Elliptical Exercise Equipment: These Are A Few Of…

Buying elliptical exercise equipment can be confusing if you don't know what to check for when buying. With about 15 or more manufacturers pushing their own brands of elliptical trainers, it's not easy to pick one that's just right for you. However, if you know how an elliptical works, what features it should have, and what price you can expect to pay, the experience is a whole lot less painful – for your wallet as much as your body. There are few aspects that should be standard on all elliptical exercise equipment, and some that are add on features to make a particular brand stand out from the rest – knowing these differences will help you pay the right price for the right equipment.

Elliptical Trainer Costs: The Price Is Right

If you've shopped for a treadmill in the past and you're assuming that the price range should be as wide for elliptical exercise equipment, then you're in for a pleasant surprise. Most elliptical equipment is available in a much tighter price band – a decent one should cost you anywhere between $400 and $600; of course, there will be the odd outlier on the higher as well as lower sides, but for the most part, that's what you'll end up paying for an average brand of elliptical trainer. Nearly all the companies in this segment make a range of models: Nordic Track, Reebok, Schwinn, Star Trac, and Diamond-Back are just some of the players.

Benefits Of Elliptical Over Treadmill

The comfort of the elliptical trainer will depend on whether you can adjust the angle of the pedals and the stride length. For most of the older models, there's no pedal adjustment, and a longer stride length provides lower impact. In fact, it's the impact factor that makes an elliptical trainer more desirable than a treadmill; the latter may cause spinal impaction from the jerks, but an elliptical almost completely eliminates this possibility. However, a short stride of 10 inches or less may bring on the problem, although in a smaller way. A good stride length is 21 inches, which provides the best impact reduction – try and get as close to this as possible to avoid chances injury from long-term usage.

Elliptical Exercise Equipment: Long Live The Resistance

Most middle-of-the-road elliptical exercise equipment doesn't offer incline resistance, which, along with friction resistance, provides the necessary opposing force that strains your muscles and makes training effective. The resistance from friction is usually delivered through a belt on lower-end models and magnetic repulsion on better models – make sure the magnetic controls are on the console so you can change it on the move without having to get off to adjust the setting, thereby breaking your stride and flow.

Watch That Ticker: Heart Rate Monitors On Elliptical Exercise Equipment

Most mid to high-end equipment comes with sensors on the handles that will display your heart rate at any given time. In fact, the more expensive models will adjust your workout mode and resistance to maintain optimal heart rate. This is a good thing, but not absolutely essential; use your judgment – if your heart rate is anything like it was when you went on your first date, then slow down until your pulse does, or adjust to a lower resistance.

Elliptical Exercise Equipment: Consoles And Presets

You may have to pay more for a proper display and control panel, but it might be worth the extra money. Some models even come with preset workouts, or are programmable. That way, you can set up a workout that's right for you, and do it for a week before stepping it up to the next level. The contrast on the LCD display is important – high is good so you can see clearly even when working out in not so bright light.