When people think of starting a healthier life, and committing to a workout regimen, one of the most useful machines that comes to mind is the elliptical machine.
You may have seen the infomercials for several pieces of fitness equipment, however, elliptical machines are by far the most popularly advertised. Many of these advertisements will highlight the advantages of the workout you will receive from the elliptical machine versus a treadmill or stair climber.
The Benefits of Elliptical Machines
You see these machines in gyms and at-home workout spaces, but what are the benefits of regularly using an elliptical machine?
Burn Hundreds of Calories
If you’ve ever used an elliptical machine, you’ll appreciate the amount of work you have to put in to operate the machine. As a result, one of the biggest benefits is that the number of calories you burn will continuously rise. By exercising more muscles in one session, you’ll increase your energy expenditure to exercise harder than you would ordinarily.
Upper and Lower-Body Workout
Gym fanatics love that elliptical machines target your upper and lower body in one workout. Not to mention, your workouts will target your hamstrings, chect, back, and quadriceps so you see some definition and improvement in your appearance with regular use.
You’ll notice that you can increase the resistance between your lower and upper body, and we suggest setting the resistance to the hardest option for your body. Some people like to increase the impact on their upper body if they wish to develop strength in this part of the body. Find what works for you.
Targeted Workout Programs
Want to improve your fitness? Burn more calories? Get faster? Whatever your fitness goals, an elliptical machine can help you to target them. Many offer challenging exercise programs and are equipped with a heart-rate monitor so you can optimize your workouts to suit your fitness levels.
How To Choose an Elliptical Machine
If the above benefits have enticed you to purchase an elliptical machine, there are some important factors to consider throughout your search.
Although an elliptical machine is for fitness, it should be equpped with safety features so you’re not at risk any time you use the machine. Look for units that offer a warm-up and cool-down session, and handrails that offer balance, while not getting in the way of you operating the machine.
Part of the machine being safe is that it’s high quality and made from durable materials. Perform general maintenance by checking the pedals can still move freely and the screen isn’t wobbling around as you move.
If you’re willing to increase your budget, an elliptical machine can come with many extra features to improve your workouts. For example, a bottle holder is great as a reminder to stay hydrated while exercising. Many machines come with space to keep your tablet or phone so you can watch videos to keep you entertained.
High-end elliptical machines come with Wi-Fi and a fitness tracker app so you can monitor your fitness on the go. Some of the best machines offer additional features to keep you focused and enjoying your workouts.
If you don’t have much room to store an elliptical machine in your home but like to stay fit, you can purchase one without arm holders. This means you won’t be targeting your upper body in workouts, but it’s a great way to stay fit with limited space.
Finally, no-one wants a noisy elliptical machine. Consider your living arrangements and when you like to exercise so you’re not disturbing anyone while using the equipment. The pedals and arm handles should also be smooth in motion to prevent any loud creaks.
The Top 10 Best Elliptical Machines To Buy
Despite the details that those advertisements provide, these machines are large investments. That is why I will assist you in the process of shopping for the right elliptical machine.
I have a list of the top 10 best elliptical machines in 2019, and I will break them down to help you make a more informed decision.
Table of Contents
- The Benefits of Elliptical Machines
- How To Choose an Elliptical Machine
- The Top 10 Best Elliptical Machines To Buy
- 10. Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine
- 9. Bowflex Max Trainer M7 Cardio Machine
- 8. Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine
- 7. Precor AMT100i
- 6. ProForm Hybrid Trainer
- 5. SOLE E55 Elliptical
- 4. ElliptiGO 8C
- 3. Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer
- 2. Octane Fitness ZR7 Zero Runner
- 1. Precor AMT 835 Commercial Series Adaptive Motion Trainer
- Which Elliptical Machine Should You Buy?
10. Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine
The Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine has all the features you would expect an elliptical machine to include; time tracker, distance recorder, and a goal calorie burn setting. It comes with 22 preset exercise programs, including the typical “quick start” function.
You can also jam out to your favorite tunes with their media friendly set up. The price is about at least half (if not more) than the average elliptical machine, and it has so many features. This elliptical offers a value that can be hard to beat.
- Two sets of handles (one static, one dynamic)
- Transport wheels to easily move from room to room
- Goal tracking with the ability to export workout data to devices
- USB charging capability
- 300 lbs weight capacity
- Makes squeaking sounds with prolonged use
9. Bowflex Max Trainer M7 Cardio Machine
This cardio machine by Bowflex is an extraordinary piece of equipment. The machine offers 11 different programs, and has 20 resistance levels. What makes this machine especially great is its adaptable fitness level, to track and adapt to the user’s fitness level during their use.
One of the suggested uses is for High Intensity Interval Training. It also comes with a high contrast LCD/LED screen display. The nice thing about it, is that it can hold up to four unique profiles. Therefore, it’d be perfect for a family to use and track each person’s fitness separately. The price is a bit higher than other machines, but it is the exceeding quality that makes it a worthwhile investment.
- Good for High Intensity Interval Training, (HIIT)
- Large display
- Multiple levels of resistance
- Squeaky pulley
8. Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine
This elliptical machine by Schwinn is sure to keep you busy. Coming with 29 unique programs, and 25 resistance levels; the Schwinn 470 has it all. It also has bluetooth capabilities, which allows users to track their training data.
In addition to this, the machine is rigged with speakers, a fan, a water bottle holder, and even transport wheels. I think at its current price, it offers a deal that most machines cannot. If you are looking for a versatile machine for a reasonable price, I believe this would fit the bill.
