Bluetooth connectivity to sync with the Schwinn Trainer app and other fitness tracking programs and devices. Great versatility with 29 workout programs and 25 resistance levels. Dual-track LCD displays with in-console speakers. Sturdy and space-efficient.
Some reports that slight misalignment can cause noises from the wheel.
Has 24 built-in programs designed to target resistance and strength. Electro-magnetic resistance system contains 16 resistance levels. Device holder supports listening or streaming devices. Foot pedal made with nonslip textures. Floor stabilizers add further safety on uneven or wooden floors.
Some users complain that the machine makes a clunking sound while working.
Features Bluetooth connectivity and free app-based tracking tools. Offers an optimized drivetrain with a weighted flywheel for a smooth experience. Has a 350-pound load capacity. Offers 29 programs, including interval training and weight loss training.
Leaving your phone or water bottle in the tray may disrupt some tracking or training programs.
Curve-crank technology applies resistance lengthwise and widthwise through the combination of elliptical and stepper machines. Purposefully designed handles emphasize smooth movement. Rollers allow for simple transportation. LCD display is easy to read. Offers a shelf for media devices.
Complicated and long assembly. Some complaints with sturdiness.
Has 16 different levels of resistance, offering a harder workout for those who want it. This machine is equipped with a variety of exercise programs to help you progress your strength over time. Comes equipped with a phone charger and Bluetooth heart monitor capabilities.
Some users noticed that it can be a bit loud on higher resistance settings.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Busy schedules, family obligations, and a simple lack of motivation are among the most frequent self-improvement saboteurs. Owning a good piece of gym equipment can significantly increase your odds of staying on track and reaching your personal fitness goals, whatever they may be.
Offering a well-balanced, low-impact workout, elliptical machines are the perfect solution for anyone who's interested in improving their fitness levels and overall well being in the comfort of their own home. If you've made the decision to invest in your health by purchasing an elliptical machine, but have no idea where to start, we're here to help.
When purchasing a piece of fitness equipment for your home, one of the biggest challenges can be figuring out which one to choose. Treadmills, exercise bikes, rowing machines, home gyms, elliptical machines, and weight lifting equipment are just a handful of options — and none of them are cheap. Whether due to budgetary constraints or limited space, for many, it’s necessary to stick with a single piece of equipment.
Unfortunately, most exercise machines are designed for specific purposes. Usually categorized by cardiovascular conditioning or muscle building and strength training, exercise machines generally don't offer a comprehensive fitness solution. Moreover, many of these options aren't suitable for those with joint or back problems, and they may end up doing more harm than good if used incorrectly.
Elliptical machines, also known as cross-trainers, are one of the few pieces of gym equipment that just about anyone can use safely. Not only that, but in terms of a well-balanced workout, elliptical machines offer more than most.
If you're still on the fence about which exercise machine best suits your needs, taking a quick look at the various benefits of using an elliptical machine may add a bit of clarity.
Anyone can use one. Elliptical machines are suitable for just about any age and fitness level.
They offer low-impact exercise for joint health. Whether you suffer from arthritis, have osteoporosis, are recovering from knee surgery, or otherwise need to avoid impact, elliptical machines allow you to stay fit without risking injury caused by excessive joint strain.
Workouts are quick and effective. With a combination of moving handles and pedals, elliptical machines provide a total body workout by working the upper and lower body simultaneously. The legs, chest, shoulders, arms, and back muscles are all recruited to some degree, making it possible to squeeze in a full workout in as little as 20 minutes.
Benefits include cardiovascular health and weight loss. By increasing your heart rate, working out on an elliptical machine effectively burns calories, and by using your entire body you'll burn more calories in less time, potentially resulting in accelerated weight loss.
You can sculpt and strengthen muscles. Using an elliptical machine works a large variety of muscles, and you can increase the resistance, adjust the incline, or customize workouts for added intensity.
Elliptical cross-trainers are categorized by the placement of the flywheel. The flywheel acts as the drive system, providing movement in response to the pressure placed on the pedals, and may be located in the front, back, or center of the machine.
With the flywheel positioned at the front of the machine, usually beneath the console, this design is generally more compact than other models. Not only that, they tend to be more affordable too, making them one of the most popular choices for home use. Using one of these may require a slight forward slant when working out, and the front-drive design produces an up and down pedaling motion similar to that of a stair climber. For a more natural motion, we recommend using a model with articulating pedals that move with your feet.
In this traditional design, the flywheel can be found at the back of the elliptical machine. These types are most favored for commercial use thanks to their even stride and low maintenance requirements. Rear-drive elliptical machines offer a balanced and natural walking or running motion. However, they also tend to be the most expensive and take up considerably more space as well.
The most recent addition to elliptical machine drive types, center drive ellipticals have a flywheel located on either side of the machine. While this drive type offers additional stability and a natural range of motion, they generally don't feature an incline option and are often much pricier than other types.
The perfect solution for those who find themselves torn between an exercise bike and an elliptical machine, hybrid models have a seat, and may be used both sitting or standing.
While many hybrid elliptical machines feature a front-drive configuration, the flywheel is usually situated closer to the pedals for added stability.
At the end of the day, everyone has their own configuration preferences, and it's impossible to say which is “best”.
