Elliptical Machine Buyers/Buying Guide

Shopping for Features in Elliptical Exercise Equipment

The purpose of elliptical exercise equipment is simple enough. It provides excellent cardiovascular workout while building different muscle groups.

You would be surprised though at the wide range of options available when it comes to elliptical machines. If you want one that will fit your preferences best, you need to learn to shop for features.

Workout Programs

Using an elliptical machine effectively takes more than just stepping on it. Your machine should provide you with a variety of exercise programs so you can modify your workout sessions according to your needs and level. Different machines have different built in programs. Some machines let users plug in audio instructions for professionally made exercise programs.

Variable Resistance

Resistance plays a role in the amount of energy that you need to exert. The right resistance level can help build muscles and maintain the appropriate heart rate. The longer you workout the better you are able to endure lower resistance levels. This is why you should get a machine that will let you change resistance levels.

Resistance systems can fall under rubber belt or magnetic resistance categories. Obviously though, machines with rubber belts eventually end up with worn out belts and produce a jerky, uncomfortable movement. Magnetic resistance uses a magnetic field and provides a smoother workout.

Adjustable Incline

Elliptical exercise equipment with adjustable incline is ideal. By adjusting the incline, you can focus your workout on developing your glutes and hamstrings. This feature also provides variations on the intensity of workouts. The steeper the incline, the more effort you would have to exert, thereby giving you a more intense cardiovascular and muscle workout.

Stride Length

The stride length determines in part how comfortable a machine feels. Stride lengths of around 7” to 15” may be too short for most adults. Ideally, stride lengths should be around 16” to 20”.

Upper Handles

Elliptical machines are highly prized because you can develop various muscle groups. Machines with upper handles allow users to work not just on leg muscles but on arm and chest muscles as well. Moving the bars while you simulate walking with your legs builds your upper body.

Noise Level

Some elliptical machines are notoriously noisy. The noise can stem from a machine’s resistance system. Noise levels can vary from a low hum to a loud whirring sound. Make sure you check a machine’s noise level before making a purchase. Machines that use magnetic fields are often less noisy than those that use mechanical systems.

Extra Features

Modern elliptical trainers can have a host of different features. Among the various miscellaneous features you can choose from are multi-colored consoles, speakers, music ports and computer hookups.

Heart Rate Monitor

This is a vital feature though that can help users determine appropriate workout programs. Otherwise, users could be using a program that could be too taxing on the body. Some heart rate monitors are located on the handles and monitor heart rate when users grip the handles.

Elliptical exercise equipment can have so many bells and whistles. It’s important that you find a machine that has the features that are important for you.