- Reasonable price
- Bluetooth compatible
- Many resistance levels
- USB charging port
- Makes squeaking noise
- Some assembly required
7. Precor AMT100i
Everyone is looking to make working out more convenient for them and bring the gym into the home. With this machine, that is exactly what you get. This is a commercial-level machine offered for consumer pricing. As the name would suggest, this is an adaptive motion trainer (AMt).
This is especially nice because it takes the stress off of having to consistently change resistance levels or stride length, all while trying to endure a rigorous workout. Keeping with the convenient trend, this machine also offers heart rate monitoring; either handheld or it can be used with compatible wireless heart rate monitors.
If you are looking to get the same value of going to workout on the gym equipment without the commute, this product can deliver just that.
- Adjustable stride length
- Heart rate monitoring
- Cardio theater integration optional
- Allows for ineffective movements
- Makes you bounce while working out
6. ProForm Hybrid Trainer
Sometimes it is better when you mix two things. When looking for elliptical machines, people tend to be looking to imitate a running motion, but there are several people who prefer a biking motion. With this hybrid machine, you can either stand and utilize a running motion or sit and use a pedaling motion.
This is also good if you are looking to workout your arms because the moving handles are good for targeting the upper-body. Equipped with 16 resistance levels, this machine can adjust to your liking. If you are looking for a custom workout, that is what you will get with this machine.
- Adjustable pedals
- Heart rate monitoring
- Has transport wheels to move machine easily
- Costs much less than other machines
- Makes noises when used
- Time consuming assembly
- Cheaply made
5. SOLE E55 Elliptical
Elliptical machines are nice replacements for actual running because of the amount of shock created from our feet impacting the ground. SOLE E55 offers an elliptical experience that is designed to specifically be low impact on problem joints. It is perfect for recovering from injuries or working around chronic issues.
Equipped with bluetooth capability, used to track fitness progress, the SOLE E55 is a truly smart machine. They also have an input for audio players, in order to listen to your favorite playlists. This machine is a good investment if you plan to stop running and start conducting low impact exercises.
- Stays quiet when used
- Reduces stress on joints with gradual resistance transitions
- Tracks training data
- Music input capability
- Confusing assembly instructions
- Circuit board can be affected by sweat
4. ElliptiGO 8C
For anybody who liked to ride on bikes, but also preferred the motion of running; this product is for you. With ElliptiGO, you can stand upright and run, while it handles like a bike. It has eight gears and can be used up steep hills.
Anybody, from recreational users to professional athletes, can get some benefit from using it. This is an easy to ride machine, that simultaneously offers a great workout. There is a stationary option available, as well. Whether you are looking to ride around for fun or trying to get in a serious workout, this is the perfect combination product.
- Ability to use outside like a bike
- Less impact than running
- Can climb steep hills
- Can be noisy
3. Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer
Everyone likes it when things are very functional, but compact; like smart phones. This machine offers a compact design that can be used in many settings; the living room, the office, the bedroom, etc. You can simply store it almost anywhere because of its size.
The lack of handles allows it to be used while sitting in your own chair or while standing. This is a nice and simple machine for a very low price, which makes it much more attractive if you are just starting out and cautious about spending a lot of money on a product you may not use to its fullest extent.
- Compact and easy to store
- Low impact on joints
- Can be used sitting or standing
- Cheaper than most other machines
- Can make noises
- Only made for short strides
2. Octane Fitness ZR7 Zero Runner
When looking for the most realistic running experience, this machine cannot be bested. This machine offers an angled stride to perfectly imitate the running motion. You can also adjust the stride up to 58 inches, in order to recreate a running stride.
Of course, this machine can also be used to walk, with a shorter stride length. Despite the intensity of the workout, this is a quiet machine. On top of everything, it is also self-powered. If you can’t run because of injury or chronic issues, this is the closest low impact machine you can get.
- Stride length for both walking and running
- Self-powered machine
- Quiet while being used
- Low impact on body
- Required to manually adjust resistance
- Console poorly designed
1. Precor AMT 835 Commercial Series Adaptive Motion Trainer
Offering the ultimate experience for all elliptical users. This machine comes equipped with; adaptive stride technology, 20 resistance levels, heart rate sensors, and a readout display. While you workout, you can view your heart rate, distance, time, calories, watts, and stride.
This machine offers an all-inclusive experience, and has all the bells and whistles you might expect to see on a high-end model elliptical machine. This machine is by far the most elaborate and most expensive of them all.
- Naturally adapts stride length
- Heart rate monitoring
- Multiple resistance levels
- Very expensive compared to other machines
- Overestimates calories burned
Which Elliptical Machine Should You Buy?
Overall, there are many things to consider when buying an elliptical machine; what features you need, what capacity you plan to use it in, where it can be used, how it can be stored, and how much are you willing to pay for it.
This list summarized 10 of the best elliptical machines, and it is clear that for most of them, they offer pretty similar features, such as heart rate monitoring and different levels of resistance. But, the main difference came in the design, which has an influence on its purpose. Which leads into why I personally believe that the best one on the list is the most unique.
The ElliptiGO was not only an effective elliptical machine, but also a convenient form of transportation. Whether it was a recreational use or workout, it delivered. Its price was similar to that of other elliptical machines, however, they did not have the added feature of mobility. That is why I believe the ElliptiGO is of the best value on this list.