An elliptical machine is one of the most popular machines on the block due to its ability to provide a full body workout without any risk of injuries. In addition, due to the high versatility this machine offers, people with different goals or fitness levels can easily customize their workout to suit their body types and needs.
Before making a final decision about which elliptical machine to buy there are a few factors that need to be considered.
Machine stability is one of the first things you need to consider before buying. Because your entire body is involved in the workout on an elliptical machine, you can not work out properly if you are worried about the safety of the machine. Earlier, heavier machines almost always provided better stability but in the recent times, even smaller and more compact machines have grown more and more stable. We would however recommend that heavier people should go for a heavier machine as it would provide better stability in contrast to a lighter machine.
Resistance is the next major consideration that you need to look at before buying a machine. Machines which offer a higher resistance setting offer more extreme levels of workout. Most manufacturers use one of two mechanism to provide resistance namely Fan Wheel Resistance and Magnetic Resistance. Fan wheel resistance is used in smaller machines with a low cost while the magnetic resistance is often employed in high end machines.
Onboard computers help you take your workout to the next level by tracking your progress and setting goals based upon the current level of your workout. In addition many onboard computers offer pre-set training modules that you can use to workout for maximum returns.
An important consideration is the customizability of the machine. There are various factors that the machine should be able to adjust to the user’s requirements like stride lenght, resistance, incline etc. The mechanism to change these settings varies from machine to machine. Having said all of that, we now present to you GTF’s top picks for elliptical machines.
5th Recommendation : Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer
Coming in at a strong number 5, the Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer is a brilliant product in its price range. It is lightweight and compact and the machine can be used practically anywhere, from your home gym to even your office. Adding to that the low cost of the machine, you would have a hard time coming up with reason about why are you not working.
Compact & Portable
The biggest advantage this model offers is its lightweight and portability. Weighing in at just 24 pounds you can use it even in your office while sitting on your desk (something we will come to later on)
Even without using a magnetic resistance mechanism, the machine offers a decent level of resistance. The increase in resistance is stress-free and pretty impressive considering the price range of the model.Of course you can not compare the resistance with the high end machines but you always get what you pay for anyway and this machine gives you value for your money.
In addition, the pedals are bidirectional and help you target different areas of your body. This is also a major point in the favour of the machine.
Exercise while you are sitting
The machine does not have handlebars and thus you can work out on it even when sitting down. This gives it added utility for young professionals who can not find the time to work out and can do so while sitting on their desk. Our tests showed that the workout, even without the use of handles, the workout is just as effective. However, working out while standing could be a bit of a problem as the handles usually provide some support. In addition, it also comes with an onboard computer that tracks the basics of the workout like calories burnt, time spent etc,
In conclusion, the machine provides decent value for money and it is the best product in the price bracket.
4th Recommendation : Exerpeutic 1000Xl Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical
Exerputic 1000Xl believes in simplicity. The product uses a magnetic resistance system and provides a solid low impact workout. The machine is also designed for heavier individuals and provides very good stability.
Heavy Duty Design
The model has a weight rating of 325 pounds so it can support the weight and workout needs of most of the people. The machine employs a traditional elliptical motion and thus prevents any undue stress on the ankles and joints.
Resistance Level and Ease of Transportation
With 8 different resistance levels, the machine can cater to a lot of different workout needs. The resistance control is manual and is adjusted by turning a knob. The machine itself is not very heavy but still does weigh 90 pounds. It does have wheels for transportation within the house but it is not as easy to carry around due to its bulk.
The model comes with an onboard pulse monitor, attached to the stationary handles. There is also a large LCD screen that displays the values and is connected to the onboard computer which keeps track of workout statistics like calories burned, distance travelled, etc.
However, inspite of the onboard computer, there are no pre-loaded workout programs and all the settings need to be done manually. The stride length could also have been a bit better but we may be asking too much. Built for a heavy-duty workout, the model delivers on what it promises. The computational capabilities could have been a bit better but that is not a deal breaker in anyway. The flawless elliptical motion provides a low-impact, low stress workout and the machine itself is a bargain at the price.
3rd Recommendation : Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer
This is a new kid on the block and yet has managed to gather quite a lot of attention in the short span it has been on the market. It is a solid mid-range elliptical machine and boasts of a very good onboard computer that is one of the most capable ones on the market.
Dual Track LCD Display
One of the most interesting features of this model is the dual track LCD screen. This allows you to keep a track of your workout stats while at the same time watch your favorite TV Show or connect your iPad. The onboard computer itself is pretty solid and gets you all the workout stats you could possibly need to make your regimen more effective and efficient.
Due to the strong onboard computer, the machine has an enviable virtual trainer program. It comes preloaded with 22 different workout programs. You can also sync your machine to a fitness tracking app so that you can track your workouts seamlessly.
In addition, the machine also has 20 different resistance levels to choose from for a diverse range of workout needs and fitness levels.
The machine, albeit hevay, offers very good stability. The machine is rated for 300 pounds and can easily accomodate heavy people. The inclination however can only be changed manually.The model is a good mid-range machine that gives you the features of a high end product. The machine loses out the first spot not due to any problems with this model but only because the next two offer more features.
2nd Recommendation : Proform Hybrid Trainer
The primary reasons why the machine beats out the competition are its versatility and price. It is a 2-in-1 trainer and does both jobs equally well.
A recumbent bike and an elliptical machine, the model gives you two entirely separate exercises together. The adjustment of the pedals and the support and stability are extremely convenient and easy to do.
One of the unique features that this model has it is the “Target Pacer”. On the basis of your weight loss goals it guides you whether to increase or decrease your pace. In addition there are 14 different workout settings that you can choose from. The resistance levels can be switched between easily with just the touch of a button. The convenient use makes your workout a lot simpler.
Though we avoid to mention the price of a product as a feature but we are forced to do that for this model. For a price of $350, the machine would have been a steal even if it was just an elliptical machine, but it gives you a recumbent bike too.
The stride length however is a bit small which decreases the effectiveness of the model. Also, assembling the model is a bit difficult, but nothing that is a deal breaker.The machine is in essence a steal at the price and you want a good, strong machine without burning a hole in your pocket, this is the model you should be looking at.
#1 Recommendation : Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine
Hands down the best machine, though a bit pricey. The trainer is the best amongst all the products we checked.
The most customizable machine on the list, this is the only one which allows you to change the stride length as per you requirement from 20” to 22”.In case of flat feet or high arches, even the foot pedal can be adjusted by changing the inclination.
10 different resistance levels using a magnetic resistance system The resistance itself is near friction-less. You can even amp up your workout by changing the inclination to upto 30 degrees.
Again, the machine keeps up with its customization. The LCD panel, where the workout stats are showed, can be adjusted to your eye line. The controls to the resistance levels are on the handle bars and so you do not have to stop your workout to change the settings. The model comes with 10 pre-loaded workout programs and can accommodate up to 375 pounds.The machine has a sturdy build and weighs 215 pounds. It can be a bit tricky to assemble but nothing too difficult to get done.
In conclusion, our first recommendation would be the Sole Fitness E35 while the budget option would be the Proform Hybrid Trainer.