Elliptical Ceiling Height

When selecting an elliptical trainer for your home it’s critical to make sure that it will fit into the space you’ve selected. The elliptical trainer “footprint” is the total area that the base of the machine occupies. This is the width times the length of the elliptical trainer.

It is also necessary to allow at least 2 feet all around this footprint in order for convenient mounting and dismounting from the elliptical trainer. This additional clearance is also necessary for the upper arm handles if present. There’s nothing worse than punching holes into your drywall because you didn’t allow sufficient clearance for the handles!

However, there’s another dimension that many people overlook when selecting an elliptical trainer and that’s the elevation of the foot pedals from the floor. You may ask what this is all about, but it’s important to remember that an elliptical trainer is a 3-dimensional machine and occupies space. Elliptical Trainer ceiling height is the often overlooked dimension when selecting and locating an elliptical trainer.

The good news is that rooms in most American homes and apartments are built with a ceiling height of 8 feet. In fact, many newer homes are being built with 9-foot ceilings and higher

Unfortunately the dimension that you need to calculate head clearance is not provided in many elliptical trainer specifications. The dimension called “height”, which is often provided, is of no use in calculating head clearance. Height is the maximum height of the trainer from the floor to the tips of the arm handles. What we want is the height from the floor to the bottom of the lowest extent of the foot pedals.

Precor is a manufacturer that provides this dimension. They call it “Height of footplate at lowest position (step up)”. This is the height that you should add to your own height to determine that your head will not bump into the ceiling.

If the room where you want to locate your elliptical trainer has a 9-foot ceiling then you have nothing to worry about. Just don’t position your elliptical under a low hanging light fixture. You would have to stand 8’4” to bump your head on a 9-foot ceiling. This is based on an average foot pedal elevation of 8". Not much chance of this happening to anyone I know.

If your ceiling height is 8 feet, then unless you’re 7 feet tall or greater, you will still not bump your head on the ceiling. However, even if you are a few inches shorter, say 6’6”, it may feel like your head is too close to the ceiling while exercising on an elliptical trainer. This can be unnerving, so it’s something to consider.

Now, if you want to locate your elliptical trainer in your basement and the ceiling is a low one – say 7 feet, then watch your head if you’re 6’4” or taller!

I remember lifting weights in the unfinished basement of my parents’ home and looking up at the ceiling while resting between sets of bench presses. I’d look up at the multitude of nails poking through the floorboards and wonder if I could impale my head on them if I jumped high enough. Fortunately for me I couldn’t jump that high!

Since most elliptical trainers have similar foot pedal elevations, it’s more an issue of selecting a room with sufficient elliptical trainer ceiling height than the other way around.