Commercial elliptical trainers differ from those intended for home use. The attributes focus more on durability and variety since a vast number of individuals will use the machine. This helps suit a number of users by fulfilling their specific workout needs. Below are the must have attributes of a commercial elliptical.
Commercial elliptical trainers are built to withstand repeated use. In a commercial setting, patron after patron will use the machine on a regular basis. Durability means a solid steel construction, quality drive mechanism and long lasting points of contact (pedals, handlebars, console).
A good layout encompasses many things. One being the positioning of the pedals. A good Q-factor, or distance between the pedals, is one in which the feet are at the center of the body. This promotes a neutral, well balanced stance. Q-factor combined with handlebars placed so that the arms are not forced into an awkward position promotes proper form, improves technique and prevents unnecessary strain on the body. Layout also determines how easy it is to get on and off the machine.
Adequate Weight Limit
An adequate weight limit is another must have attribute of a commercial elliptical. Fitness centers and gyms want to accommodate people of all sizes. Fitness is about getting healthy and inclusion, not exclusion so machines must suit all patrons.
Elliptical trainers with magnetic resistance requires less maintenance making it perfect for fitness centers. As a plus, operation is smoother and quieter.
Articulating pedals are ones that pivot as you move to support the natural movement of the feet and ankles.
Grooved Drive Belt
The drive belt of an elliptical is the only component connecting the flywheel to the pedals. A quality belt is grooved since the grooves best transfer energy between the flywheel and pedals resulting in a smooth, more quiet operation.
The motion of every stride depends primarily on the flywheel. A heavier flywheel causes the machine to glide with ease since the additional weight improves the efficiency of each spin.
Forward and Reverse Motion
Forward and reverse motion is another attribute of commercial models. Elliptical trainers that move forwards and backwards allow users to target different muscles in the lower body. Forward motion puts emphasis on the hamstrings and calves while pedaling in reverse works the quads and glutes.
Preset and Custom Programs
Commercial elliptical trainers are used by many and each individual should be able to complete a workout that suits his/her specific needs. Preset and custom programs offer that personalized experience by allowing users to easily change up their routine. Programs do this by throwing variables into the mix like resistance and incline. There is the option to cover more distance, the machine may simulate hilly terrain or there may be preset programs based on specific fitness goals like weight loss.
High Tech Features/Gadgets
A commercial fitness facility can benefit from having elliptical trainers with high tech features and gadgets that most individuals do not have at home. Aside from being impressive, they improve both efficiency and incentive. Additions like a built in fan to keep users cool as they exercise, an iPod dock or built in speakers keep workouts enjoyable and boosts performance (music is motivation). Some high end models even house a LCD television.
Aside from requiring less labor, low maintenance indicates a high quality trainer. The better the design, the less maintenance an elliptical requires since there are fewer moving parts. From a financial standpoint a low maintenance machine is best as well since fewer repairs and replacement parts save money.