Not everyone enjoys going to their local gym to work out, especially if you have a busy schedule or feel uncomfortable exercising around other people. Elliptical machines are a great way to get in shape and toned from the comfort of your own home. Elliptical trainers haven't been around as long as treadmills, but are quickly becoming the exercise machine of choice, thanks to its low-impact approach.
You can find reviews and information about the best elliptical machines available such as the ProForm 19.0 RE, the ProForm 1030 E and the NordicTrack Elite 12.7. You can also find informative articles about elliptical bikes.
Whether your goal is to lose weight, firm muscles, increase endurance or just generally get fit and look good, elliptical trainers can help. Using an elliptical trainer for exercise offers a powerful cardiovascular workout that is easier on the joints and lower back than pounding the pavement while running. It also works just as well for beginners as seasoned athletes. It can even be used by people who have sustained prior injuries, despite the fact that it is a weight-bearing form of exercise. Some key features to look for in the best elliptical machines are:
We reviewed each elliptical trainer's design, both rear- and front-drive models. The most important consideration is how much weight the elliptical machine can hold. Generally speaking, people wanting to purchase exercise equipment are needing to lose weight, so be sure to choose a model that can support your starting weight.
It is also important to look at the stride length, especially if you are over 6 feet tall or under 5 1/2 feet tall. The average stride length is 20 inches, but you may need a longer or shorter adjustment depending on your height.
The range of resistance levels and incline are also important to consider, depending on how hard you want to exercise. These features allow you to increase the toughness of your workouts. Flywheel weight is an important factor to the smoothness of the gliding action. The heavier the flywheel, in comparison to your weight and strength, the smoother your steps will feel.
Preset workouts make it easier for you to choose a program and get started. We compared how many preset programs each elliptical machine comes with and the variety of workouts. It's important if you can increase or reduce the incline or resistance automatically while you work out. The best elliptical trainers offer more presets. Look for models with 20 or 30 presets if you get bored easily with routines. If you have a focus, such as losing weight, building strength or endurance, look for elliptical bikes that have Fat Burner, Strength or Cross Training programs.
Every elliptical machine monitors your progress, including distance, estimated calories burned, workout duration and your heart rate. The best machines are compatible with online apps that help track your progress, heart rate and more. If your heart rate is important to your workout plan, look for an elliptical that is compatible with a chest strap to allow your elliptical bike to monitor your heart rate continuously.
We reviewed the extras that come with each elliptical and found that the best elliptical machines included water bottle holders, cooling fans, and speakers and MP3 player jacks. Other extras to look for include book or tablet holders and if you can connect to your home wireless network. These built-in accessories allow you to enjoy your routine without succumbing to boredom.
Warranty & Support
Since elliptical trainers are generally a sizable investment, it is important to have a good warranty in case any problems arise. We looked at the length of the warranties each company offers for the frame, parts and labor. The best elliptical trainers come with a lifetime warranty on the frame, at least 3 years on parts and 1 year for labor. Company support comes in handy for things such as assembly questions (if you do it yourself) and getting answers to any problems that might arise.
Getting in shape takes time, dedication and tenacity. Why be uncomfortable or stressed at a gym when you can get fit at home with an elliptical machine? Use our research criteria to find the best elliptical machine for your needs and establish a regular exercise routine to get in shape in the comfort of your own home with the schedule you choose.