How to Choose the Best Elliptical Stride Length

Are you struggling to find the perfect stride length for your elliptical workouts? Choosing the right elliptical stride length is important for maximizing your workout efficiency and preventing injuries. But how do you determine what’s best for you?

In short, the best elliptical stride length depends on your height, stride preference, and fitness goals. A longer stride length provides a more intense workout, while a shorter one may feel more comfortable for some users. It’s essential to strike the right balance to ensure an effective and safe exercise routine.

But these considerations only scratch the surface. In this guide, you’ll learn the factors influencing elliptical stride length selection and also have all the tips for choosing the best elliptical stride length. Let’s get started.

The Importance of Elliptical Stride Length

Stride length is the measurement of the distance between the two farthest points in the elliptical motion. Choosing the correct stride length is essential for several reasons;

  • Comfort: An appropriate stride length allows for a natural, smooth movement and prevents joint strain.
  • Muscle Engagement: A proper stride length ensures you engage the right muscles for an effective workout.
  • Calorie Burn: The right stride length helps to maximize calorie burn like exercise bikes do.

Factors that influence your choice of elliptical stride length

When choosing the best elliptical stride length for your workouts, several factors come into play. Firstly, your height plays a significant role. Taller individuals typically require a longer stride length to accommodate their longer limbs comfortably. Conversely, shorter individuals may find shorter stride lengths more suitable to maintain proper form and avoid overextending.

Secondly, your natural stride preference is crucial. Some people naturally prefer a longer, more extended stride, while others feel more comfortable with a shorter, more compact motion. It’s essential to choose a stride length that feels natural and allows you to maintain a smooth and controlled movement throughout your workout.

Additionally, your fitness goals play a vital role in determining the ideal elliptical stride length. If you’re aiming for a high-intensity workout that targets different muscle groups, a longer stride length may be more appropriate. On the other hand, if you’re focusing on improving endurance or recovering from an injury, a shorter stride length with less impact may be preferable.

Ultimately, the best elliptical stride length for you is a personal preference based on your unique body characteristics, comfort level, and fitness objectives. By considering these factors carefully, you can select the stride length that maximizes your workout efficiency and minimizes the risk of injury.

How to choose the best elliptical stride length

Step 1: Measure Your Height

Your height plays a significant role in determining your ideal stride length. Generally, taller people require a longer stride length, while shorter individuals need a shorter stride. Here’s a rough guideline based on height:

  • Under 5’3″: Opt for a stride length between 16 to 18 inches
  • 5’3″ to 5’7″: Look for a stride length of 18 to 20 inches
  • 5’8″ and above. Aim for a stride length of 20 inches or more

Remember that these are only general suggestions, and personal preference may also come into play.

Step 2: Test the Elliptical

The best way to determine if a specific stride length suits you is to try it out. Visit a local gym or fitness equipment store and test various elliptical trainers with different stride lengths. Pay attention to the following factors:

  • Comfort: Your knees should not lock at any point during the elliptical motion, and your feet should remain flat on the pedals. Make sure the stride doesn’t feel too short or too long.
  • Smoothness: The elliptical movement should feel smooth and natural, without jarring or jerking. A smooth and fluid motion is more comfortable to use and allows for a more effective and efficient workout.
  • Muscle Engagement: You should feel your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calf muscles engaging as you stride. Look for a machine that provides balanced muscle engagement and targets the specific muscle groups you want to work on.

Step 3: Adjustability Matters

If multiple people will use the elliptical, consider a machine with an adjustable stride length. This feature allows users of different heights and preferences to enjoy a personalized workout experience.

Additional Tips for Choosing the Best Elliptical Stride Length

Tip 1: Consider Your Fitness Goals– Your fitness goals can also impact your stride length preference. For example, a longer stride length may help target your glutes more effectively, while a shorter stride may offer a higher-intensity workout focusing on cardiovascular endurance.

Tip 2: Don’t Forget About Pedal Spacing– While stride length is essential, don’t forget to consider pedal spacing. A narrow pedal spacing reduces strain on the hips and lower back, making the workout more comfortable and efficient.

Tip 3: Consult with a Fitness Professional-Consult a fitness professional if you’re still unsure about the best elliptical stride length. They can assess your body mechanics and recommend a suitable stride length.


Investing in an elliptical machine with the right stride length can result in a more enjoyable and effective workout experience. However, knowing how to choose the best elliptical is crucial so you won’t waste your money. That is why we share the simple tips you can use to get yourself a perfect elliptical.

it is recommended to try out different models, and adjusting the stride length to your comfort level is crucial in finding the right fit for your body. I believe this guide gave you all the necessary information on choosing the best elliptical stride.

By Tunde Rasheed

I'm a fitness coach with a passion for writing. I spend most of my leisure time working out, reading and writing. I created dhammyfit to help you get the most out of your cardio workout sessions.

One thought on “How to Choose the Best Elliptical Stride Length”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *