Every fitness enthusiast will tell you that an elliptical machine is a must have fitness equipment if you want to stay in shape. Some of the elliptical benefits include delivering a workout that enhances cardiovascular health, strength training and weight loss just to name but a few. However, for you to derive all the benefits that come with this machine, you have to choose the right equipment. Below is a comprehensive buyer’s guide that will help you choose an elliptical machine from a point of information.
Ellipticals also provide a full-body workout in a short amount of time. Your legs, shoulders, chest, back, and arms will benefit in as little as 20 minutes a day, which makes it a great option if you’re always on-the-go.
An elliptical machine is suitable for all ages and fitness levels, so if you’re a fitness newbie, you’ll feel comfortable and safe using one. Studies suggest that ellipticals may improve your quality of life and reduce back fatigue.
It’s easy to switch up workouts to prevent getting bored, and you can multitask while you’re on the machine, too. You can catch up on a show, read a magazine, or check your emails while working out.
We understand that a piece of workout equipment like an elliptical machine can be a bigger investment. So, our buying guide and product reviews will help you narrow down your choices and ensure you’re spending your money on a machine that’s going to meet your needs and be enjoyable to use.
How to Choose an Elliptical Machine
When searching for the best elliptical trainers to use at home, there are many important factors that you should consider.
1. Available Resistance
More resistance levels mean that you can increase the difficulty of your workout more gradually to suit your needs. With fewer resistance levels, you may have to jump up to a higher difficulty that you may not be ready for.
- Fan Wheel Resistance: You’ll enjoy a smooth ride, but it will be a little bit noisier ride. Ellipticals in the lower price range typically use fan wheel resistance.
- Magnetic Resistance: Ellipticals with magnetic resistance are quiet and give you a consistent and natural-feeling working. These ellipticals will usually be in a higher price range.
2. Computer Display
- Elliptical machines come both with and without a computer display. Whether or not yours has one largely depends on your budget. If you want a computer display, there are a couple of things to look for. You’ll want the display to be easy-to-read since you’ll be in motion while trying to read it.
- Backlighting helps a lot with readability. You’ll also want to consider the data the computer provides. It can potentially tell your heart rate, calories burned, time, distance, and speed. If tracking your workout is important, you’ll want a computer display.
Working out is hard enough, so you’ll want your elliptical machine to be comfortable and easy to use. Here are some adjustable features to look for:
- Incline: It may be manually or power adjusted. Being able to adjust the incline of the elliptical will help you vary the degree of difficulty of your workouts.
- Foot Pedals: Adjustable pivoting foot pedals help recreate a natural range of motion. A large pedal surface ensures that no matter your foot size, you’ll fit comfortably on the machine.
4. Other Considerations
- Availability of pre-programmed workouts to focus on weight loss, cardio, etc.
- Stride length that’s not too short or too long for your height.
- Ability to be folded, wheeled, and stored out of the way.
- Available places to put water bottles, phones, or reading materials.
Recommended Product Reviews
Some of the features which you should look for in the best elliptical trainers include workout options, workout monitoring, design, accessories, help, and support.
In case you want to use it for more intense workouts, you will require a machine which is more durable. You should also consider warranties. This is important because warranties will save you money in case your elliptical machine breaks.
After testing and consulting with fitness and health experts, we’ve narrowed the field down to the following top ten elliptical machines.
#1. Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer
If you’re short on space, the Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer is an excellent option. I think that this product would also make a good choice for your office if you want to get in a quick lunch break workout. Store it under your desk or slide it into a closet and it’s out of your way. The trainer is foot-pedal only, so it’s incredibly compact. Despite its small size, it is well-constructed with a sturdy steel frame and non-slip pedals. You’ll be able to track your low-impact workout on the electronic monitor, which tracks strides, calories burned, and exercise time.
#2. Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine
If you’re looking for an elliptical that has everything a gym machine has to offer, the Schwinn 430 is an excellent choice. The high-speed weighted flywheel means every workout will be smooth and quiet. Perhaps the most expensive features of the machine are located on the console. It has a dual LCD window system that allows you to monitor up to 13 different display feedbacks. You can choose from 22 workout programs, and if you share the machine, you can set up two user settings. One aspect that must be considered of working out is tracking your progress and goals, and this machine gives you goal tracking to keep you motivated and challenged. In addition to the console, you’ll enjoy a 20” stride length, cushioned footplates, 20 levels of resistance, heart rate monitor, ergonomic static handlebars, angled moving handlebars, a three-speed fan to keep you fresh, and acoustic chamber speakers.
#3. Exerpeutic Aero Air Ellipticals
Get a dual-action arm and leg workout with the Exerpeutic Aero Air Elliptical machine. Your feet will stay secure on the large pedals with the non-slip ridges, and your joints will appreciate the low-impact motion. The compact and affordable Exerpeutic Aero Air Elliptical uses magnetic resistance to give you a great workout, and the small footprint is excellent if space saving is a priority. You’ll be able to move the machine easily with the built-in wheels and the lightweight design. It’s very easy to change resistance, and it supports up to 260 pounds. Track your workout with the easy-to-read LCD system. It will keep you updated on your distance, elapsed time, speed, and calories burned.
