How to choose an elliptical trainer 2021

How to choose an elliptical trainer 2021

1 The difference between home and professional exercise equipment
2 Select the type of load: mechanical, magnetic, electromagnetic
3 Step or smooth load control?
4 What is a heart rate sensor and training programs for?
5 Helpful Tips

The benefits of walking have been known for a long time. This type of physical activity is good, no matter which side you look at, and it suits absolutely everyone. Race walking can be practiced at any age, there are no contraindications. Since walking is an aerobic exercise, it burns calories excellently, promotes weight loss and, importantly, trains the cardiovascular system. Even the famous jogging has its drawbacks – it is believed that it implies stressful loads on the joints, and therefore leads to their premature wear. Walking does not have this disadvantage. But even an ideal workout has a drawback: not always and not everyone has the opportunity to walk at a convenient time. And it was to solve this problem that cardiovascular equipment for the home was invented – ellipsoids and steppers.

Elliptical trainers, also known as ellipsoids (colloquially called Orbitrek, after the brand that was one of the first to introduce this type of trainer to the market) are available in a variety of designs. Basically, these are rather large-sized devices, but there are also more compact ones. Folding models are widespread, which, alas, are less reliable than stationary ones due to the large number of hinged joints. Nevertheless, if you do not weigh more than 100 kg, then the folding ellipsoid may well become for you a constant help in home workouts. Which ellipsoid to buy is up to you, but first we suggest that you familiarize yourself with what the market offers.

Elliptical Trainer Class
Elliptical trainers are divided into classes. Distinguish between household and professional ellipsoids.

Household ellipsoidsMost often, unlike professional ones, they have a low price, and this is their undoubted advantage. Moreover, the functionality of such devices is quite sufficient to keep fit at home.

Professional ellipsoids

These machines are mainly installed in gyms. They are also purchased for training by professional athletes. The main quality of this class is high wear resistance. A professional ellipsoid is capable of working 24 hours 7 days a week. But the price, as you know, bites. In addition, professional elliptical trainers are almost always equipped with high-precision sensors to measure the athlete’s performance. This is necessary, firstly, for self-control, and secondly, for the correct functioning of the built-in training programs (read more about the programs below).

Ellipsoid load type
Depending on the principle on which the loading mechanism of the simulator is based, ellipsoids are divided into several types. The main part of the mechanism is the flywheel, the rotation of which is slowed down in various ways.

Ellipsoids with mechanical loading

The device works through the influence of the exercising person and does not require a network connection. The flywheel is braked by special brake pads, the principle is similar to the brake mechanism in a car. This scheme is implemented in the most budgetary models. Its price is low, but the wear of the pads and the flywheel itself negates the savings.

Ellipsoids with magnetic load

Magnetic pads create more stress the closer they are to the flywheel surface. In all respects, a good solution. Inexpensive models may have one drawback – when the speed of work increases, it is not possible to maintain a high load (since when running, the inertia force also begins to act on the flywheel, making it difficult to brake). However, it depends on the manufacturer, there are very decent models where this problem is constructively solved (and you can work intensively on the simulator with any load). As you can imagine, this will also affect the price.

Ellipsoids with electromagnetic load

The braking of the disc, as in the previous version, is carried out using magnetic pads. The difference is that they are stationary, and adjustment is achieved due to the fact that this mechanism uses electromagnets, the power of which can be changed. The most efficient way. But there is also a drawback: such a simulator is completely dependent on the supply of electricity.

There are a number of elliptical cardio equipment characteristics that are similar to steppers. Below are some of them.

Maximum user weight – Elliptical trainers are generally more durable than steppers. For steppers, the maximum weight is usually limited to 130 kg, and for some ellipsoid models it reaches 140–160 kg.

Method for regulating the load on the ellipsoid
According to the method of regulation, simulators are distinguished with stepwise load regulation and with smooth one.

Trainers with step adjustment

Typically they have 4 to 12 fixed load levels. But there are models with a large number. The more fixed values ​​are set on the simulator, the more accurately you can adjust the load for training.

Infinitely adjustable exercise equipment

They will allow you to set the load as accurately as possible in a wide range. In addition, the presence of smooth adjustment often implies a large number of built-in workouts.

Additional functions
Depending on the price, cardio equipment can be equipped with a lot of additional devices with various useful functions.


The heart rate sensor is designed to measure the heart rate during training. This is an important indicator: the effectiveness of training depends on maintaining the desired heart rate.

The heart rate sensor can:
to be built into the palm rest;

to be fixed on the athlete’s body and connected to the computer of the simulator by means of a wire;

be wireless.


Training programs

Some models allow you to set one of several programs, which are designed to more efficiently distribute the load during training.

For example, you can choose a program that will monitor your heart rate using a sensor and keep it in the most effective range, automatically adjusting the load. Or a program that will change the load during the workout according to a given schedule (say, five minutes of increased load, five minutes of reduced, five increased, five minutes of reduced). Or give an extra load in the last 2 minutes for the final spurt.

So, we choose
If you are buying an exercise machine in order to lose weight, this process will be more effective when training on an elliptical trainer, rather than on a stepper. But remember that the ellipsoid takes up a lot of space and if you are overweight, it is advisable that it be equipped with a heart rate sensor.

For a person who is actively involved in sports, the best solution would be an expensive ellipsoid, either with a smooth load regulation, or with a large number of fixed positions. It is advisable not to skimp on the brand.

If you get the main load in the gym, then an inexpensive model of an ellipsoid or a rotary stepper is suitable (depending on your financial capabilities and free space in the home). If you are in the light weight category, you can opt for a folding model.

We hope we were able to help you with the choice of a simulator. Enjoy your shopping, good health and a good day!