Finding an Elliptical For You

Elliptical trainers are becoming one of the favorites of fitness enthusiasts these days. The main benefit of these machines is that it provides a low-impact cardio workout that simulates running. It also reduces the impact. An elliptical trainer is very suitable for anyone with knee, hip, or lower body injuries because the motion of an elliptical can be helpful protect your joints from damage. Moreover, having an elliptical at home will make your workouts filled with fun. So, it is a perfect choice for home workouts.

The elliptical trainers use cushioned pedals and a drive system. This will create a smooth circular motion similar to walking or jogging. The ability to work out the upper body simultaneously with the lower body is another benefit of these machines. This helps to increase muscle tone and achieves optimal calorie burn.

Thus, on the whole, an elliptical trainer is a must if you take workouts seriously. But you must do some research before buying one for you if you want to have the right gym partner. You should know what you need. Or else, you will get confused with the range of products available in the market. This article is to help you out in this regard. So, let’s start.

What do you need?

Before anything else, you must have a plan on what your requirements are. Only then can you understand the features and specifications you will need for your elliptical trainer. To plan your requirements, there are specific points you must take into consideration. Have a look at them.

1. Budget

This is the most critical point. You must know exactly how much you are planning to pay for the elliptical trainer you need. You may surely find inexpensive products at some store which works. But they may not be long-lasting or sturdy.

In this account, you should also consider your workout needs and body type. For example, if you are a smaller built person buying an elliptical to use weekly once, a small elliptical is sufficient. But if you are a largely built person who needs an elliptical trainer for the daily workout session, you must need a durable and sturdy product that you can completely trust.

It is good to look for a product that fits in your budget as well as satisfies your needs. Don'tbe ready to compromise on the quality of the product. Only a quality product can deliver the output you expect.

2 Workout Space

Unlike other workout equipment, elliptical trainers are not that small. They will take up a bit of space in your room. So, make sure that there is enough space for your machine in your room. An elliptical machine can be four and seven feet in length. And for some machines, the pedals can extend a foot or so behind the mainframe. So, it is advisable to leave about 20 inches of free space on either side.

You should also consider the ceiling height if you are planning to keep the machine on the pavement. This is because there are some ellipticals with a maximum pedal height of a foot or more at the apex. Those who do not have much headroom in your room may hit their head while doing workouts on the ellipticals.

3. Size

To mention an average size, ellipticals are about 6 feet long by 2.5 feet wide. But, this may range in length from 50 to 84 inches. As mentioned earlier, the pedals may extend out beyond the length of the machine while in operation. Another thing is that you will be more elevated than you would on a treadmill. So, measure the space you are planning to keep the elliptical and then choose the machine that will fit the space.

4. Ergonomics

An elliptical constrains you to its movement. You have to check how comfortable you feel while using an elliptical trainer. Make sure you can maintain an upright posture when holding on to the moving handles. It should be easy to reach moving handgrips, and you should not have to force your wrists into an awkward position. Also, make sure that the elliptical path feels comfortable. It will be convenient for most people if the pedals are as close as possible. You should also check the moving handgrips, and fixed frame components do not interfere with your arms, shoulders, or knees.

5. The intensity of the Exercises

Different elliptical trainers have variable resistance. Always the lowest resistance setting is easy to pedal. It is tough to pedal at about 75 percent of the highest setting. This is very useful if you highly have the urge to grow. Whenever you increase or decrease the resistance, you have to feel a significant but incremental change. Some ellipticals come with an adjustable incline. Make sure whether it's automated or requires you to adjust it manually.

6. Technological Features

These days, people go for equipment with more technological features like workout-tracking, social networks, a competitive environment, and access to a library of exercise programs. Most of the ellipticals today have built-in wireless connectivity and browsers or Bluetooth that connect to an app on a mobile device. If you are comfortable to use these features during workouts, you can opt for such products. If not, then it is better to go for the simpler ones. Remember, when the number of features increases, the price increases.

7. Programs

If there are programs in the elliptical trainer, the workouts will be more exciting and less tedious. This will help you to work out more often. But, it is a waste to pay for the programs that you have no interest in. It is good to opt for machines that come with a few basic programs that address specific types of workouts. Custom programs would allow you to create your resistance profile.

8. Safety

You must never forget that elliptical trainers are dangerous for children. They may get pinched or trapped in the moving parts. If you have kids at home, make sure that the little ones can't access the machines. An elliptical trainer with more safety features is a perfect choice.

Know More About Ellipticals

As we have discussed above, Elliptical trainers give you an option to indulge in challenging training sessions that will enhance the oxygenation and fluidity of your blood, which will help a great deal in improving your health. You can reduce the stress and strain on your legs through an elliptical motion. The shape of the elliptical movement mimics the natural path of the ankle, knee, and hip joints during walking, jogging or running. Some of the elliptical trainers are even equipped with articulating foot pedals that conform to your stride. An elliptical trainer provides a weight-bearing exercise, which is essential to inhibit the onset of osteoporosis.

The combined upper and lower body workout makes an elliptical trainer unique. Thus, you get a workout that utilizes the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, chest, back, triceps, and biceps if you use an elliptical trainer.

While choosing an elliptical trainer, you must know the basic features of the equipment. The product you want must have these features to make your workout fruitful. Here are the basic features you must have.

Adjustable Incline

If you need a real cross-trainer, you must check this feature very clearly. If the product provides an option to adjust the incline, it provides a great way to add variety to the routine and focus on muscle groups. This added variety will help you to reduce boredom, enhance motivation, and keep you from reaching an exercise plateau.

