TOP 10 Best Elliptical Machine 2022 (Buying Guide)

The question of knowing what is the best elliptical machine on the market is still hotly debated. Indeed, it is one of the most effective cardio machines ever made.

Why ? 

Ellipticals have a very low impact on the joints while working the arms and legs at the same time. This equipment solicits the whole body in a workout combining cardio and resistance. 

Table of Contents

Why buy an elliptical trainer?

In fact, it beats the treadmill and the exercise bikes in efficiency and in intrinsic value at equal expense.

Since it engages almost every lower body muscle group, including the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves, working out with this gym machine is harder than it looks. Using the resistance of the moving levers, you get a full body workout.

According to a study published by the scientific journal Gait Posture published on the US NCBI website , ellipticals require more muscle activity in the quadriceps, hamstrings, and other muscle groups than treadmill walking and indoor cycling.

Even though this device has been enshrined in professional gyms, that doesn't mean they aren't suitable for cardio sessions at home. On the contrary !

If you have room at home and a sufficient budget, go for it! I will help you find the one that suits you in this comparison. This article is updated regularly to be sure to offer the best ellipticals of the moment. So do not hesitate to come back throughout the year…

What is an elliptical?

Best elliptical trainer for home

Might as well say it right away, it only has a bike in name and the fact that it has sorts of pedals. The rest is very different.

the elliptical is a complete cardio-training machine that provides the same benefits as a treadmill, a rower, a stepper and an exercise bike or a spin bike by imitating the movement of cross-country skiing.

Like the rower, he solicits more than 85 % of the muscles of the body, while offering a much more natural training position since you remain standing. In addition, it has a greater impact on the anterior muscles of the bust, namely the pectorals and the triceps.

Its movement reproduces the natural movement of running or cross-country skiing while preserving the joints. When you get on this cardio machine, you act both on the pedals in an elliptical or oval movement, and on the mobile handles that you push on one side and pull on the other.

A braking system plays on the difficulty of the exercises. When it is managed by an electronic program, this allows you to vary the difficulty according to your desires or your sports training objectives.

How to choose an elliptical trainer?

As a low impact alternative to the treadmill, these are ideal home multi-muscle workout machines for those who want to get in shape but don't really like running or have foot problems.

It is also one of the best exercise machines for weight loss. But they are made up of many mechanical and electronic parts that condition their quality and ease of use. It is therefore difficult to make the right choice at the time of purchase.

So here are the parts you need to consider in order of importance…

The most important element: The flywheel

To help you choose, you need to know first what a flywheel is, also sometimes called a flywheel. This is the key to choosing the best elliptical because it has a close relationship with the smoothness of the machine when using it.

This wheel is located at the front or at the rear in the large block, often round, at the end of the pedal supports.

A quick rule of thumb is: the heavier the flywheel, the smoother and quieter the elliptical will run, due to the added weight helping it to spin more efficiently.

As you've probably guessed by now, cheaper machines usually have lighter flywheels, which means the experience isn't as smooth. They are also often noisier, vibrate more and are more fragile.

So even if you choose a relatively inexpensive model, you should take care of this point.

Difference between weight and inertial mass or resistance 

There is often confusion between flywheel weight and flywheel mass, including in sellers' listings. It's a problem because we're not talking about the same thing at all.

Many comparisons on the internet fail completely by giving the mass of inertia instead of the weight or by mixing the 2 depending on the model. Even sellers make this confusion in descriptions, including Amazon. So be vigilant.

What is important above all is the actual weight of the steering wheel, which should if possible be more than 8 kg for regular use. You will even find models weighing more than 20 kg. The mass of inertia rather corresponds to the resistance that this flywheel will offer when it is braked (by electromagnetism in general). We can have a 10 kg disc which offers an inertial mass of 24 kg or more.

What about Effective Inertia?

So there, I admit that it's a big mystery… It's the choice made by the group owning the ProForm and NordicTrack brands. This way of expressing the capacity of the inertia wheel is based on the scientific formula known as “crank inertia” expressed in kg/cm2.

This formula is expressed as follows: Crank inertia = (wt)R²/2(D/d)²

As this value is indigestible for customers, the engineers converted it to kilograms and called it “Effective Inertia”. To be honest, it's hard to figure it out, but this company's models are so good that I honestly think you can trust them.