#4. Plasma Fit Elliptical Machine Trainer 2 in 1 Exercise Bike Total Cardio Fitness Home Gym with Heart Rate Monitor
The Plasma Fit Elliptical Machine Trainer 2 in 1 system gives you the option of using the machine as a standing elliptical or seated exercise bike. The machine is sturdy and well-built with tubular steel construction and a wide base, so you’ll have a solid workout. Work a variety of different muscle groups with the forward and backward motion of the elliptical. You can track your pulse rate during your workout so you can monitor your exertion. You’ll also be able to keep an eye on your workout time, speed, distance, and calories burned on the LCD display screen. Use either the moving handlebars or static handlebars, depending on if you want to work your arms or not. If you decide to use the machine like a stationary bike, the seat and handles are height adjustable. So, you can find your ideal setting for a comfortable workout.
#5. Gazelle Edge
The Gazelle Edge is a simple yet effective elliptical machine that is suitable for all fitness levels. While other machines may have more features, I believe one of the most important aspects of an elliptical machine is that it delivers results. With the Gazelle Edge, you’ll burn calories, tone your muscles, and improve your endurance while you work out your upper and lower body. You can increase your speed without sudden stops or sharp motion so you won’t sacrifice your joints. Get feedback during your workout with the computer that displays speed, distance, time, and calories burned. When you’re done with your exercise and need extra space, the Gazelle Edge folds up for easy storage. The 1.5-inch gauge steel construction holds up to 250 pounds. Your workout will be comfortable with the high-density foam-covered handlebars and extra-wide, non-skid foot pedals.
#6. NordicTrack E 7.0 Z Elliptical Trainer
Get an at-home workout similar to the one you would get with a personal trainer with the NordicTrack E 7.0 Z Elliptical Trainer. The machine comes with 20 preloaded workout programs designed by a certified personal trainer. The program you choose will automatically adjust your machine’s resistance to match the fitness goals of the workout. Target different leg muscles with the adjustable incline ramp you can modify the five-position ramp incline between zero and 20 degrees to the position desired to target your quads, calves, or glutes. Additionally, you can use the full 20-inch stride or adjust the length to change your workout intensity. Choose from one of 20 resistance buttons with the touch of a button instead of having to use a tension knob.
#7. ProForm Hybrid Trainer
The ProForm Hybrid Trainer gives you plenty of at-home workout options. You can choose from using the equipment as a cardio recumbent bike or as an elliptical machine. However you decide to use the machine, you just have to press start and get going on one of the 16 workout apps that are pre-loaded and ready to go. I think that the ability for an elliptical to adjust to your fitness level is important, and as you get stronger and more advanced, you can move up through the 16 digital resistance levels. For your convenience, the machine includes a water bottle holder, and the ability to plug in your iPod or MP3 player to enjoy music during your workout.
#8. Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine
If you’re looking to go all-in on an elliptical machine, check out the Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine. The elliptical comes fully loaded with a backlit 7.5-inch LCD display that tracks your essential training data including both pulse grip and chest strap heart rate monitoring. You’ll also appreciate the built-in cooling fan, water bottle holder, and sound system. Fully customize your workout with adjustable pedals and power adjustable stride and incline, and you’ll have a 20 to 22-inch maximum stride length. Elliptical machines are already optimal if you’re looking for reduced joint stress. However, the Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine adds an additional level of joint protection by offering oversized foot pedals with a two-degree inward slope that reduces ankle and knee stress.
#9. Elliptical Bike 2 IN 1 Cross Trainer Exercise Fitness Machine Upgraded Model
Work your legs, hips, glutes, shoulders, and arms with the Elliptical Bike 2 in 1 Cross Trainer Exercise Fitness Machine. The machine will last you for years thanks to its sturdy steel construction. Monitor your time, distance, speed, and calories burned with the on-board LCD display. Use the tension knob to adjust the resistance level to meet your workout capabilities. Dual directions allow you to work for different muscle groups as well. Although it is a two in one system, the elliptical is still lightweight, compact, and easily wheeled and stored. The large, non-slip pedals will give you a comfortable workout, and the wide platform provides stability while you exercise. The chain-driven fan wheel gives you a quiet and smooth experience. The machine supports a maximum weight of 250 pounds.
#10. Body Rider Fan Elliptical Trainer
The Body Rider Fan Elliptical Trainer is an electricity-free elliptical that is perfect for every fitness level. The chain-driven fan wheel runs quietly and smoothly, and you can get an upper and lower body workout with the movable handlebars. For your convenience, the product comes with a workout video to guide you on the usage. Adjust the machine to fit your fitness level with a quick adjustment of the friction belt tension control knob. The Body Rider Fan Elliptical Trainer is an excellent option if you’re on a budget or have limited space. You’ll be able to track your exercise time, speed, distance, and calories burned with the display screen.
Having workout equipment in your home makes exercising much more convenient. Ellipticals are great if you want a low-impact option that still delivers results. I believe that, depending on your fitness level and needs, one of our ten top-reviewed products will meet your needs. A two-in-one system gives you options as well as more bang for your buck. You can go with something with less technology or a smaller footprint if you’re on a budget or trying to save space. Or, you can get a fully loaded model if you want all the conveniences of a gym workout in your home. Whatever you want, you’ll find it with one of our reviewed products.