Where Can I Compare Elliptical Machines?

By Christine Lehman

  • Overview

    Elliptical trainers are indoor fitness machines that are an alternative to treadmills. Elliptical machine workouts are just as challenging as treadmill workouts but they are easier on your feet, knees and hips. For this reason, elliptical machines have become very popular. There are many different types of them on the market, making it important to be able to comparison shop.
  • Identification

    Elliptical trainers look a little like treadmills, but rather than having a single belt that moves under your feet, each foot goes on a separate pedal that rotates in an elliptical pattern. The motion is smooth and non-jarring, making an elliptical trainer a great piece of exercise equipment for anyone.
  • Significance

    Elliptical trainers have the ability to give you a great workout. You can vary the intensity of the workout by changing the resistance. Elliptical trainers also have movable handles that can be grasped during use to give you an upper body workout, allowing you to burn more calories. The pedals on an elliptical trainer can go forward as well as backward, which gives you the ability to work different sets of muscles. Regardless of the models you compare, all will give you a similar type of workout.

  • Features

    Begin your search for an elliptical trainer by figuring out the features you want as well as your budget. Elliptical trainers can cost anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. The most expensive trainers have features such as pre-programmed workouts, readouts that tell you the number of calories burned, distance traveled, a place to plug in your iPod or other audio device, and even built-in fans. Cheaper models may offer only the ability to track your time and perhaps calories burned and may be louder and not as smooth. Comparison shopping will allow you to figure out which options you like best.
  • Comparison

    To purchase an elliptical trainer, it is best to go to a store that offers a wide range of options. Many times these will be large sporting goods stores (like Dick's Sporting Goods or MC Sports) as opposed to department stores (like Wal-Mart) that have only a few options. They are all specialty stores that only sell exercise equipment. Taking the time to shop around will allow you to try several elliptical trainers in your price range rather than one in each price range. Make sure you speak with someone at the store that is knowledgeable about the different features, prices and discounts available. Enter the store with comfortable shoes on and be prepared to try each machine at several different intensities.
  • Considerations

    It is a good idea to shop around in person for an elliptical trainer to figure out which one works best for you. Once you have narrowed your choices down, you can shop at smaller stores, department stores or online.
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