Cross trainer guide
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Cross trainers, also known as elliptical machines, are a great low-impact way of toning muscles and burning calories. Whether you're an exercise newbie or full-time fitness fanatic, we'll help you find the right cross trainer for your workout needs.
Cross trainer benefits
What does a cross trainer do?
Cross trainers are exercise machines that simulate walking, running or stair climbing. They work your upper and lower body simultaneously, providing a full body workout. And if you just use your legs to power the machine (without your arms), you can engage your core for some tummy toning too.
They're also low impact (if any impact at all) so they don't put any stress on your joints which makes them particularly good if you have knee troubles. Despite this, cross trainers are great calorie-burners as you're using so many muscles at once. Ramp up the intensity enough and you may even burn more calories than you would running or cycling. Result!
Features to look out for
Many cross trainers come with pre-set workout programmes. The more programmes they have, the greater variety of workouts you can enjoy, with more levels of challenge to put you through your paces.
The flywheel is the large wheel which sits at either the back or the front of the machine and moves when you push the pedals. Heavier flywheels allow for smoother pedalling and greater resistance, so it's worth checking.
This refers to the range of motion you can get on the machine, and a bigger range usually give you the option of a tougher workout.
Find the best cross trainer for you
Want an exercise bike too?
2-in-1 cross trainers
These double as exercise bikes, offering you the versatility of more than one piece of equipment without having to find space for both. Exercise bikes help build strength in your lower body, tone your legs and bum and burn more calories too.