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7 Best Elliptical Machines of 2016 Reviewed + Elliptical Trainer Buying Guide

Updated on February 25, 2016
best elliptical for home use guide
best elliptical for home use guide

What is an elliptical?

Who should consider buying one?

Why you need elliptical machine?

What are the benefits of elliptical over treadmill?

How to use elliptical?

What are the factors to consider when buying an elliptical?

What are the best elliptical workouts?

Which are the best elliptical machines?

If you have these questions.. Read on..


What is an elliptical trainer?

Elliptical trainers are cardio workout machines that mimic the motion of running but with lower impact. The elliptical provides a low-impact workout and can be used to simulate walking, running or stepping. The basic idea is that you can get all the benefits of running plus extra workout options from the comfort of your home. Cardio vascular workout can be changed to full body workout with elliptical trainers.

Why do I need an elliptical trainer?

  • I can avoid going to gym everyday
  • I have a busy schedule
  • I am a bit shy. I feel uncomfortable exercising in front of others
  • I like the comfort of my own home
  • I want to lose weight. I am ready to workout.
  • I want firm muscles and to increase my endurance. I am a sportsperson
  • I want to get fit and look good at least my gf advised me to
  • I am a heart patient and I want to do cardio exercises
  • I have suffered serious injuries in the past and I can’t do regular exercises outside

Okay. I am going to buy an elliptical. What factors should I give importance to?

Capacity: Always check how much weights can the elliptical hold before buying. Most people buy elliptical for weight reduction so this is an important factor.

Stride length: The stride length is the longest total width of the elliptical motion that can be achieved. Choosing the correct stride length depends on your height.

How to choose stride length?

Stride length
Under 5 foot 3
16 to 18 inches
5 foot 4 to 6 foot 7
18 to 21 inches
Above 6 foot 7
Up to 26 inches

What are the benefits of elliptical over treadmill?

Elliptical is less stressful on your knees, hips and back

Cross training ability: You can exercise for both upper and lower body simultaneously with elliptical

Reverse Pedaling possible: you can exercise for your calf and hamstring muscles more effectively

Incline and resistance: You should consider the range of resistance levels and incline to determine the toughness of your workout. Another factor is the flywheel weight. Heavier the flywheel the better.

Preset workout plans: Some elliptical offer a lot of preset workout plans according to the type of exercise you want. This can save your time from creating them and it will be easy to get started. Also you will not get bored with same routines. This feature is suitable for specific objective programs like losing weight, building strength etc

Ease of use and useful features: The elliptical must be easy to use, easily readable measurements, user friendly set up and navigation, comfortable hand grip etc. Some elliptical trainers provide extra features such as tracking your progress, calories burned, heart rate, workout duration etc. There are elliptical trainers with online apps with which you can incorporate the data real time. Elliptical trainers with chest strap can accurately monitor heart rates during workout, a very useful option for heart patients.

Some elliptical trainers provide extra accessories like water bottle holder, speakers and mp3 jacks, tablet holders, cooling fans etc to make you extra comfortable.

Save some space: Make sure you have adequate space to accommodate an elliptical especially if you own a small apartment.

Safety features: If you have children, make sure the elliptical have proper safety features like pedal arm and safety pinto prevent them from operating.

Warranty and support: Since elliptical trainers are big and long term investments, you should consider warranty and support above all. Minimum 5 year warranty is good to go.

And the most important factor, last but not least, the price. You must be satisfied with the money you pay. There are several offers available online. I think it is better to opt online purchasing considering the discount and delivery options.

It’s up to you: Decide what features you want the most and choose the best deal for your need. Here are some of the top elliptical trainers to ease your search.

