Tips on Buying an Elliptical Trainer


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Tips on Buying an Elliptical Trainer

  1. 1. Tips on Buying an Elliptical Trainer<br />By Fred Waters<br /><br />
  2. 2. The following is vital information you should know when selecting an elliptical trainer that is right for your Body and Your Budget. <br /><br />
  3. 3. Elliptical Designs<br />There are basically three types of elliptical trainer designs, front, rear and center drives. Is one design better than the other? It really is a matter of preference. Each have their own benefits, and there are great selections in all three categories.<br /><br />
  4. 4. Stride Length<br />It is very important to find an elliptical trainer that has a stride that is comfortable for you. Stride lengths vary from as short as a 14" stride to an elongated stride in excess of 22". You'll usually find 14"-16" stride lengths on cheaper models. The motion tends to be very bouncy and oval and less elliptical. The majority of elliptical trainers have 18"-20" stride lengths. For very tall individuals you probably want to consider a machine that is longer than 20".<br /><br />
  5. 5. Foot Pedal Distance<br />It should be noted that shorter individuals should consider machines that have foot pedals close together, or angled in. This is particularly true for woman who have a different physique than men, and bless them for that. Ellipticals with foot pedals far apart can strain their hips. <br /><br />
  6. 6. Smooth Natural Elliptical Motion<br />You want a crosstrainer that has a smooth and natural elliptical motion. The kind of motion where you have a feeling like you are jogging in the air. Typically the main component responsible for a smooth motion is the flywheel, and the heavier the flywheel the better, generally in excess of 18' lbs. However, the braking system can also contributes to a comfortable and natural motion. <br /><br />
  7. 7. Stable Machine<br />You want a machine that is stable. There are two factors that can contribute to the stability. The footprint of the base and the weight. Compact elliptical trainers can often be unstable, especially if they are lightweight, like under a 100 lbs. Generally the heavier and the longer the elliptical the better. Although there are some center drive machines that are fairly compact, but still very stable. <br /><br />
  8. 8. Articulating Foot Pedals<br />You want an elliptical trainer that has some form of articulating footpedals, These are pedals that angle with the motion. The reason being the less you lift your foot to meet the motion the less strain on your lower body. There are some models where you can adjust the angle of the pedal, while one brand has pedals that rock with the motion. <br /><br />
  9. 9. Adjustable Incline and Variable Motion<br />Until recently the majority of elliptical trainers had a fix elliptical motion. The advantage is there are less mechanics, however, the disadvantage is that you exercised limited lower body muscles because of the singular repetitious motion. <br />In response a number of manufacturers offer the ability to incline the motion, similar to the incline on a treadmill. The benefits are two-fold. First, at various angles you can target different lower body muscles. Second, like a treadmill, when you crank up the incline you get an intense cardio workout that burns calories. Of course, you can also get an intense workout from a fixed motion machine by cranking up the resistance. <br /><br />
  10. 10. Workout Programs<br />Except for dirt cheap models, the majority of elliptical trainers have built-in workout programs. On ellipticals with fixed motions the programs vary the resistance. For example, you may have a hill climbing program that simulates going up and down a hill by increasing and decreasing the resistance. Most will also have an interval program that alternates between almost no resistance, to intense resistance. <br />With ellipticals that have the incline feature the programs will often incorporate both the resistance and the adjustable incline into a challenging workout. <br /><br />
  11. 11. Console Features<br />A very popular console feature is a built in fan. Not all fans are effective, but some do a good job of kicking out a strong breeze the cools off your core. Another feature that you will find on many new ellipticals are built-in speakers with MP3 input. The quality varies. A number of manufacturers put dirt cheap speakers in their consoles just so they can say it is speaker equipment. A few companies like NordicTrack and ProForm use some decent speakers that have reasonable clarity. <br /><br />
  12. 12. Warranties<br />Warranties are often an indication of the quality of the elliptical trainer. A 90 day parts and labor warranty would suggest that the manufacturer doesn't have much confidence in the durability of the machine. While a 5 years parts and 2 years labor warranty indicates that the crosstrainer has a good service record. <br /><br />
  13. 13. Now that you have an idea of what to consider when purchasing an elliptical trainer I invite you to visit my site and get detailed reviews on the most popular models on the market. <br /><br />
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