The resistance or braking system

With more resistance levels, you are able to increase the difficulty of your workout more gradually.

When there are few levels of resistance, you are forced to adapt to challenges that you may not yet be ready for. Otherwise, you will find yourself with a sports machine whose limits you will quickly reach.

There are basically 3 types of resistance (only 2 and 3 are recommended):

1. manual magnetic brake system

As its name suggests, it is a manual system with often a wheel to increase or reduce the difficulty. A magnet moves towards or away from the flywheel depending on which direction you turn.

I do not recommend this kind of system. It's relatively reliable, but your sessions will really lack interest since you decide how much effort you want to put in. You will never know if you have had a truly effective session.

A video to show you what a manual magnetic resistance is:

2. Motorized magnetic resistance

This is generally the type of resistance of mid-range devices. You hear a small noise when the resistance approaches or moves away from the flywheel to vary the difficulty.

That being said, this kind of system works very well. In addition, everything can be controlled by the console and your sessions will be much more effective.

Here's how it works in video:

3. Electromagnetic Resistance

It provides the quietest, most consistent and natural workout. But this system is often reserved for the most expensive devices. 

This video from Kettler shows you how the electromagnetic resistance works:

The amplitude of the stride

Stride length varies from machine to machine and matters more to some people than others. Here's what you should look for based on your height:

You are less than 1.65 m tall: Stride length of 30 to 39cm

You are 1.65 m to 1.80 m tall: Stride length of 40 to 50cm

You are over 1.80 m tall: Long stride length greater than 50 cm

Of course, there are cardio machines with adjustable stride, but these are often the best, fairly high-end products.

Stability

As with all other equipment, stability is crucial. During a workout, you want to be able to focus on your session and not on the risk of messing up or messing up the apartment floor.

In fact, the best machines are the ones that get overlooked because of their stability and ability to adapt to you, not the other way around.

In general, a heavier device will be more stable. But it also depends greatly on their design.

The difficulty sometimes lies in balancing the weight of the assembly against the need to move or fold it. Indeed, some models with a flywheel at the front can fold to save space.

Console

Not all ellipticals come with an on-board computer or display. For many, it is essential equipment to get the most out of your session. Indeed, it will serve you at least to create tailor-made workouts and reduce the risk of getting bored on your machine.

You should consider the following points regarding the console:

1. The quality of the display

It should be easy to read, even while you're hard at work. Backlighting is a plus, but not necessarily a necessity.

2. Data provided

The best computers will give you a range of data including distance, stride speed, session time and your heart rate with a supplied sensor or smartwatch. 

Often, a high-end elliptical offers the ability to upload your data to external devices or websites to track your progress. Others allow you to connect a smartphone or tablet and are compatible with various paid or free apps.

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Training programs

This capability goes hand in hand with your device's electronic console. Your elliptical should include a number of programs focused on weight loss, HIIT intervals, cardio, muscle tone, and more.

If possible, choose a template that allows you to create your own programs.

Size and bulk

Size is also a factor to consider. Professional-grade machines take up a lot of floor space. 

If you are limited in this regard, it might be worthwhile to look for the best folding or easily movable elliptical with fixed wheels that touch the ground when lifted a bit.

Your frequency of use

Of course, the use you make of your equipment determines your needs.

If you only use it a maximum of 2 times a week, you are an occasional user and you will be able to settle for an entry-level model.

From 3 to 5 times a week, we can speak of regular use and a mid-range will suit you.

If your machine is used every day and is used by several people, we can speak ofintensive use. In this case, look among the high-end or professional devices.

Your height and weight

Elliptical trainers normally have a maximum weight which you should take into account when ordering. The cheapest models are often lightweight and not intended for overweight people.

Anyway, if your goal is to lose weight, you must train regularly and choose quality equipment.

Likewise, your height often determines the type of material you need. As you saw earlier in the section on stride length, you should check the stride length offered by the model you are looking at.

The price

“Last but not least” as our English-speaking neighbors say, the price is obviously an essential aspect to take into consideration.

You need to find the best workout buddy based on the criteria you just read and your actual budget. And that's why this comparison will be most useful to you...

And, at the risk of repeating myself, it is better not to buy anything than to invest in equipment that does not suit you.

