Last Update February 25th, 2017 If you’re looking to get a challenging full-body cardio workout, that’s also easy on the joints, an elliptical training machine will provide that for you.
Elliptical machines are great if you have problems with your knees, ankles or if you suffer from arthritis. Also because your body is standing in an upright, natural position, there is absolutely no strain on your back.
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Best Elliptical Trainers by Price
When it comes to buying a quality elliptical trainer (Wikipedia), there are several things you need to take into consideration, like your available spending budget, how much room you have in your home, etc. If you’re a beginner you’re probably tempted to either go for a really cheap elliptical or go for a really expensive one. The thing is that with just a little online research you can buy the best elliptical machine for your budget and your particular needs Below are the top elliptical machines by price range.
Best ellipticals under $200
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3607 Magnetic Elliptical Trainer, lowest price available: $199 (click here to get the best price deal) – it’s a magnetic elliptical machine with large anti-sleep footpads and it comes with an 8 level resistance control system. The hand pulse sensor provide you with very accurate heart rate readings which helps you to maintain your target heart rate.
ProGear 360 Dual Action Stride Air Walker LS Elliptical, lowest price available: $139 (click here for the lowest price deal) – the machine has a 36 inch stride length which gives you a full range of motion and increases your calorie burn. It’s lightweight and foldable for easy storage. The LCD monitor keeps track of your distance, speed, and the calories you burn during your workout.
Exerpeutic Aero Air Ellipticals, lowest price available: $99 (click here for the best price deal) – the Aero Air machine is a compact elliptical trainer that provides a natural elliptical motion that reduces the impact on your joints. The tension is easily adjustable to fit your personal fitness and stamina level. It has large non-slip footpads and a monitor that tracks distance, calories burned, elapsed time, and speed.
Best elliptical machines between $200 and $1000
Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine, lowest price available: $577 (click here to get the best price deal) – a good elliptical trainer with 22 programs that come with goal setting and tracking to keep you motivated. It’s flywheel is very quiet and it has 20 resistance levels. The LCD monitor displays information from 13 different types of data.
Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine, lowest price available: $709 (click here to get the best price deal available) – a more equipped model than the 430. It comes with 25 resistance levels which combined with the high speed, high inertia weighted flywheel makes the workout smooth and whisper quiet. You can choose from 29 workout programs and to keep you motivated the machine comes with goal setting and tracking features.
NordicTrack C 7.5 Elliptical, lowest price available: $799 (get the best price deal here) – the machine has 26 built-in workout programs designed by a certified personal trainer. The flywheel is engineered to deliver a smooth, natural ride with a wide range of motion. Besides the 22 adjustable resistance levels you can also set the incline to make your workouts even more challenging. It’s a front drive elliptical trainer, that means it will take up less space in your home.
ProForm 935 E Elliptical Trainer, lowest price available: $869 (click here to get the best price deal today) – the ProForm 935 E is an easy to assemble machine. It comes with a 7 inch monitor and it’s built with commercial grade steel. There are 24 resistance levels and 30 preset workout programs from which you can choose from depending on what your fitness goals are. The machine is whisper quiet.
Best elliptical trainers between $1000 and $2000
Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine, lowest price available: $1739 (get the best price deal available today) – amazing elliptical trainer that comes with adjustable pedals, adjustable stride and incline. It has 6 standard workout programs, 2 custom programs and 2 heart rate programs. It features hand pulse grip sensors and chest strap heart rate monitoring. The machine is solidly built, with a lifetime guarantee on the frame. The 29 pound flywheel combined with high gear ratio delivers a fluid, natural motion in both forward and reverse.
Nautilus E616 Elliptical, lowest price available: $1499 (click here to get the best price deal right now) – the E616 has a 20″ stride length. It comes with 29 built-in workout programs and 25 adjustable resistance levels. It’s equipped with acoustic chambered speakers which deliver great quality audio. The machine features Bluetooth connectivity which allows you to connect it to the most popular fitness goals tracking apps.
ProForm 12.0 NE Elliptical Trainer, lowest price available: $1287 (get the best deal available right now) – an amazing fitness machine, the ProForm 12.0 NE features adjustable stride length, adjustable incline, a commercial grade steel frame and adjustable cushioned footpads. It has 32 built-in workout programs and 24 digital resistance levels. The handles have EKG grip pulse sensors. It also features Bluetooh Smart connectivity capabilities.
Best elliptical machines over $2000
Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical Machine, lowest price available: $2129 (click here to get the best price deal available right now) – the E95 comes with a power adjustable stride length, up to a maximum of 22 inches. It has 6 standard workout programs, 2 custom programs and 2 heart rate programs. The machine features pulse grip sensors and chest strap heart rate monitoring and it also includes a chest strap. The 9 inch blue, backlit LCD display keeps track of all the essential training data.
Life Fitness E1 Go Cross-Trainer, lowest available price: $2199 (get it for the lowest price available right now) – the machine features Whisper Stride technology that eliminates noise and friction common with other cross trainers. It’s engineered to provide an ellipse motion path that replicates human movement almost perfectly. This means a smooth, natural workout experience. There are 13 preset workout programs and a very intuitive interface that is easy to use.
True M30 Elliptical, lowest price available: $2299 (get it here for the lowest price available right now) – the M30 elliptical machine features a space-efficient design and it’s built on a very sturdy and stable platform. It has the first upper body only workout program.
Best Elliptical Trainers – Our TOP 3 Picks for 2016
Below are what we think are the best elliptical trainers based on the value for the money ratio. Here are our elliptical machines recommendations for 2016.
