How to Choose an Elliptical Trainer
An elliptical should fit your training goals as well as your budget. Here are some tips for finding the right device for you.
Types of ellipticals
Training on an elliptical trainer offers many of the benefits of running, but without the significant stress on the body associated with it.
- Rear- wheel drive : Since this device has few moving parts and its flywheel is located at the rear, it operates smoothly and requires little maintenance. It is therefore a popular choice in fitness centers.
- Front- wheel drive : This device is suitable for people who have a longer stride or simply want a flatter motion. The front wheel drive elliptical machine takes up less floor space than rear wheel drive machines. However, it requires more maintenance because of the moving parts.
- Center Drive : With its center flywheel, this device provides better stability as your body naturally adjusts to the device. The centrally driven device is the smallest on the market and is therefore ideal for small home training rooms.
Characteristics of elliptical machines
- Display : Many ellipticals measure the distance you’ve walked, the calories you’ve burned, and your heart rate. The screen should be adjusted to the right angle to make it easier to read.
- Controls : Programmable workouts offer a great way to customize your exercise program. Look for keypad or touchscreen controls that are intuitive and easy to use while exercising.
- Safety pin: A safety pin is a small safety device that can prevent children from getting hurt.
- USB Ports and Docking Stations : Some ellipticals have ports and outlets for additional devices such as fans and MP3 players. Always check if the ports or docking station are compatible with your electronic devices.
- Adjustable Stride : If more than one person uses the elliptical, consider purchasing one with adjustable stride so that each user can enjoy a personalized and comfortable exercise session.
- Incline : Most ellipticals allow you to adjust the incline for a more intense exercise that feels like you’re climbing.
- Adjustable resistance : Most ellipticals allow you to adjust the resistance to intensify your exercises and boost your muscle strength. Several models allow you to change the resistance of both the arms and the pedals of the device.
Factors to Consider When Buying an Elliptical Trainer
- Ergonomics : your device must first be comfortable and its use must seem natural to you. Look for smooth, noiseless operation that doesn’t put too much strain on your knees or hips. Always try out a device for at least 20 minutes before buying it.
- Price : Ellipticals cost anywhere from $500 to over $1,500. So consider your goals and how often you will use your device. Beginners can save by buying a more affordable device with fewer features. However, heavy users will need a more capable device that suits their workout requirements.
An elliptical trainer can help you stay in shape without leaving the comfort of your own home. There is a device that fits the space you have, your goals and your budget.