Elliptical models with front or rear wheel

The flywheel is the part that spins as you pedal, creating the resistance that forces your muscles to work. Knowing whether it's ahead or behind might seem like a purely technical detail, but it's not. The models with the inertia wheel at the front or at the rear also have different characteristics in use.

They each have their advantages and disadvantages. You must take this into account when making your choice…

Ellipticals with front flywheel

Front flywheel elliptical trainer

Advantages

  • Compact design and generally foldable
  • Provide better tilt

Disadvantages

  • Can be louder
  • Often offer a lesser pitch length
  • May require more maintenance (more moving parts)

This design tends to give the feeling of walking uphill or climbing a hill. Some feel it is comparable to climbing stairs.

In other words, you'll feel less flat than rear-drive units. However, with the recent evolution of these models, this is not always the case.

Generally speaking, this type of elliptical allows the user to have more incline options. This can be a major advantage if you are looking for this capability among the important criteria.

Due to this reclined position, users tend to feel themselves leaning forward more. That's not a bad thing, just a matter of preference.

Since they require more moving parts to create the elliptical motion, this means there is more chance of failure. This rule is not set in stone, but in general, it is the observation made by buyers.

The real positive is that these machines are generally more compact and therefore take up less space in the house. They also tend to cost less than models with a rear wheel.

Ellipticals with rear flywheel

Comparative elliptical trainers
ProForm Smart Strider 495 CSE

Advantages

  • Flatter movement
  • More natural position
  • Often quieter
  • Generally requires less maintenance (fewer moving parts)

Disadvantages

  • Take up more space
  • Rarely foldable
  • Less tilt ability

The steering wheel on the back of the machine gives a different look and feel. More importantly, these ellipticals work flatter and feel more like walking or running on level ground.

Rear-drive models offer tilt adjustments, but often lower than front-drive machines.

Having a flatter motion gives ellipticals with a rear flywheel a more natural feel. Users report that they feel straighter and don't feel like they have to lean forward like with other models.

It's not systematic, but many rear-drive machines also offer longer stride lengths. You should think about it if you are over 1.80 m tall.

Having the flywheel at the back also allows for a simpler design, requiring fewer moving parts. This generally means less maintenance and less operating noise. However, it all depends on the build quality.

But keep in mind that these machines take up more floor space (though NordicTrack's SpaceSaver ellipticals fold flat for easy storage).

And with a flywheel in the center

Best NordicTrack FreeStride Elliptical Trainer
Freesride FS14i

Just a quick note to tell you that there are still 2 incredible models that you will find in the comparison with resistors in the center of the device.

This is particularly the case with the NordicTrack Freesride. They have the particularity of offering very long strides and having a positive or negative inclination of 10 %. So you may feel like you are going up or down.

These models are fabulous, but as you will see, it comes at a cost… 

Selection of the best elliptical bikes

ENTRY LEVEL

What we call here the entry level does not correspond to the first prices that you can find on the Internet. 

This is our internal classification of good quality models at the lowest possible price. They meet important criteria such as electromagnetic resistance, a flywheel of more than 8 kg and the presence of a console with pre-recorded training programs.

These models cost less than 600 euros and have excellent value for money. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find many good models in this range, but we remain attentive. If you have one that you are completely satisfied with, send me a message with the model references and your opinion on my contact page (link at the bottom of the page).

Care CE 5484

Care CE 5484 elliptical trainer

This affordable elliptical has a 9 kg flywheel, which is rare at this price point. It has 16-level motorized resistance with aeromagnetic braking, 23 training programs and Handpulse heart rate sensors.

It is perfect for occasional use in excellent conditions. We can only blame him for a very banal look. But hey, its purpose is not decorative!

List of technical characteristics:

Use: Regular
Flywheel weight: 9 kg
Flywheel mass: 18 kg
Number of programs: 23
Resistance Levels: 16
Stride length: 43 cm
Dimensions: Length 135 cm X width 65 cm X height 161 cm
Device weight: 42 kg
Maximum user weight: 130 kg
Foldable: NO
Transport wheels: YES

Features of this model:
Compatible with the Kinomap application (paid)
5-year warranty on chassis and 2 years on wear parts

Note Sport Chez Soi 6/10

ProForm 525 CSE+

cheap elliptical ProForm 525 CSE+

The 525 CSE+ is a very good affordable cardio machine. Due to its somewhat short stride, however, it is rather recommended for people under 1.75 m tall.

