|JTX Tri-Fit||Adjustable Stride - 17kg Flywheel – 19 Workout Programmes – Heart Rate Monitor – Ergonomic Handlebars Sensor & Controls – Lifetime Frame Warranty – 2 Year Home Repair Warranty.||Mid-Range||Lowest Price Here!|
|JLL®||9 Function LCD Display Monitor - Belt Driven Technology – 8 Resistance Levels – 5.5 KG Flywheel||Affordable||Lowest Price Here!|
|JTX Zenith||17KG Flywheel – 21” Stride Length - Ergonomic Handlebars Sensor & Controls - Bluetooth Feature - Lifetime Frame Warranty||Mid-Range||Lowest Price Here!|
|Reebok||9KG Flywheel – MP3 Input – 15” Stride Length – 12 Workout Programs – 32 Resistance Levels – Hand Pulse Sensor||Mid-Range/Affordable||Lowest Price Here!|
|Fitnessform||Removable Seat – Space Saving – Lightweight – Adjustable Resistance – Ergonomic – LCD Display – Adjustable Seat – 2 Year Warranty.||Mid-Range/Affordable||Lowest Price Here!|
Buying A Cross Trainer For Your Home
- 1 Buying A Cross Trainer For Your Home
- 1.1 JTX Tri-Fit: Extendable and Incline Review – Our Number 1
- 1.2 JLL® CT300 Home Luxury Elliptical Review – Number 2
- 1.3 JTX Zenith: Elliptical Gym Review – Number 3
- 1.4 Reebok ZR8 Cross Trainer Review – Number 4
- 1.5 Fitnessform® P1100 (New Model) Review – Number 5
- 1.6 Verdict
- 1.7 Buying A Cross Trainer For Home: What To Look For.
- 1.8 A Reputable Brand.
- 1.9 Products from Amazon.co.uk
- 1.10 Warranty.
- 1.11 Decent Length Stride.
- 1.12 Maximum User Weight And Height.
- 1.13 Nice & Heavy Flywheel.
- 1.14 Heart Beat Monitor.
- 1.15 Console.
- 1.16 Resistance.
- 1.17 Preset Training Workouts.
- 1.18 TV Internet.
- 1.19 IPod Connection.
- 1.20 Battery / Mains.
- 1.21 Whats The Difference Between Elliptical Machine & Cross Trainer?
If you are interested in a home fitness machine which offer a low impact cardiovascular alternative to the treadmill then you may want to read on to learn more about cross trainers. Cross training can burn just as many calories as a treadmill, they can give you a full body workout, and they often come with multiple workout programs and resistance levels, but the whole process feels less strenuous even though it is still producing the same results. The work out isn’t as exhausting, so people are able to keep working on their cross trainer for a longer period of time then they could spend on a treadmill, and thus they may be able to burn more calories and achieve faster results. Whoever coined the phrase “no pain, no gain” had clearly never used a cross trainer!
Cross trainers are popular pieces of gym equipment which you can find in most gyms up and down the country, but some people don’t have the time, confidence or simply the desire to workout at the gym. Buying gym equipment for your home can seem quite expensive at first, but when you consider the annual price of a gym membership you’ll find that buying your own equipment often works out cheaper in the long run. Owning your own workout machines also allows you to use them at any time of the day without having to wait for the gym to open, you won’t have to waste precious time travelling, and you don’t even need to change out of your pyjamas before your work out if you don’t want to!
Buying your own cross trainer for home use is a great idea, but it is also a big decision which requires a lot of planning and research. Cross trainers are a big investment, so you’ll want to look into a few different options to ensure that you make the right choice for yourself and your home. We know that you’ll want to be as informed as possible, but we also understand that most people don’t want to spend their spare time researching cross trainers online. We have created this extensive and comprehensive guide to the top five cross trainers available online so you have all the information that you need without having to search for it. Read on for our guide to the top five cross trainer for home use!
