What Features To Look For In An Elliptical

Elliptical trainers can give you one of the best cardio workouts around, and are also one of the most popular, along with treadmills. Yet elliptical machines provide a more low-impact cardio workout and protect the joints more than most treadmills can.


Ellipticals can range anywhere from $300-$3000, which can take a big toll on your wallet. So you’ll want to make sure you find out all you need to know, and are getting exactly what you are looking for.

As we show directly on our site here, there are a few features to make sure you look for when deciding:


As the name implies, an elliptical trainer makes you move in a stride that is elliptical in shape. Obviously everyone’s stride is different. However, many ellipticals don’t allow you to change the stride length. If more than one person will be using this machine, get one with adjustable stride length. Most come by default with an 18 inch stride. People over six feet tall will want something between 21″ and 24″ in stride length. If you are five feet tall and get a 21″ stride machine, you will be very uncomfortable, so it is important to get this right.

Rear drive vs. Front drive

This just means where the big wheel part of the elliptical is positioned. Rear drive is usually quieter and has less moving parts so repairs are less likely. However, front drive machines take up much less space. There is no real advantage to one or the other, just depends on your circumstances.


A normal elliptical machine is fine for most people. However, if you are going to train rigorously, then a dual motion or adjustable motion machine may be your thing. This allows you to convert your stride motion from elliptical to stair stepper for example. It will work different muscle groups and cause less strain on both you and the machine.

Weight Capacity

Just as with the treadmills, be sure to look at the weight capacity of each machine.


There are some extras like ergonomic foot pedals or hand grip heart rate sensors. You can also find machines with or without upper body workouts to accompany the stride workout.

Along with the many reviews listed here, and deals you can find on ProForm.com, these features should help to find the perfect elliptical match for you!

Written By: Jentry