Cross trainer

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1. advantages of a cross trainer and elliptical trainer

2. difference between crosstrainer and elliptical trainer

3. difference between crosstrainer and crosstrainer ergometer.

4. how a cross trainer or elliptical trainer works.

5. important purchase criteria at a glance

6. pulse measurement: coded vs. uncoded chest straps

7. watt controlled training

8. app compatibility and app control

9. other important purchase criteria

10. conclusion

Targeted endurance training is the right way to increase fitness, adopt a more vital lifestyle and thus also get a little closer to the desired figure. The cross trainer and the elliptical tra iner have proven themselves for the holistic training of the body, as they simultaneously train the arms, legs, shoulders, chest and hips in a flowing movement.

SportPlus crosstrainers at a glance:
To help you compare all the relevant features of SportPlus crosstrainers, we've created a Crosstrainer overview overview for you.

Both fitness machines are particularly easy on the joints and are also ideally suited for training at home! Thanks to different training programs, a dynamic and varied training of the entire musculature is guaranteed. The simultaneous arm and leg movement allows the whole body to be involved. This prevents one-sided strain. This means that training on the cross and elliptical trainer can be done every day.

1. what are the advantages of cross trainer and elliptical trainer?

The following advantages are offered by training with the cross trainer or elliptical trainer:

+ Training that is easy on the joints

+ Uniform strain on different muscle groups

+ High calorie consumption and different training modes

+ Backward running possible

In the following, we will take another detailed look at the advantages mentioned.

Training on the cross trainer and elliptical trainer is possible regardless of the weather. So rain or cold are no longer reasons to postpone the important endurance training.

1.1 Training that is easy on the joints

Compared to other fitness equipment, cross trainers enable endurance training that is particularly easy on the joints. Unlike walking or jogging, there is no jerky and ungentle landing of the feet, where large forces act on the joints. The impact energy that occurs when walking or jogging outdoors is many times your own body weight and can therefore quickly lead to knee pain. The motion sequence on a crosstrainer is dynamic and particularly easy on the joints, as the feet are firmly on the treads during the entire workout and no unpleasant recoil is caused.

1.2 Uniform strain on different muscle groups

Endurance training on the cross trainer works many muscle groups in the lower and upper body. Unlike a bicycle ergometer, not only the large muscles in the lower body (calf muscles, thigh muscles and gluteal muscles) are trained, but also the upper body muscles (arm muscles, abdominal muscles, back muscles and shoulders).

The parallel movement of legs and arms also strengthens coordination and sense of balance. During a normal workout on the cross trainer, the muscles in the lower body are more stressed and trained, since most of the force must be applied by the legs.

If you want to intensify the training of the upper body, you can simply use your arms more and thus get the cross trainer going.

1.3 High calorie consumption and different training modes

The simultaneous stress on the upper and lower body leads to a high training intensity boosts fat burning. The actual calorie consumption depends on the training duration, the training intensity (resistance) and the resulting load. The latter can be determined quite reliably via heart rate.

If you train on the cross trainer to burn fat, you should choose a lower resistance level, but train longer. For an effective training of the muscles it is recommended to choose a higher resistance level close to the personal strength limit and to train shorter.

Interval training is also an option to improve fitness and strengthen muscles while shedding excess pounds.

1.4 Running backwards for more variety

A big advantage that sets cross trainer and elliptical trainer workouts apart from classic jogging and walking is the backward running. The backward motion uses different muscle groups than the forward-oriented motion. When running backwards, the arms are challenged more than when running forwards. Likewise, the muscles in the buttocks are more stressed when running backwards.

2. what is the difference between a cross trainer and an elliptical trainer?

There are not many differences between a cross trainer and an elliptical trainer. Therefore, both terms are often used synonymously. However, some small differences can be worked out in terms of the motion sequence, which we will examine in more detail below.

2.1 Crosstrainer: Round movements like jogging

The crosstrainer simulates the movements similar to jogging. The flywheel (flywheel mass) of the cross trainer is installed in the rear part of the device. Thus, the flywheel mass is located behind the exerciser. The motion sequence is characterized by a higher upward and downward movement. The heels remain firmly on the pedals during the entire movement. The movement pattern is more circular.

