Looking for the best elliptical trainers? Did you know there are over 30 brands on the market – each with several of their own models?
So there are a lot of choices. How do you find the best one for you?
Finding the best elliptical isn’t really that difficult. Most top quality elliptical trainers share several features that you can look for when shopping to find the best one for you. Here they are:
#1 Proper Stride Length
Stride length is basically the furthest distance between the elliptical pedals. Stride lengths vary from 12″ all the way up to 22″ long. A proper stride length is about 18 – 20″ for most people.
The longer stride more fully works your leg muscles and can give you a more complete calorie-burning workout. Cheaper ellipticals tend to have shorter stride lengths (12 – 16″) so you don’t get the most effective workout.
Some people that are under 5’8″ however feel that a 22″ stride is too long for them. You can even find some ellipticals that offer variable strides that you can adjust to suit your taste.
So for example you might use the 18″ stride but your taller spouse may choose to reset the stride length to 22″. Bottom line? The right stride length can give you a much more comfortable workout and can get you faster results in less time.
#2 Proper Ergonomic Design
This is more a function of price and brand than anything else. For example, many cheaper brands don’t have the proper leg to arm bar ratio so you can end up leaning on the handrails (and not burning as many calories as you think).
Another thing that cheaper models use are stationary foot pedals. While these are ok, they can contribute to strained ankles and toe numbness after long workouts.
Higher end elliptical brands put more into proper ergonomic design. For example they use the appropriate foot pedal to arm bar ratio. Or they give you articulating foot pedals that follow the natural motion of your ankle to give it support throughout the elliptical motion. For the most part you do get what you pay for so look for a quality elliptical brand with proper ergonomic design.
#3 Flywheel Placement
The design of the elliptical you choose will depend on your preference. For example there are rear drive ellipticals with the flywheel in the back, front drive ellipticals with the flywheel in the front and center drive ellipticals with 2 smaller flywheels on either side of the pedals.
These design differences give you a slightly different elliptical feel. For example. front drive ellipticals tend to have a more sloped feel to the motion, similar to stair climbing. Rear drive ellipticals can feel more flat, similar to running. And center drive is a mix of the two. With a center drive you also feel like you’re standing more upright instead of leaning.
#4 Entertainment Options
While you wouldn’t necessarily think that the entertainment options you have with an elliptical would make it the best machine for you, it’s actually very important.
One reason why people don’t exercise is because they get bored. So having an elliptical with an iPod dock, speakers, lots of specialized workouts and tracking tools can keep you using your elliptical for years. It also makes your workout more enjoyable and your time more productive.
So those are 4 key features of the best elliptical trainers. Take your time and do your research. By researching your options, you’re much more likely to find an elliptical trainer that you love – and will use for years to come.
Vienna Miller writes for http://www.EllipticalTrainerReview.com offering the latest elliptical reviews, ratings and money-saving tips.
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