If you go to the gym during peak hours, you will find elliptical trainers fully occupied. These machines are overwhelmingly becoming popular for getting an intense but not tough cardio workout. The best elliptical trainer would burn more calories in less time.
Elliptical runners are similar to cycles as they have pedals that help move your legs, but these machines have a very low impact on your legs and joints. Can they be considered better than treadmills? We will find out in this article.
Why Use an Elliptical Trainer?
To begin with, using elliptical trainers are less tiring. Since your feet are stuck to the pedals for the whole duration of your workout, the impact is reduced. Nevertheless, you burn the same amount of calories as you would when running.
These machines are easy to learn and use. This is why more and more people are choosing to buy elliptical trainers for their home gyms.
Many brands are producing these machines with highly innovative features. This makes these machines pricey as well. However, if you have the best elliptical trainer as listed below, then you can be sure that you are getting the best value for your money.
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Best Elliptical Trainers: Top Three Options
Here are three of the best elliptical runners that you will find online and in physical stores today. Check out each one to find out which model suits your preferences and needs the most.
1. Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine
The Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine is a versatile product equipped with many helpful features. It has 29 workout programs and 25 different levels of resistance to provide different intensities of cardio. Other than that, you are also allowed to create up to 12 profiles, which means many individuals can use it. It also has two fitness tests and one quick-start setting.
This elliptical machine is equipped with Bluetooth technology that syncs with the associated app, the Schwinn Trainer App. It also syncs with RunSocial App. Using the latter, you can run through 19 courses and 27 routes right on the machine. You can access all your running data on the app and keep track of your workout on your mobile device.
This elliptical trainer makes workouts fun as well. There is an in-console speaker with an mp3 input port where you can directly plug in your music to enjoy your workout. The dual-track, back-lit LCD displays all the data for you. Plus, there is a media shelf as well to put your important devices.
The stride length on this elliptical trainer is 20 inches. It features a high-speed drive system with a weighted flywheel that allows you to start up quickly and have consistent speed in your workout. This machine has been tested to withstand up to 300 pounds.
- Highly intuitive trainer
- User-friendly design
- Syncs with your smartphone via an app
- Sturdy built
- Not noisy at all
- Requires a lot of assemblies
2. ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer
The ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer is designed for more intense cardio workouts. There are 24 resistance levels and 32 workout apps that work with this trainer. The machine has a seven-inch, back-lit LCD screen. It is compatible with your iPod for playing all your music, and there is a tablet holder on top as well.
The elliptical stepping path is five inches wide with 10 inches vertical climb. It features integrated in-handle controls that allow you to control the speed easily during your run. There is also an EKG grip pulse heart rate monitor that measures your pulse rate all the time. The handles on this machine are truly multi-functional.
The inertia-enhanced flywheel gives consistent speed, while the oversized cushioned pedals ensure that your feet stay on the machine comfortably at all times. It is also equipped with an air fan to keep things cool. Truly, this machine is one of those elliptical trainers that have it all.
This machine is made from high-quality stainless steel. It has a total weight capacity of 350 pounds. It is not just easy to use but also easy to transport, thanks to the transport wheels explicitly designed for this purpose.
The frame of this elliptical trainer is backed by a lifetime warranty. There is also a three-year parts warranty and a one-year labor warranty that comes with every purchase.
- Gives a full-body workout
- Dual two-inch speakers with decent sound
- The 10-inch vertical climb makes the workout intense
- Easy to use
- No noise thanks to SMR (Silent Magnetic Resistance)
- Takes less space
- The handles could be made smoother
3. NordicTrack Elite 10.9 Elliptical
The NordicTrack Elite 10.9 Elliptical trainer has an adjustable power ramp that allows you to adjust the intensity of your workout with ease. You can target different muscles through its many stride settings.
There is a lot more going in this machine. There is a seven-inch smart touchscreen that lets you manage your workout as well as an auxiliary music port with speakers. There is also an auto breeze workout fan to keep you cool while you work out.
This elliptical trainer is compatible with iFit, which means that if you have an iFit membership, you can design your own workouts using this trainer. The control comes in your hand, and you get the kind of body you want. The weight capacity is 350 pounds whereas the machine’s weight is 211 pounds.
This elliptical trainer also features transport wheels that make it a breeze to move it around the house. It should not take much space either. The design is modern, and it has a rugged construction. NordicTrack gives a lifetime warranty for the frame, a three-year warranty for the parts, and a one-year warranty for the labor.
- Easy to assemble
- Easily manageable workouts
- Suitable for simple as well as high-intensity workouts
- High-quality construction and design
- Not very quiet
Elliptical Trainer vs. Treadmill
The main competitor of an elliptical trainer is the treadmill. Treadmills have long dominated the cardio market, but elliptical trainers are gradually becoming more popular. While both the machines give you a good cardio workout and mimic running effectively, there are key differences between them.
The main difference is the elliptical motion through the pedals that you get from the elliptical trainer. There is less impact on your body as the machine is helping you run.
On the other hand, treadmills only provide a running platform as you run using natural movements. As a result, there is more impact. For this reason, treadmills can be more robust to work out on especially when using an incline.
