Ratings for elliptical trainers are not a one-size-fits-all sort of standard. Ratings can tell you which of these machines are right for you based on your fitness level and the features that you are most interested in having. There are many sources for these ratings. One such source is Consumer Search. This ratings system uses a combination of ratings from other ratings makers such as Consumer Reports and other ratings sources.
The elliptical trainer that was rated as the best for entry-level buyers was the Spirit XE 350. This machine is less expensive than other trainers, such as the Precor, but it has lots of features. It has ten exercise programs that you can customize to your fitness level and preferences. This includes upper body work, which is not available on all elliptical trainers. It can hold a person weighing up to 325 pounds.
The Precor EFX 5.17i was rated as the best overall in elliptical trainers. This is an entry-level trainer, certainly. However, it has some advantages that reviewers find preferable to many elliptical trainers in all classes. One of those advantages is its twenty different levels of resistance. It also has a large degree of adjustability in its incline. The steepness can be set anywhere from 12 to 25 degrees. One unusual feature of the Precor EFX 5.17i is that it is said to have no limit on its weight capacity. People who are heavy and just beginning to exercise should have no problem starting with this machine. Unlike the Spirit XE 350, it does not offer the means for an upper body workout.
The Precor EFX 5.33 model, on the other hand, is rated as an excellent club-quality elliptical trainer. There are fourteen programs available, some of which you can set yourself or are heart-rate controlled. This machine supplies the tools for an upper body workout. It, too, has twenty different fitness levels. The incline is fixed, at 20 degrees. One thing that makes this a club quality trainer is that it has a ten year warranty on parts with one full year on labor. There is a lifetime warranty on the frame itself. This machine has no weight limits, either.
The Fitness Quest Eclipse 1100 HR/A is rated as one of the best budget range elliptical trainers. In the budget lines, manufacturers do not often give more than a 90-day warranty. However, the Fitness Quest Eclipse 1100 HR/A allows for a full one year of parts and labor. It does have some good features for a budget model. It has twelve programs on it, ten preset and two programs that are controlled by your heart rate. It is supposed to be able to hold 275 pounds, but it is a lightweight model, so it is not as stable as the more expensive elliptical trainers.
You can get ratings for different elliptical trainers from many sources. Some people like to go directly to Consumer Reports or Consumer Guide. These ratings may vary, as the different reviewers are more impressed by different features of the elliptical trainers. The best course of action is to read several reviews and compare them all.
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