One of the best parts about simple exercise machines is the fact that you can use them in conjunction with a variety of accessories.
Elliptical accessories can not only help you prolong the life of your trainer but also help you get the most out of your workouts when you use them.
Below, we’ve picked out a handful of elliptical accessories we think are the most beneficial, and the most appealing to the general user.
We were sure to cover numerous categories, which range from upkeep and maintenance to ways in helping you stay more engaged and entertained when using the machine.
As always, we’ll start with what is considered the essential accessories, before moving onto more supplemental accessories that many view as optional.
There are always a handful of essential accessories with any type of exercise equipment, and that certainly includes ellipticals. Here are the three you need to have no matter what.
This one always seems obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of people who don’t use one at first. This is mostly because they are at home, so the line of thinking is “oh, I’ll use this glass instead, no biggie.”
Next thing they know, they’re either trying to drink a glass of water while using the elliptical (good luck with that,) or having to pause their workout to exit the machine and walk over to where their water or sports drink is, interrupting their flow.
Save yourself from this hassle and get yourself a good water bottle if you don’t have one already. There are plenty of BPA-free choices available on the market, and you can of course always use the bottle with all your other workout needs.
Elliptical machines need a decent amount of maintenance from time to time, and maintenance kits typically have lubricants in them that you’ll use on everything from the joints of the machine, to the flywheel assembly.
These kits also have rags to clean the machine with, and sometimes mild cleaning solvents as well. All of these are necessary to keep the elliptical in perfect running order.
Maintenance kits are relatively cheap, but they can do wonders in extending the life of your elliptical trainer, while also ensuring you get optimal performance out of it each time you use it.
Don’t skimp on the maintenance aspect of exercise machine ownership, order yourself an elliptical maintenance kit to keep your machine humming along for years.
For the most part, elliptical trainers are somewhat heavy, and that weight load increases whenever you get on the machine. This weight load can have an effect on your flooring and carpet, especially if the machine moves even the slightest bit.
Stability can also be an issue at times, even more so when using an elliptical on a hard surface such as wood, stone, or synthetic flooring. The last thing you want is the elliptical moving around on you.
Floor mats are the best solution to both of these issues. Using a proper floor mat made fro exercise equipment will provide your floor with a thin, durable covering that will not only protect it from scratches and scuffs but also prevent the machine from moving around, even the slightest bit.
Floor mats are inexpensive, and easy to store away when not in use, so they should definitely be one of the first things you purchase with your new elliptical. Don’t find out the hard way.
I’m sure there are some of you out there with laser-like focus, needing only yourself and your workout to keep your mind occupied and motivated during long periods of exercise.
For the other 99% of you, it always helps to have some sort of entertainment to keep you from getting bored during workouts, be it audio, visual, or both. Here are some handy accessories that will help you out in those areas.
Tablets and smartphones are still somewhat new in the grand scheme of things, which is why there are still plenty of exercise machines that are still acclimating to their use. This is really in reference to exercise equipment lacking a way to hold your phone or tablet during a workout.
Many of us use our devices for streaming, be it music, tv, or movies. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a way to hold your phone to tablet in front of you during a workout, allowing you to enjoy shows and films while burning some calories? Of course, it would be.
Although more and more manufacturers are starting to include ways to hold your phones and tablets in a strategic viewing location during a workout, there are still plenty that isn’t, or simply choose not to.
If your elliptical is lacking in this area, a media holder is the best thing you can buy. These holders come in many forms, including clip-on versions that attach to your console, or taller stands you can set up right in front of your machine. You’ll even find some with built-in speakers.
This is the same idea as a media stand, but a little more expensive. Is that phone or tablet screen a bit too small for your tastes, and you’d rather have the full living room style experience instead? A TV stand is a way to go.
TV stands come in many forms, but the best version for your workout room or elliptical machine area would be a small stand that has rollers on the bottom, and possibly a shelf you can raise or lower.
This way you can easily move the stand up to your machine, and then adjust the screen to eye height, or at least close to it.
And just like many of the other items on this list, a TV stand can be used for more than just your workouts, making it a more versatile purchase in general.
