Elliptical machines come in rear-drive, front-drive, and center-drive models. Rear-drive tends to be smaller but can vibrate and be louder than a longer model. Front-drive models are much quieter and sturdier, but they tend to be very long and take up the most space. Center-drive models are more compact, but the overall radius of the pedals is longer due to its more natural stride than the other types.
Elliptical machines tend to be pretty big. Many models can’t be tucked away easily, although some can even fit under your desk. If space is a concern, you’ll want to consider a model that fits in your available space. Remember the stride length of the legs can extend past the edges of the machine, so be sure to consider that when determining how much space is needed.
Not all machines are made equal. Some of the cheaper and smaller models simply can’t provide enough resistance for an intense workout. A more sturdy and solid machine is required to perform more intense workouts without damaging the machine. Modern elliptical machines are equipped with screens that display workout progress, intensity, and most have sensors in the handles or chest straps to measure your heart rate while you’re using the machine. Higher-end machines come with preset exercises and apps that track your progress, some of which allow you to make custom workouts.