Best Ellipticals (2019) – Your Complete Buyers Guide

In this post, I will explore the best ellipticals on the market.  Exercising on an elliptical is a fantastic way to get a great full body work out with very little impact on your joints.   If you have resolved to get off the couch and get in shape, please continue reading.  I will walk through many different elliptical machines and let you know what I believe is good and if anything, negative about each one.

Me on working out on a elliptical machineDisclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.  Click here for details.

A little about me

First of all, I want to let you know that I have a unique perspective on elliptical machines that I would like to share with you.  I had a pretty severe back injury in 2015 and spent about 6 months recovering from it.  I forgot to check my ego and was doing some really stupid stuff at the gym.

I sprained my SI joint (pelvis area) and blew a disc which put me in spinal stenosis.  My disc was pressing up against my spinal cord.  After months of chiropractic care (I didn’t want to have another surgery), I was finally able to start training again.

Working out on the elliptical was the greatest thing since sliced bread for me.  This was a great way to ease back into a more rigorous training regimen.  Ellipticals are near and dear to my heart.  As I mentioned earlier, elliptical machines offer such a fantastic way to engage your upper and lower body to achieve a whole body workout, without trashing your joints.

I spent a lot of time using an elliptical, and I still do, so I feel like I have a pretty decent idea what to look for.  So, if you will give me some of your very valuable time, I will walk you through elliptical machines.

I would like to start out by giving you some things to think about when you are considering an elliptical machine purchase.  There are a lot of features, which you may or may not need, some you will find helpful and some not so much.  With this guide, I hope to educate you and leave you in better shape than when you arrived here.  Click here to see my complete guide to help you buy an elliptical that will fit your needs.

Types of elliptical machines to consider

Elliptical machines come with different drive mechanisms and include a flywheel.

  • Front-drive
    • The flywheel is located in the front of the machine
    • More like working out on a stair climber, you have a more forward-leaning posture
  • Rear-drive
    • The flywheel is located in the rear of the machine
    • Tend to offer a smoother, more natural ride, like actually walking or running
  • Center drive
    • The flywheel is located in the center (on each side, left and right) of the machine
    • Can be considered a hybrid, combines movements of stairs, treadmill and elliptical.  This machine is typically designed for smaller spaces

Do you have enough space for the elliptical?

You definitely want to make sure you have enough space for an elliptical machine.  One thing to consider is that you will need to measure for the height and take into consideration that you will be elevated when you are exercising on the elliptical.  Make sure you have enough head clearance, so when you are working out you don’t hit your head on the ceiling.

Row of ellipticals showing the best elliptcals 2018

Also, the handgrips will be extending forward and backward so you will definitely want to make sure you have enough room front to back as well.  Just some things to consider when you are looking to purchase an elliptical.

Will you outgrow this elliptical machine?

The point of my story at the beginning of this post is to shed light on the fact that I couldn’t handle much resistance when I first started training again.  I had zero, or very close to that for the resistance level.

As my fitness level has progressed, I have increased the resistance on the elliptical machines I use.  Point being that you want to make sure you buy an elliptical with your fitness goals in mind.

You will want to make sure the elliptical will grow with you and that you will not outgrow the machine in 6 months.  Depending on your fitness level currently, and your future goals, you will want to buy a machine that will work for you today and in the future.

What features do you really want?

There are a ton of different features to think about when you are looking to purchase an elliptical.  Not just the type of drive it is built with, but also the display, the handgrips, whether or not it has a heart rate monitor are all very valid things to consider.

Some of these elliptical machines are super hi-tech which may be right up your alley.  You may be the type of person who will only want the basics.  It is completely up to you as to what features you want.  I will outline the features in the reviews that follow.  The point is, you may not want to pay for features that you will never use.

If possible, try an elliptical out before you buy one

I know this isn’t always possible, but if you have a gym, or sporting goods store nearby you may want to peruse and see what you like and dislike about certain machines before you buy.  I know at my local sporting goods store they have some different exercise equipment on display, ellipticals included.

Typically they will let you try them out (you may have to ask nice).  I would recommend this just to get an idea of what products are available and what features might interest you.

I will get into more detail in the reviews, but I just wanted to give you some food for thought as to what kinds of things to consider as you move forward with your elliptical decision-making process.

So, time to get to work!


Best Ellipticals High End

What to expect or things to consider in this range

  • These machines are not commercial ellipticals but may have features you would find in a health club elliptical
  • Typically these will be larger and more substantial than the less expensive models
  • These ellipticals will allow you to grow
  • These machines offer a lot of programs to keep you engaged
  • You will find more tech than lower priced options

 


Precor EFX 221

The EFX 221 offers a great workout with a high-quality machine.  This elliptical offers a wide variety of options, and have the ability to customize the preferences for separate users.  The EFX 221 comes with an easy to read LCD display that has 10 preset workout routines.

Precor EFX 221

I think you will really like the fact that you can adjust the CrossRamp (incline) to 3 different positions, 10°, 25°, and 25°.  Now please note that this is a manual adjustment option.  Once you decide on a workout, you can adjust the angle of incline before you start, to increase the challenge of the workout.

The incline adjustments will allow you to target different area, glutes, quads, etc depending on the angle.  You can maintain proper posture and increase the difficulty.

The dimensions of the machine are as follows:

  • Length – 75 inches
  • Width – 29 inches
  • Height – 65 inches
  • Product weight – 193 pounds
  • Max user weight – 275 pounds

You will want to make sure you have enough height, as you will most likely be moving up and down while using this.  The EFX offers 16 resistance levels, so you can really crank it up if you want to. Another great feature is the heart rate, monitor. You can simply use the handgrips to monitor your heart rate, or for a more accurate measure, the EFX 221 is compatible with a chest strap style monitor.

A couple of things to note on this elliptical.  There are no moving handgrips, which does somewhat limit the muscle groups you can work.  But on the bright side, this is an awesome lower body machine, which is probably why you are considering an elliptical in the first place. The unit also needs to be assembled.  I would plan on spending about half a day. Or you can hire someone to do it for you.  This is a rear drive machine, which offers a very smooth ride.

Overall, this a great machine from a solid company.  There are a lot of basic features this machine employs, to give you a great workout.

Pros:

  • LCD display with preset workouts
  • Adjustable incline
  • Smooth ride

Cons:

  • Handgrips are stationary
  • No fan
Precor EFX 221 Energy Series Elliptical Crosstrainer
9 Reviews
Precor EFX 221 Energy Series Elliptical Crosstrainer
  • Precor introduced the very first elliptical in1995 and has been the global leader in elliptical manufacturing for over 20 years
  • Health club quality workout at home
  • Patented design provides a smooth, natural feel and keeps your body in a comfortable, posture-perfect position for the duration of your workouts
  • A true cross-trainer with multiple ways to change the exercise to maximize muscle recruitment while building cardio endurance
  • See chart below for Precor full line of Precor Ellipticals

Last update on 2019-12-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 


Bowflex Max Trainer M8

Bowflex has been a very solid maker of exercise equipment for many years now.  Most people think Bowflex, they think of the home gym systems.  Over the years, Bowflex has continued to develop their lineup and this M8 is a great addition.

