I'm contemplating buying my first elliptical trainer.
Budget isn't much of an issue, so I'm not limited to any specific models. I'm not asking for buying recommendations, but the fast I'm not limited to budget machines might be relevant inla considering what style of machine I might find best for my body. My problem/concern is knowing if I have a compatibility issue with them.
My concern is that I have a long stride when I walk. My normal walking gait is about 90 - 100 cm (2'10 - 3'4), maybe more if pushing myself, speed on a par with light jogging, and I walk like that quite comfortably, it's good exercise but not a "push", I can keep it up for a long time, as much as anyone else does with their natural walking gait, but its a really good stretch and good cardio to do so. Think the kind of gait used for walking races if that helps.
(If curious, it stemmed from realising very young that it was more efficient in terms of walking time, to push length of stride than time of stride, and allowed me to cover a lot more ground without needing to break from a comfy walking gait to a more tiring jog or running gait. I had long endurance walking/striding, that I didn't have running/jogging, due to low grade knee pains. Right or not, that's what I've grown up with ever since and is comfortable for me and has become my most comfortable gait.)
My other difficulty is that with the current pandemic, it's also not really feasible to try different elliptical trainers in stores or gyms, to see how different styles work for me. So I don't know, for example, if I made it harder or just took shorter steps, or used my upper body more as an elliptical does, or added incline/resistance, whether I'd feel more at ease with a shorter gait. I just don't have a standard or past experience to compare against. I just feel strongly that I need the upper body workout as well, and probably not running or rowing. (Although rowing is a good full body workout too, it's not great for my knees so I'd prefer not).
I also want to avoid workouts that are demanding on bending/straightening my knee joints, so I try to minimise running, cycling, and near-vertical stepping, another reason I'd tend to look at a demanding elliptical workout rather than most other devices. It also means I can add a slight to moderate incline if desired, enough to add considerable workout but not enough to stress the knee joints.
So given that an elliptical trainer seems most applicable for the workout, what advice might apply to me, in choosing a decent elliptical trainer that suits me? I don't think they come in ultra-long stride versions. I think the maximum I've heard of is 24 inches/61 cm (rarely) and 20 inch/50cm (more usual max).
Is that actually a problem or likely to be a block on my plans?
Does anyone else have experience of how having a striding style of gait works within the usual shorter stride of a good quality elliptical trainer, with or without incline/resistance?