Frequently Asked Questions on Fitness Equipment: Ellipticals

If you are thinking about buying a piece of fitness equipment like an elliptical you probably have some questions. Some of the most frequently asked questions are about the variety of consoles available, the stride adjustment features, and about how to most accurately measure heart rate. After you finish reading the answers to these questions you will be equipped with the information you need to buy the best fitness elliptical trainer available.

Q:  The ellliptical I was looking at was available with several different consoles at different price levels. What can a better console do for me that the less expensive one can’t?

A:  A great console can make your workout more appropriate for your goals and also make it a lot more interesting.

Someone who is using fitness equipment to lose weight, for example, needs a totally different workout than someone who is trying to build endurance for a marathon. A good console can plan your workout to help you reach your goals.

Also, a console with a lot of different programs for each situation can help you avoid the biggest enemy of any exercise plan: boredom! Change up your program every day or two and you will be able to maintain the enthusiasm you need to reach your goal.

Q:  I just saw a new fitness elliptical trainer that has a stride adjustment. Why would I need to adjust my stride?

A:  Fitness equipment, an elliptical in this case, that allows you to adjust the stride can be a blessing if the machine is going to be used by more than one person. If you are a 6’4″ man and your 5’1″ wife is also going to use the elliptical then one stride length probably won’t be exactly right for both of you.

Also, you can target different lower-body muscle groups by changing the stride for each workout. Some fitness elliptical trainers will even let you change the stride on the fly so you can change the target muscle group without stopping and letting your heart rate fall.

Q:  My hands get sweaty when I workout and the hand sensors often don’t give me an accurate heart rate. What can I do?

A:  Some fitness elliptical trainers come with both hand sensors and chest straps now. You can use whichever one works best for you.

Be sure that the console records your heart rate and also gives you the target heart rate for someone your specific age, weight, and fitness level. With proper monitoring you can maximize the effectiveness of your workout and make greater progress toward your goals.

Now that you know about the features of consoles, stride adjustments, and heart rate monitors you are much better equipped to shop for a fitness elliptical trainer. Keep these things in mind and you will find a great piece of fitness equipment that will last for many years.

The Fitness Elliptical Trainer For Weight Loss and Fitness

People frequently ask how a fitness elliptical trainer can give them the help they need to achieve their fitness goals. What makes these great machines a better choice than other cardio equipment for most people? Read on and you will see the many benefits offered by this well-designed exercise marvel.

These great machines will not only aid your effort to get fit but can also spur on the least enthusiastic person to tolerate and maybe even like exercising. In addition to their many other benefits, ellipticals are lauded for being easier on one’s joints. These workouts do not require any special equipment other than the machine itself, or any particular skill or fitness level. This makes these trainers truly a universal exercise machine. It is no wonder that the fitness elliptical trainer is increasingly popular.

Low Impact

For many people the most important feature of elliptical trainers is the low impact on joints and tendons. Low impact exercise:

1. eliminates strain on your joints
2. makes exercise programs more user friendly
3. is very safe
4. lowers the risk that you will injure yourself

This is especially helpful for those who haven’t exercised for a while and are not yet in good shape, and it also makes ellipticals a good choice for older folks. Another benefit of low impact exercise is that it can actually allow you to burn more calories than performing other types of fitness routines because you can exercise for longer periods. Because of this, you can attain your fitness goals much more quickly.

More Natural Motion Means Less Exertion

People also appreciate the lower perceived exertion when doing elliptical workouts. This may surprise some, however fitness elliptical trainer workouts often seem easier even though you are working just as hard, if not harder, than you do in a regular workout. Elliptical workouts achieve this because they mimic the way your body moves naturally. Because of this even a rigorous workout will seem easier. Be cautious, though. You must be sure not to strain your body too much, especially when you first start exercising. Some elliptical workouts seem extremely easy because certain models provide an even lower impact than the typical machine. Because of this, you want to make sure to keep your routines at a moderate intensity and a measured time period when first starting out. This will prevent strain caused by over working weak muscles. As you gain strength you can increase the time and intensity of your workouts.

