Elliptical: What Is The Difference Between Mechanical And Magnetic Resistance?

Elliptical models are not all the same and it is essential that you know which characteristics determine their quality. 

Among these there is certainly resistance .

In this article we will focus on the differences between mechanical and magnetic strength .

Why buy an elliptical

Of all the fitness equipment used for indoor training, the Best Elliptical For Short Person  is without doubt one of the most bulky and expensive .

 But don’t be scared: its cost must be seen as an important investment for your psychophysical well-being, also considering that the Best Compact Elliptical Machine is the fitness tool that allows the most complete training .

In fact, not only will you be able to take care of the stress of the muscle groups of the lower part of your body, but also of those of the upper part.

 The movement in fact involves the legs and buttocks thanks to the push of the feet on two pedals, while the arms and shoulders work using two long and mobile dumbbells . 

The movement is elliptical because this is the trajectory traced by the feet during the race, but thanks to a single transmission the handlebars are able to move alternately and simultaneously, recalling the movement of the cross-country ski .

Unlike an exercise bike or a treadmill, therefore, the elliptical allows for more complete workouts that involve the whole body.

 In addition, compared to the treadmill it can put a lot less pressure on your joints and protect them from the rebound stress of canonical physical activity.

However, the exercise bike still remains unbeaten in this respect thanks to the possibility of being able to perform the workouts seated and not in an upright position as expected by the elliptical.


How an elliptical is formed

The elliptical, as we have anticipated, consists of two pedals and two movable handlebars . But training doesn’t have to involve all muscle groups. 

In fact, you may decide that you want to focus exclusively on your legs and buttocks.

 In this case, you can place your hands on two additional smaller, fixed and centrally located dumbbells .

Fundamental component of this tool is the flywheel , that is the metal disc that makes movement possible by rotating on itself. 

Connected to the flywheel is the resistance , which is regulated by the braking system .

Finally, like all fitness machines, the elliptical is equipped with a certain level of technology. 

This is evident in the console , equipped with a display that can show you the updated data relating to your workout: its duration , speed , type of program chosen , incline , resistance and calories burned . 

In the most technologically advanced models, the handlebars are equipped with a heart rate monitor or hand pulse , so as to always keep your heart rate under control.


What is resistance?

The physical resistance you go to acquire and to increase through the constant training and gradually increasingly challenging.

It is in fact the ability to maintain and sustain constant physical effort by counteracting fatigue . 

But how can you increase the resistance if you use a tool like the elliptical?

It all depends on the braking system which, in this case, can brake the flywheel thus increasing the difficulty of your pedaling.

 In this way, the more you increase the resistance on the flywheel the more you increase the intensity of your exercise.

The different braking systems

There are three braking systems that your elliptical can be equipped with:

  • the mechanical braking system
  • the magnetic braking system
  • the electromagnetic braking system

Mechanical resistance

The mechanical strength depends on the presence of a mechanical braking system .

 This system was the most used until a few years ago, when it was instead decided to focus more on magnetic or electromagnetic resistors.

Mechanical braking involves the presence of a belt that connects the resistance and flywheel . 

To change this parameter you have to manually turn a knob in order to increase or decrease the intensity of the workout .

This involves some problems, starting with the comfort that is not the best . 

Furthermore, the presence of a belt makes the elliptical noisy and the movement not very fluid , when the latter should instead be absolutely harmonious. 

Ultimately, frequent use could cause the belt to wear out and then break , requiring replacement.

In short, mechanical strength can only be an option if you don’t want to spend a large amount of money on the purchase of an elliptical. 

But be careful, because these models are certainly among the poorest on the market.

The magnetic resistance

If you are looking for a high-quality elliptical , make sure it has magnetic resistance – that is, it is equipped with a magnetic braking system .

In this case the flywheel is surrounded by a series of magnets that can be moved closer or further away, increasing or decreasing the resistance carried out. 

In this case you can adjust everything using a knob placed next to the console or, in the more advanced models, through two buttons accessible directly from the display . 

An electro-actuator will then take care of adjusting the magnets and you will be able to change the resistance several times during the workout, which makes this braking system compatible with ellipticals that have preset programs available .

In addition, magnetic resistance has important advantages.

First, the magnets do not wear out as they do in the case of mechanical strength. 

The elliptical will be silent and the movement smooth and without jerks . 

Although it is a more expensive product, we are not talking about much higher figures than those that characterize an elliptical with mechanical resistance.

It is therefore evident that the quality / price ratio , in this case, is much higher.

The electromagnetic resistance

However, there is a third solution . It is an electromagnetic braking system that characterizes two specific types of elliptical trainers:

  • those indicated for those who have to face therapeutic or rehabilitation courses
  • those designed specifically for professional athletes

But how do they work? While pedaling, a motor is activated which creates an electromagnetic field around the flywheel. 

The more current passes through the reference coil, the more resistance on the metal disc increases .

In these ellipticals the knob disappears and only buttons remain on the console with which you can increase or decrease this parameter. 

Using a braking system of this type, the resistance can be increased even a little at a time, leading the elliptical to be even more precise and calibrated to the efforts required.

All you have to do is choose the perfect resistance for you!


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