Best Elliptical Machines - Our Elliptical Reviews for 2017!
Expert Elliptical Reviews and Ratings by Certified Personal Trainers and Fitness Enthsiasts
If you’re looking for the best elliptical machine out there then Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine is our top recommendation. It can be an expensive machine for quite a lot of us, but it is worth every dollar.
However if you are looking for a two in one hybrid machine then Proform Hybrid Trainer is our top recommendation. You get the benefits of a recumbent exercise bike as well as an elliptical.
Full body workout
Elliptical Machines are capable of providing full body workout without risking injuries and thanks to the various setting and features that these machines offer, it is a good fit for people of all fitness levels. Elliptical Machines that we recommend going beyond being simple cardio machines and with the help of different settings, you can achieve different targets. So before buying an elliptical machine you need to be sure of what you want from it and what amount you are willing to spend on it.
Sole Fitness E35
Proform Hybrid Trainer
The Winners: Best Eliptical Machines 2017
#1 Recommendation : Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine
TheSole Fitness E35 is the best elliptical machine in its class. The trainer excels in pretty much every aspect that we’ve used for comparison. However, it comes at a price.
Here are the top features that this beast of a machine has to offer:
There are various adjustments which you can make in the machine to customise the workout as per your personal needs.
First, the stride length can be changed from 20” to 22”. This change will in stride length make your workout much more extensive. Next, the foot rests have an inward slope of 2 inches.
In case you have flat feet or high arches, the foot pedal can also be articulated by changing their inclination. So all in all with these adjustable components not only your workout improves but also the machine adjusts to your needs. This isn’t something you need in a lot of elliptical trainers
With the Sole Fitness E35, you get ten different resistance levels. These resistance levels are mainly built up using flywheels which use powerful electromagnets; this helps you to get near frictionless resistance.
You can change the intensity of your workout by changing the resistance levels. You can further amp up the intensity by changing inclinations up to 30 degrees.
The E35 model offers a lot of tracking features which are displayed on the LCD panel. The panel can be adjusted to your eye line. So everything about your workout is right in front of you.
There are two grips on the handle bar. Also, you can increase and decrease both the resistance level and inclination from buttons present on the handle bar.
Thus, you can increase or decrease the level of your workout without stopping. The model also comes with ten preloaded workout programs.
This machine can accommodate up to 375 pounds.
When you first receive the machine, it will take some time to assemble this thing. We recommend you to follow the instructions to the point. The machine is also quite heavy, weighing at 215 pounds.
Overall this machine has everything you would want from an elliptical machine. This feature packed machine, provides high stability, excellent tracking, adjustable components and you get the best workouts.
If you are serious about making a long-term investment in your health and fitness, then by all means, go for it!
#2 Recommendation: Proform Hybrid Trainer
The two main reasons why this machine has been featured in our list are its versatility and its price. It’s a 2 in 1 trainer with high-end features. Here is a rundown of the top features which make it the best bang for your buck.
It is 2 in 1 machine; it is a recumbent bike and an elliptical machine. This helps you in do two different kinds of cardio workouts on the same machine.
It is easy to adjust the pedals and the support provided while using the bike is remarkable.
Apart from the hybrid it also has a “Target Pacer”. You need to feed your weight loss goals, and there is an indicator light which guides you to increase or decrease your pace. We found this feature to be quite convenient. This is aided by 14 different workout apps. You can easily choose and change your workout module. Resistance levels can also be adjusted easily with the help of a button. This model offers different resistance levels. The convenient use makes your workout a lot simpler.
Even though we don’t list price of a model as a feature but in this model, it deserves a mention. This in our opinion is stealing even for an elliptical machine with such features. This machine is worth every penny.
There are however some issues too. Many users find that the stride length is small. This decreases the effectiveness of the machine. Also assembling this model will take up a lot of your time.
However at the price, these issues are not that relevant. You get some excellent features and flexibility of working out on two machines. It provides excellent support and is stable. The transportation wheels help in moving this machine with ease. We will recommend this machine to anyone who like to have intensive and diverse workouts.
#3 Recommendation: Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer
This is a relatively new model launched by Nautilus and in a short span of time, it has gathered attention. It is one of the few models that boasts on its computational prowess. It also packs a lot of features which make it an excellent mid-range elliptical machine.
Dual Track LCD
Nautilus E614 provides a lot of tracking features, and all of them are displayed on an LCD. The panel also has different settings which can be adjusted right from the panel. This makes the use quite convenient.
The company however also boasts about its Dual Track LCD, which gives you space to keep your IPad and watch that.
There is also a second screen which allows you to track different parameters like distance, time & Calories burnt. This lets you indulge in your favorite show and workout at the same time.
Thanks to a powerful computer this machine can act as a virtual trainer. It comes preloaded with 22 different workout programs, which is the most for any machine that we have tested. All your data is sent to apps like “my fitness pal” thanks to Nautilus connect so that you can track your workouts seamlessly.
Also, you get 20 different eddy current resistance levels which can make your workouts more challenging. These levels along with the exercise programs assist you to train better.
