display | more...
A type of exercise machine designed for an aerobic workout, an elliptical trainer is a cross between a bicycle and a treadmill. An elliptical trainer has two small platforms, where the user places their feet, much like a bicycle, except that instead of sitting, the user stands. The platforms are joined to the machine so that they can move in an elliptical pattern (hence the name) which mimics jogging, much like a treadmill. However, elliptical trainers are considered to be easier on the knees than a treadmill; since the feet never leave the platforms, there is no stress on the knees from feet landing, as there is in jogging.

Most elliptical trainers have settings that can make movement more difficult (to increase the intensity of the workout), or mimic an incline (to work different leg muscles). Some elliptical trainers have vertical rods that can be gripped at chest height and moved like cross country skiing, to provide some arm movement.