8 Best Elliptical Machines (Review) In 2022
The hustle and bustle of life makes it hard to stick to routine most times, but being ‘intelligent beings’ means finding ways to strike a balance. While registering for a gym membership is a fantastic and brave step in your fitness journey, finding time to get to the gym is another hurdle if you’ve got a very busy schedule. However, simply getting yourself an elliptical machine can easily address your fitness needs.
Since you can have it readily available in your living or bedroom, it’s a lot easier to engage. Even better, some elliptical machines come in very portable sizes that can fit into your car, so you can take them to work and engage right under your workstation. Impressive right? This means, there are zero excuses when it comes to reaching that fitness goal. In this regard, let’s walk you through some of the best elliptical machines on the market with our carefully researched list. From here, you can choose a product that’ll suit your specific workout needs.
The Best Elliptical Machine
1. Schwinn Compact A40 Elliptical Machine
Fitted with an LCD
17.5 inches stride length
Get ready for an intense workout experience and quiet running operation with the Schwinn A40 Elliptical machine. Featuring 8 levels of resistance, the A40 is one Elliptical machine designed to get you to that desired fitness destination in no time. Best believe that even the lowest resistance level on this trainer is no walk in the park. Even better, Schwinn engineered the A40 with a finished streamlined structure so you can conveniently fit it in a small apartment. Furthermore, the fact that it’s designed with a stride length of 17.5 inches, ensures that the A40 will serve most people unless they’re extremely tall.
Equipped with a robust console, the Schwinn A40 elliptical machine features a wide LCD screen so users can interact with their tailor-fit work out settings. That’s not all, the A40 comes with a lot of smart features too. It keeps track of your speed, revolutions per minute, calories burnt and distance, all for the easy monitoring of your workout progress. Furthermore, the A40 comes pre-installed with 7 different fitness programmers, offering you versatility in your workout engagements and eliminating workout-monotony.
Added fitness program
Multiple resistance levels
Stride length not for very tall people
May not be easy to assemble alone
Warranty is limited
2. Cubii Jr. Under-desk Elliptical Machine
Built-in display screen
Low noise technology
Patented ergonomic design
With Cubii, you can say goodbye to the usual bulky structure that comes with other elliptical machines. Even better, you can say hello to convenient workout sessions you can carry out while seated on your couch or working at your desk. The Cubii Jr. Under-desk Elliptical machine is an impressive feat of technology borne out of thoughtfulness to offer an easy fitness approach to folks that spend a lot of time seated. It is specially made for easy work out sessions regardless of what you are doing. You’ll also love that there’s almost no impact on your joints as you engage this stellar piece of equipment.
You’ll equally like the fact that this is one of the quietest fitness machines out there. There’s no point emphasizing how quietly it operates. Simply put, your colleagues at the office won’t even know you have it under your work station unless you tell them. Furthermore, the Cubii Jr. uniquely syncs well with mobile phone compatible fitness apps such as Fitbit and Apple HealthKit. This is good news because it is easy to track and share your progress, delivering very robust user experience.
In terms of setting this one up, you won’t experience a hassle at all. It’s even fitted with a mini display screen where you can view all your activities in real-time. It displays everything from RPM to calories burnt, distance, and more. If you are trying to build back coordination or muscle strength after an accident, this is a must-have. Check out our buying guide with best exercise trampolines for additional workout accessories.
Very easy to assemble
Can sync with Fitbit or Apple HealthKit
Not for an intense workout
Display screen too small
Limited workout Benefits
3. Bowflex M5 Max Trainer
Interactive LCD display
Heat monitor chest strap
The Bowflex M5 max trainer combines 16 levels of resistance with 8 fitness programs and heavy-duty, durable construction to deliver the workout session you need. If you want to get back in shape in no time, the M5’s intense 16 levels of endurance will get you there. Within a short period of 14 minutes, this trainer will give you a full workout if you can handle it. Equipped with a robust interactive LCD display, the M5 will show you the rate at which you are burning the calories, set your fitness target easily, and sync with a free downloadable Max trainer App.
