Some people find elliptical workouts boring and ineffective. However, an elliptical is an effective cardiovascular workout, and can help burn calories and improve your overall fitness and aerobic capacity. Ellipticals are found in almost every gym, and are a great way to introduce yourself into a fitness regime.
If you’re new to exercise and working out, an elliptical machine features a low pedal height and a natural standing position that makes it very easy for even the most beginner gym goers to get started. Users love the impressive cardiovascular workout an elliptical delivers without the impact on your joints and low back.
Many people are even choosing to put an elliptical in their home gym for the best results. We have compiled a list of the best ellipticals, so you don’t have to. Ellipticals are a highly effective cross training activity that is great for anyone from beginning exercisers to elite athletes.
Elliptical trainers are excellent ways to burn calories, plus they mimic the movement we do naturally such as walking and running. If you are in the market for an elliptical it is important to consider a few factors before you make your decision.
What Are The Benefits Of An Elliptical?
There are many benefits of using an elliptical machine over other cardiovascular machines. In terms of fat loss and increased overall fitness a recent study found that people using a stair climber, treadmill, and elliptical at similar intensities experienced similar changes during a 12 week fitness program.
Low Impact Workout
An elliptical machine allows you to simulate a running motion without straining your joints like on a treadmill. If you find that your knees or hips bother you from running, try doing your cardio on an elliptical instead. An elliptical machine in is a good workout for people of all ages and fitness levels.
If you have been out of working out, an elliptical is an easy way to get back into working out. It is a great tool for people who are also just beginning to workout do so safely.
Ability To Cross Train
Most machines now are designed with moveable handles, which allow you to exercise the lower and upper parts of your body at the same time. This helps you get a full body workout with just one machine. You can work out your entire body in less than 30 minutes with an elliptical machine. An elliptical is great for people who are looking to get a high intensity workout in a short amount of time.
An Elliptical Works Unique Muscles
The ability to work in reverse on an elliptical can activate different muscle groups than traditional cardiovascular machines. An elliptical can put more emphasis on your quads and offer an adjustable workout.
Pedaling in reverse works the calves and hamstrings more than the forward motion.
Studies have shown that people are actually working harder than they perceive on an elliptical machine. The subjects underestimated the output based on their heart rate. An elliptical can burn the same amount of calories with less effort. For optimal fat loss, high intensity interval training should be implemented when using an elliptical.
When multitasking is your only option, an elliptical is a great way to read while you are working out. Studies have proven that it is much easier to read or do other work while on an elliptical than on a treadmill or stairmaster.
Low Energy Workout
For the days that you don’t have a lot of extra energy, the elliptical is a great way to get a low intensity but effective workout. You are able to adjust the intensity, so you can choose the level you want to work out at. If you are fatigued and need to coast, an elliptical allows you to easily slow down and coast through a workout.
Add On To Other Workout
An elliptical is a great way to add onto an existing workout program. If you are feeling like your normal workout is not fully satisfying you, you are able to simply jump on an elliptical to add more exercise to your workout.
Riding an elliptical machine is kind of like riding a bike. It is a natural way for the body to move. If you have sprained your body with other workouts, the elliptical may be a good choice for you.
Disadvantages Of An Elliptical
While there are some drawbacks to owning an elliptical machine, the benefits outweigh the negatives when it comes to these amazing machines.
On an elliptical you are unable to change the incline or the speed like you are on a treadmill. This can lead to variation in intensity and a less dynamic workout.
We suggest mixing up your elliptical training session with backward and forward workouts, as well as alternating the difficulty on the elliptical machine. This will provide you with the most dynamic elliptical workout possible.
Because you don’t have to pick up your feet during this exercise, sometimes your feet can get numb the longer you workout on an elliptical machine. To avoid this, we suggest moving your toes or picking up your feet during the workout.
An elliptical is such a great workout, but some people complain of their legs burning during the workout. You may find this in your quads the first couple times you work out. We suggest building up some endurance during your workouts, and that will subside.
Choose The Elliptical That’s Best For You
These machines can be expensive, if you are looking to purchase the best elliptical machine it is going to cost you. Many people choose to bring the gym experience into their home, as it makes it easier to exercise. High end ellipticals can cost upwards of two thousand dollars, but you can get a great machine for less than half of that price. Most commonly, The number of features also tends to increase with the price of the machine.
