Which Ellipticals Have the Longest Stride?
Stride length is the most important aspect of an elliptical trainer. It’s the distance that the pedals cover from front to back in an ellipse-shaped path. If the path is too long or short compared with the user’s natural stride, then the motion can bring strain instead of pain-free workouts.
The industry standard for stride length is about 20”. That’s a good fit for most average-height adults. Some elliptical machines have slightly longer or shorter strides to meet different users. More advanced models have adjustable strides to meet a whole family’s needs; choices from 18” to 22”, for example, cover just about everyone. Another benefit of adjustable stride is that each user can select various strides to target different muscle groups.
Some elliptical machines have extra-long stride options with comfortable biomechanics for every trainee. In some cases the strides are so long that the elliptical machines can double as low-impact treadmills. This versatility not only makes exercise more interesting, but also makes exercise more effective: A study at the University of Idaho in 2002 found that people burned more calories with longer strides.
Here are three popular elliptical machines with extra-long and adjustable strides: