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Best at Home Elliptical

Updated on May 27, 2012

Best at Home Elliptical - What is it?

An elliptical is an exerciser that provides low impact cardiovascular exercise. Ellipticals are designed to simulate the motion of running or walking, but without the impact that comes with picking your feet up and setting them down over and over. Instead, an elliptical allows you to perform a similar amount of work, but with no impact. It accomplishes this by keeping your feet from ever lifting up. Your feet are placed in pedals and the pedals move in an elliptical shape.

Elliptical exercisers can also provide an upper body workout if you get a model that has moving upper body parts. You can move your arms along with your legs to achieve the workout goals you are attempting to reach.

Best at Home Elliptical - What to Look For

Now that we know what an elliptical is, we should break down what we need to know to get the best at home elliptical.  To begin, the best at home elliptical will vary from person to person.  There are some universal characteristics to look for if you want a good elliptical, but some characteristics (like stride, type of drive and weight limit) may vary from person to person. 

Best at Home Elliptical - Upper Body Workout

A good elliptical trainer will have an upper body workout included with the elliptical. It will have some way for your upper body to assist in the motion. There have been claims that working several different muscle groups at once provides a more efficient workout in the same time period as, lets say, a treadmill.

Best at Home Elliptical - Braking System

Something else to check out when looking for a good at home elliptical is what kind of braking system (resistance) it has.  There are four types currently on the market: manual, motorized, eddy current, and self generating induction.  A manual brake system is one in which you manual adjust the resistance by turning a knob before you ever get on the machine.  The knob moves a magnet closer or farther away from the flywheel.  A motorized brake system is much like the manual brake system except instead of you adjusting the resisting a machine move it for you at the touch of a button.  The eddy current brake system works using an aluminum disk that spins freely between two variable magnetic fields.  There are no moving parts and no friction is created. As the user dials up stronger resistance on the console, the electromagnet, which is just centimeters from the flywheel, is exposed to higher levels of the magnetic current, and the resistance on the rotating flywheel increases.  The self generating induction is a braking system that is powered by you exercising on it.  Obviously, there is some preference when picking what kind of braking system, but if you are looking for a very good home elliptical I would suggest a motorized brake system or a low-end eddy current brake system for your elliptical.

Best at Home Elliptical - Price

The final thing to consider when looking for a good at home elliptical is price. An at home elliptical should be between $600 and $1800 depending on what you are looking for. You may find some that are less expensive than that, but be careful you are getting what you are looking for. Most ellipticals above the $1800 range are designed for commercial use and I would not recommend this for home use unless you just feel like spending extra money.


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