It has many features, making it a good choice as an all-around elliptical for the family. It provides smooth pedaling with a silent motorized magnetic brake. Plus, it's a pleasure to use and compact enough to fit into just about any room without taking up all the space. 

It also comes with a one month iFit subscription included in the price so you can get all the motivation you need to get started. It's an offer that gives you a lot without breaking the bank. He would have deserved a better grade if he weren't so limited in stride.

List of technical characteristics:

Use: Regular
Flywheel weight: Effective inertia of 10 kg
Number of programs: 18
Resistance Levels: 20
Stride length: 41 cm
Dimensions: Length 158 cm X width 66 cm X height 159 cm
Device weight: 58 kg
Maximum user weight: 125 kg
Foldable: NO
Transport wheels: NO

Features of this model:
30 days of iFit coaching included
6 inch LED display with lots of information
10 year warranty on frame and 2 years on parts and labor

Note Sport Chez Soi 7/10

MIDRANGE

These are the best elliptical machines in the price range from $600 to $1200.

NordicTrack SE3i

NordicTrack SE3i Elliptical Trainer

The NordicTrack SE3i offers many different workouts as well as interactive sessions. As always with this brand, the build quality is impeccable. 

List of technical characteristics:

Use: Regular
Flywheel weight: Effective inertia of 14 kg
Number of programs: 32
Resistance Levels: 22
Stride length: 41 cm (adjustable)
Dimensions: Length 158 cm X width 66 cm X height 175 cm
Device weight: 59 kg
Maximum user weight: 125 kg
Foldable: NO
Transport wheels: NO

Features of this model:
5 inch backlit screen
30-day iFit system subscription
Lifetime warranty on frame and 2 years on parts and labor

Note Sport Chez Soi 7/10

Sportstech CX2

Sportstech CX2 elliptical

One thing to note with this machine is that it is much quieter than most available online. This is partly due to its magnetic resistance (the braking system) which uses magnets rather than friction wonders. The Sportstech CX2 offers 24 levels of resistance.

SELF-GENERATED POWER: I'm always surprised to not find more ellipticals, spin bikes, or rowers equipped with this system. The CX2 has a truly intelligent autonomous power system. It works like a generator, taking some of the power you create during exercise to power the device itself.

Overall, the CX2 is very affordable for a mid-range elliptical. It is well designed, simple to assemble and, in comparison with more expensive models, it offers many interesting options.

List of technical characteristics:

Use: Regular
Flywheel mass: 27 kg
Resistance Levels: 24
Dimensions: Length 142 cm X width 69 cm X height 171 cm
Device weight: 55 kg
Maximum user weight: 120 kg
Foldable: NO
Transport wheels: YES

Features of this model:
Electric self-generation (no need to plug it in)
Compatible with the Kinomap app via Bluetooth (paid)
5-year warranty on chassis and 2 years on wear parts
tablet holder

Note Sport Chez Soi 7,5/10
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ProForm Carbon EL

best elliptical trainer - Proform 720E

The ProForm 720 E with flywheel at the front is very affordable compared to its qualities. It gets high marks in most customer reviews. Its selling points include a maximum incline of 20°, a stride of 51cm and potentially endless workout variety thanks to iFit Coach (iFit paid subscription required beyond 30 days). 

Its automated incline adds an extra challenge to this cardio machine. Advanced athletes, however, would benefit from stronger resistance. But the Carbon EL is perfect for beginners or those who want to do regular cardio training to keep in shape.

List of technical characteristics:

Use: Regular
Flywheel weight: Effective inertia of 11 kg
Number of programs: 20
Resistance Levels: 20
Stride length: 51 cm
Tilt: Up to 20°
Dimensions: Length 172 cm X width 65 cm X height 170 cm
Device weight: 78 kg
Maximum user weight: 125 kg
Foldable: NO
Transport wheels: YES

Features of this model:
6″ backlit backlit screen
30 days of iFit coaching included
10 year warranty on frame and 2 years parts and labor

Note Sport Chez Soi 7,5/10

NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE7i

NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE7 Elliptical

The NordicTrack SE7i with rear flywheel is the simpler of the two foldable models in the SpaceSaver line. It has the same essential features of the more expensive SE9i, but it has simpler electronics and a smaller screen. 

