How to Choose an Elliptical Exercise Machine

How do you choose an Elliptical Exercise Machine?

Since the inception of the elliptical in the early 1990’s the category has taken over the market.  You will now find just as many ellipticals in a health club as you do treadmills and more than you find exercise bikes.  You will find elliptical exercise machines in every price point and quality level imaginable.  Ranging from entry level home units all the way up to heavy duty commercial units all with motions as different as their quality levels.  All ellipticals are going to have a different “feel” to them based on how they are designed.  With all the varieties on the market, how do you decide what unit is the best?  Unfortunately there is not an easy answer to that question.  You do have to try the units out to see what unit feels the best for you, but there are some things to consider when looking for an elliptical exercise machine.

What to consider before purchasing an elliptical exercise machine.

1)    How many people in your family are going to use the unit?  The more people you have using the unit the better quality components you are going to need or you will be on a first name basis with your service technician.

2)    What is the weight of the heaviest person using the unit?  You have to make sure that the weight limit on the unit is not exceeded or you could hurt yourself and the manufacturer will not honor the warranty.

3)    Where are you going to put your new piece of exercise equipment?  You have to make sure that you have ceiling clearance for the tallest person using it.  You also have to make sure that you can get the unit to the location that you want to put it.  Many commercial ellipticals are very large and do not break down very small since they primarily have welded frames.

4)    What is your budget?

What to look for in an elliptical motion:

Look for a Q-Factor that allows your feet to be placed in a comfortable position.  The Q-Factor is the space between the pedals of the machine.  The wider the Q-Factor, the greater the chance that you will end up with hip problems over prolonged use.  Even though ellipticals are low impact, there are other factors that can damage the body just as much.

Check the amount of heal kick the unit has. The more your heal comes up off of the back of the pedal the more problems you are going to have with your feet.  You will have everything ranging from your foot falling asleep all the way up to plantar fasciitis.

Make sure that the stride is comfortable. If the unit does not feel natural, then you are not going to use it.

If the unit has an arm motion, make sure that it does not pull you forward or force you to twist your torso. Excessive twisting or pulling can lead to repetitive motion injuries.

Other things to consider

Motivational Programs.  Some units are just a plain get on and go type and others will have multiple programs.  Don’t just think of programs as “bells and whistles”.  Programs are designed to enhance the fat burning process or optimize your fitness level.  Especially when dealing with higher end manufacturers a lot of time and research has been put into the different programs to make the workout process more enjoyable and beneficial.

Adjustable Incline.  Some units have adjustable inclines that are designed to target different muscle groups.

Adjustable Strides. This could come in handy in families that have a large discrepancy in user heights.

For more information on the Types of Elliptical Exercise Machines click here

For information on how to choose commercial exercise equipment for the home click here

– The Staff at

“For all of Your Fitness Equipment and Exercise Equipment Needs”.


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