Elliptical trainers are maybe not quite as popular as exercise bikes, but more and more people are choosing to buy one of these machines for their home because they provide a low impact form of exercise that work both the upper and lower body.
The foot plates rotate to help tone your legs and the handles move forwards and backwards to tone your arms and work your core to some degree. So because they can also provide an intense workout, these machines are ideal for both toning and fitness.
If you are looking to buy one of these machines for your home, you may have noticed that you can spend as much as you want on one of these machines.
An entry-level elliptical machine is available for as little as $100 – $200, whereas a commercial-grade machine, such as the Precor EFX 423 Precision Series Elliptical, for example, can easily cost several thousand dollars.
So to help you decide whether or not it is worth paying extra, I thought it would be a good idea to list some of the main reasons why you should consider buying a top-of-the-range elliptical instead of a basic entry-level model:
Smooth And Quiet Motion
One of the first reasons why you should think about buying a commercial-grade machine relates to the smoothness of the workout because the more expensive machines will generally have a much smoother and a more natural motion, and will also be a lot quieter as well.
More Resistance Levels
Another obvious benefit is that they will generally have more resistance levels than a basic machine. You don’t really need a large number of resistance levels, but a machine that has 20 or more resistance levels will obviously give you a lot more options with regards to how much you can push yourself.
More Workout Programs
Some of the cheaper models don’t include any workout programs at all, but you will generally find that the top-end machines almost certainly will, and will generally have quite a varied selection of programs that you can use to mix up your workouts.
Enhanced LCD Display
You will find that most elliptical trainers will come with an LCD display these days, but in many cases the high-cost ellipticals will display a lot more data, and are more likely to come with their own fitness apps.
Adjustable Stride Length
A lot of the cheaper models will tend to have a fixed stride length that is suitable for most people to use. However these can often be uncomfortable for tall or short people, which is why the more expensive gym-quality machines will have an adjustable stride length to cater for people of all heights. Plus this enables you to work different muscle groups, which is an added bonus.
Adjustable Power Incline
One of the main reasons why you should upgrade to a premium elliptical trainer is because these nearly always come with an adjustable power incline feature, which enables you to get a much more challenging workout at the touch of a button.
The positioning of the foot plates is very important if you want to enjoy working out without any pain or discomfort. That’s why many of the top models are ergonomically designed to replicate a natural stride and prevent injury. A classic example is the Sole Fitness E95 elliptical because this has a 2 degree inward slope to prevent stress on the knees and ankles.
Higher Weight Limit
Many of the more expensive machines are bigger and stronger than your typical entry-level machine, which makes them ideal investments for larger people who are looking to lose weight, for example.
Suitable For Regular Use
Another feature of the commercial-grade machines is that they are obviously designed to be used for gym use. Therefore they can easily be used by multiple users several times a day without any problems, and should last many years.
Following on from the last point, the premium models will also tend to come with longer warranties, which reflects the better build quality. So whereas some of the cheaper models may only come with a 1-year limited warranty, some of the premium-grade ellipticals may well come with a 10-year warranty or even a lifetime warranty in some instances.
If your budget can stretch this far, it is always worth paying more for a top-end model if you can because these will have lots more features and will give you a much smoother workout, with many more options to increase the intensity and vary your routines. Plus they will also have a better build quality and are more suitable for regular use.
However some of the entry-level machines are also really good value for money because they are starting to include more and more features that you previously only saw on some of the top-end machines.
So it is worth checking out what elliptical trainers are available in each price bracket because it all depends on what your requirements are. You may well find that a budget machine is more than adequate to meet your needs.