A great elliptical machine is often one that meets your personal fitness, space, and budgetary needs, without sacrificing quality or safety.
Elliptical machines can be found in a variety of designs, ranging from models that offer basic fitness functionality, to technologically advanced options with every imaginable convenience. Sometimes it's all too easy to lose sight of the qualities that matter most. Keeping the following points in mind when shopping for an elliptical machine can help you stay on track.
First and foremost, consider the size of your available space. To use your elliptical machine comfortably, you'll have to choose one that fits your designated area with room to spare. If you have limited space, a compact front or center drive elliptical machine may be your best bet. For those who simply can't afford to permanently sacrifice floor space, foldable elliptical machines are available. However, to improve their space-saving capability, these often drastically cut back on important features, stride length, and quality of construction materials.
Remember that your height will likely have an impact on the size as well. While the average elliptical machine measures around 6 feet long and 2.5 feet wide, if you're taller than most, a larger machine may be more suitable. Whatever the size, you'll need a minimum of 25 inches of unobstructed space on all sides for safe use.
For smooth, comfortable pedaling, a hefty flywheel is essential. Lighter flyweights are likely to produce erratic, jerky pedaling at any pace, making it impossible to reach a rhythmic stride. Not surprisingly, lighter flywheels offer little resistance and require minimal effort to reach higher speeds, which certainly won't bring you any closer to reaching fitness goals. For the most comfortable and effective workouts, aim for flywheels weighing no less than 20 pounds.
While it's always advisable to try an elliptical machine out before you buy, sometimes this just isn't possible. To ensure optimal comfort and productivity, look for features such as articulating pedals, adjustable stride length, easy-to-grip handles, and a reasonably weighted flywheel for smoother motion. Also, pedals with a narrower stance often feel more natural, and if you're taller than average, don't forget to factor your height in when considering the right size.
Frequently overlooked, the correct stride length is essential to a comfortable and effective workout.
Measured as the distance from the heel of the back pedal to the toe of the front pedal when fully extended, your optimal stride length will be determined by your height:
16” to 18” will accommodate users of a height up to 5’3”.
18” to 20” generally suits those measuring between 5’3” to 5’7”.
20” to 22” or greater is required for taller individuals.
If you're purchasing an elliptical machine for multiple users of varying heights, either choose an elliptical machine with variable stride length or aim for the highest fixed stride length possible. While you may pay more for adjustable stride length, it's well worth the added versatility.
Every elliptical machine features adjustable resistance, but not all have a customizable incline. The ability to adjust your workout intensity will not only keep things fresh and interesting, but it will also ensure that your fitness levels are continuously improving. The best elliptical machines will allow you to adjust intensity levels directly from the console, without having to stop your workout to manually change settings.
Many modern elliptical machines have a range of desirable technological features. USB ports and built-in speakers can make exercising more enjoyable, while wireless connectivity and compatibility with your favorite fitness apps will help keep track of your workouts, and monitor your progress. Just remember that while extra features and shiny bells and whistles are enticing, these should always serve to optimize your workout, rather than act as a distraction.
The cost of an elliptical machine is influenced by several factors including size, features, brand, and overall quality.
This price range generally offers basic models with sparse features and lower weight limits. To help ensure decent quality and durability, it's advisable to opt for a budget model from a reputable manufacturer.
A number of decent options for home use may be found within this price bracket. These should include all the most essential features, and sometimes a few extras.
For home use, most ellipticals in this price range offer an excellent balance of quality and convenient features.
When it comes to commercial-grade elliptical machines, there are no budget shortcuts to high-quality, durable materials. An elliptical machine that costs upwards of $3,000 will not only be the most durable, but will undoubtedly have the most features and versatile user application as well.
When using an elliptical machine, there are a few handy techniques that can be used to maximize your workout potential.
Consciously tightening your abdominal muscles will help strengthen your core, and ensure you maintain proper form.
Many models have stationary handles situated between the moving handles. Forget these exist! Opt for a total body workout instead by using the moving handles.
Challenge yourself by increasing resistance levels. Weight loss, as well as fitness gains, will stall as your body adapts.
Mix it up! Alternating between shorter, more intense bursts of pedaling for around 60 seconds, followed by a slower steady pace for 90 seconds has been shown to burn more calories.
A: This is a common question, and it means different things to different people. For those who seek joint-friendly exercise, elliptical machines are better than treadmills. If you're a runner in need of realistic indoor training conditions, a treadmill is by far the most suitable option. In terms of energy output and calorie burn, the results are almost identical, with treadmills having a very slight edge over elliptical machines.
A: When using touch-sensitive handle grips, ensure that you grasp them firmly for an accurate heart rate reading. In some cases, using a chest strap may be more effective. If you're already using one of these and getting erratic readings, check that the chest strap is centered and in direct contact with your skin. Applying a little water to your chest can provide better contact with the transmitter. If this doesn't work, or your display is blank, your heart rate receiver may be incorrectly installed or disconnected. We recommend referring to the user manual or contacting the manufacturer for product-specific assistance.
A: If you want to focus on your glutes while getting your cardio out of the way at the same time, choose an option with adjustable incline levels, or increase resistance. Your pace may slow a little, but your glutes and legs will be working harder.