While there are several good reasons for exercising on an elliptical trainer, before you make your final choice, there are a number of important things you should consider first before placing your order.
Testing and trying out as many models as possible until you find just the right one for you, at just the right price, is also a good idea. There are many models to choose from and finding the most suited for you can be time consuming, but well worth the effort.
- Front drive versus rear drive:
Rear-drive models are a little more expensive than the front-drive models – although both types are becoming cheaper. An advantage of using the rear-drive type is that they create a more natural elliptical movement and usually have adjustable inclines, a smoother ride and longer strides. The most basic difference between these two types of elliptical machines is the location of the main parts i.e. the brakes, pedals and linkage system. Self evidently the front drive machines have them in the front, while rear drive models have them in the back.
- Size and space – folding or non-folding:
While some models fold for easier and more compact storage, make sure you have enough space wherever you plan to put the machine. An approximate assembled size: L197 x W66 x H170 cms (plus/minus) depending on which model you choose and a weight of approx 170 kgs. The fold away models can of course be folded and stored in a cupboard and in some cases under the bed or somewhere else convenient where they wont be in the way when not in use.
The display should be easy to read and provide the information you’re looking for, such as calorie exertion, degree of incline, heart rate, speed, time and of course distance. Some models offer full-colour LED dot matrix console displaying a real time clock, energy consumption, step rate and overall accurate training feedback.
- Stride length and pedals:
Any machine you consider buying, should feel comfortable for your body type, especially since the stride length on some elliptical models can be too short for taller people. The pedals should have a non-slip design as well as fit your feet.
Handlebars should move back and forth smoothly and be ergonomically placed with padded grips. Most machines have the option of hands-free for lower-body workouts only.
When trying out, look for resistance levels and adjustable inclines. Some models have 20 or more resistance levels and an incline that adjusts from 12 to 25 degrees.
Some models include several accessories such as bottle water holder, CD player, child safety feature to prevent accidental start-ups, wireless heart rate monitor or heart-rate sensors in the hand-grips, fan and video games, scalable pre-set profiles and/or tailored user profiles although some of these accessories are sold separately.
The framework should be sturdy and well balanced to allow for the most demanding of workouts.
There are many elliptical trainer models to choose from. BigFitness has an extensive and wide range of these exercising machines and depth information – at the moment they have special offers with discounts.
Before starting a new exercise programme it is highly recommended that you consult your doctor or other professional medical adviser.