#1 Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine
The E35 elliptical trainer from Sole Fitness is an amazing fitness machine and the main reason it made our TOP 3 is because of it’s excellent value for the money ratio. You can tell that the manufacturer has not cut any corners with this model.
It’s whisper quiet and the motion both forward and reverse is very smooth and natural thanks to the 29 pound flywheel and high gear ratio.
You can make your workout even more challenging by adjusting the incline of the machine. This helps to better target different muscle groups.
The E35 also has 6 standard workout programs, 2 custom programs and 2 heart rate programs built-in.
The stride length can also be adjusted, the maximum length is 20 to 22 inches.
And let’s not forget the 7.5 inch display, the built-in fan, amazing sound system and water bottle holder.
Still not convinced? Click here to see 200 something customer reviews on Amazon.
#2 Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine
The Schwinn 470 is probably the best elliptical trainer you can buy under $1000. It’s very well built and it comes packed with all the bells and whistles.
You get 25 resistance levels which combined with the high speed, high inertia weighted flywheel makes the workout smooth and whisper quiet. The elliptical motion feels very natural and fluid.
The machine features the SchwinnDualTrack 2 LCD window system which shows you 13 different display feedbacks.
Thanks to the goal setting and tracking system you’re always motivated to push your self further. There are 29 workout programs you can choose from.
The 3-speed fan keeps you cool at all times during your workout.
Need more information? Click here to check out what customers had to say about the Schwinn 470 elliptical machine.
#3 Nautilus E616 Elliptical
The Nautilus E616 is a feature-rich elliptical machine equipped with a DualTrack display with 2 LCD monitors that show the distance, time and calories.
The machine has 29 built-in challenging workout programs which allow you to improve your fitness levels without getting bored.
You can track your progress thanks to the Bluetooth connectivity features which let you connect the E616 to the most popular fitness goals tracking apps.
The adjustable incline feature let’s you better isolate certain muscle groups that you might want to focus more on.
The Nautilus E616 is equipped with a high-speed, high-inertia drive system that delivers smooth, fluid elliptical motion which mimic the human movement.
Now that you know a little bit about which elliptical machine you should buy, let’s talk about some of the workouts and cardio exercises you can perform at home on this type of fitness machine.
Elliptical machine workouts
Like I’ve said, elliptical workouts are so popular because they provide the best of both worlds: a smooth, safe for the joints movement and a fat burning, full body, comprehensive cardio workout.
Even if you’re doing just a low intensity elliptical exercise session, your quadriceps, butt, hamstrings, back, chest, arms and core will still get a solid workout. The intensity of elliptical trainer workouts is highly adjustable and can help you burn up to 560 calories an hour, depending on your personal fitness condition.
Pedaling forward works your quads, while going backwards engages your butt and hamstrings.
Want to really hit your core muscles? Just let go of the handles while you’re exercising. Your core will do all the work to keep your body balanced.
Below is a simple chart which you can as a guide for your workout routine. It starts slow, with a warm up and then gradually increasing the intensity. It’s a 35-minute full body exercise routine which you can do 3 to 5 times a week.
How to use an elliptical machine? Beginner workout
Best elliptical workout to lose weight and burn fat
Elliptical machine benefits
I’m going to get into the buying and features part of elliptical trainers, but first let’s go through some of the benefits you get from using them.
From a purely technical point of view, elliptical trainers are whisper quiet, and they’re built like tank.
An elliptical machine practically runs itself, it starts when you start working and stops when you stop, making it very easy to use.
A huge benefit, especially for older people is that it builds your bone density. This is because you’re supporting your whole body weight during the exercise.
Of course, there are other fitness machines which allow you to have a natural standing position, but none of them offer the smooth, easy on the joints movement that elliptical trainers do.
The best part is that you don’t have to spend hours on the machine to get your desired results. Ellipticals are very efficient when it comes to fat burning and muscle toning workouts.
Elliptical trainer features and best-buy tips
When it comes to buying an elliptical exercise machine to use at home, there are some things you need to be aware of. Here’s what you need to know:
Size and noise level
Although ellipticals are not as large as treadmills, they still take up a good chunk of space. So before anything make sure you’ve got room for it. You’ll also want free space around them so you can get on and off easily.
As for noise, ellipticals are the quietest fitness machines you’ll ever use. As a general rule, heavier elliptical trainers are quieter because they’re more stable, no wobbling or thumping on the floor. Also elliptical machines that use a magnetic resistance system are quieter than the flywheel ones.
Stride length and the foot pedals
The foot pedals should have a large non-slip surface to accomodate your feet comfortably.
Stride length is the most important feature when it comes to comfort, especially for taller people. A longer stride offers more range of motion which is essential for a good workout.
Safety features to look for can include an emergency off buton, you know…. just in case. Also the drive system should have a solid cover over it, most ellipticals have this.
The warranty should be crystal clear about what parts of the machine it covers. There are elliptical machines where the warranty is only for the drive system and not the whole equipment. They can range from 90 days to up to 10 years. There is also the matter of repairing or replacing a damaged part. A good idea is to purchase a warranty extension option.
Although most cheaper models don’t benefit from this feature, adjusting the incline is an extra way of adding more resistance to your workout. If you want a machine that provides this at least make sure the adjustment control are electrical butons and not manual.
I think this video explains best the difference between the 2 types of drive systems: front and rear. Watch.
This includes a heart rate monitor, workout presets and different types of tracking like strides per minute, miles per hour, calories burned, etc.
All these extras have, I’m not gonna say huge, but a considerable influence on the price of the elliptical trainer. So it’s just a question of whether you really need’em or not. Personally I like to know what my fitness level is when I’m working out so yeah I would prefer an exercise machine which allows me to track my progress.