Knowing your stride length for an Elliptical.

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To take a break from the treadmill tournament, we’re going to answer a quick question from our reader mailbag. I receive a lot of questions on topics that I’ve already answered before, but I thought this was a good question, so I’m going to re-answer it for you.


From David,

“I am just under 5’4″ in height. Would a 20″ stride be too much for me? I am a complete novice when it comes to elliptical trainers, so I’m not sure what the proper feel should be. Thx.”

Okay, great question.

If you’ve used a lot of ellipticals (which it sounds like you haven’t) you will notice that some may feel very comfortable and fitting, while others are uncomfortable and awkward. This usually isn’t because of the quality of the elliptical, but because each elliptical best suits certain sizes.

In your case, being under 5’4, you will want an elliptical with a short stride length of around 18″ or even a little less if you can find one. a 20″ length may be too much, depending on how long your legs are.

Here is a nifty chart for everyone to use to determine their stride length.


  • 5’4″ or less
  • 5’4 – 5’8
  • 5’9 or above
    Stride Length

  • 16″ – 18″ stride
  • 18″ – 20″ stride
  • 21+” stride

Everybody is shaped a little different, so take these measurements with a grain of salt. But this will give you a good idea of what you want. Adjustable stride lengths are becoming more common and affordable, so if you don’t get to try it out first, you may want to buy an adjustable one.

Hope this helps everyone out a little.

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About Treadmill Sensei

Treadmill SenseiThe Treadmill Sensei has been in the fitness industry for several years. He is familiar with several brands of fitness equipment and has written several reviews of many different treadmills and elliptical machines. You can see what he thinks are the best treadmills or you can get help choosing a treadmill.

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About My Treadmill Reviews

TreadmillMy treadmill reviews are both subjective and objective. They are objective in the sense that I will provide you with information about each machine, such as motor, weight capacity and other features. But they are subjective in the sense that I am really giving my opinion of each treadmill. You may agree or disagree with my opinion, but my hope is that my elliptical and treadmill reviews can be helpful to you in making a decision on what to buy. Remember that each review is just what I think. You can always check out Treadmill Doctor, Treadmill Review Guru or these other treadmill reviews if you want another opinion.