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An elliptical machine is one of the most widely used fitness equipment. It is also known as a cross-trainer or X trainers.
It is a stationary exercise machine that mimics the movement of climbing stairs, walking and running. It has two hand levers and two pedals. In fact, any gym that is of a good standard should have at least one elliptical. You can also have one at home to enjoy all of its benefits.
In this review, we will be helping you choose the best elliptical machine. We will first list the top 5, then we will describe each product in detail, with the pros and cons of each.
Best Elliptical Machines
1. Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Elliptical Machine Trainer SF-E905- Our Top Pick and Overall Best
2. The Body Rider Fan Elliptical Trainer- Best For Home Use
3.Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical- Best Under Desk Elliptical
4. Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer- Best Compact and Budget Elliptical
5. Exerpeutic 1000XL Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical- Most Durable
Now that we have listed the top 5, we will be going into their full details.
1. Magnetic Elliptical Machine Trainer by Sunny Health & Fitness – SF-E905- Our Top Pick and Best Overall
The Sunny Health and Fitness Company is a recognized manufacturer of high quality and an affordable exercise device. The Sunny SF-905 elliptical trainer is a comfortable cardio trainer that can be used a home as it is made to fit in a smaller space. However, if you do not want to spend a lot of money on such a device, then elliptical is a great choice for you.
The 8 levels revolutionary magnetic resistance of this device gives you a smooth flowing training for both your upper and lower body. It has a hand pulse monitoring system integrated into the bars for monitoring and maintaining your heart rate. You can choose from different levels of resistance. This enables you to customize your training and reach your fitness goals.
It comes with large anti-slip pedals and an integrated computer that gives your training data. This information includes calories burned, scan, distance, elapsed time, speed, heart rate, and total distance. User weighing up to 280 pounds can use this machine. The device itself weighs only 68 pounds and is easy to transport from place to place.
Thanks to its compact size that enables the user who only has a small room to train comfortably at home.
- It does not slip
- Hand pulse monitoring system
- It has a lightweight
- Easy to transport
- Does not have reverse stride option
- It is not suitable for tall people
Most users like the product as it is good enough for the money and it occupies only a small space. However, a few tall users complained that it is not suitable for them. Most users had no difficulty in assembling it.
2. The Body Rider Fan Elliptical Trainer- Best Home Elliptical
It is a very compatible and affordable elliptical trainer that enables you to perform both upper and lower training with little or no impact. It is a 2-in-1 fitness machine that has settings for both elliptical trainer and exercise bike usage. It has a fan wheel that runs without noise and effort. The training resistance level is set using the control knob, which increases and decreases the friction on the belt of the fan wheel. It comes with a tutorial video that illustrates the optimal use of the machine.
This product requires no power supply for operation. It can be used by everyone, regardless of age, weight or height. It uses a patented elliptical motion design and is designed to allow total body workout at home. It has a digital display that allows you to monitor your progress during exercise. The display shows your exercise time, distance, and calories burned. It can support users weighing up to 250 pounds with its solid steel frame base.
This product can easily move the built in the wheel. The seat can also be adjusted both vertically and horizontally making it more comfortable for your use.
- Easy to use
- Easy to assemble and setup
- It can be folded up for easy storage
- Comes with transport wheels
- Comfortable foot pedals
- Handles for upper body workouts
- It has an adjustable seat
- Small display screen
- No Bluetooth
- There can be some slipping problem with its slant footpads
Most customer like the product as it is really accurate and save space. However, some users feel like they will fall when the speed is high.
3. Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical- Best Under Desk Elliptical
The Cubii Pro is the improved version of the Cubii Jr. with more features than the Cubii Jr. The Cubii Pro is made with sturdy steel with a plastic fiber frame. Its weight is optimally designed to make it portable and to keep the user from slipping off.
The pedals are ergonomically designed to keep you fit with no foot pain. It weighs 28 pounds, thus it is easy to carry around. it also has a carrying handle between the two pedals. It takes about 6 hours to charge fully, then from the play store, you can download the free Cubii app. Register by entering your details and pedal on the machine. You then start pairing it with your mobile phone.
This product is easily assembled. It has Bluetooth accessibility with which you can see your progress in a mobile app and track your progress with greater accuracy. Although the tension control is manual, the Bluetooth-enabled app completely replaces the electronic monitor.
- Bluetooth enabled app
- It produces no noise
- Optimum weight and size
- Ergonomically designed
- It has a beautiful design
- 8 adjustable tension controls
- Easy to assembly
- It not too good for light exercise
- Cubii app still has some issues
- Quite expensive
Most customers like the product as it is quiet to use and they easily burn calories daily using it.
4. Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer- Best Compact and Budget Elliptical
The Stamina in-motion elliptical trainer is the fitness machine that you can literally use anywhere, anytime. It has complete steel construction and structured pedals to avoid your feet from slipping off. The trainer’s feet are also padded with rubber to stop the machine from slipping off.
