We advise you, if you can, to test the device of your choice before purchasing it to ensure that the movement is natural and that you feel comfortable when using it.
The handlebars, fixed or mobile
Most ellipticals offer two types of handlebars: a fixed handlebar that allows you to work only the lower part of the body, and movable bars connected to the pedals that stress the upper part. For optimal training, opt for this type of device rather than a fixed handlebar model.
A heart sensor for better monitoring
It is essential to choose an elliptical cross trainer with a heart sensor. This will allow you to track your efforts, measure your progress or even determine the amount of fat burned during an exercise. You will be able to optimize your training by respecting a target intensity zone according to the objectives that you have set for yourself (training, weight loss, etc.). For more information, see our article on training with a heart rate monitor. A visit to https://fitnessequipmentsreviews.com/best-elliptical-under-1000/ makes things perfect in this case now.
There are several pulse measurement devices: measured at the finger, palm, ear, torso. Most devices have a sensor on the handlebars (movable and / or fixed bars) and can possibly pick up the signals emitted by a lap belt, Polar type. We recommend the latter option, which is the most reliable and precise. You can of course also use your own heart rate monitor if you have one (see otherwise our comparison of cardio / GPS watches and our tips for choosing a cardio / GPS watch).
The training console
It is the central element, the conductor of your elliptical trainer. It will allow you to control your session and follow the results.
Display: the main data displayed are speed, average speed, duration of the session, pulse, distance traveled and, on more sophisticated models, the power developed. For optimal comfort, choose a large and readable screen.
The ergometer function: for devices with motorized electromagnetic or magnetic braking, your console can, depending on the model, modify the strength of the exercise according to a previously programmed objective (heart rate, power, etc.). This function is particularly interesting in weight loss exercises which require respecting a given heart rate.
The number of functions and programs: some models offer training programs saved in the device memory. The more these programs, the more you can vary the sessions and stay motivated! The most sophisticated models allow you to define your own exercises, by programming the resistance level and the rhythm to follow, or even to download exercises from the Internet via a USB key.
The impedance meter function: this function will allow you to measure your fat level. Useful, if you do not already have a body scale at home, to assess its progress as part of a weight loss program. Sophisticated devices offer more elaborate consoles with display of a course in the field in virtual reality. You exercise as if you were outside.
If you do not have a gym, it may be worth choosing a foldable device with wheels. Once folded, the elliptical trainer can be stored vertically and takes up little space. This will allow you to store your device against a wall, or even in a cupboard, after use.
Front wheel or rear wheel?
The traditional elliptical trainer consists of a flywheel placed at the back of the device. This is the most common model. Its movement simulates that of jogging. New models offer a wheel placed at the front. The movement is similar to that of cross-country skiing and minimizes the stress on the knees. It is particularly suitable for people with a narrow pelvis.