Max Trainer M8 ConsoleThe M8 comes with an insanely large, easy to read display that makes tracking your workout progress and making adjustments super easy.  The control panel is right at your fingertips.  There are 11 preset workout programs, and 20 levels of resistance, so you will certainly get an awesome workout with the M8.  You can set up 4 user profiles, which is awesome is multiple people will be using the machine.

==> Click here for the full review <==

==> Click here to purchase the M8 from Bowflex<==

The dimensions of the machine are as follows:

  • Length – 49 inches
  • Width – 30.5 inches
  • Height – 65.5 inches
  • Product weight – 148 pounds
  • Max user weight – 300 pounds

One thing to note on the height requirements of your room.  The machine itself is 65.5 inches, but you will need to add 15 inches to the user height to make sure you have enough ceiling height.  You don’t want to bang your head on the ceiling with every step.  Or maybe you do :).

The M8 has a heart rate monitor system built into the handgrips so you can track your heart rate.  The machine can also read telemetry HR signals, so you can wear a chest strap heart rate monitor as well. You will need to make sure that your HR monitor meets the Bowflex specifications.  This machine is equipped with Bluetooth and can sync to the Bowflex Max Trainer fitness app.  You can also track your overall fitness goals and progress through the app.

One really nice thing about Bowflex is that the owners manual comes with workout routines and meal plans to help with your fitness goals.  Not only will the manual help you get started, but keep you pointed in the right direction.  You will need to assemble this unit, so plan on spending some quality time with your hand tools.  Or hire someone to do it for you. I think the Bowflex M8 has a lot to offer and has a pretty small footprint.

Pros:

  • Variety of workout options
  • The oversizeddisplay is really easy to read and make changes
  • HR monitoring
  • Compact

Cons:

  • Upper media tray is a bit small
  • Assembly may be challenging

 


Precor EFX 222

The EXF 222 is a fantastic elliptical that provides you with a smooth, low-impact workout.  Precor has been making exercise equipment for years and you can see the quality and durability of this machine.

Precor EFX 222

The unit has a nice large display that makes selecting or changing a workout really easy.  There are 10 preset workouts and 16 levels of resistance.  You are sure to find a workout that will be great for you.  The CrossRamp allows you to manually adjust the incline for an even better workout that really allows you to target specific areas.

There are three incline angles you can choose from 10°, 20°, and 25° choices.  You will need to decide which workout you are going to do, then you can adjust the incline as needed.

The dimensions of the machine are as follows:

  • Length – 75 inches
  • Width – 29 inches
  • Height – 65 inches
  • Product weight – 193 pounds
  • Max user weight – 275 pounds

You will love the full body workout potential this machine offers with movable handgrips.  This allows you to crank up the resistance and engage your upper body, core, and lower body.  The rear drive flywheel and large pedals, make for a smooth ride you are sure to enjoy.

Keep track of your heart rate with the touch sensors on the handles, or use a chest strap style monitor device.  You can also plug your device into the console, use the headphone jack and volume buttons on the display to control your music. The display offers a lot of workout metrics, more than most people will probably ever need, but hey, it’s there if you need them.

Assembly is required, so I would plan on about 4 hours to get this all set up.  Of course, you can always hire someone if building stuff isn’t your thing.

This is a great choice for all levels of fitness, and definitely something you can grow into. With 2 user id’s, you can set up different preferences as well.

Pros:

  • Movable arms give a great full body workout
  • Large, easy to read display
  • Smooth comfortable ride

Cons:

  • No fan
  • Fairly basic display
Sale
Precor EFX 222 Energy Series Elliptical Crosstrainer
10 Reviews
Precor EFX 222 Energy Series Elliptical Crosstrainer
  • Precor introduced the very first elliptical in1995 and has been the global leader in elliptical manufacturing for over 20 years
  • Health club quality workout at home
  • Patented design provides a smooth, natural feel and keeps your body in a comfortable, posture-perfect position for the duration of your workouts
  • A true cross-trainer with multiple ways to change the exercise to maximize muscle recruitment while building cardio endurance
  • See chart below for Precor full line of Precor Ellipticals

Last update on 2019-12-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 


Octane Fitness ZR7 Zero RunnerOctane Fitness ZR7 Zero Runner

Okay, this machine goes in a little bit different direction.  This is a zero runner, which is literally running without ever hitting the ground.  You experience zero impact.  This machine actually even looks like a leg or a robot, I haven’t decided yet, it has both a knee and hip joint.

If you are an avid runner, you can incorporate the ZR7 into your workouts, as a zero impact option.  You don’t need to continually pound the pavement and put unnecessary stress on your body.

If you are new to running, this is a great way to get your body up to speed, so to speak, and start out kind of dipping your toes in the water.  With the ZR7, you can walk, jog or run. You can simulate walking with the short strides, and the stride length increases all the way to 58 inches, for full-on running.

You can also use this for cross training. The addition of Cross Circuit to this machine gives you the option for full body workout, as well as cardio.  Someone like me, who has back problems, would benefit from a machine like this.  I used to always feel the need to go for a run, just to blow off some steam, or clear my head after a long day.  With this kind of machine, that would be a great fit.

The dimensions of the machine are as follows:

  • Length – 63 inches
  • Width – 38 inches
  • Height – 59 inches
  • Product weight – 195 pounds
  • Max user weight – 300 pounds

The large console shows all your vital workout information and includes Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity.  This machine comes with full heart rate options as well.  There is a touch sensor on the unit itself and you can also connect with a chest strap, so you can keep track of your heart rate metrics.

There are a lot of different preset programs that are available for endurance, toning, and active recovery.  So, the ZR7 has you covered in a lot of different areas, the functionality of the machine, digital connectivity and so much more.  This is a fantastic option for all levels, so you can definitely grow with this zero runner as well.  One more thing to note is you will have to put this together, so definitely plan on spending some time with that.

Pros:

  • Zero impact
  • Connectivity
  • Cross Circuit attachments for a complete workout
  • Stride length

Cons:

  • Price may be an obstacle for some
  • Needs to be assembled

 


Octane Fitness Pro310 Elliptical

I really like working out on the Octane line of ellipticals.  The Pro310 does not disappoint. This elliptical is designed with saving space, it has a pretty small footprint.  But don’t let that fool you, this machine is loaded with features and functionality.

Octane Fitness Pro310

With 12 workout programs and 20 resistance levels to choose from, you will certainly never get bored with the Pro310.  The MultiGrip handlebars allow you a ton of options for a complete full body workout.