Another great feature that it has is the reverse motion pedals, which can be operated in forward or reverse motion. It has an electronic sensor that constantly counts your number of stride each minute, and the intensity of your workout can be adjusted by changing the tension in the pedals.
The Stamina In Motion Compact Strider can be used in any position be it sitting, or standing
- Reverse motion pedals
- It is Durable
- Adjustable tension control
- Electronic RPM sensor
- No slip off
- The pedals are made of fiber plastic
- It is loud
Most of the users like its portability as they can use it anywhere, at home or office.
5. Exerpeutic 1000XL Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical- Most Durable
The Exerpeutic 1000XL Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical with Pulse is a cost, effective solid elliptical trainer. It offers a dual training that allows you to tighten, tone and strengthen both upper and lower body at the same time.
Due to its magnetic design, the machine is able to draw major muscle groups of your body into the exercise and helps you lose extra fat in areas like arms, hips, thighs, waist, bust, and abdominal areas. Therefore can be sure of rapid, and safe weight loss. This elliptical trainer is designed to give you training without affecting your hips, knees, and ankles.
It is very easy to use with 8 levels of magnetic resistance that are sure to accentuate every level of fitness. It has a natural elliptical motion that prevents any springing movement. It features a large, easy-to-read LCD that provides hands-on training information. The flywheel allows both forward and reverse. It also has a heart rate monitor, pulse pads, and larger ribbed pedals to prevent slipping.
This slip-resistant pedal provides you extra stability that enhances improved muscular strength as you train and consequently burn calories. Its handlebars are foam padded to avoid your fingers from slipping as it gets sweaty. This will also keep blister and sores at bay while you are training. with the guarantee of comfort, you will easily add extra minutes to your workout.
In addition, it can hold a maximum user weight of 300 pounds. This makes it a family-friendly machine and a perfect one for the home gym. As it can sustain heavy-duty, it can be used every day with no wear and tear. Thus, with the proper care and maintenance, this machine can easily last for several decades.
- Easy to read monitor
- No foot slippage
- compact and transportable
- Short elliptical stride length
- Difficulty in assembling the machine
Most users like the product as they lose weight in a short period. However, few complained about the difficulty in assembling it, as the manual is not directive enough.
Benefits of An Elliptical Trainer
Here are some of the benefits an elliptical machine offers:
1. Cardiovascular benefits:
Elliptical trainers are extremely beneficial for your cardiovascular system. Training with them increases your heart rate and strengthens your heart. It also increases the aerobic capacity of your body. This gives you a stronger lung and heart. This is why some fitness trainers refer to it as a powerhouse among cardio machines.
2. Full Body Training:
It offers you an integrated full body workout. It has grip levers that are pulled and pushed synchronously with your leg movements. It works effectively on your upper body as well.
3. Power and endurance:
It also helps the user build strength and endurance. It is an exercise that effectively targets weak quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves without strain.
4. Weight loss:
If you desire to lose weight, this device can speed your journey. An elliptical trainer is very good at burning calories. This helps in losing those extra pounds.
5. Non-impact equipment:
When using this device, your heels are always connected to the pedals as it stabilizes it. This does not add stress to your joints, unlike running and cycling activities. This makes it safe for the aged that suffer from joint problems and varicose veins.
6. Ease of use:
The elliptical trainer saves time and it is easy to use. It is space-saving and can be set up at home. In addition, this device offers a full, high-intensity workout half the time compared to regular cardio training.
Who Are Ellipticals Best For?
1. Persons with knee pain or injuries
An elliptic machine is a top choice for those who have recently recovered from a knee injury or suffer from chronic knee pain. In contrast to the intense effects of running on a treadmill, the effect of ellipticals on the knee of a user is much less, and the movements tend to move rather smoothly. Exercising on one offers you a physical therapy in addition to endurance, especially if you have knee pain. The duration and level of training should, however, be carried out with the consent of your physician.
2. Frequent runners
If you run most times and need a training machine that gives you the same level of motion as running, then the elliptical machine is best for you. Many runners use them for cross-training because the joints are not stressed too much. It’s a great option for a full-body workout and you feel like you’re running for an hour.
3. Commercial gym owner
If you are an owner of a commercial gym, an advanced elliptical trainer should be a must in your fitness equipment list. Because they are durable, they are also used by many athletes at home. However, commercial products used in gyms are a bit different from those used in homes.
Types of Ellipticals
Hybrid types are a combination of an elliptical trainer and cardio machine. You can use it as an elliptical trainer and take care of certain types of cardio exercise like stationary biking. This is cost effective as you can do many training sessions with a single exercise machine, either in the gym or at home.
2. Cross Trainer
Cross trainer is ideal for those who want to work on both the upper body and the lower body. It is good for a total body workout. They have handlebars whose movements are synchronized with the leg pedals.
3. Magnetic resistance
A great feature of this elliptical machine is that you can change the settings of the machine digitally at will. They are not that loud and thus allow a quiet workout. They are mainly designed for commercial use.
