Best Elliptical Trainer
Eating right, sleeping enough, reducing stress and exercising regularly remain the indispensable key to a healthy lifestyle, in your fight against obesity, against an expanding waistline and a host of diseases. Exercise should become a daily routine.
Home exercise machines such as the elliptical trainer with its low impact exercise, full body workouts, is gaining in popularity. Forget about rigorous diet and back breaking exercises, invest instead in a home elliptical trainer to get the solid abs, toned muscles and desired weight without undue stress on your joints. It also provides you with a great cardiovascular workout boosting your heart and lungs as well as giving all the main group of muscles a thorough workout.
Elliptical trainer reviews are good sources of information for checking out your best elliptical trainer for home use.
Elliptical machines are low impact exercise machines. The elliptical benefits the whole body. Less strain, less effort and less time needed for more calories burned is its selling point. The best elliptical trainer comes with moving handle bars and together with the pedals, allow for upper as well as lower body workouts simultaneously, thus earning them the name elliptical cross trainer. They are noted for their very efficient low impact cardio exercises with minimal pressure on the joints and back.
Buying a new elliptical trainer can be intimidating. Just click on the Internet and you are bombarded with all sorts of information about the best elliptical machine to buy. Meeting the salesperson might not be better either. Too much information can lead to the paradox of choice.
Here are a few tips to guide you along in buying your elliptical machine.
Best elliptical trainer – the different designs
So what are the differences between the 3 different types?
Rear drive elliptical with the flywheel at the rear tends to have a more biomechanical motion, a more natural feel. Operating on free-rolling bearings, they have much less wear and tear and thus require less maintenance. This type of elliptical enables the user to sit in a forward position with a good posture. This type of position always result in a more effective workout.
The front drive elliptical comes fitted with a track which needs to be kept in a clean condition, free of dust and dirt for it to run smoothly. It also has more mechanical parts involved in its construction and these can break down due to wear and tear. Compared with the rear drive, the user finds that he has to lean forward in order to do his workout. This is due to the way the machine is set up, which tends to push the user in a backward position.
The latest center drive elliptical has the weight of the user being concentrated in the center of the machine. This results in the body being positioned naturally upright.
Best elliptical trainer – Special features
Better quality ones come with a higher price tag but are more stable and durable, in other words, with a longer life span. They do not shake as you exercise, have a much smoother performance and an extremely quiet drive besides requiring less maintenance. The heavier the flywheel, the more stable the machine. The disadvantage is that these machines are normally heavier and larger in size as well as occupying a larger space.
On the other hand, smaller and more compact machines are lighter and occupy less space but less stable. These machines are not meant for high intensity usage.
User weight and stride length
Do take into consideration your weight and height when buying your best elliptical machine. Check the maximum user weight capacity set by the manufacturer. Exceeding the maximum usage can result in breakdown of the machine. Another important feature to consider is the stride length. You need to have the proper correct stride length in order to run properly. Users nearer to 6′ tall would be more comfortable with a stride length of 18″ above. Too short a stride length will result in jerky movements, with less range of motion.
Elliptical trainers that provide the option of adjustable stride length would be best as walking and running has different stride lengths. On top of that, different family members have different heights and therefore work with different stride lengths. Stride lengths can also be adjusted to target different muscle groups during workouts. Muscles of the thighs and calves get toned up with a shorter stride length whereas at a longer stride length, your glutes and hamstrings are targeted.
Equally important are the foot pedals. The newer models come with adjustable foot pedals. Even the position of the toe and heel angle can be adjusted as well, shifting the pressure to the entire foot instead of just concentrating on the ball of the foot. This makes for a more comfortable and enjoyable running motion catered to individual requirements. Foot motion should be smooth and continuous, with an ellipse pattern simulating the way your feet walk and run.
For example, top of the Sole elliptical range, the Sole e95 elliptical trainer, has 6 preset programs, 2 heart-rate-controlled workout options and 2 programs that you can customize to suit your degree of fitness level. Its custom-designed foot pedals with durable foam cushioning, supports your feet comfortably and with a 2-degree inward slope, minimizes ankle and knee stress, a common complaint among elliptical users.
