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An elliptical is a great piece of workout equipment, there no doubt about it. But when your height towers over regular height people, issues can certainly arise. So it’s important you know what to look for when choosing to buy the best elliptical machines for tall people.
Especially as even the budget models are still quite expensive. Nobody wants to spend a ton of money only to find out it’s not suitable for their unique needs. So in order to save you the headaches and misfortunes of buying an elliptical not suitable to taller people, I have complied this guide to buying a elliptical trainer for a tall person.
This will include a few of the key aspects to consider before buying a machine like this, plus my personal top rated elliptical trainers that make the rest look like childs play.
Compare Elliptical Trainers For Tall People
|Large pedals, 350 lbs capacity, Heart monitoring, 10 programs
|Check Price Amazon
|Low to ground for clearance from low ceilings, 9 programs, 300 lbs capacity
|Check Price Amazon
|20 Resistance Levels, 22 Programs, Fixed & Moving handles
|Check Price Amazon
|Dual track LCD screens, 22 Programs, Cushioned Pedals
|Check Price Amazon
Key Aspects A Tall Person Must Consider
Long Stride Elliptical Trainer Is A Must
No doubt you are aware of the importance of the foot stride. As an elliptical is extremely good at resembling your natural walking and running patterns, the foot stride for your individual height is extremely important.
If the machine you buy has limited foot stride length, you will be walking with smaller steps. It will be awkward, uncomfortable and most of all it will limit your ability to maximize your workout.
Generally speaking, anyone over 5’7″ will be doing themselves a misfortune if they buy an elliptical that has a stride length less than 20 inches. You will find the majority of elliptical trainers at your local Gym or Health Club will have a stride length of 20″.
As this is to cater to the vast majority of members. If you consider yourself really tall, please don’t try fit into a 20″ model. Look for a elliptical machine with a stride length of 22 inches.
Do note that some elliptical machines on the current market have adjustable foot strides while others are fixed at one measurement. If you have more than one user intending on using the elliptical, maybe considering a adjustable length model to be best suited as this will allow for any shorter people to comfortably use it as well.
How to measure your foot stride?
Measuring your foot stride so you have a better idea of the type of elliptical you need is easy. Mark a line on the ground or place some tape down at the back of your heel. Now take a natural step forward. Now mark where the front of your toes land. Measure between the two marks for your foot stride.
Front, Rear Or Side Drive
Why does it matter if the trainers drive is at the rear, front or even on the side of the machine?. This matters as it can affect the stride shape of the workout. For example, rear drive elliptical machines typically have less upward motion compared to a front drive.
Why does this matter?. Simply put, a rear drive or side drive offers greater head room. If you a tall and want to work out in a room with a normal height ceiling, the amount of space between the top of your head and the celing is bare minimal.
Now imagine if you use a up and down style of elliptical. Your head could end up going through the ceiling getting a full view of the inside of your roof. So unless your ceiling allows for an extra 6 inches or so of upward movement, stick to the rear and newer side drive elliptical trainers.
The Sole E25 Has A Foot Stride Up To 22″
Now this Sole elliptical is great for taller people as it has a stride length between 20-22″. Note that on the product description it mentions that it is a power adjustable slide, this is referring to the stride incline. Which can actually increase the stride length by an inch or two.
The pedals are very spacious as well, finally an elliptical where you don’t have to have your toes hanging over the edge. The pedal measures in at 15 inches. So while not very good for the shorter people, perfect for us larger than life folks.
The E25 is a front drive elliptical, so you will need to make sure you have clearance above your head. Nobody really wants to put their head through the ceiling do they?. So if you have an 8 foot high ceiling which is probably just under the average ceiling height and you are taller than 6’8″, you may have issues. Under 6’8″, no problems.
More About The Features Of This Elliptical Trainer By Sole
The features are certainly present on this machine. A lot of thought has gone into the design and overall finish of the elliptical. You can certainly tell it’s a high quality machine just from laying your eyes on it once.