That being said, it's probably the best choice if you're willing to do without the newer 7-inch display technology, which is a high-definition touchscreen with web browser. 

Although it doesn't have a touchscreen or a screen with internet access, it does have a stand to hold your tablet at eye level. This way you can integrate the iFit program or simply use Google Maps for your workouts.

List of technical characteristics:

Use: Intensive
Flywheel weight: Effective inertia of 8 kg
Number of programs: 24
Resistance Levels: 22
Stride length: 46 cm (a bit short for those over 1.80 m)
Tilt: Up to 10° (motorized)
Dimensions: Length 203 cm X width 81 cm X height 170 cm
Device weight: 86 kg
Maximum user weight: 135 kg
Foldable: YES
Transport wheels: YES

Features of this model:
5 inch backlit screen
30-day iFit subscription
With Google Maps, the ramp automatically adapts the inclination
Built-in AutoBreeze™ fan for added comfort
Lifetime warranty on frame and 2 years on parts and labor

Note Sport Chez Soi 8/10

SportsTech LCX800

Buying guide elliptical - Sportstech LCX800

It is the flagship of the German brand. This home elliptical is for people who want gym-like equipment with a wide range of technology options. If you already know that ellipticals are for you and want a model that will last for years, then this one represents great value for money.

Too bad it doesn't recline... But if that's not an important criterion for you, it's made for you. You can download the full manual at click here. The French section is on page 111, including assembly instructions.

List of technical characteristics:

Use: Intensive
Flywheel weight: 8 kg
Flywheel mass: 24 kg
Number of programs: 36
Resistance Levels: 32
Stride length: Adjustable to 42, 46 and 50 cm
Dimensions: Length 159 cm X width 66 cm X height 167 cm
Device weight: 74 kg
Maximum user weight: 120 kg
Foldable: NO
Transport wheels: YES

Features of this model:
7 inch TFT Screen and Tablet Holder
Speakers and MP3 connectivity for listening to music
Compatible with the Kinomap app via Bluetooth (paid)
5-year warranty on chassis and 2 years on wear parts

Note Sport Chez Soi 8/10

TOP OF THE LINE

Here you will find the models available at more than 1200 euros. Of course, prices can skyrocket on some ellipticals that can be used professionally. 

In this niche, it is the NordicTrack brand that dominates the debates through its innovation and the quality of its products.

NordicTrack Commercial 9.9

Best NordicTrack FreeStride Elliptical Trainer

The NordicTrack C 9.9 is a favorite option for families with multiple users thanks to its durability and adjustability.  

With the included iFit Coach app 30 days, you'll get new, interactive workouts every day. You can save 4 different profiles there. Note, however, that you will have to pay a subscription if you want to continue to benefit from it. However, nothing prevents you from using other applications, including free ones if you prefer.

This elliptical trainer is therefore ideal for anyone who wants training tips to boost their motivation. On top of all that, there's an Android browser, sound system, and space to securely connect your own tablet. 

List of technical characteristics:

Use: Intensive
Flywheel weight: Effective inertia of 11 kg
Number of programs: 35
Resistance Levels: 22
Stride length: 43 to 48 cm (not for those over 1.80 m)
Tilt: Up to 20° (motorized)
Dimensions: Length 173 cm X width 74 cm X height 174 cm
Device weight: 98 kg
Maximum user weight: 159 kg
Foldable: NO
Transport wheels: YES

Features of this model:
7 inch touch screen
30-day iFit subscription
With Google Maps, the ramp automatically adapts the inclination
Built-in AutoBreeze™ fan for added comfort
Lifetime warranty on frame and 2 years on parts and labor

Note Sport Chez Soi 8,5/10

NordicTrack Commercial 14.9

Comparative elliptical trainers - NordicTrack Commercial 14.9

NordicTrack has outdone itself with the Commercial 14.9. What makes this model so special? 

It combines a high level of technology with top-notch components for increased performance and durability. The Commercial 14.9 offers personalized workouts suitable for beginners, but also for experienced athletes.

