Which Ellipticals Have the Best Handlebars?

Elliptical trainers can have two main types of handlebars. First, all ellipticals have stationary handlebars to help people stay balanced during lower body workouts. Second, some elliptical trainers provide movable handlebars too. These can be pushed and pulled to contribute to total body workouts. The moving arm bars involve more muscles in exercise, so the training session brings extra muscle toning, extra calorie burn and a higher level of cardiovascular challenge.

On high quality elliptical trainers the handlebars and pedals move together smoothly. On some cheap ellipticals the mechanical ratio is substandard, giving a less harmonious blend of upper body and lower body training.

The best handlebars for ellipticals respect ergonomics in several ways. One aspect is the grip: Ellipticals with the best handlebars have grips that are soft and slightly molded to the shape of the hand. Furthermore the best moving handlebars can comfortably support more than one gripping position, which allows a focus on different muscle groups. Another ergonomic factor is the overall motion for upper body training. The best handlebars support smooth motion partly because they’re spaced just right — not too far apart from each other, not too close. Some ellipticals have innovative handlebars that can suit people of very different body sizes.

A final factor is the technology built into the handlebars near the tips. Most stationary handlebars have convenient heart rate sensors. The best moving handlebars have fingertip controls for the pedals’ resistance and incline.

Here are several trainers with top quality handlebars: