Your Complete Guide to Buying an Elliptical Trainer

 |  Brett Labistour

More people are choosing the elliptical for their cardio or HIIT workouts over similar devices such as the treadmill or the StairMaster.

An elliptical is a full-body workout, providing cardio benefits while also working out your arms and legs. Ellipticals are also customizable and better for those who suffer from joint pain.

If you’re buying equipment for your gym or fitness center, it’s integral you include an elliptical. But you shouldn’t settle for any elliptical. Even second-hand or used elliptical need to follow certain quality guidelines for safety and effectiveness.

Continue reading and know everything about buying an elliptical trainer.

The Elliptical Trainer: The Different Types

There are three different types of elliptical trainers. These include:


This elliptical requires more space, even though it’s the most compact body type. That’s because its functions exceed the size of the elliptical. For example, if the user uses the arm pedals, their arms can reach out farther than the machine.

The drive-wheel is located at the center of the machine and the machine is overall more rounded. The center drive-wheel is easier to use and the user feels more comfortable.


The drive is located in the front of the equipment. Unlike the center drive, which feels more natural, the front drive feels steeper. The pedals run on a track, increasing the intensity.


The drive is located at the back of the elliptical. This makes the elliptical more versatile, allowing the user to easily pedal forwards and backwards. The rear drive position also puts the elliptical at an incline, amping up the intensity.

What to Look For

The elliptical is very versatile. Before buying an elliptical, identify these specific features and see if the elliptical will work best for your clients.


The average sized elliptical is six feet long and 2.5 feet wide. But you can buy any elliptical between 50 and 84 inches. This means that your gym must accommodate the space for an elliptical.

Ellipticals are also more elevated compared to other exercise equipment. Not only do you need enough floor space but also enough ceiling space.


While some clients enjoy casually running on the elliptical, others enjoy a more intense workout or even use the elliptical for HIIT benefits. An elliptical should allow customization for different speeds and resistance levels.

Check the elliptical at all speeds and resistance levels. Ensure the elliptical is easy to use at the lowest settings and the intensity is powerful as you increase these settings.

However, your clients should be comfortable using the elliptical, even at the highest intervals.

You should also make sure all buttons work and the user can easily adjust the settings or stick with the automated easy settings.

Some ellipticals also come with pre-set settings for those new to the elliptical but want a more intense workout. These pre-sets can include mountain climbing and hill climbing. While they’re not required, they’re definitely helpful.


All users should remain at an upright position while using the elliptical.

Their feet should fit comfortably on the pedals and the moving handles should be set at a comfortable distance to the user’s hands.

There should also be stationary handles as another alternative, in case the user doesn’t like using the moving handles.

In addition, no other piece of equipment should interfere with the user’s workout.

Your clients will be all shapes and sizes. The elliptical positioning should be proportional enough that any client of any size can use the elliptical and feel comfortable exercising on it.

High-Tech and Entertainment Features

More ellipticals come with entertainment features to distract the user while they’re exercising. A perfect example is the TV. The TV is built into the elliptical so the user can plug in their headphones and watch TV while exercising.

Not every user will want to watch TV. This is why more ellipticals include high-tech features. Modern ellipticals can access WiFi so users can access the internet, watch videos, and check their social media while working out.

As an alternative to listening to music on your phone or through the elliptical, more ellipticals optimize Bluetooth technology so users can wirelessly connect their phones to the elliptical and listen to music while exercising.

Safety Features and Warnings

Last but certainly not least, you’ll want to look for safety features. First, it’s recommended young children don’t use the elliptical. Check and see if the elliptical has a minimum age requirement and post this in your gym.

The elliptical you buy should also warn you of the potential injuries you can get while using the equipment.

This is as minor as getting pinched by the equipment or as severe as getting a limb trapped. Make sure you post any warnings in your gym.

See If You Can Rent or Get a Warranty First

It’s always best to try out an elliptical before you pay full price. This especially goes for a second-hand elliptical; you don’t know what kind of condition the elliptical is in or if it needs any maintenance.

See if you can rent the elliptical first. Try the elliptical out yourself and ask for customer feedback.

If you can’t rent your elliptical or want to purchase the second-hand elliptical instead, always check for a warranty.

If something goes wrong with the elliptical and you need repairs or a replacement, you can easily get your elliptical back into good shape.

Buy a Second-Hand Elliptical for Your Gym

If you need an elliptical trainer for your gym, it’s easy to be intimidated by your options. Hopefully, this guide helped define all of the elliptical types and features, making the buying process easier.

There’s also no reason to purchase a brand new elliptical, especially if your gym or fitness center is brand new. There are second-hand ellipticals that are high-quality.

You can opt for a warranty or rent these ellipticals in case you have any doubts.

If you're looking to purchase an elliptical, you can search for used ellipticals here.

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