Exercise.co.uk Cross Trainer Buying Guide
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Cross Trainers

Cross Trainers (some times known as ellipticals) are a highly effective, versatile fitness machines, they simultaneously exercise your upper and lower muscle groups with their alternating handles and elliptical rotating pedals working in synchrony to help burn fat and tone up. They offer a low impact workout experience which contrary to popular belief is effective for weight loss and toning up, unlike treadmills which are high impact they put barely any pressure or strain onto your knees for a more comfortable feel and prevent injuries, also with it been a weight bearing form of exercise it also helps to strengthen your bones. All of the cross trainers that we have available feature a magnetic braking system, this means that they operate from a large internal flywheel that gives them a quiet, smooth motion. This guide will help to break down the key components and features you should expect from these machines, after reading this article you should hopefully be able to identify what is the most suitable choice for you, so let’s get started.

First of all is the flywheel, this is the cross trainer equivalent of a motor to a treadmill it’s absolutely essential to the functionality of the machine. You can estimate how smooth and silent a particular machine is from the weight of the flywheel which is normally measured in Kilograms, the basic rule is the heavier the flywheel the smoother the feel and the quieter the operation, some manufacturers may list the flywheel rotating mass (Inertia Weight) which isn’t the actual weight so try not to be caught out by that one. We recommend looking for at least 5kg or more to ensure you get a good standard of quality and comfortable workout, any machine over £150.00 should have this as a bare minimum.

The stride length is another fundamental component to look out for, we’d recommend making sure you have at least a 15 inch stride length, the benefits of this are mainly down to the feel of the movement, shorter strides can feel sudden, jerky and juddery whereas the longer strides offer a smooth fluid motion. Another benefit is that studies indicate an increased amount of calories are burned when the stride length is increased on a frequent basis.

Most of our cross trainers from at least £200.00 upwards have quite versatile features available on the console displays, of course you get the basic readout of time, speed, distance, calories burned and pulse however multiple resistance options (normally at least 12) are included and several preset workout programmes too. Resistance levels are absolutely essential for increasing fitness levels and making progress, as you get fitter you can increase the difficulty to keep your training intense, the programmes normally cover specific targets such as fat burn, endurance training, rolling hills, cardio, heart rate and a couple more. The programmes can be a great stimulant for varying your elliptical training, not only do they help to keep you motivated and stop boredom kicking in but it encourages quicker weight loss too. Some of the more expensive machines on the market have incline options available too, this can be useful for exercising your hamstrings and calves muscles and to add more variety to your workouts,

When buying a cross trainer it’s important to invest in a durable, solid machine. You don’t want it to be rattling it’s way through your workouts as it’s distracting and counter productive, a quick way to judge the durability is to take a look at the maximum user weight capacity. Most durable fitness machines can take at least 120kg, if it’s below this limit chances are it will feel quite cheap and flimsy during exercise, it’s better to invest in a slightly more expensive model for it to last a much longer duration.

All of our home fitness and gym equipment comes from reputable manufacturers that back their products with comprehensive warranties, all of our cross trainers come with a minimum of a years guarantee. It’s always wise to ensure your product has a good warranty mainly to give you peace of mind, with all of our high street brands available we can ensure that if some thing does go wrong that you can get up and running again as quickly and efficiently as possible.

We hope that this guide has given you some useful insight into the vast market of elliptical cross trainers that are available but if you do have any questions or would like help on picking the perfect machine for you then your more than welcome to contact us on 0845 459 4500 or email sales@exercise.co.uk you can view our entire range here:




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