Another feature to check out are the bearings. Machines using ball bearings are more trouble-free compared to those using bushings. The bearings themselves come in 2 types, standard or sealed ball bearings. Because the standard ones are open, exposed to dirt and dust can result in a less than smooth motion. It is recommended that these standard bearings be greased frequently.
However, sealed ones do not have such problems and greasing is not necessary. For sealed ball bearing types, you have the choice of self-aligned bearings. This means that it will automatically adjust the alignment in line with the elliptical motion thus contributing to a more smoother operation.
Next, have a look at the brake resistance system. You are faced with the choice of a magnetic resistance brake, an electromagnetic resistance brake (eddy current brake system) or the self-generating induction brake. The electromagnetic brake uses an electronic system and hardly needs servicing due to the absence of moving parts. Self-generating types do not run on electric power and have few maintenance issues due to their motor-free operations. Magnetic brake resistance is the least reliable of the three types and normally fitted in lower end models.
Workout programs and resistance levels
The preset programs as well as the number of resistance levels will also contribute to a more enjoyable elliptical workout. With preset weight loss programs, interval training programs and cardiovascular programs (heart rate programs) , staying motivated and challenged will be much easier. The more resistance levels the machine has, the smoother
the change from one level to the next as well as the more efficient the training received according to your fitness level. Sole E25 elliptical trainer offers 20 resistance levels whereas Smooth Fitness CE3.6 elliptical has a total of 16 resistance levels.
Choice of backlit LCD, LCD without backlit or LED display. LED displays are easier to read no matter viewed from which angle.
Heart rate monitors
Having built-in heart rate monitors in the form of sensors on the handle bars or the more accurate wireless chest belt monitor, means that the resistance level will be automatically adjusted to the workout zone that you are in, giving a more efficient elliptical training and fat burning.
Are trade-ins allowed?
Newer models usually have improved features. Perhaps you have an older model you would like to trade in when upgrading to a newer and more expensive one. Lots of places do allow you to trade in your old model or even sell to them your used elliptical machine.
There are several brands offering elliptical machines, such as Sole Fitness, Lifecore Fitness, Horizon Fitness, Smooth Fitness, Diamondback Fitness, Healthrider, Livestrong Fitness and others. Different companies offer different ranges of warranties, and these vary among different models and even different parts of the machine.
The Sole e55 for example, has a 5 year warranty on parts and electronics, and a lifetime warranty on the frame and the brake and the Livestrong LS13.0e elliptical trainer comes with a lifetime warranty on frame and brake, 5 years on parts, 2 years on labor. A long warranty speaks volumes on its workmanship.
Best elliptical trainer – How often do they breakdown and need to be sent in for maintenance?
To prevent frequent breakdown and maintain it in tip-top condition, read the owner’s manual and follow the instructions properly. It is advisable to wipe and dust the machine regularly to maintain its fluid performance. For those machines with wheels and tracks, regular cleaning to prevent dust accumulation is important for a fluid operation. Lubrication of any moving components as well as checking for loose bolts and screws will avoid frequent breakdowns and thus lengthen the life span of the machine.
Just set up an elliptical at home and you have access to a good, low impact elliptical workout everyday or whenever you are free. It is very convenient. There is no need to wait for your turn to use it, saves time traveling to the gym, not to mention the expensive gym membership fees and of course lots of privacy doing your full body workout routine at any time you wish.
You can vary the workout programs for a more interesting elliptical training. You don’t even have to miss your favorite TV show, just exercise in front of the TV, or perhaps listen to your favorite music if you buy one with iPod docks and console speakers, truly entertainment and exercise at one go.
Due to their low noise level during use, these machines are ideal for apartment dwellers, since those living below you might complain if the equipment you use is too noisy. Compact elliptical trainers are best suited for apartment dwellers due to space constraint.
Invest in a good quality elliptical trainer as you are investing in your good health. Elliptical training benefits our whole body muscle groups. So, get the impressive looking best elliptical trainer that you have always wanted to buy and start your first step towards a healthy lifestyle right in the comfort and convenience of home sweet home.