Since its debut about two decades ago, the elliptical trainer has grown exponentially in terms of popularity. In fact, it is currently arm in arm with the treadmill on the race towards the best lower body exercise equipment.
Its mechanism is a cross between the actions of upright stationary cycling and a stair climbing machine. The feet are always in touch with the foot pads throughout the exercise, and move in an egg shaped (elliptical) pattern. This form of exercise is different from jogging or running in that it delivers a high intensity workout with low impact forces.
The elliptical trainer is a great option if you have any injury or serious back pain, knee pain, or arthritis. Generally, exercises that involve connecting your feet to a pedal consistently are referred to as closed chain kinetic exercises. The opposite is open chain exercises, for instance, swimming and running.
Closed chain kinetic exercises are excellent for reducing stress on the back and joints while providing heart conditioning. As such, they are commonly used in rehabilitating athletes and people who are susceptible to forces that are produced during open chain exercises.
- 1 Best Elliptical Trainers 2017
- 2 Elliptical Trainer Buying Guide – What To Consider
Best Elliptical Trainers 2017
Finding a “GOOD” elliptical trainer can be a daunting task. That’s why we have created a list of Best Elliptical Trainers of 2017. After spending hours in researching online, I have shortlisted the top rated elliptical trainers which you can buy right now.
Sole E35 Elliptical Trainer System
Featuring a fluid natural motion courtesy of a quiet drive system that works in both forward and backward directions, the E35 is a great bargain for its price. It combines a high gear ration and a 25lb flywheel, meaning that it has an extremely smooth experience with twenty levels of resistance that guarantee a challenging workout.
The Sole E35 elliptical trainer also comes with moving handlebars that can be adjusted to your comfort, as well as stationary handle bars with pulse sensors for regulating your heart rate.
The specially designed foot pedals feature a 2-degree inward cant that minimizes knee and ankle stress. Additionally, the foot beds articulate for maximum performance and comfort while the seamless console features cooling fans, an LCD display, and inbuilt speakers for virtually any iPod, MP3 player, and other similar devices for easy listening.
Nautilus E614 Elliptical
Elliptical machines have been famed for their exceptional workout capabilities over the years. Keeping up with the great reputation, the Nautilus E614 is an ideal choice for relieving stress on your joints. It features a DualTrack display with a pair of LCD displays for displaying distance, time, and calories in separate areas. This allows you to keep up with your workout while viewing your favorite entertainment.
In addition, it boasts 6 incline positions, 20 resistance levels,and customizable workout programs that help you get fit and stay challenged without getting bored. You can also transfer your workout data to the Nautilus Connect website through a USB to keep track of your goals.
What’s more, it has an adjustable fan to keep you cool and a USB charging dock to keep you entertained during your workouts. As an icing on the cake, the ergonomic handles have integrated sensors that monitor your heart rate, while the motion handles enhance cardiovascular activity and work out your arms.
Exerpeutic Aero Air Elliptical
The Exerpeutic Aero Air Elliptical trainer is one of the cheapest ellipitical machines that delivers a full body workout at home. It is compact and has a convenient computer that allows you to keep an eye on your progress.
In addition, the Exerpeutic Aero features arm bars and has an ability to move in a backward motion to adjust your session, making it very efficient for most of your muscle groups. It has a dial that allows you to change magnetic resistance as well as keep the Aero Air nice and quiet while using it at home.
This elliptical trainer by Exerpeutic is one of the cheapest models in its class with a plethora of features that allows you to exercise, tone up, and lose weight with minimum impact on your joints, ankles and knees.
Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer
The E1000 Elliptical Trainer was introduced in 2015 for the under desk pedal units market. This cleverly designed strider can fit under small spaces such as under your desk for a standing or sitting workout. It is ideal for home and office uses, and is effective on your legs whether you are standing or sitting down.
Using the trainer while standing up helps work your glutes as well. It gets your heart pumping to transport oxygen and fresh nutrients to your brain, limbs, and organs. The fact that it operates in an elliptical motion means that you will not be significantly impacting your joints while working out.
