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Elliptical Comparison - What To Know When You Compare Ellipticals

Author: Vienna Miller

If you're buying an elliptical, you'll want to make several elliptical comparisons and get the best deal. Enter the Internet. With the knowledge you can find online, buyers can get a much better deal than they used to get at their local department store.

So what do you need to know when making elliptical comparisons? While the elliptical market is getting more crowded each year, there are some simple things you can look for to find the best value models.

This article will give you 7 main features to look at when you compare elliptical trainers along with where to make easy elliptical comparisons.

1) Stride Length: This is essentially the farthest distance between the pedals during the elliptical motion. Stride length ranges on ellipticals from 12 to 21 inches.

Stride length is important as a short stride length doesn't fully work your leg muscles and doesn't give you as effective a workout as longer stride ellipticals. Cheaper ellipticals usually offer a 12 to 15 inch stride.

For the average height person an 18 inch stride is good. Taller people may prefer a 20 inch stride and shorter people may prefer a 16 to 18 inch stride.

2) Upper Body Workout Arms: Most people want the option to work their arms while exercising. This helps provide resistance training for your upper body so you burn more calories and get a better workout overall. This feature is found on most elliptical trainers however on some - even the higher end ones - it is not available.

You also want to make sure you don't have to lean over while using the bars which can diminish the effectiveness of your workout (this can happen on many of the cheaper elliptical models which don't have the proper arm to leg pedal ratio).

3) Weight Capacity: The user weight capacity is a great indicator of the stability of the elliptical trainer. For example, a 250 lb user weight capacity may mean that it can take up to 250 lbs however it is not nearly as stable as one with a 350 lb user weight capacity.

The 250 lb elliptical also probably won't hold up as well if you want to pick up your pace. Highly stable elliptical trainers will have higher user weight capacities (depending on your weight this could be 300 lbs and up).

4) Warranty: While warranties range for different elliptical trainers, you want to choose an elliptical with at least a one year parts warranty - preferably longer.

Just like user weight capacity, the length of the warranty is another indicator of the quality of parts used to build the elliptical machine. A longer warranty indicates a higher quality of elliptical construction.

5) Console: While there are a range of different options here, it really depends on you. Do you want to see calories burned, speed, time, distance, heart rate? Do you want to see them all simultaneously?

One thing to watch for is that the console is well lit so you can read it while you exercise. Many cheaper ellipticals are hard to read, especially if the lighting in your workout area is not the best.

6) Resistance: Resistance is basically how hard your legs have to push during the elliptical motion. Resistance gives you more of a challenge while you workout and can help you ramp up your calorie burn or work intervals into your workout.

Most elliptical trainers do offer a range of resistance levels. Look for a trainer that makes resistance changes simple (i.e. one-touch resistance adjustment).

7) Price: Ellipticals range in price from $300 to $3000. It's up to you what you pay but just keep in mind that with elliptical trainers - price usually reflects quality - you do get what you pay for.

Economy priced ellipticals (under $800) are simply not built as well as higher quality ellipticals in the $900+ range and this can end up costing you in repairs, injury and less effective workouts.

Finally, when buying your elliptical trainer, remember to consider everyone who will be using it, their weight capacity, workout preferences and fitness goals.

By knowing these facts when making elliptical comparisons, you're way ahead of 99% of most elliptical buyers and well prepared to choose the best elliptical for you.



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