Buying an Elliptical is a Large Investment—Keep These 3 Things in Mind


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Among the most popular machines in the gym is the elliptical, which offers a low-impact cardio workout that mimics running, but without the stress on your limbs. Compared to running outside or on the treadmill, your joints don't experience as much trauma when you use the elliptical. Working out on it can be fun too, so its popularity at home and public gyms comes as no surprise.

Still, purchasing an elliptical for your home gym can be confusing because of the many options available, ranging from basic models that give you a standard cardio workout, to more hefty models that offer high-intensity workouts thanks to many bells and whistles. Here are three important things to keep in mind to make sure you pick the right one.

1. Your budget

You can get an elliptical anywhere from $200 to $5,000, depending on your needs and budget. Discount department stores offer inexpensive models, but they're usually not sturdy and long-lasting as the models available at well-established online fitness equipment such as Keep in mind your body type and workout needs. A small machine would suffice if you have a small build and plan to use it for a weekly run. In contrast, if you have a larger build and intend to use it for your high-intensity interval training (HIIT), a sturdier model would be more suitable for your goals. If you can't yet afford an elliptical that suits your needs, you're better off going to a public gym and saving up for a high-quality machine.

2. Your workout space

Ellipticals are hefty machines that can take up quite a big amount of space, so make sure that you have room in your home workout space for the machine you're planning to buy. In terms of length, an elliptical machine can be between 4-7 feet. You also need to make space for the pedals to move. Some machines can extend behind the frame by about a foot, so you need to leave roughly 20 inches of free space on either side of the machine.

Lastly, consider the height of the machine you want to buy, especially if you're planning to put it in the basement. Some elliptical pedals have a height of a foot or more when it's at its highest. So if you're tall and the headroom in your space is limited, you might hit your head often.

3. Try before you buy

Before ordering an elliptical online, visit a physical fitness equipment store and try out a number of models. Ideally, you should try each machine for about 10 minutes while wearing your workout gear in order to get a feel of them.

Make sure that you pay close attention to the console while testing the machines. All the controls should be easy to see, reach and use. Ensure that it has smooth motion and that your movement is unimpeded. Measure the dimensions of the elliptical and compare the measurements to those of your workout space at home so that you get the right machine.