Elliptical Trainers

Cross trainer

If you are considering purchasing an elliptical trainer, there are definitely a lot of different models to look at. If you have never purchased an elliptical trainer before, the process can be very confusing and even intimidating. By looking at this elliptical trainers buyer's guide, you should be able to navigate through the many choices that are available. Here are a few of the different things to look for when purchasing an elliptical trainer.

Drive Mechanism

One factor to consider is the elliptical's drive mechanism. There are two different types of drive mechanisms that you could choose from: front drive or a rear drive. Both of these types of drives will essentially do the same thing and perform the same motion. Many people prefer to get the rear drive because it typically feels a little bit smoother. Rear drives also have fewer parts to work with, so they are generally a little bit less likely to have problems.


Something else that you need to be aware of when you are looking at an elliptical is the type of resistance that it offers. There are also two types of resistance that you can choose from. Some ellipticals have a resistance belt, while others have magnetic resistance. Typically, the cheaper ellipticals will feature resistant belts, while the better ellipticals have a magnetic resistance feature. Magnetic resistance is quite a bit smoother, and it is much less likely to malfunction over the long term. Belts can break or tangle up and could potentially cause you problems at some point.

When it comes to magnetic resistance, there are multiple options. With some ellipticals, you can turn a crank and move a large magnet closer to the wheel to increase the resistance. Other ellipticals have a more advanced electromagnet that does not require you to twist anything. Generally, the electromagnets are on the pricier elliptical trainers.

Heart Rate Control

Another feature that you can find on some ellipticals is heart rate control. This is a type of control that adjusts the resistance according to your current heart rate. Some of these ellipticals have a wireless heart monitor that you can strap onto your chest that will send signals to the elliptical system. This will increase or decrease the amount of magnetic resistance that is needed to keep your heart rate at a specific level. This makes it easier to get a consistent workout that helps you meet your goals.

Length of Stride

Something else that you will need to take into consideration when looking at electrical trainers is the length of the stride. The length of the stride that you need will vary depending on how long your legs are. You should try out an elliptical to see what size stride you need before making a purchase. Most people prefer a stride that is at least 16 inches. If you get a stride that is smaller than that, it will generally not be comfortable. Some ellipticals have only a 14-inch stride, and you will most likely want to avoid these.

Upper Body Workout

When purchasing an elliptical trainer, you will have the option to choose between those that have upper body handlebars and those that do not. If an elliptical has movable upper body handlebars, it will allow you to push one while pulling the other to get a good upper body workout in while you are on the machine. If you do not want an upper body workout but want to do just cardio exercise, then you could purchase one that does not have the upper body handlebars. In most cases, even if you purchase an elliptical with upper body handlebars, you can choose not to use them and hold onto a stationary handle bar in the middle of the machine.

Adjustable Incline

Another feature that you should look for is the ability to adjust the incline of the pedals. By increasing the incline, you will be able to increase the difficulty of the workout and make it much harder on your legs. This is not a necessity, but it does provide you with an extra way to improve your physical fitness.

Workout Programs

Most elliptical trainers come with many different pre-programmed workout programs that you can use while you are on the machine. These programs will vary the speed and the amount of resistance that is required to move the pedals. These workouts can be a good way to vary your exercise routine, by simply doing what the machine tells you to do.

Entertainment Options

Many elliptical trainers on the market now offer several entertainment options. For example, some of the ellipticals will allow you to plug your iPod or MP3 player into the console, and you can then listen to your music through the speakers while you are working out. Another option that is available with many ellipticals is to have a digital display that allows you to watch movies or live television shows while you are exercising. These features can be very beneficial and provide you with something to do while you are exercising, which can help you stick with your workouts.


Another thing that you should be sure to look at is the warranty that is offered with the unit. There are many different types of warranties that you could get with your elliptical, and not all of them cover very much. For example, many of the warranties that are offered will cover labor only for a limited amount of time. Generally, the parts and structure will be covered for a little bit longer, but you will have to pay to have the new parts installed if something breaks down after your labor warranty runs out. Be sure that you like the terms of the warranty before you agree to make a purchase.