Elliptical Training Buyer's Guide

Having trouble selecting an Elliptical trainer? If yes, then this guide will equip you with the necessary knowledge when looking for the best Elliptical trainer that is reliable, comfortable and deliver results.

About Elliptical trainers

Elliptical trainers were first introduced in the 1990’s and are steadily becoming one of the most preferred exercising machines. By definition, an Elliptical trainer is a low impact machine designed to stimulate jogging and walking at the same time. The elliptical motion derived during these two motions, give the machine its name. A late addition to the Elliptical trainers is the addition of handle bars. This allows the user to work both the lower and upper body in unison.

Currently, there are two main types of elliptical machine available in the market: the FRONT WHEEL DRIVE and REAR WHEEL DRIVE.

The Difference

Front wheel drive-working on this elliptical trainer creates a feeling of walking on a staircase and the user often leans forward mimicking the natural forward walking motion.  Most Front drive models have either one or two wheels. Those with two wheels have more stability. This model is cheaper compared with the rear-wheel drive. The main disadvantage is that it wears out quickly and requires constant maintenance.

Rear wheel drive- This model is built to mimic the motion one creates when one is walking and running. This model works best for users with back problems as it is designed to make the user centered which eliminates the back strain. This model is more expensive than the Front wheel drive and is way better in all aspects.

The Cost

The price of Elliptical trainers varies depending on factors such as manufacturer, model, designs and the mechanics. A Cheaper model such as the Best Fitness Cross Trainer Elliptical is impressive in its own right, but has less functionality compared to high models such as the Best Fitness Center Drive Elliptical.

How to get the right Elliptical Trainer

The primary role of an elliptical trainer is to enable the trainer to achieve a low-impact cardiovascular impact. If this is not realized then the goal of training is defeated. To accomplish this, look for a machine with the following features:

Dual action and direction- the right machine should have moveable handlebars facilitating dual action. Dual direction enables you to equally work your leg muscles by pedaling both backward and forward.

A pre-programmed course- this affords a wide array of options, enabling you create conditions akin to walking in the park, and running downhill among others.

Clear display- the displays should be large enough to minimize strain on your part. The most common type of displays used is LCD and LED.  LED is more attractive and easier to read compared to LCD.

Safety consideration - foot pedals should not slip easily. The right machine should have a stable frame to facilitate a safe and effective workout.

Control features- they should be easy to use, and has useful information such as resistance, calories, and heart rate measurement.

Brake Resistance system- Elliptical have the following classes of brakes: electromagnetic resistance, self-generating induction brake system and magnetic brake system. Of the three, the electromagnetic brake system is preferable as it has no moving parts minimizing the chances of breakdown.

Built-in heart rate Monitor- Nearly all elliptical trainers are equipped with a heart rate monitor. The best heart rate monitor is the wireless chest monitor. This monitor gives the best heart rate reading. An alternative to this is the contact heart rate monitor available in most low-end models.

Other important factors to consider

Space available

Let the following questions act as a guide: do I have enough space to accommodate the machine? Does my room have the required height? Does my floor have the right material to support the trainer?

Maintenance and Durability

To get an idea of whether an elliptical is durable and easy to maintain, review user reviews to get a firsthand experience from other users and experts. One way of minimizing the chances of disappointment is purchased from a reputable manufacturer. Go for machines offering warranties. The right warranty should provide a minimum of one year servicing and should cover important components such as the braking system

User’s weight

Assuming that you live with your family, it is imperative to consider their weights before settling on an elliptical machine. You definitely would not like to shut out any family member from joining in the action. As a rule of thumb, go for the machine that the heaviest member of the family can use.

How to improve the lifespan of your Elliptical trainer

To get the best out of your machine, you need to not only exercise with caution, but also do the following

Regular cleaning

Dirt accumulates in the front-elliptical driver as time goes which if not removed affects the performance of your machine.

Tightening and lubrication

To ensure that your trainer is operating smoothly and efficiently, you need to regularly tighten and lubricate moving parts and tighten the bolts and the screws regularly.

Avoid Misuse

The elliptical trainer is not a Toy. This should be stated out clearly if you have children in the family. Also, the trainer should not be stretched beyond its limits.

Mistakes to avoid if you want to see results

Exercises are most effective when done right. The same is true for an elliptical machine, to get the best result; your training should be systematic and deliberate. Avoid the following common mistakes.

Entering the wrong information such as weights etc.

  •       Having zero resistance
  •       Not changing directions
  •       Not changing resistance levels periodically
  •       Overrunning often leading to exhaustion

Final thought

The decision on the right Elliptical machine to purchase ultimately boils down to you. Ultimately you need to ask yourself the following:  what is my budget? Is there adequate space? What are my exercising requirements?  And what works best for me?

Remember that if you are looking for a machine that will deliver optimum results, is durable, and is a lifetime investment, expensive might be cheap. After all, quality is never really expensive in the long term.