JTX Tri-Fit: Extendable and Incline Review – Our Number 1
- The JTX Tri-Fit cross trainer (lowest price here!) comes with versatile stride lengths which can be adjusted from 16” to 20”. There are five different stride options in total which allows the user to customise the stride as needed so the cross trainer can be enjoyed by the whole family, plus the JTX Tri-Fit is a good choice for people who find it a little difficult to use regular gym equipment due to their height.
- The 20” maximum stride setting is great for more experienced users because it allows you to adopt an intense running motion.
- This cross trainer uses electromagnetic mechanisms to control the resistance and incline. The JTX Tri-Fit has four independently adjustable incline settings which gives the user more workout options and helps you focus on different muscles each time. This helps you achieve multiple work out goals without having to buy multiple machines.
- The incline adjustment is independent of the stride length, so you can increase the incline without reducing your stride.
- The JTX Tri-Fit comes with sixteen levels of resistance. This machine uses silent magnetic resistance (or SMR) combined with a 17KG flywheel to give you effortless and silent results at any time of the day or night.
- The flywheel is designed to keep up with the most experienced athletes and ensure smooth operation at all levels of resistance, and it is a good choice for interval training.
- This cross trainer includes nineteen workout programmes which you can select to focus on specific goals. These workout programmes include endurance training, fitness tests, fat burning workouts and sprints, plus you can also create your own workout programmes on this cross trainers user-friendly console.
- The pre-programmed workouts have adjustable difficulty settings so you can continue using them as you improve over time, and they are suitable for experienced users and beginners alike.
- The JTX Tri-Fit comes with a free heart rate chest strap. This chest strap wirelessly connects to the cross trainer and it measures your heart rate as you workout.
- You can use this chest strap for the heart rate workout programmes, so you can select a target heart rate based n your workout goals, and then the machine will adjust your resistance level to help you achieve these goals. You can also track and save your workout statistics if you have a smart phone and a health app.
- This cross trainer comes with a large colour display which will keep you up to date on the time length of your workout, the number of calories you have theoretically burned, your pulse, distance travelled, RPM and any other information from the workout programme you are using. This screen is tiltable so you can adjust it based on what is most comfortable for you.
- JTX has a unique patented design which keeps the cross trainer 30% smaller than comparable fitness products without compromising on stride length or incline.
- This cross trainer isn’t lightweight, but that may be a good thing. It weighs around 70kg and this weight will help keep the cross trainer steady and stable throughout any workout.
- The JTX Tri-Fit has been designed to be as user-friendly and comfortable as possible, and it comes with bio mechanic multi grip handlebars which are both ergonomic and practical.
- The handlebars have resistance controls as well as mode, stop and start buttons conveniently located on the handlebars so you can adjust the machine without having to pause your workout. These handlebars are designed to ensure your alignment and posture are correct.
- The JTX Tri-Fi cross trainer can be connected via Bluetooth to a free iConsole app which allows you to create your own visual training tools such as outdoor routes through the picturesque country side.
- These visual tools put a new ‘realistic’ element to sedentary workouts and they can help give you a sense of distance as well as keeping you motivated to keep exercising for longer, and the app will auto adjust based on your resistance level so the results are more realistic.
- The iConsole app is available on both Apple and Android phones and tablets so you won’t miss out if you don’t have an iPhone. You can also use the Bluetooth feature to connect to other fitness apps including the Kinomaps app which also adapts to the resistance that you are using for a more accurate visual display. You can also share your iConsole results on social media to compete with your friends and keep each other motivated.
- This cross trainer is very easy to assemble and most of the moving parts will be delivered pre-assembled and ready to go. There is an element of DIY in regards to the upper handlebars, but the JTX Tri-Fit cross trainer will come with a user manual which will make everything as straight forward as possible.
- The JTX Tri-Fit comes with quality speakers which you can use to blare your favourite tunes to keep your workout engaging and entertaining.
- The JTX Tri-Fit cross trainer has a matte black design which is attractive to look out and is guranteed to go with practically any furniture.
