Which elliptical trainer is better: How to choose an elliptical trainer?

Which elliptical trainer is better: How to choose an elliptical trainer?

In this article, we would like to bring to your attention a small overview of one of the types of cardiovascular equipment – ELLIPTIC SIMULATORS, they are also ellipsoids, ellipses, and orbit tracks. So, how to choose an elliptical trainer for home (office, fitness room, fitness center), what to look for, which ellipsoid is better and how to choose the right elliptical trainer so that it suits you, and it was comfortable and pleasant to use it?

These questions are asked by every person who decides to buy an elliptical trainer. Ellipsoids, like exercise bikes, are quite compact. They really take up less space than, for example, a treadmill, so they are indispensable if the space in the room is limited.

By the way, some models have a folding leg design, which makes them even more compact.

In terms of mobility, all elliptical trainers are equipped with transport rollers and floor uneven compensators. That is, the simulator can be “rolled away” and moved anywhere, and with the help of compensators, you can give the simulator a stable position if the floor is not quite even in the room.
So, you need to know that elliptical trainers are divided into three categories:

The difference lies in the safety margin of the simulator, its components, and, as a consequence, in the price, although the categories may overlap. And in order to understand which simulator is better for the home, consider the categories in more detail …

Households are focused on not frequent use during the day. According to statistics, the ellipsoid is activated, on average, 2 hours a day. They are purchased for apartments, private houses, cottages, offices.

Semi-professional ellipsoids are designed both for active use at home and in fitness centers, fitness clubs with low traffic.
Professional ellipsoids are used, as a rule, in fitness centers and fitness clubs, which is called “in full”, i.e. the safety margin is designed for use throughout the day. By the way, it is not uncommon when they are bought for private use!

As you can imagine, the names of the categories are conditional, since does not mean that if a person is looking for an elliptical trainer for the home, they cannot buy a semi-professional or professional one. It’s just a matter of budget and personal preference!

Also, you need to know that ellipsoids are divided into several main groups:

Ellipsoids with a mechanical loading system change the load level by varying the belt tension or the pressure of the shoes against the flywheel. They are not powered from a 220V network, but the computer uses batteries. They are a cheap option, but very noisy and not in demand.

Ellipsoids with a magnetic loading system change the load level by changing the distance between the flywheel and the magnet, by switching the positions of the lever on the body of the simulator.
They are not powered from a 220V network, but the computer uses batteries. These elliptical trainers are more popular than the first and are significantly less noisy.

Ellipsoids with an electromagnetic loading system, are also elliptical ergometers. The load level is changed by the influence of the electromagnetic field on the flywheel. The user changes the load using the buttons on the LCD display. Also, the load in them is measured in watts, which is an accurate unit of measurement. While in the previous groups of ellipses, the measurement of the load is conditional: level 1… level 2… level 3. Elliptical ergometers are the most modern generation of ellipsoids.
Generator elliptical trainers do not require a network connection. And thanks to the generator as part of the simulator design, the console, and other systems are powered.

As a result, the most effective and popular are electromagnetic, generator, and magnetic elliptical trainers.

Also, ellipsoids are.

For front-wheel drive, the flywheel is in front and, as a rule, has a lot of weight, for greater structural stability.

RWD is considered “classics of the genre”, the flywheel is behind the user. Very easy to maintain.
In the center drive elliptical trainer, the flywheel is under the user.

In fact, the choice of this or that drive is a matter of personal preference, it all depends on the comfort of a particular design for a particular user.

Now let’s consider the characteristics that you need to pay attention to when choosing:

  • – TYPE OF. We recommend electromagnetic or magnetic elliptical trainers !!!
  • – STEP LENGTH. It is selected depending on the height of the user. People with a height of up to 165 cm will feel comfortable with a step length of 30-33 cm. (300-330 mm.), With a height of 165-170 cm, you should pay attention to an ellipsoid with a step length of 33-35 cm. (330-350 mm.), and the parameter 35-40 is suitable for people with a height of 175-185cm

If a person’s height exceeds 185 cm, then the stride length must be at least 50 cm. This is the average data. Of course, a lot depends on individual characteristics, in particular the length of the legs. You also need to know that pedals can be multi-position, i.e. during assembly, they can be positioned at the desired distance.

