How to Find the Best Stride Length for Your Elliptical?

Finding the best stride length for your elliptical is important if you want to constantly focus on a safe, low-impact workout. But, this  critical factor often gets overlooked when it comes to purchasing an elliptical machine

If you haven’t found the right stride length for you, it will not only keep you from working out on it, but it could also hurt you. As long as your strides do not feel overstretched or cramped and you can maintain proper form then you are in the right range.

In this article, you’ll learn best stride length for your elliptical as well as how to measure and adjust elliptical stride length.

What is Elliptical Stride Length?

The distance between the pedals when they are at their most distant point from one another is referred to as the stride length. A good stride length ensures a comfortable and successful session.

Ellipticals are intended to provide a low-impact workout similar to walking. To get the most out of your workout on any elliptical machine, the stride length should ideally correspond to your walking stride. 

best stride length for elliptical
how to measure elliptical stride length

You may feel constricted and uncomfortable during your workout if your stride length is too short. On the other hand, if your stride length is too long, you may feel like you’re overreaching or stretching too far merely to finish each pedal rotation. When your stride length is just right, you’ll feel comfortable and natural.

Those who are taller or have longer legs typically have a longer walking stride length, whilst those who are shorter typically have a shorter stride length. As a result, some ellipticals will be better suited to taller users, while others will be more suited to shorter users.

How To Find Best Stride Length for Elliptical?

When it comes to selecting an elliptical for your home gym, you have the option of selecting a machine that is a perfect fit for you. Home ellipticals come in a variety of stride lengths. Compact ellipticals will often have a shorter stride length, whilst larger ellipticals would have a greater stride length.

You can measure the elliptical stride length based on your height. The below table is considered a universal recommendation for the optimal stride length based on your height. 

Your Height 

Optimal Stride Length

Suggested Elliptical

Under 5′


5’0” – 5’3”


5’4” – 5’8”


5’9” – 6’0”


Over 6’

20” + 

These measurements are based on an individual’s average stride length at that height. Naturally, not all humans have the same proportions. Even if two persons are the same height, their legs can have different lengths. The length of the legs is the most important factor in determining stride length. Thus your ideal stride length may change by 1 – 2 inches from the chart’s recommendation. 

Another consideration is your level of training. Better trained people have longer strides.

If there are more than one people who will be using the elliptical machine, there is a significant likelihood that they will be of different heights and require stride lengths that differ from one another. If you find yourself in this circumstance, investing in a machine with an adjustable stride length may be the best answer. They are not always simple to adjust, but they can help make the elliptical more comfortable for all users.

Another option is to reach a compromise and arrive at a stride length that is in the middle of what both users are looking for. Try an elliptical machine before you buy one if you aren’t sure if it is the perfect machine for you.

The majority of the people can walk comfortably with a 20 inch stride length elliptical or more. This is why you’ll find this size in the majority of commercial and public spaces.

One last thing to consider, is that different stride lengths activate muscles in your legs differently. Research shows that a longer stride length on an elliptical promotes greater activation in the glutes. A longer stride length will not only be more comfortable and accommodating, but it will also aid to stimulate the muscles in your legs and burn more calories.

How to Measure Elliptical Stride Length?

Stride length can be measured in a variety of ways, but the simplest and most accurate method is to use a formula based on height. If you do some math, you can do this very quickly.

To begin, determine your height in inches. Then, multiply that number by 0.25. If the product is a decimal, round it up to the nearest whole number, and you’ve got your stride length.

elliptical stride length calculator

Alternatively, you can take the more complex method by drawing a beginning line with chalk on the ground and then taking ten natural steps forward. After those ten steps, put a mark in front of your right foot. Then, measure the distance between your start and endpoints in inches and divide it by ten to get your stride length. 

If you choose to utilize this method, it is essential that you measure several times in order to obtain an accurate average.

How to Adjust Stride Length on Elliptical?

Many elliptical models allow you to adjust the stride length manually. Additionally, some more expensive models equipped with power adjustments. Check the manufacturer’s manual for your unique model’s specifications, but here’s a basic outline of how to adjust stride length on elliptical:

Manual Adjustment: Turn the adjustment knob at the bottom of the pedals manually. Typically, there are a number of knobs that allow for adjustment. Pull the adjustment knob out on rear-drive versions, then slide the bracket forwards or backwards to lengthen or shorten the stride. When doing this manually, be sure that both sides are set to the same length.

Power Adjustment: Many high-end ellipticals have power adjustments that allow the user to adjust the length of their stride. To make the adjustment, push the power ramp increase or decrease button. This button is located on the console. The length of the stride is automatically adjusted when the power ramp is raised or lowered.

Final Words: Best Stride Length for Elliptical

Choosing the best stride length for your elliptical is never a simple task. Additionally, keep in mind that the efficiency of your workout is highly dependent on stride length. There is a chances of strain or injuries if you exercise at a stride length that is inappropriate for your height.

If you’re the only one who will be using it, a fixed stride is acceptable. If there are multiple users or a family, an adjustable stride is the greatest option to accommodate everyone. Additionally, look for adjustable pedals.

Prior to purchasing an elliptical, check out several stride lengths physically (if possible) to find the one that works best for you. If you aren’t able to test out, don’t worry. You can still get a solid workout even if it’s slightly shorter or longer than ideal, and you’ll get used to the motion with time.

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