This model provides excellent stability and causes no harm to your body. High-speed drive system and perimeter flywheels help allow you to keep your body balanced even when you are indulging in intense workouts.
The pedals also accommodate your feet well. This machine can handle weight up to 300 pounds.
However if you wish to change the inclination, you would have to do that yourself. This forces you to stop your workout and change the preference.
We suggest you to set the inclination level beforehand and then modify the resistance levels while working out. This machine is also on the heavier side, but it has robust and durable built.
This model provides high-end features in a mid-range price bracket. Our trainers give high ratings to this machine. If you have little idea about how much you should work out or want to track your workout minutely you can go for this machine. Highly recommended!
#4 Recommendation : Exerpeutic 1000Xl Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical
Energetic 1000Xl is a simple magnetic elliptical machine yet provides low impact powerful workout. This machine has a minimalistic design which has a simple elliptical motion; this helps in providing better stability to your body.
Heavy Duty Design
This model can withstand up to 325 pounds. Heavier individual usually find it difficult to workout constantly on machines. Pressures on their ankles and joint are prevalent. However, this machines has a traditional elliptical motion eliminating any bouncy experiences. There is significantly less pressure on your knees, ankles and joints, this makes this machine highly stable.
Resistance Level and Ease of Transportation
You get eight different resistance levels with this model. The resistance control is manual, and you would have to rotate the knob. We found no problems with the effectiveness of these levels. However, there is a significant change in tension when you move from level 5 to level 6 and upwards. For its size, this machine is not that heavy. It weighs around 90 pounds. If you wish to transfer it from one place to another, you can do that easily. It has transportation wheels at the bottom for room reallocation.
You get pulse monitors with this model. These are attached to the stationary handles. So you can monitor you heart rate at any moment. It is displayed on a large LCD. You can also keep track of other parameters like distance, time and calories burned. So if you have a heart condition, the pulse monitor might come in handy.
On the downside, there are no preloaded workout programs on this machine, and most of the adjustments have to be done manually. The stride length is also not that impressive. Having said that it serves it the purpose of the stress-free workout.
Evidently this model lacks in some computational features, but it does provide a solid workout. It is built for a heavy duty performance. It also takes care of your security and provides a near flawless elliptical motion. At the price range, we would say this machine is bang for your buck.
#5 Recommendation: Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer
Our trainers have named this as a “No Excuse Machine” and they have a reason for it. It is a small, lightweight, compact machine which you can use anywhere.
It doesn’t cost much and pushes away all the excuses you have for not working out.
Compact & Portable
The weight of this machine is easily one of the foremost reasons which make it an ideal choice for a lot of users. The weight of this machine is just 24 pounds. The light weight of this machine makes it extremely portable.
You can even carry this to your office. It is also very compact, and can be stored in your closet also. It is ideal for individuals who have space and time constraints. You can peddle on this machine even when you are sitting.
So if you are working for long hours, you can keep this under your desk and use it.
You can change the resistance or tension by rotating the small knob in front of the machine. At this resistance which this model offers was quite impressive. Even though it doesn’t use magnets to provide the tension, but we still found the increase in tension to be stress-free.
The pedals are also bi-directional which help you target different areas of your body. You must understand that the level of intensity cannot be compared with that of high-end machines but for the price you get decent results.
Exercise while you are sitting
Since this machine doesn’t have any handlebars you can work out on this even while you are sitting.
We were at first apprehensive about this, but our trainers found it to be just as effective. You get a digital monitor also which tells you about the duration of workout and calories burnt.
But having no handle bars also causes some problems. If you are working out in a standing posture, you may face some difficulties.
It may affect your posture and stability is also not that great.
Also, some complaint that if sanding workout degrades the performance of this machine over time. You also don’t get complete analysis about your workout, and you just have to rely on the calories burnt counter.
Most users were happy with the results of this machine, and so were our trainers. It is an ideal elliptical machine for apartments, and you can also carry it anywhere.
Since it can be used even when you are sitting, the machine proves to be quite convenient. It is hands down the best machine in the price bracket
The Ultimate Buyers Guide to Elliptical Machines
Difference Between an Elliptical and Treadmill
It is important to understand that ellipticals are different than treadmills, even though both machines are capable of providing you with a full cardio workout. While treadmills are some of the most well researched exercise machines, dating back to the late 1800’s, they still come with some problems. Exercising on a treadmill can be hard on your joints and the unnatural position of the handles, along with an incorrect belt size, often causes problems with posture over time. Treadmills can also be more difficult to use, especially when you are “running up hill”, and this can make some people simply give up on their reaching their fitness goals.
When it comes to elliptical exercise machines the benefits typically outnumber the disadvantages, and this often makes them the best choice for anyone that is looking for a safe and effective way to burn fat and calories.
Benefits of an Elliptical Machine
Some of the benefits associated with using an elliptical trainer include,
- An elliptical is less strenuous on your joints, while still allowing you to emulate running.
- Thanks to the “moveable” handles you can work on your upper and lower body at the same time. This makes it a little easier for you to successfully achieve a full body workout.