  • – MAXIMUM USER WEIGHT. A very important parameter, as it speaks about the safety margin of the simulator. When choosing an ellipsoid, the maximum user weight should exceed your weight by at least 15-20 kg. The more, the more reliable the design. If you take this into account, then such an ellipsoid will serve you faithfully for a long time.
  • – WEIGHT OF THE FLYWHEEL. One of the main parameters affecting comfort and convenience. The greater the weight of the flywheel, the more stable the structure, the smoother the change in the load level, and the less vibration. We recommend at least 6 kg.
  • – SENSOR PULSE SENSORS. Equipped by default on ellipsoid handrails! This method of measuring the heart rate has the largest error in the readings, i.e.
    It is very likely that the palm will be loosely pressed against the sensor or will slide off it. There are also methods for measuring heart rates, such as an ear clip and a wireless chest heart rate transmitter. The latter is the most accurate! It is very good if you are monitoring your heart rate and using the heart rate-dependent programs of the trainer. To use the chest heart rate transmitter, the treadmill must be equipped with a receiver compatible function !!!- CONSOLE SIZE. The larger the diagonal of the console, the more convenient it is to read data from it. Also, there are black and white and color. The latter, from the point of view of visual beauty, is the most interesting.
  • – NUMBER OF PROGRAMS. Programs are: – Pulse-dependent. Probably the most effective. Since they allow training in the aerobic heart rate zone, where the process of maximum fat burning and training of the cardiovascular system takes place. – Built-in (pre-installed). Already programmed into the computer. Simulate different terrain (plain, hills, etc.), alternating them and changing the load levels. These programs allow you to effectively carry out the process of fat burning and endurance training. – Targeted. Allow conducting training until the preset values ​​(values) are reached. – Custom. It is possible to create your own program and link it to a profile. – Fitness test. Fixes the rate of recovery of the heart rate to a normal value. Allows you to assess the state of the cardiovascular system. – Fat analyzer. Allows you to assess the amount of fat in the body and most effectively assess the progress of training on the elliptical weight loss machine.
  • – ADDITIONAL FUNCTIONS. This includes a fan, speakers, audio/video playback, internet and TV connectivity, USB port, iPhone and Ipad sync and integration, multilingual interface, etc. The presence or absence of these features depends solely on the budget. Let’s sum up, dear visitors of our online store! Price is naturally a fundamental factor in purchasing an elliptical trainer.
    And the question of which elliptical trainer to buy, you can answer by comparing the desired parameters of the simulator and the budget.

How to choose an elliptical trainer for home?

The elliptical trainer is a relatively recent invention, which is a cross between a treadmill and an exercise bike. Ellipsoid exercises train the main muscle groups and strengthen the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.

This type of exercise equipment has now gained high popularity and today it is no longer possible to imagine any fitness center without it. And due to its compact size, the elliptical trainer is also often used for home use.

How to choose an elliptical trainer for home?

1. How many people will use the simulator?

It’s one thing if you buy a simulator for only yourself, and quite another when you buy it for the whole family. In the second case, you are advised to pay attention to the adjustment of the stride length. For people of different heights, it is desirable to change this parameter so that the training is more comfortable and effective.

2. Is it true that the stride length is 33 cm for the height of 155 cm?

With a height of 155 cm, you can comfortably work out on simulators with a step of 51 cm. Namely, simulators with this step are in fitness clubs. Another thing is that it can be uncomfortable on a rear-wheel-drive model due to the high Q-factor, which can be up to 20 cm.

If with this height, you choose a front-wheel-drive model with a step of 45-51 cm and a comfortable Q-factor, then the quality of training will be at a high level. And a step of 33 cm is a kind of compromise for those who think about training and do not want to install a dimensional simulator.

But the trajectory of the step will not be “ski”, but more “bicycle”. True, now there are models with compact sizes, while the length of the step is 40 cm, or even 52 cm, while the comfort of the step remains at a good level.

3. What is the Q factor?

This is the distance between the pedals. On rear-wheel-drive models, as a rule, this parameter will be around 20 cm, i.e. feet are shoulder-width apart. For short users, this positioning of the legs may be uncomfortable.

On front-wheel-drive models, this parameter is on average 5-10 cm, there are models with a distance of 1 cm. This positioning of the legs is more comfortable, especially for users with short stature.

4. What is your weight?

Each simulator has characteristics, where the maximum permissible weight of the trainee is indicated.
Consultants usually recommend choosing a simulator in such a way that your weight is 15-20 kilograms lighter than the maximum.

By the way, if you decide to choose an elliptical trainer for the purpose of losing weight, then start from the real weight, and not from the predicted one. Still, a few months of working at the limit will not do your “ellipsoid” good.

5. Which drive to choose?

Elliptical trainers differ between the front and rear-wheel drive depending on the location of the flywheel. Front-wheel-drive models have a front flywheel so the body is more upright during training. And when training on a model with a rear “motor”, your body will be slightly tilted forward.

