Top 5 Best Ellipticals To Buy For Working Out At Home
Exercising at home has many advantages: no monthly fees, no circling the parking lot hoping to find a space, no sharing a locker room with strangers. But equipping your home gym can be a bit of a puzzle, considering the wide array of fitness equipment available to those looking to get in shape. When it comes to cardio, an elliptical is a great way to go. Which is why we’re going to share some of the best ellipticals to buy for home use.
With an elliptical, you get all the lower-body benefits of walking or jogging, but your upper body also gets in on the action, giving you a full-body workout. Plus, ellipticals are much easier on your joints than treadmills. Choosing the right elliptical machine, however, can be overwhelming. So many choices, so much hype: How do you find the elliptical that’s best for your workout needs?
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If you’re ready to purchase an elliptical, check out the “Top 5 Best Ellipticals To Buy For Home” section below. For all you need to know about choosing an elliptical machine for home use, you’ve come to the right place.
1. Benefits Of Having An Elliptical
You’ve made the decision to finally start working out. So why choose an elliptical for your cardio workouts?
- Ellipticals provide a calorie-burning workout. Depending on your weight and the intensity of your workout, you can burn several hundred calories in a half-hour session.
- Ellipticals are easy on your bones. Because your feet never leave the pedals, your joints are spared the pounding delivered by jogging on a treadmill or outside.
- You’ll increase your endurance. Get in a solid half-hour at least three times per week on an elliptical, and you’ll soon notice big improvements in your aerobic capacity and muscle strength.
- You can work your arms and legs at the same time. Why double the length of your exercise session by working your legs and arms separately when you can strengthen them simultaneously on an elliptical?
- Ellipticals generally need less maintenance than treadmills. With fewer moving parts and lower impact, ellipticals generally don’t need as much routine maintenance as treadmills.
- The varied programs keep things fun. Many ellipticals have a variety of presets to keep your workouts fun and challenging.
2. Types Of Ellipticals
There are three basic types of ellipticals:
A front-drive elliptical has a large flywheel in the front. These are generally the least expensive type of elliptical and the most compact. Some fold for easy storage. However, front-drive ellipticals also tend to be the noisiest type and the likeliest to feel wobbly during use.
A center-drive elliptical has the flywheel in the center. These ellipticals tend to be compact, though you still have to account for the pedal reach during use. Center-drive ellipticals offer a smooth, gentle workout that’s extra-easy on your joints. Some fold up for storage.
A rear-drive elliptical has the flywheel at the back. These ellipticals are long and heavy and can’t be folded for storage. Their performance is very smooth, however, and some rear-drive ellipticals let you adjust the slant of the pedals.
3. Common Elliptical Features
When buying an elliptical, look for these must-have features.
As you get stronger, you’ll want to increase an elliptical’s resistance, so you are continually challenged.
You’ll be most comfortable on an elliptical that allows you to tailor the stride length to your natural jog. Otherwise, look for an elliptical with a stride length of 18 to 21 inches, which suits most people of average height.
At a minimum, your elliptical’s console should show you how long you’ve been exercising, your speed, and an estimate of calories burned. High-end ellipticals offer much more.
Electromagnetic Braking System
An electromagnetic braking system provides the resistance during your workout on an elliptical. An elliptical’s braking system should work smoothly and ideally be adjustable from the console.
Comfortable Hand Grips
You’ll feel better with hand grips that are easy to hold. Hand grips should be configured so that you don’t need to strain or stretch to reach them through the entire range of your stride.
Heart Rate Monitor
Most ellipticals have a heart rate monitor built into the handlebars. You’ll see a readout of your pulse rate on the console, making it easy to monitor your aerobic intensity.
The heavier the flywheel, the more stable the elliptical, generally. A flywheel weighing at least 25 pounds is best.
You can increase the intensity of your workout by increasing the incline.
4. How Much Should You Spend On An Elliptical
There’s a wide price range for ellipticals, so no matter the size of your budget, there’s a machine for you.
- Under $500: These ellipticals are basic machines without much in the way of high-tech features. Look for a well-known brand in this price range, as some lower-price ellipticals can be rickety or wobbly.
- $500 to $1,000: You’ll find some nice bonus features in this price range and perhaps a fold-up design. Construction should be sturdy on these ellipticals.
- $1,000 to $2,000: These ellipticals boast desirable high-tech features, durable construction, quiet performance, and plenty of adjustments.
- Above $2,000: In the premium price range, you should expect an elliptical comparable to those at the gym.
5. Top 5 Best Ellipticals To Buy For Home
Schwinn A 40
6. Tips For Using An Elliptical
- Aim for at least three 30-minute workouts each week.
- Keep your feet flat on the pedals of your elliptical throughout your entire stride.
- Don’t use the elliptical’s handlebars to support your weight; this reduces your workout.
- Vary your intensity. Start off slow and easy, ramp up to hard and fast, and then ease off again. Repeat this cycle several times during your workout.
- Stand up straight on an elliptical—no slouching, leaning forward, or arching your back.
- Your knees shouldn’t lock at full stride. If possible, adjust the pedals on your elliptical so your knees aren’t overextended.
- Mix up your workouts to keep things fun. Use a variety of apps, rotate through the presets on your elliptical, listen to your favorite music, or watch a movie while you exercise.
- If your elliptical has a reverse function, use it. This gives your legs and glutes a new, more challenging workout.
- Don’t step off your elliptical while it’s moving. It’s easy to trip.
7. Wrap Up
Overall, don’t underestimate the value of an elliptical. Not only are they extremely beneficial for your overall workout routine but, they also greatly help the conditioning of your body. If you want a true low-impact workout that will help you yield great results, get an elliptical!
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