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Air elliptical vs magnetic elliptical

Air Elliptical Trainer
Air Elliptical Trainer

Magnetic Elliptical Trainer
Magnetic Elliptical Trainer

 Air Elliptical vs Magnetic Elliptical

Elliptical trainers are at present one of the most hyped exercise equipment for ensuring fitness and cardio benefits. It is also a most sought out option for your home gyms. These machines offer a low impact workout free from the risks of stress and injury.
From outside, all ellipticals may seem more or less the same – a bulging shell covering the internal drive mechanism, a pair of protruding pedals in the front or back position, and some mobile handlebars surrounding the console.

What sets apart one elliptical from another is their distinctive drive mechanisms. A particular model may offer you a noise-free workout experience, another one may issue a whirring sound while functioning, again some other models may only sound a bit during adjusting resistance. Air and Magnetic Ellipticals both have their own distinctive features and characteristics. In this article, you will come to know about these underlying differences between Air Elliptical and Magnetic Elliptical Trainers.


Elliptical machines are one of the most popular exercise equipment. They provide the chance of low impact cardio exercise without the added risk of pressure or injury. Based on the type of resistance offered, there are air-resistance ellipticals and magnetic ones. Both types are designed in a special way to imitate the human body. Elliptical trainers tend to mimic our normal body movements. These can even monitor the pulse rate. Gripping foot pedals are incorporated especially to ensure the safety of the users. The magnetic ellipticals have an extra feature of adjustable pre-programmed routines. As your workout skill level rises, the routine will be adjusted to offer you more difficult challenges and workout goals.

Types of Ellipticals

The question that might arise is, why the ellipticals need this resistance? If the pedals of an elliptical offered no resistance, then without making the least effort you could pedal as fast as you want! A system has been included in the elliptical to resist your pedaling. Elliptical resistance influences what amount of force you need to apply on the pedal to complete pedal stroke. This internal resistance system can be adjusted to various levels of intensity.
In an air resistance elliptical trainer, a fan is turned by your pedaling. The air resists the fan blades and gives resistance against your pedaling. The greater your pedaling speed, the more resistance you get. Thus, its mechanism is pretty simple.
In magnetic resistance ellipticals, an electromagnet is placed close to the flywheel. This electromagnet offers resistance to the pedal movement. In some categories of magnetic resistance ellipticals, if you push a button, a greater amount of current will be directed to increase the resistance level. Similarly, a lesser current creates less resistance. This particular system is known as eddy current resistance.

Noise levels

If you prefer a noise-free ambiance during the workout, magnetic resistance ellipticals are the perfect option for you. The mechanism of eddy current resistance is totally devoid of noise, so you can easily listen to music or watch tv during a workout. The magnetic resistance which is adjusted mechanically is also nearly noise-free. But in air resistance ellipticals, the fan blades beat the air during pedaling, creating much noise during workouts.

Perks of usage

A magnetic resistance elliptical trainer gives the privilege of a noise-free ambiance during exercise. This makes it possible for users to watch tv or listen to music while exercising. The constant noise generated in the air resistance elliptical can be disturbing and distracting as well. This can provide an overall bad workout experience.
Eddy current resistance is super silent, besides, it has lower chances of faults and malfunctioning. So, it does not need much maintenance. Also, there is very little chance of its breakdown in the future. So, users do not have to worry much about its maintenance and repair expenses.
Air resistance ellipticals are not completely useless either. If you want a cost-effective workout option, air resistance ones will be the best option because their price is considerably lower. Also, these ellipticals contain a cooling fan which always comes in handy after a sweaty workout session. There is no necessity to plug in an air resistance elliptical machine. As its structure is really simple, if you are into DIYs you can fix it by yourself in the face of any problem.


The lowest price options are air resistance, elliptical trainers. You can buy one within the range of $500. But this low price may bring some added problems like a rather clumsy build, decreased capacity of user weight, and a wobbling tendency. You may have to spend some bucks frequently for its repair and maintenance.
There are wide variations of magnetic resistance ellipticals depending on type and range of price. Elliptical machines with mechanically adjusted magnetic machines will come in the range of $500 to $1000. A few trainers with eddy current resistance may be available within the range of $1000 to $2000. But maximum models are highly priced and are found in $2000 or more [source].

Calories burned

The burning down of calories is the prime advantage of any cardiovascular exercise. According to research conducted by HarvardMagnetic Elliptical Trainer

Medical School, a 30-minute long workout session on an elliptical trainer can burn down 2.16 calories for every pound of weight. Thus a person weighing 160 pounds will scorch approximately 345 calories after exercising for 30 minutes on an elliptical [source].
The calorie-burning benefits can be increased if the user performs an upper body workout along with a lower-body workout.

Level of Resistance

The option of increasing or decreasing resistance level is included only in magnetic resistance ellipticals. This feature enables the adjustment of resistance level during workout sessions as per your fitness and skill.

F. A. Q.s

Q1. Can the elliptical tone my arms?

Ans.: Yes. Besides burning the calories more efficiently, ellipticals can help you to get rid of those annoying arm flabs. By increasing the elliptical resistance, you can have a more intense workout session to tone your arms and legs. Your arm definition will definitely be improved.

Q2. Will I lose weight if I do the elliptical every day?

Ans.: Elliptical workouts are great for maximum calorie burning in minimal time. Using this machine, about 270 to 400 calories can be burnt in 30 minutes depending on your weight. [Source]

Obviously, if your calorie burning is less than your calorie consumption, you will lose weight. It will be better to increase the intensity of your workouts in the elliptical if weight loss is your prime target.

Q3. Would elliptical tone my glutes?

Ans.: Ellipticals are also a reliable option to tone your glutes and keep them in shape. If you are targeting your lower body during an elliptical workout, it is recommended to raise the resistance to a minimum third level. The increased resistance will burn away more fat from your glutes. During workout place your foot in contact with the platform and push through your heels so that your gluteal muscles are contracted. A frequent forward and backward pedaling may offer an extra challenge. Pushing your hips back during a workout is also advised to reap the maximum benefits.


Once you have tried a few elliptical trainers, you will realize that ellipticals vary from model to model. As there is a completely enclosed driving mechanism in a magnetic resistance elliptical, the dangers lie only in kids getting injured by the external machine parts. Whereas air resistance ones bear vents to facilitate the inward and outward flow of air from the fan blades, so these are more dangerous if you have kids or pets at home. Consider all these factors before buying one.

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Dion Lewis
My name is Dion Lewis.

I’ve been cycling from my childhood. When I was in high school, I started racing in our local competitions.

At my college life, I took a part time job in a bicycle shop and I learned how to repair and maintain bicycles professionally.

Though I love racing, mountain biking is another thing I do frequently. My friends, neighbors, and colleagues treat me as an avid rider and take my suggestions while they plan for a new bike or a bike gear.

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