Consider Your Goals
Your Goals are very important when purchasing a new exercise machine. If you have fitness goals that do not involve cardiovascular work, an elliptical machine may not be for you. If you or your family is looking for a low impact exercise machine an elliptical may be for you. You want to choose the machine that is going to work best for you, so consider not only your goals but what you are likely to do with the machine and how frequently you will use it. You want to ensure that you’ll get a machine that does what you want and serves your needs.
If your family is full of runners, an elliptical is a great way to have a non invasive and no impact workout. It is a perfect exercise for runners because the elliptical compliments running so well. The elliptical is a great add-on to any workout program, as well as a great standalone exercise.
The quality of machine you buy will largely depend on how intense your goals are. If you want to use your elliptical frequently and consistently, you will want to buy a higher end model that will last long and remain durable. If you are planning to use it regularly but not rigorously, you will be able to purchase a machine more suited for these needs.
Choose The Right Size For Your Needs
Typically, the more expensive frames are larger and heavier. If you have a small space for your machine, you will need to purchase a smaller sized frame. Ellipticals average around 6 feet long, by 2.5 feet wide. If you are a taller or larger person, you will need to purchase a larger machine. When measuring your space, you need to make sure that you leave a minimum of 25 inches of clear space on each side of the elliptical for safety.
Generally when the machine has more added features, the more expensive it is. Some machines allow you to connect to wifi, or allow you to connect to your mobile device via bluetooth. If you are looking to save money, make sure that you are looking at machines that only have the features you need.
If you do not think you will be using the Wifi or Bluetooth features , it would be beneficial for you to purchase a simpler machine. However, if you think that you would really like being able to connect to your device than a more advanced machine may be for you.
One of the best part about ellipticals is the wide range of models that you can select from. There is a machine for every price range, and every level of exerciser.
Different machines have different functionalities. These features can make your everyday exercise routine more productive and entertaining.
If you have children or small babies in your home it is important to purchase a machine with safety features. While it is crucial to lock the door and keep children away from a dangerous machine, we all know accidents happen.
Machines with a Pedal Arm Safety Pin are great for ensuring children to not get hurt. This is a mechanical device that can prevent the elliptical from being pedaled or increase pedaling resistance.
Software Lockout is also a great option to prevent children from getting harmed. A software feature that disables the keypad or display to make the machine less attractive to curious children. The greatest machines are ones that help keep children safe.
It is important to choose a machine that allows you to select different levels of intensity. Exercise programs can make a workout more entertaining or less boring, which may in fact get you on the machine more.
The best machines remember your favourite workouts, and allow you to create your own custom course.
There are two main types of machines. There are ellipticals with heart rate monitoring, and ones without.
Machines with heart rate programs have the capability to adjust the resistance of a machine based on a target heart rate. The machine can also decrease the intensity of the workout if you are below the target you have set for yourself. Elliptical machines with heart rate monitors are the best for people who need more direction in their fitness program and need constant monitoring.
Ellipticals without heart rate monitors are not equipped to adjust the intensity. These are the best types of machines for people who have a background knowledge in fitness and know what their target heart rate should be to achieve their fitness goals.
Some machines have an adjustable stride length. Whether or not the model you are considering does, be sure to find a stride length that feels right for you. If you have a stride length that is not right for you, ensure that you look for one that fits your body perfectly.
Space and Design
Depending on the brand of machine you buy, there are variations in the design. Some trainers come with wheels or a foldable design, while other ellipticals have neither.
Typically, if the flywheel of a machine is located on in the back, the machine is usually not compact or easy to store. Models of machines that feature flywheels in the front are usually very easy to store and transport, and some brands even feature a foldable design for maximum convenience
Front drive design is the most widely used, typically found in less expensive, more compact models, theses machines work to mimic the feel of a stair climber. Rear drive designed models can be found in more expensive, high end models, and they tend to mimic the feel of walking or jogging.
Some trainers come with advanced entertainment options, like apple or android compatibility, internet connection, or built in speakers. More inexpensive trainers will feature screens around 6 inches on average, whereas more elite trainers feature LCD screens around 10 inches or more.
If you are looking for advanced options such as those, you will need to purchase a more elite trainer. If you are looking for a standard machine, you can expect a standard console as well.
Ensure that your future machine has a low pedal height, so it is comfortable to get on and off. You also want your machine to have a natural stride that will work with your anatomy and range of motion. This will ensure that your exercising is easier, and you have a short recovery time.
