About Cross Trainers
Cross-trainers, sometimes called elliptical machines, offer an elliptical movement where the feet perform an ellipse along an axis that is aligned roughly parallel to the ground. This reduces the stress on your joints and limits the impact that occurs from other forms of exercise, such as running. When designing the Cross-Trainer engineers wanted to produce an exercise machine that offered a full-body workout of all the major large muscle groups to promote aerobic fitness gains and efficient fat burning. The additional upper body handles also work the arms, chest and back muscles. Today, home-use cross-trainers closely match the popularity of the treadmill.
At Budget Fitness we offer a huge variety of cross trainers from many well-known manufacturers, suitable for both home and commercial use. With a wide range of elliptical cross trainers to choose from, finding the right one can seem like a difficult decision. We have produced the handy guide below to help you find your perfect match. With cross trainers suited to all budgets and spaces, we’re sure you will find the right one for you.
Total body workout: In using both your arms, legs and core, your elliptical workout will target your entire body, including large muscle groups providing an aerobic workout which is great for your heart, brain, and blood vessels.
Tone up and reduce fat: A cross trainer can help you lose weight, especially if paired with a healthy diet.
Low impact training: If you don't want to put too much strain on your joints when exercising, a cross trainer is a good option.
Loosen up: Used correctly, time on a cross-trainer can help to release tension in your lower back.
Good for those with poor balance: Your feet never leave the pedals, so you'll feel more stable than you would on a treadmill.
WHAT TO CONSIDER
Resistance levels: Just like an exercise bike, a cross trainer is available with varying levels of resistance. The higher you set the resistance level, the harder you'll have to work to keep the machine moving. Expensive cross-trainers will usually have more levels of resistance than cheap models.
Breaking system: If you want a cross-trainer with built in training programmes you will need a machine with a magnetic braking system. Ideally, the motion of the cross trainer should feel smooth throughout the full range of motion with a natural stride pattern, or with a footplate that changes direction suddenly at the end of the ellipse.
Motion handles and safety handles: Cross trainers feature two sets of handles. The first, known as safety handles, don't move. These handles can offer more stability at higher speeds. Most safety handles will have sensors built into them to let you monitor your pulse rate. The other set of handles on cross trainers move and are known as motion handles. They move in tandem with the pedals and can give your arms a work out at the same time as your legs.
Stride length: Cross trainer brands will often mention stride length as part of the specification. This refers to the range of motion you'll get from the cross-trainer. A longer stride length means a tougher workout. Some machines let you adjust this manually.
Information console: An information console on a cross-trainer displays the same information you'd find on a treadmill screen. That typically means feedback on time, speed, distance and calories burned. They also let you adjust speed and resistance, and toggle between pre-set programmes. Expensive cross trainers have larger, touchscreen displays.
Foldable design: If you plan on using your cross trainer in a small or busy space at home, invest in a machine with a foldable design. When you're finished working out, you can lower the seat and lift up the pedals so the cross trainer takes up less floor space.
Incline settings: Incline support is generally reserved for pricier cross-trainers. As you swap from a flat setting to an incline on a cross-trainer, the difficulty of the workout will increase. 'Uphill' inclines also work slightly different muscle groups.
The maximum workload: This is how much workload can the cross trainer provide when used flat out? If you are fit, a cross-trainer rated for least 250 watts is recommended.
Power type: Some cross-trainers require a mains electrical supply, whilst others are self-powered.
CROSS TRAINER ACCESSORIES
Floor Mats: A mat placed under your cross trainer will help protect your floors from wear and perspiration and will also give your cross trainer increased stability.
Heart rate monitors and belts: Many cross trainers offer wireless monitoring of the user's heart rate. Some utilise belts for even more accurate readings.
Advanced Programming: Select brands and models offer the purchase of modules for additional workout programmes.
Should you require any further information about cross-trainers or any other product offered by Budget Fitness or if you feel we could help you in any way, we would be pleased to hear from you.