Stamina InStride Total Body Cycle 135
Stamina InStride Total Body Cycle 135

List of best elliptical trainers

Total Body Cycle 135 vs Stamina In-Motion E1000 vs Body Rider BRD2000 vs Schwinn 430 vs ProForm Hybrid Trainer vs Sole Fitness E95 vs Sole Fitness E35

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Stamina In-Motion Elliptical TrainerStamina In-Motion Elliptical TrainerStamina In-Motion Elliptical TrainerStamina In-Motion Elliptical TrainerStamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer
Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer
Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer
Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer
Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer
Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer
Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer
Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer
Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer
Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer
Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer

Best Cheap Compact Low Impact Elliptical Trainer : Stamina InStride Total Body Cycle 135 and Stamina In-Motion E1000

In stride Total Body Cycle 135

In stride 135 is a versatile elliptical trainer which can be used for full body workout. Place it on the floor and use pedal to exercise for lower body or place it on the tabletop and use pedal wit hands to work out for upper body. It can improve circulation and joint mobility. The elliptical trainer is compact, lightweight and portable. There is an inbuilt handle for portability. You can also adjust the tension to control the intensity level of your workout.

Stamina In motion E1000

This perfectly sized compact elliptical trainer lets you do full cardio workout in the comfort of your home. It consist of foot pedals only, no arms or front consoles to eat up your space. It is so compact that it can be placed under the desk. Although In motion E1000 is compact and lightweight, it is made of sturdy steel ad non slip pedals. The extremely portable elliptical trainer is suitable for office use also. Take it to the office if you want to. It provides many more features for the price. It monitors number of strides per minute, exercise time and calories burned. You can use it while seated or standing position. The forward and backward motion of pedal provides better movement for calf and hamstring muscles. This low impact elliptical trainer poses no threat to arthritis patients as it contribute zero impact to knees, hip, back and ankles.

23 % OFF @ Amazon

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Body Rider BRD2000 Elliptical Trainer with SeatBody Rider BRD2000 Elliptical Trainer with Seat
Body Rider BRD2000 Elliptical Trainer with Seat
Body Rider BRD2000 Elliptical Trainer with Seat
Body Rider BRD2000 Elliptical Trainer with Seat
Body Rider BRD2000 Elliptical Trainer with Seat

Best Folding Type Elliptical Trainer : Body Rider BRD2000

Body Rider BRD2000 can be classified as the best folding type compact low impact elliptical trainer + recumbent bike in the market. The seat can be adjusted horizontally or vertically. It has a stride length of 13 inches which is suitable for short people.

The LCD display shows distance, speed, time, and calories burned and are easily readable also. You can change the resistance levels to increase the workout intensity. BRD2000 has pulse monitors on the handle grip so you can monitor your heart rate also.

It can handle up to 300 pounds easily. The machine is light weight and can be folded for easy transport. This affordable and budget friendly 2 in 1 elliptical machine has a cooling fan to ease your comfort. With the chain driven fan belt, the faster you perform cooler the fan will be.

The only disadvantage of BRD2000 elliptical machine is the fixed stride length. It’s not suitable for tall people. Also it does not come with any preset workout programs.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
ProForm Hybrid TrainerProForm Hybrid Trainer
ProForm Hybrid Trainer
ProForm Hybrid Trainer
ProForm Hybrid Trainer
ProForm Hybrid Trainer

Best Low Impact Elliptical with HRM: ProForm Hybrid Trainer

This 2 in 1 elliptical trainer + recumbent bike from ProForm is a Hybrid indeed. ProForm heavy-duty hybrid elliptical machine is very affordable for the features. It has adjustable pedals for easy transition; it can calculate calories burned, time taken and distance. It also comes with a heart rate monitor hand grip.

You can set certain goals you want to achieve and the target pacer feature tells you how to adjust your speed in order to achieve it. People with specific purpose like weight loss participants, runners’ etc can make use of this feature. You can add levels of resistance to increase workout intensity. Wheels are included for easy transport.

The main cons of this machine are lack of incline ability, cooling fan, less entertainment features and poor warranty.

53% Off

Schwinn 430: Best Elliptical Under $500

Schwinn, known for its high quality fitness equipments and bicycles, once again proved their worthiness with the new 430 elliptical machine. The Schwinn 430 is extremely easy to set up and has 22 preset exercise programs and 20 resistance levels. Enough for the money!

