Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is for educational purposes only. This is not a substitute for a medical appointment. Please refer to your physician before starting any exercise program.
Best Elliptical Trainers for Home Use
Listed below are the current Best Elliptical Trainers to purchase for home use from Amazon. See the award winners first, check out the chart for the best on Amazon, and read the rest to understand the benefits of elliptical.
What is an Elliptical Trainer?
An elliptical trainer is a machine used for cardiovascular exercise. It is a great alternative to running as it puts much less force and strain on your back, hip, and knee joints. Elliptical often have a longer stride than running on a treadmill. It’s great in comparison to an upright stationary bike because it mimics more functional movement by exercising in a standing position. The elliptical trainer can provide a great variety of workouts. It can allow for high intensity and high resistance. It can go with low resistance and low intensity. Ellipticals also usually have long handles for your hands to help with the motion and allow for a full body workout.
The Best Elliptical Trainers
Precor AMT 835
|Best Overall||Stride adaptability and every bell and whistle you need||$$$$||10 years|
|Best Overall # 2||7" touch screen display||$$$||Lifetime Frame
5 Year Parts
NordicTrack E 7.5 Z Elliptical
|Best Value||Changing stride length and change in incline||$$||Lifetime Frame
1 Year parts
|Best Value||Bluetooth sync with different course options||$$||None noted|
Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical
|Best Under the Desk Elliptical||Size and Use at work||$||None noted|
Fitness Reality E5500XL Magnetic Elliptical Trainer
|Best Under 400$||Affordability with quality||$$||None noted|
Best Overall Elliptical Trainer
Precor AMT 835
The Precor AMT 835 is the cream of the crop, the best elliptical on the list. For those that hate the gym but want an elliptical that is better than anything at the gym then this is the one for you. The 835 naturally adapts to stride length to fit any and all users and allows for a more natural leg movement. The Open Stride feature allows users to adjust the stride height from 6.8 to 10 inches, and the stride length can also be adjusted from 0 to 36 inches. It comes with 20 resistance levels and dual heart rates censors. It also comes with a 10 year parts warranty and a 1 year warrant on labor, and a lifetime warranty on frame. This is the first and last machine that you will ever buy.
Precor AMT 835
NordicTrack C 12.9
The Nordic Track C 12.9 is the other best overall option for ellipticals. It comes with a 7” Smart HD Touchscreen that also acts as a tablet holder. The oversized adjustable pedals offer great comfort for all shapes and sizes of stride length. The C 12.9 has 26 resistance levels, 20 degree inclines capabilities, EKG grip capabilities, 375 Lb. User Weight Capacity, 20” Power Adjustable Stride, SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance and 35 On-board Workouts. The warranty is also stellar with Lifetime Frame Warranty, 5-Year Parts Warranty, and 2-Year Labor Warranty.
Best Value Elliptical Trainer
We had a hard time deciding between the following two, so they both get the award! This category provides near gym quality ellipticals and with some of the best features yet for the lower price points.
NordicTrack E 7.5 Z
The NordicTrack E 7.5 z comes in at the mid level price point but with a lot of good features. It has 20 pre-set workout programs, adjustable incline ramp, 20 inch adjustable stride length, 20 different resistance levels, and a sweet 15 lb flywheel that is quieter than most. One of the best features is the tablet holder is near perfect. The bad items include adjusting the incline manually, iFit is not as cool as is advertised and is NOT included.
Schwinn 470 Elliptical
The other best bang for your buck elliptical is the Schwinn 470. This comes with 29 pre-set programs, 25 levels of resistance, a loaded electronics display, 20 inch stride length, and Bluetooth ability Schwinn connect app to track the workouts. This also comes with a great warranty. The cons are some of the machines have a squeaking noise for the initial few minutes and the assembly can be tough if you are not used to general assembly. Depending on the timing Amazon does offer
Schwinn 470 Overview Video
Best Elliptical Under 400$
Fitness Reality E5500XL Magnetic Elliptical
A great option at a lower price point. The Fitness Reality E5500XL has magnetic resistance, an 18 inch stride, 24 different levels of resistance, 21 pre-set workouts and an electronic display that included distance, time, calories, speed, and pulse. One of the items that is both a bonus and potentially a con is the sleek pedals. This saves room and space but for older adults may be harder to keep the foot on the pedal.
Fitness Reality E5500XL Overview Video
Best Under the Desk Elliptical
The Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical is the best under the desk Elliptical Trainer. The Cubii Pro lets you get your workout and exercise in while still doing the necessary evils of working at a desk. The optimized size fits nicely under a desk or next the to couch allowing for easy exercise. It connects via Bluetooth to a mobile app to track all exercises, goals, and track progress. It comes with 8 levels of resistance to grow your strength and change the exercise routine. It also has wheel stoppers so that you can use in any wheeled chair.