Along with the movable handles, there is also a set of fixed handles that allow you to move from an upright position to leaning back, or taking a squat position as you exercise.  I love grabbing ahold of the fixed handles and moving into the squat position, for a killer boost.  Versatility is the name of the game with this Octane elliptical.

You have to option to add workout boosters, which give you intervals of increased intensity during your session.  I can tell you from personal experience, these are awesome.

The dimensions of the machine are as follows:

  • Length – 65 inches
  • Width – 31 inches
  • Product weight – 260 pounds
  • Max user weight – 300 pounds

Performance is one awesome word to describe the Octane Pro310 elliptical.  The display is easy to read and you have so many options available right at your fingertips.  You can monitor your heart rate with either the digital sensors attached to the fixed handles or with a chest strap monitor.  One more great thing is with its design, you can use this in rooms with lower ceilings and the steps are super easy to access since they are pretty low to the ground.

The Pro310 also employs the 30:30 interval, which is the ability to do 30 seconds of high intensity and 30 seconds of recovery.  I really like the Octane line, I think you will too.  These are well-made machines and really pack a lot of features into the ellipticals.  Assembly is required, so plan on getting to know your hand tools pretty well for several hours.

Pros:

  • Can fit in smaller spaces
  • Workout Boosters
  • Options for different types of leg training

Cons:

  • Price may be an obstacle

 


Best Mid-Range Ellipticals 

What you can expect or things to consider in this price range

  • There are some pretty darn good machines in this price range
  • Lots of technology
  • Some that are more compact
  • Different orientations
  • A lot of variety in machines and workouts

 


Body Solid E300 Endurance Elliptical

The E300 offers a low profile, space saving design that is sure to give a great workout.  This machine is based on a center drive design, with easy access pedals at just the right height.  I really like the lower center of gravity which will help to keep the machine balanced.

Body Solid E300 Elliptical

You can program two user preferences which helps if multiple people will be using the machine.  You will really get a health club quality machine with the E300.

The console display is easy to read and use.  You can track all of your important metrics with the bright display, and making changes to your workout with the controls is a piece of cake.  The display is really intuitive and adjustments are easy to make.

The E300 boasts 20 levels of resistance and 7 preset program functions, so you will never get bored and will always be challenged by your workout.

The dimensions of the machine are as follows:

  • Length – 50 inches
  • Width – 31 inches
  • Height – 66 inches
  • Product weight – 230 pounds
  • Max user weight – 300 pounds

The contact heart rate function allows you to track your heart rate and make adjustments as needed.  All you have to do is place your hands around the fixed handles and the machine will do the rest.  This elliptical also has movable handgrips, for a complete upper and lower body workout.

One interesting feature is the transport handles, which would make the machine somewhat easy to move.  I just don’t know if moving a 230-pound piece of exercise equipment is something you want to do all the time.  I would suggest putting it in a place where it will be mostly setup, then if you need to move it, the transport handles would make it easier to do that.

One downside to this model is the lack of incline, but it does have 7 preset modes, so I don’t really think you will be struggling to get a good sweat going.  I really think this is a great health club quality machine that is available for home use.  Assembly is pretty easy, and should hopefully take less than 2 hours.  Pretty easy compared to a lot of ellipticals out there.

Pros: 

  • Compact design
  • Easy to read and use display
  • Easy to set up and use

Cons:

  • No fan
  • Some users may want more in the way of features or programs

 


ProForm Cardio HIIT Trainer Pro

This machine is designed for HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), short bursts of high-level training, followed by set recovery times.  The HIIT Trainer Pro combines elliptical and stepper in one machine.  This is a really awesome machine, with a few quirky features.  ProForm has combined an elliptical with a stepper in this unit.

ProForm Cardio HIIT Trainer Pro - BSB

I love the 10-inch high definition touchscreen which allows you to swipe between different workout metrics.  The machine comes with 34 workout apps and 26 resistance levels.  You will never get bored with all of this functionality.

Monitor your heart rate with the handgrip sensors, or use the included chest strap.  As for the build, this machine has a 30-pound flywheel, which gives you a really smooth ride.

The dimensions of the machine are as follows:

  • Length – 66.7 inches
  • Width – 29.25 inches
  • Height – 52 inches
  • Product weight – 225 pounds
  • Max user weight – 350 pounds

So I think this machine is really well built and offers a ton of tech features. Now I will explain the other stuff, that, depending on your point of view, is positive or negative.  The elliptical comes equipped with iFiT technology, which allows you to use preloaded maps, to simulate workouts throughout the world. You can experience the actual terrain of many destinations around the world.

This mapping technology is really cool, but people do report that is it buggy at times.  The other thing, in order to get full functionality from this machine, there is an annual subscription required to access these features.  Again, it depends on your perspective.

I think that the mapping technology is really cool, but whether or not you want to pay for this functionality, in addition to the cost of the machine is something you will need to determine for yourself.

As I say, you will need to determine if the extra expense is right for you.  I think it’s really cool and you certainly will not get bored with all the tech that is included.

Pros:

  • HD touchscreen display is awesome
  • HIIT workouts are great for getting your HR up
  • iFit will really give you some awesome workouts
  • Full body workout
  • Compact size

Cons:

  • Some people have reported that customer service is not the greatest
  • iFit is an additional cost

 


NordicTrack Spacesaver SE9i Elliptical

With a 7 inch HD touchscreen, the NordicTrack Spacesaver has a lot of features to offer with the swipe of a finger.  There are 30 preset, convenient workout apps, 24 levels of resistance, which are sure to keep you engaged in your workout.

I think you will really like the integrated controls on the handles, making adjustments to your workout is a breeze.  I love the fact that this machine is foldable for storage, something I will talk in more detail about in a little bit.

NordicTrack Spacesaver SE9i elliptical

A 10° auto adjustable incline is another fantastic feature that will add to the intensity of your workout.  The rear drive 18-pound flywheel gives you a smooth, comfortable ride.  There is also a tablet holder and built-in speakers.  You can track your heart rate with either the fixed handgrips or with a Bluetooth enabled wireless chest strap.

The dimensions of the machine are as follows:

  • Length – 78.7 inches
  • Width – 31.9 inches
  • Height – 66.4 inches
  • Product weight – 218 pounds
  • Max user weight – 325 pounds

As I mentioned, this machine is foldable, with transport wheels, and can be stored.  I don’t know that you are going to want to store it after every time you use it.  I think this is a great added feature, so you can store it if you need to, but I don’t know that you will want to do this after every workout since it does weigh over 200 pounds.

Also, this unit is iFit compatible but does require an annual subscription to access.  So you can run through the streets of Paris, but you will have to have a subscription to do so.

So this machine is loaded with features and I think it’s a great option.  You will have to decide if the iFit is worth it.

