Unlike the treadmill, exercise bike and the rowing machine, with the cross trainer you are able to target specific muscle groups:
Within one workout you have targeted each muscle group and also completed a 5 minute high intensity.
If you wanted to, you could spend one whole workout focussing on toning or strengthening a specific muscle group so for example if you are training for a marathon then you could spend the entire workout on legs.
This targeting of muscle groups and being a low impact workout is why I prefer the cross trainer over any other home fitness exercise equipment.
Things To Look For When Buying A Cross Trainer
With technology constantly advancing in any given industry, we have advancements in cross trainers too.
Most of the mid-range to high-end cross trainers have a user profile setting.
For example, if you have four in your house hold who would use it, you can set a profile for each user.
By entering basic statistics like height, weight, age and BMI; your trainer would track your progress. Some of the clever cross trainers actually sync this data using internet connection.
When you start working out; you enter the user that you are and work away! Thats it! The cross trainer will do the rest for you.
This feature for individual profiles and tracking your progress is crucial in striving for optimal fitness health. It is much more user friendly than just writing it down and tracking it manually.
We have the technology; why not make use of it!?
An important feature to have, the heart rate monitor does exactly that; it monitors your heart rate while you work out.
Keeping an eye on your heart rate is important so you know where you are with regards to your physical fitness.
The heart rate monitor is especially important if you are doing HIIT or LISS training where you have to keep your heart rate at a certain level.
Most decent cross trainers have the heart rate monitor sensors right on the handles, they measure your heart rate based on the pulse in your hands and then feed this back to the console so you get your beats per minute.
Some manufacturers include chest straps with their cross trainers. Chest straps also measure your beats per minute so you don’t need to hold on to the bars and still have your heart rate monitored if you so wish.
Chest straps are generally more reliable than the hand sensors. One reason is because the hands can get sweaty and moist giving you an inaccurate reading.
The preset training feature is available on anything beyond the mid-range level of cross trainers.
The preset workouts include targeted exercise for things like targeting specific muscle groups, fat burning, body conditioning and strength building.
On the higher end models you could even have pre-set workouts which are based on your statistics. The cross trainer knows your stats and fitness level, given this information it tells you where it thinks you should be with regards to resistance level and duration.
Another very important point to note is to make sure the cross trainer you buy is made by a reputable brand who know what their stuff.
With cross trainers being so popular today, we have many less reputable companies making them. While they may seem like you are getting a bargain at first glance, you just don’t know whats under the hood so to speak. This can cause problems in the machine as time goes on. Problems which may not be easily resolved.
Buying a “cheap” cross trainer means buying twice and in between, spending time on the phone constantly trying to resolve the issues you’ve had.
There are some very good brands out there which I would personally advise you to go with and on this site you will find only the best in cross trainers for your home.
Maximum Weight and Height Of All Who Will Use The Cross Trainer
When buying a cross trainer it is easily and often overlooked at who else will be using it besides you.
Both the height and weight are important factors to keep in mind.
The weight will simply dictate on the maximum user weight allowed to use the cross trainer. If you are too heavy for the cross trainer then you can cause permanent damage to it. If this happens, you warranty will most likely not cover it because it is your responsibility to check this before buying and they will be able to tell the cause of the problem.
The height is important because of the stride length. This is the distance between your legs on every stride you take. Shorter people have a shorter stride and taller people naturally have a longer stride.
Buying a cross trainer with a short stride will not be good for a taller person. The movement will be very restricted and they will not be able to have an effective or comfortable workout.
The same story on the other end of the spectrum, a cross trainer with a longer stride for shorter people will be very uncomfortable and definitely not recommended.
Besides being uncomfortable, both of the above scenarios can lead to serious injury.
The good news is you can get cross trainers with adjustable stride lengths so depending on who wants to work out, you simply manually adjust it when you want to workout.