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What Do We Think Is The Best Elliptical Machine?

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Why Choose An Elliptical Machine?

Ellipticals have become extremely popular recently, as more and more people are becoming health conscious and looking for effective ways to lose weight and get fit. Years ago, treadmills and exercise bikes were the workout machines of choice, however in recent years elliptical machines have become the preferred workout choice for millions of people due to one basic undeniable fact: elliptical machines offer a far safer, more effective, more efficient, and all around better workout than treadmills or exercise bikes. We have noticed a huge increase in the response to our elliptical machine reviews in just the past few months.

Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine
Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine

So how exactly do ellipticals offer such a superior workout? Elliptical machines have only really started being manufactured en masse in the last decade or so, and were designed and built thanks to improvements in technology, and as a way to stem the growing amount of injuries people were suffering when using archaic exercise machines like treadmills and bikes.

Injuries are your worst enemy, and it is important when designing an exercise regime that you do your workouts safely, and without causing stress to your body. An injury can undo all the hard work you have put into losing weight and getting fit, and can often leave you in worse shape than when you started!

It is in injury prevention that elliptical machines really come into their own, and why so many people are buying them. Elliptical machines replicate our bodies natural walking, skiing, and running motion as well as employing a clever weight bearing design which also ensures that your hands and feet are constantly in contact with the machine. The combination of these factors means that an elliptical provides you with a near impact-free cardiovascular workout. Compare this to traditional cardiovascular workout machines like treadmills, or other cardio exercises like running, skipping, or jogging which are all high impact workouts.

These workouts are called high impact, as they all involve your feet leaving the ground and then landing heavily back on the ground, which causes a huge amount of stress on your joints and bones. It is this high impact aspect of these workouts which causes a huge amount of injuries every year to people who are simply trying to lose weight and get fit. High impact injuries are some of the most common types of sports-related injuries around.

Elliptical machines are extremely low impact and by using one you are drastically reducing your chances of getting a nasty injury. Ellipticals are far kinder on the bones and joints, and as such are also ideal for people who have suffered previous injuries, or are undergoing rehabilitation.

Another advantage of elliptical machines over other exercise machines is that they offer a total body workout. When using an elliptical, you are using your arms as well as your legs, and as such more muscle groups are utilized whilst working out. This makes your workout far more efficient than simply running or jogging, and you, therefore, burn more fat and calories per workout! In effect, burning calories, losing weight, and getting fit takes far less effort when exercising on an elliptical machine – surely this is reason enough to buy an elliptical!

Benefits Of Elliptical Machines

  • Low impact workout that mimics that body’s natural movement motions
  • Massively reduced chance on injury compared with other exercise machines
  • Offers a far more efficient work out due to targeting the whole body
  • Great way to get an effective and safe cardiovascular workout and promote a strong and healthy heart
  • Ideal for getting fit and losing weight
  • Highly customizable due to a huge amount of different models, designs, and settings being available to you

What Areas Of The Body Does An Elliptical Machine Utilise?

Ellipticals target pretty much every muscle group in the human body – the legs, arms, glutes, chest, back, and hamstring. As such, whatever your goals are, an elliptical machine is going to be helpful in helping you achieve the fitness level and body shape that you desire. To learn more about different types of elliptical workouts, check out our detailed articles.

Elliptical vs treadmill?

Treadmills are still a great way to get a solid cardiovascular workout, however when you see the benefits listed above that elliptical machines offer, for us it is a no-brainer that ellipticals are far superior to treadmills. The improved safety, lower chance of injury, and more efficient, lower effort workout are more than enough reasons to choose an elliptical over a treadmill. In addition to this, ellipticals and treadmills are similarly priced, so we can’t think of any reason why somebody who is interested in losing weight and getting fit would choose a treadmill over an elliptical machine.

What Elliptical Machine Is Right For Me?

People often ask us what the best elliptical machine is. The simple answer is that there is no elliptical that is universally the right choice for everyone. Different people have different needs, budgets, and requirements. The easiest way to decide which elliptical is right for you decide on a budget, and a set of features that are essential to you. From there, you can narrow the choice down and make an informed decision by reading out detailed and impartial elliptical machine reviews.

How To Choose An Elliptical Machine?

