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Your Fitness Elliptical Machine Buyer's Guide

Feb 20, 2008
It is said that Elliptical Machines in effect combine a workout on an electronic treadmill, stair stepper, and exercise bike. As you can set your own pace, your age group and fitness level are of no concern. The equipment can even be utilized during joint injury rehabilitation sessions. The best devices will mimic your natural motion virtually to perfection.

If you decide that this is just the thing to get you into that sexy, skin-tight pair of jeans, make sure that you test the different brands and models thoroughly. There simply is no other way to discover the perfect training partner for you. If the elliptical machine doesn't feel stable and puts up too much of a racket, go to the next model on your list.

Some 6 questions you should ask your sales person.

1. The type of drive. The drive system is a vital element, but it may be difficult for a novice to make a judgment as to its quality and durability. It will be worth your while to do some homework on the internet and check reliable review sites for suggestions. These guys usually know where the hiccups are and will point them out.

2. What is the maximum user weight? It is vital to check the maximum weight capacity of the trainer. There always is an upper limit and even this has to be taken with a pinch of salt. You don't want to deal with not-so-good vibrations and balance issues, as well as eventual break downs due to overloading. If it gives the upper limit as 300 pounds and you weigh 300 pounds, rather opt for a 350 pound maximum user weight model to be on the safe side. Never use it if you are over the weight limit, as this may void the warranty.

3. How robust is the frame? Here it is a toss-up between lighter portability and heavier durability. Make sure that the base frame isn't too compact, as this will affect the elliptical motion if you are on the tall side.

4. What kind of resistance system does it have? Now we come to the meaty stuff. Opt for variable magnetic resistance or an eddy current brake system if at all possible. This type of system can be adjusted automatically to your training needs, using controls on the display or handle bars. Once you are in a rhythm, it is vital not to have interruptions. If you need to stop to make adjustments, you will lose your tempo and throw off your heart rate. A variable magnetic resistance system also ensures a lower noise level and a more fluid action.

5. Is the console simple to understand and easy to read? These days the displays are state-of-the-art and ply you with information about a wide range of aspects. Here you can follow the workouts as programmed, and get details about your progress. All the functions should not be seen as vital. Some folks may prefer a very simple console that is easy to understand and use. Take a look at the size of the display and make sure that you will be able to read all the stats. Electronics can seem complicated. If you are going to use the home gym equipment regularly, you have to be able to get a grip on the display and how to use the various settings.

6. What is the source of power? A power source is usually needed for the control panel and resistance features. This can be electrical or battery power. Check this before making your decision and make sure that it is a cost-effective set-up.

You should never be in a hurry when shopping for an elliptical machine. By taking your sweet time and doing some careful testing, you may end up in a long-term training relationship that quite literally pays handsome dividends.
About the Author
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