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How to pick a crosstrainer that best suits your needs?

How to pick a crosstrainer that best suits your needs?

, by Joris Lans, 11 min reading time

There's a lot of different kind of crosstrainers out there, so picking the right crosstrainer can be tricky. No worries! We've made a handy overview of characteristics to pay attention to when buying a crosstrainer. This to make sure you pick the right one

What training goals do you want to achieve?

When you train you usually have a specific goal in mind. You want to slim down, improve your endurance level, strengthen your muscles or exercise because it's healthy. To lose weight your calorie burning must be higher than your calorie intake. A crosstrainer offers a combination between cardio and power training. When you train with various levels of resistance your body has to labour very hard so you'll burn calories, improve your stamina and train your muscles.

During exercise you can both use your arms and legs so your whole body gets moving. The more intense your movement the more fat and calories you'll burn. We advise you to pick a crosstrainer with a large number of resistance level and an adjustable ramp level. Exercising with a high resistance level and a high ramp level trains your physical fitness, calves, upper leg muscles and hamstrings.

Which exercise programs to choose from?

When buying a crosstrainer it's also important to pay attention to the available training programs. Effective exercise programs to lose weight, improve your fitness level and enlarge your muscle strength are HIIT-programs and heart rate control programs. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. With this form of training periods of high intensity are interchanges with periods of low intensity. Because of this your body has to exert itself times over. A big plus to HIIT-training is the so-called 'afterburn effect'. HIIT-training is very intensive and explosive so it takes your body a lot more time to fully recover. While your body is recovering you keep burning calories. This means you burn as much calories or even more calories as with doing 'normal' cardio training.

With every training goal you chase, heart rate bases training is indispensable. With measuring your heart rate during your workout you'll see the results of your training much earlier on. Most crosstrainer are equipped with heart rate sensors, but heart rate measurement with a separate chest strap is much more accurate. With heart rate measurement during training you're always sure your heart rate won't get too high and you keep training in your ideal training zone.

The ideal heart rate lies between 70 and 75%. Men's maximum heart rate is 220 minus their age and women's maximum heart rate is 226 minus their age.

Training based on heart rate is very goal-oriented and effective. We recommend you to pick a crosstrainer with several heart rate control programs. Training programs help you to reach your training goals earlier and keeps your training varied and motivating. Our crosstrainers are fitted with multiple heart rate control programs, manual user programs, special weight management programs, Healthy Living programs based on health and seven sport training programs, including HIIT-programs.

Who's going to use the crosstrainer?

It's advisable to determine beforehand who's going to use the crosstrainer. Your maximum weight to be able to use the crosstrainer responsibly and safely depend on the maximum loadable user weight of the crosstrainer. Most crosstrainer for home use have a maximum user weight of 120 kg. Obviously, the higher the maximum user weight of the crosstrainer the more stable it is and the better it can deal with high intensity workouts. Overall, crosstrainers with a maximum user weight of 160 kg are sturdy and stable and can take a beating.

It's recommendable to buy a crosstrainer with a high maximum user weight, so multiple people can use it and you can keep training even when you seriously improve your level of training and want to start training long-term and with high intensity. Crosstrainers with a high maximum user weight are more expensive than those with a lower max. use height so you have to determine for yourself how much money you want to spend.

The flywheel's weight

The flywheel is the rotating mass at the front or backside of a crosstrainer. Its weight varies per crosstrainer. Crosstrainers with a heavier flywheel tend to have a more supple training motion and a higher level of resistance. A heavier flywheel is also more durable. You best pick a treadmill with a heavy flywheel so you can keep training intensive and challenging for a long time.

Isn't training with a crosstrainer taxing on your joints?

The training motion on a crosstrainer where your arms and legs make a rotating movement is called 'elliptical cycling'. It's a natural movement resembling a combination of running and cycling. Contrary of training with a treadmill, your muscles and joints don't have to take in heavy blows and are therefore not burdened. Crosstrainers have comfortable large foot pedals on which your feet go up and down so your training motion is very comfortable and controlled.

There's no impact at all on your hips, knees and ankles. You can even use a crosstrainer when you're injured and want or have to keep exercising.
It's also important to pay attention to where the flywheel is positioned. When the flywheel has been placed at the back of the crosstrainer, the pedal spacing is usually a bit longer. This heights the intensity or your movement and makes you able to intensively train a lot of muscle groups. Crosstrainer with a flywheel placed at the front side are usually bigger with a longer frame. This ensures the pedals can move freely up and down and your training motion gets more length. The training motion is also more flat and longer making it feel more natural and comfortable.

Crosstrainers are perfectly suitable to beginners, elder people and rehabilitating athletes. A special feature of our crosstrainers is the patented CoreBalance Technology. This technology uses special sensors in the foot pedals to identify imbalance and irregularities in your training motion. This is directly shown at the display. This way the CoreBalance Technology ensures your training motion is symmetrical and balanced and your body isn't burdened. This reduces the risk of injuries to an absolute minimum.

