Elliptical machines are definitely the hot item in physical fitness these days, it’s for good reason, and because of it a lot of people are looking for elliptical machine deals.
In this article we take a look at where to find an elliptical on sale and how to make a great deal.
UPDATE Dec 12/2017: Susanna Tylor just emailed me and pointed out that Sole Fitness currently has some interesting elliptical machine deals going, find them here >>
An elliptical can deliver a workout of virtually any intensity you desire.
Ellipticals combine the benefits of a cardio workout along with weight-bearing exercise, but in such a way that you won’t feel undue stress on any one area of your body. Instead, the resistance is evenly distributed, and you’ll find that you get an elevated heart rate with what seems like not a great deal of effort. Elliptical workouts can benefit anyone at all, regardless of their level of fitness. Because of the low-impact nature of the workout, even people with arthritis or some types of injuries can work out effectively.
So, you’re looking for an elliptical on sale?
If you can get a high-end piece of equipment at a good price, good for you!
But keep in mind that you often get no more than what you pay for.
What About a $99 Elliptical Sale?
You can get elliptical machines as low as $99, but we don’t recommend them.
When you’re looking at an extremely low price, you can bet that the machine isn’t well-made and you’re not going to get the comfortable workout that all the health magazines and web sites have been raving about.
Low-end ellipticals typically display the following deficiencies:
- Not enough resistance
- Stride length too short
- Stride shape rounded and humped
Poorly constructed ellipticals that don’t provide sufficient resistance are going to last you no time at all.
The nature of an elliptical workout regime is progressive, and as you want to increase your resistance more and more, that puts strain on the machine.
The cheap ones just don’t last long.
Stride length is a big issue as well – if the length is too short, you’re going to end up shuffling and you’ll never get up to a decent tempo. Stride shape and length are so important that we’re going to devote a full section to each topic.
Buying a $99 elliptical, we’re sorry to say, is just throwing your money away.
In no time at all, you’re going to wear it out.
How Much Should I Spend?
Anywhere between five hundred and a thousand dollars, you can find an elliptical that will be well-built and ergonomically sound.
If you want to spend more, you could go up to two thousand dollars and get near-gym quality.
Beyond two thousand, you’ve gone pro.
It can’t be over-stated – don’t go with a cheap elliptical. You won’t like it, and you won’t use it.
So, What’s This About Stride Shape?
Stride shape is the most important thing you have to consider.
An elliptical is so-called because it has two foot beds that move elliptically – in much the same way as you move your feet when you’re running or walking. The machines can be made with a lot of different stride shapes. The stride shape may be long, but if the ellipticals are directly attached to the flywheel, the stride shape becomes nearly circular.
This means that the stride is “humped.”
You don’t really feel as though you’re walking, and you have a great deal of difficulty achieving a decent rhythm.
The better-quality machines have a spacer, which is usually a metal rod on which the footpad is mounted. This creates a distance between the flywheel and the footpads, and reduces the degree of “lift” that occurs with each stride.
The stride shape, then, is an elliptical, or an elongated oval.
This is a smoother, far more natural motion.
And Stride Length?
The size of the flywheel determines the stride length.
The smaller the flywheel, the shorter the stride length. For most people, a typical walking stride is somewhere between a foot and two feet – it’s longer if you’re running. With a cross-country ski machine or a treadmill, you can use any stride length, but ellipticals are limited because of the flywheel’s captive footbeds.
Generally speaking, the taller the person, the longer the stride.
People under six feet may be fine with an 18” stride, while those six feet and over will be more comfortable with a 20” stride. If your feet are closer together, you’re going to be uncomfortable, and at some point you may even experience pain due to the way in which an artificially shortened stride can stress your hips, knees and ankles.
Cheaper machines often allow only for artificially shortened strides, so it’s buyer beware.
Again, avoid the ridiculously low-priced models, and go with a machine that’s going set you back at least $500.
Make sure to give it a test run before you buy, too – plan to spend several minutes using the equipment you’re thinking of purchasing.
Should I Pay Extra for Bells and Whistles? Avoid These Elliptical Machine Deals
It really depends on what you want out of your workout.
Additional features, of course, mean additional cost, but sometimes you have to think about what it’s going to take to keep you motivated. If you feel more at ease using a model that monitors your heart rate, then that feature is going to be worth paying more money for.
Another feature that a lot of people don’t want to be without is a holder for your water bottle.
Obviously you don’t want to be dehydrated during your workout, and if it’s not convenient for you to have water at hand any other way, then a water bottle holder is what allows you to continue with your routine without having to hop off the machine to go get a drink.
A good many higher-end machines also come with sound systems that allow you to listen to music on your MP3 player or iPod while you’re working out.
If having your tunes blasting is going to annoy someone else in your household, but you just can’t get motivated without them, then obviously this is something that may be very important to you.
Elliptical Machine for Sale – Summary
There are very good elliptical exercise machines available, but also a lot of really shoddy ones.
Remember that if the price is really low, chances are that the quality is low as well.
Expect to pay at least $500 for a good elliptical, and over $2000 for professional equipment.