- This cross trainer has a maximum user weight of 135 kg (21 stone). Anyone who weighs under 135kg should be able to use the cross trainer without any issues.
- This cross trainer comes with a lifetime frame warranty which means that if you ever have any problems with the frame you can get it fixed no matter how long you have had the cross trainer for.
- The JTX Tri-Fit also has a two year home repair warranty which not only covers any parts which are replaced but it also covers the costs of the engineer who will come to your home to fix the machine.
Features: Adjustable Stride Lengths – Electro-Magnetic Control – 4 Incline Settings – 16 SMR Resistance Levels – 17kg Flywheel – 19 Workout Programmes – Heart Rate Monitor – Tiltable Colour Monitor – Ergonomic Handlebars With Pulse Sensor & Resistance Controls – Compatible With iConsole App – Lifetime Frame Warranty – 2 Year Home Repair Warranty.
JLL® CT300 Home Luxury Elliptical Review – Number 2
- The JLL CT300 cross trainer has been designed to run as quietly, smoothly and securely as possible. It utilises belt driven technology which means that the power you generate whilst moving your legs on the foot pedals is transferred to the fly wheel to ensure maximum power, smooth operation and near-silent operation.
- This cross trainer also includes non-slip foot plates which ensure that the cross trainer stays put no matter how intense your workout is. These foot plates have three adjustable positions which enables you to customise the cross trainer to suit various people at different times.
- This cross trainer has eight levels of magnetic resistance which you can adjust depending on your fitness level and the amount of effort you want to put into the workout.
- The JLL CT300 cross trainer comes with a helpful LCD display monitor which displays a total of nine functions.
- The monitor includes all the regular displays such as the speed you are working at, the theoretical distance you have travelled, the time you have been working out, the calories you have burned and your revolutions per minute (i.e. RPM), but it also includes some fairly unusual functions such as the temperature, your heart rate, your body fat and your pulse recovery.
- This long list of functions will keep you up to date on what your body is doing so you can adjust your workout to your specific fitness needs and goals.
- This cross trainer includes a 5.5 KG flywheel which will keep the cross trainers movements as smooth as possible whilst providing you with challenging resistance.
- This flywheel is reversible, so it can be used to pedal forwards or backwards. This allows you to mix up your workout, focus on different muscles depending on which way you are peddling, and it can help you maximise your results and ensure that your workout stays varied and interesting.
- The JLL CT300 cross trainer comes with dual action handle bars. There are one set of handlebars which move opposite to the peddles and they allow you to work on your arms at the same time as your legs, and there are also stationary handlebars located lower down in the central part of the machine which you can hold onto for balance whilst you focus on working out the legs.
- The moving handle bars are ideal for a full body workout, whilst the stationary handle bars are better for concentrating on your lower body. The great thing about cross trainers is that they are versatile and you can focus on lots of different goals without having to switch machines.
- The handle bars come with comfortable foam grips which give you a more ergonomic workout experience, and the handle bars are also durable, long lasting and sweat resistant.
- The JLL CT300 monitor can also be used as a tablet holder so you can use your device to watch movies, listen to music or customise your own visual training aids.
- This cross trainer has non-slip foot plates which will keep you safe and secure whilst you exercise. These foot pedals are suitable for all shoe sizes which makes it a lot easier for multiple people to use the machine, and the pedals are also comfortable so you can keep going for longer.
- This cross trainer also comes with a sturdy steel frame which is of superior grade A quality. The machine also features strong joints and a sleek, long lasting paint coating.
- The JLL CT300 cross trainer can be transported around the house thanks to its inbuilt wheels located at the front of the cross trainer.
- This cross trainer has a maximum user weight of 100kg. Anyone who weighs under 100kg should be able to use the machine without any issues.
- The JLL CT300 features a metallic silver design which looks great and can suit multiple interior decorating choices.
- This cross trainer has to be manually put together, but it comes with easy-to-read instructions so this shouldn’t be an issue if you’re not overly into DIY.