Pros:

  • HD Touchscreen
  • Tablet holder
  • Power adjustable incline
  • A wide variety of workouts available

Cons:

  • iFit subscription required
  • Yes it is foldable, but it may not be easy for one person to move it

 


Horizon Fitness Evolve 3 Elliptical Trainer

Well, this machine has a lot of great features built in.  The 18-pound flywheel provides a very smooth and comfortable ride.

There are 20 resistance levels, so you are sure to get a great full body workout.  32 Preset programs range from performance to interval and manual adjustments.

Horizon Fitness Evolve 3

You can track all of your metrics with the 5.5 inch LCD screen which is easy to read and use.

One of the greatest features of this machine is that you can fold it up, so help save space.  So, once you have it in place, you can fold up the track with an easy to use hydraulic lift.  This unit is not Bluetooth enabled but does have the heart rate monitor enabled stationary handgrips.

The dimensions of the machine are as follows:

  • Length – 69 inches
  • Width – 28 inches
  • Height – 69 inches
  • Product weight – 175 pounds
  • Max user weight – 300 pounds

You can really enhance your workouts by connecting your machine to your TV.  With Passport Player, which is sold separately, you will have course destinations that will really keep you involved in your workout.  The Evolve 3 is also Viafit ready, so you can send your workouts to the fitness apps you already use.

Overall, this is a great machine, with a lot of features.  I really like that the hydraulic lift is easy to use and can come in handy when you need some extra space.

Pros:

  • Space saving foldable design
  • Connectivity and the ability to add Passport Player to enhance your workouts
  • Easy to read and use LCD display

Cons:

  • You have to purchase the Passport system, but that may be a really great enhancement to your routine
  • No incline feature

 


ProForm Smart Strider 935 Elliptical Trainer

The first thing I noticed on the Smart Strider 935 was the display a beautiful 7-inch touchscreen.  You can watch your favorite shows, or get some work done while you are getting a great workout in.

Proform 935 E Elliptical

The handle controls let you adjust your workout without taking your hands off the wheel, so to speak.  With 24 resistance levels and 30 built-in workout apps, you will definitely get an awesome workout with this machine.

I also think you will really like the 10° power adjustable incline.  Just an extra kick if you need it.

The dimensions of the machine are as follows:

  • Length – 80 inches
  • Width – 32 inches
  • Height – 65 inches
  • Product weight – 256 pounds
  • Max user weight – 325 pounds

Get a total body, low impact workout with the Smart Strider 935, engaging your legs and upper body.  This unit is equipped with iFit, so you can have an amazing user experience and travel through scenic destinations around the world.  This, of course, requires a subscription, which adds to the cost, but is a fantastic upgrade that will really enhance your workouts.  The elliptical is also equipped with a sound system, so you can crank the tunes through the built-in speakers.

This is a feature-loaded elliptical for home use.  The unit does fold up for storage which is definitely a nice feature.

Pros:

  • Large touchscreen
  • Space saving fold away design
  • Compatible with iFit

Cons:

  • iFit subscription is required for additional functionality
  • Some users have reported some wobble in the unit
  • Proform customer service is not the best

 


 

Best Ellipticals – Entry Level Plus

What to expect, or things to consider in this range

  • Some very solid options that don’t require you to break the bank
  • Honestly, there is a lot of tech available in this range
  • Ellipticals are more compact
  • High functionality for the money

Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine

Schwinn has been around the exercise equipment arena for a very long time.  I am not surprised to see they make an outstanding elliptical as well.  One of the first things that caught my eye is the dual display.

You can watch shows on your device while charging it and still see your workout metrics.  This is a very innovative design that will really suit a lot of people.

Schwinn 470 Elliptical

It’s frustrating when you don’t have enough space for a tablet, yet still, want to see how your workout is progressing.  There are 29 exercise programs and 25 levels of resistance mean this machine will grow with you and you will never get bored with your workout.

The dimensions of the machine are as follows:

  • Length – 70.1 inches
  • Width – 28.2 inches
  • Height – 63.2 inches
  • Product weight – 168.7 pounds
  • Max user weight – 300 pounds

In addition, the machine comes with 10° degree motorized adjustable ramp to further kick your workout into high gear. The Schwinn 470 is equipped with both handlebar heart rate monitoring as well as a telemetry heart rate receiver, so you can monitor your progress.

I think you will really like the 3-speed fan to keep you cool during your workout. Schwinn has also built speakers into the unit so if you don’t want to plug in your headphones you don’t have to.  The transport wheels make it easy to store out of the way when you are done working out.

Schwinn has built-in technology to track your workout and send that data to the My Fitness Pal app.  This allows you to keep track of all your workouts in one place.

The Schwinn 470 has packed a lot of functionality into this elliptical and I think it’s a really good option for a home machine.

Pros:

  • Large display
  • Dual monitor system
  • Motorized adjustable incline
  • Transport wheels

Cons:

  • Plan on about 4 hours to build

 


ProForm Cardio HIIT Trainer

ProForm has combined an elliptical and the benefits of a stepper with this machine to come up with a powerful HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) unit.  The idea is short bursts of high intensity followed by short recovery periods burn more calories.

Proform Cardio HIIT Elliptical

This unit comes with a 7 inch LED-backlit display, 32 workout apps, and 24 levels of resistance.  The 28-pound flywheel gives you a smooth and comfortable ride.

The dimensions of the machine are as follows:

  • Length – 52 inches
  • Width – 29.25 inches
  • Height – 66.7 inches
  • Product weight – 180 pounds
  • Max user weight – 300 pounds

Monitor your heart rate with the handle grips, or with an optional chest strap device.  This unit really is a space saver, with more of an upright orientation, taking up less space than a traditional elliptical.

The ProForm Cardio HIIT Trainer is equipped with iFit technology.  For full functionality, this does require a subscription.   The HIIT Trainer is completely functional without the iFit subscription as it comes preloaded with workout apps, but if you want to add some adventure to your workout, iFit is definitely an option.

You would need to use a tablet or other device to have the visual as the screen on this unit would not play the video for you.

Overall, this is a solid machine that will give you a great workout.  You will have to decide if the iFit subscription is something you want to add.  I think that would be really cool, but I am not sure if you need it with this machine.

Pros:

  • Combination of elliptical and stepper give a great workout
  • Space-saving upright design
  • iFit compatible
  • Comes loaded with a wide variety of apps
  • Less expensive than the Pro model, but it lacks some functionality

Cons:

  • Assembly is required, plan on about 2-4 hours
  • iFit subscription required for added functionality
  • ProForm customer service is not the best

 


Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine

Well, Schwinn has certainly been around for a very long time.  They have come out with this Schwinn 430 elliptical that really packs a lot of basic features into the machine.  With 22 preset workout programs and 20 resistance levels, you are sure to get a great workout.

