Buying an elliptical machine but not sure where to start? Looking for a good elliptical machine buying guide?
You came to the right place!
There are so many options on the market today, it can get overwhelming. But if you know what to look for and what different features mean to you, it actually gets very easy to choose the best elliptical for your home.
So here are 5 features you need to examine when buying your elliptical machine:
#1 Stride Length
Stride is the basically the furthest distance between the elliptical pedals. Most stride lengths vary from 14 inches up to 22 inches.
The right stride length will help to more fully work your lower body muscles and give you a more natural feeling ride. A stride that is too short will feel unnatural – almost jumpy – when you pick up the pace.
What’s the proper stride length? That depends on you really. However most people of average height find a stride of 18 to 20 inches to be the most comfortable for them.
Taller people over 6 feet will definitely want to go for a 20 to 22 inch stride.
Some elliptical trainers even offer you adjustable strides. These trainers are great for multiple user households as everyone can choose the perfect stride for them.
Watch out for cheaper elliptical trainers that only give you from 14 – 17 inch strides as most people find these to be too short – and uncomfortable in the long run.
While some manufacturers do not list the weight of the flywheel, many manufacturers are starting to do this on their websites and sales flyers these days.
In general the heavier the flywheel, the smoother feeling the elliptical ride. You’ll find transitioning between resistance levels much easier with a heavier flywheel.
Flywheels vary from 8 pounds up to 48 pounds so you have a wide variety here.
Usually the higher end ellipticals carry the heavier flywheels.A heavier flywheel also helps to anchor the machine for added stability.
There are 2 basic elliptical machine designs these days. The front drive elliptical has the flywheel placed in front of the pedals under the console and moving arm bars.
The rear-drive elliptical places the flywheel behind the foot pedals.
Which design is best?
This is largely a personal preference thing. Some people find that a front drive design gives them more of a climbing elliptical path (which can be great for burning calories).
Whereas the rear drive design gives more of a flatter elliptical path (which is more like a natural running motion). So in the end it comes down to which you prefer.
Consoles are all over the board these days. However there are several features that are always a hit with buyers.
First of all, try to look for a backlit console – as it’s easier to see your workout stats.
Also look for larger console windows which, again, make it easier to read your stats.
Cheaper ellipticals will toggle back and forth between your stats and many people don’t like this – they want to see a constant reading of their calories, time, etc.
Another thing that some manufacturers are adding to consoles are built-in fans to help keep you cool. This is a small thing, but you may find it very convenient during long, hot workouts.
#5 Entertainment Options
This is where things have really changed over the past few years. There are some manufacturers that are adding a lot of never-before-seen entertainment options to the elliptical consoles. These toys can help make your workout a lot more fun.
For example, you’ll find some machines that track your workouts and sync with your fitness apps online. So you can track and graph your workouts, set new goals and more.
This is almost like having a personal trainer tracking with you, setting goals and inspiring you to go further.
You can also find machines with iPod docks and speakers so you can listen to your favorite tunes as you workout.
There are even a few machines that have built-in web browsers. So you can surf the net, read your emails or watch YouTube videos as you workout!
So those are 5 basic features to consider when shopping for the best elliptical machine for your home. The good news is that you have some incredible options when it comes to your elliptical machine.
Keep the tips above in mind and you’re bound to find an elliptical you will love – and use for years to come!
Note From Brigadoon Fitness
Ellipticals or cross trainers are a great piece of equipment to add to your fitness routine. These low impact machines help strengthen your heart, lungs, and muscles. They also improve your balance, stamina, and burn calories. When used correctly an elliptical will target your glutes, hamstrings, quads, chest, back, biceps, triceps, and core muscles. Most models have a wide variety of incline and resistance settings that will keep your workouts challenging for years.
Brigadoon Fitness offers ellipticals that will fit any need. With stride lengths from 21″ up to 28″, self-generating or electric, basic to advanced, we have it all. Take a look at these models: