The Benefits Of A Home Elliptical
Elliptical machines have gained a lot of popularity among fitness fanatics, mainly due to their high efficiency in cardio and low impact on joints. Besides providing excellent cardio workout experience, elliptical trainers also help with weight loss and muscle building. But going to the gym to use these ellipticals can be challenge. If it’s not the monthly price of going to the gym it’s the coronavirus fears that abound. Many want to workout in the safety of their home.
And since there are a plethora of brands selling different machines with different models, we thought why not provide you with a list of top 5 elliptical machines. So with that said, let’s jump right in:
Best Elliptical Machines For Small Spaces
Out of thousands of fitness machines out there, Bowflex Max Trainer M7 is one of the few that have built a good reputation and credibility.
The M7 has a sleek design with a compact body that can easily fit in a room. Because of its 20 resistance levels, burning calories becomes easier and faster.
Furthermore, it allows up to 4 profiles which means a whole family can train on a single machine and save their own workout settings as well. The M7 has a lot more to offer in terms of features, so let’s have a look:
Some say it can be a bit challenging to assemble the M7 on your own, so paying the assembly fee is better while some say it can be done on your own. Since it comes with an owner’s manual, we suggest that you should try assembling it by yourself first.
Why? Because after going through it, things will make a lot of sense, and with the help of a few tools, you might be able to do it.
There is also a step-by-step video on YouTube by Bowflex explaining how to assemble the M7, which will be a huge help.
It comes with a centralized LCD showing all the readouts and data related to your workout with the crisp, clear and sharp display. You can connect it to your tablet or smartphone via Bluetooth and share your stats as well. Some of the prominent things that the LCD shows include heart rate, speed, distance, time, burn rate, resistance and total calories burned.
M7 offers a variety of programs along with access to several exercise lessons from a popular mobile application. They have also partnered with a popular fitness program Daily Burn that offers a free 8 week subscriptions to their customers containing 6000+ workouts. Their built-in program is comprised of two modes:
- Target Mode: It includes several programs such as Calorie Goal, Steady Pace, Power Interval, Max 21 Minute Interval, Max 14 Minutes Interval, and Max 7 Minute Interval,
- Performance Mode: This one comes with Calorie Burn, Stairs, Fat Burn, Manual and Fitness Test.
The max training programs are designed to make you feel great during the workout, and you will be willing to extend it further which is why it has the “Add Time” feature.
The performance mode is designed to automatically adapt to your level of training and set new goals.
Level of Comfort:
M7 is the king when it comes to comfort mainly because of Zero Impact feature. By putting a minimal impact on the joints and muscles, M7 ensures that you can work out longer and pain-free.
By combining the unique reverse elliptical movement with the best parts of treadmill, stationary bike and stair stepper, the M7 ensures robust workout without putting much pressure on different body parts.
This is especially beneficial for people who suffer from chronic pain(s) like arthritis or are recovering from an injury.
- Sturdy construction and elegant design
- Up to 300lbs weight support
- 20 resistance levels
- Minimal maintenance required
- Contains a media rack
- Has a water bottle holder
- Comes with a chest strap for heart rate monitoring
- Also has handlebars with sensors for heart rate monitoring
- 3 years of full coverage warranty
- No cooling fan
- No sound system
- 11 workout programs and 20 levels of computer controlled resistance available
- Syncs with Free Max Trainer app to set, monitor, and track goals while streaming video content from professional trainers that will instruct, motivate and help you be more successful with Max (Available for Apple iOS and Android devices)
- M7 performance targeted programming learns and adapts to each user’s fitness level over time to set new targets
- Oversized, high contrast, dual backlit LCD/LED display for easy use
- Feeling good and want to extend your workout? Add a little more time to your workout with the press of a button through the Add Time feature
Schwinn 470 Elliptical Trainer
Next in the list is Schwinn 470, which seems to check all the boxes for the most essential features in an elliptical. It’s well-built, comfortable, and very sturdy.
Moreover, it comes with several workout programs and apps helping fitness lovers reach their desired shape and burn fat like a candle.
Schwinn 470’s 25 different resistance levels and incline function takes the whole workout experience up a notch. And with a price range within $1000, it’s a total package for fitness geeks. Let’s what else it has to offer:
Assembly of this one is a piece of cake because of less moving parts and complexity in the attachment. So you can do it by yourself, and if you call in a buddy to help you, it can be set up within a couple of hours.
Though you can get professional help, we recommend going through the instructions manual first, and you’ll get the idea of how easy it is to assemble this one.
It comes with two LCD window systems, and both have a blue backlight which makes it easy to see the data on the screen if you are out in the sun or a dark spot.
The display can provide data for up to 13 different metrics that can help you monitor your progress and plan out your tasks for the future.
It can show data for things ranging from time, pulse, distance, goal achievement, and calorie burn etc.
Schwinn 470 comes equipped with a mix of awesome pre-set workouts. And the fact that it lets you save four profiles, your whole family can benefit from this single machine and set their workout routines. It has 29 programs including:
- Quick Start with is the manual mode
- 4 User-Defined programs
- Three fitness tests
- 12 different profile programs
- 9 programs for heart rate control
The console is also compatible with RunSocial app that offers you a group of real-world trails in HD definition. The app also lets you socialize with other people using it and have a sort of mixed-reality workout session.
Level of Comfort:
Although workout is never easy; otherwise, the famous saying no pain, no gain wouldn’t have made sense. However, you should still feel comfortable when operating a fitness machine. The manufacturers of Schwinn 470 applied the same philosophy.
They have ergonomically embedded the moving and stationary handles for comfortable and natural movement of hands. Furthermore, footplates are oversized and cushioned so you can easily place your feet and don’t experience any pain when working out for extended intervals.
Lastly, its 20-inch stride and unique Precision Path foot-motion feature further increase its level of comfort.
- Smooth and comfortable to ride
- Well-built and durable
- Almost quiet
- Equipped with motorized incline
- Up to 300lbs user weight capacity
- Speakers and MP3 port
- Media rack and adjustable fan
- Water bottle holder
- Sturdy and well built
- 10 years frame, 2-years mechanical, 1-year electrical and 90 days labor warranty
- Chest strap for heart rate has to be purchased
- Frequent lubing is needed for smooth operation
- Bluetooth connectivity, syncs with the Schwinn Trainer App and other apps for fitness tracking
- Sync with free downloadable Run Social App and run through 19 locations with 27 routes alongside people from all over the world in real time
- 29 workout programs: 12 profile, 9 heart rate control, 4 custom, 2 fitness test, 1 quick start
- 25 levels of resistance for a wide range of workout intensity options
- Dual Track LCD displays, media shelf, in-console speakers with MP3 input port, USB media charging and adjustable fan
Horizon Fitness EX-59-2 Elliptical Trainer
For the price point of $599, you cannot find better features in an elliptical trainer than the EX-59. Its 18” stride, holding capacity of up to 275lbs and ease of use earn it a spot in this list of top elliptical trainers.
Furthermore, the robust construction with a premium quality frame, smooth operation and minimum noise take the whole cardio workout experience to the next level.
However, it is reported by users that it has slow heart rate monitoring which is a bummer for people who only want to engage in heart rate workout. But besides this, it has tons of great features, let’s take a look at them:
Some users had trouble with the previous instructions manual, but this issue is solved with the EX59-02. The new manual has clear and concise 8-steps along with images for easy assembly.
If you follow each step correctly, it shouldn’t take you more than an hour.
It has a decent 5” LCD screen and has several buttons for resistance, general navigation and On/Off. It also comes with two audio jacks; one for audio input and one for headphone output.
However, the screen is not backlit, which means you can face difficulty monitoring your progress if you are working out in the dark.
The LCD displays various metrics such as time, speed, distance, RPM, current program, heart rate, calories and watts.
