Knowing your stride length for an Elliptical.

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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