Full Body Exercise

You can even have a full body workout with some models of fitness elliptical trainers. This is a benefit many people appreciate. Keep in mind that not all machines can provide a full body workout, but ellipticals still provide the highest calorie expenditure in the briefest amount of time. So regardless of which type of trainer you use, your workouts can still be done in the shortest amount of time while achieving effective results.

Customize Your Workout

The console on a good quality fitness elliptical trainer also provides a program for interval training. You can set various resistance levels and even different elevation levels on some trainers to supercharge your workout. Some machines even let you change the length of your stride. This feature allows you to set different fitness challenges in your workouts and easily customize them to meet your particular goals.

Fitness elliptical trainers are easy to use and feature quite a few benefits that other fitness machines and exercise programs don’t offer.  Elliptical trainer workouts are beneficial regardless of age, fitness level, or body type. Because of all the terrific features and benefits that elliptical trainers offer, it is no surprise that these versatile machines have become so popular.

Fitness Ellipticals – Three Features You Can’t Live Without

The secret to buying a perfect fitness elliptical trainer is to find a machine that has the features that match your goals. First we are going to talk about getting a machine that lets you customize your workout to fit your particular needs. Something else to look for in a stride adjustment feature available on a lot of the newer machines. Thirdly, you want to make sure the heart rate equipment on the trainer matches your preferences. By the time we are finished here, you will know exactly what to look for when you go shopping for a fitness elliptical machine.

First let’s talk about the console, which many consider the brain of a fitness elliptical machine.

A good console can devise a workout to target your exact goals. It should have workouts for those who are exercising primarily to burn fat, and those workouts should be customized based on one’s weight, age, and fitness level. Other people will want more advanced workouts, focusing on endurance or speed, depending on their special goals. Some people want to control their workout manually, so that option should be available as well. The right console will be able to plan a workout to target each of these goals and match that workout to the fitness level of each person.

A fantastic feature that is appearing on a lot of fitness elliptical trainers is the ability to adjust the stride of the machine.

A “one-size-fits-all” machine just can’t possibly work well for both a man who is 6′ 2″ with long legs and a woman who might be 5′ 1″ and have much shorter legs. Some machines allow you to adjust the stride by up to 6 inches, which can make all the difference. Being able to adjust the stride length also makes it possible to target different muscle groups in the lower body, which isn’t really possible on a trainer that doesn’t have this feature. If you have more than one person using the fitness elliptical machine that you are planning to buy, this is a feature you really need to have.

Thirdly and most importantly for those exercising to maintain health, be sure that the fitness elliptical you buy will allow you to monitor your heart rate conveniently.

Check that the console on the machine that you are looking at not only gives you your current heart rate, but also shows you the target heart rate for someone at your age, weight, and fitness level. This will allow you to know at a glance if you are on target. Also, many machines have both hand sensors and chest strap sensors, so you can choose whichever is most comfortable for you.

Definitely make sure you consider these three features when you are shopping for a quality fitness elliptical trainer. Check to be sure that the console gives you enough workout programs to meet your needs, look for a machine that will allow you to adjust the stride to fit your body, and be sure that you can safely and conveniently monitor your heart rate while you are exercising. With these features in mind, you are sure to find a fitness elliptical machine that will be a perfect fit for you.

Fitness Elliptical Machines – What Are The Benefits?

The chances are really good that you have heard people talking about working out on fitness elliptical machines. You have seen pictures of elliptical machines and have probably seen them in your gym or in the store. The question you are probably wondering about is: how can this equipment really benefit me? The elliptical machine is becoming more and more popular and there are some significant benefits that explain why this is happening.

The number one benefit that most people report is that the fitness elliptical machine is a real time saver. If you are like most people you lead a very busy life and have little free time to spend on your workout routine. Despite that, you still want to keep your body fit and trim and maintain or improve your health. An elliptical trainer can help you eliminate not only the time, but also the money and effort required to join and attend a gym. You will be able to do your full workout right in the comfort of your home and still get a full body workout in less that thirty minutes. If your day is busy and your time is limited then this benefit will be extremely important for you.