EX 59 comes with 10 programs; 9 are predefined while 1 is manual. These programs include:
- Weight Loss: has 10 levels with timers and focused on burning fat through an increase and decrease in resistance.
- Weight Loss Plus: It’s the advanced version of the previous program with 5 more intense levels to choose from.
- Intervals: 10 time-based programs for strength and endurance training
- Intervals Plus: Advanced level of the previous version with 5 more intense levels to choose from.
- Constant Watts: Time based program where you try to maintain the watt level that you set.
- Rolling: Gradual increase and decrease in resistance for up and down movement feeling
- Reverse Train: Tells you when to pedal forward or backwards
- Random: Comprised of 7 levels with random levels of resistance
- Calorie Goal: You set a calorie goal from 100 to 990 and try to achieve it
Level of Comfort:
Comes with everything you need for a long, draining workout while having an enjoyable and comfortable experience.
It boasts wide, and textured plates for proper feet accommodation and its thick ridges offer excellent grip.
Moreover, its optimally placed handlebars offer even space between arms while its foam padded elliptical arms resist slippage when your fingers get sweaty.
- Magnetic brake system
- Quiet operation
- 18” stride length
- Sturdy and well built
- Great customer service
- Lifetime frame warranty with 1-year electronics & parts, 1-year brake and 1-year labor warranty
- Weight holding capacity up to 275lbs
- 16 different resistant levels
- No fan included
- No backlit for LCD
- Lacks options for adjustments
- Bluetooth connects to your device to stream media through integrated speakers
- Includes device holder and rapid-charge USB port
- Set-up in 30 minutes or fewer
- Quickly shift speed and incline with one-touch keys
- Lifetime frame
Launched in 2018, this elliptical trainer still holds the title of being one of the best cardio and fat burning machines mainly because of its push/pull mechanism for entire body workout.
Furthermore, like the Bowflex M7, it also boasts the Zero Impact feature allowing pain and stress-free workout.
Moreover, Teeter is the only brand with UL safety certification and FDA approval for manufacturing a class one knee and back pain-free workout equipment. Let’s see what more it has to offer:
This one is perhaps the easiest to assemble because of its compact size and fewer moving parts. The instructions manual includes pretty straight forward illustrations with clear steps.
You only need Allen wrench/screwdriver combo and guess what; it comes with the machine. Attaching the pedals is also a breeze as you just need to lay the machine on its back and follow the instructions.
It comes with a battery-operated screen, but it’s nothing fancy compared to the counterparts mentioned in this list.
However, the small yet digital console provides the stats for all key workout metrics such as speed, time, calories and distance.
Built-In Fitness Programs:
This is where it lacks because unlike the other machines mentioned here, it doesn’t come with different sets of workout programs.
However, it offers great cardio training with different intensity levels ranging from light to intermediate.
Its dual power motion provides a total workout for both upper and lower regions of the body, which is good enough for staying in shape.
Level of Comfort:
Since it offers zero-impact workout and is approved for back and knee pain-free workout, comfort level is certainly high.
The machine also allows auto position adjustment, which means if you lean back while working out, it will go back on its own.
Lastly, the adjustable seats and handles also add to its overall stress-free workout experience.
- Ergonomic pedals for knee protection
- Has tablet and bottle holders
- 8 different resistance levels
- Boasts magnetic breaks
- Linear pedal motion for low impact
- Adjustable seat
- Built-in wheels for transportation
- Weight capacity of up to 300lbs
- No heart rate monitor
- No cooling fan
- No sound system
- No Bluetooth connection
- Only 1-year and 90 days warranty for all movable parts
- ZERO IMPACT EXERCISE: Ideal for all fitness levels. The comfortable and naturally-reclined seated position reduces body fatigue and eliminates the stress on the joints and back while still delivering a full fat-burning cardio workout. Designed to help those with Arthritis, Parkinson's or MS stay active.
