If you want a convenient way to stay fit, an elliptical machine is perfect. These easy to use home fitness machines gently tone your whole body.
At MyElliptical.net we have put together an extensive ever growing resource on elliptical trainers. We provide information on the brands and models and we have gathered together an extensive range of reviews from verified elliptical owners. We make it easy for you to find the best elliptical machine based on quality and price.
Uncovering Hidden Truths From Verified Elliptical Owners Reviews
We have researched hundreds of elliptical reviews written by people who have owned and used many different models. We have analyzed the positives, the pitfalls and discovered the traits and patterns that emerge over time that make a model reliable or a potential disaster waiting to happen. This feedback is an essential straight from the horse’s mouth guide which provides the insider view. These customer reviews are from people of all ages and with all levels of fitness.
Before buying blindly, there are simply hundreds of machines to choose from. But which one is best for you?
All of the Research Done for You
Instead of hopping from site to site reading through dozens of reviews scattered all around the web to determine which is the best fit for you, just use our review pages. We have pulled all of the relevant facts together for you and put them in one place. Our aim is to help you to find the right elliptical machine and buy it for the lowest possible price.
Our elliptical reviews are written in plain English to enable you to quickly scan the page and find out what you need to know.
Some machines are good if you are under 10 stone (140 pounds). If like most of the population you are not you need a heavier grade of a machine. If you only plan to use your elliptical once per week you do not need a professional grade machine. If you are a serious athlete who intends to use the machine more frequently you need a commercial grade machine. Anything else will fail in a short period of time.
What you need to know
Right here we will explain about the different types of elliptical machines. What you read here will help you to understand what types of machine are available and work out which kind is best for you.
If you already know all about this already and need, actual elliptical machine reviews skip this page and go to our detailed reviews pages.
Elliptical trainers or cross trainers, mimic the action of walking, running or climbing stairs.
In walking or running mode, ellipticals give you a similar workout to a treadmill. These are a low impact fitness machine. You can also buy versions that exercise the arms too.
The Main Benefits of Elliptical Training
Elliptical training has several advantages over other forms of fitness training. If you don’t like running an elliptical should be a good cardio companion for you. For a start, they are simple to use. Most elliptical reviews from people who own a particular brand have been written by people who had never used gym equipment before, so we know that elliptical trainers are easy to use machines that are good for those who are not particularly fit.
Here are the main benefits in bullet form:
- A low impact form of exercise
- Enjoyable to use
- Anyone can use an elliptical trainer
- A great cardio workout
- Burns a lot of fat
- Safe For Newbies To Use
The Three Main Types of Ellipticals Explained
It really helps if you understand the type of machine you are looking at when you are looking to make a purchase. No good buying at an elliptical fire sale if what you buy won’t work for you. There are several different kinds of ellipticals available.
Below we have broken them down for you into machine types, then by drive types. This is because we feel that understanding the different machine types is essential if you want to buy the right one.
Lower Body Workout Trainers
This type of elliptical workout machine has stationery handles, which the user holds onto for stability. You stand on a set of foot pedals and push down on them to mimic walking. The pedals have resistance built into them to provide you with more of a workout than you would get just going for a walk.
As you move faster, you start to mimic running. This kind of movement exercises the quads, gluts, and hamstrings.
To use this kind of fitness machine, you need good hip and knee extension. If you are stiff or have nagging lower back or leg injuries this is not a good fit for you. On some versions, you can adjust the incline. This mimics walking or jogging up a hill.
This kind of machine is not, strictly speaking, a stair climber, but it can give you a similar workout to a stair climber. Provided that you use them on their highest settings.
You rarely see this kind of static handle elliptical anymore. Instead, most manufacturers of cross trainers or whole body workout ellipticals include a setting to allow users who do not require a full body workout to isolate the handles, so they stay in a fixed position.
Whole Body Workout Ellipticals
Whole body elliptical machines exercise both the upper and lower body together. A user stands on the pedals and holds a handle that is attached to the drive shaft that runs from the pedals. This means that each time a step is taken the arms are moved backward and forward. This type of machine is often referred to as an X Trainer or Cross Trainer.
Combination Workout Elliptical Trainers
The fact that they give your whole body a workout is what makes them so popular. This kind of machine is the best type of elliptical for most users. These machines help you to workout efficiently and do so without having to spend hours every day on the machine. Most people find these models very stable and easy to use.
This kind of elliptical trainer is a little more expensive than some of the other types, but they are worth the extra cash.
Glider ellipticals are a bit of a niche product. They are most like the lower body only kind, but they work differently. Instead, of a pronounced up and down stepping motion you operate the machine by what can best be described as swinging your legs backward and forwards. You are standing on two stirrups that are set in a frame. Your feet do not touch the ground so that you can swing them backward and forward freely.