- The JLL CT300 cross trainer comes with a twelve-month warranty which you can take advantage of if the cross trainer you receive is faulty or of inferior quality. It is always a good idea to check for warranties as they tend to be a good indication of a products quality.
- If a manufacturer knows that the product they have made is inferior then they are unlikely to risk losing money by slapping a warranty on it, whilst a manufacturer who is confident in their product is much more likely to include a warranty because they don’t think it will be used very often.
Features: Belt Driven Technology – Eight Levels Of Resistance – Nine Function LCD Display Monitor – 5.5 KG Flywheel – Monitor Doubles As Tablet Holder – Non-Slip Foot Plates – Transport Wheels – Metallic Silver Design.
JTX Zenith: Elliptical Gym Review – Number 3
- The JTX Zenith has been designed to look and operate just like the cross trainers you’d find in the gym. It has a heavy gauge steel frame and it has been designed to give you a robust, quiet, smooth and stable workout.
- This cross trainer is equipped with a sturdy 17kg fly wheel which will ensure smooth operation whilst providing the user with some challenging resistance.
- The JTX Zenith cross trainer has a large 21” stride path which is perfect for taller users. It also features ergonomic handles which come with resistance controls and pulse monitors so you can make changes to your programme without having to stop your workout.
- This cross trainer features inbuilt speakers which you can use to play your favourite tunes to keep yourself entertained throughout your workout.
- The JTX Zenith utilises the ‘Q-factor’ to ensure optimum comfort as you train. The Q-factor basically just refers to the distance between your feet as you work out. You need a natural distance between your feet to ensure the workout is safe and comfortable, so the JTX Zenith has been designed to feature a 150mm W-factor which ensures correct alignment.
- The JTX Zenith comes with a total of 19 workout programmes which you can select depending on your personal fitness goals and the areas you want to work on. These programs include fat burning, specific fitness tests, interval training and endurance.
- The JTX Zenith workout programs all have different difficulty levels which can be adjusted to suit your fitness needs, so you can start at the easier levels and increase the difficulty as you improve. You also have the option of creating your own workout programme if you can’t find what you’re looking for so you can focus on pretty much any fitness goal you choose.
- This cross trainer comes with a free heart rate chest strap which you can use to tailor your workouts so you get the best possible results. You can use the heart rate monitor to select your ideal heart rate (which will vary depending on your weight loss and/or strength building goals) and then the cross trainer will adjust its resistance level to ensure that you meet your goals. This is a great way of strengthening your heart and keeping it healthy, and it will ensure that the workout you do is tailored to suit your individual body and fitness levels.
- The JTX Zenith is very easy to put together. Most of the moving parts are pre-assembled and you will be provided with a user manual which will help you complete the final DIY steps so you can start using your cross trainer straight away without the stress of having to spend hours trying to put it together from scratch.
- The JTX Zenith includes a Bluetooth feature which you can use to link your workout to any number of fitness apps which are free to download onto your device.
- One of these apps is the Kinomap, and this allows you to choose from a multitude of interactive motion videos which will encourage you to keep the pace up whilst you run through London, San Francisco, New York or anywhere else you want to ‘visit’.
- Having something other than a wall or a TV to look at can be a huge help when it comes to motivation, and these interactive maps add a whole new element to your workout. You can also save your results and share them with your friends on social media, which is another great source of motivation and peer support as you can encourage each other and compete against each others scores.
- This cross trainer comes with floor protection mats which can help you protect your cross trainer and your floor whilst keeping yourself safe at the same time! The mat can reduce vibrations which will help your machine last longer, it will make the workout more stable so you can enjoy a lower impact workout, it will help reduce noise levels, and it can help prevent scratches and dents on your floors.
- The JTX Xenith cross trainer has a maximum user weight of 165kg so anyone who weighs less than 165 kg should be fine to use the machine. The cross trainer itself weighs 86kg.
