How to Choose an Elliptical: 37 Tips for Buying The Right Onec
Bringing your fitness journey to your home is a better way to ensure consistency. You’ll get better motivation when you have a gym you can access at any time of the day.
If you are on a journey to get a cardio machine that offers a variety of effective workouts with minimal impact, then you should consider an elliptical machine, especially if you want something you can use frequently.
Before purchasing an elliptical machine, there are certain factors to consider, so let’s discuss them.
What Is An Elliptical?
An elliptical trainer machine or cross trainer is a cardio machine designed for low-impact workouts. Because they are designed for cardio workouts, they help burn calories at a steady rate. Most ellipticals work to increase the body’s heart rate and lose body fat.
Why Does It Matter What Elliptical You Use?
Almost all ellipticals have the same function, but they still have their distinct features. Your choice of elliptical is dependent on what you want to achieve and your body’s capabilities.
Elliptical trainers offer workout variability, and they all work on specific parts of the body. So, if you plan on working on your upper body or want a full-body workout, there’s a good option for you.
What to Consider When Buying an Elliptical?
As with any other exercise machine or fitness equipment, you need to ask yourself a few questions before making a purchase.
There’s no point spending a few hundred dollars on an elliptical machine that doesn’t meet all your requirements.
There are different types of ellipticals, but to an amateur, it might look the same. Every one of these ellipticals has its advantages and uses.
This type of elliptical machine is considered the most cheapest and common type because it’s quite basic. It features a flywheel at the front, making it have similar benefits to a stair climber.
If you are looking for elliptical machines that give the flat-ground workout, this won’t cut it, as front-drive machines have pedals that’ll make your body tilt forward while moving.
The beauty of a front-drive elliptical is that it has shorter stride lengths, so it’s very easy to climb up on. Also, front-drive machines take up less space, making it the perfect fitness equipment for your home gym.
To purchase a good quality front-drive elliptical, your budget should be around $550 – $1500.
Here are a few benefits of front-drive ellipticals;
- Front drive ellipticals are smoother for aerobic and cardio workout
- It provides a better incline workout
- Helps in building body balance
With rear-drive ellipticals, the flywheel is positioned at the back, just right behind the pedals. A rear-drive elliptical takes up more space than the front-drive variant, and it also has a longer stride length.
Compared to the front drive, rear drive machines give a more natural stride, similar to jogging. If you want a fitness machine to help maintain a smooth level ground impact, your best option is a rear-drive elliptical.
It’s worth noting that rear drive ellipticals take up a lot of space, as they are quite bulky, so if you have a small gym space for your training sessions, this might not be a good choice.
You can purchase a high-quality rear-drive elliptical for less than $2000.
Benefits of using the rear drive ellipticals include;
- It’s low maintenance as it has lesser moving parts
- It provides a more natural gait
- It’s the best machine for level ground stimulation
- Rear drive ellipticals help improve the body’s posture
New models of ellipticals have a flywheel in the center and pedals on both sides. It provides a very balanced feel, although you’ll rarely find this version of exercise equipment in a home gym as they cost more money.
A center drive elliptical that has the feature of a stepper, elliptical, and low-impact treadmill will cost you about $2,200.
Also, you should note that using a center drive elliptical puts less strain on your hips and knees, and it promotes better body position as well.
Remember that the drive axles are located on both sides of the pedals, so you are walking in an upright position.
If you are willing to spend extra money, the center drive is the best elliptical machine equipped to give you an effective workout.
Some of its benefits include;
- Has a lower impact on your hips
- Works perfectly for the glutes
- It’s quieter and smoother than the rear and front drive elliptical
- It has a smaller footprint
A hybrid elliptical offers a combination of the two most popular types of cardio training – stationary bike and elliptical trainer.
With the hybrid trainer, you can work on different parts of your body at the same time. You have the option of toning your upper body effortlessly with the elliptical part of the machine. As long as you make use of the handlebars when exercising, you’ll maximize its toning benefits.
So, if you aren’t incorporating strength training into your workout programs, the hybrid elliptical can make up for it.
For the hybrid trainer, the price ranges from $600 – $2000, depending on the features you are looking out for – heart rate monitor, low resistance setting, Bluetooth connectivity, and many more.
Advantages of using the hybrid elliptical;
- It’s the best way to get full-body workouts
- It provides a low-impact workout
- It’s versatile and compact
A compact elliptical is very similar to a front-drive elliptical, but it takes up lesser space. So, if you don’t want a cumbersome fitness equipment that’ll get in your way, you can consider having this, plus it’s cost-effective as well.
Yes, it has a shorter stride length than full-sized elliptical trainers, but it offers many of the same benefits.
Compact ellipticals are a great way to engage in low-impact workouts that target the legs, glutes, and core.
You can purchase this fitness equipment for about $800 – $1600.