Elliptical trainers also allow you to stride in reverse, which can help you alternate between different muscle groups. With treadmills, you can change speeds to increase the intensity of your workouts dramatically. They are also less expensive than elliptical trainers.
Let’s look at three best treadmills and what features, benefits, and cons they have.
Best Treadmills: Our Top Options
We have talked about the best elliptical trainers. Now, it is time to compare them to the three best treadmills of our choice to determine whether or not they are indeed better than elliptical trainers.
1. NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill
This treadmill from NordicTrack has 20 built-in workout programs, which are designed by some of the best trainers in the field. This ensures that there is something for everyone. Whether you are trying to lose weight or just stay active in your life, this treadmill has got you covered.
You can add more intensity to your workout using the incline that goes up 10 percent. The incline will be automatically adjusted to fit the terrain you chose. The OneTouch controls allow you to control your speed swiftly, which can range from 0 to 12 mph.
It features a 2.6 CHP drive system. You can directly plug in your iPod or any other audio player to enjoy music while working out. It also works with iFit so you can design your own workout routine. Obviously, for all of that, you need the iFit membership.
The display is a five-inch, backlit LCD that shows you all the parameters you need to know, such as the speed, duration, heart rate, and calories burned. The size of the tread belt is 20 x 55 inches. The belt has the FlexSelect cushioning beneath to minimize the impact on joints. The adjustment to this can be made with a simple knob turn.
The handles have built-in CardioGrip sensors, which measure your pulse and display it on the screen. The company gives a lifetime warranty for the frame, a 2.5-year warranty for the motor, and a one-year warranty for the parts and labor.
- Compatible with iFit
- Personalized intense workout
- Sturdy construction backed by warranties
- Quick and easy controls
- A bit noisy
2. XTERRA Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill
The XTERRA Fitness TR150 is a simple-looking but highly efficient treadmill. The size of the tread belt is 16 x 50 inches, which makes it spacious enough for running. The speed range of this treadmill is 0 to 15 mph.
The five-inch screen reads all the essential information you need during your workouts like speed, incline, calories count, and pulse. It is designed for all kinds of users as the size and speeds cover all types of workouts.
There are 12 pre-designed workout programs that make it easy to find a routine suitable enough for one’s needs. There are three manual incline settings to make the run more intense. What makes this machine really convenient is that it can be folded. This makes it easy to store and transport without needing a pickup.
The XTRASoft deck has embedded cushioning to reduce impact and give a comfortable space to walk on. The machine is powered by a smooth and quiet 2.25 HP motor. The overall built of this treadmill is quite strong, which is what XTERRA is known for.
The weight capacity of this treadmill is 250 pounds. It is built using a heavy-gauge steel frame so you can rest assured that it will last you a lifetime. The motor has a one-year warranty whereas the parts and labor are under warranty for a whole 90 days.
- No noise
- Easy to press workout presets
- Foldable treadmill
- Best for anyone as it is easy to use
- Very basic treadmill
- Time-consuming assembly
3. ProForm 505 CST Treadmill
The ProForm 506 treadmill uses a 2.5 CHP March Z motor. It has a fairly large LCD display and is programmed with 18 workout apps. The treadmill is equipped with an EKG heart monitor, which measures your heartbeat during your run.
The speed of this treadmill ranges from 0 to 10 mph. This can be increased quickly with the QuickSpeed controller. The treadmill’s belt measures 20 x 55 inches, and it has ProShox cushioning underneath to absorb maximum impact and keep your workout strain-free. It has 1.9-inch balanced rollers too!
This treadmill is built using sturdy stainless steel, allowing it to have a total weight capacity of 325 pounds. The quick incline control takes the belt from 0 to 10% incline. There is also a compatible music port to enjoy music alongside.
It has a space saver design too, which means it would not take much space in your home. The steel frame is foldable, making it easy to store when you are done with your workout. The motor has powerful and high-quality components that keep it cool even during extended use. Plus, it is backed by a long 25-year warranty. The parts and labor only have a one-year warranty.
- Tough-built and long-lasting motor
- Easy to speed up
- Compatible with mp3 devices
- Easy to store and transport
- Difficult assembly
The three elliptical trainers featured above are, by far, the best in terms of ease of use, the intensity of the workout, and value for money. The ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical trainer is highly versatile, innovative, and sturdy, which is why it qualifies as the best elliptical trainer. It is super quiet and gives an intense full-body workout every time.
If you are subscribed to iFit, you may want to get the NordicTrack elliptical trainer instead. In this way, you can use the app to program your own fitness routine. The Schwinn 470 is also a great elliptical trainer that works with its own app. It is an advanced elliptical trainer that is also simple to use.
Elliptical trainers are clearly more versatile and less tough to work with in comparison with treadmills. However, treadmills allow more natural running ability and are a bit cheaper.
If you want to go for a treadmill instead, the NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill is the best choice. It works with iFit and has many advanced features. You can do some really intense cardio workouts on this thing.
If you want a more basic treadmill, then XTERRA Fitness TR 150 Treadmill is a better fit. It has a decent speed range and incline. It is a small foldable treadmill that is good enough to keep you fit. Since it is a basic treadmill, it is pretty easy to use. Nevertheless, it has a sturdy built so you will still get your money’s worth. It has preset workout routines to make things even easier for you. You just need to get on, press a button, and run!