One of the most popular fitness machines in the fitness and home gym is the cross trainers. This is because it offers low impact cardio exercise that simulates running. If you have lower-body injuries or face issues with your knees or hips, this fitness machine is a good choice.
The motions on an elliptical trainer help in keeping your joints safe from high impact and promotes weight loss
Due to the many choices of elliptical machines available, buying the best can be an overwhelming task. Worry no more, I will help you ease the burden of finding the best elliptical and help decide whether it’s worth buying a cross trainer. Check out our article here on the best budget cross trainers.
The movement is versatile meaning you can make slight adjustments to focus on either upper body or lower body while increasing resistance. For this reason alone a cross trainer is worth buying.
Cross trainers provide a fantastic low impact workout, so they are good for your knees, joints and other muscles in comparison to other cardio equipment. But like investing in any piece of gym equipment there are a few things to consider:
Elliptical trainers are available at different prices; it all depends on the features integrated and the brand. You can buy used models for as low as $200 to $5000. Here is my recommendation on the best mid range cross trainer:
But, there are also some brands available for a reasonable price. It is just a matter of research. Four of the most popular brands are ProForm, Sole, Nautilus, and Precor.
Workout Space at home
This fitness tool takes up a considerable amount of space, so make sure you have enough space in your home to accommodate or handle the elliptical machine. When thinking about placement in your home, look forward to a machine with four and seven feet in length.
Also, remember to leave space for the pedals while they are in motion. For some models, these can extend a foot or so behind the mainframe. You also need to think of the height of your ceiling as you raise slightly higher while in motion.
What to Look For in a Cross Trainer
There are a number of considerations you need to make when looking for a cross trainer.
Elliptical machines are available in various styles such as:
Centre-Drive: This style is identical to a treadmill, but the difference is that it comes with pedals. This provides a gentle workout and with compact style. Here is my top recommendation for the best centre drive cross trainer:
Front-Drive: This has big wheel housing located at the front. This is considered the cheapest due to its basic design. Here is the best front drive cross trainer:
Rear-Drive: It has a smaller wheel housing located behind the pedals, which makes it the longest type of elliptical trainers. I highly recommend this rear drive cross trainer:
There are essential features to consider in elliptical trainers such as:
Adjustable Incline: This is a vital feature as this allows you to adjust the ramps to add intensity to the exercise.
Adjustable Resistance: A lot of elliptical trainers provide adjustable resistance, and a wide range can provide maximum benefits.
Smooth Motion: Ensure the pedals work quietly and smoothly. It must not feel jerky and fit well, so you are comfortable in the whole movement.
Stride Length: There are elliptical trainers that just provide a 14-inch stride that would be too short for the user of average size. Get one that has a 21 inches strides, and an easy to adjust stride is available.
This is vital for a safe workout. Make sure the elliptical trainers provide warm up and cool down periods. Also, consider one that has a handrail as it offers balance. The equipment should also integrate with an easy to read console.
Go for a maintenance-free machine and has a generous warranty on parts and labor.
Additional features to look for in elliptical trainers include a bottle holder to keep you hydrated while working out. It should also have a heart rate monitor to keep you in your zone. Good equipment must have pre-set programs to help you customize your workouts programmes.
Other essential features to consider are a fitness tracker app, Wi-Fi, and motivation software for an improved workout.
Here are some great results you can get from an elliptical trainer:
Try the Machine Before You Buy
It is important to use the cross trainer first before buying. It is advisable to use it for about 10 minutes, so you get a feel for it. Pay close attention to the console and ensure the motion is smooth and nothing affects the movement.
Is it Worth it to Buy an Elliptical?
It is hard to find the right elliptical trainer that will suit you best. But if you want to promote a healthy lifestyle, improve your fitness levels and weight loss at home, this low impact machine is a great investment and worth buying.