- Can be programmed for a “reverse stride” which makes it easy for you to target different muscle groups. This includes your quads, along with a variety of mid body workouts.
- Since an elliptical is easier to use than a treadmill it is not uncommon for people to put a little more exertion into their workout. This allows them to burn the same amount of calories as they would on a treadmill, without having to spend extra time.
The main advantage to choosing a top rated elliptical over a treadmill is the simple fact that these machines are typically safer to use, and this means fewer injuries that could sideline your exercise plan. There are a few disadvantages to these exercise machines that are also important to know before you make your final decision.
Disadvantages of an Elliptical Machine
Even though there are only a few disadvantages it is important that you are well informed since your choice of exercise machine will have an impact on how safe and effective your workout is.
- Ellipticals can be less dynamic than a treadmill unless you choose one that allows you to adjust the incline and speed. These models often come at a higher price, but for some people the added cost is well worth it.
- The same feature that helps to reduce stress on your joints, pedals suspended off the ground, can also be a downside. Since the weight bearing effect is minimalized ellipticals don’t strengthen bones and muscles. This can be important for adults over 50 who are concerned about preventing osteoporosis.
- It is easy to use the machine’s momentum instead of your own when it is set on a lower level, and this will minimize the effectiveness of the workout.
Even though there are some disadvantages associated with using an elliptical trainer, in most cases they are outweighed by the benefits.
Before you start shopping there are a few questions you should ask yourself to ensure you get the best elliptical trainer for your specific fitness goals.
When are you planning on using the elliptical?
One of the most popular and common times for people to squeeze in a good cardio workout is in the morning, often when others are sleeping. This means that you will want to choose one that is designed to be quiet, and there are several ellipticals for home use that are basically noiseless.
Where are you going to put the elliptical?
This is an important question to consider. The last thing you want to do is purchase an elliptical trainer that is too large for the space. Not only is this frustrating, in some cases returning the machine can be a hassle. Carefully measuring the amount of space you have, along with taking note of any low hanging light fixtures will save you a lot of time, money and frustration.
Are you always going to use it in the same place?
Thanks to advances in technology not all ellipticals are large stationary models, some are small enough to fit easily under a desk. If you want to get in a little cardio exercise at the office or take the elliptical when you travel, you will probably want to consider one of the top rated portable models.
Once you have answered these simple questions you will have a better idea of what you are looking for in an elliptical trainer.
Every elliptical trainer comes with certain features, some are standard and others come at price. Spending a few minutes to consider which ones are necessary for you to get the best results out of your workouts will help you choose the right elliptical to help you meet, and even exceed your fitness goals.
Criteria #1 – Stability
One of the first aspects to consider is the stability of the machine, and this is also the most important when it comes to your safety. Previously heavy stationary ellipticals where always considered the most stable, but advances in technology have also made the majority of compact models just as safe for most people to use. When you are using the elliptical you should feel like you are well balanced, regardless of its size. This will allow you to concentrate on your workout, instead of worrying about falling off of the machine. We do recommend a heavier stationary elliptical for larger adults since these machines are designed to provide plenty of balance.
Criteria #2 – Resistance
The next aspect to consider is the machine’s resistance and there should be several levels for you to choose from, ranging from low to high. The amount of resistance will determine how effective your workout is, and being able to adjust it can also minimize your risk of injury. The resistance is generally provide by one of two technologies, fan wheel or magnetic and each comes with its own advantages.
- Fan wheel resistance is commonly found on inexpensive elliptical machines, and it will provide you with a smooth and gradual increase in resistance. The main downside is that it can be noisy.
- Magnetic resistance is quiet and will provide you with a consistent and natural increase in resistance. However this technology does come at a slightly higher price.
Criteria #3 – Computer Technology
Elliptical machines for home use are now designed to provide you with plenty of data during your workouts. This will make it easier for you to track your progress and reach your fitness goals. Often these machines come with preset functions, and it should be noted that the number of functions will affect the price. Some functions that you will want to consider include being able to track heart rate, time on the machine and number of calories burned. Machines that come with different courses will make it easier for you to stay interested, and can help prevent boredom. Some elliptical trainers are even designed to “remember” your favorite courses so you can easily find it again with just the press of a button.
Criteria #4 – Machine Adjustments
Being able to easily make adjusts to the machine, even during your workouts is important. Not only will this eliminate the need for you to stop in the middle of your workout, it also makes the cardio more effective. The best elliptical trainers will allow you to easily adjust the foot pedals, incline and the length of your stride. Your budget will help you decide if the adjustments can be made manually or with just the press of a button. Obviously being able to simply program any necessary adjustments is often preferable, but you can still get an effective cardio workout with a manual elliptical.
A few other features that you might want to consider, if your budget allows include:
- Levers/handles that will work your upper body
- Forward and reverse motions
- Locking pedals for safety when the machine is not in use.
- Low maintenance
- Included product/service warranty
We hope you enjoyed our 2017 Elliptical Reviews. Stay tuned for updates for next year.