It’s finally time to break a sweat and lose all that fat. But ask yourself this, what’s the best fitness machine that you can use to exercise on? You need versatility. In other words, you need something that works on both your upper and lower body. Elliptical machines are one of the perfect machines for that. So what is an elliptical machine? Also known as an elliptical trainer, it is a stationary exercise machine that can simulate running, walking and cycling. It is better than a treadmill because it doesn’t stress your legs as much as a treadmill does.
- 5 Things to Look for in an Elliptical Trainer
- Elliptical Exercise Machine Features
- Types of Elliptical Machines
- Folding Elliptical Machines
- Compact and Portable Elliptical Machines
- Dual Trainers
- Elliptical Trainer Comparison Table
5 Things to Look for in an Elliptical Trainer
There are many things that contribute to the flexibility of elliptical exercise machine. For instance, you should look for a product with adjustable levels of resistance, which will depend on the intensity of workout that is preferred. Having an adjustable incline is also a plus, since it will allow you to have it positioned at an angle where you are most comfortable.
This means that the product should be made from high quality materials, and most importantly, that it can last long-term and frequent use. This will make it possible for you to get the best value for every dollar spent. Additionally, this also means that the machine is stable, which means that it will not move when used.
A variety of things can contribute in having an exceptional motor. It should be powerful enough to handle the most demanding needs of its users. In addition, it must be also able to deliver a whisper-quiet performance. More often than not, a loud motor is annoying and can discourage you from working out.
This is the primary concern of people who are budget conscious, or those who do not have the luxury of financial resources. Make sure to choose an option that is within your allotted budget. However, if you want better quality and elaborate features, you may need to shell out more as these models are generally expensive. The cheaper ones are those with basic features and made from low quality materials.
Many people are generous enough to share their experiences about a certain elliptical trainer. This can be used as a basis for the decision that you are going to make. Make sure to gather insights from the opinions of other people, which will make it a lot easier for you to tell how one product is better than the other. If you do not trust the reviews of strangers, you can ask for the opinions of people you personally know, specifically those who have purchased an elliptical trainer in the past.
Elliptical Exercise Machine Features
Types of Pedals
You can find two types of elliptical trainers on the market based on the types of handles. Moving handles are great, but fixed handles can be found as well. This is for people who find it difficult to adjust themselves with the moving handles. However, it is recommended that you use moving handles as it gives a more thorough work out.
- Stride length
The electronic hardware that comes with the machine should have functional features like the heart rate monitor, timer, speed, and how many miles or kilometers are covered.
Many of these features can be found even in the relatively inexpensive best ellipticals under 1000 dollars.
Also, the quieter the machine is the better and less annoying it is. The moment you start hearing weird squeaks or rubs when moving the handles, it’s time to give the machine a quick checkup.
Types of Elliptical Machines
There are different variations in of this machine that you can find in the market. Which one to get? If you know what each of these types is for and how they differ, then you will be able to decide which one you can get.
This machine is a relatively older model. The axle is located in the front and your weight is centered at the front of the machine. As you use this, the turning wheel will be visible to you. All Sole ellipticals are front drive models.
Conversely, the rear drive axle is located behind you as you’re using it. The wheel will not be visible to you as you work out. Majority of Precor elliptical trainers falls into this group.
This new design can have two axles. The main concept is that your weight is centered in the middle of the center drive elliptical.
Folding Elliptical Machines
This new type of elliptical that is quite compact in size. The foot pedals fold slide into the frames as you work out. It can be folded up to save space, thus the name.
It weighs less due to the compact size, which means it also takes up less space.
Stride length is reduced due to the size. For a better work out, you need the stride lengths to be between 18 and 20 inches.
The machine cannot bear everyone’s weight. If you are overweight, then, unfortunately, this machine is not for you. The price can turn a few faces away as well.
Vision Fitness XF40 – Most Popular Folding Elliptical
Vision Fitness XF40 Touch Elliptical Trainer is probably the best deal in the market.
It comes with multi-position handgrips for your convenience and it can bear weights up to 325 pounds. Vision Fitness has 20 levels of magnetic resistance for you to choose from for light to intense workout.
Overall it is an expensive machine with a lot of different features. At the end of the day, it is up to you to decide if all of those features are worth the $3000.
Compact and Portable Elliptical Machines
The best types of elliptical trainers that you can own are the ones that are compact and portable. They have their downsides but they are quite easy to work with for beginners.
The obvious advantage of using this type of machine is its tiny size. These models usually are quite cheap, starting from $90 or even less.
Not as intensive in terms of muscle fatigue as the others. You need to strain your muscles hard enough for any notable change.Compact ellipticals may not provide that for you.
Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer
The best space saving elliptical model that can be found in the market, this can also save you a lot of bucks. This will simulate you running at home on a single spot. This tiny machine is a perfect to start for beginners as it offers fewer features to get used to. The pedals are small, meaning you lose serious stride length. So if you’re looking for intense work out gear, then this is not the correct place to look.
Body Rider Fan Elliptical Trainer
If you’re looking for something that’s affordable and comes with as many features as possible, then this one is for you.
Body Rider Fan uses no electricity and causes zero impact on your knees. You can go as long as your stamina lets you. The fans are smooth and quiet.
This trainer comes with a motivational video that keeps you going. It works particularly for days when you don’t feel like getting up off the couch and burn more of those extra calories.
Body Rider is probably the best compact elliptical machine on the market right now.
Schwinn A40 Elliptical Machine
If you want intense cardio then this is the better pick. Schwinn A40 will give you intense work out on both the upper and lower body.
The motion is impact free and it is easier to get used to. You will find yourself getting used to the coordination and balance needed to continuously work out on this trainer.
Not only is this one of the quietest machines in the market, it also comes with a diverse range of workout programs that will help you in increasing your lung capacity.
This is a more modern version of an elliptical trainer that comes with a stationary bicycle.
It can support heavier weights and can provide a wide range of intense workouts to burn more calories.
This machine is noisier than the other models. Of course, it is not as compact. The bike makes the model quite bulky and heavy.
Body Rider BRD2000 Elliptical Trainer with Seat
One of the cheapest models that maintained quality in the market, this dual trainer comes with high momentum fans that produce a gentle breeze to cool you off as you exercise.
The resistance can easily be adjusted by a slight turn of a knob. Much like a bicycle, the seat can also be adjusted to optimize the use of different body heights.
The weight limit that it can withstand is 250 pounds. The electronic console shows all sorts of readings such as speed and calories burned.
ProForm Hybrid Trainer
You essentially get what you pay for. Priced at around $400, this hybrid trainer comes with a comfortable recumbent seat and massive pedals.
This set up allows a wider variety of work out options that you can try, ranging from light work out to heavy work out.
The stride length is as long as 15 inches and the machine can hold over 300 pounds of body weight. Of course, it comes with all the electronic monitors you need along with some smaller, miscellaneous features.
Confidence Fitness 2-in-1 Elliptical Trainer
Another cheaper model found on the market, it is a more compact version compared to the other 2 reviewed earlier.
Customers seem to find it hard to assemble due to the difficult instructions in the manual.
The dual trainer may seem small and not very sturdy at first, but it can support 250 pounds of body weight.
Of course, the sturdiness cannot be compared with the more expensive ones, but the forward leaning position seemed to be uncomfortable to most customers.
Elliptical Trainer Comparison Table
I am working on a list of popular elliptical exercise machines we have reviewed.