Gym Brains

Best elliptical for low ceilings

Sometimes, there just isn’t enough space in the house to fit your elliptical machine in. It’s quite common for cramped rooms with low ceiling heights to become the go to place of workout for many. Such examples include a basement with an eight foot ceiling.

When you look at what’s available in the industry, you will find there is plenty of choice in functionality, but not as much choice in keeping the step up height low. So to help our readers out, we provide a list of cross trainers that could be low enough to factor in both user and ceiling height, as well as a buying guide to outline the things you should be taking into consideration.

What to look out for

There are several things you can do before you start researching into a machine suitable.

Accurate user height measurement – First things first, make sure you have accurate measurements of the tallest person who will be exercising on the machine.

Floor to ceiling measurements – Get an accurate reading of the ceiling height using a tape to measure the distance from the floor to the ceiling. Make sure you do so against a flat surface such as a wall to prevent inaccuracies.

Step up height – Next up, you should find an elliptical exercise machine you’re interested in and research into its step up height. Which is the extra height gained by the user when standing on the foot plates and will help you understand how much space from your head to the ceiling there is left.

Putting the pieces together – Now you will be taking all the information you have found about your room size, user height, and step up height and doing a bit of math to work out roughly if there is enough space.

As an example, let’s say you’re six foot and have a ceiling height of eight foot, and a step up height of ten inches. To get an answer of how much head space you will have, you need to subtract your height and the maximum step on height from the ceiling height.

So, in my example this will result in 8 foot – 6 foot – 10 inches. Which gives me around 1.2 feet above. That should be more than enough for most people.

In most cases, people lean forward slightly when training on an elliptical, so you get a little bit of leeway in that respect. However, there are certain variables you should think about too such as bounce at the top of the movement, lighting fixtures, and beams.

The drive system can also have an effect on the maximum height, especially rear drive as they tend to add up to two inches at the top of the striding motion because of the way the flywheel pushes your heels up further than they would on a front drive mechanism.

Wrapping up

These are rough guidelines above. However, they do give you an insight into which elliptical trainers are best for low ceilings. You should always look at the product spec and manual before you buy anything, and try to account for anything that may cause an obstruction overhead, and further reduce the head space available to you.