Since it’s designed to deliver low impact workout sessions, you won’t be experiencing any unwanted joint pain. Based on that alone, it’s a must-have for people managing arthritis who still want to keep fit. The Bowflex M5 Max is further engineered to support a maximum user weight of 300 pounds, that’s approximately 136 kg. Asides user safety, this user weight requirement is also to ensure the machine serves you for a long time. Furthermore, the package comes with a chest strap for heart rate monitoring. Though the M5 comes in a little pricey, altogether with its stylish, durable design it’s worth every penny.
Workout program included
Syncs with Max trainer App
Not suitable for users over 300 pounds
It’s a bit on the pricey side
May develop cranky noise
4. Body Rider BRD2000 Elliptical Trainer
2-in-1 Elliptical trainer & cycle design
Electronic display monitor
Adjustable cycle sit for different user
The Body Rider BRD2000 Elliptical trainer is no doubt real value for money. For just a little over $150, the Body Rider offers you a hybrid package, an elliptical trainer, and an upright cycle. This further offers users the opportunity to experience dual workout styles thus expanding user experience. If you’re just dipping a toe in the elliptical machine pool, this is a go-to product. Especially because it offers a workout session where you can alternate between sitting(cycling) and standing whenever you get tired of the conventional workout pattern.
Even more, the cycle seat is designed to fit different body types, so it can be horizontally or vertically adjusted. As such, there’s no need to worry if your legs can reach the pedals or not. In addition to all this, the BRD2000 is the perfect cardio trainer. Seeing as it is equipped with an easy to read user screen, you can keep track of your workout index through and through. Though it’s designed to give a low impact workout, the Body Rider trainer will give you some significant results in a number of weeks, with less effort. Nevertheless, it has a slight limitation as it can’t support a user’s weight if they’re over 250 pounds. Altogether it’s easy to assemble and you’ll be able to fit it in a relatively small-sized apartment.
Can fit in small space
Dual workout experience
Cannot support the weight of 250 pounds over
No Mobile app support
Console not robust
5. Stamina inMotion E1000 Compact Strider
Back or forward pedal movement option
Electronic display monitor
Feeling lazy to go to the gym because of your busy schedule? Just get one of these impressive machines under your workstation and burn those calories while sitting. That’s not the best part, the E1000 designed by Stamina inMotion comes with all you need to stay in shape and it’s all wrapped up for under $100. You can equally use it as a home trainer while you pedal-away, so that’s a bit of versatility on its part. Even more, the portable construction makes the Stamina inMotion E1000 compact strider a super space saver. With a dimension of 24.5 x 17 inches, it’ll hardly take up any space in your bedroom or living room.
Additionally, it’s furnished with an adjustable workout-intensity feature so you can turn up the heat on those calories or reach your fitness goal at a slow and steady pace. Even more, you can either pedal forward or backward, whichever way it suits you, Stamina inMotion made this provision with their unique pedal design. It’s ideal for people aiming for full coordination or trying to get rid of joint or muscle pain after an injury.
It’s also fantastic for avid gamers who spend a long number of hours using game consoles. The E1000 is equally equipped with an electronic display that keeps tabs on the number of strides/minutes, the total number of strides, the duration of exercise, and burnt calories.
Display monitor has no backlight
No fitness program
No Mobile App feature
6. ATIVAFIT Elliptical Trainer
LCD fitness monitor
Adjustable workout intensity
Its mini in size and equally mini in price, yet the ATIVAFIT elliptical trainer delivers a whole lot of functionality. This versatile elliptical trainer features a durable and compact design that offers users both sitting and standing workout sessions. Even more, the pedals are uniquely designed to support the user’s weight in either forward or backward pedaling motion. Furthermore, the design accommodates either a seated or standing fitness program. You can use this just about anywhere. Are you at work, at home, or on vacation? You don’t have to stop your workout plan.
With a finished dimension of 12 x 16.5 x 24 inches and a weight of only 27 pounds, the ATIVAFIT trainer can effortlessly fit in your trunk or a large bag if you don’t mind some extra weight. Just like bulky elliptical machines designed with multiple resistance levels, the ATIVAFIT elliptical trainer is also furnished with workout-intensity control so you can adjust your sessions to your taste.
The machine is further equipped with a mini yet robust LCD user interface so you can keep track of your workout, steps, distance, calories burnt, and more. You can also tell that a lot of work went into the design of the pedal to ensure users don’t slip off while exercising regardless of the pace. As long as you are 220 pounds and under, this trainer is suitable for you.