Before You Buy Consider The Following
While we know that making a large purchase is exciting, it can also be scary. To avoid buyer’s remorse make sure you take the following steps into consideration before pulling the trigger.
Budget: Make sure that you only purchase something you can afford. Do not buy a machine that is way out of your budget .
Space: Measure the space where you want your machine to go before you purchase your elliptical, you also want to ensure that your doorframe is large enough to accommodate the delivery of your machine
Delivery: Inquire about the delivery price before purchasing.
Warranty: Before making a large purchase of any kind, make sure that the company offers an appropriate warranty. For trainers at a higher price point, you should accept a warranty of at last 3 years on parts and 1 year on labor, but for less expensive trainers expect that you will get a shorter warranty.
Return Policy: Make sure that you are able to return this machine if it does not work for you.
Maintenance. Look for a product that is maintenance-free. A well-designed unit takes normal wear and into account so you can focus on exercising. If you purchase from a retail store you also need to ask if the dealer where you are purchasing from has their own service staff who are trained and authorized by the manufacturer to service your equipment.
Ask yourself, “How often will I use the elliptical trainer?” If you’re committed to long, frequent and strenuous workout sessions, it pays to invest in a machine with the highest quality and the most durable parts to maximize your investment.
Stable Machine: Do not buy a machine that feels unstable. A quality machine will provide a smooth, natural motion that will last for a long time
Stowable: You need to decide whether or not you would like to be able to stow your machine. Some machines allow you to store the device while not in use.
What are the Best Elliptical “Must Haves”
Natural Movement Of Machine: If the machine feels rigid and not fluid while you operate it, it is probably not the best elliptical for you. You should not feel any unusual stress on your knees or hips while you operate a machine.
The Ability To Go Forward And Backward: The best units allow users to move in a forward or reverse motion. This allows variety and challenge to your daily workout regime. When you go backwards on an elliptical it targets different muscles than if you were to go forward.
Quiet and Smooth: The greatest machines are not loud and obtrusive, they operate quietly and smoothly for maximum functionality. A well designed machine should stay quiet at all levels of operation and intensity levels.
Adjustable Resistance: A Good elliptical will have a wide range of resistance that can be adjusted electronically. Look for a system that makes resistance changes simple so that interval training sessions can be easily incorporated into your daily workout routine.
Adjustable Incline: The ability to adjust the incline helps the machine to work different muscle groups and provides a great way to add variety to your daily workout routine. This is the feature that makes an elliptical a true cross trainer.
What is the Best Elliptical For Home Use ?
If you are purchasing an elliptical for home use, you need to do your research thoroughly before you begin. Home ellipticals differ from regular machines in many ways.
A Heavy Flywheel: when looking for a home use machine, it is important to look for one with a heavy flywheel. In most machines, the heavier the flywheel, the smoother the motion of the machine. Try and look for one with a flywheel that weighs over 25lbs or more.
Quiet Braking: Almost all Elliptical machines now use magnetic braking for resistance. This provides a quiet, smooth braking function. In your home gym, you want to ensure that the machine you purchase has the most quiet braking possible. The elliptical machine should adjust smoothly and quietly between resistance levels, with no loud noise.
Easy-to-use controls: The resistance and incline of a machine should be should be easy to control from the console of the elliptical . In a perfect world, you should not have to stop the workout to make adjustments.
What Do You Need To Exercise On An Elliptical?
The accessories you need with your elliptical is completely optional, but we suggest the following
Water : it is important to stay hydrated while working out
Towel: For your own comfort, a towel is great for wiping away sweat, and wiping down your machine.
Comfortable Clothing: While working out it is important to wear comfortable, moisture wicking clothing. This helps by preventing sweat from being trapped between your clothing and your body.
Sturdy Shoes: You need comfortable, exercise friendly shoes if you are going to start a workout regime. This is for your own safety, working out in bare feet or in ill-suited shoes can be extremely dangerous.
How To Buy Your Perfect Elliptical
There is nothing worse than having to return something. Make sure that you double check your measurements and that you fully research the product you are buying before you pull the trigger. Double-check manufacturer’s website for the most accurate information about the machine. If you still have questions, call them for clarification.
Don’t buy the first machine you see, take the time to look over our site and read the reviews we have provided about purchasing the best elliptical. We are committed to the health of your family, and we can provide you with the best elliptical possible!
Buying the best elliptical is the greatest way to introduce your self into a workout regime.