- The JTX Zenith cross trainer features transport wheels which will make it easy for you to move the machine around the home if needs are. It also comes with a water bottle holder so you can make sure you stay hydrated throughout the exercise.
- This cross trainer comes with a lifetime frame warranty which will continue to cover the frame no matter how long you own the cross trainer or however long it takes to malfunction.
- The JTX Zenith also comes with a three-year repair warranty which includes all parts, the cost of the labour and even in-home services so if anything happens to your cross trainer within the first three years you will be able to get it repaired free of charge!
Features: Gym Quality – Steel Frame – 17KG Flywheel – 21” Stride Length – Ergonomic Handles With Pulse Sensors + Resistance Controls – 19 Workout Programs – Free Heart Rate Strap – Bluetooth Feature – Protection Mats – Lifetime Frame Warranty – Three Year Repair Warranty.
Reebok ZR8 Cross Trainer Review – Number 4
- The Reebok ZR8 comes with a 200HP motor and a large 9kg flywheel which has been designed for smooth, stable and powerful operation.
- This cross trainer has an MP3 input option which allows you to hook the cross trainer up to your music device for extra motivation and entertainment.
- The Reebok ZR8 has a 15” stride length and cushioned foot pedals for comfortable and stable training. The feet are adjustable so multiple people can use the cross trainer easily and comfortably no matter how big or small their feet are.
- This cross trainer comes with twelve preset programmes including multiple target programmes which will help you focus on specific goals and can give you new ideas if you’re not sure where to start.
- The Reebok ZR8 comes with 32 levels of resistance which you can use to grow and improve over time. When you first start cross training you may want to use a lower resistance level so you can get used to the machine and build on your fitness levels, but over time you will improve and you should continue to up the resistance in order to push yourself so you keep seeing results in the months and years to come.
- This cross trainer has a pulse sensor located in the hand bars so you can keep up to date with all your vitals without any need to buy a chest strap.
- This cross trainer comes with an HRC workout programme which you can use to tailor your workouts to suit your individual goals. You can also take a recovery test after you finish exercising for additional feedback on your fitness and how your body is doing.
- The Reebok ZR8 features an electronic incline which you can use to focus on specific muscle groups whilst strengthening your heart. This cross trainer also features reversible motion so you can pedal backwards as well as forwards if you want to focus on different muscle groups.
- This cross trainer comes with transportation wheels which will make it a lot easier to move the machine around the home and in and out of storage as necessary. Most cross trainers are not (and should not) be particularly light, so it is really important that you know you can move the cross trainer around if needs be.
- The Reebok ZR8 requires self-assembly, but it features a well-illustrated instructions manual which makes the whole procedure very straight forward so you should be able to use the cross trainer in no time.
- This cross trainer comes with a 5.5” LCD monitor which is backlit for improved visibility and it will keep you up to date on all the most important data including the length of your workout, your speed, the number of calories you have burned, the distance you have travelled and your pulse readings.
- This cross trainer has a maximum user weight of 120kg (or 18 stone 13), so anyone who weighs less than this should be able to use the cross trainer without any issues. The cross trainer itself weighs 50.8kg.
- Some of the Reebok ZR8 cross trainers online will come with a two-year warranty, although this is not guaranteed for all retailers. The warranty should cover the frame, plastic, computer, motor and labour for two years after the date of purchase.
Features: 200HP Motor – 9KG Flywheel – MP3 Input – 15” Stride Length – Cushioned Foot Pedals – Twelve Preset Workout Programs – 32 Resistance Levels – Hand Pulse Sensor – Electronic Incline – Reversible Motion – Transportation Wheels – Illustrated Instructions Manual.
Fitnessform® P1100 (New Model) Review – Number 5
- The Fitnessform P1100 is a 2-in-1 cross trainer and exercise bike. You can use this machine as an exercise bike, and then if you want to switch to cross training all you need to do is remove the seat column and get started. The seat column is easy to remove and re-attach so you can switch between the cross trainer and exercise bike quickly and easily.
