The Best Elliptical Machine

The Best Elliptical Machine

Why is the elliptical trainer always the most popular equipment in the gym? It builds cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength, yet it’s gentle on your joints. And it’s easy to use for everyone!

Running, walking and stair-climbing are all effective cardiovascular exercises. An elliptical trainer simulates those  activities, but in the comfort of a gym or home. An elliptical trainer provides a low-impact workout, so it’s ideal for people recovering from injuries or who suffer from joint pain triggered by more jarring exercises, like running. And you can customize the incline, speed, and resistance of the elliptical machine to continue challenging your upper and lower body.

 

What is an Elliptical Trainer Machine

An elliptical trainer machine is a stationary exercise machine that mimics a variety of exercises while gradually increasing a user’s heart rate and breathing. It stimulates aerobic exercises like climbing a stair, running, walking and riding a bike while reducing injuries by minimizing pressure to the various joints used in these movements.

Elliptical trainers are often seen in gyms, physical therapy clinics, and fitness centers as well as in homes. The popularity of elliptical trainers first came to be as awareness of healthy eating and the importance of fitness began to emerge in the 1990s. And due to this boom in fitness and healthy living, varieties of elliptical trainer machines have developed as well as different brands of elliptical trainers that we know today.

Types of elliptical trainer machines

Elliptical machines are classified according to the location of the motor. The first one is the rear drive where the motor is located at the back of the machine; this is the oldest and the most common type of elliptical trainer. The second one is the front-drive and the latest design is a trainer with a center drive.

Other elliptical trainers may be classified according to ramp types. The ramp may either be adjusted manually or automatically to alter the angle of the elliptical path; this is important to target different muscle groups for various exercise regimens. Still there are other elliptical machine classifications like trainers with moving or non-moving arms and trainers with different kinds of LCD displays.

Benefits of an elliptical trainer machines

The editors of FitnessMagazine.com have published an article “Our Best Cardio Workouts” and it has highlighted amazing exercise machines and workout routines that can help burn calories and reduce fat. One of the featured exercise machines is the elliptical trainer which can guarantee a significant decrease in jeans size by just working out for 30 minutes a day. The article provides a simple elliptical machine workout plan that aims to burn at around 209 calories per session.

Elliptical machine users will gradually lose weight, burn fat more efficiently and will trim the upper and lower body safely and effectively. Regular use together with the ideal diet plan and the right exercise regimen will result in a firmer and healthier body in no time at all.

Pros and cons of an elliptical trainer machines

Elliptical trainer machines are efficient and offer a variety of exercises that will target the upper and the lower extremities but may not be effective for the muscles of the back and the midsection.

Elliptical trainer machines are practical to use at home since it offers a wide range of exercises to fit different types of weight loss and fat loss goals but could be very expensive. Basic elliptical trainers are sold online for $120 while trainers with a multiple resistance levels and training levels as well as a variety of automated features are sold for $500 to $3,000.

Elliptical trainers are also bulky and could take up space in a small apartment and thus may not be applicable for small homes.

The Best Elliptical Machine For Heavy People in 2020

It would be great if all ellipticals could handle the weight of every person but that simply isn’t the case. Some machines hold heavier people with ease where as many of the smaller and cheaper trainers do not. If you are heavy then this list of ellipticals is a good stating point and may well be an end point too in your search for a high weight capacity machine.

Most compact ellipticals have a weight limit of around 265 pounds, many hold even less. The irony however is that heavy people tend to need the low impact workout that an elliptical can provide but so many ellipticals are not structurally equipped to serve the needs of the person in need of a workout.

I’ve tried to feature only the best value ellipticals that have weight limits in excess of 300 pounds.

How to use Elliptical Trainer Machine

Here are a few hints about to help you get the full benefit of a workout on an elliptical trainer.

Standing upright engages your abdominal muscles, toning them along with arms and legs.

Stand tall. Be aware of your posture. Standing upright engages your abdominal muscles, toning them along with arms and legs.

Pull the arms. Most elliptical machines have moving arms. Be sure to actively push and pull the arms to maximize your workout.