Because the mechanism moves backward and forwards rather than in a circular or oval pattern they are not technically speaking elliptical machines. However, they provide a similar style of workout, so we have included them on this site.
With this kind of exerciser, you regulate the length of your stride as well as the speed. This is important if you have limited limb movement because it means you can start, you exercise regime very gently.
For people who are new to exercise or who have started exercising at an advanced stage of life, this fitness machine is ideal. Some versions come with fixed handles while others are designed to give the upper body a workout as well.
We found that many online reviewers who were on a tight budget appreciated these machines too. They rated this basic machine as the best elliptical for budget users.
However, if you have hip or knee issues you would need to speak to your doctor before using this type of machine. Although in reality, it is always wise to consult your doctor before you start a new exercise regime especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
Elliptical Drive Systems Explained
The drive system is the most important part of an elliptical machine. The type of drive system used affects how smoothly the machine operates. Understanding the different types will ensure that you to buy the right kind of machine. Here is an overview of each type of elliptical drive:
Front Drive Ellipticals
With front flywheel ellipticals, the drive shaft is at the front of the machine. That means that the weight of the user is at the front of the trainer. Stability can be an issue if the manufacturer hasn’t taken steps to steady the machine.
If heavy rollers aren’t used and the machine is too lightweight to handle your weight, then front drive machines will rock from side to side once you up the intensity. If the machine is sturdy this shouldn’t be an issue.
The Sole E95 is a front drive elliptical and Sole Fitness has made this machine very sturdy, you generally won’t find any major stability issues on any Sole ellipticals as they used dual rollers for stability and their machines are extremely heavy and well made.
This kind of elliptical trainer is the oldest type available. That means that they have a long track record, so you know you can rely on a well made front drive machine. Often you will find this type of machine available at slightly lower prices than other types of elliptical trainers.
Front drive ellipticals tend to have more moving parts than rear drive machines. This can lead them to break down more easily or need more regular maintenance. When you think about it most front drive machines have foot pedals that run all the way back to rails at the rear of the machine.
Cheaper machines tend to have single rollers so be wary of that as they will wear out quickly if you use your machine all the time. Make sure your machine has dual rollers.
Rear Drive Elliptical Machines
Rear drive ellipticals have the drive located at the back of the machine. This is the type of drive that is used on most gym spec machines. The majority of the positive elliptical reviews you will read on review sites are for this kind of drive, so if you want the best workout the rear drive elliptical is probably best for you.
On a rear drive elliptical, you tend to feel more centered, whereas on a front drive elliptical you can sometimes feel your weight is traveling over the front of the machine.
When using a rear drive elliptical you can the movement tends to feel more like walking or jogging, as opposed to a front drive machine where the motion is like that used on a stairclimber.
The Benefits of a Rear Driven Elliptical Explained
The movement on this type of machine is more natural. This means the flow of your exercise is smoother and better for your body. It is easier to maintain proper posture on this kind of training machine, which means less risk of injury. If you have back issues this kind of drive is probably better for you.
These ellipticals are built to last. They tend to have fewer issues than the front driven versions. In addition, these drive systems tend to require less maintenance than the others.
This kind of drive is also a little less noisy. That means if a member of the family likes to work out in the early hours this is the best option for you.
Front Vs Rear Drive Ellipticals
So which type of machine gives a better workout? There doesn’t seem to be much difference in terms of the workout. The only thing that makes a difference is the quality of the machine, the levels of resistance, and whether the machine has a ramp and forward and reverse motion.
Others factors come into place like how smooth does the machine feel, is it noisy? These tend to be more of a manufacture build issue than a drive issue. For instance, does the machine have a heavy flywheel over 30 pounds? (adds to stability and smoothness).
So the jury is still out on whether a rear driven machine gives a better workout that a front drive machine.
Some people find rear driven machines are easier to get off and on
Centre Drive Ellipticals
Elliptical exercise machines that have a central drive are more compact than the other types. This type of drive has mounted either side of the machine, which means that this type of machine sits lower.
If you put your trainer in a basement or a room with a low ceiling, this is important. These machines also work better for shorter or younger people because the footrests or pedals are normally closer together.
If have narrow hips this is also important. Many users of these trainers said that they felt that this is the best elliptical for smaller people.
The main advantages of central drive elliptical machines are its lower ride height, narrower pedals and the fact that it is so good for shorter people. This type of machine could also work well as a compact elliptical because it takes up a lot less space.
Who are Elliptical Trainers Suitable for?
Most people can use an elliptical machine to help them to get fit. However, they are not suitable for everyone.
Here is a bit more detail to help you to decide whether this kind of home exerciser is right for you:
Great Low Impact Exercise
The fact that elliptical exercisers offer a gentle motion means that most people who cannot use a treadmill can use an elliptical. Naturally, if you have problems with your back or legs, it is wise to check with your doctor before using an exercise machine, but most people can safely use an elliptical training machine.