Its strengths are a 15 kg Effective Inertia flywheel, motorized level compensator up to 20°, 35 preset workouts, iFit wireless technology and a 10-inch HD touch screen on which to stream fitness classes live and at request via iFit (subscription free for the first year).

List of technical characteristics:

Use: Intensive
Flywheel weight: Effective inertia of 15 kg
Number of programs: 35
Resistance Levels: 26
Stride length: 46 to 51 cm
Tilt: Up to 20° (motorized)
Dimensions: Length 178 cm X width 73 cm X height 177 cm
Device weight: 98 kg
Maximum user weight: 135 kg
Foldable: NO
Transport wheels: YES

Features of this model:
10 inch touch screen
30-day iFit subscription
With Google Maps, the ramp automatically adapts the inclination
Built-in AutoBreeze™ fan for added comfort
Lifetime warranty on frame and 2 years on parts and labor

Note Sport Chez Soi 9/10

NordicTrack Freesride Trainer FS14i

Complete guide to elliptical trainers - NordicTrack Freesride Trainer FS14i

There, you enter another dimension!

This model is one of the most flexible machines on the market. The FS14i combines the advantages of 3 machines in one: stepper, elliptical and treadmill. It achieves this with its floating suspension system, low-impact drives and automated power tilt of 10 degrees uphill or downhill. It's quite impressive!

Allowing strides of nearly 81 centimeters, it is designed to adapt to all sizes of users. It allows to lengthen or shorten the steps to work the muscles differently. 

Other special features of the FS14i are a 14-inch touchscreen, Android browser and a direct link to unlimited iFit Coach workout programs. You will be able to constantly challenge yourself, whatever your level. For those looking for the most complete machine for intense cardio workouts at home, look no further…if you have the budget.

If this model interests you, but it is too expensive for you and you are ready to make some concessions, turn to the Freestride Trainer FS10i . You will save 500 euros while keeping the same sensations.

Freesride elliptical in action

List of technical characteristics:

Use: Intensive
Flywheel weight: Effective inertia of 9 kg (not comparable to traditional ellipticals)
Number of programs: 38
Resistance Levels: 26
Stride length: Up to 81 cm with intuitive adjustment
Tilt: From -10° to +10° (automated)
Dimensions: Length 148 cm X width 75 cm X height 188 cm
Device weight: 109 kg
Maximum user weight: 170 kg
Foldable: NO
Transport wheels: YES

Features of this model:
14 inch touch screen + tablet holder
30-day iFit subscription
Built-in speakers
Bluetooth heart rate belt included
With Google Maps, the ramp automatically adapts the inclination
Built-in AutoBreeze™ fan for added comfort
Lifetime warranty on frame and 2 years on parts and labor

Note Sport Chez Soi 9,5/10

Who is this cardio machine for?

Just about anyone can benefit from an elliptical trainer. Indeed, cardio in HIIT sessions with intervals is perfect for those who want lose fat, but also for those who need build their muscles

Any trainer will tell you that the best exercise is the one you do regularly. You need at least 150 minutes of moderate cardio or 75 minutes of intense cardio each week to stay fit.

Losing weight can take twice as much, either 150 minutes of intense workouts or 30 minutes every weekday. If you lack the time or motivation to hit the gym that often, a home elliptical is probably your best bet.

However, do not forget to add strength training sessions if you want to develop your muscle volume. Indeed, if the elliptical trainer is enough to tone you up, it will not really help you in a volume objective. 

If bulking is your goal, consider investing in dumbbells with a bench or in resistance bands if your bank account survived.

Which muscles are used

Elliptical workouts are similar to cardio exercises, such as running, walking, and biking, in that they are all aerobic exercises.

The big difference is how this system targets the body. When you run or walk, your lower body is mostly at work. Training on an elliptical trainer engages both lower and upper body. It typically targets the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors, abductors, calves, and tibialis anterior. 

ALSO READ:  12 benefits of the elliptical trainer for your workouts at home

As your thigh rolls back during the gliding motion, you will feel your glutes and hamstrings. Your quadriceps are working as your leg moves forward. The calves and tibialis contract to stabilize the lower legs. Your abdominal muscles are used to keep the body balanced and aligned.

