Air walkers and elliptical cross trainers both provide simultaneous upper and lower body workouts and minimize stress on the joints. Compared to elliptical cross trainers, air walkers tend to be less expensive and do not produce as intense a workout. They are also not as durable and may have shorter warranties.
An air walker is a lightweight and inexpensive piece of exercise equipment. One model, the Weslo, folds away and can be easily stored when not in use. According to Elliptical-trainer-reviews.com, "The major difference between exercise air walkers and ellipticals is the movement path. Exercise air walkers move in an arc while ellipticals move in ellipse, similar to natural movement." Both air walkers and elliptical cross trainers work both the upper and lower body simultaneously, but according to Elliptical-trainer-reviews.com, elliptical cross trainers give you a more intense workout.
According to the buyer's guide at Ellipticalhome.com, you should not even consider buying a low-end elliptical cross training machine (one that costs less than $1,000) because of quality concerns, especially if you weigh more than 155 pounds. The guide recommends quiet-running ellipticals with rear drive, electromagnetic resistance mechanism, 16-19 inch stride length, and a stable base. The guide also recommends purchasing an extended warranty if one is available. In contrast, the relatively inexpensive air walkers reviewed at Elliptical-trainer-reviews.com cost $130-$200 plus shipping.
A short warranty of 90 days or less can be a sign that equipment is not expected by the manufacturer to be very durable. Unfortunately, both air walkers reviewed on Elliptical-trainer-reviews.com had only 90 day warranties, but extended warranties were also offered for more money.
By contrast, a mid-priced elliptical cross trainer ($1,000-$2,000) can have up to a lifetime warranty for the frame and up to 5 years for parts, according to AllEllipticals.com.
History of the Air Walker
The first air walker was invented in 1989 by Bill Dalebout, an industrial designer at Pro Form. Mr. Dalebout stated that the main purpose of the invention was to produce zero impact upon the joints, which can be negatively affected by frequent outdoor walking. The air walker was designed to replicate a walker's natural stride, including arm motions, though that part of the device could be disabled. The price has come down - air walkers retailed for $350 in 1989.
History of the Elliptical Cross Trainer
An engineer at Precor USA invented the pioneering Elliptical Fitness Crosstrainer in 1995, which mimicked the foot's natural motion while running. Apparently the engineer's daughter was recovering from a foot injury but still wanted to feel as though she was actually running, and her condition provided the invention's inspiration. Precor still dominates the market for elliptical crosstrainers, as it owns many patents for the technology. Elliptical cross trainers are appropriate for users at many fitness levels and minimize joint stress.