There are tons of cardio exercises you can do to burn calories or for improving cardiovascular health. Running outdoors is one of the best types of cardio workouts, but some people cannot fit these routines into their busy schedules and want an alternative that is available at home. Also, many people don't find running to be very comfortable, especially on a treadmill, and require a cardio workout that can be performed by engaging the whole body. If you are among these people, you can try one of these top elliptical machines. Some options are portable enough to go under your desk, while others offer a high-quality build to last you a long time even with regular use. Here are some of the best elliptical machines for 2021 that you must consider for a healthier you.
Ellipticals are great for moderate intensity, LISS or MSI. LISS stands for low-intensity steady-state, and MSI stands for moderate steady intensity. I wouldn't use an elliptical for metabolic conditioning, but I think it's great for injury proofing. It allows for a smooth, reasonably natural movement, but is certainly not any kind of substitute for gravity-based running or impact. It's smooth and safe, and you can easily change your heart rate and crank up the resistance. Machines like Precor ellipticals let you work your arms, your upper body, your back muscles and your front muscles at the same time. Exercising inside the horizontal plane without leaning is really valuable because it makes the movement of running more efficient.
Because we are in fact supposed to limit the stress on the lower body and the lower limbs by increasing upper body rotation without leaning. If you watch the best runners in the world, they're the most athletic people in the world. This is more of the charismatic, nuanced running the black method kind of programming for athletes rather than when you used to see the Olympic sprinters. And what they would do is they would have their chest up high and you would see their upper body just spin as the arms drive. But there would be no lean. And what we've been finding in the last couple of years is that if you look at the hardest and the most natural runners, like a Dion Sanders, when he had the ball, you'll see power and speed that there is a dip of the shoulders, so there's lateral flexion in the rotation and there's a punch and a drive into the ground and the force into the ground, then gets refurbished as the spring off the great toe that causes more sprint, speed, and power into the floor. You're actually not lifting up. When you run hard and fast, you are driving down into the ground, and then you're getting the feedback of that force. So that's why I like the rotational efficiency of an elliptical.
You can choose between 16 different resistance levels to keep yourself challenged. This elliptical machine is also equipped with fixed handlebars with built-in heart rate sensors to monitor your heart health during workouts.
This elliptical machine may be more compact than other models, but it still offers the same stride and workout results. It comes with immersive courses and a large console that displays important data.
Built-in heart rate sensor
Compact size, great for small spaces
Tracks your workout activity and syncs data with popular apps
The 18-inch stride length might not be ideal for users taller than 6 feet
This elliptical machine comes with a digital monitor and pulse sensors that can track and scan data such as calorie count, speed, time, distance, and more. You can adjust the resistance levels, and it comes with moving wheels for easy transport and storage.
This elliptical machine from Daufit is smooth and quiet, allowing you to use it any time of the day without disturbing your housemates. It provides a great full-body workout for your arms, legs, calves, hips, abs, and more.
Quiet and smooth, ideal for apartments and shared spaces
Convenient bottle holder to keep you hydrated during the workout
8 intensity settings for users with different fitness levels
This elliptical machine is great for exercising your arm muscles and legs while promoting better posture. It also strengthens abdominal muscles and increases your stability and endurance.
With larger slides and non-slip pedals, the Air Walk Trainer by Sunny Health & Fitness can help you get the most out of your workout in less time. It is equipped with an LCD monitor for a quick glance at the workout data. This option is an excellent choice for a full-body workout at home.
Includes an adjustable abdominal cushion for added comfort
Slim foldable design for compact storage
Equipped with LCD monitor to track your performance
This elliptical machine has reverse motion and you can adjust speed and it is equipped with a small LCD screen for navigation.
The ATIVAFIT mini elliptical machine is built for people on a tight schedule who prefer working out while doing other tasks. You can place this mini home trainer under your desk, and start exercising while doing your work. It is built with a quiet motor, allowing you to pedal without causing distracting noises.
Compact and portable, can be used to exercise from anywhere
Smooth and noise-free for a quiet and effective workout
Small LCD monitor to track activity
LCD monitor requires AAA type battery which does not come with the elliptical machine
This machine is something you will usually come across at gyms. It closely resembles a stationary bike, but instead of pedals, it mimics running motion. You can use it for working on your core, lower and upper body, and more. It is an excellent option for cardio and intense exercise that can help you improve strength and endurance. If you think about it, an elliptical machine is like a cross between a treadmill and a stationary bike in terms of its motion.
Some of the fancier options are powered by electricity, but you can also get a manual one that operates with a belt. Both work the same in terms of exercise motion, but the modern options have more settings that allow you to change the workout intensity.
