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When selecting an elliptical, you'll want something with a comfortable stride length: 18-22". Some brands, like Progression, have ellipticals with an adjustable stride length to fit more than 1 person in your household.

Look also for an adjustable incline or ramp, as this will let you work different muscle groups. At a lower incline you will work more hamstrings and calves and a higher incline targets your quads.

When considering the arms, you'll want something with a comfortable hand position so you're not stretching out too much when you're striding. The pedals should be within 2-3 inches apart so it gives you a more natural stance. Some models have adjustable footplates - the angle is adjustable up and down and flat or angled up, for a more natural feel.

You'll also want to look at these console features when selecting an elliptical, depending on your needs:

  • Heart rate interactive - the program will change the speed or inline to keep you within your target heartrate.
  • User IDs - these let you store the info about the user and your workout stats, such as calories lost, how many minutes you've worked out etc.
    • Some work with apps, and you can download workout stats onto your computer through Bluetooth or USB.
  • Heart rate sensor or strap - people can work out too hard or not hard enough, the sensor keeps you in a specific zone if your goal is weight loss or to improve cardiovascular endurance.
  • Quick keys on the console: one or 2 touch step to increase or decrease speed/incline.