a book while on the treadmill or the elliptical. Unfortunately, unlike the treadmill, the elliptical doesn’t maintain your speed for you. Getting distracted means you’re not putting in as much work into your workout as you should. Aim to focus only on your exercise for maximum workout efficacy.