Once you have decided on your budget, and have a good idea of what features you require, you should also keep in mind these elliptical machine buying tips. One thing to always check is the warranty on offer. The higher end ellipticals can cost thousands of dollars, so it is important to ensure that you are getting a good warranty to cover any breakdowns or other faults that could develop.

Also, ensure that you are purchasing from a reliable retailer. We often recommend purchasing directly from the manufacturer, however often you can obtain a better price by purchasing from large online stores. Whatever you do, make sure you purchase online as you will often save hundreds, even thousands of dollars over offline prices!

One final tip is that you should not always be lured in by a low price. Often, quality costs money, and it can be worth stretching your budget a little bit to get a higher quality elliptical machine as opposed to choosing the cheapest model, which you may find offers a poor workout, or quickly develops a fault. Sometimes choosing the cheapest model can end up costing you far more in the long run.

NordicTrack E 7.0 Z Elliptical Trainer
NordicTrack E 7.0 Z Elliptical Trainer

 

Different Types Of Elliptical Machine Available

When you first look into purchasing an elliptical machine, it may seem confusing and complicated with so many makes, models, and designs available to buy. However, it is in fact relatively simple and straightforward. There are 3 main different types of elliptical, known as the front drive, rear drive, and center drive. What type of drive an elliptical is, simply depends upon the location of the motor and drive.

Elliptical Machine Terminology Explained

When reading elliptical machine reviews, you come across some terminology which you are unfamiliar with. Here is a brief explanation of some of the most common terms used and what they mean.

Brake resistance: This is an important feature to look at, as it will effect the intensity of your workout. If little resistance is offered, you will quickly find that using the elliptical machine will no longer challenge you, so it is important to find a model that offers a good number of resistance levels. Electromagnetic break resistance is often offered on high-end models and is usually the preferred choice amongst many people as it contains no moving parts and is, therefore, less likely to develop faults, or need servicing. Magnetic break resistance used magnets, and whilst still study, is more likely to break than electromagnetic break resistance. These are often used on mid to low range models due to their lower cost.

Frame: An elliptical will usually have a small and light frame or a heavy large frame. The heavier frames are made of more durable materials like steel, and can, therefore, support more weight, making them perfect for larger or taller individuals. The downside is that they are more expensive, take up more space, and are far less portable.

Lighter frames are usually used for home models, they are easier to move, take less space, and are cheaper. However there are major downsides – they are far less durable, and can take much lower weights, making them a poor choice for taller or larger people.

Foot pedals: these can drastically effect the comfort of working out on your elliptical machine. The most comfortable foot pedals are called “articulated foot pedals” which work by distributing weight evenly along your foot, reducing the amount of pressure on the ball of the foot. Nonarticulated foot pedals do not do this, thus placing far more pressure on the ball of your foot and reducing your comfort levels. As ever, comfort comes with a price, and articulated foot pedals tend to be available on the more expensive machines, but are often worth stretching your budget for as they make working out a far more comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Stride length: Avoid a stride length that is too restrictive, any decent review should highlight any issues with the stride length of an elliptical machine.

Console: The console is the hi-tech heart of any elliptical machine. Its digital display will offer numerous types of workouts, as well as monitor your heart level to see if your workout is intense enough. Some will even calculate how many calories you have burned. It is important to get an elliptical machine with a good central console that is visible without getting in the way, durable, and offers enough features to keep you happy.

Prices of Elliptical Machines

The prices range wildly, however, we would recommend that you look in the $500 to $3000 range depending on your needs and budget.

Elliptical Machine Maintenance

Depending on the model you choose, buying an elliptical machine can represent a significant investment. As such, it is important that you do what you can to look after your elliptical to ensure that it serves you for many years to come. Ensure that you regularly clean the entire machine, and keep the moving parts well lubricated.

Every now and then it is also worth checking that all the nuts and bolts are tightened and that everything is looking in good shape. This will enable you to notice any issues before they become serious.

One of the biggest points to remember is not to exceed the recommended weight. A lot of the cheaper elliptical machines can only support a very limited amount of weight, and as such are not suitable for taller and larger people. If you are heavier than the supported weight, do not attempt to use the elliptical machine as you risk damaging it as well as yourself.

Hopefully, by now you have read enough to see that choosing an elliptical machine is a great choice – we hope that this article helps you find the ideal make and model.

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