- WHISPER-QUIET, FLUID STRIDE: The unique striding motion protects your knees and joints while engaging near-silent variable magnetic resistance that adjusts with one simple dial.
- TOTAL BODY WORKOUT: Dual power motion works your upper and lower body simultaneously, engaging all major muscle groups to build strength and burn more calories. Modify the workout by isolating your legs or arms for added intensity.
- SMART DESIGN: Track progress with the easy-to-read, battery-powered digital console; device stand and water bottle holder; convenient transport wheels.
- COMMERCIAL-GRADE ENGINEERING: Friction-free linkage system means long-lasting use; 54" x 38" footprint is a low profile addition to your home.
Schwinn A40 Compact Elliptical Machine
Last but not least, another incredible machine by Schwinn; the A40! This entry-level elliptical boasts some great features you can mostly find in commercial-grade fitness machines.
Some of our most favorite features include a cooling fan, water bottle rack and also a tablet holder.
Furthermore, it has six different programs and unique design for intense workouts that will burn insane amounts of calories. Let’s see what else Schwinn A40 has in store for us:
Assembling it is a no-brainer and should not take more than 1-2 hours. All the instructions are already provided, and you just need to follow them carefully to assemble the machine.
We suggest that you assemble the foot and arm before joining them to the main section for easier alignment.
Though the instructions manual says that two people are needed for alignment, but in our opinion, you can also do this by yourself; it’s that easy!
A40 comes with a large 5”x3” easy to read LED display. It shows distance, speed, time, RPM, calorie burned, current program and heart rate.
It comes with three easy to use buttons in the console for three workout types; Fun rides, Mountains & challenges. There is also a 3mm port for audio input; however, the sound quality is not up to the mark.
Furthermore, the LCD is not backlit, which is also a major bummer but for the price point of $400, it’s not unfair either.
The A40 comes with six pre-set programs, and you can toggle between them using the three buttons given on the console. Here are all six of them:
- Rolling Hills
- Ride in the Park
- Pike’s Peak
- Uphill Finish
The first two come under the “Fun Rides group, the middle two under “Mountains Group” and the last two under “Challenges Group.” These are the 6 programs that are pre-set in this trainer.
Level of Comfort:
Manufacturers paid special attention to convenience while developing this machine which is evident from its design. The steady curve of handlebars allows you to grip them from different angles.
Furthermore, the footplates also articulate while working out, putting minimal impact on joints and allow more natural motion.
Its 17.5” of stride can facilitate tall people with up to 6 feet of height which is another feature missing from most entry-level elliptical trainers. Lastly, the machine’s height is also adjustable for maximum comfort.
- Boasts transport wheels
- Heart rate monitoring sensors in grips
- 8 different levels of electromagnetic resistance
- Can facilitate up to 275lbs
- Lightweight but sturdy
- Minimal noise
- 2 years of warranty for the frame, 6 months for parts & electronics and 30 days for wearable parts
- No backlight
- Doesn’t have wireless chest strip
- 7 preset programs: 6 profile, 1 quick start
- High speed, high inertia perimeter weighted flywheel for a smooth and quiet workout
- 8 levels of resistance to keep you on your toes
- Large LCD console tracks speed, time, RPM, distance, calories, results and heart rate
- Ergonomically placed grip heart rate monitors
What Is An Elliptical Machine?
An elliptical trainer is an exercise machine that is used to climb stairs, walk or run without pressurizing your joint. It helps in reducing the risk of impact injuries and helps the people to stay fit, and there would not be much impact due to the structure of the machine. You can perform high intensity based on your exercising speed and the resistance preference.
Most of the trainers that you would find are meant for upper and lower body workout. The elliptical trainers offer a minimal impact and are an excellent example of the weight-bearing form of exercise. These machines are self-powered as people workout on them and can also come with resistance systems and electronic consoles.
