The Argos guide to cross trainers - 3 of 4

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3. Choosing a cross trainer that's right for you

Now you're armed with the right information about cross trainers, it's time to make a shortlist. Here are the questions you should ask yourself before you buy.

What are my fitness goals?

Decide what you want from your decision to buy a cross trainer. Are you looking to lose weight, or make yourself more flexible, or build strength? Bear in mind few people use a cross trainer and nothing else, even though it’s one of the best all-round workout machines – most people use it to increase their fitness for other activities, such as swimming, running, or cycling.

What different cross trainers will do
Lose weight Any cross trainer capable of taking your body weight
Get fit Any cross trainer, but a heart rate monitor will help you train
Become stronger Cross trainer with different functions and programmes to build strength and endurance
Become more flexible Any cross trainer, but start with an easy programme and build up
Have fun Cross trainer with a variety of functions and programmes
Train for an event Any cross trainer, but combine cross training with other exercise

Will it fit my home?

Cross trainers are quite compact - since you’re standing up, they use less floor area than a home gym or rowing machine. In general, allow the same space as a small sofa – but with half a metre or so on each side to allow for your elliptical movements!

Do I need special footwear?

Cross training is no riskier than other exercise, but you need to look at your feet. Because you’ll be moving your ankles more than with other gym equipment, you might want to check your training shoes support your ankles properly; lightweight running shoes aren’t designed to handle much sideways movement.

What makes cross training different?

People usually use cross trainers to improve their performance at other sports – unlike cycling (exercise bikes) running (treadmills) or rowing (rowing machines), cross-country ski-ing isn’t something you can just do anytime! What makes it different is that on a cross trainer, you’re building strength and flexibility as well as cardiovascular fitness.

What are the costs?

Low-cost cross trainers don’t take up much space and willl give you a great workout for the price of two week's groceries. But if you’re training seriously they may not have the variety of functions and programmes for you. If you can afford it, about twice as much will buy a very high-end model, while 3-4 times as much will get you something straight out of a professional gym.

What else do I need?

Because they move you from side to side, cross trainers need a firm, non-slippery surface. You may need to put a mat in place to protect your floor.

There’s a huge variety of cross trainers on the market - but the one you choose needs to fit your healthy lifestyle, too. Now you're equipped with information, head for cross trainers at!

Using the Argos Comparison Table

Sometimes you want to see features side-by-side. It’s easy! When you view any range of cross trainers – by type, brand, or other criteria – you’ll see a ‘Compare products/Go’ link on the right, with a tickbox for each piece of equipment.

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Tick the cross trainers you’re interested in, and hit Go – you’ll be shown a handy table comparing all their main features, making it easier to choose. Why not try it right now?

Argos guide to cross trainers

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