Ellipticals: The Adjustable Stride Feature

Author: Tedd Falk

adjustable stride elliptical If you’ve been doing your elliptical research lately, one feature that tends to appear more often than not is adjustable stride. Adjustable stride can absolutely be a vital feature to many elliptical consumers, so let’s get into a few details regarding what to look for in an adjustable stride!

Manual or Automatic: No we aren’t car shopping, but just like cars, not all ellipticals are automatic, or have automatically adjusting stride. Many will have a pin near the fly wheel that will have to be manually adjusted to change stride. This manual adjustment can be a turn off in that it can interrupt your workout, or is just flat out annoying! However, it can be a more inexpensive way to get the correct stride lengths you are looking for, instead of shelling out more money for the automatic feature.

Stride Length: How far can the elliptical actually adjust? Is it 16”-20”, 20”-22”, 18”-24”? There is a wide array of ranges when it comes to elliptical strides and the only way to find out what range will fit best is to try them out! You might even find that you like a longer stride when you are working hard and moving fast, and a shorter stride when you are cooling down. Don’t forget about your family if they will be using it too! A family of varying heights might find it very beneficial to have a wide range of stride lengths.

Incline: Some ellipticals, such as the Vision Fitness Suspension Trainer, adjust stride by varying the incline of the pedals to create more of a hiking motion. Others, like the Octane Q47, will simply adjust length for more of a running motion. Once again, the only way for you to know which suits you best is to try them out. Do you want to focus on a particular body part? Are you training for a specific sport? Is your elliptical for cross training? These are all things to keep in mind when deciding which motion is best for you.

Stride Programs: Stride programs are typically only available on automatically adjusting ellipticals and act as a personal trainer to adjust the stride for you. Stride programs help to give you a variety of stride lengths during your workout to help engage different muscles in the lower body. For example, an interval stride program might start you off at a shorter 18” stride for one minute, then increase the length to 22” for the next minute, and so on and so forth. While one could certainly do this on their own by pushing the adjustment buttons every minute, the programs make the ability to adjust stride more convenient and are usually better designed to help you better achieve your goals.