Elliptical Trainer Buying Guide
Elliptical cross trainers have been the fastest-growing category
of fitness equipment in the past few years. The relative comfort
and care of the body an elliptical trainer provides makes it an
ideal exercise machine for both the beginner and the serious athlete.
Benefits of Elliptical Trainers
- Low impact motion
- Low perceived exertion – the exercise feels easier than
the body is actually working.
- High caloric expenditure
- Weight bearing activity
- Movement variety – forward, reverse, upper or lower body
- Quiet operation
- Minimal maintenance
Uses for Elliptical Trainers
An elliptical machine works the whole body without putting too
much stress on the joints to give a better, safer, smooth, cardiovascular
Elliptical machines with handles to move your arms do spread the
load somewhat, using less lower body, and reducing the cardiovascular
effect of the workout. So for maximum cardio - set them stationary.
Elliptical trainers are ideal for those wishing to:
- Improve cardio-vascular function
- Lose weight – most have Fat Burner programs
- Tone up muscles all over the body
- Warm up prior to strength training
- Mobilise joints after injury or illness
- General fitness
Different Types of Elliptical Trainers
The main distinguishing features between elliptical trainers are:
Powered / Non powered – the power is used
to both power the main drive and to run the electronics. Power driven
elliptical trainers are a lot quieter in use and also will normally
provide for storage of user profiles, meaning you don’t have
to re-enter your weight, age etc each time you use it. Just hit
the button assigned to your user profile or enter your profile number,
select your program and away you go.
Movable Arms / Stationary Arms - the value of
movable arms is the subject of hot debate amongst users of elliptical
trainers. Many top of the line machines do not offer this option.
Personally, I love the natural movement that the moving arms provide,
and whilst my elliptical trainer has little resistance in the arm
movement, and as such does not provide a great upper body workout,
I find that the movement alone is fantastic for releasing stiffness
across my shoulders and upper back after a day on my laptop.
Size and Weight – smaller more compact elliptical
trainers are ideal for smaller spaces but may not suit larger or
taller persons. A user weight over 200 pounds may find a smaller,
lighter unit has too much bounce when used at high pace, and may
find the stride a little short if it is restricted to only 14 inches
as some compact models are. I have a very compact model and at 5’9”
and 136lbs, it’s ideal to fit into my library where I can
watch television and exercise in peace.
Cost – cheaper elliptical trainers can cost anything from
the basic $250 model up to $2000. Higher quality models are generally
$2500 to $4,000, with the upper end being semi-commercial to commercial
grade. Price is not always an indicator as there is a wide range
of quality within price bands
Home Model or Commercial Model - home versions
are generally more feature packed with user customisation. Models
designed for the health club or gym are more focused on durability
rather than individual customisation [which would not be used with
a large number of users]
Once you have decided on the broad requirements above, we get down
to the feature level. The normal features
found in elliptical trainers.
Elliptical Trainer Reviews
Check the following individual elliptical trainer reviews for more
3000 Elliptical Trainer
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