Schwinn 430 Elliptical

This front-drive elliptical also has a manually adjustable incline which will really help to enhance your workout even more. There are six different angle settings to choose from with the adjustable incline.  Two user profiles allow for multi-user setup.

The dimensions of the machine are as follows:

  • Length – 70.1 inches
  • Width – 28.2 inches
  • Height – 63.2 inches
  • Product weight – 168.7 pounds
  • Max user weight – 300 pounds

The dual display setup incorporates a media shelf.  You can set your tablet or phone on the shelf, watch your favorite shows, and still be able to see your workout metrics on the display.  You will be able to monitor your heart rate with the sensors on the handgrips to track your progress.

This is a great option for a home use elliptical and has a 20-inch stride and large oversized pedal for an awesome low impact workout.  This machine may lack some bells and whistles of more expensive machines, but I think you are getting a really good machine at this price.

Pros:

  • Adjustable incline
  • A lot of preset workouts to choose from
  • Dual display functionality

Cons:

  • Takes some time to build it yourself
  • Now you have no excuses 🙂

 


XTERRA FS380 Elliptical Trainer

The FS380 Elliptical will keep you busy with 24 levels of resistance and a number preset workouts that are sure to help you stay engaged and motivated.  The oversized 5.5-inch blue display will help you keep track of all the important metrics, including, but not limited to time, speed, distance, heart rate.

Xterra FS380 Elliptical

The large console is easy to read and really makes adjustments to your workout a snap. The unit comes with a lot of preset workouts including Hill, Fat Burn, Cardio, Interval, just to name a few.

The front drive system is definitely a plus for space saving.  The upright design takes up less space than other models.  The 13-pound flywheel and magnetic resistance provide a smooth and comfortable ride. This is fairly light-weight and may be geared to smaller users. The 18-inch stride length is comfortable for a lot of different heights of users.

The dimensions of the machine are as follows:

  • Length – 60.2 inches
  • Width – 21.7 inches
  • Height – 62.2 inches
  • Product weight – 119 pounds
  • Max user weight – 300 pounds

The XTERRA FS380 Elliptical Trainer will definitely help you get a great workout.  I think the oversized, padded pedals are a great feature, giving you ample room, and a comfort fit, so your feet are not restricted.  You can plug in your device and use the built-in speakers if you want a break from your headphones.  The water bottle holder is appropriately placed for easy access during the workout routine.

Heart rate sensors are built into the fixed handles so you can easily monitor your heart rate when you want to.  The machine has rollers so you moving the trainer should be pretty easy.  Honestly, since this machine is pretty lightweight moving it really shouldn’t be a problem.  Plan on spending a few hours to put this together. Overall this is a nice machine with a good amount of options available.

Pros:

  • Very good basic machine with lots of workout options and resistance levels
  • Rollers make this light-weight machine movable
  • Large backlit display is easy to read
  • Oversized, padded footrest

Cons:

  • Due to the light weight of this unit, it may not be suited for larger users
  • Not a whole lot of tech integrated into this machine, but it’s a lower cost machine
  • No fan to keep you cool

 


AFG Sport 5.5AE Elliptical

If you are looking for a great workout from an elliptical, with a very friendly price, you have to give this one a try.  With 10 resistance levels and 43 programs, you will not only get a great workout, but you will not get bored either.

AFG Sport 5.5AE Elliptical

This machine has enough variation to keep you motivated and moving in the right direction to reach your goals.  There are fixed handles that will allow you to focus on your legs, as well as moving handles that will allow you to get a complete full body workout.

The LED screen is intuitive, easy to use and read. You will be able to adjust the intensity of your workout easily.  With an 18 stride length, this machine can be used by a wide variety of people, all shapes, and sizes.  The 14-pound flywheel and oversized foot pedals add to a comfortable and supportive ride. Two different user modes allow you to sign in and pick up where you left off.

The dimensions of the machine are as follows:

  • Length – 74 inches
  • Width – 24 inches
  • Height – 66 inches
  • Product weight – 203 pounds
  • Max user weight – 275 pounds

This machine also comes with a couple of nice features including a fan, to help keep you cool, and built-in speakers.  You can plug your device into the console and listen to the onboard speaker system if you want a break from your headphones.  There is a space to hold a device as well, so you can watch your favorite shows, read, or whatever you want to do while you are working up a sweat.

This machine is a great training alternative to running on pavement every day, helping take some of the burden off of your poor joints.  Mix this in with your weekly routine to give your body something new.  Try alternating front and backward motion for something different as well.  Track your heart rate with the HR sensors built into the fixed handles. Keep track of your progress.

Don’t let the assembly scare you off, it comes with step by step instructions.  I really feel that this machine has a lot packed into it, especially for the price.

Pros:

  • Moving as well as fixed handles allows concentration on legs
  • A lot of programming built-in
  • Nice extra features like a fan and built-in speakers

Cons:

  • Assembly is required
  • Has rollers, but you may not want to move it once it’s setup

 


ProForm Smart Strider 495 CSE Elliptical

Wow, this machine offers a lot of value at this price range.  First of all, it is fully assembled out of the box, ready to use in minutes, so you don’t have to spend hours putting it together.

ProForm Smart Strider 495 Cse

The Smart Strider 495 CSE Elliptical has moving and fixed handles, so you can get a full body workout, or focus on just your lower body, it’s up to you.

With 18 workout apps, and 18 resistance levels, you have a wide array of choices that will keep you challenged, engaged and definitely sweaty!

I really like the display on this unit, it is very unique.  Almost like a tachometer on a car, it’s is round and lights up depending on what zone you are in.

The dimensions of the machine are as follows:

  • Length – 80 inches
  • Width – 32 inches
  • Height – 65 inches
  • Product weight – 183 pounds
  • Max user weight – 275 pounds

This machine is also foldable, and they say you can store it.  I definitely think that is a great concept, although I am not sure how practical it is.  It’s pretty heavy, so moving it may take more than one person to do it safely and effectively.

You can monitor your heart rate with the hand grip sensors.  iFit technology is built into this elliptical.  It does require a separate subscription, but it offers a lot of really cool features. This is what gives you access to destinations around the world, so you can train and actually simulate being there.

Other great features include a 13-pound flywheel, which is common to a lot of home use equipment, iPod compatible audio and transport wheels, mentioned earlier. The oversized pedals and flywheel will make for a nice comfortable ride. This is a feature rich machine and I was honestly pleasantly surprised by all that is included.

