What Is The Best Stride Length For Ellipticals? [Stride Length Chart]

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Written By Kathy Brewer

I am a certified personal trainer, and I take pride in helping people achieve their fitness goals through strength training, cardio, and nutrition. 





Do you ever feel like the stride length on your elliptical is a little off?

You’re not alone.

Many people find that they need to adjust their stride length in order to get the most out of their workout. 

Even if you’re considering buying an elliptical, stride length is one of the most crucial elements that sometimes go disregarded. The effectiveness and feel of your workout are significantly influenced by the length of your strides.

In this blog post, we’ll share the best tips for finding the optimal stride length for ellipticals, and we’ll also talk about how can easily adjust the stride length to get the most out of your workouts.

So, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced exerciser, read on for useful information on striding!

What Is Stride Length?

The distance between the pedals on an elliptical machine when they are furthest apart is known as the stride length. Even though it may not seem significant, it has a direct bearing on how efficient and pleasant your workout will be.

Best Stride Length

With an elliptical, you may get a workout that’s low-impact and quite similar to walking. You’ll get the most out of your time on the elliptical if the stride matches your natural walking pace.

Overreaching or straining to finish each pedal rotation can be unpleasant if the stride length is too lengthy, while too short a stride length might make you feel squished and uneasy during exercise.

When your stride is at the ideal length, you’ll experience a sense of ease and grace.

While walking or jogging, tall people tend to take longer strides than those who are short. That’s why some ellipticals are better suited to those who are taller, while others are more suited to people who are shorter in height.

Also, read:

What Is The Best Stride Length For Ellipticals?

There is no such thing as a universal “one size fits all” stride length, which is something you have probably already suspected.

As was previously said, your height and inseam (the length of your legs) are important factors in figuring out the best stride length for you.

Since every one of us has a unique physical build-up, the elliptical machines that we choose to use may need to be tailored to our specific needs.

stride length for elliptical

Although there is no “gold standard” for the stride length of elliptical machines, the stride length on commercial elliptical machines, such as the ones you are likely accustomed to using at the gym, is usually 20 inches.

With an emphasis on the word “most,” a stride length of 20-21 inches is intended to fit users of most heights, ranging from 5’5’’ to 6’ quite comfortably.

In a public fitness center, you’ll find an elliptical that’s built for the masses, but when you work out at home, you may pick one that’s customized to your specific needs.

Which Elliptical Stride Length Is Ideal For You?

If you’re in the market for an elliptical trainer, one of the first things you’ll need to decide is what stride length is right for you.

The stride length is the distance between the pedals, and it can range from as little as 12 inches to as much as 26 inches. However, most ellipticals have a stride length of between 14 and 20 inches.

So, how do you know what stride length is best for you?

If you want to add an elliptical to your home gym, you can pick the model that works best for you.

Different home ellipticals have different stride lengths. There is a general rule that the stride length of smaller elliptical machines is less than that of larger ones.

Your stride length on an elliptical machine should be adjusted according to your height. I’ve indicated the typical height-appropriate stride length down below.

Remember that leg lengths and walking habits vary within a given height category, so your ideal stride length maybe 1–2 inches shorter or longer than what is advised in a chart.

Refer to the handy chart down below.

Best Stride Length For Elliptical As Per Your Height 

Your HeightOptimal Stride Length
Under 5′11″-14″
5’0″ – 5’3″14″-16″
5’4″ – 5’8″16″-20″
5’9” – 6’0”18″-20″
Over 6′20″ +

Test out your elliptical machine once you have a general notion of the range it should fall into.

If you are unable to try an elliptical in person, measuring the stride length of the equipment you are considering is a simple method to get a sense of it.

For about 10 steps, mark the length of your stride, then walk along each line to get a sense of how it feels. The elliptical stride is likely the best choice for you if it feels more comfortable and natural to you.

Factors To Consider When Buying An Elliptical 

When shopping for an elliptical machine, there are a lot of different things to take into consideration. The following is a list of factors that you should take into account before making your purchase.

1. Your Goals

It is important to consider the goals of everyone in your household before beginning your search for home exercise equipment.

Most households have more than one person who will utilize the equipment, so it is important to find something that meets the needs of all users.

2. Your Budget 

You need to decide what your budget is. There is a significant price range for elliptical cross-trainers, ranging from just a few hundred dollars to several thousand.

Before going shopping, it is essential to decide how much money you will spend in order to avoid going over your limit.

3. Availability of Space

You need to take into account the size of the machine. If you have limited space in your home, then you will need to make sure that the elliptical trainer you choose will fit in the available space.

You should also consider how often you plan on using the machine. If you are only going to use it occasionally, then a smaller, cheaper model may be sufficient.

However, if you plan on using it regularly, then a larger, more expensive model may be a better investment.

4. Your Preference Of Exercises 

Finally, you need to think about what features you want in an elliptical trainer. Some models, for instance, have heart rate monitors and calorie trackers.

Other versions may feature other resistance settings or additional bells.

Determine which qualities are most essential to you and then search for equipment that contains them.

By taking all of these factors into account, you should be able to find the perfect elliptical trainer for your needs and budget.

5. Appropriate Stride Length

Your height determines the appropriate stride length.

A tall individual with a short stride might feel cramped and uneasy. A short person who takes a long stride might feel strained and off-balance. A person 5 feet 3 inches or shorter should utilize an elliptical with a stride length of 16 to 18 inches. 

Most users should avoid using an elliptical with a stride length of lesser than 14 inches.

Users between the heights of 5-foot-3 and 5-foot-7 should select an elliptical with a stride length of 18 to 20 inches. Taller users should choose a stride length of 20 to 22 inches.

You can also refer to the chart I have shared above to find your ideal stride length as per your heights. 

6. Type of Elliptical Trainer You Need 

Depending on where the flywheel is located, elliptical machines can either have a front-drive or a rear drive system.

The movement of the pedals is influenced by the type of drive that the equipment has. Because front-drive systems have a flatter motion, you will need to increase the length of your stride in order to have the same sensation as when using a rear-drive bike. 

By keeping these factors in mind, you’ll be sure to find the perfect elliptical for your home gym.

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Is a longer stride on the elliptical preferable?

To put it another way, the quality of your workouts is likely to suffer if the stride length is too short. A stride length of 20 inches is considered the accepted standard for home elliptical machines. At this length, the elliptical will be comfortable for the majority of users.

What is the step-on height for an elliptical?

Most home elliptical machines have a step-up height of 12 to 14 inches. If the step-up height is uncertain, the safest ceiling height is determined by adding 18 inches to the height of the tallest user. This 18-inch estimate includes the step-up height and a little safety cushion.

Can the stride on an elliptical be adjusted?

Numerous ellipticals now feature power adjustments to alter the stride length of the user. By modifying the height of the power ramp, the stride length of the user can be altered. Simply hit either the power ramp up or down button on the panel to make this modification.

What is the optimal stride length for an elliptical machine?

Although there is no “universal” stride length that fits everyone precisely, 20 inches has become the standard for home fitness trainers and the vast majority of commercial ellipticals. It has been demonstrated that a stride length of 20 inches fits the majority of users comfortably.

To Sum Up…

If you’re uncertain about what stride length within a certain range to choose, I would recommend scaling up.

You are more likely to feel at ease and might not realize a stride length that is 1 to 2 inches too long, as opposed to a stride length that is too short and leaves you feeling crowded and wanting more.

Also if you’re looking for a way to increase the intensity of your elliptical workout, try changing your stride length.

Shortening or lengthening your strides can make a big difference in how challenging the workout is. Play around with different lengths and see what feels best for you.

Happy pedaling!

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