Easy to set up
Easy to move
Limited to users above 220 pounds
No Mobile App control
No built-in fitness program
7. Precor EFX 835 Elliptical Fitness Cross-Trainer
20 resistant level
One glance at this elliptical fitness trainer from Precor and you’ll easily agree that every aspect of the Precor EFX 835 Elliptical Fitness trainer is no child’s play. With heavy-duty construction, sitting at 338 pounds, make no mistake, this is not one of those regular elliptical machines you can carry on your own. Impressively constructed with durable steel, it is built to last and has earned a lot of bragging rights for its sturdiness.
Furthermore, the EFC-835 features patented technology in its design for smooth operation while it delivers low-impact workouts and in terms of patented tech, the foot pedals are also engineered to marry the heels comfortably eliminating muscle and tendon tension. You really can’t find this level of intricacy in any other place. Equipped with a whopping 20 resistance levels, you’ll be reaching your fitness goals in no time. The only excuse is if you are not taking full advantage of this machine.
Furthermore, this machine allows you to target specific muscles in specific locations of your body making it a fantastic option for your cardio needs. Its robust console is further furnished with an advanced, large LED display and keypads making it possible to read all your fitness index real-time. So, you’ll have access to your workout level, distance, strides/minute, burnt calories, heart rate, elapsed, and average speed.
It even goes into specific detail in terms of calories burnt per minute and calories burnt per hour. For almost three thousand dollars worth of equipment, you bet the manufacturer made sure your purchase is protected by a robust warranty.
Custom fitness programs option
Might be difficult to assemble
Not easy to move
8. Proform CardioHIIT trainer
Durable steel construction
7 inches LED display
24 resistance level
10 inches of pad height
The Proform CardioHIIT trainer features a durable steel design matched with leveling foot support that gives the machine firm stability. Based on that alone, no matter the level of the workout, the machine will stand firm. Altogether, the CardioHIIT trainer was fashioned for a higher level of resistance. With the 24 workout levels, you can easily get in shape with a consistent workout program. More so, the pad height, at 10 inches, offers users maximum movement for burning out more calories with little or no impact on your joints and tendons.
In terms of dimension which is 52″l x 29.25″w x 66.7″h, the trainer stands at 67 inches tall. While this shouldn’t be a problem, it might be important to consider, if you have a short distance between your floor and roof. It may also be a problem if you are quite tall. Furthermore, at 29.25 inches wide it doesn’t take up that much space, so you shouldn’t have a problem using this in a not-so-big apartment.
The stride length is also suitable for most users regardless of whether they are tall or short. Additionally, the Proform trainer comes with a handy 7-inch LED display to monitor your workout progress. Making it even better is the fact that this 132-pound steel frameworks almost silently. Thanks to the silent magnetic resistant tech employed here, you can put your machine to good use without worrying about disturbing your roommate. Furthermore, the device is designed to work well with iFit technology that gives you much-expanded workout experience.
Doesn’t take up much footprint
Compatible with iFit technology
A bit pricey
It’s quite bulky
May not be easy to assemble
Elliptical Machine Buying Guide & FAQ
Features To Look For In Best Elliptical Machines
Handles - They may seem like 'just another component', but the handles on an elliptical machine are quite vital. For the most part, they give users the ability to work out the upper body just as fast as they are working their legs. If your aim is to improve your arms, chest, and bicep muscles, you’ll need to make sure you opt for an elliptical machine with handles. This is opposed to a treadmill or under the table kind elliptical machines. Furthermore, the handles may be difficult to use if they aren't ergonomic. It must be easy to grip and non-slip. To that effect, you need to hop on it right away to have a feel of the handle before you purchase. If you are making your purchase online ensure that you check if the description includes ergonomic handles.
Displays - This simply refers to the display screen that enables you to have a seamless interaction with your machine. All in all, this goes a long way to ensure that you get the best out of your workout session. It's on this interface that your measured workout index is displayed, such as calories burnt, distance, workout time, etc. More so, some are designed to be more robust and include workout programs, heart rate monitoring, and connectivity to other fitness Apps compatible with mobile phones. Usually, a more sophisticated elliptical machine comes with sturdier consoles with a wider screen and an LED backlight display. These kinds are more expensive than the ones with simpler electronic displays, and they tend to accommodate the measurement of more fitness index.