Pros:

  • iFit compatible
  • Tons of exercise options even without iFit
  • Easy assembly
  • Transport wheels

Cons:

  • Moving the machine might be a challenge due to size and weight
  • No incline
  • No fan

 


 

Best Ellipticals – Entry Level

Things to expect or consider in this range:

  • Entry level equipment
  • Don’t expect health club quality ellipticals in this price range
  • You can get some pretty nice tech features, like iFit in this price range
  • Some of these include transport wheels and are lightweight enough to move around if needed
  • Basic machines that will get the job done, but lack the features of the more expensive units

Body Rider Fan Elliptical Trainer

The Body Rider Fan Elliptical Trainer is a very basic, about as basic as you can get.  This unit does not require electricity since it is powered by you.  You can get a full body workout from this machine, without ever leaving your house.  The dual action fan is what creates resistance as you motor along.

Body Rider Fan Elliptical

If you want greater resistance, crank the knob, less resistance, loosen the knob.  Righty tighty, left loosy :).  Okay, so I digress.  Although a basic elliptical, you can still track your workout time, calories burned, distance, etc, with the digital display.  Yes, it has a digital display.

The dimensions of the machine are as follows:

  • Length – 40 inches
  • Width – 20 inches
  • Height – 57 inches
  • Product weight – 57 pounds
  • Max user weight – 250 pounds

This unit has transport wheels, so you can literally move it anywhere you want it, living room, garage, basement, it’s up to you.  It’s not real heavy, so transporting it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

I am not going to tell you this is the best piece of exercise equipment out there, but I do think it can serve a purpose.  If you have a small space and still want to work up a sweat or are just starting out, this might be a good option.  I have listed some of the features and it really does operate quite nicely for such an inexpensive unit.

This is an inexpensive machine, so if you are on a budget, or new to working out, this is a viable option.  If space is a concern, again, this can be moved quite easily.  If you are looking for an alternative to running and something to mix it up, maybe give this a try.

Pros:

  • Compact
  • Budget-friendly
  • Transportable

Cons:

  • Assembly is required and it will take some time, so be patient

 


ProForm 150i Elliptical

The ProForm 150i is designed for simplicity.  Honestly, it has some pretty nice features at this price point.  The LCD display is large and easy to read.  You have the option to choose from 12 workout apps and with 12 resistance levels, you certainly can take your training off the charts.

ProForm 150I Elliptical

The machine has both moving and fixed handle grips.  The fixed handles have heart rate sensor built in, so you can make sure you are in range.  The moving handles make it so you can effectively achieve a complete full body workout.  You can also use the fixed handles for a lower center of gravity, lean back and focus on legs. You will also be able to pedal forward or backward with this elliptical.

This front-drive elliptical has a 17-inch stride, oversized pedals for your feet, transport wheels and a water bottle holder.  the 150i comes equipped with iFit technology, so if you have a subscription, you can utilize the workouts and coach that iFit offers.

The resistance and all programs are controlled with ease on the console.  It also has a media shelf for your device.  This unit does not come assembled, so you will need to plan on part of a day for that. Or you can pay someone to do it for you :).

The dimensions of the machine are as follows:

  • Length – 66.75 inches
  • Width – 22.5 inches
  • Height – 63 inches
  • Product weight – 127 pounds
  • Max user weight – 250 pounds

Overall, I think this machine offers a lot for the money.  If you are looking for a health club quality machine, you probably need to look elsewhere.  I think this will give a great workout and do what it is intended.  This is a great option for beginners, or people looking to mix up their workout routine.  Would be good for runners who just need a break from pounding the pavement.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Transportable
  • It has a fan!!
  • iFit compatible

Cons:

  • Assembly time

 


Fitness Reality E5500XL Magnetic Elliptical Trainer

This inexpensive elliptical packs a mighty punch.  With 24 levels of resistance and 21 preset workouts, you really are in for a treat with this machine.  There is a lot of variety in the programs that you can select and you would really have a hard time getting bored.  I think this is a functional machine at this price point.

Fitness Reality E550XL

With the rear drive flywheel and 18-inch stride length, the ride is comfortable and should fit a variety of shapes and sizes when it comes to users.  The machine has both fixed and moving handgrips.  Fixed handles allow you to lower yourself and kind of lean back, allowing you to really concentrate on working your legs. Also, the heart rate sensors are built into the fixed handles, so you can track and monitor your progress.  The moving handles give you a complete full body workout.

I think you will really love the large backlit LCD display, where you can track all of your important workout metrics. Changing resistance and programs is really easy.  After the workout, you can check your heart rate recovery.

The dimensions of the machine are as follows:

  • Length – 57.5 inches
  • Width – 24 inches
  • Height – 66 inches
  • Product weight – 93 pounds
  • Max user weight – 270 pounds

Fitness Reality has a double transmission system which uses 2 flywheels and 2 belts for a great ride.  One really cool thing about this machine is the pedals. They have placed the pedals 6 inches apart, which is supposed to reduce the strain on your inner thighs.  The pedals are also 6 inches off the ground for easy access to the machine itself.  Oh, and there are transport wheels, so you move it out of the way when you need to.

Pros:

  • Compact design
  • This machine has a lot of workout options
  • Device holder is included
  • Transportable

Cons:

  • No fan 🙁
  • Assembles in a few hours.  If you are a do-it-yourselfer it takes a few hours, if not, plan on probably double that

 


EFITMENT Compact Magnetic Elliptical

Well, this little machine can really do a lot.  First of all, it is really compact, so you can wheel it out of the way when you are not using it.  It is tough to find a machine that will fit in a small space, and this little guy can do just that, and still give you a good workout.

EFITMENT Magnetic elliptical

This unit does come with a digital monitor so you can track important metrics like heart rate, time, speed, distance.  Speaking of heart rate, the fixed handles have built in sensors so you can stay in your target heart rate zone.  The fixed handles also allow you to grab on, lean back into your butt and focus on working your legs.

If you want a complete full body workout, the moving handgrips offer you the flexibility to get a complete workout.  This EFITMENT unit has a rear drive orientation and provides a smooth ride.  Eight resistance levels are harder than you may think.

The dimensions of the machine are as follows:

  • Length – 34.5 inches
  • Width – 24.5 inches
  • Height – 61 inches
  • Product weight – 63 pounds
  • Max user weight – 220 pounds

This elliptical comes with transport wheels.  So as I mentioned earlier, moving this machine from one room to another, or out of the way should be a snap.  The 11-inch stride is a bit short for some users, but you will have to take that into account if you purchase this budget-friendly elliptical.

So, if you need to take a break from pounding the pavement, and save your joints, you may want to consider this elliptical. Or if you want a machine that you can workout on just to do something different to break up your routine, this space saver may be just right for you.

Pros:

  • Compact
  • Portable
  • Budget-friendly
  • Space for a tablet to rest on the display

Cons:

  • Needs to be assembled
  • No fan 🙁
  • No water bottle holder

 


Body Power Elliptical Cross Trainer

This is a very basic and compact elliptical that can fit into not only a tight space, but also your budget.  It has a solid steel flywheel and the resistance is adjustable by turning a knob on the machine.  This unit does have a digital display which will display metrics like time, distance, speed.

