Using an elliptical cross trainer will help your fitness goals, ranging from improving general cardiovascular fitness, weight loss as part of a controlled diet, and exercise testing for sports performance and general rehabilitation programs.
Elliptical cross trainers not only vary in price but also vary in styles which are designed to cater to all environments ranging from commercial gym grade treadmills to home-use machines. A majority of the elliptical cross trainers are fixed positioned, however, some models can fold away after use, for instance, the Vision X6100.
Main features of an elliptical cross trainer
Space is often an issue when purchasing a new machine for the home and people often shop for the smallest and most compact elliptical cross trainer. However, it is often the case that the smaller the elliptical cross trainer, the less of an ellipse and smooth motion you will experience. Quite often the smaller elliptical cross trainers feel more like a stepping motion as opposed to a skiing motion.
The stride length of an elliptical cross trainer varies across the board. The more compact elliptical cross trainers often have shorter stride lengths compared with the larger models. Some elliptical cross trainers also can adjust the stride length setting, for instance, the Life Fitness X5. It is vital to ensure that the selected model has the desired stride length for yourself, this is to ensure you will get maximum benefits from your purchase.
Most elliptical cross trainers operate with a magnetic brake system as a variable to effectively use to increase your heart rate. The brake system will be operated from the console or automatically adjusted according to the program used.
Remember a cardiovascular piece of equipment is a tool used to increase your heart rate to achieve your fitness goals. This can be achieved by increasing your stride rate or if that is not enough, then to increase the resistance via the magnetic brake system. It is often that the difference between different models you will notice different numbers or levels of resistance. For instance, 12, 16, or 20. It is important to check because this does not necessarily mean that the brake system offers more resistance at level 20, it may be the case that there are 20 adjustments that you can make to achieve the peak resistance.
The console of an elliptical cross trainer will offer various programs. Some models will offer only a standard number of programs and will be simple to operate, whereas other models may provide additional features such as user-defined programs, heart rate control programs, and the ability to input and store user information.
Programs are particularly important to use as a motivational tool and a positive way to monitor your performance over time. If you are motivated by feedback then it is recommended to research into models that have a sufficient amount of programs, whereas if you only tend to use manual control, then it is recommended to research into models that invest more into the framework and construct.
Display and Feedback
The computer display powers the functions on the elliptical cross-trainer. You can control everything from speed and the types of programs you use. Some higher-end models also can store user information to provide more accurate exercise feedback on the console. Standard feedback consists of speed, console, program progression, heart rate, calories burnt, distance ran, and the duration of the exercise.
There are two types of computer displays; LED (light-emitting diode) and LCD (liquid crystal display). The LED displays are generally on the budget - intermediate-range, whereas LCDs are generally found on the higher end range of products.
Mains Power or Self-Generated
As with exercise bikes, some elliptical cross trainers can be self-power generated. The benefits of such means you do not have to worry about the positioning of the elliptical cross trainer being near a power source. Negatively, you will have to input the information whilst operating the machinery.
Elliptical Cross Trainer Warranty
It is always important to check the particulars of what the warranty requires. Essentially, if the manufacturer issues a warranty that covers the frame and motor in addition to a lengthy parts and labor backup, this often reflects their belief in the product to be a good quality elliptical cross trainer. Always be sure to double-check that the warranty covers both parts and labor, otherwise you may be required to either fit the parts yourself or pay additionally for an engineer to do it for you.
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