Compared to an elliptical trainer, a classic crosstrainer has a more wide-legged stance, as the frame is located between the treads. The stride length on a crosstrainer is therefore significantly shorter than on an elliptical trainer.

2.2 Elliptical trainer: even more natural movements

The elliptical trainer simulates movements similar to walking. The flywheel of the elliptical trainer is - in contrast to the crosstrainer - installed in the front part of the device and is therefore in front of the user. The motion sequence is characterized by a flatter upward and downward movement. The movements can be described as gliding rather than circling.

When exercising on an elliptical trainer, the heels automatically lift slightly off the tread surfaces (pedals), which further reduces the load on the joints. The movement pattern is more elliptical (which explains the name of the device) and corresponds to a much flatter circular shape than on the cross trainer. This is closer to the natural motion pattern and running feels more comfortable for some.

Due to the aforementioned properties, fitness studios almost exclusively feature elliptical trainers. Although they are somewhat more expensive to purchase, they are easier on the joints and their movements are more natural.

However, the difference in the motion sequence of the crosstrainer and elliptical trainer has no noticeable influence on calorie consumption. In the end, it is the subjective feeling of the user that decides how comfortable one feels on the respective device.

3. what is the difference between cross trainer and a cross trainer ergometer?

Ergometers are often used as a synonym for exercise bikes. This is not only misleading, but also wrong! The term "ergometer" may only be used for fitness equipment that enables watt-controlled training. An ergometer is able to adjust the training resistance permanently and continuously via a watt setting using the magnetic brake system.By definition, watt is a unit for measuring power. On an ergometer, you can set a watt setting on the training computer. This ensures that a preset power limit is not exceeded.

If you are instructed by your doctor (e.g. as part of rehabilitation measures) to train at 120 watts, then the only way to ensure that the specified power limit is not exceeded is to use an ergometer. With an ergometer, the desired wattage is always guaranteed, regardless of how fast you train. The resistance therefore adjusts fully automatically to the selected wattage setting. The resistance adjustment is controlled via the training computer.

If you train slower, the resistance automatically increases to the set wattage. If, on the other hand, you train faster, the resistance is automatically lowered so that the preset power limit is not exceeded. There are crosstrainers that are allowed to use the additional designation ergometer due to the possibility of a watt-controlled training. However, do not be fooled when buying a crosstrainer ergometer. A crosstrainer that does not allow for a watt-controlled workout is not an ergometer.

Crosstrainer ergometers are especially suitable for people who are undergoing physiotherapeutic treatment or rehabilitation measures. For this reason, (almost) all physio practices and many fitness studios are equipped with ergometers.

3.1 For whom is the crosstrainer suitable?

In general, crosstrainers and elliptical trainers are suitable for all people who do not want to go to the gym or always run to work out. Due to the guided, ergonomic motion sequence, they are especially suitable for sports beginners.

It is worth purchasing if you have set weight loss (calorie consumption) as a goal or are aiming for an increase in endurance. Also, if your job involves a lot of sitting and you want to train the upper body and lung capacity, the purchase of such fitness equipment is a good choice.

Good to know:
A 170-centimeter-tall, 65-kilogram woman burns about 500 calories per hour on the cross trainer at medium load. That's the equivalent of an entire bar of chocolate.

People who suffer from overweight will find the crosstrainer a suitable companion. Because especially with overweight, a training that is easy on the joints is very important. Those who train on a treadmill with a heavy weight risk overstressing their tendons and joints. This can lead to an increased risk of accidents.

4. how does a crosstrainer or elliptical trainer work at all?

The central element of the cross and elliptical trainer is the flywheel mass, which is connected to the two vertical arm bars via two horizontal pedal arms. This ensures a "cross" movement of arms and legs.