But when you use the mobile handles in addition, you also work the pectorals, triceps, back muscles, biceps and shoulders.

List of muscles worked

  • buttocks
  • quadriceps
  • hamstrings (back of thighs)
  • adductors
  • abductors
  • calves
  • tibialis anterior
  • abs
  • pecs
  • triceps
  • backbones
  • biceps
  • shoulders

Who says better ?

The best elliptical trainer brands

It is obviously impossible to cite all the brands on the market in this comparison. However, you will get to know a little more about the brands presented here.

CareFitness

It is the number 1 in home fitness in France. It is a model of this brand that I bought 20 years ago. I have always been satisfied with it and have had no breakdowns despite 8 years of intensive use. I sold it used when moving abroad.

The brand offers reliable and innovative fitness equipment suitable for all levels. Their devices are designed for home fitness, rehabilitation, gyms and all kinds of businesses that need equipment such as hotels, communities, etc. 

Care Fitness markets its products under several brands: Intensive line, CARE, CARE First Line, MediCARE, BodyCARE, STRIALE and IxoSport.

Sportstech

Present on the fitness market since 2015, Sportstech is a German brand that offers good quality and innovative fitness equipment. In general, it offers equipment with an excellent quality / price ratio. I myself have invested in an inversion table from this manufacturer, and I am extremely satisfied with it.

However, many people complain about the after-sales service which seems unresponsive. So I think it's best to buy their products through Amazon for easy hardware return if you have a problem.

That being said, Sportstech offers a 5-year warranty on their hardware, which is rare enough to point out.

nordic track

This brand has been around for 25 years and is part of the same group as ProForm. It offers the best current devices such as the impressive NordicTrack Freestride. The user reviews are generally very good on its products.

Its ellipticals are often equipped with connected consoles and automated incline systems. Their adjustable stride according to your size allows all members of the family to enjoy them. That's good, because the price of NordicTrack devices stings a bit...

ProForm

This other home fitness specialist created in the 80s offers innovative elliptical trainers, but still easy to use. 

As well as being compatible with the iFit app, most of them have tablet holders, audio systems and plenty of preset workout menus to help keep you motivated through every session. 

Also, if you're short on space, the majority of Proform ellipticals are foldable.

Some other major brands

Here are other manufacturers of elliptical bikes that you can find in France and Canada:

  • BH Fitness (Spanish brand)
  • Ultrasport (more for beginners)
  • Skandika (high end and pro ranges)
  • Kettler (rather high-tech)

How much does an elliptical trainer cost?

There are some for less than 200 euros and others for more than 10,000 euros. 

How much do you have to pay? 

It largely depends on your needs. The average consumer who looking for an elliptical trainer for home use often spend between 1000 and 2000 euros for a good quality and durable machine. 

Not to mention the importance of an excellent warranty and sufficient features to keep the sessions motivating. 

Watch out for super reviews on the low end

Don't be fooled by the hundreds of reviews that feature cheap devices with 5 stars. In reality, these reviews of poor quality Chinese models are biased.

In reality, it is better not to buy anything than to take a cheap device. It is now almost impossible to find a good elliptical for less than 600 euros.

There are a few good ones under $600, but if you plan to use it more than a few days a week and for years to come, you'll need to invest a bit more.

Now it's up to you. Some have tried and they have had problems…

How to use an elliptical trainer?

Always start your workout with a gradual warm-up with no or low resistance for 2-3 minutes, then increase the resistance little by little. Please note, however, that most pre-recorded programs begin with this warm-up phase. If yours is, you don't even have to worry about it.

If this is your first time using your machine, take the time to read the instructions carefully. 

Stand on your elliptical facing the console or you won't look smart! Generally, nothing happens until you start pedaling. Push and pull evenly on the handles.

Follow the onscreen instructions to select one of the preset programs, or choose “manual” to set your own workout. Most models have a heart rate monitor feature in the grips that you can use to gauge your workout intensity.

Before getting off your machine, make sure it has come to a complete stop. If at any point during your session you start to feel bad or in pain, slow down or stop altogether.

Good technique of use

  • Pedaling forward aids balance and simulates what we do in real life when walking or running (backward pedaling is considered an advanced technique). 
  • Stand straight on the machine without leaning forward or backward. You should be able to keep your balance even if you let go of the handles. 
  • Look straight ahead during exercise.

