Precor Elliptical Trainer(Top-of-the line EFX with CrossRamp)For those who prefer a low-impact cardio workout, elliptical trainers (sometimes referred to as cross-trainers) are a good option. A recent University of Mississippi study found elliptical trainers capable of burning up to 550 calories per hour.
Combining elements of the cross-country ski machine, stair climber and exercise bike, these elliptical trainers are like treadmills where your feet never leave the ground. You use a gliding motion to swing your legs back and forth, pedaling in an oval shape to raise
your heart rate without jarring your joints or straining your muscles. Some models can be adjusted for more of an up and down stair climbing motion as well as moving along the elliptical path. Most include moving handlebars for a concurrent upper body workout.
Gym-quality elliptical trainers costs over $5000 whereas late-night infomercials plug space-saving home equipment for under $200. Think about the following features when selecting a compromise between these two extremes.
Reebok RL 545 Elliptical TrainerStability: With all that swinging motion, you don't want your elliptical trainer to wobble or skip across the room. A fluid, quiet motion is the goal.
Pedals: Ensure the pedals allow for a natural stance. A non-slip surface is recommended.
Handlebars: If you opt for this feature, make sure you're not going to bump into them as you get into the momentum of your stride. Moving handlebars should have a comfortable grip and glide smoothly.
Varied challenge: Most elliptical trainers allow you to select or program different levels of incline, speed or resistance. Dual-direction lets you stride in a forward or backward motion. Make sure any controls are easy to adjust.
Display panel: The display should be easy to see while in motion. Depending on the model, information may include speed, time, distance, incline, calories burned and even heart rate.
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