Features that make the compact elliptical trainer stand out;
- Saves more space
- It has a low impact
The suspension model of the elliptical is gaining more popularity in the fitness industry. Manufacturers are coming up with ellipticals that give fitness enthusiasts the best value for their money.
A suspension elliptical features suspended arms that do not move, and due to the absence of wheels, you’ll get a more comfortable elliptical motion. Depending on the model, it might have an adjustable stride length that will automatically adjust when there’s a change in incline level.
Features you get to enjoy when using a suspension elliptical trainer;
- Less rolling and friction
- Unlike many ellipticals, the suspension elliptical trainer provides a smooth elliptical motion that’s easy on the body
- It engages different body groups, including the upper body and glutes, thereby making you lose weight faster
Which type of elliptical is most universal?
The rear-drive elliptical is the most universal of the different elliptical types because it provides a smooth motion that mimics the motion of running or walking. Also, they are relatively compact and hence do not take up much free space.
This is one of the most important factors when buying cardio machines, especially if you have a small space.
When shopping for an elliptical trainer, you need to measure out your space, so you don’t end up purchasing an equipment you won’t use.
Also, don’t forget to put your ceiling height into consideration as well.
Compact ellipticals are designed for pretty small spaces. They have a length of 2 – 3 ft and their width is about 1.5 – 2ft. Because they are designed for small home gyms, they might not have as many features or high a weight capacity as larger ellipticals.
Mid-sized machines usually have a length of 3- 4 ft and a width of 2 – 3 ft. Generally, they are designed to accommodate users of different heights and sizes.
Full-size elliptical machines can fit a space of 7 ft long and 3 feet wide. They are perfect for taller individuals who want a more natural stride.
These machines have a larger frame and longer stride length. They are built to withstand heavy usage in gyms and have more features than a home elliptical.
A typical commercial-grade elliptical will need a space of 8 feet long and 5 feet wide to allow for comfortable use and a ceiling height of at least 8 ft.
How to know What size elliptical you need?
To know the right size of elliptical machine to use, consider your height, weight, and the available space you have in your home gym.
If you have limited space, the compact-sized elliptical is best for you, but if you have more space and you want a comfortable workout experience, consider purchasing a full-sized elliptical trainer.
The stride length is the distance between the pedals when they are farthest apart, and this is an important factor, as it determines whether you’ll have a good workout or not.
What is the Best Elliptical Stride Length for You?
To know the best stride length for you, see the table below;
But note that the most accurate way to determine optimal stride length is trying out different elliptical machines and seeing which one makes you feel most comfortable.
Every elliptical’s resistance is different, while some offer as little as 8 resistance options, some models offer up to 20 levels, however, that doesn’t make them the best choice.
All ellipticals come with variable resistance, and when selecting your preference, it’s best to stick to a model that in its lowest resistance setting you feel comfortable. This way, the more resistance you push on, the more you give yourself room to improve.
Resistant System Type
There are five main types of resistance systems, and they all have their distinct qualities.
Magnetic Resistance System
This is found in most ellipticals, and this type of resistance works with a magnets. It can be adjusted manually by turning a knob.
Air Resistance System
The air resistance system makes use of air; the faster you pedal, the more the fan blades spin. It provides a feeling that’s similar to running, and if you want a moderate level of resistance, this is for you.
Electromagnetic Resistance System
This type of resistance is typically found on high-end commercial ellipticals. It uses an electric current to create resistance, and it’s perfect for serious athletes that engage in challenging exercise programs.
Eddy Current Braking System
Eddy current offers a more consistent resistance than magnetic resistance, making it perfect for those who want a varied workout with a wide range of motion.
Hybrid Resistance System
Hybrid combines two or more resistance systems like air and magnet. If you need an elliptical with more intensity, the hybrid will make all the difference.
Programs and Features
Different types of ellipticals have their unique features and programs; some features to look out for include;
- Heart rate monitoring
- Heart rate control
- Adjustable incline
- Water bottle holder
- Built-in fan
- Tablet holder
- Adjustable resistance
The console displays information concerning your workout when you exercise, and the features will vary depending on the model.
Some of the basic console features you’ll find are;
- Touchscreen display
- Resistance and incline controls
- Audio system
When engaging in any cardiovascular exercise, stability is non-negotiable. If your machine wobbles when in use, you are likely to fall off, resulting in injury.
When you buy a durable elliptical, you’ll save more money in the long run. Even if you intend to shop online, do it from a reputable and trusted brand.
A comfortable elliptical machine provides a better overall workout experience. You can even decide to engage in HIIT workouts without fear of injury to your muscles.
Some elliptical machines act as your own certified personal trainer. They keep track of the calories burned, heart rate, and other information. However, these are extra features and will come at an additional cost.
The flywheel weight is an important factor to consider when choosing an elliptical. A heavy flywheel will provide high resistance, and this is why it’s preferred among advanced athletes.
Flywheel controls the maximum resistance you can apply to your workout, as well as the drive system that controls the arm handles and foot pedals.