- This cross trainer has its own dedicated customer service hotline which is based in the UK and is available just in case you have any queries or concerns regarding the Fitnessform P1100.
- The Fitnessform P1100 has been specifically designed to simulate natural, comfortable and effective movements which will help you improve your health, balance, fitness and cardiovascular health without injuring yourself or straining your joints.
- Cross trainers are always a good choice for people with joint problems and/or those who are worried about the negative effect a treadmill or another comparable machine could have on their bodies, and the Fitnessform P1100 has been specifically designed with these concerns in mind.
- This cross trainer has been designed to save as much space as possible. It features a compact design, it is very light for an exercise machine (it weighs around 30KG), and it has removable parts which make the machine even smaller! The Fitnessform can also be dismantled in a few minutes so you can store it out of the way at short notice.
- The Fitnessform cross trainer has multi action adjustable arms which you can move alongside your legs for a full body workout. These moving arms also include resistance controls which allows you to adjust the intensity of your workout without having to pause, and this cross trainer also has pulse sensors located in the handles so you can measure your heart rate without using a chest strap. The handles are also fully adjustable so they can be altered to suit multiple users.
- This cross trainer comes with an adjustable knob which you can use to increase or decrease the resistance level of your workout. This will adjust the resistance on the cross trainer and exercise bike so you can won’t have to spend time working out how to use one or the other.
- The Fitnessform P1100 also has a fully adjustable 12-inch seat which you can adjust horizontally and vertically for optimal comfort and practicality, as well as adjustable handles and adjustable tension.
- The Fitnessform P1100 features non slip foot-plates for extra security and peace of mind. These foot plates will ensure that you remain secure and upright throughout the exercise so you can concentrate on giving it your all without having to worry.
- This cross trainer comes with roller wheels which help you move the cross trainer around if you need to store it or take it into a different room.
- The Fitnessform P1100 has a maximum user weight of 110 kg (around 17 stone), so anyone who weighs less than 110 kg should be able to use the machine without any issues.
- This cross trainer features a sleek black and silver design which gives it a great futuristic appearance. This cross trainer would be a great fit for any monochrome or minimalist room, but it’s unlikely to clash with anything else either.
- The Fitnessform P1100 features a large LCD display console which will keep you up to date on all your necessary statistics including your pulse, the speed you are working at, the distance you have theoretically travelled, the calories you have burned, the length of your workout time and a scan mode.
- This cross trainer features sturdy steel construction which will ensure a smooth, secure and robust performance both now and in the future.
- This cross trainer comes with a two-year warranty which covers the frame and all parts of the machine. Warranties are a good indication of the quality of the product and they are especially useful when it comes to big, bulky and pricey purchases like cross trainers.
Features: 2-In-1 Cross Trainer + Exercise Bike – Easily Removable Seat – Customer Service Hotline – Space Saving – Lightweight – Dismantles In Minutes – Multi-Action Adjustable Arms – Adjustable Resistance – Ergonomic – Roller Wheels – Large LCD Display – Adjustable Seat – Two Year Warranty.
These are all excellent cross trainers which offer low impact exercise, a great variety of different workouts and resistance options, and awesome fitness and fat burning results which rival the treadmill, but one of the machines on this list does it a little better than the rest. We would like to especially recommend the JTX Tri-Fit: Extendable Long Stride and Incline Cross Trainer because it has five different stride lengths which can be adjusted to suit multiple users, it has four incline settings and sixteen resistance settings so you can keep adjusting and improving over time, it includes nineteen workout programs which are great at helping you stick to your goals or create new ones, and it comes with a free heart rate monitor for a more personalised experience and extra safety. The JTX Tri-Fit has a 17.KG flywheel which is ideal for keeping the machine strong and stable throughout any workout, it is easy to assemble, and it comes with its own inbuilt speakers.
