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Best Elliptical Buying Guide: Find the Perfect Elliptical for You

Elliptical trainers are one of the most popular workout machines that are available around. Simulating walking, running or stair climbing, this machine helps people to burn calorie, lose fat and come in shape with ultimate fitness. It is even recommended to those who have suffered injuries and unable to do exercises that involve having an impact on the body. As the feet never leave the pedal in elliptical training, there is almost no risk of injuries caused by impact. Working on both the upper body part and the lower makes this machine even more accessible than many of other machines that have been in use.

best elliptical machineHaving an elliptical at home brings convenience to those who love physical training but cannot manage to go to the gym regularly. As most elliptical machines do not take up too much space, the user can remain worry-free. There are reliable elliptical machines, ranging from $200 to $2000 and above. But the features that cause the high price of elite ellipticals may not be required by those who just want to lose some body fat at home. For this reason, before buying ellipticals, one should know about the different types available in the market and various features they offer. Only then can you narrow down your search on ellipticals and find the one that suits you best.

Types of Ellipticals

  • Featuring Heart Rate Programs

Heart rate programs acknowledge the targeted heart rate and enable the user to work out according to that parameter. In these machines, heart rate program has the control of the resistance of the device and increase or decrease the intensity as per heart rate conditions. If the heart rate is below that target level, the machine will increase the intensity and if the heart rate is above the expected level, it will be decreased. These machines will track the performance of the heart to provide this facility. Heart performance is usually monitored with the sensor of the chest-strap. This type of machine facilitates those who need advice on training and relies more on the machines’ decision.

  • Without Hear Rate Programs

These machines do not take control of the intensity level of the workout on the basis of the performance of the heart. But, some of these machines do have a chest-strap. This strap shows the condition of the heart, monitors the heart rate and can indicate at best some conditions ‘Poor’, ‘Moderate’ or ‘Good’. People who have knowledge of their workout pattern and efficient in understanding the heart rate can use this kind of machines which cost much less than the former category.

Configuration Specific Choice

  • Front-Drive

In this kind of machine, the drive wheel is placed at the front of the elliptical contained in a large housing. Usually, the pedals are supported on the wheels which glide on a workout track. This type of machine is prone to created vibration and noise. The amount of noise and vibration will depend on the rollers’ quality. Normally, this set up takes up moderate space.

Best Elliptical

  • Center-Drive

Machines of this kind have the drive wheel at the center. Instead of being supported on wheels the pedals here roll on the crankshaft and cylindrical rollers. When in use, pedal arms are extended here beyond the machine body. For that, though this setup takes less floor space while idle, the total area taken, in the workout time is quite the same as other configurations.

  • Rear-Drive

Rear-Drive machines house the wheel at the rear end of the elliptical. The housing is small in size. Pedals have track-and-roller setup. Between the moving handgrips and the driving wheel, pedals are suspended on the long pedal arms. These machines usually are the quietest and provide a smoother ride than other. The only disadvantage of this kind of machine is, it takes too much space because of its long design.

Things To Consider And Contemplate Before Buying

  • Online Research

EllipticalResearching online before buying will give you a fair idea on the market of elliptical machines. Different companies manufacture different kinds of machines for various purposes. Though many consumer reviews are done by the manufacturer itself, a lot of honest reviews are available by the real users that will help you to decide on your pick. Official websites and Facebook pages will give you a lot of information on the company’s service and public image. Often the brands, best known for commercial equipment, also make excellent products for the home.

  • Pin Down Your Goals:

What you expect from the machine is the final parameter that you should follow carefully. Though new products are coming every day on the market, only some of those are the ones you actually need. Do not get flattered by all the tech-heavy features, but focus on those features that you need.  It will help you to keep your purchase budget friendly.

  • Decide the Usage of the Product:

When an elliptical is bought for a home, it is more likely that it will not be used by only one person. If there are old people in the house who would use the elliptical, ease of utilization and motion fluidity will be contributing factors that one should think about.

  • Adjustable Incline:

This feature is always an advantage to benefit the whole body. When the incline varies, the focus on the muscle groups varies as well and different portions of the body get worked out in this process. It also removes boredom of the training, new goals come forward, and motivation of completing the new task takes the lead.

  • Natural Movement:

The elliptical with a natural movement will not cause body any pain or discomfort even in long sessions. So, spend 20-25 minutes on the elliptical. If you feel any unnatural stress on the hips or the knees, this will not be your pick. The perfect elliptical will let you work out for a longer period of time, and you will be able to continue exercise while retaining a neutral position without holding the handrails.