The back-lit 6.5″ LCD monitor is pretty decent, nothing too fancy about it. Wait until 2020 until all the monitors are touch screen tablet style displays. But for now, this screen is fine and dandy. Below the screen and around the console are all the important buttons that you can easily access while still working hard. At the top are two small speakers for belting out some rocking exercise music. But to be honest, you’re better off cranking your home theatre.
With 10 programs of which 2 can be custom programs, you get plenty of choice to choose from. With 15 levels of incline available, this trainer will push even the avid exerciser to the extreme. So you certainly get what you buy when your goal is to work hard!.
The feature I personally love the most is the arms.
Not the inner arms which have the heart rate monitor, but the outer longer arms. On each arms are two buttons to control the level of difficulty and incline levels. This to me is priceless as it means you can control your workout without having to look at the monitor or have to slow down to push the buttons on the monitor. Now they are just a fingerprint away.
Overall, I find the Sole E25 to be very good value for money. It is a mid range elliptical, so it wont send you broke, but you also need to be serious about working out to put out the money on this one. The 350 lbs weight capacity and the extra long stride length allows this elliptical to better suited to the big an tall users.
21″ Stride Elliptical For Very Tall Persons
Firstly, the larger 21″ stride lengths are great for people over 6 foot. While this can also come down to how long your legs are, I find 6 foot is very comfortable in a 21″ stride machine.
Secondly, the E300 uses a unique center style drive system. This is great for two reasons.
- Lower center of gravity, so less chance of feeling off balance and fear of tipping the machine. Also with a floor to top of pedal measurement of 15/16″,you can comfortably fit under a 8 foot ceiling. Plus the lower pedals make stepping onto the elliptical much easier.
- It’s only about 50 inches in length!. This is incredible when you consider most elliptical are about 70 inches in length. Or often, shorter models have shorter strides. But with the E300, you get extra space in your home gym to tuck this machine in a tight area while also having the full advantage of a 21″ stride. Total footprint on the ground needed i just 30″ x 50″. No need to dedicate the whole room to just one elliptical with the E300.
Is The E300 Elliptical Worth Buying?
The bottom line is: Worth your money and time or not?. In my honest opinion, is a huge yes from me. If you research more about the brand ‘Body Solid’, you are sure to find many positive opinions. Which is always good. The LED monitor is about par for me, nothing too fancy. It’s accurate, which counts. Heart rate monitor is there, but again not something I fuss over.
The console allows you to choose from 9 programs, 2 of which are custom and a 20 speed intensity level. The only thing it’s really missing is the incline feature that the Sole E25 boasts. But for the compact design and large 21″ stride, I’m a big fan. It’s also very smooth and quite to use. It almost feels like the commercial elliptical trainers you use down at the Gym, just without the insane price tag.
Most Affordable Elliptical Trainer With A 20″ Stride
The 20″ precision stride is a good starting point for most tall people, However, it is a front drive model. So at the highest point it is 1.5 feet off the ground. Now if you have 8 foot high ceilings, you may just be right if you are a tad over 6 foot. So keep this in mind if you have low ceilings.
In Terms Of Features, The Schwinn 430 Rocks
To be honest, I’m still a little shocked about how much you actually get for an elliptical at this price. The features on this elliptical are ones I would expect on one three times the value. It has all the basics like speakers, fans, heart rate monitor and even the drink holder.
But where it steps it up a notch is in the programs and functions. It has a USB port so that you can use and also charge your smart phone, tablet etc while working out. But on top of that it has 22 programs to choose from, of which 2 are custom. 10 degree incline and 20 levels of resistance make this unit great value for money.
Is There A Deal Breaker?
Remember, this is a low to mid range elliptical, so you are not going to get the best of the best on the market. While it’s got a big stride and boasts a lot of features, there’s one reoccurring issue I see many are faced with. That is the squeaking noise the machine makes when you push down with your legs. For some folks, it happened after 30 minutes of use, for others months into the journey it appears.