Another significant benefit, especially for those who suffer from joint pain or stiffness, is that fitness elliptical machines are extremely low impact and require very little coordination or specific muscular skill. Low impact simply means that there is a very low risk of suffering an injury from doing an elliptical workout. Compared to using weights or other fitness machines you don’t need to be particularly strong and you will find the position of your body while working out is completely natural. You will reap the fitness benefits of the machine regardless of what your fitness level is when you start out. And this is true for all age groups and body types, which is why this versatile piece of equipment has become so popular. One fitness elliptical machine in your home can be used by everyone in your family and can be adjusted so that each person gets the appropriate workout intensity.

Does anyone in your household have weight loss or cardiovascular concerns? If so you will find that this machine provides just the type of benefits to address these concerns too. Fitness elliptical machines have been proven to strengthen the heart with regular use, which will reduce the chances of cardiovascular problems, like heart disease and strokes, in the future. Regular exercise with an elliptical will also increase your metabolism, which will burn fat and calories and promote weight loss while toning your back, legs, arms, and stomach.

In summary, fitness elliptical machines will save you time and money while you and your whole family keep fit and healthy. These wonderful benefits explain why ellipticals have become incredibly popular in homes throughout the country. If you value your time, money, and health then you will find the elliptical trainer is a good fit for your lifestyle.

Used Elliptical Trainers – Don’t Buy a Used Elliptical Trainer Until You’ve Read Our Guide

Save Money on Used Elliptical Trainers

Just like any other product or item up for sale, people can save more on purchasing used elliptical trainers than brand new ones.

Used elliptical trainers do not mean they are secondhand.  They are actually remodeled or remanufactured by companies that specialize in reselling exercise equipment.  It is important to remember than when opting to buy remanufactured elliptical trainers, one should only buy from trusted companies and not too much through online auction sites or classified ads.

There are also tips and factors to consider when searching for used elliptical trainers.  When looking to buy one, you should first get as much information on the machine as possible.  Look up on the original price of the machine and how used it has been.  Compare the original price with the price it sports upon local purchase.  Also consider the features and brand of the equipment.  When all these have been taken into careful consideration, then you probably are in for a good buy.

E-bay, Amazon, newspapers, or local exercise shops are good sources of information on which elliptical machine you are planning to buy.  You can look for one depending on the budget that you have.  Also, make sure that the elliptical machine you are planning to buy would provide you with cardio, low-impact, and quality workouts: the very features the elliptical trainers are very popular about.

Also, when looking for an elliptical trainer, it is also important to look for a machine which would provide you with the quality of workout you are personally looking for.  Consider your needs in weight training or on any other need (toning up your core muscles, leg muscles, etc.).  Look for an elliptical machine in good working order; one which has been used but would still contain features that would help you in your exercise and most of all, has a more reasonable price than the brand new ones.  When evaluating a machine, consider the following:

  • Make sure that the motions are fluid and smooth, not jerky.
  • The machine should not make too much noise when being used, as low noise would allow you to enjoy music or television during your workout.
  • The machine should be able to allow you to work both your upper and lower body.
  • The presence of pre-programmed and customizable settings which can aid you in your workout.
  • Digital readout which displays your heart rate.
  • Incline ramps and pedals which can be adjusted to add variety to muscle usage and to the intensity of workout.
  • Pricing and warranty (if still available).

As much as it is tempting to purchase from online advertisements and classified ads, make sure that you are purchasing from one that is trusted and has a good reputation in selling remanufactured equipment.  One good company known for reselling quality exercise equipment is BigFitness.  They do not only sell used exercise equipment; they put all their used equipment in their “remanufacturing” process, making sure the machines are in the best of shape before putting them up for sale.

How to Use an Elliptical Trainer

As much as there are a lot of people willing to undergo fitness programs for health reasons, there are still those who find it a challenge to use gym facilities such as elliptical trainers.  This article would explain how to use an elliptical trainer.

It is never enough to just know how an elliptical trainer works.  One should know how to effectively use these great workout machines so that he or she can get the most out of it.  The following are a few of the tips which are designed for proper usage of an elliptical training machine.

First, before undergoing any strenuous activity, one should remember to wear clothes and footwear which are not only appropriate for exercising but would also make him or her comfortable enough especially when doing different movements.

Second, remember the basics of checking out the guidelines and instructions printed on the machine.  Take time to know how to program the console’s settings.  This way it would not be a pain to always call out for the trainer whenever you need to max or lower the machine’s settings.

