Treadmills have been, for years, the standard in home cardio workout equipment. Treadmills simulate a jogging or running motion by use of a belt wound around two rollers. Treadmills are primarily designed to promote cardiovascular health, but they they also aid in developing bone density and improving energy levels.
Different treadmills can offer a variety of additional characteristics, including variable resistance and incline levels. These differences can make the choice between different models a difficult and treacherous one; this page aims to discuss the various types of treadmills and their potential benefits so that your decision process can proceed more smoothly.
Space-saving treadmills have smaller running platforms than other types of treadmill, and are designed to fit comfortably in tight spaces that wouldn’t accommodate larger models. These models work exceedingly well for smaller runners who struggle with space limitations, but can cause trouble for larger runners.
Manual treadmills use mechanical friction mechanisms to provide a running surface rather than electrically-oriented resistance. Many people like manual treadmills because they provide similar activity characteristics to electric treadmills, but with much quieter operating, cheaper cost and variable speed.
Low-impact treadmills are designed for people who want to mitigate the sometimes-harmful wear and tear that treadmills can have on the joints of some individuals. These treadmills use springs and/or matting to protect against the hard, repetitive impact of jogging. If you have knee, hip or ankle problems, these models might suit you well.
Incline treadmills can vary the angle of the running surface through mechanical means. These treadmills can accentuate different groups of muscles; adding variety and strength-building to your workout regimen. They are good models for those interested in serious resistance training.
Many of the above models may also have the ability to fold up on themselves for easy storage (usually this involves a hinge that allows the running surface to be lifted in line with the control panel/handrails). These models are good for use in rooms or spaces that might serve other purposes outside of exercise.
Buying a Treadmill
On this site, we maintain a comprehensive collection of reviews and in-depth specifications on the performance of different treadmills. Spend some time sifting through our extensive review collection; it will help you get a better idea of what type of treadmill will work best for you.
Price is typically an important variable: treadmills typically cost anywhere from three hundred to three thousand dollars, depending on the quality and features involved. Understanding which features suit your lifestyle needs and which performance characteristics are important for your workout regimen will help determine what price range you should be examining.
Other considerations that might be worth contemplating are the overall space required for storage and operation of the treadmill, and the noise made by using it. The electric motor in many treadmills can be loud, and the space taken up by these machines can be significant. Understanding the size of the room and the noise bleed into adjacent spaces can make a less stressful shopping period.
Elliptical machines were designed to provide a cardiovascular workout similar to that of treadmills, but to do so without the physical strain and impact associated with the latter machines. To do so, ellipticals allow the body to move in a motion that is typically something of a cross between a step up a stair and a pace on a flat surface. Unlike treadmills, however, these machines function so that the user’s feet never leave the pads on which the user steps. This keeps the user from straining or wearing their joints to the degree they might otherwise do on exercise equipment.
The design characteristics of ellipticals are more varied than that of treadmills, and shopping for a model can sometime be confusing. Below are a brief description of the different forms elliptical machines can take to help you find the right model:
Type of Ellipticals
Unlike most ellipticals, these machines simulate the riding of a bicycle rather than the stepping/pacing motion used by those models. Recumbent eillipticals combine the arm motion of these traditional forms with a seated user position, making them good for use by elderly individuals.
Portable ellipticals are smaller than other models and are made of lightweight materials that allow for easy movement and convenient storage. These units can be largely ineffective for bigger individuals, but are good for making the most out of limited space.
Home ellipticals are the standard resale model of elliptical machines. Though not as sturdy as the machines typically found in commercial gymnasiums, these machines are typically heavy and powerful, featuring a host of different electronic settings and good resistance mechanisms that don’t wear out quickly.
Fold-up ellipticals are space-saving machines that can collapse onto themselves much in the same way as fold-up treadmills. If your exercise equipment is going to occupy a multi-purpose room or needs to be stored away in a closet, fold-up ellipticals are a good option.
Commercial ellipticals are heavier, sturdier and more durable than those used in homes, and are frequently seen in professional gymnasiums. While many of these models are available for individuals to purchase, they are usually significantly more expensive than other models.
Buying an Elliptical
Once you’ve determined which type of elliptical best suits your needs, there are other factors to consider when picking out an individual model:
One advantage ellipticals have over treadmills is that they end to be significantly cheaper. The cheapest models can cost less than two hundred dollars, while the most expensive models rarely cost more than two thousand dollars. Identifying your preferred price range can help narrow down your different options. Keep an eye out in our online store, as we often list great deals in our inventory as certain models come in and out of favor.
If you have an opportunity to test an elliptical before purchase, make every effort do do so. Elliptical machines tend to ride significantly differently from model to model, and because the user’s feet don’t leave the pedals, this variation is much more important than the differences between different treadmill models. If you order an elliptical from our online store, remember we offer a thirty-day no-questions-asked return policy to ensure you like the ride of your purchase.
Ellipticals make use of a wide variety of resistance settings, and some can even vary range of motion as well. Make sure you understand the features offered by your elliptical, and if you need specific features, seek out models that maintain them.