4. Air resistance
This type is operated by air such that the faster you work with it, the harder its resistance. However, they are louder than the magnetic resistance types. The higher the air level blown by the fan to move the machine, the higher the noise.
What Should be Considered When Choosing an Elliptical Machine?
1. Space Available
Space is one of the first things that comes to mind when buying fitness equipment, be it at home or for business. You can measure the space before buying the machine and be very sure. A home elliptical trainer should not be too intrusive when not in use. Your choice would depend on the space available. Maybe you just want to fit it in one bedroom apartment or a spacious home gym. With these considerations, you will be able to eliminate some because of their size.
Based on space, here are three types:
- Foldable: Foldable ones are suitable for those who want a sufficiently large elliptical trainer but also like to save some space. These machines are also equipped with wheels and offer the added convenience of storage and portability.
- Compact: These are perfect for home use. They have pedals and handlebars that enhance easy storage. They are space savers and are also budget-friendly.
- Full-Size: If space does not matter to you, choose a full-size machine. They are ideal for use at home, in the office and on business premises like gyms. This type is quite heavy, so users with heavy weight can use it.
2. Machine features and budget
If you know what you are willing to sacrifice and what you absolutely need in your elliptical, you can make decisions along the way. In addition to the size and physical properties like bottle cage, clips for your tablet, etc, you can consider also the programs and iFit connectivity
The more option you want, the more money you spend to find your choice of an elliptical machine. There are different prices available in the market and your decision ultimately depends on what you are willing to spend. As you approach the lower end of the price spectrum, you must begin to decide which features to sacrifice. If you know your budget before you buy or even test it, you can set expectations.
3. Type of Training You Need
Depending on your type of training, ellipticals have three options:
- Intensive training: If you want an intensive training session, you should check out for an elliptical trainer that can offer you a lot of resistance. In this context, the air resistance type works best in spite of its noise.
- Low-Intensity Training: If you are focusing on burning calories as you train in a low-intensity session for a long time, then these ellipticals are the best for you. They are also compact in size. which means you can easily store them anywhere.
- Recovery Training: If you just recovered from an injury or pain and want to have an elliptical exerciser that can have the least impact, you should opt for those who have a recovery training feature. In this context, the magnetic resistance type is recommended.
4. Console types
Many people like to listen to music or watch something as they train. For that reason, entertainment options become an essential feature. Most gyms offer an elliptical machine with upgraded consoles. This is because the user likes getting engage in training. Here are the types of consoles available;
- Traditional console: These type of consoles shows details on times, speed, calories, inclination, and distance.
- Entertainment Console: If you want more than vital details from your console, you might like to install an entertainment console that has many interesting features to work with.
- Tablet / Bookkeeper: Both console types above can provide book and tablet holders. It’s also a budget-friendly way to add some kind of entertainment without switching to an entertainment console.
Having a comfortable workout with your trainer with its adjustability feature is important. It’s uncommon to find one that is not adjustable. This can result in faster burnout and boredom. Non-adjustable or static ellipticals are usually suitable for those who rarely exercise.
- Adjustable Resistance: These allow you to significantly increase your workouts. Most products have a magnetic resistance that makes it easier for you to change the resistance levels when you use them.
The adjustable pedals allow you to add more than one workout. Adjustable pedals help you to easily press the pedals during training.
- Adjustable incline: The adjustable incline allows you to change your workout according to the muscles you like to focus on. Some of these ellipticals also have an adjustable descent that gives you the same feeling as you walk downhill.
6. Location of the drive
The source of resistance for an elliptical trainer, that is, the weighted flywheel that turns every step into a pump rather than flutter. It can be placed in three different places: front, back, or center. The first trainers used a rear drive. These elongated machines thus have a longer step.
Ellipticals with front-wheel drive is a more economical design with a smaller footprint, but it limits each step. The latest and most luxurious option is the center drive. It pulls the engine out of the way and does not limits the stride both in the front and back. The center drive in idle takes up the smallest footprint, these long-swinging limbs require a lot of space during operation.
7. Pedal Design
As with the positioning of the drive system, the two options for elliptical pedals is wheel track and suspension. This affects the price and your training experience.
Traditional wheel trainers attach each pedal to a track. The smooth running of the machine depends on the quality and construction of its interlock system. A wheel track provides a safe and predictable motion.
Suspension pedals for a wild ride is an alternative seen in central-drive models, It is responsible for its double loping strides.
8. Your Budget
If you are looking for the most ergonomic and advanced machines that are not too expensive, you should focus on the center drive and the suspension pedal.
9. Length of the Stride
The stride length is also an important factor to consider. Too long or short a stride can seriously affect the effectiveness of your training and may cause injury.
10. Device Set Up
The good machines are easy to set up and have consoles that intuitively display useful information. Most users will like to go for a device that is easy to set up.
Over To You
Now that we have reviewed the best elliptical machines, we will like to hear from you. Do you find this review helpful? Have you used any of these products before now? Do you think there is a product that should be part of this review? Kindly let us know by leaving a comment.