Elliptical trainers are driven by the user’s leg and come with hand levers, which are attached to each pedal-link, which are connected to source power and act as a secondary source of driving power. These machines provide an excellent workout for arms, core muscles, legs, and joints, putting less strain and enabling you to exercise in an efficient manner. It is perfect for people who have a few injuries as they would not experience strain while working out. The best part about these machines is that you get complete insights into your workout, which can help you track your progress.
Features Of Top Rated Elliptical Machines
Stability is a crucial aspect of the elliptical machines, and they fit according to the person’s choice. The heavier elliptical machines are more stable, and better design enables you to trump weight and provide more stability.
The stride length is different for every machine and should be used as per the requirement of the person. If you are tall, it is better that you go for a longer stride length, which is common on a lot of machines.
The flywheel is an important component in the indoor exercise cycles and spin bikes. It enables a natural momentum and keeps your workout from being jarring or jerky. In addition to that, it also helps mimic actual motion. Another feature of this machine is the dual-direction flywheel, which helps in switching the rotation for a better workout.
Ellipticals come with a pre-installed computer which includes features such as:
Display unit: It shows metrics related to exercise.
Data: Elliptical computers provide insights into the distance, drive speed, heart rate, time session, and more, thus enabling you to check your progress as you exercise on the machine.
If the machine is connected with a computer, then you can program it according to your personal exercise routine, which helps with weight loss, cardio, and intervals, etc.
Hybrid machines are an exclusive combination of exercise bikes and elliptical machines. They come with a dual trainer and help you seat upright or reclined, giving you the complete feel of professional biking as per for preference.
Types of Elliptical Machines
Rear drive elliptical
The rear drive is the oldest design in the trainers and is highly effective as well. Due to the position of the flywheel, which is located at the back of the machine, this trainer has the ability to provide a smooth and stable motion. This particular machine enables you to walk or run more easily and allow the user to engage in a natural workout.
Front drive elliptical
These are just the opposite of rear-drive elliptical machines as the flywheel is present in the front of the machines and the roller tracks at the back side. Moreover, the pedals have a vertical range and, depending on the slope, provide workout, which is similar to a stair climber. This machine offers a better option for users with a limited range of mobility.
Center drive elliptical
Center drive machine has the flywheel on either side of the pedals. It provides a vertical range of motion that resembles the movement of a stair climber machine. As the machine is upright, it allows the user to lean forward on the handrails. This style is particularly popular among the people who have a home gym. With this model, you will get less strain on hip and knee joints.
Elliptical cross trainer
This trainer offers benefits that are similar to the standard elliptical trainer and enables you to perform exercises from a reclined position. It does not cause strain on the lower body and help you with a full-body workout. You will be able to work on your upper body, core, and back muscles on this trainer.
5 Health And Fitness Benefits Of An Elliptical Machine
1. Enables you to boost your stamina and improves your cardio capacity
Aerobic exercise is an essential part of the exercise routine and enables your heart and lungs to work harder to make sure that your muscles get more blood and oxygen. With the help of the elliptical machine, you would be able to build your endurance and stamina effectively.
2. Helps you burn a lot of calories
If you want to crush your calorie burn in a short period of time, then there is no better option than using an elliptical machine. You would be able to burn around 270 to 400 calories within 30 minutes. If you feel comfortable, you can increase the intensity of elliptical workouts to boost the calories.
3. Pushes you to put less stress on your joints
Cardio workout on elliptical machines relieves the joint pain among the runners. Moreover, you would be able to reduce weight when you exercise on these machines when compared to jogging, running, or even similar workouts.
4. Helps you perform upper and lower body workout
Elliptical machine is an excellent choice for upper and lower body workout. Moreover, it would help in evenly distributing your weight. When done correctly, the elliptical machine can target your glutes, chest, back, triceps, core muscles, and biceps.
5. Improve your balance
Weight-bearing exercise is excellent if you want to strengthen your bones. Moreover, if you stand up straight and let go of the handles of the machines, you will be able to target the core muscles and work on your balance.
Hope you’ve found some great elliptical machine ideas. If you’re looking for some other exercise equipment for your small space click here.