NordicTrack E 7.0 Z Elliptical Trainer
NordicTrack is one of the most popular brands in the exercise equipment department. If you are looking for a pocket friendly elliptical trainer, the NordicTrack E 7.0 Z is a great option. It comes with a great combination of features such as the ability to automatically incline up to 20 degrees, 20 levels of automatically-adjusted resistance, and a 20-inch stride to ensure that it accommodates virtually every user.
However, perhaps the most impressive feature is its iFit capability that delivers an unlimited collection of workout options. Once you purchase an iFit module, you can take your workout anywhere on the globe. Simply choose a path on Google Maps and the Street View will be displayed on the screen of your device.
Additionally, the NordicTrack E 7.0 Z elliptical trainer gives you access to custom workouts and allows you to automatically record your progress on the long term.
Elliptical Trainer Buying Guide – What To Consider
Before making a purchase on elliptical trainer for your home, it is important to consider a few factors and know what to look for so you can make the best decision.
The first thing that people should know about elliptical trainers is that they’re very tall and broad. Elliptical training machines are around six feet tall on average, and two and a half feet wide. On that basis alone, they’re not going to fit into everyone’s home. They can be about fifty to eighty-four inches in length. However, people should not judge the dimensions of the elliptical just based on that.
Given the movement of the pedals, the elliptical trainer in question might be longer than that in practice. You will need to have a high ceiling in order to use an elliptical trainer, which will naturally elevate you. Otherwise, you’re going to hit your head on the ceiling while you’re trying to use the elliptical trainer.
In order to avoid this situation, you need to do some measurements and you need to plan ahead. You might step fifteen inches off the ground or so. There should be twenty-five inches above the floor and twenty inches of free space on one side or both sides. This will make the elliptical trainer much easier for people to use.
Ergonomics For the Handles and the Machine
An elliptical trainer is not going to give you a lot of room to create your own movements. You are going to be moving in pre-determined patterns when you’re on an elliptical trainer. This is something that a lot of people like, but it has its consequences.
You need to be comfortable while you are using a device like this. If you are not comfortable, the repetitive movements of the elliptical trainer are only going to make all of the problems worse.
People need to be upright when they’re using the elliptical trainer. The actual moving hand-grips also need to be comfortable for you to use. Otherwise, you will develop wrist problems. You want the pedals of the elliptical trainer to be as comfortable as possible to use as well, and they should ideally be close-set.
The fixed frame components and the hand-grips need to be set up in such a way that they are not going to cause any additional strain on your hips, wrists, neck, or anything else.
Intensity of the Machine
The elliptical trainer will vary in terms of the intensity that it has. If you’re struggling at 75 percent of the highest setting on the elliptical, then it is challenging enough. If the easiest setting works for you, then the machine is probably not going to be too hard for you to use.
Decreasing and increasing the intensity of the elliptical should give you a clear sense of incremental change. Otherwise, you will not improve enough in your exercise regimen.
High-Tech Features and Programs
Elliptical trainers have become high-tech devices today. You will probably want an elliptical trainer that is connected to the Cloud in some way, which will give you the tracking programs you need, connecting you with social media and giving you more choices when it comes to exercise programs.
Some features could include Bluetooth that connects to mobile device apps, browsers, and wireless connectivity. You might have a hard time using a browser or an app during exercise, but a lot of people still manage to make it work.
Extra exercise programs are not free. Custom programs can give you more control over the level of resistance that you use. Most elliptical trainers are going to have basic programs that will give you some fundamental types of workouts. Some of them specifically trying to increase the heart rate. Others will offer random intensity levels. Some will allow you to climb over long and slow distances.
Elliptical trainers are safer than treadmills, but they still have some risks of their own. Safety features might allow people to make sure that their elliptical trainers are not going to hurt children, assuming they have small children at home. The moving parts could trap or hurt kids, so this is an important part of the process.
In addition to the factors above, the weight of the flywheel and the brake & resistance system may also be factors to consider when looking for the best elliptical trainers. Indeed, these systems control the noise produced by the machine when in operation, the general feel of the machine, and most importantly, the durability of the trainer. Ultimately, this will be determined by how much you are willing to spend.