How do I choose the right elliptical?
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An elliptical or cross trainer is an all-round fitness device that helps you get stronger, keeps you fit and helps you lose weight. It is easy to use and you train around eighty percent of your muscles with a cross trainer. That pretty much summarizes the main reason to buy a cross trainer! To help you with that, we have listed what you need to take into account in order to choose the right cross trainer.
First, we will elaborate on the two most important factors: drive and stride length.
A front-driven elliptical makes flatter, smaller circular movements, which you can compare to cross-country skiing. These cross trainers have a better Q-factor (the distance (width) between the pedals you put your feet on), because the flywheel cabinet does not get in the way of making movements. So you always make a straight move when you train. The shorter the distance, the more natural the movement is.
The movement with a rear-driven cross trainer is comparable to downhill skiing. You make a more elliptical movement, which in turn makes for a more intensive workout.
Do you have physical complaints or are you recovering from injury? Then it's better not to opt for the rear-driven cross trainer as the load on the knees and joints is greater. In case of rehabilitation and complaints, a front-driven cross trainer is always advised. Do you have only a little bit of space at home? A rear-driven cross trainer takes up less space than a front-driven variant.
The stride length also influences the comfort of your workout. If the stride length is too short, it will feel like you are walking with small steps. If the length is too far, it will feel like the steps you are taking are too big and that can overload your muscles. The correct stride length depends on your height. The taller you are, the greater the stride length. Overall, we can maintain the following standards, but of course it also depends on your physique and personal preference.
Shorter than 175 cm: 30 or 40 centimeter stride length
Taller than 175 cm: 40 or 50 centimeter stride length
We have ellipticals with the following stride lengths:
- 30 centimeter / 13 inch
- 40 centimeter / 16 inch
- 50 centimeter / 19 inch
Of course, there are even more things to look out for when choosing a cross trainer.
3. Number of programs / resistance levels
Do you want a different workout every day or do you like to challenge yourself? Then it's best to opt for a cross trainer with more programs and resistance levels.
4. Brake system
You can choose between an electromagnetic braking system (EMS) and manual permanent magnet (PMS). With EMS, the resistance is determined by the attractive force that is applied on the flywheel. This force is controlled by passing more or less current through the magnets. You choose the resistance on the display, after which the magnets come to the correct position via induction. Thus, EMS does not use an engine or moving/mechanical parts. With manual PMS, the magnet moves along with the rotary knob, which allows you to choose the resistance. Finally, with a PMS servo motor, you choose the resistance on the display, after which the servo motor sets the magnets in motion.
5. Flywheel weight
Do you want more resistance? Then choose a cross trainer with a heavier flywheel. A heavier flywheel offers more opportunities for extra training levels. If you only want a few training levels, a lighter flywheel will also be suitable.
6. Weight of the elliptical
In general, the more possibilities (resistance levels, number of programs and so on), the heavier and firmer the cross trainer.
7. Maximum user weight
It is important to pay attention to the maximum user weight associated with the safe use of a cross trainer. The specifications of a cross trainer show the maximum user weight.
Would you like to know how well you train and what your progress is? An ergometer can help you achieve the goal of your workout. By entering your data such as height and weight, you can train very accurately on wattage and see what your calorie consumption is.
9. Heart rate monitor
All of our cross trainers have a heart rate monitor in the handles. Do you want to train more accurately on heart rate? Then choose an analog connection or bluetooth connection in combination with a heart rate band.
If you're a fanatic sportsperson, some 'extra bonusses' with your cross trainer might come in handy, such as a bottle holder, a tablet holder and bluetooth to be able to train with apps like Tunturi Routes.
After reading this blog, do you know exactly which cross trainer suits you best? We have a wide range of ellipticals!