Why you Should Buy an Elliptical Trainer?
There are a ton of people that would benefit and truly enjoy an Elliptical trainer in their home. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week for overall health. If the elliptical is in your home, your chances of meeting this goal are much better. The ideal candidates are:
- Anyone with joint pain that has difficulty with a treadmill
- Hip, back, and knee pain patients usually can tolerate the elliptical
- Anyone that has a sedentary job
- The more you sit at work, the more you need to move outside of work
- Anyone that hates the gym
- Get the same quality of workout without the annoyances of the gym
- Anyone that wants to improve their strength and fitness
- Anyone from couch potatoes to athletes can gain strength and fitness with the variety of settings and resistances
- Anyone that hates exercise
- The elliptical is one the best exercise machines to watch a movie, TV, or read a book and exercise at the same time (depending on the machine).
Things to Consider in Buying an Elliptical
The difference in Elliptical Trainers is very similar to purchasing any piece of exercise equipment in that there are so many different features to consider before purchasing. The most important aspects to consider are:
- Resistance levels and types
- Electronic display and display features
- The amount and type pre-programmed workouts
- Stride length and stride length adjustments
- Logistics: Ease of use, changing positions, and setup
Resistance Levels and Types of Resistance
Elliptical trainers typically come with two different types of resistance: Air resistant fan wheel or magnetic.
Air Resistant Fan Wheel – This system uses a fan wheel and air within the front cylinder to provide the necessary resistance. The harder and faster you pedal, the harder the resistance.
- Usually Lower cost usually
- Built in cooling system
- May not need to be plugged in
- More maintenance usually
- Louder if you are watching movies
- Easier to get little fingers in the fan (kiddo’s)
- Less workout settings and resistance forms in most cases
Magnetic Resistance – The higher end type of resistance that uses a magnet to provide resistance on the flywheel. The resistance can be changed by pushing a button on the screen, which changes the amount of magnetic resistance.
- More consistent resistance
- Less noise that lets you watch television or Netflix
- Adjustable workouts
- Typically last longer and are more durable
- Safer if kids live in the house
- More expensive
Elliptical Electronic Display
The best elliptical should and will come with an electronic display, but not all do. All of the ones on the lift above do have a display. This display allows you to see how far you’ve gone, how fast your speed is, and be able to change your resistance. Higher end models may be able to track your workouts and/or connect through bluetooth to your heart rate monitor or phone.
The display also should have a ledge to store a phone or an ipad to watch a show or movie if there is not a TV screen already installed.
Often a forgotten feature to look for before purchasing but the pre-programmed workouts are a major bonus. Some of the programs include hills, fat burn, intervals, or varying degrees of incline. Some of the highest end models allow you to upload a course or follow a course say through New Zealand to mimic certain trails
Stride Length and Stride Length Adjustments
One of the most common complaints about elliptical trainers in general is the one size fits all stride length. If you are really short or really tall this can be a major annoyance and lead to injuries down the road. Most people will do fine with a 20” stride length. Most of the high end models even allow for you to adjust the stride length. Some machines such as the Precor AMT 835 automatically adjust to your optical stride length.
Logistics: Ease of Use, Changing Positions, and Setup
This is the area that you really want to consider. The flashy electronic display is easy to see front and center but here are some items that you may not have thought about.
- Transportation with the house, does it come with wheels
- The ease of use and what does it take for maintenance
- The power supply and does it need to be by an electrical socket
- Is there a tablet/phone/book holder
- Does it connect with a smart device either bluetooth or via usb
- WARRANTIES!! Moving metal parts will often wear down and break, make sure you get a machine with a longer warranty
How to Do Preventative Maintenance on an Elliptical
Now that you bought the perfect elliptical it should and could last you for many years. One of the most important aspects of owning any exercise equipment is performing regular maintenance.
Disclaimer: Please consult your Physician before starting an exercise program.
- Real-Time Three-Dimensional Knee Moment Estimation in Knee Osteoarthritis: Toward Biodynamic Knee Osteoarthritis Evaluation and Training – https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8710254
- Effect of High-Intensity Interval Training Combined with L-Citrulline Supplementation on Functional Capacities and Muscle Function in Dynapenic-Obese Older Adults. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6306942/
- Effects of an Off-Axis Pivoting Elliptical Training Program on Gait Function in Persons With Spastic Cerebral Palsy: A Preliminary Study. – https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00002060-201707000-00009
- Kinematic and muscle demand similarities between motor-assisted elliptical training and walking: Implications for pediatric gait rehabilitation. – https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0966-6362(16)30621-X