Elliptical Trainer Buying Guide

High quality, factory-direct alternative to NordicTrack, Sole Fitness & Proform
What's Included
  • Compare with other brands
  • Compare to gym memberships
  • Guidance on buying
  • Tips on equipment care
  • Reviews of each model
  • Details of elliptical components
  • Optional features to consider
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Elliptical Buyer's Guide
 
Elliptical Trainer Buying Guide

Next to the treadmill, elliptical machines (also called elliptical trainers) follow close behind in popularity among fitness equipment. As a matter-of-fact, sales of elliptical trainers are growing faster today than are the sales of treadmills. Why?

What is an Elliptical Trainer?

An elliptical trainer is a low-impact exercise machine that simulates walking or jogging. It gets its name from the elliptical motion that the pedals follow when in use.

The majority of today's elliptical trainers have moving handle bars that allow the user to work the upper body and the lower body simultaneously. For this reason, they are often referred to as "cross-trainers." They are designed to provide very efficient cardiovascular exercise while practically eliminating pressure to the joints and back.

Here are some DOs and DON'Ts to consider before buying an elliptical trainer:

  • DO Shop around and research info and reviews on various elliptical models. A few online resources include consumersearch.com, about.com (owned by the New York Times), allellipticals.com, and fitness-equipment-source.com.
  • DO Compare the quality and warranties of several elliptical trainers within your price range. Then, base your choice upon YOUR personal likes and needs, and buy an elliptical that fits YOU.
  • DON'T buy an elliptical trainer based upon only one person's opinion - even ours.

Where to Start?

►Price:

►User Weight:

►Front-Drive VS Rear-Drive Elliptical Trainers:

Components

►Ball Bearings VS Bushings:

►Electromagnetic brake resistance is best:

►Foot Pedals:

►Frame:

Optional Features or Upgrades to Consider

When you choose an elliptical trainer, you want to make sure that it has the features you desire and need to reach your fitness goals. Below is a list of features that you might want to consider when choosing an elliptical machine:
►List of Features:

►Incline Ramps, Variable Strides, and Dynamic Motion Trainers:

Tips on Maintaining Your Elliptical Trainer

To get the most out of your elliptical trainer, you need to follow certain maintenance steps. Proper care of your unit can keep it running smoother and longer.

As previously mentioned, front-drive machines generally require more maintenance than rear-drive elliptical trainers. Front-drive models use tracks that can get dirty, and they have more components to break down.

►Cleaning:

►Tighten and Lubricate:

►Avoid Misuse:

►Repairs:

Final Remarks

►Final Remarks:

 
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