Elliptical Trainers is proving to be among the fastest fitness categories. The use of ellipticals simulates the combination of the stair climbing, running and cross-country skiing and in a workout that is low impact and rich in variety. It presents a highly effective approach to cross training that is excellent for any and every one, whether beginner exercisers or elite athletes.
The main reason why ellipticals seem to be the ideal workout machines is that they are low impact, mild on the joints, and challenge both upper and lower parts of the body for the ultimate calorie burning effectiveness. They differ from traditional treadmills in that they use cushioned pedals to a drive a system that provides smooth, circular motions similar to jogging, except your feet never leave the clutches, so the machines support your joints all the time.
Also, with an elliptical, you get to exercise your upper and lower body at the same time, this guarantees an increase in muscle tone and optimum calorie burning. So, when checking out elliptical machines, there are a few things to consider to decide on the best suitable elliptical for your needs.
Consider your budget and goals
The first thing to think of before buying any product is to consider your goals and determine whether the product meets them at a price on offer; this is important in assessing value for money. It is not any different from purchasing elliptical trainers. Decide on how much intend to spend. Also make efforts to research on the features of each tier of elliptical training machines (the basic, standard or home use level, and the elites). Finding out these pieces of info will enable you to know the particular price range to aim for. For instance, consider checking out primary trainers that offer a durable frame but with entry-level characteristics, if all you need is a compact elliptical for your personal use and you are neither interested in whistles and bells or any advanced customizable features. In reverse, if you are on the road to advanced fitness goals need more advanced features like a heart rate monitoring program, for example, you may have to opt for the pricier standard or high-end models. The bottom line for going through all this is so you don’t end up paying for more if you need less.
Another good idea is to look out for the goals of other potential exercisers in your home too before you start your search. Many families will typically have more than one individual that intends to or eventually makes use of the machine. While athletes and runners will derive mutual satisfaction from the non-impact movement added to their training, older users will appreciate the ease of the motion as well as the fluidity the machine offers.
Elliptical machines typically have different types of resistance, for example, magnetic resistance and air (or mechanical) resistance. The kind of resistance will determine the type of workout you get. For ellipticals with air resistance, pedaling the machine at higher speeds, the air will cause you to attain more resistance. For devices that use magnetic resistance, the cause of resistance is via an electromagnetic current that can be preset. This magnetic resistance is thus usually less noisy than air resistance elliptical.
Also, keep in mind that magnetic elliptical machines are also often costlier, so compare prices and select the right elliptical based on your physical strengths and weaknesses, your budget, and what type of workout you want from the variety of ellipticals on offer.
The brake resistance system and flywheel
One of the most critical criteria to look out for when you want to buy an elliptical trainer is the flywheel weight because it directly impacts on the comfort, quality, and fluidity of pedaling. Machines with too light flywheel weights, say from 7 to 10 kg, will make for an unpleasant driving with a lot of jerking.
The flywheel weight is the primary determinant of the resistance of the elliptical wheel when you change speeds or accelerate. Put more simply; higher flywheel weights equal more resistance encountered when you speed up; this translates to having to put more pedaling effort if you want to achieve a certain speed. A more pedaling effort to attain acceleration also means you it will take you a more extended period to reach your max speed.
On the other hand, a lighter flywheel weight will allow you immediately reach desired speed when you accelerate as it provides comparatively very little resistance to speed changes, while the elliptical itself will immediately stop the moment you stop pedaling, as it also provides very little resistance to deceleration.
In summary, heavier flywheel weights, therefore, offer greater pedaling fluidity, much more comfort, less jerking and better sensations, because it is physically necessary to provide some effort before a body reaches a certain speed.
Consider maximum user weights too
While the flywheel weight determines resistance to speed changes, the maximum user weight supported is also an important factor in purchasing ellipticals. You don’t want to get a machine that can’t support your weight. A very (too) light elliptical trainer will support less than a heavier machine. Medium and higher end elliptical machines can withstand up to maximum loads of 120-150 kg, while lower-end elliptical trainers can only guarantee weights less than or equal to 100 kg. The general rule of thumb is: buy a machine whose maximum limit is higher than your weight if you are at the threshold of a particular maximum user weight range.
Ellipticals offer you a chance to get in shape without overstressing your body so that instead of dreading work out sessions, you start to look forward to them. So when it comes to buying ellipticals, think of your body, needs, and budget. There is always an elliptical that should work best for you. Choose one which grants you the workout you need without posing dangers to your health discomforting you too much.