Exercising on elliptical trainers has become popular because it’s easier on your knees and joints than running. Elliptical training is a low-impact activity, whereas running is high impact. This type of exercise is a combination of cross-country skiing, stair climbing, and running. In order to ensure you’re satisfied with the elliptical cross trainer you buy, you must know what’s essential, what’s not essential, and how to test drive an elliptical, all of which is explained in the ten tips below.
10 Tips on How to Find the Right Elliptical Cross Trainer to Buy
1. Consult with the Other Members of Your Household
Before you browse your options in elliptical cross trainers, you should ask your family members who are living with you if they would be interested in using the machine. It’s usually better to buy one machine that both of you can use than two different trainers. If you plan on buying a machine to share with someone else, then consider their needs as well as your own to find an elliptical cross trainer that works for everyone who will be using it.
2. Determine Whether or Not You’re Willing to Assemble the Elliptical Cross Trainer
Ask yourself how willing you are to assemble the elliptical cross trainer. Can someone in your household assemble it for you? If you have no way of assembling it and don’t want to pay someone to assemble it, then you’ll have to only look at elliptical cross trainers that you don’t have to put together.
3. Always Test Drive the Equipment Before Buying
Even if you plan on purchasing the elliptical trainer online, you should always test it first. You can likely find a gym, fitness center, or hotel that has the brand and model that you’re considering buying. Put on a pair of comfortable clothes and shoes and test the trainer for longer than five minutes. Any machine can feel comfortable during the first five minutes. You should treat it as an actual workout to get the most accurate idea of whether or not the equipment is right for you. Test each elliptical you’re considering buying for at least 20 minutes.
4. Check for Smooth Motion
While test driving the equipment, you should check for smooth motion. You don’t want an elliptical that makes you feel a bounce or kick in your motion. A good elliptical trainer provides smooth motion that’s as close to walking and running as possible. Remember to check how smooth the backward direction is too. Forward movements might be smooth, but that doesn’t necessarily mean backward motions are.
5. The Machine Should Be Comfortable to Use
When it comes to finding the right elliptical cross trainer, “no pain no gain” doesn’t apply. For your health, it should be comfortable to use. Never sacrifice your comfort of using the machine for other features. Your knees and hips shouldn’t hurt or feel unusual stress from using the elliptical. You should also be able to comfortably maintain proper form while exercising on the machine. No bending over or reaching for the handrails.
6. Try Out the Body Levers if the Elliptical Trainer Has Them
Some elliptical cross trainers come with upper body levers or lower body levers. If you do strength training, these features aren’t necessary for an elliptical. You may want to consider buying a machine with upper or lower body levers if you would like the ability to get strength training in while on the machine. While testing the elliptical cross trainer, you should ensure the body levers are comfortable and intuitive to use. You shouldn’t have to alter your form or lean to use them.
7. Make Sure the Elliptical Has an Adjustable Incline
An adjustable incline is necessary for an elliptical trainer to prevent yourself from reaching a plateau. It also enables you to add variety to your routines to avoid becoming bored. Adjusting the incline causes different muscle groups to be targeted, another reason why you should buy an elliptical with an adjustable incline. You can target different muscle groups to truly get the most out of your fitness machine.
8. The Resistance Should Be Easy to Adjust
While testing an elliptical, you should determine how easy it is to change the resistance. This matters for when you want to incorporate interval training sessions into your routine. You’ll become frustrated if the resistance isn’t easy to change during interval training workouts.
9. Consider Which Extra Features are Most Important to You
Ellipticals may come with added features, such as pre-set training programs, custom courses, heart rate interactivity, and calories burned monitor. Although these features aren’t necessary for a cross trainer, you may find that one or more of them are helpful to you. Some of these features can motivate you to keep up with your workouts. Pre-set training programs, for example, are ideal for beginners because it prevents them from not using the machine over not knowing what to do. Just select the training program and work out.
10. Buy an Elliptical Cross Trainer That Comes with a Warranty
An elliptical cross trainer is a large purchase to make, so you should only buy one that comes with a warranty. Most of the high-quality ellipticals come with a warranty. Some machines provide a lifetime warranty on the frame. Others limit the warranty to 1-3 years. Make sure you understand the terms of the warranty on the fitness machine before buying it.
It’s important to know what to look for in an elliptical cross trainer so that you don’t injure yourself while working out or lose motivation. An adjustable incline, smooth motion, easily adjustable resistance, and a warranty are absolutely necessary features. Always test drive an elliptical trainer before buying it to test how comfortable it is. Comfort is important for maintaining proper form and avoiding injury. Also, consider the benefits the non-essential features may provide for you. If you know you’d feel motivated by seeing how many calories you burned, then it’s worth buying an elliptical trainer that tracks how many calories you’ve burned.
Use the above ten tips to make sure you buy the elliptical cross-trainer that’s right for you. It should be a machine that you’ll regularly use to stay fit and healthy. If it has certain problems like not being comfortable to use, you’ll eventually stop using it.