An elliptical machine is a special kind of fitness training machine in stationary form. It is generally used for the purpose of stimulating stair climbing, running, or walking without the need to exert too much pressure and stress to the joints. By using an elliptical, impact injuries are significantly reduced. In this regard, people who have injuries can make use of this machine because of their less impact characteristic. Additionally, an elliptical machine is also an excellent workout machine which is specially designed for cardiovascular exercises. It has light, moderate, to high intensity levels for the resistance and exercises which are preferred by a particular user.
Elliptical Buying Guide: Must Have
When buying an elliptical workout device, it really pays to know the important considerations in the first place. These important things include the must haves or any parts, features, and characteristics which are meant to be found in a particular elliptical. Here they are:
Stride Length. The stride length of an elliptical machine spells out the capability or potential of the elliptical to provide the user with a more effective and convenient way to do their exercise of it. Take note that not all elliptical machines are created the same so it pays to look for the one that comes with a stride length which best fits your desire and personal preference. While there are elliptical machines with only 16 inches to 18 inches stride length, there are also those that have 20 inches to 22 inches length. By knowing the stride length of the machine, you will be able to get the one that will give you what you truly expect and want in a particular type of elliptical device.
Smoothness. Working out over an elliptical machine should never be that rough. This means, you have to make sure that the machine should come with a smooth and fluid like operation and performance. Anything that’s smooth and subtle is good for the senses. Doing your exercise on a smooth-performing elliptical machine will definitely enhance your overall performance. To detect the smoothness, you have to feel the motion of the machine yourself. Make sure that there isn’t any “kick” or “bounce” as you do your workout. The machine should offer a normal pattern of both forward and backward directions.
Noise Level. Who would want to exercise on a machine that gives out an annoying sound? For sure, this would make you think you are in danger as you perform over it. Any squeaking or rickety sound coming from the machine should be detected as early as possible. As much as possible, you should look for an elliptical machine that operates fluidly, smoothly, and quietly. Take note that a perfect type of elliptical machine should never create any annoying sounds at all points or levels of intensity.
Forward & Reverse Motions. First of all, you need to know that the main objective of the elliptical machine is to provide you with an exercise routine with forward and reverse motions all throughout. These motions are significant because they add the challenge and variety to your workout especially when they are adjusted to certain intensity levels. By having this kind of feature, repetitive use injuries are avoided significantly. These are injuries which are commonly attributed to some types of elliptical machines out there. Many of the elliptical machines today now have this forward and reverse motion feature.
Fix/Moving Handlebar. When buying an elliptical machine, it also pays to check the handlebar. Is it fixed or does it offer a moving handlebar? It’s good to know from the start of your shopping that an elliptical machine with a movable handlebar is much better than one with a fixed handlebar. This is true in the sense that a movable handlebar gives the user the opportunity to adjust his desired position as he performs his workout, giving a great deal of workout all throughout. Anyway, it is better to have fixed and moving handlebar.
Flywheel Weight. Another important consideration you need to consider when buying an elliptical fitness machine is the weight of the flywheel. Would you prefer to have the lightweight or the heavier one? Take note that the weight of the flywheel equates to the smoothness of the machine operation. The heavier the flywheel is the more chances for you to enjoy an extremely smooth feel during your workout performance. Some elliptical brands and models come with a 29-pound flywheel to give that amazing feel during a workout performance.
Performance Tracking Software. The addition of this kind of feature on a particular elliptical device is very essential in keeping you motivated during your workout performance. This software aims to show the progress of your workout (usually one month tracking), thus allowing you to see whether you should keep on striving more or not any longer. If the tracking device shows a low reading then this will definitely motivate you to adjust your performance by adjusting the intensity and resistance of the machine at the same time. A performance tracking device should be found on an elliptical machine to make it worth the price you have to pay and to keep you motivated all the times.
Max User Weight Capacity. There are times that elliptical machines become damaged in just a short period of time because the user did not determine the maximum weight which should be carried by the machine in the first place. So in order for you to get rid of this occurrence on your machine, it really pays to check its maximum weight requirement before you buy it. If you want the machine to be used by any member of the family then this gives you the idea about what particular elliptical device you should get. It would be a safe and a bright idea to look for an elliptical machine with a maximum limit that can suit the heaviest person.
Resistance Level. When buying an elliptical machine, you need to know if the unit comes with a power incline or power adjust feature. If the machine has it then this is going to be a good choice for you. Remember that a machine with a power incline can give you the opportunity to adjust its resistance level along the way. Always remember that additional variable positions and resistance allow you to come up with a diverse and a challenging workout with just a touch of a button.
Workout Program. Does the elliptical machine you are eyeing on offer a workout program? This is quite important in the sense that every person can have the opportunity to adjust the machine at certain levels which are perfect for what he truly prefers or desires. A workout program can either be pre-set or customized. Preset means the default program the machine offers upon starting it on. On the other hand, the custom program allows a user to customize or personalize the kind of workout using the machine. With this feature, you will surely enjoy the benefits of doing your workout at whatever level you wish to have from the start up to the final stretch of your exercise.
Frame & Pedal. The frame speaks of the overall structure of the elliptical machine and this should be properly determined right from the very start of your elliptical shopping scheme. What material is the elliptical frame made from? Is it strong and sturdy? Would it last for a longer period of time? Many elliptical machines today are made from strong, solid, and high quality frame materials, making them last for years and even a lifetime. The pedals on the other hand should also be made from strong and durable materials as they are the parts which receive the most use and wear factors.
Other Controls and Sensors. Many of the elliptical machines today come with the following features: heart rate control, chest pulse sensor, and heart rate sensor. All of these are important features which allow you to see how your body system is affected by the kind of workout you are doing on the elliptical machine. These features aim to keep you updated with some of your vital signs, keeping you safe all throughout.
Elliptical Buying Guide: Additional Things to See on an Elliptical Machine
The above-mentioned features and characteristics are the things that spell out a perfect buy. And to make your choice much even better, you also need to take note of the following additional features:
Speaker. This is where you can hear your favorite music played on your MP3, making your workout less boring and enjoyable from start to finish.
iPod Dock. This is where you can position your iPod; it’s a good addition especially when you are thinking of listening and programming your favorite sounds while doing your workout on it.
Water Bottle. An elliptical with a bottle holder makes it more convenient for you to keep yourself hydrated all the time. No need to step out of the elliptical machine to get your water in the fridge.
Fan. A built-in fan can help you have a breath of fresh and cooler air during your workout.
Folding. This is quite essential but not necessarily recommended; it allows you to store your unit easily or when you need to move it to another location.