Your Guide to Elliptical Trainers

Flywheel: The flywheel plays an important part in providing a smooth and natural elliptical motion. A heavy flywheel will give you the feeling of running in the air, while a lightweight flywheel will provide a jerky motion.

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Stride Length: The ideal user stride length is typically based on a person's height. For someone less than 5-foot-5 they may want to consider an 18-inch stride length. An individual of average height would be comfortable with a 20-inch stride length, while a taller person would probably prefer a stride length in excess of 20 inches. Several elliptical manufacturers offer elliptical trainers with variable stride lengths.

Incline Feature: You will find that most ellipticals on the market have some type of incline function. It's similar to the incline found on a treadmill. The benefit of being able to incline your elliptical stride is that it changes up your motion. This allows you to target different lower-body muscles, while getting a more intense cardio workout. It should also be noted that by reversing the elliptical motion you can focus on additional lower-body muscles.

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Programs and Interactive Features: Like treadmills, elliptical trainers come with installed workout programs. These programs control the resistance and the incline to vary your workout and to achieve various fitness goals. In addition, several manufacturers are offering interactive features designed to motivate and monitor your progress. This includes allowing your elliptical trainer to communicate with the Internet and download your stats from each workout to your personal account. Furthermore, brands like NordicTrack, ProForm, Smooth and LiveStrong have features that simulate running through famous landscapes, while visualizing your progress through a tablet.

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If you're in the market for an elliptical trainer, it's important to take your time reviewing the various models and customer reviews. Making a smart buying decision could have a profound impact on your health and well being.

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About the Author

Fred Waters

Fred Waters has worked in the fitness equipment industry for over 17 years, and reviews treadmills at He has assisted literally thousands of individuals in finding the right treadmill for their body and budget.

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