Elliptical Exercise Equipment: What To Look For When Buying

By: Kathryn ONeill

Buying elliptical exercise equipment? There are so many different brands and types of ellipticals out there - it can get confusing! How do you know which one is best for you and how do you avoid buying a lemon?

In order to keep things simple and have the very best buying experience, here are 3 key tips to help you choose the best elliptical exercise equipment:

#1) Price

If you want a quality elliptical trainer, be prepared to spend at least $800. Why? Because most ellipticals under this price point just aren't built to stand up over the long haul.

Example: My $400 elliptical that I bought from a department store several years back lasted 3 months - 4 if you count the last month it was used as a clothes hanger in my living room.

After 3 months it developed a loud squeaking noise that couldn't be fixed - no matter how long or hard my handyman husband worked on it.

If I'd been smart enough to spend a bit more, I'd probably still have the elliptical today. In the end it was a huge waste of money and time.

So the bottom line is this: If you're really serious about getting in shape, you deserve to invest in a piece of exercise equipment that's going to last you - so be ready to spend a bit more on your elliptical trainer. If you consider how long the elliptical will last you, you actually SAVE money over the long term.

#2) Who Are You Buying It From?

While there are lots of places the sell elliptical exercise equipment - both online and off, make sure they have several years of experience and a solid return policy. If a company has experience selling elliptical equipment, this will make your transaction (and shipping) go much more smoothly.

A solid return policy also gives you peace of mind when buying your elliptical. For example, even if you try your elliptical out in a store, you might get it home and find that after a week it strains your arms or hurts your hips. You want to know that you can return your elliptical without a hassle.

Many specialty fitness stores will offer some kind of return policy and most experienced online elliptical stores also offer you a standard 30 day return policy. But it's always important to check before you buy.

#3) Upper Body Arms

The beauty of an elliptical trainer is that it offers you a total body workout.

Whereas treadmills and recumbent bikes tend to work mainly the lower body only, ellipticals offer you a chance to burn calories and build strength using upper body arm handles. This means more calories burned in less time.

Surprisingly enough however, not all elliptical trainers offer upper body arms with their units. Make sure you choose an elliptical with upper body workout arms included if this is an option you want.

It usually won't cost you extra to have upper body arms however one note of caution: Many of the cheaper ellipticals don't necessarily have the coordination between the arms and legs exactly right. This can result in injury or a less efficient workout.

Rule of Thumb: You should not have to lean over to use the upper body arms.

So there are three things to consider when buying elliptical exercise equipment. Keep these things in mind and you'll save yourself time and loads of frustration!

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Kathryn O'Neill is chief editor for Elliptical Trainer Review, offering the latest reviews, best buys & tips. For more elliptical reviews visit www.EllipticalTrainerReview.com

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