You know your fitness goals, do you know the right equipment to reach them?
Ellipticals are an excellent tool to get an effective workout from the comfort of your home with minimal impact on your body. Low-impact workouts are a great addition to any fitness routine to mix up your workouts, give your body a break from more rigorous workouts, and for anyone currently experiencing any pain in their knees, joints, back, or ankles.
While there are a lot of great low-impact exercise options, such as walking or strength training, the elliptical family reigns supreme in providing a weight-bearing, yet low-impact, cardio workout.
The best home ellipticals are designed to provide a comfortable natural movement, forward and backward, without putting stress on joints; making ellipticals an excellent workout tool for any fitness level. Beginners to experienced runners find ellipticals to be a great weight-bearing workout option.
Additionally, ellipticals are versatile in that some are designed to provide both cardio and strength training cross-circuit workouts on the same piece of equipment. There are many well-known benefits to incorporating both strength training and cardio activities into your workouts including, proper weight training will increase the strength and endurance of your muscles, which will improve your cardiovascular capacity. In turn, when you gain muscle, it raises your metabolic rate, which helps you burn more calories and fat faster.
You’ve probably noticed that over the last few years, there have been a number of less traditional non-impact machines that have shown up. People ask us about them all the time. The first of this generation was the aforementioned Arc Trainer. Octane has a lateral elliptical, which hits muscles like no other machine in the industry, and has recently taking the running world by storm with their running motion simulator, the Zero Runner. The experts at Gym Source don’t necessarily consider these better or worse, but these new motions are designed for specific uses and are worth getting a look at before making a decision.
Because there is no one-size-fits-all fitness solutions, we asked a Gym Source equipment expert to share the top tips to finding the best elliptical for your specific goals and home gym.
Elliptical Buyer’s Guide:
“One of the more common reasons Gym Source clients shop for an elliptical is that they used to be a runner, or they are currently a runner, and need a low-impact workout option to minimize the impact experienced from running outside or a treadmill. We also frequently help customers recovering from an injury, or who are new to exercising, who want an effective workout, with minimal stress on the body, that works a wide range of motion.”
What to consider when shopping for an elliptical:
The best home ellipticals are residential versions of the same brands that are in the gyms. Internet knock-off brands don’t have the research, gym-tested biomechanics, or part support behind them, and are avoided by commercial gyms and other professional facilities for that reason.
What is your available home gym space? How tall is the tallest person using the machine, and how short is the smallest person? What is the ceiling height in the room you are planning to use the elliptical. Do you have enough space in the room to ensure your elliptical can operate correctly? If you are not sure if the machine you want will fit where you want, Gym Source will come to you and make sure you get the right machine for your available space.
Different size users will fit better on different size machines, as different ellipticals are designed to better accommodate different heights. This is why it is important to test fitness equipment before committing. Without trying equipment you won’t be able to feel what best fits your body, or what provides the most natural feeling workout for you. Additionally, if multiple people will be using the equipment, it’s important to choose equipment made with more durable components. Multiple users create more wear and tear on equipment and we can match you with ellipticals designed to handle the higher volume of use.
Many of the higher quality ellipticals incorporate motion adjustments like incline or stride length to fit different sized users, and this is a feature that should not be overlooked, especially if you have multiple users
When shopping for an elliptical you may want to consider the importance of incline. The advantage of incorporating incline is it provides additional workout options to increase the overall effectiveness of your workout. Without incline, your only options to increase your workload is to move faster or increase the resistance. When you add elevation to your workouts, you can work harder without having to move faster or add greater force to your legs.
There are two major motion adjustments in an elliptical machine, Incline and stride length. While adjustability is not absolutely critical, it is a very important feature that should not be overlooked.
Incline was the first available adjustment in an elliptical machine. The advantage of incorporating incline is it provides additional workout options to increase the overall effectiveness of your workout, hitting the muscles differently and avoiding any potential repetitive stress. In addition, elliptical machines that incline also increase the stride as they do somewhat, which allows different sized users to feel more comfortable.
Later machines used a stride length adjustment in the place of incline, which is a superior mode for fitting different sized users. In addition, it allows a user to better replicate walking, jogging, or running movements. Like incline, stride length adjustment helps avoid the potential for repetitive stress. However, incline is considered a superior method of hitting different muscle groups. Deciding between incline and stride length adjustment is one of the most important reason a client really has to try the units before making a purchase.
Learn more about the benefits of adjustable stride length ellipticals from Trainers on Site.
“The more muscles you use, the more fat you burn. That math has never changed. When you combine strength with cardio, you guarantee a higher-quality workout.”
Incorporating total body workouts into your fitness routine is an excellent way to maximize your workouts by keeping your body guessing and you engaged. Some ellipticals, such as the Octane Q47xi elliptical, is designed to act as your personal trainer by prompting you when it is time to do lean muscle toning in addition to cardio. Learn more about Octane’s Q47 elliptical’s upper body workout capabilities.
The upper body motion of an elliptical machine is one of the easiest to overlook. Make sure the width fits the user properly, and that movement does not pull the user out of a natural upright posture. Also check to make sure the machine does not cause undue wrist flexion. We get enough of that in today’s keyboard-happy world!
Service & Warranty:
One of the biggest aspects about warranties you should consider is; who is going to perform the work? You do not have any assurance from an online retailer that your warranty is serviceable – nor do you know who will perform the work. Gym Source’s showrooms act as an asset in this situation. You worked with an equipment expert, you have a relationship with the right person to contact to get your needs addressed. Because we are dedicated to building long-term relationships with you, we want to get the solution correct the first time. We have an obligation to you to perform work to your satisfaction. There is no financial gain in cutting corners that require additional visits.
High-quality fitness equipment is an investment in your health, and Gym Source only offers ellipticals made by top fitness brands that are engineered to be long-lasting and durable. Don’t waste your time and money purchasing something that you don’t maintain. Luckily, ellipticals require minimal maintenance to continue to run optimally. The goal of routine preventive maintenance is to keep your cardio fitness equipment healthy and working at a high level, because if it isn’t working properly how can you?
Learn how to keep your elliptical operating correctly and effectively with preventative maintenance tips from equipment experts.
Now you know the most important things to consider when shopping for the best elliptical for your home gym. But wait! Before committing to any fitness equipment, you have to test, touch, and try equipment.
Why? Because every machine feels different to every person using it.
The ONLY way to know what equipment feels right to you is by getting on the machine. If you don’t like a machine after testing it, you will never like it when you get home. Visit your local Gym Source fitness showroom to connect with an equipment expert to get matched with the right fitness equipment solutions for your goals, budget, and space.
Need more help deciding on the right low-impact workout for you? View Gym Source’s ultimate guide to the essential fitness equipment for low impact workouts or the questions to ask before purchasing fitness equipment.