Great home gym cardio machines
Before you even consider buying an elliptical trainer, go to a store that sells them and try a few out. These days ellipticals (also known as cross trainers) are all the rage for women who work out, but don’t assume that means they are the best cardio machine for you.
Even if your friends all tell you elliptical workouts are the best, you can’t be sure you’ll feel the same without experiencing it. On a related note, not all elliptical machines are the same. Many provide motion in different ways and some are simply made better and offer a smoother ride.
The first step
After making sure an elliptical workout is for you, set a price range for yourself so you can narrow the field. But don’t completely rule out machines that cost less than you’re willing to spend. You might be surprised to find something you like that’s below your budget or a brand you didn’t have your heart set on. Cheap ellipticals can be purchased for as little as $200, while gym-quality machines can cost several thousand dollars. There are also ellipticals available for every price in between.
What features do you require from the elliptical trainer?
To figure this out, ask yourself how you plan to pass the time while working out. Some people listen to music or watch television, others balance a book or magazine and attempt to read. Make sure the elliptical you choose will allow you to use it in the way you feel most comfortable. For instance, some are so noisy you won’t be able to hear yourself think, let alone listen to Oprah.
As for the machine itself, specifications (such as what type of elliptical motion and resistance method is used) are extremely important if you want an elliptical that runs smoothly and isn’t awkward to use.
Why elliptical trainers are good
Elliptical machines offer low impact exercise that doesn’t put as much stress on joints. If they have moveable handles they’ll also involve more muscle groups and burn more calories. Recent studies have shown the rate of perceived exertion on an elliptical is lower than actual exertion, meaning it may be able to trick your body into thinking it’s not working as hard as it actually is.
The right warranty can save you from unnecessary costs down the road. Find out all details and what’s covered. Some low end machines come with only 90 day warranties, while other come with lifetime coverage on the frame and several years on parts and service. An elliptical with an extensive warranty will most likely be better quality and last longer. If not, at least you won’t have to pay out of pocket to get it fixed.
Programs and console features
Other important things you’ll have to consider when buying an elliptical trainer are what programs and console features it offers and whether it provides the right level of comfort.