Even fit and healthy people opt to use them because they offer a low impact form or exercise. They do not cause a lot of stress on the body. Unlike a treadmill, your weight does not crash down on the machine with every stride.
A workout on a good elliptical is akin to floating through the air, except you have smooth levels of resistance, inclines slopes and you engage the upper body and hips to propel you to your “static” destination, which results in burning calories, making you sweat, toning the muscles and pumping your heart.
The Best Type of Elliptical Machine for the Elderly
Many older people are opting to use this type of exercise machine. The gentle motion suits those who are not particularly fit and strong. The fact that there is no impact means that there is far less stress put on the joints.
If you have joint problems, it is wise to consult your doctor before using an elliptical. It is always better to be safe than sorry and start with the best form of exercise for your condition.
Children and Elliptical Training Machines
Children definitely should not use elliptical machines. They are very bad for development and can be a source of danger for small children.
If you have small children, it is important to lock the room you keep your elliptical trainer in, or fold it away out of reach. A child can easily catch their fingers in the mechanism or be caught and crushed by the bars with this type of machine.
Elliptical trainers are safe. However, you need to think about where to keep it in a home where small children are likely to be present.
Should People with Back Problems Use an X-Trainer or Elliptical?
If you suffer from back issues, you definitely need to consult a doctor before making elliptical training part of your fitness regime. This is because elliptical machines change the way the spine moves, so you have to be careful. For people with back problems, the best type of elliptical machine is the one that their doctor recommends.
Why Buy an Elliptical Trainer?
There are many reasons for buying an elliptical for your home.
A quiet fitness machine – Because there is no footfall with these machines they are very quiet in use. Mind you to benefit from this you have to be careful to buy the best home elliptical. Look for one with a smooth mechanism to avoid that awful rhythmic clunk. Do that and you can workout at 5 am without disturbing anyone.
Can be used by everyone – All of the adults and teenagers in the house can benefit from using this home workout machine.
Hardwearing – the way the mechanism works on an elliptical machine means that they rarely break down.
Easy to maintain – Like most home workout machines, ellipticals need to be looked after if you want to get the most out of them. Fortunately, this kind of home exerciser is low maintenance.
There are just two things that you need to do regularly to keep your machine in good condition. They are:
Wipe over the handgrips between uses – this preserves the handle coating. In addition, it ensures that germs do not spread.
Lubricate the joints – regularly doing this is essential if you want to keep your machine working properly. Even the best elliptical will not last long if the parts are not kept lubricated.
If your elliptical is not oiled on a regular basis it will start to squeak. Maintenance definitely should not be skipped, but once every few months is enough for most home fitness machines.
What is the Best Elliptical Exercise Machine for Home Users?
When buying any home exercise equipment there are some things that you need to consider. Here is what you need to know to narrow down your options and make a sound purchasing decision. Use this short guide to help you to find the best home elliptical for you.
Step 1 – How often will the Machine be used
Sit down and work out what you want to achieve is the first step. If it is for basic fitness a mid range machine could be all you need, but if you regularly take part in decathlons, a top of the range machine is going to make more sense.
If you are going to use your machine, every day or everyone in the family is going to use the machine you may need to invest in a top rated elliptical. They are more expensive, but, in the long run, you will save money. This is because this type of machine will withstand daily use without breaking down.
Step 2 – Identify Who Will Use the Machine
The people who are going to use the machine is important. If some of your family are severely overweight a heavy-duty exercise machine may be the best option. Likewise, if someone in the household is very petite a smaller machine could be a better option.
Consider user weight and height
In a few of the elliptical machines, reviews that we have come across users commented that some women were not heavy enough to get the machine moving. That is why it is important to check the minimum user weight the machine is designed for
Height is also important. We cover this more in step three.
Think about fitness needs
You also need to bear in mind that members of the family have varying fitness training needs. For example, if your son plays college football, his fitness level is going to be better than yours. If there is a big gap in fitness levels, you need to buy a machine that gives you the ability to adjust resistance.
Step 3 – Where the Machine will be used
Where the machine will be set up and used also needs to be factored in. Some machines will fit into a room with a low ceiling, but others will not. When measuring up you need to factor in the pedal height.
When measuring up bear in mind that users will have to stand on the machine. If you plan to use it in a room with a low ceiling, you need to choose a machine with a low pedal height. The calculation is the pedal height + the height of the tallest person that is going to use the machine.
That way you can avoid anyone banging there head on the ceiling when using the machine. If you want to stow the machine away when it is not in use, size and weight are another consideration. Fortunately, there are several inexpensive, yet good quality compact ellipticals available. It is even possible to buy folding versions.