Is it unbearable?. Yes and no. If you listen to music while working out you can drown out the noise. But if you exercise while watching TV, it may be too much for you. In which a more expensive model should be bought instead. If it wasn’t for the noise, this elliptical would be one of the buys of the year.
Update: The latest version Schwinn 470 seems to have reduced the noise issue to a degree. Very similar Elliptical with a few upgrades.
Best Mid Range Tall Person Elliptical Machine
When allowing for ceiling height, add about 1 foot on top of your height. Does that equal less than your ceiling height? If so, you;re good to go. So for example, if you have 8 foot ceilings and you are 6;9″, unless you stand on your tippy toes, the only thing hitting the ceiling is your hair.
More About The Nautilus E614 Elliptical
Very similar in features compared to the Schwinn 430 mentioned above. Minus the annoying squeaking sound. Depending on where you buy it, the E614 is typically costs a bit more as well. You can check the price on amazon to get a good idea.
While the 2 user 2 LCD display is not all that high tech, it does what it should, and does it well. For data tracking, if you My Fitness Pal or the Nautilus Connect app, you can export your personal data directly from the console which is pretty cool. I do like that it also has 2 user profiles, this saves having to reconfigure everything if more than one person will be using the machine.
In terms of programs, the Nautilus E614 offers a pretty good routine for the price point. In all, there are 22 programs to choose form with resistance levels going all the way up to 20. To throw another spanner into your routine you get up to 6 incline levels. But this is a manual procedure, not done by the machine.
Overall, if you consider yourself an average user but with extra height, you really cant not consider the Nautilus elliptical. While it’s not quite commercial grade (Hence the lack of $3000 price tag), it does a very good job for what it is. Sure it has a little wobble when going at max potential. But heck, for the difference in $2000+, I will take the small wobble every day of the week. Plus this really does run smoothly and doesn’t have the annoying kick at the end of the stride many cheaper models have. So all round, its a very solid buy for the average yet tall person.
Should You Buy An Elliptical Machine?
There’s no denying that there’s a huge need for cardiovascular exercise. But is the elliptical cross trainer the way to go?. Here’s the main benefits to choosing an elliptical over a treadmill for example.
- Extremely low impact form of exercise. While your legs are working against resistance, your feet never actually leave the foot pedals. So there is no direct impact on your feet, knees, hips, ankles like when running on a treadmill.
- Perfect substitute for runners with joint conditions due to little to no direct impact on the joints commonly affected as a runner.
- Multi training machine. Many people prefer an elliptical over a treadmill as they not only work on your heart, but also your lower body and upper body. More muscle groups involved, the more calories you will burn. Plus you can alter your routines or use the programs to target different muscles by having the pedals go in reverse along with the arms, increase incline and level of resistance (On select models).
- Feels easier than other workout machines. Because the feet and legs move in a natural rhythm with no impact or shocks to the joints, no matter how high the resistance level on the elliptical, the workout feels easier on the body.
How Much Should You Spend?
From the above elliptical trainers for tall people, you will notice that you can spend varying amounts of money. How much you spend really comes down to your budget, the features you want and most importantly how tall you are. If you are close to 7 foot, there’s no denying you will need a elliptical with a stride measurement greater than 20 inches. This typically means you’re going to have to spend up big. It’s just the way the world works.
But if you are in the 6 feet range, you may be able to get away with 20 inch strides depending on your leg length. This opens you up to some great elliptical trainers like the above mentioned Nautilus E614. It won’t set you back too much, yet you get a lot of bang for your buck.
But on the other hand, if premium quality is what you seek. Then go all out and buy something like the Body Solid Elliptical. I have no doubt that spending more on a quality exercise machine is going to outweigh the cots involved with buying a cheap machine over and over and over. So if you can afford the initial upfront cost, don’t hesitate.