The choice of the drive is carried out depending on your personal preferences by means of a test drive. But the practice has shown that tall people often feel uncomfortable when training on rear-wheel-drive models (depending on the model). So, if your height allows you to twist the bulbs without standing on a stool, then pay special attention to front-wheel-drive models.

6. How “smart” do you need a simulator?

Today the market can offer you to choose an elliptical trainer, stuffed with a variety of “smart” functions. Even the simplest device has the ability to measure the pulse and the distance traveled, and more expensive models can independently assess your training or offer to compete with a virtual opponent.

Think about what exactly is required of your “ellipsoid”? If the basic functions are enough for you, then take a simple model. You will not get confused by the buttons on the control panel and save your budget.

7. What type of load adjustment do you need?

There are 3 types of elliptical trainers:

  • mechanical;
  • magnetic;
  • electromagnetic.

Mechanical “ellipsoids” involve manual adjustment of the load, which will make you take a break from your workout for a few seconds. These models are the noisiest and least smooth running models.
But their price is the most democratic.

Magnetic trainers provide for load adjustment using buttons on the control panel. They are quite smooth and almost silent. Average price.

Electromagnetic have the smoothest and most accurate load control, operate without noise, but their price bites. These are usually found in good fitness clubs.

8. How much space are you willing to donate?

There should be enough space not only to put the simulator but also to practice on it. When exercising, nothing should hinder your movements.

If you cannot afford the simulator to constantly occupy several squares in your apartment, then you should pay attention to folding models – these are also on the market.

But keep in mind that in this case, after training, you will have to fold and transport more than fifty kilograms. If you have already decided to choose a foldable elliptical trainer, then make sure that it has wheels for transportation.

9. Do you need to control your heart rate?

This is not the most important point, but I decided to draw attention to it. If for some reason you suddenly need to constantly monitor your heart rate, then ask for a model with a special telemetry sensor, for example, a chest strap.

Most standard models measure heart rate only when you hold onto the special handrails. That is, to measure the pulse, you need to remove your hands from the operating handles.

And the last one is the most important tip. Before you finally choose an elliptical trainer for your home, go to the store, consult with the seller and do a few test drives.

Don’t be afraid to sound meticulous or intrusive. You are choosing a toy that is by no means a cheap one, so you deserve attention. It is better to go for advice to a specialized store, and not to a sports supermarket. In the latter, consultants are not particularly aware of the intricacies of choosing “ellipsoids”.

As for the place of purchase, decide for yourself. We think that factors such as price, warranty period, and seller’s reputation should be guided.

Happy training!

How to choose an ellipsoid for training: types, features, and nuances

Everyone dreams of a slim and fit body, but not everyone has the desire and opportunity to go to the gym. An elliptical trainer will help provide muscles with physical activity at home. The main thing is to choose the right model.

How an ellipsoid works

The basic device has two pedals and two pairs of handles: movable and fixed. During exercise on the simulator, intensive walking, running, cycling, rowing are simulated at the same time, the cardio load is created.

Movable handles allow you to use your hands. The main difference between an ellipsoid and classic tracks and exercise bikes is that the legs make circular movements along an elongated trajectory – an ellipse.

What muscle groups can you work out on the orbit track?

  • Pedaling forward in an oval trajectory helps to train the calf and thigh muscles.
  • The knee joints are practically not stressed. The risk of sprains and other injuries is minimal compared to other types of simulators;
  • reverse pedaling helps to work the gluteus muscles. Tendons are also included in the work – this effect cannot be obtained on other devices;
  • movable arms promote the development of pectoral muscles, back muscles, biceps, triceps;
  • the need to keep the body suspended in an upright position causes tension in almost all muscle groups, including passive ones


Advantages and disadvantages of ellipsoids


  • multifunctionality, the study of several muscle groups on one sports simulator for the home;
  • universality in use by people of different sex, age, level of physical fitness;
  • safety, low stress on joints and ligaments;
  • high efficiency with regular short workouts;
  • Ability to select an activity mode from preinstalled programs (on some devices).


  • intense load on the cardiovascular system – it is better to coordinate training with a doctor;
  • significant dimensions – a lot of space is required to install the ellipsoid.

Ellipsoid classes

Household. Simple orbit tracks with a minimal set of functions. You can buy an electronically controlled trainer with several training programs designed for aspiring athletes. The equipment is quite simple to set up and operate.

Professional. More powerful, functional devices. Several standard programs are preinstalled in the memory of the control unit with the possibility of correcting and changing the algorithm. Professional models have ample opportunities, but they are more expensive than household ones.

Types of elliptical trainers


An inexpensive model that is driven by the physical efforts of a person.
The speed and intensity of training depend on the desire and preparation of the athlete. Mechanical orbit tracks are lightweight, compact, and easy to use.