Adjustable Incline
Natural Movement

Natural Movement

You should always check how the movement feels while trying an elliptical. Make sure that the movement feels smooth. Try several types if you are confused. This will help you find the perfect one that gives the fluid movement. Try to spend at least 20 minutes in a unit. Make sure that you don’t feel unusual stress on your knees or hips. You should also make sure that you can exercise in a neutral position without reaching for the handrails or bending over.

Smooth Elliptical Motion

It is the elliptical motion that provides the closest simulation to walking and running available without the impact. You must always check for the feel of the motion. Some machines give a kick in their motion where the heel comes up off of the platform. Make sure that you don’t feel any kicks or bounces. Try to find an elliptical that provides an exact elliptical movement pattern for both forward and backward directions.

Smooth Elliptical Motion
Dependent Upper Body Motion

Dependent Upper Body Motion

To add an upper body workout element, some machines have upper body levers. This can help accomplish some upper-body strengthening. Both motions should be comfortable and intuitive if you are testing an upper and lower body elliptical trainer. You don't have to lean to complete the range of motion or otherwise compromise your position. You can find what is more comfortable for you by trying different machines.

Adjustable Resistance

Look for the machines that have a broad range of resistance, which can be electronically adjusted. The interval training sessions should be easily incorporated into your routine. So choose a system that makes resistance changes intuitive and straightforward.

Adjustable Resistance

Forward and Reverse Motions

If you want to add variety and challenge to the workout, there should be capable of moving in a forward or reverse motion. This will also help you to reduce the risk of repetitive use injuries that are common with some treadmill and stair climber users. These days, most of the ellipticals come with this option.

Electronic Features

Ellipticals come with a wide variety of features to attract the buyers ranging from interactivity to displaying the calories burned. You must know what is important to you and how you are going to use it. Look for the features that are both motivating and challenging for you. It has to grow with you as you progress. It should also accommodate the needs of multiple users.

Quiet Operation

The product you choose has to be smooth and soft in operation. If the elliptical is genuinely a well-designed one, it will be relatively silent at all intensity levels.

Heart Rate Interactivity

If you want to measure your progress and intensity, you will have to measure your heart rate. It should be neither too high nor too low. The best ellipticals have heart rate control programs that will adjust your workout variables while measuring your heart rate. This is to make sure that you stay within this range. Such machines will respond according to your desired heart rate throughout the workout.

Preset Programs

Boredom is the reason why many people stop doing regular workouts. If you have a product that provides a myriad of programs, it will keep the user fresh and full of variety. It is also useful if the elliptical you choose can customize a program for your specific needs.

Easy to Use

If there are a lot of buttons or features on the machine, people get frustrated. This will be very confusing for regular exercises. The product should be simple. Make sure that it doesn’t take 2 to 3 steps to launch a program. Also, the elliptical you choose should have a manual or a quick start mode, which requires only 1 or 2 pushes to start with.


You will stay motivated and experience success in reaching your goals if your elliptical can add variety and challenge to your routine. If there are minor tweaks to one or more of these variables, it will keep your routine fresh and challenging.

Safety Features

The product you choose should have safety measures that will keep the product safe when not in use. Look for features like locking facility to keep the pedals from moving or the machine from being started.


It is always good to choose a maintenance-free product.


The elliptical you buy is a long-term investment. So, when you use it regularly, it will require some service at some point. Good quality ellipticals offer a lifetime warranty on the frame. You should also look for a guarantee that provides for at least one year of labor and a minimum of 1 year's coverage on parts. Make sure that your warranty includes electronics and other vital components.

Choosing a Home Use Elliptical?

Choosing an elliptical trainer for home is more challenging. If you do not pick the right one, your money is wasted without use. If you do some research, it will help you in finding your perfect workout partner. Here are some points to consider.

Heavier Flywheel

The heavier the flywheel of the machine, the smoother the ride you’ll get. It also means that the machine will provide you with more stability. While using a cheaper model, you will have to go through the starts and jumps. You can avoid this if you choose one with a heavier flywheel. If the movement of the machine is smoother, there will be less stress on your joints when you use the machine. Thus, you will be able to burn more calories without feeling too tired.

Large Pivoting Foot Pedals

The pivoting foot pedals are essential for ellipticals as they provide support to the elliptical motion while you exercise. If the pivoting foot pedals are larger, there will be more support for your feet during your exercises. Thus, you’ll be able to go longer and burn more calories with less effort. Large pivoting foot pedals also help in reducing toe numbness.

Large Pivoting Foot Pedals

Workout Options

There are many built-in workouts in most of the ellipticals today. According to the programs, these workouts will change the resistance or incline automatically for you. Some ellipticals will let you download exercises from the internet. This can add some challenges to your routine. Some ellipticals record your workout stats and upload them to the internet. Thus you can see your progress over time. There are even machines that feature iPod docks along with speakers. You can have more fun in your workout by listening to your favorite tracks.

Backlit LCD Console

It is best to buy a machine that has a backlit LCD console. This will make it easier for you to view your workout stats. Cheaper machines provide non-backlit consoles. But it will be difficult to read in these consoles if there is no proper lighting. Backlit LCD Console makes your workouts smoother.


There is an Incline or Ramp feature in some of the ellipticals for changing the slope of the elliptical pathway. You can increase the challenge for yourself and burn more calories during the workout by changing the incline. This will also help in training the different muscle groups and gives you a more effective workout overall. The incline feature comes in manual or in power mode.


Final Thoughts

Choosing the right equipment is very important to get the best results from the workouts, especially at home. Having an elliptical at home will not help you in achieving your goals. For that, you will have to choose the one that will satisfy your needs. So choose wisely.