Also, an elliptical with a heavier flywheel is considered more sturdy.
More Things to Keep In Mind When Choosing An Elliptical
Many factors ought to make your elliptical machine stand out from the rest. It might not be among the top most expensive, but ensure it ticks all your boxes.
Other things to consider include;
Unlike treadmills, many models of ellipticals don’t have panic buttons, so here are a few things to do that’ll guarantee you a safer working space;
- Get a cross trainer with a pin lock for the pedals
- Buy an elliptical that has cool-down and warm-up periods
Your budget is a very important factor to put into consideration. If you are working with a tight budget and still desire a quality cross trainer, you can check out dealers that sell used gym equipment.
Most times, reviews don’t lie. Look up the company you want to purchase from; gathering information is necessary so you don’t invest in a low-quality machine.
Your fitness goal will determine what type of elliptical you’ll buy. Some machines come with pre-programmed workouts that are tailored to help you burn fat. Likewise, if you want to improve your cardiovascular fitness, you may want to go for an elliptical that offers different resistance levels.
Built-in Workout Programs
Some elliptical machines come with pre-set programs, and the high-end models come with custom programs that allow you to tailor your workout specs the way you want them.
You don’t want the whole neighborhood to be aware the minute you turn up your machine, so it’s best to opt for models with the quiet factor.
Is it beginner friendly?
Not all elliptical machines are ideal for beginners. If you are confused about your capability, speak to your personal trainer, before making a choice.
Always look out for an elliptical with an extended warranty, as it might come in handy. Don’t settle for any gym equipment with a warranty of less than a year; a longer warranty is an indication that you are buying a high-quality product.
Read up on the return policy before making payment, because there’s the possibility of you being dissatisfied after using it for maybe a week.
Delivery and Assembly
When you buy gym equipment from some companies, they handle the delivering and assembling of the product, because it can be a tedious one.
So, if this option is available, it’s best you pay for it, so you don’t make a mistake when fixing it up.
Things To Avoid When Buying An Elliptical
It can be fun buying a new gym machine, but it’s easy to get carried away as well.
Certain things you need to keep in mind, so you don’t make the wrong choice;
- Always consider the weight limit
- Your final option shouldn’t be based on only price
- Make sure the warranty will cover return shipping if need be
- Don’t buy a machine bigger than your available space
Is Buying a Used Elliptical Worth It?
First things first, it’s only worth it if you are buying it from a trusted dealer. However, make sure you properly inspect it and test all the features to be sure they are working perfectly.
Where to Buy an Elliptical?
Finding a company that offers the best used elliptical trainers can be quite a lot of work, as many dealers sell inferior gym equipment that doesn’t last long.
However, if you are on the lookout for a sturdy, high-quality elliptical machine, Bestusedgymequipment is your best bet. Not only are you getting quality for a lesser price, but all used gym equipment also comes with free shipping.
Save time, effort, and money with BUGE’s extensive online selection of top-brand elliptical machines for sale. Elevate your fitness journey today!
One of the major reasons why people fall out of their workout programs is because it can be challenging to wake up every morning and head out to the gym, especially when they have a morning shift right after.
Getting an elliptical machine is a great option, especially if you want a cardio machine with low impact.
So, if you are certain you need one in your home gym to challenge you to reach your fitness goals, then go ahead and buy it!
1. Are There Specific Elliptical Models Or Features That Are Better Suited For Users With Joint Or Mobility Issues?
Yes, ellipticals with reduced impact, comfortable pedals, and adjustable stride length will provide a more comfortable workout experience.
2. How Can I Determine If An Elliptical Is Suitable For Multiple Users With Varying Fitness Levels And Goals?
When buying an elliptical machine that’ll be used by multiple individuals, make sure it has a high weight capacity, adjustable resistance, and pre-programmed workouts.
3. What Are The Benefits Of Having Customizable User Profiles On An Elliptical Machine?
Customizable profiles allow individuals to store their workout data and keep track of their progress.
4. Can The Presence Of Built-In Speakers And Media Shelves Enhance The Elliptical Workout Experience?
Yes, but this is peculiar to individuals. Naturally, having access to music and movies can make your workout sessions more interesting.
5. What Is The Best Type Of Elliptical For Beginners?
Generally, ellipticals are beginner friendly, but if you are particular about getting one that won’t put too much strain on your joints, go for a model with low impact design, adjustable resistance, and stability.
6. What Is The Best Type Of Elliptical Machine For Home Use?
This depends on your preference, but typically, compact ellipticals with the quiet factor are ideal for home gyms.
7. What Is The Best Type Of Elliptical Machine For Commercial Gyms?
For gyms, commercial-grade rear, front, and center drive ellipticals are the most popular options.
8. What Is The Best Elliptical Type For A Full Body Workout?
The center drive elliptical is considered the best for a full-body cardio workout, as it targets the muscle groups in the arms, legs, hamstrings, and core.