Elliptical Machines FAQ

What benefits do you get from using elliptical trainers?

First, the cardio workout helps you burn calories and lose weight.

Because calories can be burned quickly, the elliptical trainer is good for those who don’t want a spend a lot of time working out.

Second, these elliptical trainers are easy on joints like the ankles, knees, hips, and back. In fact, there are no jarring impacts as you would experience when jogging or running.

Third, you can do this work out in the comfort of your home.

Also, since it is manually driven, there is minimal risks of getting injured.

In addition, these machines can be used for only working out the lower body, the upper body, or both lower and upper body. Incidentally, some machines also focus workouts on the arms, biceps, triceps, chest, back, or legs.

Next, the workout's intensity is adjustable by turning the resistance knob.

Meanwhile, the speed is determined by how quickly you move your legs and/or arms.

Furthermore, the machine’s console displays workout progress such as time spent, calories burned, heart rate, distance travelled, etc.

Finally, you can be entertained while exercising by using either the machine's programs or your own tablet and cell phone conveniently placed in the vicinity of the machine’s console.

What to look for in an elliptical machine?

A common elliptical machines FAQ is what features of an elliptical machine are important to consider when purchasing the machine.

Display

The elliptical machine should show at least distance, time, calories burned, speed, and heart rate.

Elliptical Motion

Check to see if the pedals can move forward and in reverse. By the way, reverse motions add variety as well as exercising different muscles.

Extras

Extras include cup holders, bottle holders, reading rack, built-in fan, media tray, Bluetooth, USB port, MP3 ports, Wi-Fi connectivity, tablet holders, etc.

Flywheel

Standard machines have 15-pound flywheels. By the way, the heavier the flywheel the smoother the elliptical motion.

Height

Check to see if the elliptical machine has any restrictions on the user’s height and see if you meet it.

Incline

If it comes with an incline, it is better to get one whose incline is easily adjustable.

Maintenance

Look for an elliptical machine that needs little or no maintenance.

Resistance

Most of all, resistance should be easy to adjust.

Resistance Type

Look for machines with an eddy current braking system that use magnets to create resistance. These machines will give you the smoothest and quietest rides.

Size

Check to see the dimensions of the machine, such as the length, width, and height. These will determine if the machine will work in the space available for using it. For example, if you are space restricted, you may want to look at compact elliptical machines. However, these machines will have shorter strides.

Sound

The elliptical machine should make the least amount of sound so as to not disturb others nearby.

Stride

The stride is the distance the pedals travel along the length of the elliptical machine. To get an effective workout, make sure the machine’s stride matches your stride as determined your height and the length of your legs.

Warranty

Look for elliptical machines which come with at least a 1-year warranty.

Weight

Check out the maximum weight of the user that the machine can tolerate and see if that will work for you.

Workouts

Both upper and lower body workouts should be possible.

Workout Programs

Pre-set and custom program add variety. For example, iFit is a subscription service which makes your workouts enjoyable by letting you take fun routes all over the world streamed on to your tablet, cell phone or display.

What are the different types of elliptical machines?

The different types of elliptical machines include the Stepper EllipticalCompact Elliptical MachineRecumbent Cross Trainers, and Long Stride Elliptical Trainers.

What muscles benefit from an elliptical machine?

Most of all, elliptical machines work the glutes, core, hamstrings, adductors, abductors, and quadriceps. Furthermore, using the machine's moveable handles help you work your triceps, biceps, and shoulders.

Incidentally, the harder and faster you work out, the greater its positive effects on these muscle. In fact, you may even be able to feel your muscles work. On the other hand, a slow easy workout is good for someone starting out, for the elderly, and anyone in recovery.

What is the best stride length?

First and foremost, an elliptical machine’s stride length is the distance the pedals travel in either the forward or reverse direction. Incidentally, stride length is important because it controls the effectiveness of an elliptical machine workout.

Moreover, workout out on an elliptical machine without considering your stride likely results in an elliptical machine that is either too small or too big for you. For example, a machine with a stride that is too short for you will likely make you feel uncomfortable. On the other hand, a machine with a stride that is too long for you may cause you to over-stretch and risk pulling a muscle.

Determining Your Stride Length

First, if your height is 5 feet 3 inches or lower, an elliptical machine with a stride of 16 to 18 inches is best.

Second, if your height is between 5 feet 4 inches and 6 feet, an elliptical machine with a stride between 19 to 20 inches is best. Incidentally, if you are on the lower end of the height range, an elliptical machine with a stride of 19 inches is best. While, if you are on the upper end of the height range, an elliptical machine with a stride of 20 inches is best.

Third, if your height is over 6 feet, you want an elliptical machine that has a stride of at least 20 inches. However, elliptical machines with a longer stride would do better.

Lastly, if you are shorter but have long legs, you may be more comfortable with elliptical machines with longer strides that those recommended based on your height alone. On the other hand, if you are tall but have shorter legs, you may be more comfortable with elliptical machines with shorter strides than those recommended on your height alone.

What are the benefits of having the flywheel in the back?

First, rear drive elliptical trainers have the flywheels in the back. As a result, you get a longer stride in front of the flywheel than if the flywheel was in the middle or even in the front of the elliptical trainer.