  • Smooth Elliptical motion:

Elliptical MachineThe signature feature of an elliptical is the simulation of walking or running without having the impact. Here, the fluidity of the movement is critical. If you feel a ‘kick’ while performing the workout, and your heel comes off the platform, this machine is not doing what it has promised. You have to find the right one that allows having smooth forward and backward movement pattern.

  • Beneficial Upper Body Emphasis:

To add an extra effort on working out the shape of the upper body part, some machines provide upper-body levers. Those who are not doing strength training, upper-body motion can help them accomplishing some strengthening on the upper-body portion. While testing an elliptical trainer capable of doing the upper and lower body strengthening, you have to ensure the smooth and comfortable flow of both motions. Leaning to complete the action means the machine is compromising your optimum position. So, do test different machines to find the suitable one for you.

  • Motion In Forwarding And Reverse

One of the most beneficial features of the elliptical is its capability to run both in forward and reverse motion. This feature gives variety from time to time and adds challenge when boredom comes forth. The chances of repetitive workout injuries also get to a lesser level in this way.

  • Adjustable Resistance

The ability to change the range of resistance will give you the chance of bringing more challenge to the workout. To keep doing intuitive and seamless training sessions facilitated with the adjustable resistance, ensure the availability of electronically changeable resistance system.

  • Silent Operation

A high-quality elliptical trainer will run in a noiseless state as much as possible. So, look for an elliptical that gives the smooth feel while in use.

  • Features That Come To Use

Elliptical has a wide range of features depending on different models. Starting from very basic workout features, there can be a heart-beat sensor, motion tracking sensor for adjusting the intensity, indicators, meters, bells and whistles to notify different states and much more. In these machines of basic to the elite class, you must understand the usage requirement in your daily life. So, rather than buying something fancy spending a lot of money, you should focus on your essential features.

  • From Where To Purchase

In most of the cases, elliptical machines can be purchased through manufacturer’s website. Other than that, there are third-party websites, retail stores and discount stores.  The reality is, the fitness retailers are the best choice in this matter whereas discount stores may hand you over a product of lesser quality.

  • Specialty Fitness Retailers

The local retailers who specialize in fitness equipment may often bring you the best offers and services. Moreover, they usually have trained staffs to help you in assembling the machine and make you familiar with its use. If a specialty fitness retailer carries a specific brand, they may offer you financing solution as well as per their company policy.

  • Test The Machine To Ensure Its Use

Before making a purchase online, make sure that you check the product somewhere through a friend, or known contact in a house, gym, hotel or spa. Usually using a product for 5 minutes is enough to understand your compatibility with it. Wear comfortable workout clothes and jogging shoes when you go to product testing. And remember, try to exact on your budget range and product requirement. It is not really nice of you to go to a store, engage their staffs for a longer period of time in showing you the product and go someplace else to buy a cheaper one.

  • Maintenance Issues

Maintenance is always a prime factor in fitness products. Handling a machine in a wrong way may cause you lose the product before you make good use of it. So, try to buy something simple that can easily be maintained by you, can be torn down and be assembled again without any hassle.

  • Ensure the Safety Features

In a family home, it is always important to ensure the safety features of a fitness machine, especially if that family has any kid. Safety features that prevent the machine from being started unwantedly or retain the pedals from rotating when not in use are the signs of a good machine for a family home.

  • Warranty

While buying an elliptical machine, the warranty provided by the manufacturer is an important aspect to check. In most of the cases, the frame has a lifetime warranty. In cases of the other components, labor warranty for 1 year and coverage of different parts of 1-3 years is standard.  Before buying, ask your retailer which parts are covered by the warranty. Ensuring this will save you from a lot of hassle in the long run.

Products Of Different Price Ranges:

Products come with different price tags varying on the features that they provide. Research well on the products before you buy and decide what you need and what you can get within your affordable price range. Here follows the usual price range of various types of elliptical machines that we consider worth mentioning-

  • Basic

XTERRA Fitness FS5.9e Elliptical Trainer

Exerpeutic 1000Xl Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical with Pulse

  • Moderate

Nautilus E614 Elliptical

Proform 14.0 CE Elliptical

  • Elite

Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine

ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer

With the minimum impact possible, elliptical machines are one of the best investments in your fitness regime that can take you to a level of fitness you only dreamt before. But machines are only as good as the users. So, it will be up to you to make the best of it. Once bought, the regular use of the elliptical machine will start giving visible result after the first week. But do not get disheartened if it takes more time, for every system takes some time to settle in. Meanwhile just enjoy the ride and feel fresh after burning calories.

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