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How to Buy the Right Elliptical

Elliptical trainers are one of the most versatile pieces of workout equipment available as they provide low-impact fitness with all the benefits of running, stair climbing, and even cross-country skiing. They are also great cross-training tools for athletes.

When looking for an elliptical, it’s essential to choose one with the features that are most important to you. Below, you’ll learn how to find the ideal elliptical trainer for your needs.

Consider Your Goals

Before you start looking for an elliptical trainer, think about your goals and the goals of others who will use the equipment. Once you have a list of goals, do online research and locate products with strong customer ratings.

When looking at manufacturer websites, you’ll know that a brand is strong if they make commercial equipment used by gyms. Once you’ve done this, make a list of ellipticals that will help you meet your fitness goals.

Think About the Service Level

Choosing a retailer that offers a high level of service will benefit you when it comes to maintaining and repairing your elliptical trainer. Specialty fitness retailers will offer the highest level of service, while buying online may leave you with fewer service options.

Locating nearby authorized specialty fitness retailers that carry the brands you’re looking for can also be helpful. These types of retailers have educated staff members, better quality ellipticals, also offer financing options, and have the capabilities to service and put together your product.

Try Out the Elliptical

You can only get a strong sense of whether an elliptical is right for you by trying it out. Locate stores that carry the product you’re looking for and then try out the elliptical as if you’re using it during a workout. Use forward and reverse motions, try out different programs, and exercise for several minutes. Avoid quickly trying out the elliptical for a few minutes, as it will be difficult to differentiate between products without trying out all the features.

Look for Essential Features

There are several features to look for that will make your workout more beneficial and enjoyable, including:
• Adjustable Incline and Forward/Reverse: An adjustable incline will help you add variety, challenge yourself, and work out a variety of different muscle groups. A Forward/Reverse option will allow you to vary your workout and avoid overuse injuries.
• Smooth, Quiet Motion: Test the elliptical to ensure that the motion is smooth and that your heel remains on the platform without bouncing. You should also feel no stress on your knees or hips and should be able to remain in a neutral position without bending or having to reach toward the handrails. A quiet elliptical is usually a good indication of smooth motion.
• Upper Body Options: If you’re in need of upper-body strengthening, choose an elliptical with upper body levers. Note that you shouldn’t have to lean or shift your position as you exercise. Choose the elliptical that provides a comfortable workout.
• Adjustable Resistance: The best ellipticals offer a wide range of simple, intuitive resistance options that can be electronically adjusted.
• Electronic Features: Fans, interactive options, and calorie displays are just a few of the electronic features that can enhance your elliptical experience. Seek out features that will motivate and challenge you.
Programming Options

Having a variety of programming options is one of the best ways to motivate yourself. It’s important to remember that just because a product has many buttons, that doesn’t mean it will provide the best workout. Too many buttons and features will actually make it frustrating to design a workout, so look for those with a “quick start” mode that take only 2 to 3 steps to start a program.

Ellipticals with custom and preset programs will also help you bust boredom and keep your workout fresh. The best ellipticals have the ability to keep track of your favorite workouts and let you create custom workouts that will challenge you.

Finally, a heart rate monitor can give you a clear indication of progress and help you keep your workout at the right level of intensity. The top ellipticals have heart rate control programs that will adjust your workout and keep your heart rate in the right range for you.

Safety, Maintenance, and More

Don’t purchase an elliptical trainer without considering safety, maintenance, and warranties, as all of these can have huge impacts on your experience.

Locking safety features that prevent the pedals from moving or the machine from starting when not in use are important. Maintenance-free products should also be prioritized, as the best designed ellipticals will be able to handle daily wear and tear.

Finally, most every elliptical will require service at a certain point. A lifetime frame warranty, a 1 year labor, and a 1-3 year parts warranty are indications of a quality product. Make sure electronics and other important components are always covered under your warranty. You should also ideally choose a retailer with a staff trained by the manufacturer to service your elliptical.

By using these tips, you’re sure to find the perfect elliptical to help you reach your fitness goals. Download our latest promotions to save.