Types of Gazelle Moves

Depending on how you stand, hold your arms and perform other moves on a Gazelle, you can target specific muscles for increased use and benefit. The Gazelle lets you create more than a dozen different movements that target your calves, thighs, hamstrings, quadriceps, butt and abs. You do this in a variety of ways and for differing counts to create different workouts. 


Different Stride Movements

The Gazelle lets you create three different stride lengths: regular, long and short. Use the regular stride to warm up and recover between high-intensity sprints. Use a long stride to use more lower-body muscle. Use rapid, short strides to create high-intensity sprints. You can also sprint-train with long strides, raising your heart rate with more muscular effort rather than speed.

Toe-Stand, Regular Stride (Calves)

Standing on your toes, you work your calves, located on the backs of your lower legs. Decrease the amount of arm effort you use to work your calves even more.

Toe-Stand, Lean-Forward (Biceps, Chest)

Standing on your toes, lean forward and keep your elbows close to your sides. Use more arm effort to move the levers to emphasize your arms and chest.

Lean-Back, Elbows In (Butt, Hips, Hamstrings, Biceps, Chest)

To target your butt, hips and hamstrings, lean back on the Gazelle while holding the handles, creating a 45-degree angle. Keeping your elbows near your sides while you stride this way, you’ll engage your biceps, deltoids and pecs more than your triceps, lats, trapezius and anterior shoulder muscles.

Lean-Back, Elbows Out (Butt, Hips, Hamstrings, Triceps, Back)

Alternate your lean-back reps by flaring your elbows out from your sides. You will immediately feel more effort in your shoulders, neck and back. This will help you work your triceps, lats, trapezius and anterior shoulder muscles.

Double-Stride (Abs)

To work your abs, particularly your obliques, stride forward with the same leg twice. Stride forward using a medium stride, then move the same leg forward again before it returns to your starting position. Stride forward with your right leg, let it start to return, then slightly stride forward again. The second stride will be very short. Alternate this double-stride rhythm.

Stride-and-Hold (Abs)

Take a long stride forward, then hold it for several seconds, sucking in your stomach as you hold still. Return to your starting position, then stride forward with the other leg and hold the stride.

This movement can strain your lower back if you find it’s difficult and start shifting your weight with your hips and butt to help you. Keep your navel pointing toward the center of the Gazelle, or the heart rate monitor button if you have one. Use your core muscles to perform the hold part of the stride, rather than your hips, butt and lower back.

Side-Stand (Thighs)

To work your inner and outer thighs, stand sideways on the pedals and move your legs apart as far you can at a moderate intensity, then back to center. Alternately, you can use shorter, faster strides to train high-twitch muscle fibers to improve speed.

Tony Little recommends turning around and performing the exercise that way to vary the muscles used. You can also try facing the same direction and changing your feet on the pedals.

Power Sprints on a Gazelle

To burn more calories per minute and train your anaerobic energy system, perform power sprints. Use regular strides, or get on your toes, lean forward and sprint as fast as you can, or close to it, for 30 seconds to two minutes, depending on your conditioning.

After your sprint, return to a normal stride and recover with a slow stride for one to two minutes. You can create a sprint-training, or high-intensity interval training with power sprints, or add a power sprint every five minutes to an aerobic workout. Check with your doctor to make sure it’s OK to perform exercise at this high heart rate.

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Target Specific Muscles

To work the back of your lower legs, stand on your toes while you take regular and long strides. Us
e less arm effort for more benefit.

Use less arm effort and bend your knees slightly to use more quadriceps.

Butt, Hamstrings, Hips
Lean back on the Gazelle, taking regular and long strides. Use less arm effort to maximize your use of these muscles.

Biceps, Chest
Keep your elbows near your body to use more muscles on the front of your upper body. Use little or no leg effort to move the machine, relying on your upper body. Lean forward, pushing the levers at different speeds and lengths, using only your arms.

Triceps, Back, Shoulders
Move your elbows away from your body to increase your use of your triceps and back muscles. Use little or no leg effort to move the machine, relying on your upper body. Lean backward, pushing and pulling the levers at different speeds and lengths.

Take longer strides, then hold the stride for several seconds. Alternate this stride-and-hold move. Use a double-stride movement, taking a regular stride, then a quick, second stride with the same leg.

WARNING: This is one of the exercises most likely to cause a lower back problem if done incorrectly. Because you are trying to do most of the work with your abs, instead of your arms and legs to help, you may twist and turn to try and help you make the move. Keep your torso straight, with your belly button pointed at the center of the bar in front of you, while you do this exercise. Don’t use your butt to try and drive you forward. Do these exercises slowly.

Stand sideways on the Gazelle and hold onto the crossbar for balance. Push the pedals away from you, sideways, using your thigh muscles. Use short and long pushes. Turn around on the machine, or change your feet position in your current position.

NOTE: If you have access to a personal trainer or friend with an exercise physiology background, ask them to go over the various exercises with you before you begin using a Gazelle regularly. Stop using the Gazelle or performing particular exercises if you start to feel pain, beyond the normal discomfort associated with exercising

Where to buy a new Gazelle

In addition to creating workouts using the above-described moves, consider purchasing a Tony Little workout DVD. You’ll see the moves demonstrated and can exercise along at our own pace, following a workout led by a fitness instructor to music. When you get to the Amazon site, type, “Tony Little Workout DVD” into the search box to see a complete list of available Gazelle workout DVDs. 

Additional Resources

American College of Sports Medicine: Basic Recommendations From ACSM and American Heart Association