Choosing a machine for exercise is a difficult task. There are many types of machines that offer different benefits, and each one has its own set of pros and cons.
In this article, we’ll explore the 7 most common types: recumbent, upright, cross-trainers, gliders, rear-driven, front-driven, and central-driven elliptical machines.
The article will go on to describe the features of each type as well as what they’re used for so readers can make an educated decision about which machine would be best for them based on their goals.
What is an Elliptical Machine?
An elliptical machine is a type of exercise machine that exercises virtually every major muscle group in your body without putting undue stress on joints.
Walking creates stability through your ankle joint; jogging provides core stability through extension at your hip socket, and climbing stairs works out your lower back muscles.
Ellipticals simulate the motion of an outdoor elliptical path and avoid the repetitive stress associated with running. These machines utilize a person’s natural up and down leg motion by pushing and pulling pedals in a motion akin to rowing.
This machine is great for people who want to lose weight or reduce their risk of developing diabetes or hypertension. Ellipticals can vary in price depending on the type, durability, and features offered.
Types of Elliptical Machines
Elliptical machines are categorized by assessing three main characteristics namely:
- Type of drive
- The posture of the trainee while using the elliptical
- The general impact on the trainee (user).
#1. Rear-Drive Elliptical Machine
A rear-drive elliptical has similarities to stationary rowing boats but both feet are in contact with the pedals throughout the movement. Thus, it’s more like walking than cycling on an adjustable mattress while exercising your arms simultaneously.
It also includes arm handles (like handles on stair machines) that allow you to work out your upper body independently of your lower body or vice versa; if one group is giving out then it can be worked separately until they’re recovered sufficiently.
Rear-drive elliptical machines are often overlooked but are perfect for people with relatively small stride lengths.
These machines offer all the benefits of a standard elliptical machine but have many adjustments on offer to cater to specific needs.
Rear-drive ellipticals usually come with various incline levels so that your workout can be intense enough no matter your fitness level.
They also allow individuals to pedal backward or forwards depending on their preference, which is unmatched by other types of ellipticals.
#2. Front-Drive Elliptical Machine
Front-drive Elliptical Machines are the most popular models because they provide more natural movement. Front-drives stride arms forward, which is the same direction as your front leg when you’re running.
This means that frontal systole just about always coincides with each step cycle.
Front-drive models that require you to pedal forward only due to the orientation of their drive mechanism underneath the deck of the machine.
Most of the new front-drive elliptical machines have some excellent features offering all the comfort and stability that you need for exercising at home.
They have many benefits, including their ability to adjust to different human heights easily with just a twist of the knob!
#3. Center-Drive Elliptical Machine
Due to the fact that center drive elliptical trainers are relatively new, there isn’t a lot of information available concerning their longevity and maintenance.
Because the flywheel and driving system are positioned on either side of the trainer rather than the front or rear, this elliptical is referred to as “center” drive.
This design allows for a more compact form, which is perfect for in-home use in smaller locations such as apartments and condos. However, despite its high cost, many people like it since it is quiet, smooth, and kind on the lower back and joints.
Because the user’s weight is more evenly distributed than on any other form of elliptical, many individuals find that this trainer accurately simulates the action of walking or running without the uncomfortable, up-right feeling that many people experience on other types of ellipticals.
#4. Elliptical Cross Trainer
While the machine is not functionally different than its stationary counterparts, an elliptical cross trainer can be adjusted to simulate a variety of angles and approaches to health for an individual’s different needs.
It’s good to dance around in what you think is best for your current fitness needs. Elliptical Cross Trainers are an excellent way to take it slow by providing moderate resistance, a low impact like what you feel when you’re walking or jogging.
The weightless tension allows beginners to push off without pressure on their joints that come with high-impact activities like jumping rope or running.
Outdoor enthusiasts also claim these machines will tone up all parts of your body in less time than outdoor exercises because they provide coordination, balance, and strength training simultaneously –
#5. Elliptical Glider
An elliptical glider is a type of elliptical exercise machine. It’s a stationary rower that combines the motion and resistance of rowing with the motion and resistance of an elliptical trainer.
For both motions, you’re pulling handles on either side of your body while standing on an incline board that moves back and forth like an ellipse for any forward or backward movement.
Since it’s not running but trying to simulate some aspects, this exercise is ideal for those who don’t want to run backward or on uneven terrain such as hills – which can be difficult if you have had recent knee surgery or injury in the past.
#6. Seated (Recumbent) Elliptical Machine
The recumbent elliptical (also known as seated or bi-pedal, or sit-down elliptical) is a type of elliptical that enables you to work out your arms and torso during your exercise.
With the seating position facing forward, there are also some models where you can face backward on the machine.
Either way, this type of elliptical allows for multi-angle exercises which may make it more useful than some other types of exercise machines.