Schwinn 430 can be used by anyone regardless of the height. The 20 inch stride length is pretty standard. It can support up to 300 pounds. One of the useful features is the LCD display, which is large enough to read from distance and shows distance, time, calories and resistance level.

There are several apps like MyFitnessPal or the Schwinn Connect to monitor your fitness and plan your future workouts. Schwinn 430 consist of many built-in accessories too such as speakers and mp3 jack, tablet holder, cooling fan and a water bottle holder. Believe me, you will find these very useful.

As for the advantages and features, there are some drawbacks too. The Schwinn 430 lacks variable incline while you are working out. Instead you can change the resistance levels to increase workout intensity. It also lacks a hear rate chest strap but instead, has got built in heart rate monitor on handles. You just need to grasp the handles strongly for 10 secs to know your heart rate.

Schwinn offers 10 year warranty for frame, 2 year parts and labor.

schwinn 430
schwinn 430

Read User Reviews | Price: $577 | 42% OFF

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical MachineSole Fitness E95 Elliptical MachineSole Fitness E95 Elliptical Machine
Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical Machine
Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical Machine
Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical Machine
Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical Machine
Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical Machine
Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical Machine

Best Heavy Duty Elliptical: Sole Fitness E95

The excellent user reviews getting for Sole E95 itself assures you the investment is worthy and safe. The main reason to consider Sole E95 will be its warranty. Sole provides lifetime warranty for frame, 5 years warranty for parts and electronic accessories and 2 years for labor.

Talking about the features, it has plenty of preset workout plans to select from. You will not ever get bored of the same routine. You can also set manual mode to select resistance and incline for yourself. There are special heart rate workouts and weight loss programs in built.

Another useful stuff is the power incline: you can adjust the incline with push of a button. The transport wheels provide great help in moving the elliptical. This heavy duty elliptical has adjustable stride length and heart rate monitor hand grip, so that any person can use the elliptical without trouble.

It can hold up to 400 lbs weight and has 20 levels of resistance. Anyone who is serious about their workout plans and willing to pay 1000 bucks on an elliptical must surely consider Sole E95.

39% DISCOUNT @ Amazon

SOLE E35: Best Elliptical Under $1500

The premium quality elliptical trainer from the well known manufacturer SOLE Fitness gives a smooth and substantial workout with its preset programs, variable ramp angles and 16 resistance levels. You can even adjust the stride length from 20 to 22 inches and you can create 2 user profiles for different type of workout. These features make the E35 one of the most versatile and comfortable elliptical on the market.

There are 8 preset and 2 custom programs to provide more routine, ‘less boring’ workout. 16 resistance levels is enough for any body builder. SOLE E35 features power incline up to 30 degrees which gives you ultimate workout intensity. SOLE E35’s reverse pedaling feature and movable handlebars together provides full body workout plus cardio benefits.

The LCD screen displays time, distance, calories and the resistance level. It is backlit so that you can use at night too.

The heart rate monitor handlebars let you know your heart rate during workout. If it’s not enough, SOLE puts a chest strap also in the package.

This machine can handle up to 300 pounds and has a 29 pounds flywheel which is responsible for the ultra smoothness and stability. SOLE E35 is easy to store and portable.

SOLE offers lifetime warranty for frame, 5 year for parts and 2 year labor.

sole e35
sole e35

Read User Reviews | Price :$1,299.99 | 35% OFF

How to Use an Elliptical Trainer?

30 Mins Elliptical Workouts


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    Post Comment

    • healthcarepro profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Somewhere on Earth

      Thank you teaches for the input. I think elliptical is better than treadmills and bikes as we can do a variety of exercises. Another good option to consider if you are serious about personal fitness is a rowing machine. It gives full body workout with only one specific exercise motion.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      4 years ago

      I use is at the gym and find it does help to break up the routine when you use the pre-set options. Thanks for the education on stride lengths.


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