This model does have transport wheels, so moving it out of site, or from room to room is easy.  There is no fan or water bottle holder.  What it does have though, are fixed and moving handle grips.  The fixed grips allow you to focus more on just your legs, and the moving grips allow you a complete full body workout.

Body Power Cross trainer elliptical

You can move forward or backward with this machine.  If your body needs a break from pounding the pavement, you can incorporate a unit like this into your workout as needed.

The dimensions of the machine are as follows:

  • Length – 51 inches
  • Width – 30 inches
  • Height – 61 inches
  • Product weight – 107 pounds
  • Max user weight – 250 pounds

Overall, a nice compact machine that will enable you to work up a sweat.  Again, you can adjust the resistance level with the turn of a knob, so you really can set it wherever suits you.

Pros:

  • Compact/light-weight
  • Comes mostly assembled
  • Full body workout
  • Transportable

Cons:

  • No fan
  • No water bottle holder


 

Conclusion: Best Ellipticals 2018

Well, we sure have covered a lot of ground here.  I hope you have some much-needed information in your search for the best ellipticals for 2018.  What this comes down to at the end of the day is finding a machine that fits your goals.  Sure, you need to make sure you have the space and the budget for the machine, but figuring out your goal is a great place to start. I really hope you have enjoyed reading this review and if you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment, or send me an email.  Thanks for reading!

 

Steve@BuildingStrongerBodies.com

 

 


Disclosure: Some of the links in this review are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.  Click here for details.

37 thoughts on “Best Ellipticals (2019) – Your Complete Buyers Guide”

  1. Wow Steve, really a ton of solid information here. Since I too have been having some serious spinal issues as of late (my doctor says I have developed osteoarthritis in my lower back at 25 years old) I am trying to find solid alternatives to running.

    I was considering an in home elliptical but I’m not sure that I can really afford to go that route. Financially speaking, do you think the ZR Zero Runner would be a solid decision in terms of payback vs. just getting a gym membership at the local gym?

    I have always worked out in the gym and been a proponent of heavy lifting and strength training but in my current state with a more limited mobility I feel I may be less confident overall with my lifting abilities and even will be a bit slow on the elliptical.

    Thanks for including the dimensions as I know this will be important if I do pull the trigger and put one in what is currently my office!

    Best of luck with your training, I hope that you are doing much better overall.

    Reply
    • Wow, I am sorry to hear about your back issues, especially at such a young age. I do think the Zero Runner would be a great option for you, it is literally like running without pounding the pavement. Of course check with your doctor to get the okay first. There are a lot of choices out there, even more than I have discussed, but hopefully this will give you some valuable information, and will cut down on your time spent researching. If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

      Reply
  2. Yes , loved your post. I have been thinking about getting a workout machine for a while now. This post was very thorough and laid out well. It really helped me out with my search. If I have any further questions, I will reach out to you. I really have my eye on the Bowflex PR1000, I think that will suit me well.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your comment, I appreciate it. I agree the Bowflex PR1000 is a great machine. Please let me know if you need any additional help in selecting the right machine. There are a lot of choices out there, so hopefully I have shed some light on this for you.

      Reply
  3. Interesting post. I have been doing cardio solely outdoors when running through the woods or when cycling in the hills. What are the benefits of using ellipticals compared to my approach?

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment, I appreciate it. The main benefit of an elliptical machine is less wear and tear on your body. Your knees, hips, ankles take a pounding when you run, so this is a great way to either add a different element to your regular workout routine, or take a break from pounding the pavement. Ellipticals offer a lot of different programs to choose from and they are a really great full body workout. You can work upper and lower body with an elliptical, or you can adjust and concentrate on specific areas of your lower body. You can also engage the core. Hopefully I have answered your question, please feel free to reach out with any more.

      Reply
  4. This is a interesting and informative post about elliptical. I had no idea prior to reading your article that there are so many ellipticals out there. I like how you covered the pros and cons of each machine. My father has some back pain. I will look more into this. In Fact, I used to have one, but had to sell it because we had to relocate. I know from my experience, elliptical is wonderful machine to have for everyday workout routine. Thank you for shedding some light on me on different elliptical available on the market. Keep up with the good work.

    Reply
    • Yes, there are certainly a lot of options out there. Ellipticals can be a great way to exercise if you have back problems, or knee problems, since it is low impact (or no impact). I am glad you enjoyed my post, I tried to cover a lot of ground. Thanks for the comment. Stop by again soon!

      Reply
  5. Hi Steve,
    What an amazingly detailed review! I also like ellipticals. We got one 5 years ago and I loved it. It is a rear drive and has many of the bells and whistles like adjustable resistance, slope, preset workouts, heart monitor etc.

    My biggest problem was finding one built for tall people that had a long stride reach. Many seemed to be built for short people who take little, short steps! Maybe we don’t really need such long strides on an elliptical but having not really used one previously, that was my main concern while shopping. I also wanted one that was sturdy and would last. When we got it home I realized the distance to the ceiling also felt like an issue, but it was fine.

    I could never be a runner with my knees and hips so an elliptical is a good choice for me. I also like the look of the Octane Fitness Zero Runner. My husband used to run but has bad knees now so I wonder if this would be a good option for him. I think it would be!

    Thanks for this great review! I will show him the Zero Runner.
    Jessica

    Reply
    • Thank you Jessica, I appreciate your comment. Yes, I tried to offer a lot of options and give a lot of detail. There are so many choices out there and it’s hard to nail down the right one. You bring up some very valid points about stride length. Yes, that is definitely something to consider, especially for tall people. I have tried different models, and I agree, they are made for little people with little steps! Most of the home machines come with a pretty standard stride length, but again, something to keep in mind. The Zero Runner is really cool and I like the Octane Fitness products a lot. Thanks again for your comment. Let me know if I can help you out down the road.

      Reply
  6. I started having problems with my knees in my 40’s and took up bicycle riding for a couple of years and the pain went away. I no longer bike so I’m looking for a low impact way to exercise my knees and this just might do the trick.
    I noticed some of the HIIT elliptical machines had heavier flywheels. I’m thinking I should look for the lower flywheel weight machines for lower impact. Am I thinking right?

    Reply
    • Thanks for stopping by. Yes, the ellipticals are easier on the knees that is for sure. Actually, with a heavier flywheel, the ride should be smoother, so that should be considered. The HIIT machines are awesome, but they are also more of an upright stance, so you may want to consider a more traditional elliptical if your knees are a serious consideration. Thanks for your comment, I hope I have answered your question.

      Reply
  7. I think an elliptical is a great way to get some exercise in from home. I did not know much about them before but this review really informed me. It looks like there a lot of good quality ellipticals in this post and I might have to check them out. Thanks

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment. Yeah, there are a lot of choices out there. I am really trying to help people narrow it down. Let me know if I can help in the future.

