Cross training machines

Cross trainers are exercise machines that are also referred to as elliptical trainers or X-trainers. It’s a stationary exercise machine that helps you simulate running, walking, or climbing stairs while minimising the impact on your joints in order to lessen the risk of injuries.

Who should use a cross trainer?

These exercise machines are great for newbies as well as experienced fitness enthusiasts, but you should really consider using them if you are:

  • just starting out on a regular cardiovascular regimen
  • experiencing great discomfort when running (due to weight or built)
  • often injured because of running
  • busy and have no time to exercise outdoors

The advantages of a cross trainer

A cross trainer provides a total body workout and enables you to shed pounds effectively. It offers superb cardio benefits and even just a few sessions a week may be sufficient in boosting your overall aerobic fitness. It can result in a lower blood pressure, reduced chances of developing heart problems, and prevents you from getting diabetes.

Cross trainers are also good for your joints, as they offer a much lower impact workout compared to running outdoors or even a using a treadmill with shock absorbers. Finally, these contraptions are very quiet when you use them. This can be quite convenient if you don’t want to disturb other members of the household or you don’t want to wake up a sleeping baby. You can also watch the telly while exercising because there’s no noise coming from your exercise equipment.

Tips when buying a cross trainer

If you want a cross trainer for your home gym, you should make sure that you have enough space for it. Determine your budget beforehand, and make sure that the warranty is sufficient. Some warranties, for example, will involve exorbitant delivery charges that you’d have to pay for in case your equipment malfunctions.  Other manufacturers may have a money-back guarantee, but you may find that they only allow you to return a product if it is unopened or unused (which in most cases is pretty darn useless)

Factors to Consider

  • Weight. Many cross trainers are supposed to be able to handle users who weigh as much as 20 stone (130 kilos or 286 pounds), and other higher-end models claim even a higher maximum user weight. However, if you weigh about 13 stone or more it is highly recommended that you get a cross trainer larger than 140cm (L) and 160cm (W) to make sure you get a stable workout.
  • Stride length. This depends on how tall you are and what kind of exercises you plan to perform.

When buying a cross trainer for home use, you may not need something as heavy-duty as the ones used in a public gym. These commercial cross trainers are much more durable because many people use them every day. If there are only 1 or 2 people using the cross trainer, then opting for those expensive models may not be such a practical thing to do.