Allowing an angle adjustment with each stride makes it more effective in addressing certain muscle groups especially those closer to the core which are harder to target on some types of equipment.
A drawback is that working out on a recumbent might be discouraging for those who prefer challenging themselves through high-intensity routines.
#7. Upright Elliptical Machine
Upright elliptical machines are among the best pieces of equipment for losing weight.
They offer many of the benefits that you would get exercising outdoors, including increased heart rate to burn more calories and build up exercise endurance; plus it feels like you’re walking uphill (stationary), which helps strengthen your muscles.
Some features may include various levels of inclines, high-gear pedaling for faster workouts, handles to help balance while getting in shape, and electronic digital programs with 20 preset workout routines or customizable options.
Why use Elliptical Machines?
Ellipticals simulate stair-stepping and other lower body movements while you gradually increase your pace.
It’s the perfect cardio workout for those looking to get in shape but with little or no impact on their joints and knees, especially because so many other exercises require jumping and striding which can be hard on your joints.
Ellipticals offer both upper and lower body workouts unlike machines like treadmills which only use one-half of your muscles at a time (upper or lower).
When recovering from an injury (e.g. broken leg), elliptical machines can be a great first step to fitness, as they do less damage than running and put less stress on the ankles and feet, which is perfect for those with foot problems.
Other benefits include improved cardiovascular endurance, improved muscle tone, and improved flexibility as well as pain relief (especially in the back).
Elliptical trainers offer many of the same benefits as rowing or cycling without exerting quite as much force on joints such as knees and hips.
For those who already have injuries, this machine may prove too challenging; however, those with healthy joints shouldn’t find it so difficult to use one comfortably!
Planet Fitness Elliptical Machine
Does Planet Fitness have elliptical machines? Yes, Planet Fitness has elliptical machines. Additionally, they have personal stretching guides to help you with your fitness routine for your body type.
Planet Fitness has all the equipment needed for a fitness routine at its location.
They have new technology on the floor of their gym to show how active members are throughout the day and boast that they are “the first organization that can measure this data.
As well as these many new features, Planet Fitness guarantees its members will find what they need there; whether it is ellipticals or any other type of exercise equipment necessary for an effective workout session.
Types of Elliptical Machines at Planet Fitness
What type of elliptical machines does Planet Fitness use or sell? You will be happy to learn that Planet Fitness has all major types of elliptical machines.
At Planet Fitness, you can get elliptical types such as seated (recumbent), upright, cross-trainer, rear-drive, front-drive, and center-drive elliptical machines.
What brands of elliptical are at Planet Fitness? Well, the different Planet Fitness elliptical machine brands are the Arc Trainer, C2 Rower, and the Assault Airbike.
The Arc Trainer is one of their most popular models with features designed to meet everyone’s needs. It has variable resistance pedals that offer on-the-fly adjustments for any fitness level or type.
Their newest model on the showroom floor, the C2 Rower, was created by Concept 2-a world leader in indoor rowing equipment.
It simulates an outdoor rowboat with a hydraulic damper offering 170 watts of power output; it also has adjustable footplates for personalized comfort. The assault air bike simulates outdoor biking without ever leaving the confines of your local gym!
How to use the elliptical machine at Planet Fitness
The elliptical machine is a low-impact exercise that engages your arms and legs equally. If you find yourself getting bored with the same routine, try setting your elliptical to an adventure ride.
Planet Fitness has a few rides that simulate a mountain bike, a sprint workout, or a glide through the water.
Just select one of these options from the screen and then set it to your preferred speed! In addition to providing cardiovascular benefits, elliptical machines can also help tone those arm muscles.
With this in mind, crank up the resistance on your foot pedals as high as possible for an intense arm toning session at Planet Fitness’s gyms nationwide
The best way to start your session on an elliptical is to assess what intensity level you need. If you are a beginner starting out at a low intensity, place the handlebars in the higher position and choose a slow machine for easy pedaling.
Once comfortable with this setting, gradually move the handlebars down and decrease the pedal speed as your endurance improves.
Conversely, if you’re aiming for higher-level cardio or looking for an intense workout, set the bars low and then increase speed as desired. Remember that pushing too hard can lead to muscle fatigue and injury.
Make sure your heart rate stays at 75% of your max during any workout session by stepping onto the pedals with ease.
FAQs on Elliptical Machine Types
Difference between elliptical and cross trainer
The elliptical trainer is a low-impact aerobic machine that simulates the motion of running because it operates by moving its user’s feet in an elliptical pattern. It can also be used to do upper-body gyroscopic exercises, making it quite versatile.
The cross trainer is more of a high-energy machine, since your resistance changes with your stride length. And if you’re looking for an all-over body workout that’s tough on your joints, try cycling or rowing.