      Reply
  8. Wow, I now feel like an elliptical expert! You have provided so much quality information that is well-organized and easy to read, well done!

    I am a treadmill girl myself, though I have many friends who swear by their elliptical. I just find that I get the best workout on a treadmill, or out for a run. That being said, I luckily do not have any joint issues that prevent me from doing that. I can definitely see the value of an elliptical in those scenarios.

    However, would you say that some of the ellipticals you have listed here that work more like a stair-climber, could be used in place of a stair-climber? It would be ideal to be able to get a good cardio workout and work out my butt at the same time with the same piece of equipment! 🙂

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment. I really like the elliptical/stepper hybrid machines, they provide the best of both. Yes, it is good for your butt. Less pounding on your knees, and full range of motion and full body workout. I understand you treadmill people LOL. There are a lot of treadmill users. For me the elliptical is best option and I love the full body aspect. I also love to lean back and really work my glutes. Thanks again for stopping by.

      Reply
  9. Thanks for all the fantastic info. It looks like there are some really solid options in the under $500 range that would work for me. I have tried treadmills, and I really think an elliptical would work well for me. I like the idea of getting a complete full body workout without the pounding on my knees is really appealing. I will check out more of your site too, you have a lot of great information here.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment, I appreciate it. Yes, you can get a solid machine for under $500. Please let me know if you need any more details, or help with your decision.

      Reply
  10. I have always wanted to get one for myself. I am so self-conscious and working out at the gym is not easy when you feel all eyes are on you. So it would be great to have a machine that helps get fit at home and has various challenging levels so my routine is not monotonous.

    Thanks for all these various options and giving me an idea what to look for

    Reply
  11. Hi Steve,
    To remain healthy through exercise isn’t only the anodyne for injured persons but for any normal person as well.
    You have also vividly shown how you got injured and then that very injury has gotten rid of by exercise.
    Your article has therefore given a double impact in this regard.
    I encourage everyone to emulate this useful example and remain healthy.
    All the best.

    Reply
  12. The Proform Cardio HIIT Trainer Pro looks like a good elliptical. In the past, I have owned a couple ellipticals and the brand names I won’t mention, but one of them didn’t even last 6 months before it broke. The sad part is it would cost almost as much as it the entire elliptical to fix it.

    I’m interested in the Proform one though. How much is iFit though? Are there other options you can use other than iFit, though?

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment. Yes, the Proform Cardio HIIT Trainer Pro is a really solid machine. The only thing is you are paying a lot more for basically the HD touchscreen. The machine is iFit ready, so yes, that is the tech that you would use with it. There are a ton of features with iFit though. The downside as you mentioned is the annual subscription. There are a couple of different ways to get the subscription and you can see iFit website for more information. Basically, if you want to pay for 1 year it’s $144 but you can pay that monthly, $12/mo. If you pay strictly monthly, it is $15/month. So you get a bit of a discount if you commit to the full year. So, yes there is added expense with iFit, but there are some great features. You definitely have to weigh that. You can still use the preset programs that come with the Proform Cardio HIIT Trainer Pro as well, so you aren’t required to have an iFit subscription. Thanks again, hopefully, this answered your questions.

      Reply
  13. Hey Steve,
    Great article on the best ellipticals for 2018. I went and read your full story as well. You’ve certainly been through the ringer with your back so definitely know from personal experience the best exercise equipment to be nice to your back!
    I have been a stationary bike guy for about 15 years. I ride the bike first thing in the morning for 20-30 minutes most mornings. I typically life weights 4X a week as well but the stationary bike is my cardio.
    I have 2 teenage daughters and they both have been on my case about getting an elliptical soon. I use them when I travel because most hotels have them and not all have stationary bikes. I appreciate your reviews, this gives me a good place to start.
    Cheers!
    Mat

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Mat, I appreciate it.  I am glad you read my story as well, yes, I have a long history of back problems.  Please let me know if I can help you out with an elliptical purchase, I am here to help.

      Reply
  14. I know a bit about Treadmills but this is the first time I am learning about Elliptical machines.  I would love to know the difference between a treadmill and Elliptical and their benefits?

    Also I was very interested in the Bowflex Max Trainer M7 and the Body E300 endurance Elliptical. I am petite and my problem is losing weight around my waist, I used to lose weight in my 30s and now that I am in my mid 40s it’s kind of hard.

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your comment.  As for the differences between an elliptical and a treadmill, there are several.  First and most obvious is that elliptical machines offer a low impact workout.  Your joints will take less of a pounding with an elliptical than with a treadmill.  With an elliptical, you will be able to get a full body workout, with the hand grips that move with you.  I believe the elliptical is more versatile, you can use the hand grips, or not and work more on your legs.  Some ellipticals come with incline and so do some treadmills. Some people are just super loyal to treadmills and will not use anything else and I understand that.  For me, elliptical machines offer a lot more options.  Thanks again for stopping by, I appreciate it.

      Reply
  15. Yes, the post was just awesome and very thorough quit a bit of information. I currently own a treadmill and weights made by Bowflex and have been interested in getting another workout machine. You do make a great point about all the benefits of owning these machines. I really like the Bowflex Max Trainer M7 and will be giving it very serious considerations.
    Thanks,
    JesusB

    Reply
  16. Hey Steve, What a wonderful post!

    I recently fell in love with the elliptical.

    I trained with my brother last summer and the elliptical is his goto cardio machine, man we did 20 minutes together and I was burnt out!

    Such an intense workout! I need one of these bad boys at home asap!

    Reply
    • Thanks for you comment, I appreciate it.  I agree, an elliptical can be such a great full body workout.  I am glad you feel the same.

      Reply
  17. I appreciate your blog and the low impact nature of elliptical trainers. I did not realize the large variety of options when it comes to elliptical trainers. I would recommend the center drive option to my clients so that there is plenty of versatility to continually challenge the cardiovascular system. Of the products you described I was most drawn to the Bowflex M7 because of the built in heart rate monitor. Monitoring the heart rate is key to maximizing cardio results.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your comment, I appreciate it.  I really think Bowflex built a really nice elliptical with the M7, there are a lot of great features. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  18. Hi Steven,
    I have a proform machine at home which does not work anymore. It is a stationary bike with pedals and h/r meter. I don”t think it is a elliptical machine because it has a seat not a stand up. I am over 300 lbs. and I put too much pressure on the machine. What should I do?

    Reply
    • Hi, and thanks for your question. I would definitely say you have a bike and not an elliptical. Without knowing the details, when/where you purchased the machine, I would recommend you call Proform customer service at 1-888-533-1333. They can at least provide you some direction. If you decide you are in the market for an elliptical, please let me know and I would be more than happy to help you.

      Reply

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