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Elliptical Cross Trainer Buying Guide

May 15, 2021 3 min read
Elliptical Cross Trainer Buying Guide

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    An elliptical trainer, also known as a ‘cross trainer’, ‘elliptical cross trainer’ or just ‘elliptical’ is a cardiovascular machine designed to replicate the upper and lower body motions of walking, jogging and running while keeping the pressure off your joints. The elliptical trainer appeared a little over 20 years ago but has since become a staple in gyms across the world. It’s also ever more popular in homes, so let’s look at what are the benefits and what you should consider before buying one.

    What are the benefits of ellipticals?

    Weight loss

    Elliptical machines are a great choice for weight loss as they burn a huge number of calories and incorporate your entire body in the workout.

    Cardiovascular

    The intense workout possible on an elliptical machine makes it an ideal way to improve your cardiovascular conditioning.

    Reduced impact

    Unlike treadmills, the lack of any sort of impact makes this machine a great way to exercise without risking damage to your bones and joints.

    Full body workout

    Having to use both your arms and legs encourages a much more well-rounded exercise than many other cardio options that are available.

    Relieves stress

    The release of endorphins caused by high-intensity exercises, such as what you can achieve on an elliptical machine, helps to relieve stress and improves the quality of sleep.

    Improves balance

    Having to coordinate a rhythm between your legs and arms to get your whole body in sync while on an elliptical machine can greatly help to improve the user’s balance.

    After injury

    The lack of impact and a smooth motion on an elliptical machine makes it an ideal option for anyone wanting to exercise while rehabbing an injury.

    Types of elliptical

    Pro-Form cross trainer

    Pro-Form cross-trainers predominantly come with a front-drive motor. This makes them suitable for anyone seeking a slightly greater level of resistance or wanting to use it like a stepper as well as a cross-trainer. They are also ideal for people with mobility issues.

    Viavito cross trainer

    Viavito generally produces quite basic yet effective machines for an affordable price. They are ideal for newer users or those shopping on a budget.

    NordicTrack cross trainer

    NordicTrack produces a variety of high-end machines, with varying drives, resistances and programs. They are best suited for experienced users and those who are looking for something very specific.

    Things to consider

    Stride length

    If you know you have particularly long or short legs, make sure the stride length of your chosen machine will accommodate you.

    Flywheel weight

    Elliptical machines are generally quite heavy. If your location has a weight limit where you plan to use it, check the specifications before purchasing. 

    Rear or front driven

    While the difference between rear or front-drive can be quite minimal, if you have a specific requirement, such as mobility issues, ensure you purchase the correct type.

    Incline range/number of programs

    For programs, resistances and inclines, there is a wide range of options. You should ensure that there is enough variety on your machine to match your needs, especially if you are a more experienced user.

    Safety handles

    Some models come with built-in safety handles. If you are less experienced or have mobility issues, this could be something that makes you feel safer and more confident when using your product.

    Space

    Elliptical machines are quite large, bulky pieces of equipment. If you are limited on space, make sure the model you are looking at is of a suitable size.

    Folding?

    Some elliptical machines can be folded away. If that is something that interests you, you should check to see if it is a feature your chosen model offers before purchasing.

    Extra features

    Extra features on elliptical machines vary wildly from model to model. If you require something specific, make sure you check the specifics of your chosen model.

    Your budget

    Elliptical machines are generally quite expensive, you should make sure you know the cost of the one you are looking at so you don’t waste time analysing one you can’t.

    Warranty

    Most of our products come with a 1-year warranty but double-check the details of your elliptical machine, to make sure you feel comfortable and confident in your purchase.

    Elliptical maintenance

    Elliptical machines generally require minimal maintenance. However, ensure that you clean it after each use and occasionally apply a lubricant such as WD-40 to the moving parts to stop them from seizing.

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