Stride length and pedal spacing

The stride length speaks off the length of your strides. Taller people usually take longer strides and therefore need a longer stride length. The stride length is dependable on your height. Athletes measuring below 160 cm need a stride length of 40 to 45 cm to be able to take full strides. Athletes measuring between 170 and 200 cm can suffice with a stride length between 50 and 55 cm. Athletes over 200 cm need a stride length of more than 55 cm.

The closer your feet are together, the more natural your movement. Crosstrainer pedals are placed in a way so that your feet are as close together as possible. A small pedal spacing makes your training motion more natural and friendlier to your body. A wider pedal spacing makes your feet moving on the pedals and your training posture unnatural and wrong. This is very fatiguing and burdening to the hip joint. We strongly advise you to take a crosstrainer with a pedal spacing of less than 13 cm.

The functionalities of the crosstrainer

During cross-training your repeat the same training motion over and over again. If your crosstrainer has several training programs you can vary with those. But that's about the only variation you get. Maybe doable for like 5 or 10 minutes but what about half an hour or more? Luckily there are other things to do than staring at the wall and counting down the minutes. Nowadays lot of crosstrainer are equipped with additional features, like WiFi and applications. This way you can watch movies or series or use the internet or a training app. Your training will get a lot more fun and varied and you'll be able to keep at it longer.
Our crosstrainer are also equipped with nice additional features, such as built-in speakers, Bluetooth, A USB-port and tablet-compatibility so you don't have to be bored for a second!

Console and display

If you're in the middle of an intense and sweaty workout you want to keep track off your results to know how you're doing training wise. Crosstrainers feature different kinds of training computers (console). They differ in size, whether they've backlight or not and whether they have buttons or a touchscreen. At most crosstrainers the console's display shows your speed, calorie consumption, pedal revolutions per minute, workout time and travelled distance.
Our crosstrainers have a large blue backlit console so you can perfectly read your training data from every angle and handy speed buttons so you can easily and quickly set your training parameters. It's up to you what you fancy.

How much room do you have to spare for your crosstrainer

Generally crosstrainers are very large and take up quite some space. It's important the crosstrainer is not crammed into the room because you need to be able to get on and off comfortably and safely. So you're going to need some free space between the crosstrainer and the walls. During training your body moves up and down. Because of this there should be enough space from the highest point of your training motion to the ceiling so you won't bump your head.

The right height to the ceiling is your body height plus 50 cm. So for example if you measure 180 cm you're going to need a room that's230 cm high. Assume at least one meter of space between the walls and the crosstrainer at both sides so you've plenty of space to get on and off and won't hurt yourself with the foot pedals or other moving parts. We recommend you to measure the room you want to place the crosstrainer in. This way you'll not be faced with unpleasant surprises. It's also useful to check if the crosstrainer has transport wheels so you can relocate it if desired.

The resistance system

Of course you want to take your new crosstrainer to the limit. To do this you're going to need a resistance system that suits your training goals. There are crosstrainers with magnetic resistance, magnetic Eddy Current and air resistance. A magnetic resistance system adjusts the resistance by moving the magnets  closer to or further away from the flywheel. This system can both the steered electronically and manually. A crosstrainer with electronic magnetic resistance offers you preinstalled training programs based on intensity. Crosstrainers with an electromagnetic braking system the power is gradually reduced. As a result this resistance system is less subject to wear and tear than a normal magnetic brake system. Magnetic Eddy Current is a fast working, stepless and accurate system. It's able to measure wattage and runs very quiet during training. Especially athletes who want to take their training to the next level benefit from a crosstrainer with magnetic Eddy Current. With the air resistance system the resistance level depends on the intensity of your training. The more intensive your workout the bigger the resistance and the harder your training gets. This way you can have a full body workout and adjust the intensity of your training optimally to your level of training. It doesn't matter if you improve your level of training in a short period of time. If your crosstrainer is equipped with air resistance you can keep using it.

A crosstrainer for home use, semi professional use or professional use?

It goes without saying that cross trainer for semi professional and professional use are more robust, sturdier and heavier than those built for home use.  They're also a lot more expensive. However, a cross trainer for semi professional and professional use can be used daily long-term and with high intensity. A cross trainer for home use can only be used a couple of hours a few days per week. Cross trainers for home use are usually less heavy than the semi professional and professional ones and can get wobbly during intense workouts. Less heavy cross trainer also have a lower maximum user weight. In general, the more expensive the cross trainer the better its quality. So determine for yourself how often you want to use the cross trainer and to what end. Make a budget so the cross trainer won't cost you way more than you anticipated. Keep in mind that a high quality cross trainer for long-term and intensive training with a high durability will set you back at least € 1000.
Now that you aware of what to pay attention to when buying a cross trainer its time to take the next step. Check out your new cross trainer here!


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