As you go about striving to reach your fitness goals, you may decide to start looking into all the various home cardio equipment options that are available to you. Cross trainers prove to be incredibly popular for many people as they not only provide a good lower body workout, but will also target the arms as well.
Combined with the fact that they are a very low impact way to exercise as well and you really can’t go wrong with this piece of equipment selection.
But, before you run off to purchase the first cross trainer you come across, it’s important that you learn some of the key things that you need to be looking for because not all cross trainers will be created equally.
If you have no idea what to look for in a cross trainer, it’s a smart move to educate yourself about this before making your decision. This ensures that you pick up one that you’ll look forward to using each and every workout session that you have planned.
Let’s have a quick look at what you should keep in mind when selecting a good cross trainer.
Features To Look For in a Good Cross Trainer
Different cross trainers are going to have different features to help make your workout a success, so it’s vital that you know which features you want to look for most and then seek those out in the machines that you look at.
Many will come with an electronic console that will provide you with stats such as reps per minute, watts, calories burned, and miles or kilometers travelled. This can all be very useful for tracking the specifics of your workout as you ensure that you’re meeting your set goals.
Another key feature that most people will want to look into when selecting a cross trainer is the heart rate monitor. Assessing how many beats per minute you’re working at is one of the best measures of intensity so if you hope to really make some good physical fitness gains, this will be a must.
Some people will choose to use their own heart rate monitors, but having this already built right into the handles makes this very easy.
Another thing to look at is the length of the foot pedals. Some cross trainers will have longer pedals than others, and for some people, especially those with larger feet, this will be a must-have. Making sure you’re comfortable on the machine is one of the key things to look for to ensure that you’re going to be using it regularly, so don’t overlook this.
Finally, you’ll also want to make sure that the cross trainer offers both forward and backward motion. Most will have this feature, but it’s still something to consider. Going in the reverse direction for a short period of time at the end of the workout is a great way to place a new stress on the body and get you seeing even faster results.
Considering The Warranty
Now, once you’ve had a good look over the features and have found a few machines that you’re considering, also check into what type of warranty comes with the machine as well as what type of extended warranties are available.
If you are considering purchasing a pricier model, having that extended warranty is a very wise decision. While cross trainers typically experience slightly fewer problems than treadmills do, they do still have their fair share of issues that you could have to deal with over time.
If you plan to use your cross trainer for 3-5 hours each week, having that extended warranty can put your mind at ease. Repairs on these exercise machines won’t be a low cost endeavour, so having that good plan in place can really save you.
Price Ranges of Cross Trainers
Cross trainers do tend to vary quite considerably when it comes to price, but you do really get what you pay for.
If you’re looking for a more heavy-duty model that can support a higher body weight and has a sturdier build, expect to pay somewhere in the range of close to $1000 for a more basic model and upwards of $2000 if you want one with all the bells and whistles.
If you’re someone who doesn’t exercise very intensely and only plans to use the cross trainer for an hour or two total a week, then you may be fine getting away with a lower priced model between $300-800.
Finally, if you’re looking for a cost effective model and aren’t too concerned about high quality, you can find machines for $150-300 for light use that will still provide some exercise and muscle strengthening.
Below you’ll find a table that lists the various models for each quality level and a corresponding price.
- Body Rider Magnetic Elliptical Trainer – $129.95
- Confidence Fitness Space Saving Elliptical Trainer – $159.99
- Best Fitness Crosstrainer Elliptical – $525.00
- Schwinn A40 Elliptical Trainer – $349.00
- Sole E35 Elliptical Trainer – $1299.99
- Spirit Esprit EL-455 20 Inch Stride Elliptical – $998.00
- Precor EFX 5.31 – Premium Series Elliptical Fitness Crosstrainer -$3,999.00
- Life Fitness Club Series Elliptical Cross-Trainer – $3,999.00
When You Go To Buy
Finally, once you do have a few machines in mind and go get ready to purchase them, make sure that you take the time to try the machine out in the store. Don’t feel scared to bring a pair of running shoes and use it for 10 minutes or so.
Often you can’t really get a good feel for the movement pattern of the machine in just a few short strides and this will make a considerable difference in your enjoyment.
The stride should be fairly similar from machine to machine but there are slight differences that could potentially really influence how well you feel on it.
So there you have the top tips on how to choose a good cross trainer. It’s one form of workout that definitely can provide great cardiovascular and strength training benefits when you have a machine you enjoy using and do so frequently.