How Much Height Is Needed for an Elliptical Machine?

You may be somewhat surprised at the size of your elliptical trainer when you first set it up in your home. The space requirement for an elliptical can be deceiving if you have only seen one at a fitness studio -- an environment that typically has several elliptical trainers standing in large, open spaces. New owners of ellipticals sometimes overlook the height requirement of their machine. Keep in mind that you have to stand on the elliptical during use, which adds to the height requirement.

Cardio exercise.
The height requirement for your new elliptical trainer includes your own height. (Image: g-stockstudio/iStock/Getty Images)

Foot Pedals

Foot pedals on an elliptical trainer move up and down when you operate the machine. Standing on the foot pedals when you mount the machine will bring you to your highest point for determining how much room you'll need.

Ceiling Height

In general, an 8-foot ceiling should be sufficient to operate the machine if you are 6 feet tall or shorter. If you are more than 6 feet tall, carefully measure how much the elliptical adds to your height and compare that figure to your ceiling height. You should allow for a buffer zone of at least 4 to 6 inches between the ceiling and the top of your head when you stand at the tallest point of the elliptical motion.

Manufacturer Information

Often, height considerations and overall elliptical trainer dimensions are included in sales brochures, as well as on manufacturer websites. If a sporting goods store does not have the make and model of the elliptical you want to purchase set up on its sales floor, ask a salesperson if literature containing height measurements and dimensions is available.

Ceiling-Mounted Objects

Avoid positioning your elliptical underneath any fixtures that are mounted to the ceiling. Objects such as chandeliers and ceiling fans will interfere with your ability to work out on your elliptical trainer. They also present a danger and could lead to injury. Use common sense when setting up your elliptical. Choose a space that allows for plenty of head room, as well as space around the elliptical so that you can mount and dismount the elliptical easily without hitting your head or bumping into an object.

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