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Best Elliptical Trainer Buying Guide

Best Elliptical Trainer Buying Guide

Best Elliptical Trainer Buying Guide

Elliptical for You?

You see ellipticals all the time when you go to the gym and you may be wondering if this is worth the investment in your home. Ellipticals are extremely beneficial exercise machines that could be the perfect addition to your home whether you want a new machine for your home gym or you just want something that will help you stay active at home. By reading, you can learn everything that you need to so that you can make an informed decision when buying an elliptical.

What is an Elliptical?

An elliptical, also known as an elliptical trainer or cross-trainer, is an exercise machine that is stationary and used to walk, run, or stair climb. What makes an elliptical stand out from something like a treadmill is that ellipticals offer a low-impact cardio workout, which means it’s easier on your joints. These also help you to workout your upper and lower body, giving you a full body cardio workout that will help you achieve your fitness goals.

Who is an Elliptical For?

Ellipticals can be used by most people and it is a popular choice for people trying to get into shape. People who particularly benefit from using an elliptical are people who have joint pain. There are a few reasons for this. For one thing, the machine carries your weight for you which makes it easier on your joints when working out. It also offers a more natural motion, when walking or running, further reducing the strain on your joints.

Who Shouldn’t Use an Elliptical?

Elliptical trainers are excellent options, but they may not be the best choice for everyone. You should always check with a doctor before you start any workout regimen, especially if you have certain health problems. You want to make sure that you are as safe as possible before you get started.

Depending on what your fitness goals are, an elliptical may not be the best choice. If you want something that is more intense, then you may want to try something like a treadmill where you can better maximize your workout.

Fortunately, ellipticals are widely considered to be one of the better options for exercise machines which is why they are so popular today. A majority of people can use and greatly benefit from having an elliptical trainer in their home.

How Will an Elliptical Change Your Life?

There are many benefits to an elliptical that can absolutely change your life. In this section, you can see some of the top benefits that you can receive thanks to an elliptical trainer.

Low Impact

Low impact is the main reason elliptical machines are so popular and it is easily one of the best benefits of an elliptical. The machine is designed specifically to reduce strain on your legs and feet, bearing the weight for you. This also translates to less back pain after your workout. Many people experience lower back pain after running due to the high impact of this exercise. This isn’t an issue you’ll suffer from with a treadmill.

Can Help with Belly Fat

Belly fat, obesity, and other weight issues can lead to a wide variety of issues including diabetes and heart disease. With an elliptical, you are getting a full body aerobic exercise that can help minimize belly fat and burn calories to prevent these issues or to help reduce the severity of these conditions.

Stronger Leg Muscles

The unique design of ellipticals helps them to better strengthen your hamstrings and quadriceps. If these are areas that you have had issues with in the past, the elliptical can help you overcome these issues and get stronger legs to accomplish more.

Improve Mobility and Balance

If you’ve ever been to a physical therapy facility, you will notice that they have elliptical machines there. That’s because it’s an excellent machine for helping you regain mobility and balance after an injury. If you had suffered from a torn ACL, hip surgery, hip injuries, or other injuries, then rehabilitation on an elliptical trainer will change your life. You can regain your mobility and balance without the risk of reinjuring yourself.

Helps with Musculoskeletal Health

What this means is that the elliptical can help greatly improve how strong and healthy your bones are, including improving density. This is important because it can help fight against some conditions like osteoporosis. If you are concerned about your bone health, an elliptical can make a huge difference in your life.

Elliptical Buying Guide

Now that you understand how beneficial an elliptical is for you, this will take a look at the different types of ellipticals and the various features that you can enjoy with these exercise machines.

Different Types of Ellipticals

Elliptical Trainers

When it comes to elliptical trainers, there are 3 different options: rear drive elliptical; front drive elliptical; and center drive elliptical. Rear drive was the original technology that was introduced with the first ellipticals. Center drive ellipticals are among the most popular options, especially for home gyms since these are the most compact of the choices.

See the elliptical trainer Cardio Nation currently recommends by clicking in the image below:

Desk Ellipticals

Do you spend a lot of time at a computer for work or recreation? Getting a desk elliptical can be a great choice for you because it allows you some level of activity while you work, so that you can multitask exercise while working. These aren’t as effective as full ellipticals, but these are great options to help you burn calories while you’re at your desk.

Elliptical Gliders

These are low impact and simpler machines than the traditional ellipticals. If you have limited space, this can be an excellent option for a good elliptical workout.

Elliptical Features

Which features do you need your elliptical to include? Here’s a look at some of the top features to consider for your elliptical.

Elliptical Self Powered

The great thing about an elliptical trainer is that most models do not need to be plugged in. They generate their own power which can be a great advantage for the home user who may want to place the machine in a location that does not have an electrical outlet or receptacle near by. 

Natural Movement

Natural movement is a must-have when you purchase an elliptical. It should feel smooth and natural as you use it, otherwise you run the risk of putting excess strain on your knees, hips, and feet. You also don’t want something that you are hunched over when using. Natural movement is essential for the sake of your body.

Adjustable Incline

Incline is important because this can prevent you from reaching the dreaded plateau when working out. It adds variety to your workout as well as allowing you to exercise different muscle groups.

Upper Body Levers

The best ellipticals offer a full body workout, so look for options that have levers for your arms to move along with you.

Forward and Reverse Motion

This is another great feature that prevents boredom and plateaus when working out.


There are some ellipticals that you can get that have significantly less noise than others. This is an important feature so that you can work out without disturbing others in the house.

Electronic Features

These can be as simple or complex as you want them to be. Some just show calories burned while others have features for multiple users. Decide on the electronic features that you absolutely need.

Adjustable Resistance

Some systems allow you to easily change the resistance as you work out while others have automatic features to handle this for you.

Things to Consider When Buying an Elliptical

So how do you choose the best elliptical for your needs? These are some important things to consider.


Anytime you are purchasing a big ticket item, the biggest consideration is your budget. You need to be realistic with your budget but you don’t want to spend more than you’re comfortable with. The price ranges for good elliptical trainers can vary greatly, so have a solid and realistic budget in mind before you shop.

Your Fitness Goals

Are you recovering from an injury or surgery? Do you just want to get healthier? There are different reasons why you may want an elliptical trainer. Consider your fitness goals and then you can start deciding on an elliptical that will best help you to achieve them.

What Do You Really Need?

We only mentioned a few of the major features that you can get from an elliptical. You can get options with a screen that offers workout programs. You can find some with advanced features that help you maximize your workout. Consider what features you really need, especially if you are working within a strict budget. Knowing your fitness goals before shopping will ensure you can buy the right elliptical machine.

Look at Warranties

When you invest that much money into something, you want to make sure that it’s going to last. It’s not only important to look for warranties, but you’ll also want to read the fine print so that you aren’t surprised if something happens.


Ellipticals are amazing exercise machines for any home gym. You have a lot of things to consider before you buy, but this will help ensure that you get the perfect elliptical for your individual needs. Before you start any workout regimen, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor first. They can let you know if ellipticals are a good idea for you and may even be able to offer excellent advice on how to best use one in your fitness routine or even rehab.

Visit our website at and browse our elliptical trainer collection.  You can also contact us by phone at (888) 329-9123 or email at so that we can assist you with finding the best elliptical for your needs.  

Again Thank you for reading! 

As stated in the introduction, our goal is to provide you with quality information that will enable you to make informed decisions. We are always updating and improving our content and will be happy to take your recommendations is you are inclined to provide them.  Please email any suggestions to  Also, see our elliptical choices here at


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