1.) Pick the Right Machine Ellipticals with levers that you push back and forth with your arms offer a better workout, since integrating your upper body will activate more muscles. 2.) Don't Hold On If you grip the frame of your machine, you're making it easier. 3.) Forget the Numbers Stay focused on how you're burning the calories. "Don't expect the activity to do the work," says Joe Stankowski, C.P.T. Throw a towel over the display and just concentrate on pushing yourself hard. 4.) Pay Attention "Listen to your own body and monitor your own effort," says Melissa Rodriguez, C.S.C.S. "Soon you'll be able to rate the quality of the workout by how your body feels when you finish."