Every health club and gym offers at least one or two high-quality elliptical machines, but making the investment for an at-home machine may be worthwhile. If you choose to purchase an elliptical trainer for your own home gym, you have a diverse range of options to choose from!
Elliptical trainers are an excellent choice for a total body workout machine at home. Elliptical trainers range in design and style, but most combine lower and upper body resistance with cardio. Depending on the features and components of your final selection, you can use a variety of settings to create some incredible customized workouts. Elliptical trainers are a superior choice over the basic treadmill for a variety of reasons. They offer a low-impact workout no matter what endurance level you are, and offer the flexibility of resistance control at your fingertips. Many of today’s models offer heart rate monitoring and pulse rate gauges that can help you set healthy goals. Additionally, various workout ‘modes’ and the addition of an iFit trainer can help you create a customized workout specific to your fitness goals. Also, elliptical trainers are fairly quiet and smooth machines, since the motions involved require no impact on the ground.
There are some key features and indicators of quality when selecting your elliptical trainer. Since this is a considerable investment, you’ll want to make sure you try it out, either in the store or otherwise, before making your final purchase. You’ll need to test out the motion level, incline, comfort levels, and options for adjustments firsthand. Other key features to look for when selecting your elliptical trainer are:
• Budget/price: take into account your price range and your ability to make the investment. The average high-quality, long-lasting elliptical machine will range in price from $1,500-$4,000 depending on manufacturer.
• Components or features to monitor heart or pulse rate
• Safety: Easy to navigate on/off switches, safety emergency shutoffs, or other precautionary devices. This is especially important if you have small children who may have access to your workout area.
• Interactivity: this may involve the iFit.com technology that can connect your laptop directly to the machine, creating a customized workout
• Incline: You’ll need to find the most comfortable adjustable incline feature that suits your body best. It’s also important to consider stride length here, as your height will make a difference on how well the machine accommodates your body.
• Warranty: ideally you’ll want a minimum of 1 year, so check with your store for the cost on additions to this. Remember, this is a fairly large investment that needs to be as low-risk as possible!
• Console: An easy-to-read console is a great feature, and will make your workouts both challenging and rewarding.
• Handles: Test out the comfort and length of the handles and bars used for the upper body portion. Make sure that you feel balanced and strong when standing on the machine, as you will not be able to complete a total body workout without a high comfort level with the back and forth motion.
• Training Modes: Navigate through the various modes of workout modes; most trainers will include a ‘Cross Country’, ‘Hills’, ‘Interval’ or other training zones that will give you a change of pace in your routine.
• Delivery options: Make sure you read and understand your delivery options before making the final purchase; you’ll want to find out if the machine will be delivered in one piece, or will require some assembly.
After considering all of these factors, here are three top picks for an at-home elliptical trainer:
Smooth Fitness CE 3.2 Elliptical
This model offers superior quality similar to those you find at your local gym, but at a fraction of the price. The durable construction and effective ski-style handles are great for all fitness levels. The customized upper and lower body workouts offer nine preset programs, and the heart rate monitor and programmable user profiles are attractive features. The Smooth Fitness CE 3.2 Elliptical is priced at $1,699.
EFX5.17i Elliptical Fitness Crosstrainer
The EFX 5.17i by PreCor is a durable and quality machine that offers the benefits of natural motion and a variety of customized settings. This model is geared towards lower body workouts only, as the handles are ‘fixed’ into place. The low-impact workouts with this machine are conducive to beneficial cardio workouts with over 20 resistance levels. The large LED console is easy to read, and the CrossRamp incline provides exceptional benefits to your thighs, glutes, and calves. The machine comes equipped with an accessory holder, as well as ergonomically correct handrails for optimum comfort. The EFX 5.17i is priced at $2,799.
EFX5.33 Elliptical Fitness Crosstrainer
The EFX5.33 by PreCor is a high-quality, durable fitness trainer. This model is found in many gyms and health clubs, and is an excellent choice for an at-home gym. This model includes a SmartRate® display that shows your actual and target heart rate side-by-side, and can indicate areas of improvement with a chest strap feature. The accessory holder is great for water bottles or your favorite magazine, and the touch-sensitive console is easy-to-read and navigate. The incline is set at 20 degrees, and you can incorporate both a forward and back-pedal stride to work all muscles. The motion is fluid and smooth, and the variety of fitness programs/zones will ensure that you maximize the benefits of each and every workout! The EFX5.33 is priced at $3,699.
Whatever your budget and needs, there are plenty of durable, high-quality elliptical trainers available. Find out which will work best for your comfort, endurance level, and workout schedule in the long term. If you are looking for a total body workout on a consistent basis, purchasing an elliptical trainer at home may be a worthwhile investment.