An Elliptical Cross Trainer is an impact
free, total body work out machine. No other piece of aerobic
fitness equipment can boast this. For example, a weight bearing
exercise, such as jogging, is effective at burning calories
and developing bone density, however, it places excessive
amounts of stress on the back and joints.
An elliptical motion, on the other hand, offers
a weight bearing element while sustaining an impact free movement.
The problem with early elliptical trainers were that they
had difficulty in raising the heart rate without tiring out
the legs first. Very similar to stationary exercise bikes.
When the upper body movement was added to the elliptical trainer,
they literally exploded on the market.
Current studies show that energy expenditure,
among subjects that are overweight, is higher on an elliptical
cross trainer than it is on a treadmill or stationary exercise
bike. But, to the user, it doesn't feel like they're
expending more energy...
Five Significant Features to look for...
2. Adjustable Resistance
The ability to adjust resistance levels varies
with each machine. Some of the lower cost machines have coarse,
manual systems that affects the quality, smoothness, of the
motion. An electric, or magnetic, adjustable resistance will
provide a much smoother and quiet work out, which leads us
3. Quiet Performance
The majority of, independant, consumer reviews
mention noise or the lack thereof. Although a minor detail,
the level of noise that a fitness machine emitts can determine
how often that machine will be used. A noisy fitness machine
can turn into a nasty irritation.
4. Adjustable Pedals
The ability to adjust the pedals of an elliptical
trainer will allow you to focus on different muscle groups.
It is also another way to vary your work out so that it doesn't
get boring. Most importantly, adjustable pedals let's you
fit the machine to your own body and not your body to the
machine. Not many elliptical trainers offer this feature,
but it's an important one to consider.
5. Warranty and Servicing
Last, but not least, is the type of warranty and service package
that an elliptical trainer comes with. Remember that the obligation
to adhere to the warranty belongs to the manufacturer and
not the supplier or merchant. The most standard warranty for
labor is 12 months, but lower cost elliptical traineres may
not cover the full 12 months. Parts warranties can vary, depending
on the manufacturer, ranging anywhere from 90 days to 3 years.
One last detail is to make sure that the manufacturer has
technicians available in your state or province. This way,
you won't have to wait weeks for a resolution.
Now that we've gotten some background on elliptical
trainers, let's take a look at some of the popular brands
that meet our requirements...
Economical Elliptical Trainers
Elliptical trainers don't have to cost an arm and a leg, but
be careful of bying a "cheap" machine. Here are
some affordable trainers that don't cut corners on quality...
As far as value for you rmoney, Smooth is hard
to beat. Smooth is highly regarded for it's quality products
and customer care. They are also popular for their direct
factory prices and warranties...
If money isn't an issue, and all you're looking for is the
very best, Precor is at the top of this list...