They are highly maintainable and do not depend on the presence of an outlet. The device can be placed in almost any free corner of the room. Some models are even foldable. The disadvantage is the inability to regulate the smoothness of movements and the noise that appears during pedaling.


More complex elliptical trainers with several levels of load variation. Adjustment is carried out manually using brake magnets. To raise or lower the level, you have to stop.

Magnetic-mechanical devices are compact, inexpensive, and well suited for untrained people. Some models additionally have a battery-operated display. A good starting point for cardio workouts.


Training modes are switched using the electronic control unit. The adjustment is carried out smoothly, power can be carried out both from the outlet and from the battery.

Most modern models allow you to create your own training programs. Magnetic orbit tracks work almost silently, so they do not cause discomfort to other people in the room.


A quiet, easy-to-use ellipsoid. The device requires a network connection, but on the scoreboard, the user can track the distance traveled, his own heart rate, the number of calories burned, and the duration of the workout.

In the control unit of electromagnetic ellipsoids, standard tasks are preset, so everyone can choose an option according to their own strength. The load is regulated smoothly, precisely. The angle of inclination of the pedals can be changed to simulate climbing a hill.


The principle of operation of the ellipsoid is similar to electromagnetic models. This is new equipment that does not work from the mains, but from the built-in generator.

The computer is powered by a battery. The models are equipped with an electronically controlled magnetic control system.

In the event of long periods of inactivity, the battery is automatically recharged from the main adapter. Aeromagnetic orbit tracks are characterized by smooth running, high rotation speed, low friction.

What to look for when choosing?

Number of users

The ellipsoid will be different for one user and for the whole family. If you are choosing a simulator only for yourself, it is enough to analyze its characteristics. A family will need a more expensive model with the ability to change the load and stride length.

The intensity of the equipment operation also depends on the number of people. If the device will not be used often, you can buy a standard type of elliptical trainer with permanent magnets with manual adjustment. For intensive use, choose mid-range models with a solid frame and a controlled load system.

User parameters

The height and weight of a personal matter. When choosing, it is necessary to be guided by the indicator of the maximum load indicated in the passport to the ellipsoid.

Pay attention to the recommended weight, not the maximum acceptable weight, because constant overloading will lead to rapid equipment failure. If only the maximum mark is indicated in the passport, subtract 15 kg from it. This will be the optimal user weight.

Frame strength

Each part of the frame must fit snugly against adjacent elements. No backlash and defects are allowed. Stationary frames are stronger and more stable than folding frames. If the area of ​​the room is large, choose models with a solid frame.

Type of drive

Depending on the location of the flywheel, the orbit tracks are front- and rear-wheel drive. For front-wheel-drive models, the transmission and flywheel are located at the front. This design contributes to an upright posture of the body and is comfortable for tall people – they knock fewer knees on the handles.

On rear-wheel drive models, the flywheel is mounted at the rear. During exercise, the human body leans forward slightly, which can be convenient for most users. These machines are well suited for people of all sizes.

Orbit-tracks with a mid-flywheel are starting to appear in the lines of large manufacturers. They are shorter and more stable, but so far they are difficult to find in the store.

The final choice depends on individual preference. Before buying an ellipsoid, it is recommended to go to the gym and work out on the front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive models in order to determine the most convenient option for yourself.

Flywheel characteristics

The more massive, the heavier the flywheel, the softer the pedal travel, and the more evenly the load is distributed. For people of average build, a simulator with a flywheel weighing 8 kg is enough, for large users, it is better to choose 15 kg options.

Step length

The load during exercise on the simulator is determined by the length of the stride.
The standard value is 40 cm. It is this value that is present on the equipment with manual adjustment. A step length of 50 cm is suitable for tall people, and 30 cm is an outdated norm. If several people will be engaged on the device, choose a model with the ability to adjust this parameter.

The angle of inclination of pedals

Another important load characteristic is the angle of inclination of the pedals. The most convenient are exercise machines with an adjustment function. They are well suited for extended workouts where it is important to change body position to work out different muscle groups evenly.

Additional functions

Sports equipment with timers, sensors, training programs, and other useful options are on sale. Advanced functionality is necessary if you seriously decide to take care of your body. The most expensive models have the ability to automatically change the training parameters according to the established algorithm.

That is, the user himself sets the program before starting classes, and the onboard computer changes the load, stride length, angle of inclination of the pedals, and other parameters at specified time intervals.

No matter how convenient and functional your elliptical trainer is, you can only use it after consulting a doctor. There are a number of limitations associated with diseases of the heart, nervous system, musculoskeletal system, and other organs. Your doctor can help you adjust the workout and intensity of your workout.

If you need to read about best functional trainers please read our article.

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