A Buyer?s guide to Elliptical Cross Trainers
Elliptical Crosstrainers guarantee a level of workout intensity over and above any other cardiac apparatus, as they combine movements of the upper and lower body, exercising a greater number of muscles. Something which, as well as being great for your health, is also fantastic for your body and muscles:
- · Combine bikes exercise with a cross-country skiing workout.
- · Provide a complete lower and upper body workout.
- · Exercise leg, arm, back, chest and shoulder muscles (80% of all your muscles).
- · Provide strength workouts and aerobic exercises without the need for a special plan.
- · Increase the heart rate and burn up calories.
- · Help to control weight, increase muscle fibre and get rid of fat.
- · Guarantee a stress free workout for your joints and back.
- · Beneficial for stiffness and tiredness caused by arthritis.
- · Lots of useful programmes, extras and accessories.
- · Modern and handy designs, some models can even be folded to save space.
See below a basic guide with the most important questions to bear in mind when you decide which model of Elliptical Crosstrainer to buy:
- 1) Braking system
- 2) Location and weight of the flywheel
- 3) Length of the pedal action
- 4) Total weight of the machine
- 5) Console, Training Programmes and Extras
1) Braking System
Elliptical Crosstrainers can have either a Magnetic or Electromagnetic braking system. Both systems are silent and do not produce wear and tear as there is no contact.
Braking for Magnetic Elliptical Trainers is through magnets which are situated around the flywheel and when the level of resistance increases, they get closer to the flywheel a smooth and silent movement.
Braking for Electromagnetic Elliptical Trainers works just like the magnetic brakes with the difference that the brakes are regulated through an electric current and can be programmed to change automatically during the workout. This system is even quieter than the magnetic brake system.
2) Location and weight of the flywheel
Location of the flywheel
The flywheel, a fundamental part of the bike which provides resistance to the pedalling action may be at the front or the back of the bike. The Rear Traction Elliptical Crosstrainers, as their name suggests, have the flywheel at the back, guaranteeing greater inertia and smooth, jerk-free pedalling. On the other hand Front Traction Elliptical Crosstrainers have the flywheel at the front, offering a flatter and a broader pedal movement and more advanced workouts.
Weight of the flywheel
A machine equipped with a correctly weighted flywheel, provides a workout with a smooth progression, but if it is not heavy enough the pedalling movement will feel jerky. The heavier the flywheel is, the smoother and quieter the bike is, as the extra weight helps the flywheel to turn more efficiently. A machine with a 7 kg flywheel has a good feeling to it, non-jerky, but for semi-professional or professional and intensive training, we recommend that the flywheel weighs more than 14 Kg.
3) Length of the pedal action
The length of the pedal action on an Elliptical Crosstrainer refers to the maximum dimension of the elliptical movement. Depending on the model, the length can vary between 18 cm and 55 cm. The longer the dimension of the elliptical movement the better, as a longer pedal movement means more comfort in training, especially for taller users.
4) Total weight of the machine
The total weight of the machine is directly related to the rigidity of the bike. This is important as elliptical bikes move and rock and they have to be robust to avoid tipping over. A medium range machine should weigh about 50 Kg.
5) Console, Training Programmes and Extras
The screen of the Elliptical Crosstrainer continually gives you information about speed, distance, time or calories. Also on the console you can change the set programme. Finally, another thing to remember are the extras on the Elliptical Exercise Bike: cooling fans, USB connections, TV monitors, speaker systems, bottle-holders, interactive training and compatibility with Tablets and Smartphones, etc. The programmes and extras included depend mainly on the price of the machine.