The Elliptical machine is perfect for full body workout without causing any injuries. It is a versatile machine which offers various settings and features for full movement of all body types and shapes. People from all the age levels can use this machine for their daily fitness routine. You can set the machine differently and achieve different targets as desired. Before buying an elliptical machine, there are some things that must be borne in the mind. The factors that should decide your purchase include your daily exercise needs, the time to be spent on it, the set of techniques you will implement, and the budget. Every elliptical machine is a bit different from another but they all share some basic standard features. Some of the factors that must be taken into consideration before buying from any of the elliptical machines available in the market are as follows:
Resistance decides how tough your workout will be. Higher resistance means extreme workout, more sweat, and more force. As of now, there are two resistance methods available – fan wheel and magnetic. The former is low-cost elliptical machine tech and provides gradual smooth resistance build up. The latter is used in inexpensive machines and provides a consistent and natural increase in the levels.
2. Computer Technology
Nearly all the elliptical machines are now made intelligent by embedded programming. These machines collect the fitness data and record how well the fitness schedule is going. A feedback from these machines can be handy especially when the workout is done in the comfort of the home. There are also preset modes in some machines which are designed for specific body exercises. The versatility of software we have talked depends on the price of the machine. So a $400 machine will come with a virtual assistant and a $150 machine will not.
3. Machine Stability
This is the most important factor to be considered while buying an elliptical machine. Stability is the grip of the machine when you will be working on it and trying different sets of exercises. An unstable machine is likely to cause serious injury apart from damage to the floor and carpet. Stability also depends on how you position yourself on the machine and if you are comfortable to carry out different exercises easily. Earlier, heavy machines were thought to be stable but now, even lighter and compact machines have started providing top grade stability, thanks to the newer construction material. It is still recommended that heavy people shall choose heavy machines for better weight distribution.
4. Machine Adjustments
Machine adjustments are very important when it comes to the versatility of an elliptical machine. You must look out for stride length, incline, and foot pedal adjustment. Some machines provide easier settings change in comparison to some others.
Pick Number 1 – Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine
This is the best elliptical machine we have reviewed and vouched by many users. Set at a premium price, the machine offers excellent features and justifies its price quite right. The machine has got adjustable components with the help of which you can customize it to suit your personal needs. The stride length can be changed from 20’ to 22’ which will make your workout more extensive. The footrests offer an inward slope of 2 inches. You can change the inclination of the foot pedal in case you have flat feet or high arches. These adjustable components make the machine a hit among all age groups and people with special body requirements.
The best part is that you can set the machine easily to match your needs. In this machine, you get 10 resistance levels which are built up using flywheels with powerful electromagnets. So you experience a frictionless and smooth resistance. The intensity of the workout can be changed by changing the resistance levels easily. By changing the inclination up to 30 degrees, you can further increase the intensity. E35 has a lot of tracking features which are displayed on an LCD panel. You can adjust the eye panel according to your eye line. So you won’t have to strain your eyes to check the fitness tracker. There are two grips on the handlebar.
With the help of the buttons on the handle bar, you can increase and decrease both the resistance level and inclination. This feature is very convenient because you won’t have to stop working out to increase or decrease the levels. There are 10 preloaded workout programs which are very useful for initial use. The machine can take up o 375 pounds of weight. It takes some time to assemble the machine because of lots of components. It is suggested to follow the instruction manual for this purpose. You might also need assistance in this case because E35 weighs at 215 pounds. Overall, this is the best elliptical machine and is totally value for money. It is packed with high stability, excellent tracking, adjustable components, and much more. You cannot go wrong with an investment in this elliptical machine.
Pick Number 2 – Proform Hybrid Trainer
This is a great elliptical machine which is popular for its price and versatility. With this machine, you get a 2-in-1 trainer loaded with high-end features. You can use it as a recumbent bike and an elliptical machine both. So you can carry out two different kinds of cardio on the same machine. Adjustment of the pedals is easy and the support offered by the machine in using the bike is commendable. The machine has also got a ‘target pacer’ which helps you in guiding through the correct pace for achieving desired weight loss goals. So you can increase or decrease the pace accordingly and as suggested by the ‘target pacer’. Also, you have access to 14 different workout apps in this machine which allow you to choose or change different workout module. Resistance levels of the machine can also be adjusted easily with the help of a button.
There are multiple resistance levels in this machine and you can choose your best fit. When it comes to the price, this elliptical machine is worth every penny. It offers very interesting features for just the right price. There are some issues with Hybrid trainer which deserve to be mentioned. Many users found the stride length to be small which eventually decreases the effectiveness of this machine. Also, assembling this model consumes a lot of efforts and time. But we cannot complain anymore because the price it comes at overcomes all the downsides. The machine offers excellent support and stability. Both the machines work fine and don’t hinder in each other’s operation. You can easily move the machine thanks to its wheels which makes shifting smooth. We recommend this machine to everyone who wants to have diverse workouts.