+ Brake system differences

+ Differences in flywheel mass / flywheel

+ Differences of the noise level during operation

In the following, we will go over some points that characterize the functioning of a cross and elliptical trainer:

4.1 Differences in the braking system

So-called induction brakes (also: eddy current brakes) or magnetic brakes are used particularly frequently in cross and elliptical trainers. To increase the intensity of the workout, the resistance must somehow be increased. This is done by a flywheel, which is braked out with the help of the braking system. We will now explain how the two technologies differ from each other.

Magnetic brake system

The regulation of the magnetic braking system on the crosstrainer is done mechanically by pulling a permanent magnet towards or away. The closer the magnetic field is to the flywheel mass, the greater the resistance. However, direct contact between the magnet and the flywheel mass is excluded, so that no wear occurs. These characteristics mean that the braking process and thus the resistance are very uniform and the load is well distributed. The desired resistance is controlled by setting the wattage values on the training computer.

Induction braking system

The induction brake or eddy current brake is also durable and wear-free, as here too the magnet and the flywheel do not touch. In this variant, the magnetic field is generated by an electric coil via a current flow. Eddy currents are generated, which create magnetic fields with the help of current and thus brake the flywheel mass.

4.2 Differences in flywheel mass / flywheel

As mentioned above, the flywheel mass of a crosstrainer is installed in the rear and is located behind the user. Therefore, a crosstrainer is also referred to as a rear-driven model. On an elliptical trainer, the flywheel mass is located in the front part of the machine, which is why it is also referred to as a front-wheel drive model. In the past, the weight of the flywheel, i.e. the flywheel mass, was considered the only quality feature. The heavier the flywheel mass, the more dynamic the movement. However, it is not correct to consider the weight of the flywheel mass in isolation. A flywheel mass that is too high can lead to the feeling of being "overtaken" by the flywheel mass during training.

A too low flywheel mass is also counterproductive, because the flywheel mass is not sufficient to overcome the so-called reversal point. The inversion point is the position of the treads where one tread reaches the highest point at the top and the other tread reaches the lowest point.

In this position, the movement sequence is interrupted every time because the momentum is missing. Sufficient flywheel mass ensures that this "dead spot" does not occur and that the movement sequence can be continued dynamically and without interruption.

The rule of thumb is:
For ambitious endurance training at home, a flywheel mass of 15 kg to 25 kg is sufficient for a pleasant workout!

4.3 Differences of the noise level during operation

The noise generated by a cross trainer and elliptical trainer is roughly equivalent to a soft whisper. So the neighbors should not feel disturbed by the training. Watching TV or listening to music while exercising from our machines is no problem - even more so with headphones!

Most noise can be prevented by regular cleaning and maintenance. The moving parts should be cleaned of dirt and lubricated from time to time. This prevents friction, which reduces wear and noise in equal measure.

Likewise, one of our floor protection mats, which is placed under the crosstrainer, can provide relief and significantly dampen the noise. Without a mat, the vibrations that occur during exercise are transmitted directly to the floor. As a result, the sound could be transmitted into the neighboring rooms.

5. evaluate and compare crosstrainer and elliptical trainer

The following criteria can help you choose your new cross or elliptical trainer. We will now go into detail about these important buying criteria:

+ stride length

+ Pedal spacing (Q-factor)

+ Resistance adjustment: computer controlled vs. manual

+ Power consumption, power connection, power supply

+ Training computer & pulse measurement

+ Training programs

+ Watt controlled training (yes/no)

+ App compatibility and control

5.1 What influence does the stride length have?

Stride length refers to the distance between the end edge of the rear pedal and the front edge of the front pedal. It indicates the length of the movement that the user goes through with the feet during the workout. The optimal stride length depends on the user's body size and individual comfort stride.

In general, tall people need a cross trainer with a longer stride length than shorter people. If several people of different sizes use a device, you should orient yourself to the taller person. The reason is that larger strides are perceived as more pleasant than strides that are too small.

Good to know:
Some models allow the user to adjust the step length of the device individually. This allows for a particularly comfortable workout for every user.

