Getting into or getting back into sport requires motivation, perseverance and suitable equipment. Especially if you have to do your sessions at home. Among the most popular cardio machines, the elliptical trainer is in the top. Sports hall star, it is perfect for toning your figure, improving your endurance and sweating quickly! How to choose the right model? Here is a selection of the best models.
The elliptical trainer, why and for whom?
The elliptical trainer is located halfway between the classic bike and the treadmill. A favorite of sports halls, it allows you to work energetically the whole body. It’s the perfect device for training in front of our favorite series (we assure you, it’s compatible, and we love it!) Or in music.
It is still necessary to know how to choose it, and for this it is necessary to ask the right questions:
- What is my use? Beginner or professional?
- What kind of resistance? Manual or motorized?
- Without forgetting to take into account the technical criteria: what weight, what size? These will be decisive elements in the choice of the device.
- And also: what place do I have at home? What is my budget?
1. Technical criteria
1.1 Fixed and movable handlebars
Generally, the user can transform the movable handlebars into fixed handlebars. The movable handlebar corresponds to the movable arms which accompany the exercise and also allow the upper body to work. Many models allow you to choose between the fixed handlebars and the so-called movable handlebars, and offer both. It's up to you to decide if you want to focus on the lower body by varying the resistance, or simply warm up before a weight training session by opting for a simpler use.
In the most successful models, there are also pulse, distance and speed sensors, so you can track your progress and reach your goals.
1.2 Manual, motorized or electromagnetic magnetic braking?
Braking and resistance will mainly depend on the use of the bicycle. For occasional use, a bicycle equipped with manual magnetic braking will be sufficient. We then choose the resistance thanks to a wheel, nothing too complicated! For intensive use, electromagnetic braking is preferred, a more complex system of coil and magnet. If you cut the pear in half, you opt for motorized magnetic braking.
1.3 The importance of the flywheel
This is one of the most important criteria to take into account. The flywheel guarantees comfort of movement. The bottom line: the heavier the wheel, the greater the comfort.
For regular use, a fairly large flywheel guarantees good stability and perfect fluidity of movement. It leaves no room for irregular interruptions. Also be sure to choose a device capable of supporting a heavy weight.
To help you in your sessions, do not hesitate to opt for an elliptical trainer already offering training programs. What work your cardio in no time.
2. Choose according to your objective
2.1 Getting started
If you are a beginner, a basic model may not be suitable, especially if it is for a use that remains occasional. Make sure that it is of sufficient quality, and that it does not take up too much space.
The criteria to favor: an easy-to-use console with all the important information to organize the session, casters to move it if necessary, a powerful flywheel and a pleasant design!
2.2 To improve
We opt for a more robust and intelligent model, which can hold without worries with several hours of pedaling per week.
You don't like the routine? Opt for a bike that comes with many suitable training programs, some of which focus on your heart capacity, enough to improve endurance and train as fully and effectively as possible.
3. Top elliptical bikes
The models below have been selected for their very complete characteristics and the many positive ratings (minimum 4/5) by buyers on Amazon.
– Sportstech CX625, from 559 € on Amazon
With a 24 Kg flywheel and a silent belt drive system, this model allows optimal and smooth movement. Select your personalized training from the 22 pre-installed programs and train with the HRC function and your pulse. It is also supplied with a cardio belt, ideal for training on one of the 5 pre-installed HRC programs (Heart Rate Control).
– Sportstech LCX800 with multiplayer console, € 1,159 on Amazon
This ultra-complete device has a console with 6 virtual slide modes. It contains an HRC mode and is compatible with Bluetooth, App and heart rate belt. The magnetic braking system is silent, the flywheel is 24 kg, and the maximum supported weight is up to 120 kg. It is supplied with 12 training programs pre-installed on the stepper, and the MP3 function allows you to listen to music at any time, via the USB port in particular. In addition: a speaker and a headphone jack!
– Proform Smart Strider, from € 799 (limited offer!)
This elliptical trainer has 20 resistance levels, and its flywheel is 8kg. Ideal for beginners, it has an integrated bottle holder and transport wheels. The 5-inch display is backlit, and 24 training programs are already pre-recorded. The model is supplied with 1 year of iFit subscription included to benefit from more than 400 coached videos and personalized programs. The plus: an MP3 function and it's foldable!
You are armed and ready to choose your best cardio machine, here are some subsidiary recommendations:
Comfort above all
Models are not missing, but not all have the same characteristics. Again, comfort is quite subjective but be sure to check these few points:
- The wheels are always more pleasant to be able to move it.
- Foldable bike for more convenience!
- The presence of stabilizers is also checked to ensure safety.
- The bottle holder, certainly not essential but very useful
- The tablet or phone holder, again this is not the most important criterion but it is always nice to be entertained during the effort!
Easy to use
Isn’t it more pleasant to practice driving a simple machine?
The elliptical trainer is generally easy to set up and start up. Do not fall for the panel of the last model which promises you the moon but which turns out to be expensive. Choose the one that speaks to you and forget the bling-bling!
Adapted training programs
This goes back to our previous point, if you are aiming for an improvement in endurance then take a look at a specific model with dedicated heart rate programs. For a fun approach, we focus on devices that offer entertaining routes to find on the console …
Think about your desires and needs, it's the key to making the right choice!
You now have all the cards in hand to welcome a nice sweat machine at home!
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The elliptical trainer: a device with multiple benefits