Pick Number 3 – Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer
This elliptical machine from Nautilus is not a familiar but in a very short span of time but it has garnered attention for all the right reasons. E614 comes with multiple features and exceptional computing prowess. Those who are looking for a mid-range elliptical machine can safely proceed with it. There are many tracking features all of which come on an LCD screen. The panel offers different settings which you can adjust right from the panel itself. It is very convenient since you can change the settings without getting off the machine. The company also boasts of its dual-track LCD screen which gives you ample space for iPad.
A second screen allows you to track parameters such as distance, calories burnt, and time spent. So no more missing your favorite shows because you can easily workout without missing entertainment. One of the prominent features of this machine is its powerful computer which acts as a virtual trainer. There are 22 different workout programs which are unparalleled by any other elliptical machine. All the tracking data is sent to apps such as ‘my fitness pal’ so you can check the progress made and the goals achieved. Further, there are 20 different eddy current resistance levels which you can adjust to make your workout more challenging.
These levels accompanied with virtual trainer help you to train better and efficiently. Talking about the stability, the machine offers excellent stability throughout the workout. Your body is balanced by the high-speed drive system and perimeter flywheels. So even if you are carrying out heavy intense exercises, your body stays firm and stable. Another great stability feature is the pedals which accommodate feet very well. The weight limit of this machine is 300 pounds. A drawback is that to change the inclination, you will have to get off the machine and do it manually.
It is suggested to set the inclination level in advance and then modify the resistance levels while working out. We found this machine to be on the heavier side, but it is robust and durable. There are many high-end features that are packed in this mid-range elliptical machine and if you are looking for a smart workout partner, this shall be your choice. If you have a little idea of how your workout should be, this machine will solve it for you.
Pick Number 4 – Exerpeutic 1000Xl Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical
1000Xl is a simple elliptical machine but comes with low impact powerful workout. Howsoever minimal this machine is, it has all that it needs to do a decent set of exercises. It incorporates a simple elliptical motion which provides better stability to your body. The machine can take up to 325 pounds. Heavier individuals might find working out on it a bit difficult as they may feel a little pressure on the ankles and other joints. That said, it is important to mention that it has a traditional elliptical motion that eliminates any bouncy experience. For the mid-weight range users, the lesser pressure is felt on the knees, ankles, and joints. 1000Xl is stable and can withstand long-term use.
There are 8 resistance levels in this model which can be controlled with the help of a knob. We found no problems with the effectiveness of these levels, however, there is a significant tension that was experienced in moving from level 5 to level 6 and above. For the size of this machine, its weight is not as much as it is supposed to be. It weighs at 90 pounds and makes it easy to shift. For transportation, there are wheels which run and move smoothly.
Now coming to the tracking part, the machine has got pulse monitors which are attached to the stationary handles thus you can check your pulse rate at any time. People with heart medical condition can find this feature handy. All the data including distance, time and calories is shown on a large LCD screen. Talking of the downsides, the machine has no preloaded workout programs so most of the adjustments have to be done manually. Users also found the stride length not very impressive. But these downsides don’t make it a poor machine; in fact, those who want a simple and effective elliptical machine with a solid workout can undoubtedly go for it. It is purposely built for heavy-duty workouts so you can easily carry out intense exercises without any iota of fear.
Pick Number 5 – Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer
Those who want to just workout with a little ‘comfort’ and look no further, the best pick for them is this machine. It is small, lightweight, and compact which can be used just anywhere. The price tag of this machine is low and you won’t have any other excuse anymore for not working out. This is why many users have named it as ‘no-excuse machine’. The machine has a very light weight which makes it the best choice for teens and women. With 24 pounds gross weight, this is the lightest machine on our list. Transporting the machine from one room to another is very easy. Its compact size enables you to even take this to your office or store in the closet when not in use. People with space and time constraint should definitely go for this machine.
You can peddle on this machine even when you are sitting. You can easily keep it under the desk and use it while working. With the help of a small knob in the front of this machine, you can easily change the resistance or tension. We were impressed by the resistance offered by this machine even after it doesn’t use magnets to provide the tension. The increase in tension was found to be smooth and stress-free. The pedals of this machine are also bi-directional which help you in targeting different areas of your body. For the price it comes at, you obviously cannot compare its intensity with that of high-end machines but it works decently. Because the machine lacks handlebar, you can work out on it even when you are sitting or enjoy your favourite book.
The lack of handlebar also causes a problem which is you cannot work on it if you are standing. Working out on it in standing position might affect your stability and posture. A digital monitor tells about the duration of workout and calories burnt in this process. A complaint by the users says that prolong standing exercises degrades the performance of this machine. Further, you don’t get a complete analysis of your workout and you just have to rely on the calorie meter for statistics. Most users and our trainers were satisfied by this machine. It is an ideal elliptical machine for apartments and short spaces. Anyone who wants to exercise without spending dedicated time on it can go and buy this machine right away.
If budget is no bar and you want to pick the best elliptical machine for your workout, Sole Fitness E35 is, hands down, the winner! It can be expensive, but trust us it is worth every dollar spent. If budget is a restriction and you want to take home away from a 2-in-1 machine, then Proform Hybrid Trainer is our top recommendation. With this machine, you get benefits of a recumbent exercise bike as well as an elliptical.