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Some Features Offered by the Best Elliptical Machines

Aug 18, 2007
How can you say that an elliptical workout device deserves to be ranked among the "best elliptical machines" in anyone's lineup? Well there are standard performance criteria that must be met - smoothness of motion, lack of noise production, durability, et cetera. These are what you can expect from a good working machine, not the "best" machine.

If you really want to get to the down and dirty, there's one thing that separates the best elliptical machines from the not-so-special ones: the features. Elliptical machines differ in price range for a reason: this is how you can tell which models come with more useful features, and can significantly enhance your workout.

1. Reverse motion. Without question, this is the one feature that really pays off. Not all elliptical machines have this, and understandably those that do are often priced slightly higher than regular forward-motion machines. Reverse elliptical motions make for perfect cross-training - that is, working out different muscles and organs all at the same time. Regular elliptical devices are themselves good for cross-training, but only reverse motion ones can help you exercise the muscles that aren't used in forward movements.

2. Multimedia functions. Sure you can have your CD player or TV on while you work out, and external gadgets such as these could either keep you happily distracted, or firmly in rhythm. Rhythm is actually important when exercising even when using a machine; steady repetitive motions help in burning fat from the body. You may think a music player or a gaming console (which come programmed with games that allow you to stay in rhythm with your exercise routine) is a bit excessive, but you might be surprised how useful these things could be in getting a thorough, well-rounded workout!

3. Adjustable speeds, incline and stride. While many automatic elliptical machines nowadays come with adjustable speeds, inclide and stride are somewhat harder to find. An adjustable incline would allow you to better target certain muscles of the lower half of your body - although some say that you sacrifice some upper-body toning when you realign the inclines frequently. An adjustable stride would do the same thing, allowing you to vary your exercise routine and work out the muscles that aren't worked out so well with the use of single-stride devices.

You needn't have all of the features described above to get the best elliptical machine for your private use! You simply need to know which features would best suit your needs. You can have the adjustable incline without the adjustable stride, for example, or simply the reverse motion. Let your budget and your training routine decide which features are most useful for you.
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