This cross trainer also features a unique patented design which claims to be 30% smaller than the competition without compromising on stride, incline or general usability, it comes with ergonomic handlebars which not only include resistance controls but also pulse sensors in the handles so you can adjust the settings on your machine without having to pause your workout, this cross trainer is compatible with various training apps including iConsole which helps lets you choose from hundreds of different maps from all over the world to make your workouts more interactive and engaging, the JTX Tri-Fit has an attractive outer design, and best of all it has a two year home repairs warranty which will cover any repair costs over the first two years and a lifetime frame warranty which will cover your frame for life!
When looking for a cross trainer to buy you need to be clued up on what to look for, the features that are worth having, things you should be looking out for and weary of. On this page, I will go through all of the important factors to consider when looking for a cross trainer to buy for your home. My name is Joe and I have been working with cross trainers for around ten years so I know a fair bit about them. I am also a part time fitness trainer so I also understand keeping fit and working out along with the physics and biology that goes behind that.
Buying A Cross Trainer For Home: What To Look For.
A Reputable Brand.
The first thing you want to make sure is that the brand you are considering is a reputable brand. The good branded manufacturers are well known in the industry and they have established a reputation. By doing a simple search online you can find out enough data to know they are a decent choice.
The good manufacturers have been in the industry for a while and they know their stuff! When it comes to physical fitness a well designed elliptical machine will go a long way not just the length of time it will keep in good condition but also the quality of workout you receive. By working out a fair bit and regularly, you want to be sure that the movement you are doing is natural and there are no short term or long term risks associated.
A lot of time in research goes into the design and manufacturing of these machines so if you intend to use these machines for any length of time then looking into good manufacturers is definitely recommended.
The decent, good quality cross trainers are not cheap so the warranty has to give you the piece of mind that they will last a substantial test of time, use, wear and tear! Most of the good brands will give you a 5 or in some cases a 10 year warranty. Some companies may charge for the extended warranties. Depending on the charge, this would usually be well worth having.
You should also check whether the warranty is an onsite or return to base. If it is onsite, that’s great as their technician will come out to you to fix it should something go wrong. If it is return to base, you need to make sure that they will either arrange the collection of the parts from you or reimburse you for the return. Besides that you would also need to take into consideration that you would need to take apart the cross trainer yourself to send back which would be both inconvenient and risky.
Decent Length Stride.
The length stride is basically the length of the distance between your legs at the front and the back positions when using it.
Having the stride length to be too short will result in more of an up and down movement instead of the circular motion and can even lead to the cause of injuries in the long term. The general rule of thumb is the longer the stride length the better.
If you are tall and will be sharing the elliptical machine with a shorter person then there is still an option. Most cross trainers will either have adjustable pedals which is the better option or they will have longer foot plates. So if you are tall you would position your feet wider apart, if you are shorter then the gap between your feet would be that much shorter.
Maximum User Weight And Height.
As above; the longer the stride length, the better it would be in general but especially for taller people.
You also want to check the maximum weight that a particular cross trainer would allow. Most cross trainers allow a generally wide spectrum but it is always good to be sure before you buy one.
Nice & Heavy Flywheel.
The flywheel of the elliptical cross trainer is the wheel at the rear from where your foot pedals would be connected to. This is where the resistance is controlled. You want to look for a heavy fly wheel. The rule here is the heavier the flywheel, the more fluid motion you will have as well as more degree of resistance.
A light flywheel will make the motion feel disjointed and it can cause injuries. Some of the cheaper models, you will find have a very light (<4kg) flywheels and they are not even worth looking at in my opinion.
Heart Beat Monitor.
Some of the higher end models will come with a chest strap which you simply put on and as you work out you can keep an eye on your working heart rate.
For many of the models which do not include the strap, they have the handles which have the sensors on them. These sensors monitor your pulse and will give you your live heart rates.
Monitoring your heart rate while working out is important. Whatever your workout, you don’t want to drop your heart beat below a certain BPM as this would make your workout pretty much irrelevant. You want to keep your heart rate up. For HIIT (high intensity interval training) cardio, your heart rate needs to be higher than a certain point for a period of time then you have a short (rest) period of time where are heart rate is allowed to be lowered a little. Then repeat.