Go backward. Do intervals of pedaling backwards so you work all of your leg muscles. Pedaling backwards also encourages you to distribute the pressure of the down stroke on your heels – instead of your toes. If you find your feet go numb after several minutes on the elliptical, you’re probably putting too much pressure on your toes.

Focus on the exercise. Many people haphazardly pedal the elliptical for 30 minutes while they watch TV or flip through a magazine, and they barely break a sweat. Adjust the resistance until you feel yourself working to move the pedals around. Without resistance, you’re just wasting your time, and you definitely won’t see results.

No matter how fit you are, you can do this simple 25-minute elliptical workout. Try it to discover for yourself how challenging and effective an elliptical workout can be.

TimeResistanceAction
0:00 – 5:003Warm Up
5:00 – 6:006Sprint
6:00 – 7:004Recover
7:00 – 8:005Backwards
9:00 – 10:004Recover
10:00 – 15:006Slow but steady
15:00 – 16:004Recover
16:00 – 17:005Sprint
17:00 – 18:004Recover
18:00 – 19:006Backwards
19:00 – 20:006Sprint
20:00 – 25:003Cool Down

Elliptical Machine Buying Guide

Buying an elliptical machine is an expensive decision so it is important that you find out which features are important. There are so many varying brands of ellipticals with countless feature differences and vast price ranges. As you shop for your new elliptical exercise machine, be sure to read all the reviews you can and carefully weigh all the different features.

Get serious about what your specific price range is to narrow down your selection from the get go and to avoid spending too much time looking at something that is too cheap or too expensive. Decide which features are a must—if you need heart rate control, which stride length is best and which features you can do without. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you shop around for a good elliptical machine.

Price

Prices of elliptical trainers range from as little as $200 all the way to $5,000 gym quality machines. The less expensive machines may not last as long or have as many features, but you certainly don’t want to overspend when you could get a quality machine for less. How much you spend on an elliptical machine is completely up to you, and spending less doesn’t mean you’re cutting yourself short of a fine piece of exercise equipment.

Console

The bulk of what you are paying for when you purchase an elliptical machine is the computer display so if you can deal with a backlit LCD screen instead of the dotted matrix LED, you can save a little money.

Stride Length

More expensive machines will have an elliptical stride length of at least 18” and you do not want to forfeit this feature. The stride length is directly affected by your body height so you must choose the right stride length to get a good fit.

Front or Rear Drive

This is a personal preference. Don’t get hung up on the position of the flywheel, unless its between your legs, pushing your feet farther apart.

Resistance

Most elliptical trainers do not offer incline but you can still vary your workout with different resistance levels applied to the flywheel with magnetic or belt tension. Electromagnetic breaking systems are found on the higher end ellipticals and mean less wear and tear on the parts.

Programs

A few built in programs are nice for mixing up your routine but you certainly don’t need that many.

Heart Rate Monitor and Heart Rate Control

A heart rate monitor is a must for monitoring your work effort but if it doesn’t come standard on an elliptical machine you are considering you can always purchase a heart rate control watch. And if any of the machines you are considering come with heart rate control (HRC) programs that’s an added bonus.

Upper Body Workout

Most ellipticals come with moving handle bars along with stationary hand. Even if you don’t care for an upper body work out, we recommend purchasing a machine with this feature so you have it available for a full body workout when you want it.

Pedals and Spacing

Make sure the pedals fit your foot nicely, both the size of the pedal and the spacing between them.

Reverse Motion

Most pedals will allow you to move in reverse motion to work different muscles in your legs. This is a great feature and it was a must have for my wish list.

Construction

Make sure the elliptical trainer will support the heaviest user in your household. Even a heavier fly wheel doesn’t mean the foot pedals and parts will support someone that is heaver than the suggested weight limit. Cheaper ellipticals may not feel as sturdy and may even feel wobbly. If you have small children you may also want to check for additional safety components, including locking features to disable moving parts or protective coverings that hide the flywheel.

Footprint

Make sure you have space in your house for the elliptical by measuring out the space for it.

Warranty

The best warranties offer a guarantee the parts and frame after a considerable amount of time owning the equipment.

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