An elliptical is a complete cardio machine, which allows us to exercise at home comfortably and safely. They are currently one of the best machines for exercising at home and most used in gyms.
Elliptical machines are trending, compared with treadmills, they have a lower risk of injury and can help you get the best fitness result.
But what distinguishes an elliptical machine from any other is its stride length—the distance between one pedal and another when we have our legs open. It means that it is the maximum step’s distance that you can perform, similar to walking.
Elliptical stride length is important because the machine is based on it and affects your exercise performance. Your elliptical exercise depends on this stride length to develop muscle mass on your legs. This means that if you train on an elliptical machine with a stride length that does not fit yours, you may feel uncomfortable.
Imagine that you have to walk with concise steps. I am sure that it will be tough to exercise correctly for a certain period of time.
But How To Find the Best Elliptical Stride Length?
If you are a person above average height and want to train on an elliptical machine but are afraid to invest because you don’t know how to choose the right stride length, Here is a stride length chart that you can refer to:
|Ideal Elliptical Stride Length
|6’ and up
As you can see, the stride length is directly proportional to your height.
Elliptical machines have different stride lengths depending on their brand and price. But its manufacturers will list out this in most cases.
Unsurprisingly, the inexpensive elliptical machines have shorter strides that range between 11 and 14 inches, which will be a short stride length even for a person of average height.
If you are under 5′ tall, then 14 inches to 16 inches stride length would suit you.
On the other hand, if you are between 5′ and 5′ 5’’ tall, you need an elliptical machine with a stride length between 16 and 18 inches.
Conversely, if your height is greater than 5′ 5’’ and under 6′, your ideal stride length should be 18 to 20 inches.
We must be aware that sometimes comfort and price do not go hand in hand, so if your budget is low, you must adapt and accept that you will not be able to stretch too much.
But there are ellipticals with strides up to 22 inches on the market, which can be perfectly used by people with a height greater than 6’.
I have a math formula for you to calculate your ideal stride length:
Your Height (inches) × 0.25 = Your Ideal Stride Length (inches)
Noted: If the outcome is a decimal, round up to the next whole number.
However, research has shown that working out on an elliptical with a longer stride length can be beneficial and tone up both the leg muscles and the glutes more effectively.
What Is an Adjustable Stride on Elliptical Machine? Is It Good or Not?
You can also consider getting ellipticals that come with adjustable stride length according to your height. It can be a great benefit and an excellent investment if different people of different heights will use this machine for cardio workouts.
In case you share the machine, this can be a good option, and in this way, you can adjust the strides so that the steps are either not too long or not too small.
But the primary advantage of using an elliptical trainer with an adjustable stride is that you can achieve rigorous cardio and weight-bearing workout with zero impact on your joints. When you run, you exert a force of up to eight times your body weight on your joints, according to “Dr. Scott’s Knee Book: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Knee Problems” by W. Norman Scott and Robert Gotlin.
Finally, to make a good stride, you must pay attention to the machine’s stability since it is essential during your training. And generally, heavier elliptical machines will be more stable. However, good design outweighs weight with high-end elliptical machines and can provide ample stability with a perfect stride.
Benefits of Using an Elliptical Machine
An elliptical machine’s function is to simulate a walk with a distance of normal steps or that corresponds according to the length of the person’s leg.
And for those who want to lose weight, exercising on an elliptical machine gives you the same result as if you train with a treadmill.
For this reason, elliptical machines also prevent you from damaging your joints since it is one of the best low-impact cardio machines that deliver you full-body workouts.
When deciding to invest in an elliptical machine, the first thing to look at is stride length. Your comfort when exercising will depend on this, and to find the best elliptical stride length, you should consider your height.
On the other hand, clearly, you should look at other characteristics such as the space you have in your house, the weight capacity, quality frame, price, etc.
If you do not have much experience with elliptical machines, you will surely look at different user reviews. However, it would help if you did not get carried away by those who have not checked their stride length.
In this sense, the stride’s length can be very personal, although an elliptical with a stride longer than ours can be very beneficial for our muscles, according to experts, since we will make twice as much effort when training.
However, note that the adjustable stride ellipticals are useful for reproducing a natural stride motion and avoiding injury.
Besides, the large footprint surface clearance allows users of any foot size to comfortably adapt to the pedals, reducing stress on the knees and ankles.
If you had doubts, we hope we have clarified them, and we encourage you to invest in a machine that will bring you many benefits for your health and that of your family. And as we mentioned before, a great option can be an adjustable stride elliptical machine, so everyone will be able to use it according to their height.