An elliptical machine (or an elliptical trainer) is stationary electronic workout equipment which helps to motivate stair climbing, jogging, or walking and the training of both the upper and lower part of the body without exerting heavy pressure on the joints, thus reducing the dangers of injuries.
Elliptical machines are different from conventional workout machines in that the former adopt cushioned pedals and a drive system, which brings about a gentle and round movement like walking or jogging. However, unlike walking or jogging in which user's joints are not supported, with an elliptical machine, their feet never leave the pedal, which provide a firm support for users' joints.
Moreover, an elliptical machine allows users to simultaneously exercise both the upper body and lower body, hence raising muscular tone and attaining the largest quantity of calories burned. Given the aforementioned benefits offered by an elliptical machine, you must have been persuaded to buy one; however, it is necessary to consider several factors before deciding to purchase it.
Budget and Objectives
The first things you need to take into account are your budget and goals. You should examine characteristics of some most common types of machine such as basic, standard, home-use or elite so that you can know which price is suitable for your pocket and your targets.
For instance, if you are interested in an elliptical trainer for individual everyday use and do not need any bells or special features, you should go for a basic machine at around $500 which still has a strong frame but only basic characteristics.
On the other hand, if you want to achieve higher health targets and are keen on exceptional features, choose standard or elite ones at about $1500.
Braking and resistance system and flywheel
The most important factor to take into consideration is perhaps brake and resistance system and flywheel since they determine the strength and the general operation of the machine.
You should look for machines equipped with eddy current braking system which uses magnet to generate resistance.
There are two types of magnetic brake system: electronic and manual.
Whereas with electronic magnetic brake systems, you just have to press buttons on handle bars to create the resistance, with manual brake systems you cannot adjust the resistance level because they adopt a tension knob, which is the reason why the manual one is not common nowadays.
Another factor which is also extremely important is how heavy the flywheel is since this machine uses magnets on the flywheel to stimulate the tension. The more the flywheel weighs, the gentler a stride is.
Note that flywheel's weights are not always posted, so if not, make sure to ask its weight. The ideal elliptical machine is the one that operates the most quietly, smoothly and naturally.
Monotony is one of the most compelling reasons why people stop training. A product which supplies users with a wide range of programs would incentivize them to work out on a more regular basis because they can change the programs every day. You can also adjust the program to your specific need, which is also a striking feature of an elliptical machine.
Simplicity of Use
Nowadays, the more advanced an electronic elliptical machine is, the more functions it serves. As a result, it has more and more features and buttons, which sometimes annoys users and discourage them from workout. The ideal machine should take only 2-3 steps and 1-2 pressings of button to start a program.
In short, there are a wide range of elliptical machines on offer for you to choose from. However, it is imperative that you consider the aforementioned factors before making the final decision to purchase one so that it can be most suitable for your budget, your needs and your ability.