The practice of listening to music on headphones while working out is almost as old as working out itself. That may be a slight exaggeration, but I think it’s safe to say the majority of those who exercise regularly use headphones or earbuds at some point.
So why put these on the list if they’re so obvious? Well, mostly because it pays to be a little more selective about what you’re using when working out.
Headphones with plush foam padding and better adjustability or much preferred over cheaper models, as they’ll stay in place when exercising, and also be a lot comfier.
The same can be said with earbuds. Look for earbuds that won’t slip out when working out. That means avoiding earbud sets like the ones that come with an iPhone, and instead opting for rubber earbud covers that fit into your ear better, and provide a more snug, secure hold.
If you’re someone who prefers to be a little more old-fashioned, media stands and TV stands aren’t going to cut it. Sometimes it’s nice to be able to read a magazine or newspaper when getting your time in on an elliptical, and that’s exactly what reading racks can be used for.
These look a little like music stands, just bigger. A reading rack will let you attach publications, and then pin them open, so the pages are kept open for you to read -- perfect for those who want to skim the morning paper during their workout each day.
Purchasing some accessories to keep you motivated and more comfortable can help you get more out of your elliptical while staying motivated and accountable in the pursuit of your fitness goals. Here are some great ideas.
Ellipticals are mostly intended for effective cardio and aerobic workouts, so the ability to track your heart rate during a workout is critical for monitoring progress, and also ensuring you remain at your target heart rate throughout.
These days, most ellipticals have some sort of pulse reader built in that will display your heart rate in real time right there on the console in front of you. These are handy to have for sure, but sometimes the accuracy can be a bit off. Other times it may not work at all.
Purchasing an eternal heart rate monitor gives you a more accurate reading, and often the ability to store the data as well. Plus you can use it during other workouts, and take it with you on runs and bike rides.
Heart rate monitors are pretty cheap now, so we definitely recommend getting one to keep around.
Are you someone that likes to keep cool during a workout? While it can sometimes be beneficial to sweat things out, there are other times when that may not be very ideal. Other times you want to be a little more comfortable, and a fan or turning the AC down isn’t going to cut it.
Ever heard of a cooling towel? Well, now you have. These handy inventions are designed to keep you cool by providing a cold surface for your neck.
The concept is simple. These “towels” are designed to be placed in water for a few moments, where they quickly soak up moisture and hold it in. You then wrap the towel around your neck and experience effective cooling that works well in high heat outdoors, or when working out.
A simple cooling towel will do wonders in keeping you more comfortable and less sweat during even the most intense of workouts. And like most every item on this list, they are inexpensive. Give it a try and see for yourself.
Yes, another rather obvious accessory, but still worth emphasizing nonetheless. Fans are another easy way to cool off your workout space and keep the sweating to a minimum.
You have a lot of options here, ranging from small clip-on fans you can place on your elliptical trainer’s console or upright floor models you can set up right in front of you, providing you with an endless breeze that will go a long way in keeping your temperature down during the workout.
There are a lot of ellipticals available now that come with built-in fans within the console, but or those who are lacking this feature, an external fan is the next best thing.
Most of us use a wide range of apps on our phones every single day now, so it makes sense to make a small investment in any of the quality fitness apps currently available.
Fitness apps can do amazing things now, and that goes well beyond just tracking how many calories you've burned, or steps are taken. They can monitor your progress, create customized goals, hold you accountable when missing workouts, share data with friends, send you alerts, and so on.
Many apps can now sync directly with your elliptical machine, sharing data right from the console and onto your phone or tablet. It’s pretty remarkable.
Although many of these apps are inexpensive, there are still a good number of options for those who don’t want to pay anything, so be sure to check some out regardless.
As you can see, there are numerous options when it comes to picking out some essential (and optional) accessories that can help you get more from your elliptical machine, while also making your workouts more effective and enjoyable.
All of the above choices come highly recommended, so take a little time to consider what areas are most important to you, and give a few a shot!
You’ll be impressed as to how these inexpensive and easy to obtain accessories can transform your elliptical workouts going forward.