The other extreme is doing LISS (low intensity steady state cardio). This is where your keep your heart beat at a constant level. Not too high and not too low. Again it is important to keep a close eye on your heart beat for this kind of exercise too.
The console is the computer display of the cross trainer. This is the heart of the machine. This is where you would control your resistance, set workout programs, check how many calories you have burnt, check how many kilometers you have traveled as well as keeping an eye on your heart rate.
The console is where you will be kept motivated. You would work to preset workouts or working to burn a certain number of calories. Either way the decent models will have a good console which, if you can justify it, is definitely worth the investment.
Unlike a treadmill which you workout using its own movement, with a cross trainer you actually create the movement so you want to be able well enough as to give you a decent workout while keeping the impact off your knees and back (which is why cross trainers are far superior compared to treadmills).
Because you actually create the movement, you need resistant – something to keep it from being an easy movement for you. Some of the cheaper models will use air for this which is not very effective.
The better quality machines use magnetic resistance to aid in your workout. The weight of the flywheel is responsible for this. The heavier the flywheel the better your workout with a more fluid and smooth movement and more resistance.
You also want to ensure that you can change resistance by using the console while you are working out. This feature is great and it will be something that you will most likely need at some point.
Some cross trainers will allow you to change resistance but to do so you will need to stop or pause your workout, get off the cross trainer, adjust it and get back on to continue working out. This can be quite inconvenient especially if you are doing a HIIT type of training.
Preset Training Workouts.
Most cross trainers, even some of the lower end models will offer preset training workouts. Needless to say the more you spend on the trainer, the more set workouts you will get.
Having preset workouts are great for keeping you motivated. Things like fat burning, body conditioning, building strength are some of the based programs. Some of the higher end models even ave features which will target specific body parts for you like glutes or arms.
The higher end models can have TV connectivity so you can watch your favourite soap or sitcom while working out. I know (as written above) that if I am doing steady state cardio that I like to watch TV. You could even browse the internet while you workout. Things like browsing videos on Youtube or even connecting to your Spotify playlist and playing the songs to listen to through your headphones while you train would be a good idea to keep you going.
This is a feature I like because I have all my favourite songs and audio books on my iPod and my iPhone. So having this feature sites very well with me. You can listen to your songs or if I’m doing steady state, I would sometimes even listen to audio books while I workout. This way I am learning while working out. This is great because you could work out easily for an hour without even realising, because you are learning!
Battery / Mains.
All cross trainers are powered by mains. Most of them have the advantage of having a battery power source too. This is interesting because you would generate the power for the battery by working out.
Admittedly, it will not save you a fortune on your electric bill but the fact that you are powering your cross trainers’ console should be rewarding enough.
Whats The Difference Between Elliptical Machine & Cross Trainer?
Traditionally most elliptical machines have only had the static hand grips. They did not have the moving arms.
More recently the two are basically the same machine. The terms are used interchangeably. Doing a Google search for elliptical machines will bring up cross trainers and vice versa. You will also see different people in the gym will call them by different names.
In my honest opinion, compared to running on the treadmill, working out on the cross trainer is a much more effective and less harmful exercise. I have had lower back problems from many years ago along with a weak knee joint. Running is a high impact movement so if I were to run; it would increase the problems as I am adding impact to my lower back and especially to my knees.
The cross trainer is a low impact exercise. The movement is in an “elliptical” motion which is basically like a horizontal oval shape. This takes the impact away from your body while giving you a running-like movement.
The other reason I like cross trainers is because, compared to treadmills, they also work the upper body. When you workout on a cross trainer using the arm rails you are working your entire body. This is very beneficial to overall fat burn as well as toning of the muscles. Where on a treadmill, yes, you would move your arms backwards and forwards but you are not necessarily working them. That is just your bodies’ natural movement as you run.