5 Cool Features To Look For On Your Next Elliptical

Finding the right elliptical machines can be much like buying a new car…there are many different makes and models that come with a wide variety of features. The quality of the workout you get depends on the type of machine you buy and the different features that it offers.

Most people take a few basic features into consideration when choosing a machine, including stride length, the footprint of the machine, the resistance it offers and how easy it is to program. But there are a few other features that you might also want to think about before making your choice.

1. Programmable workouts: Most ellipticals offer a range of workouts, but some can actually be programmed for specific exercise demands, whether you are trying to lose weight, get a cardio workout or even prepare for a 5k or 10k run. That’s right, you can find interval training programs to help you burn calories, or programs that are based on particular road race lengths to help get your legs in shape for the big race. Still other machines are equipped with a heart rate receiver and transmitter belt to help you get the proper cardio workout for good heart health. So see if you can find a machine that you can tailor to your fitness goals…more and more elliptical trainers are offering this capability these days.

2. Quiet magnetic braking: Noise may not seem like a huge consideration but if you are going to be using your elliptical at home, you might want to think twice about it. Nobody wants to deal with the constant hum and squeak of a noisy machine. The smoothness of the flywheel and pedals can affect the sound level of the machine and so too can the operation of the brakes. Most elliptical machines use magnetic brakes to ensure smoothness and quietness, making life easier for everyone in the house.

3. iPod dock/internet capability: It’s not necessary, true, but working out to the beat of your favorite tunes can certainly make exercise more enjoyable. A built-in iPod dock, included on some models, allows you to have your favorite music at your fingertips while you use your elliptical machine. A lot of ellipticals are offering the ability to connect to the internet as well, giving you a host of opportunities including watching exercise videos, browsing the web or even syncing your workout to your favorite app.

4. Magazine rack/water bottle holder: Again, these are more for convenience than necessity but everyone likes to be comfortable while they workout. A built in magazine/book rack allows you to read while working out, leaving your hands free to grip the handlebars of the machine in the proper position. And keeping your water bottle close at hand helps to promote proper hydration, which is a must for any healthy workout.

5. Incline/decline capability: Being able to incline the machine changes the entire workout and allows you to target different muscle groups. Many machines come with incline these days, with the more expensive ones offering the bigger angles for more muscle targeting. One of the newest features is decline capability, which is reserved for the higher end models at the moment…but hopefully that will change as the technology improves and is more readily available.

These are just a few of the fun and helpful features you can find on elliptical machines that can give you the workout you want with the comfort level you choose. There are a wide variety of makes and models on the market today, each with its own unique package of features.

Before you decide on an elliptical for your home gym, make sure you take everything into consideration and find the machine that is the best fit for you. Then you can make exercising less of a chore when you have the right elliptical for the job!