Resistance - Elliptical machines are often equipped with adjustable resistance. In fact, it's practically impossible to find elliptical trainers without adjustable resistance. However at the point of purchase or delivery, especially if you ordered it online, make sure you test the levels of resistance. Some users have reported no significant difference between the endurance levels of their machines, and that defeats the purpose. Furthermore, since many elliptical machines are designed for an intense workout, make sure you go for one where the lowest resistance level is fairly easy to handle. If you are a newbie or working out for joint or muscle improvement after injury, this means there’ll be more room to grow and expand your workout benefits.
Incline/Decline - This feature allows users to change the slope of the elliptical pathway, either uphill or downhill. It offers you a way to work out more intensely without adjusting the machine’s resistance level. Further, it targets the gluteus and hamstring muscles. This feature was previously only found in high-end elliptical machines, but fitness tools manufacturers are presently responding to the needs of consumers by installing this feature in some low-end machines. While this is an important plus, it still doesn’t mean you won’t get desired benefits from a machine that doesn't have this feature. Multiple resistance level machines can also help you reach your fitness goals.
Noise Level - No one likes unnecessary noise, it’s annoying, it’s distracting and it can even be unhealthy if the decibels are too high for comfort. Fitness tools such as elliptical machines and treadmills are furnished with large motors for their operations. Let’s face it, it's almost impossible for these kinds of machines to run without producing some sort of sound. However, these sounds should be silent and rhythmic enough for you not to notice it that much. If you have a roomie or you live with your family, a noisy elliptical may translate to a constant nightmare for them whenever you are working out. Ensure to look out for low sound level machines and manufacturers that incorporate advanced whisper technology.
Programs - If you are new to workout activities, following a designed fitness program may be more ideal if you want to get more benefits and to eliminate monotony or boring workout sessions. This way, you'll get more drive and be encouraged to get on your machine more often. Manufacturers tag their programs with different catchy names that make each workout a unique adventure. Even better, some machines come with customizable options that allow users to create their own resistance profile.
Size - Elliptical machines are usually between 4-6 feet and less than 3 feet wide but the height can range from 55-85 inches especially if you’ve got machines with handles. If you want to get one, your personal space is your first consideration before you consider the size of the machine. Also, keep in mind that the pedals may extend significantly wider than the actual length of the machine when in use. Furthermore, some machines have well-elevated pedals of about 10-15 inches, so if you are relatively tall, you might need to measure the height of your room to be sure you’ll have enough space for up and down pedaling movement.
Smoothness - Elliptical machines are designed specially to deliver low impact works out. While it’s suitable for everyone who wants to get in shape or stay in shape, it’s highly recommended for people trying to improve movement after an injury, surgery, etc. The smoother the operation the less impact on the joint muscles. This way users can experience less pain and more benefits.
Elliptical Machine FAQ
Q: Can I do the elliptical every day?
A: Working out every day is great as this helps to stick to a fitness program for easy results. However, everyday workouts shouldn’t be too long to avoid unnecessary fatigue. To lose a significant amount of calories, one is expected to spend at least 300 minutes per week on the elliptical trainer.
Q: How long is 1 mile on an elliptical machine?
A: Because the elliptical delivers a low impact workout, running one mile outdoors will naturally be faster than pedaling on an elliptical trainer. The equivalent of a mile on an elliptical machine is an outdoor mile in inches (i.e 63,360 inches) divided by stride length of the machine. So, a machine with a stride length of 18 inches will travel a mile in 63,360 \18 = 3520 strides. If your machine doesn’t keep tabs on the number of strides but takes measurement in RPM, then 3250/2= 1760 RPM equals one mile. Many users have achieved 1769 ( a road mile) within 17-20mins.
Q: What areas does an elliptical target?
A: An elliptical targets all areas of the body from the muscles of the arms, to the legs. The entire upper and lower body can be targeted using these machines. However elliptical machines that are adapted for under desk workout may have limited targets.
Q: Is elliptical bad for knees?
A: If you are recovering from a knee injury, it may be a good idea to get approval from your doctor if you are ready for workout therapy. The low impact benefits of elliptical machines mean you’ll be burning more calories with less effort. This is ideal for people recovering from an injury or anyone willing to workout with little or no post-workout joint or muscle pains, which include the knees.