To choose the right cross trainer (also called elliptical trainer), pick one that is best suited to the way you intend to use it. Will it be for: Resuming physical exercise? Staying in shape? Physical rehabilitation? Training for a sport? The following tips will help you to take full advantage of the benefits of using a cross trainer: a full cardio and toning workout that is low-impact on the joints.
But first, why invest in a cross trainer?
A cross trainer is easy for anyone to use, and great for the entire family! It's a solid piece of equipment that can last you a long time. You can use it at home, all year round, without being dependant on the weather!
A cross trainer provides you with a complete workout since it combines cardio training with toning of both the upper and lower body. The exercise routine is gentle and low-impact on the joints.
It's especially useful for:
- Getting back in shape. It's an ideal piece of equipment to help you get or stay in shape, and improve your performance
- Losing weight. A cross trainer helps you burn fat. Combined with a suitable diet, it can help you slim your figure.
- Working out your heart without strain. It helps improve your cardiovascular endurance.
- Physical training: It helps you to build muscle without risking injury to your joints.
Which cross trainer for which use
To each his own! Which cross trainer you should purchase depends on how you plan to use it. In other words, it should meet several pre-determined objectives. The more athletic your intended use, the more important the fluidity and range of movement are in providing comfort and performance.
Physical rehabilitation and gently strengthening your muscles
If your goal is gentle strengthening of the muscles or physical rehabilitation, then emphasis should be placed on comfort at the expense of performance. The comfort of your lower back (lumbar region) should take priority over powerful strides. Domyos cross trainers are designed to keep your back upright while exercising. All of the cross trainers in our range are therefore suited to this style.
Cardio training: regular or high-performance (intensive training)
If doing a more intense cardio workout as part of a high-performance training session or when training for a sport, you have the option of changing positions while working out, which adds variety and comfort. In that case, we recommend selecting cross trainers equipped with mobile arm handles and multi-position fixed handlebars, as well as those providing a longer stride.
Watch your posture
Always make sure to keep your back straight!A well-designed cross trainer will ensure you maintain that position. Whether you use the mobile arm handles or fixed handlebars, a straight posture will help you to effectively work out your abdominals (core strength) and your upper and lower body, and well as work out safely for longer.
Features and their respective benefits
The determining criteria are as follows:
- Smooth stepping motion
Stepping comfortably means a smooth motion without jerks. While the weight of the wheel is one factor contributing to a fluid movement, it is far from being the only one. The elements that directly contribute to the smoothness of the stepping motion include the weight of the wheel, the distribution of the weight throughout the wheel, and the drivetrain.
Domyos drivetrains have been designed to provide an extremely smooth stepping experience. Therefore, a wheel weighing 3.5 kg may provide a much more comfortable pedalling experience than a wheel weighing 6 kg. Trying out the cross trainer will allow you to select the comfort and stepping power levels that will allow you to work out for a long time.
Finally, based on your objectives, the effectiveness of your workout routine will also be linked to the range of your stepping motion, which is determined by the diameter of the fly wheel.The larger the wheel, the greater the range of your stepping motion (length of your stride).
Resistance is one of the main criteria when choosing a cross trainer. It allows you to increase or decrease the level of effort required when exercising, as well as provide better stability.
- Adjusting the level of resistance: mechanical or motor-driven
Mechanically-adjusted resistance is provided by a very simple mechanism: Turning a wheel pulls on a cable that moves a magnet closer to the fly wheel, increasing the resistance and the difficulty level of the stepping.
A motor-driven adjustment lets you adjust the level of difficulty directly from the console. This has two advantages. Firstly, it provides more levels of difficulty. Secondly, it allows for training programmes to be built into the cross trainer which automatically change the resistance level throughout your session to provide you with variety in your exertion levels. These programmes are based on different objectives, such as calorie burning, pre-sport training, etc.
Cross trainers are fitted with a console that displays helpful information regarding your workout, such as your speed, distance travelled, exercise time, average calories burned.
Check which measurements the console displays, the different built-in training programmes that let you analyse your performance and progress, as well as its compatibility with other devices (coach or MP3). Depending on the model, the machine may also display your heart rate. (For greater heart rate accuracy, pick a model that comes with a heart rate belt, such as the VE710). Make sure the data displayed on the console is clear and large enough to be easily read (display size, back-light, etc.).
Comfort while exercising
Check the components of the cross trainer that are designed to provide a comfortable training session.
- Max user weight
Check the total weight compared with the user weight. All Domyos cross trainers are designed for a maximum user weight of 130 kg.
Check that your cross trainer is equipped with stabilizers that ensure it remains stable while in use regardless of your floor type.
- Fitting it into your home
Moving your cross trainer around: Each cross trainer comes with a set of wheels, making it easy to stow the machine after your workout session.