Elliptical Exercise Machines
Elliptical trainers, often simply referred to as "ellipticals," are stationary exercise machines that simulate activities like walking, running, or stair climbing without placing excessive pressure on your joints.
They're a popular choice in both gyms and home fitness setups due to their versatility and low-impact nature. Let's delve deeper into the purpose, usage, and pros and cons of elliptical machines.
Purpose of Elliptical Machines
The main purpose of an elliptical machine is to offer a cardio workout that minimizes stress on the joints.
By simulating the natural movement of the body, ellipticals provide a full-body workout that engages multiple muscle groups, including the legs, chest, back, and arms.
How To Use Elliptical Machines
Operating an elliptical is relatively straightforward:
- Step onto the machine: You start by stepping onto the pedals while holding the handlebars.
- Set your workout: Most ellipticals come with various pre-programmed workouts targeting different fitness goals. These could include fat burning, cardio health, hill climbing, or interval training.
- Start moving: To initiate movement, simply push one foot down on the pedal, which will lift the other foot. You can then continue this pattern, adjusting your speed as needed.
- Use the handlebars: For a full-body workout, use the handlebars in conjunction with the foot pedals, pushing and pulling as you move your feet.
Pros of Using Elliptical Machines
Elliptical cardio exercise machines have many benefits, including:
- Low-Impact Exercise: The most significant benefit of ellipticals is that they provide a high-intensity cardio workout with low impact on your joints, reducing the risk of injuries.
- Whole Body Workout: Unlike treadmills, which mainly target your lower body, ellipticals offer a whole-body workout. The pushing and pulling action on the handlebars work your arms, chest, and back, while the pedaling targets your legs.
- Versatility: With adjustable speed, resistance, and programmed routines, ellipticals cater to a wide range of fitness levels and goals.
Cons of Using Elliptical Machines
However, they also have some drawbacks, including:
- Overestimation of Calories Burned: Some research suggests that ellipticals might overestimate the number of calories burned during a workout, which might lead to misconceptions about energy expenditure.
- Risk of Plateauing: Since the body can adapt to the elliptical's movement over time, the same routine could lead to a fitness plateau. It's important to switch up the intensity, speed, and type of workout to continue challenging your body.
In short, ellipticals serve as a versatile, low-impact option for cardio exercise at home or commercial gym. Also, they can be used as warmups for other types of exercises (weights, for example) combined with gentle stretching.
They can provide a whole-body workout and offer various workout programs to suit different fitness goals.
However, users should be mindful of the risk of overestimating calorie burn and hitting a fitness plateau.
As always, variety in training routines will bring the best overall fitness outcomes - if possible, combine ellipticals with treadmills, rowers, exercise bikes, and other cardio exercise machines, and of course, weights.
For more about elliptical exercise machines, feel free to check the following:
- Top 5 Best Ellipticals Under $500
- Top 10 Best Ellipticals Under $1000
- Elliptical vs Stationary Bike - Which One is Better?
- Recumbent Bikes vs. Treadmills vs. Ellipticals
- Elliptical For Weight Loss: How Many Calories Are Burned On An Elliptical
- How to Workout On Elliptical to Lose Weight
- Can You Go Barefoot On Elliptical? | Pros and Cons
- 30 Minutes On The Elliptical
- Are Ellipticals Good For Bad Knees?
or check our elliptical exercise machines reviews and recommendations ordered according to the date added or modified:
Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine is a big, sturdy, well-built, and expensive elliptical with many great features. Due to its quality and features, this elliptical belongs to the group of high-end home ellipticals and intro-level commercial ellipticals.
If you really like to do low-impact cardio at home and you don't mind spending some money, have this elliptical in mind.
Updated: March 14, 2023.
If a fitness lover is looking for something more than just an elliptical and wondering if there would be an exercise machine out there that could give them what they want, there is good news for them. The Sunny Health & Fitness Premium Cardio Climber Stepping Elliptical Machine - SF-E3919 is a wonderful combination that any health enthusiast would love – it combines a cardio climber and an elliptical, which is capable of giving the user a full-body workout.
With its 10-inch stride length, 5-inch horizontal and 9-inch vertical climb, and full-motion handlebars, one can work their upper as well as lower body. Plus, the SF-E3919 has many features that make it a perfect home-gym machine.
Published: September 1, 2022.
Bowflex is generally considered by fitness enthusiasts as a maker of strength training equipment. However, they might be happy to know that the brand is not limited to this niche.
In the form of the Bowflex Max Trainer M3, the brand has created a full-body trainer. This entry-level trainer is reasonably priced and offers just what exercise fans love – a high-intensity workout! With its look inspired by modern sports cars, motorcycles, and aerospace technology, this machine can help them reach their fitness goals whether it’s calorie burn, fat loss or muscle building, and toning.
Published: May 2, 2022.
Exercisers around the world have widely accepted recumbent bikes, upright bikes, and elliptical trainers as effective yet safe and comfortable exercise machines for cardiac health as well as overall health.
Therefore it’s not surprising that when a 3-in-1 elliptical, upright stationery, and recumbent exercise bike named Body Rider 3-in-1 Trio-Trainer/Elliptical BRT3980 is launched, health enthusiasts are excited about it. This product offers the benefits of three types of exercise machines, and being a recumbent bike and elliptical trainer, is kind on users’ joints.
Published: January 20, 2022.