5.2 What does the pedal spacing (Q factor) mean?

Pedal spacing is the distance between the treads. Since we naturally have our legs close together when walking, a small pedal spacing is more ergonomic and easy on the joints. As a rule of thumb, the user should stand hip-width apart on the cross trainer. A pedal spacing of 13 cm and more is suitable for rather wide bodies, for slim people the distance should be less. The average is between 5 cm and 10 cm.

5.3 Resistance adjustment: computer-controlled vs. manual

The resistance is adjusted by means of a knob in the case of manual adjustment and regulated by the computer in the case of computer-controlled resistance adjustment. The advantages of computer-controlled resistance adjustment are obvious:

+ more precise settings are possible

+ higher resistance selectable

+ easier operation

An effective workout is of course also possible with a manual resistance setting. However, the computer-controlled variant offers more comfort.

5.4 Training computer & training programs

The integrated on-board computer typically offers various programs for training. However, a training computer should only have the functions that you actually need. If the device has too many features, you will quickly lose the overview and sometimes pay a lot of money for unneeded product features.

The display should also be easy to read, and operation should be kept as simple as possible. A display with backlighting is also recommended.

Very practical:
Some training computers offer the function of personal memory, which is useful when several people use the same device and want to check their training progress.

A high-quality device measures the values during the activities. The display should at least track the following data:

+ distance

+ pulse rate

+ time

+ speed

+ calories consumed*

* The calories consumed are always an estimate. Some calorie counters add the resting consumption here, others are based on a person with average weight.

Almost every crosstrainer and elliptical trainer has a different number of training programs. In addition to conventional standard programs (e.g. entry-level program, fat burn, cardiovascular training and strength-endurance), the computers often offer interval programs that include an independent increase in difficulty. These are also called HIIT training (High Intensity Interval Training).

When choosing the right fitness product, you can therefore pay attention to your own interests and requirements before buying. Some devices also allow control via app. This makes it possible to download additional training programs and then synchronize them with the fitness device.

5.5 Pulse measurement: Perhaps the most important key figure!

To measure the pulse, the fitness device usually uses hand pulse sensors on the handlebars. Alternatively, you can use a separate heart rate chest strap to measure the pulse. Pulse measurement via contact with the hands on the handle works by means of sensors that measure the athlete's pulse during exercise and show it on the display. For this measurement, it is important that the handlebars are always grasped with both hands so that the contact area is as large as possible.

Those who use a device without integrated heart rate measurement, but do not want to do without the information about their heart rate progression, can use a chest strap. Many devices such as smartphones, tablets or fitness trackers offer compatibility with external heart rate belts.

Did you know? The measurement with the chest strap, in contrast to a measurement at the wrist or the hand pulse sensors, is considered a very accurate measurement. So if you want to train as precisely as possible, you should get such a chest strap for heart rate measurement.

6. pulse measurement: coded and uncoded chest straps

With the coded ANT+ technology, the heart rate sensor can be connected to various fitness devices in the studios easily and quickly. The heart rate chest strap should be coded to the respective user so that the measurement can be as accurate as possible. The uncoded ANT+ technology is hardly to be found nowadays. It is used for simple and wireless data transfer between the sensor and a connected device (e.g. a heart rate monitor).

The pulse measurement during training helps the user to always stay within the recommended load range. This prevents overloading with unpleasant consequences such as side stitching and shortness of breath. Likewise, untrained beginners with certain pre-existing conditions should take special care not to overexert themselves.

For optimal fat burning, it is important to aim for a workload of around 65% of the recommended maximum heart rate (which depends on age and state of health). A targeted strengthening of the cardiovascular system, on the other hand, is achieved with higher heart rates. However, since this usually means that you can't train for as long, the fat-burning effect is less pronounced.

Caution: Your optimal heart rate is best determined by a doctor during a so-called stress ECG. This regularly recommended check-up measures, among other things, how your heart rate behaves during strenuous activities.

7. watt controlled training - yes or no?

If a wattmeter is integrated in your crosstrainer or elliptical trainer, you can control and individualize your workout particularly precisely. The wattage indicates the power you are currently producing during your workout and is thus a measure to precisely determine the intensity. On devices without a wattage function, you have to rely on key figures such as revolutions per minute, speed or your heart rate to determine the level of exertion.

