How Do I Adjust an Elliptical Machine for My Height?


How comfortable you'll feel on an elliptical trainer depends a lot on your body size and shape. One of the most important factors is height; taller people tend to have a longer stride length, while shorter people will feel more comfortable with a shorter stride length. If your elliptical machine allows you to adjust the stride length, you can set it so that your exercise session will be more comfortable and productive, regardless of your height.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Elliptical trainer with adjustable stride length
  • User's manual
  • Calculate your proper stride length. If you're under 5 feet, 4 inches, you should select a stride length of 16 to 18 inches. If you're between 5 feet, 4 inches and 5 feet, 8 inches, your stride length should be from 18 to 20 inches. If you're 5 feet, 9 inches or taller, you'll need a stride length of between 19 and 21 inches.

  • Release the knob or pin where the pedal arms attach to the flywheel.

  • Reposition the pedal arm attachments to the hole in the flywheel crank arm that corresponds to the stride length you want. Make sure the pedal arms on both sides of the machine are set to the same length.

  • Reset the adjustment knob or pin.

Tips & Warnings

  • Before you purchase an elliptical trainer, it is important to find out what range of stride lengths it can accommodate, and whether it is adjustable.
  • Most elliptical machines feature tall arm handles that will work comfortably for people of various heights. Some high-end machines allow you to adjust the handles as well as the stride length.
  • Not all elliptical machines are adjustable, and not all of them adjust in the same way. Be sure to consult your owner's manual for the proper adjustment procedure.
  • Improperly setting the stride length can cause pain or injury to the user or damage to the machine. Always follow manufacturer's instructions for adjusting the machine.
  • Never allow anyone to stand on the machine while the pedal arms are being adjusted. There may be a temptation to do this in order to verify the stride length, but it can cause injury or damage to the machine.

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