Third, hold the hand railing using your left hand.  Your left foot should go on the left foot plate.  Your right hand and right foot should be place on the equipment with both feet on the same level.

Fourth, adjust the settings on the console without losing your grip on the handrailing (for safety purposes in case you accidentally press the start button with the wrong settings).  Most elliptical trainers would give you choices for incline, intensity, stepping, direction (either forward or backwards), or elliptical movement.

Fifth, move your feet by transferring weight from one foot to another.

Sixth, never lose your grip on the hand railings especially when you opt for the backwards direction.

Seventh, by choosing different pre-programmed settings, you get to add variety to your activity.  You can try doing backwards directions and increase and decrease the speed.

Eighth, taking into consideration your goals for exercising, adjust incline for strengthening, increasing endurance, or for working a certain muscle group.

When observed, an elliptical trainer has a foot pedals for both of your feet and arm handles as well.  When these foot pedals move, so do the arm handles.  Both of your feet should be placed at the center of each pedal and make sure each stride is comfortable enough: not too long or not too short.  You can either choose to hold the arm handles or not hold anything at all while moving your arm as though you are running.  This would lead to the development of the muscles in your midsection, maximizing the amount of calories that get burned while you do the exercise.  If you choose to hold onto the handles, avoid leaning your bodyweight on the handles as this would lead to slow the burning of calories.

The digital readouts on each console can be a good source of motivation for exercisers as it displays the elapsed time workout, steps per minute taken, and even the calories burned while the exercise is ongoing.  This would be a good guide for exercisers.

The above tips are good guides on how to use an elliptical trainer properly.  One should not feel discouraged if they are not able to go on for too long on their first time on an elliptical machine.  Gradually work your way up and even reach 20 minutes as you go on the machine regularly.

Elliptical Stride Length and Why It’s Important

Understanding elliptical stride length and why it’s important is crucial for a buyer to purchase the best possible elliptical trainer for their exercise needs. Like most exercise equipment, a wrong fitting machine not only makes it difficult to perform a workout but can also produce injuries on the user. Hence, a good fitting elliptical trainer is not a luxury but a necessity.

What is Stride Length?

Stride length is basically the longest distance between the pedals when the machine is in an elliptical motion. It varies from machine to machine and those who intend on buying an elliptical must check out this factor first before anything else.

Why?

A person’s leg length varies which means that whenever they walk or run the amount of space covered varies depending on the length of the leg. This is something that should be reflected on an elliptical stride length. To put it simply, if the stride length is too long, then shorter individuals would find it hard to stretch and stay on the pedal which could cause injuries in the long run. On the other hand, too short lengths would hardly be effective as an exercise as the user would hardly be exerting effort for movement.

Choosing Elliptical Stride Length

After understanding elliptical stride length and why it’s important, it’s time to learn how to choose the right elliptical to match one’s stride. The rules and measurements are pretty simple. Basically, those who have heights below 5’4 should opt got an elliptical trainer with a stride length of around 18 inches. Hence, those who are taller than 5’4 should start thinking about getting elliptical with a stride length longer than 18 inches. Typically, users with an average height would find a 20 inch stride length ideal for their body type. The rule here is that the taller a person is, the longer their stride length should be.

Of course, longer stride lengths basically mean higher prices. However, one shouldn’t try to save on cost by purchasing an inadequately sized stride length. Keep in mind that the length would be a big factor when it comes to the effectiveness of the exercise as well as the level of comfort one gets from the workout.

Opting for an Adjustable Stride Length Elliptical Trainer

For those who are expecting multiple users to utilize the elliptical trainer, it might be best to opt for an adjustable stride length for the equipment. This way, couples with varying heights can both make use of their elliptical trainer effectively.

Of course, keep in mind that knowing that understanding elliptical stride length shouldn’t sway a buyer from looking over other factors prior to purchase. For example, the incline and additional features attached to a particular elliptical trainer is every bit as important as its stride length. Additionally, the exercise equipment must be a recipient of outstanding reviews to ensure quality as well as the durability of the product. Make sure to browse around shops and consider various factors – including stride length – prior to any purchase.