Here are some video tips for use:

If you want to buy a used elliptical

Is this a good idea?

The question is totally legitimate because the investment is relatively important. But the answer is usually NOOOOOOOOOON! Except for a few exceptions.

Read on to understand…

Why is this generally a bad idea?

Let's face it, most people who sell an elliptical do so for the wrong reasons. 

In general, they sell for the following reasons:

  • Dissatisfied with their purchase due to the poor quality of the material;
  • Technical problems with the transmission or electronics;
  • Worn, old or obsolete model used by Charlemagne when he was young;
  • It is an exotic model in an unknown brand for which it is impossible to find spare parts;
  • Etc.

Not to mention that sellers often charge too high a price for a used model.

When should you buy second-hand?

Of course, there are always exceptions depending on the circumstances. Let me explain…

It may be worth it if you know the seller well and you know why he sells. But you should only accept for a recent model that still has a current warranty. So equipment less than 2 years old in general.

For example, here are some signs that this is a good deal:

  • The price does not exceed 50 TP2T of the equivalent new price;
  • The model fulfills the criteria that are important to you, especially in terms of programs as well as user weight and height;
  • You can try it long enough to check that everything works perfectly and that the machine does not make disturbing noises;
  • The person bought it on a whim, but in the end does not use it;
  • The elliptical was not left in a damp room or in the garage.

How to maintain your elliptical

Since there are a lot of moving parts, some machines will need maintenance such as lubrication from time to time. 

Squeaky parts or a resistance that doesn't work will put a strain on your nerves during your sessions. Your machine should therefore be repairable and if possible have a solid warranty in case something goes wrong.

Wipe it down to keep it in good condition

This goes along with the previous suggestion, but it's worth mentioning that after a workout where you sweat a lot, you should wipe down your elliptical trainer. 

Indeed, sweat can corrode the parts and reduce the life of the equipment. A quick wipe down with a towel should suffice. Occasionally give it a wipe with a damp cloth.

Elliptical Bikes FAQ

Who can use an elliptical trainer?

Anyone who wants to maintain physical fitness, develop aerobic capacity or lose weight can benefit from it.

How many times per week ?

Ideally, cardio training should be practiced at least 3 times a week for 20 to 40 minutes (depending on the intensity of the session). If it's your only physical activity, you should even use it 5 times. Given its very low impact on the joints, you will not encounter any major problem.

Can you lose weight on an elliptical trainer?

Like all devices that increase your heart rate, it can help you lose weight. But for your workouts to be truly effective at burning calories, you need to use HIIT or high-intensity interval training. Also, never forget that 80% of your success depends on your diet. To know more about the subject, read this page .

Can you build muscle with an elliptical trainer?

Yes because the elliptical cross trainer engages almost every muscle from the body. But everything will depend on the intensity of your sessions. If you're just doing cool cool cardio, don't expect miracles. And do not think that this material can give you volume like with weight training sessions.

What are the benefits of the elliptical trainer?

If you choose the best model of elliptical trainer and the sessions adapted to you, the results will be visible. You will be able to see your glutes, thighs and calves muscles as well as the core muscles getting toned after a few weeks of training. 

But above all, your cardiovascular system will be so healthy that you will feel the positive effects on your energy, your stress levels and the quality of your sleep. A real makeover!

How to choose your elliptical trainer?

To choose the best cardio equipment for you, take a close look at all the criteria in this buying guide. Above all, read the section “How to choose the right elliptical trainer?”

What is the best brand?

One cannot say that one brand is absolutely the best. You will find very good models from many manufacturers. However, within the same brand, not all models are necessarily good for you. This is why you must take into account all the recommendations given in this comparison of elliptical trainers.

Are they delivered fully assembled?

No, you will generally have to assemble it yourself using the assembly manual supplied with it. Take your time so you don't make mistakes. However, rest assured, they do not arrive in spare parts. It is just the peripheral elements that are concerned, such as the pedals and the handles, and not the complete device.

Note, however, that some sellers offer home assembly. But it is often charged extra.

If you have additional questions, do not hesitate to ask them on my Contact page (link at the bottom of the page). I will be happy to answer you if I can 😉

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