Why is Elliptical So Hard to Pedal-An Ultimate Guide

Last updated on March 25th, 2023 at 10:16 pm

A still exercise machine that is used to stair climb, walk or run is called an elliptical trainer or cross trainer. The benefit of this machine is that it doesn’t cause any lavish pressure on the joints. This decreases the risk of impact injuries.

So, people even with some injuries can use ellipticals easily. This is because the low impact of the elliptical doesn’t affect their injuries. Elliptical training is encouraged for cardiac patients.

This is because it can carry out a non-impact cardiovascular workout. During this work out the intensity of exercise can be controlled by the user from low to high.   

Ellipticals are usually for upper body and lower body exercise. They usually offer very low-impact exercise, so they are helpful for patients of the heart, lungs, joints, etc. Ellipticals usually through the power generated by the user during exercise or sometimes need to be plugged in for adjustments.  

Why is Elliptical So Hard to Pedal-An Ultimate Guide

Why is the Elliptical So Hard to Pedal?

There can be a logical problem, such as the user is not friendly to the elliptical. If you are facing the problem of hard peddling, then it is directly related to the resistance of the elliptical.

Most ellipticals use magnetic resistance. If you are facing the problem of the hard pedal on your elliptical, then it might have the following reason.  

Logical Problems with Elliptical 

There can be a logical problem with the elliptical which causes the hardening of the pedal. This problem can be solved. 


First, check and ensure that your resistance is at a low level. If you are in the earlier days of using the elliptical, you might have set a resistance that is not suitable for you.

Also, switch off and then switch on your console, this can also help. If your elliptical has been stuck, then it might get back to normal.  

If these options are not working, then use some oil to lubricate the parts. You should spray the oil lightly on the flywheel and runners. But make sure that the oil you are using is standard and suitable for machines. 

Magnetic Resistance  

The magnetic resistance of the elliptical can also cause it to harden pedaling. There can be various problems regarding magnetic resistance, but they can be solved as follows.  

Motor Solution 

First, check the console of your elliptical. If you think that your console is working properly then carry out some tests. The console is the controlling unit of the elliptical. You can perform these tests at home. Performing tests will tell you the condition of the console. If you find a problem, solve it accordingly. 

  • Unscrew and separate the plastic shield on the sides 
  • Separate the crank arms 
  • Locate the motor and check it thoroughly. 
  • Connect a 9-volt battery and run it in both directions, if it is running perfectly, it’s good. 
  • If it is not working properly replace it or repair, it. 

Console Solution 

  • Test the console harness using a voltmeter. 
  • Check that the voltage being supplied to the console is healthy for it. 
  • If there is no voltage, then the console is deflective. 

So, you should change your console or repair it. If your elliptical is still under warranty, then send it back to the manufacturer. 

Friction Resistance 

If the elliptical you are using supports friction resistance, then changing the friction pad will be the only solution to stop your elliptical from hardening. 

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1- Do elliptical machines require maintenance? 

If you want your elliptical to last long, then you should maintain it regularly. You should do regular cleaning and inspection for this purpose. 

2-How long can ellipticals last? 

The ellipticals are pretty strong and can last up to 20 years if their maintenance is done properly. 

3-Why is my elliptical grinding? 

When your elliptical starts making noise then it is called elliptical grinding. There can be various reasons for elliptical grinding which include worn bearings and belts and not placing the elliptical properly etc. 

4-Do ellipticals rotate? 

The mechanism which rotates in an elliptical is a flywheel. It uses momentum to spin around its axis. 

Final Thoughts 

If your elliptical is hardening the pedal, then first locate the problem. First, go for the basics and make sure all the settings are done correctly and are in their place.

Then check the type of resistance, if it is friction resistance change the friction pad. If it is magnetic resistance the motor or console is damaged. Check for the defective part and repair it or replace it. 

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