Benefits of Using Elliptical Trainers
Aside from effective cardio workouts, there are more benefits to working out using an elliptical trainer. Some options even come with a screen that you can connect to the internet so you can have a one-on-one session with a professional trainer in the comfort of your home. It is quite impressive how you can incorporate modern technology with a piece of gym equipment that has been around for quite a while now. But what else is an elliptical trainer good for? Here are some of the primary benefits of having an elliptical trainer at home.
You Can Work Out Anytime You Want
Just like owning a stationary bike or treadmill, having an elliptical trainer at home allows you to work out and sweat at home—without going to the gym. Having one at home allows you to bring the gym to you so you can get your muscles moving and your essential cardio workouts at any time of the day—or night!
Lose Weight And Tone Your Muscles
An elliptical trainer is not just for improving your cardiovascular health. You can also use it to lose a couple of pounds and tone your body. Now, without going to the gym or running outdoors, you can get that beach body you always wanted.
You Can Adjust The Intensity
Without making much of a fuss, you can use an elliptical trainer and change your workout intensity. It is a versatile workout device that allows you to adjust the resistance, incline, and stride length, enabling you to get the most out of your 15-minute workout routines! The best thing is, you don’t even need to go out and look for steep inclines to work on those leg muscles. It can provide you with a full-body workout without switching devices.
How to Choose the Best Elliptical Machine for Yourself
Now that you know some of the benefits, it is time to move on to the critical part: choosing a suitable elliptical trainer machine to buy for your home gym. As you probably know by now, there are a lot of features to consider when choosing the right option. But this buyer’s guide aims to help you choose the best one for yourself. It is also a good idea to try the machine before buying it, but if you are purchasing one online, here are some of the factors you should consider before picking one up.
Ellipticals are usually 6-feet long and 3-feet wide, and they can be pretty bulky. Before buying one for your home, make sure you have enough space for it so it won’t be in the way. The length can take up a lot of space, and the pedals will extend a little when someone is using them. If you are about to pick one up for an apartment or house, just make sure you got all the measurements correctly with a little allowance. You can always store it in a corner when not in use if you have limited space. As long as it doesn’t get in the way, it should be safe.
Different elliptical machines vary in the level of resistance. Some options might be too intense for people who are not in the condition to work out, so ensure the lower levels are easy enough to pedal. On the other hand, if you are in it for the highest level of resistance, make sure it is sufficiently tough for you. Some options will also have adjustable incline levels, which is excellent for people looking for a challenge.
An elliptical might be a great workout machine, but you also must make sure it is comfortable enough to use. It should allow you to maintain an upright posture without an awkward feeling. The grips should cause less strain, and every movement should go smoothly without getting in the way of your arms and legs.
More features can add a lot of excitement to your daily workouts. If you like mixing up your exercise routines, you should get an elliptical with more versatile programs. Some options will have settings that allow you to experience long-distance running, reaching your target heart rate, custom programs, hill climbs, and more.
Aside from the intensity and program settings, you should also consider the connectivity options. Some options allow you to connect to your wireless network and get in touch with workout buddies and trainers. Some options have Bluetooth connectivity so you can integrate it with your smartphone’s health app and more. It might not be very essential, but some people prefer ellipticals with connectivity options.
Elliptical Machine FAQ
Is an elliptical machine better than a treadmill?
It depends. Some people prefer free-form exercises on a treadmill, where your feet can move freely. While some prefer the running motion that an elliptical trainer mimics. It all depends on preference, but if you have enough space for two machines and want to have some variety, then by all means you can invest in both.
Are elliptical machines suitable for senior citizens?
Yes, many senior citizens prefer elliptical machines over treadmills. The treadmill’s belt will continuously move, which can be risky for people with slightly slower reflexes. An elliptical machine has more controlled movement and poses less risk to the user.
Are ellipticals good for burning belly fat?
Elliptical machines work both your upper and lower body, and this helps burn more calories than many other machines at the gym. However, the amount of belly fat you burn depends on the level of intensity you have set on the elliptical machine. So try to have more challenging sessions on an elliptical machine if you wish to burn belly fat.
Damon is motivated by trying new things. He's been skydiving, whitewater rafting in Georgia, and hiking on the Appalachian Trail. Professionally, he's bounced around from retail jobs to journalism to eventually managing a gym, picking up valuable skills and lessons along the way. Despite his frequent spontaneous adventures and heavy weight lifting sessions, he keeps returning to Yoga and Pilates to help strengthen his mind, body, and spirit.