The SNODE E25 Magnetic Elliptical Machine is an excellent exercise machine for users who want to perform low-impact exercise at home and build strength and lose weight when they can’t visit the gym due to the pandemic.
Its remarkable features are Bluetooth connectivity and compatibility with the free iConsole+ app. Plus, it has a number of other features for a reasonable price.
Published: April 1, 2021.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 is a compact and lightweight elliptical trainer, suitable for home cardio workouts and for warming-up prior workouts with weights.
As such, Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 is a very cost-effective cardio exercise machine, featuring a low-noise magnetic resistance system, pulse sensors, floor stabilizers, digital monitor, etc.
Published: January 14, 2021.
Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical L1 is a very innovative exercise machine and very kind on users’ joints as it exerts 97% less pressure on knees than other exercise machines.
Its construction is durable like a light commercial trainer. It’s surely a machine meant for light to medium intensity exercise, mainly focused on eliminating as much pressure on users’ spinal column and articulations as possible.
Users can get vertical as well as horizontal movements on this machine and thus versatility in exercise and muscle toning. It offers running movement without the impact posed by running.
Published: April 13, 2020.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902 Air Walk Elliptical Trainer is compact, lightweight and foldable elliptical trainer, suitable for lighter trainees, offering them impact-free fully body cardio workouts.
Regardless if it is intended to be just part of the home gym and used for warm-ups and light cardio workouts, or it is intended to be used as the main cardio exercise machine for workouts at the privacy of your home, Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902 Air Walk Elliptical Trainer is affordable and reliable elliptical exercise machine, well worth the money - just be aware of limitations of SF-E902 model.
Published: April 2, 2020.
The Sunny SF-E3912 is the newly released elliptical trainer by Sunny Health & Fitness in which there are some upgrades over the Sunny SF-E3804 such as a motorized (automatic) resistance system, higher user weight capacity and a sturdier construction.
Published: February 8, 2020.
The Schwinn A40 Elliptical Machine is a great entry level exercise machine that has some of the best features. Schwinn A40 is an improved version of the A40 and was introduced in 2013. Its color has been changed from the silver of the earlier 2011 version to black.
The display also has been changed and stride length has been slightly increased i.e. from 17” to 17.5”. Barring these changes, rest everything is the same. 4 D batteries (LR20) will be needed to run the machine but they are not included in the package. Alternatively users can purchase an AC power adapter.
Updated: July 27, 2019.
Schwinn 411 is the newest addition to the elliptical series of the company. It’s a compact elliptical trainer equipped with an array of features. It’s a model between the Schwinn 430 and Schwinn A40, and is built for home use with a space-saving design i.e. a vertical arrangement for the internal parts.
Additionally, in spite of its small footprint, it offers a quite impressive stride which facilitates an optimal range of movement.
Published: May 6, 2019.
ProForm Cardio HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Elliptical Trainer is built to maximize a user’s exercise in minimal time. HIIT is currently one of the most popular trends when it comes to fitness and entices people who don’t have much time to exercise and want to make most of the available time.
The aim of HIIT is just to offer maximum effort for a stipulated time period followed by a short break for recovery and then repeat. ProForm Elliptical Trainer does this job the best by combining stepper and elliptical motions and thus provides a total body workout without exerting excessive stress on joints while burning significant amount of calories and keeping users’ heart rate up and building strength during the entire course of workout.
Published: February 19, 2019.
ProForm 150i Elliptical is mid-range home elliptical exercise machine suitable as part of any home gym and as stand-alone unit. It comes with many interesting features, very important for regular cardio exercises like 12 workout programs, 12 resistance levels, 17" stride length, iFit enabled etc.
If the maximum user weight of 250 pounds (~113 kg) suits your needs and you need a good home elliptical, consider ProForm 150i Elliptical as one of the possible choices.
Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine is excellent home elliptical machine that comes with a nice price tag. There are cheaper ellipticals on the market, but considering all the features and options, Schwinn 470 is for a good reason very popular elliptical and one of the best buy home ellipticals for years. Newer 2017 model is very similar to the older model, adding just a Bluetooth connectivity to the SchwinnConnect App.
Nautilus E614 Elliptical is very popular home elliptical exercise machine. It comes with large number of exercise programs and other features, including great warranty, at affordable price. It provides smooth cardio workout at the privacy of your home, with the features often found on more expensive ellipticals.
Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine is medium priced, excellent home elliptical cardio exercise machine. It is not suitable for commercial gyms, but for people who like to exercise at home and need exercise machine to increase their daily calorie burn and increase stamina, Schwinn 430 is highly recommended.
ProForm Hybrid Trainer is elliptical exercise machine. It does have elements of exercise bike, but it is not exercise bike. However, if you need combined bike/elliptical exercise machine, this machine might be for you. It does miss some features of more expensive exercise bikes and/or ellipticals, but for home usage, it has very acceptable price tag.
Schwinn 431 Elliptical Trainer is high-quality elliptical trainer with comfortable and compact design with multiple workout programs and various other features. It is very quiet and smooth during operation, but it is little bit pricier elliptical.
Schwinn 425 Elliptical Trainer is popular and robust elliptical trainer. It is not the lightest elliptical trainer around (150 pounds - around 68 kg), but strength requires mass. With 300 pounds (136 kg) of maximum user weight and many other features, this elliptical trainer comes at reasonable price.
Horizon Fitness EX-59 Elliptical Trainer is versatile, features rich elliptical exercise machine. This is one of the best buy ellipticals for home use, for every family member.