Updated: Feb 6, 2022
Sometimes your body needs a low-impact workout, sometimes you live in the snowiest part of your state, and sometimes you just want to upgrade your home gym. It happens and this is exactly the moment some of us need to make friends with the elliptical machine. Whether it be to keep active when recovering from an injury or you simply want an at home option to take it easier on your knees the best elliptical will be capable of delivering high intensity work outs with a smooth glide. If you are considering adding an elliptical to your home gym you’ll want to consider a few things.
The Drive Mechanism
This is what provides your resistance on an elliptical. Currently there are 2 options available. Air resistance uses a weighted fan. This means the faster you pedal the more intense your work out will be. Magnetic resistance uses a current of electromagnets to increase resistance and provides a more consistent level of resistance.
Drive System Location
Rear drive systems are by far the most common option. This is generally the drive system location on machines you see in gyms which encourages a natural stride that mimics jogging. This also means the motor is placed behind the pedals. In a front drive elliptical the system will be in the front of the machine and encourage a stair stepping motion. A center drive is the most advanced style of drive location that offers the most deluxe choice and motion.
Suspension elliptical provide a quiet experience and tend to give better range of motion. Wheel track elliptical are the traditional option that can save on your budget but can be less ergonomic.
A few other personal preferences to consider when deciding on an elliptical:
What feels good to you when you are on the elliptical?
Console and Programs
How many bells and whistles do you want? Is having built in workouts a must have for you?
How does the distance between your body and the console feel? Are the handles a good match for your height?