KEY DECISIONS

  • 1

    Programming options. Some ellipticals have programs that include walk/jog/run, hill climbing and interval training.

  • 2

    User capacity. Not all machines are created equal when it comes to user capacity. User capacity ranges from 250 to 450 pounds.

  • 3

    Ergonomics. Elliptical machines should simulate how the body naturally moves.

ELLIPTICAL TRAINER TYPES

FEATURES THAT MATTER MOST

  • Heart-rate monitor

    Exercising in your proper heart rate zone, you'll optimize your workout toward meeting your fitness goals.

  • Electronic programming

    Most elliptical machines record distance, speed, heart rate and time elapsed. Machines differ greatly in the type and number of workout programs available.

  • Articulating foot pedals

    Articulating foot pedals are most important on front-drive ellipticals since the movement isn't as smooth.

  • Padded foot pedals

    Some ellipticals offer increased padding, such as orthopedic pads, to cushion the pedals for a more comfortable workout.