Here's what you should remember: While wattage corresponds to true "engine power" - the total output of the system of muscles, heart, bones, joints - heart rate only shows the work of the fuel pump, so to speak.

The watt-controlled training function is only available on fitness equipment that can display the exact power in watts and allow precise adjustment. Many devices only display levels, but these do not allow any statements about the exact power.

Especially in intensive training with the focus on performance improvement, watt measurement is the best method for training control. The heart rate can vary depending on the form of the day and is therefore not a hundred percent indicator to determine the training intensity.

In conclusion, it can be said about both measurement methods that too much fidelity to the numbers is not the panacea in training either. Rather, you should pay attention to your personal body feeling - especially when you are not doing well but the numbers suggest otherwise.

8. app compatibility and control

Some devices can be connected directly to an app to increase the possibilities. Alternatively, external devices and apps can be used to keep an eye on your individual training progress. In this context, we can highly recommend the Kinomap app, which helps you explore the big wide world within your own four walls. The app offers a variety of video footage from real locations around the world, as well as other features such as challenging friends using the multiplayer mode.  

Of course, it is possible to use the cross trainers and elliptical trainers without a smartphone and the appropriate app.

9. what you should also pay attention to when buying

In addition to the features already mentioned, there are a number of other factors that you should take into account when making your purchase decision. These are summarized below for you at a glance.

9.1 Body weight and height

Most cross and elliptical trainers are designed for a body height of 2 meters. The maximum weight varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. The load capacity of a cross trainer should of course always be selected to suit your own body weight.

The specification of the maximum weight is at the same time an objective benchmark for the quality of a crosstrainer, as this is determined by the TÜV and not by the equipment manufacturer. The more weight the training device can carry, the higher the quality of the individual parts. This applies especially to the frame, the bottom bracket or the drive system.

9.2 Space requirement and required ceiling height

As a general rule, you can say that crosstrainers take up less space because they are smaller than elliptical trainers. The fewest devices are foldable and thus a certain space for the installation in the home will have to be calculated. Besides the crosstrainer itself, your body size also plays an important role. To enable training at home, the device must of course first fit into the room.

Calculation of ceiling height:
There is a rough formula how to calculate the ceiling height taking into account the body height:
Body height (cm) + Pedal distance from the floor (cm) = Necessary ceiling height (cm).

So, if the user is 1.90 meters tall, the appropriate ceiling height should be at least 2.20 meters. Of course, this formula is only a rough guide. Depending on the crosstrainer or elliptical trainer, each user stands a little higher or lower on the device.

9.3 Ensure high quality!

Sportplus both for very good customer service, and for the excellent quality of the equipment. The CE mark confirms that our sports equipment meets all basic safety requirements, while the TÜV seal also adds that the fitness equipment brings the highest safety standards.

9.4 Are spare parts available?

All crosstrainers have numerous wear parts. Depending on the number of people exercising, training frequency and training intensity, wear and tear occurs sooner or later. Unlike other suppliers, you can reorder all common spare parts at SportPlus. Just contact us and we will find a solution to get your equipment back in perfect condition.

10. conclusion about cross trainers and elliptical trainers

In conclusion, cross trainers and elliptical trainers are great workout machines to work on your fitness at home. They are available in numerous, different designs. In particular, you can distinguish between watt-controlled and step-controlled devices. Some cross trainers and elliptical trainers also have additional, practical functions such as heart rate measurement or calorie consumption determination.

Are you interested in a SportPlus crosstrainer and don't really know which model is best suited for your needs? Feel free to call our friendly and competent colleagues. They are very familiar with all SportPlus crosstrainers.

Have you already purchased a SportPlus crosstrainer and have problems with the assembly or other questions? No matter what your concern is - do not hesitate to contact our customer service. We are always very eager to help you competently and as quickly as possible.

More fitness equipment from SportPlus for your endurance training:

Cross trainer

Fitness trampolines

Exercise bike

Indoor Cycle Speedbikes


Lying home trainer

Rowing machines


Vibration plate