There is one reason why we are here today and it is to find the best elliptical machines out there. Elliptical machines are great low impact pieces of exercise equipment that can help strengthen your muscles and give you one heck of a cardiovascular workout. Of course, you don’t want to go out and spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on an elliptical trainer just to realize that it is not the right one for you. This is why we are going to do a whole lot of elliptical reviews, which are based on various different factors.
We have some really good entry level, mid range, and high end elliptical machines for you to look at. We want you to find the best elliptical machine out there for a decent price. We are also going to talk about things like what to look out for before buying an elliptical machine, how to maintain them, and tips for using them too. So, let’s not waste any more time and get on with this elliptical machine guide.
The Best Elliptical Machines By Price Range & Budget
We are going to do a whole lot of elliptical reviews here. After all, the point is to help you find a great elliptical machine for you. We are going to review the Best Entry Level Elliptical Machines (Budget $50 – $200), the Best Mid Range Elliptical Machines (Budget $200 – $600), and the Best High End Elliptical Machines (Budget $600 – $2,000+).
Best Entry Level Elliptical Machines (Budget $50 – $200)
Best Mid Range Elliptical Machines (Budget $200 – $600)
Best High End Elliptical Machines (Budget $600 – $2,000+)
Our Top Elliptical Machine Picks
When it comes to the top 5 elliptical machines across all price categories, here they are.
Out of all of the available elliptical trainer options, the Sole E35 Elliptical Trainer is in our opinion the best of them all. This is a high end model with a pretty big price tag, but that price tag does correspond with all of the awesome features that it comes with. This machine comes with everything you need for an awesome elliptical workout. It features 20 different levels of smooth and reliable magnetic resistance, the incline is highly adjustable (and motorized), the foot pedals can be adjusted to different positions, and it has a reversible stride too.
The Sole E35 also comes with various extras such as a great LCD display, a whole lot of workout programs, various user profiles, data export capabilities, a USB port, a tray for your phone, a water bottle holder, built-in speakers, and a 3-speed fan too. The Sole E35 elliptical machine also has various points of reinforcement and it has a high user weight capacity too. The Sole E35 elliptical machine is also Bluetooth compatible, it works with various fitness apps, and has an excellent warranty as well. All in all, for the price that this model comes in at, it is most likely the best high end elliptical machine option out there today. The dual function arms are great for both lower and upper body workouts as well.
The number two spot goes to the Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine and it is for good reason. The Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine is a high end elliptical machine option, which means that it is already one of the better options out there. Surprisingly enough, even though the Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine is a high end option, and is almost as good as our number one pick, it costs almost a full $1,000 less than the Sole E35, yet it manages to retain a whole lot of quality and comes with a great many features.
The high speed and high inertia flywheel combined with magnetic resistance provide you with 25 different levels of resistance that can be easily adjusted using the advanced LCD console. You are also going to like the fact that the Schwinn 470 Elliptical machine has various user profiles and 29 different preset workout programs for you to choose from. The Schwinn 470 Elliptical machine has a very high weight limit, plus it is built to be strong and durable in general. The dual track LCD display shows you up to 13 different fitness metrics such as time, speed, distance, and many more, plus it can handle data export, you can export your data with Schwinn Connect, and the display is easy to read in general. You will also appreciate the fact that this particular model comes with dual function handlebars, one static pair with heartbeat sensors and one moving pair for a good upper body workout.
The Nautilus E614 Elliptical Machine takes the number 3 spot on our top 5 list. The Nautilus E614 Elliptical Machine is a mid range option, not a high end or entry level option. It is not all that expensive, yet it still manages to deliver a whole lot of bang for its buck. The Nautilus E614 Elliptical Machine features 20 levels of magnetic resistance combined with a high inertia flywheel that keeps things smooth and quiet. The Nautilus E614 Elliptical Machine also features a 20-inch long stride length along with 6 adjustable incline levels. The Nautilus E614 Elliptical Machine also has dual handlebars, one static pair with a heartbeat sensor and one moving pair that is great for upper body workouts.
This particular mid range option also comes with 2 possible user profiles and 22 different preset workout programs for you to choose from. It features a 300-pound weight capacity and is built out of some very solid materials. The dual track LCD display is easy to navigate and displays many different fitness metrics such as time, strides per minute, speed, distance, calories, burned, and even more. The Nautilus E614 Elliptical Machine also features a USB port for data exchange and export, plus it has built-in speakers so you can listen to music as well. The Nautilus E614 Elliptical Machine is a good balance between price and quality, hence why it is one of the best mid range options out there right now.
The Fitness Reality E5500XL Magnetic Elliptical Trainer is a fantastic mid range option to go with, which is why it takes the number 4 spot on our list. One of the reasons why it is such a good option for you to consider is because it comes in at a very affordable price, yet it still delivers lots of quality and comes with a plethora of features. The Fitness Reality E5500XL Magnetic Elliptical Trainer comes with 24 levels of adjustable magnetic resistance to provide you with one heck of a challenge. Even better is that it uses a double transmission system with 2 flywheeels for a very quiet, durable, and smooth elliptical experience.
Also, you will like how the Fitness Reality E5500XL Magnetic Elliptical Trainer has a 270-pound weight limit, is very durable, and uses a 3-piece crank system to increase its durability even more. You will also appreciate the dual action handlebars which the Fitness Reality E5500XL Magnetic Elliptical Trainer has. They can be used as static handlebars (with a heartbeat sensor), or you can use the motion handlebars for a good upper body workout. The Fitness Reality E5500XL Magnetic Elliptical Trainer also comes with transportation wheels so you can move it around easily, plus a water bottle and phone holder too. The fact that the Fitness Reality E5500XL Magnetic Elliptical Trainer has an advanced LCD display with over 21 preset programs for you to choose from is another bonus to consider.
The number 5 spot in our list of the best elliptical trainers is taken by the Body Rider BR1830 Fan Elliptical Trainer. The Body Rider Fan Elliptical Trainer is an entry level elliptical machine model, which means that it costs under 200 dollars. It is a very good option to go with for anyone with a tight budget or for anyone who wants a good elliptical workout but does not require some high end model. The Body Rider BR1830 Fan Elliptical Trainer is a fan resistance elliptical model. Now, the fan resistance is very reliable and it works perfectly fine, but it is a little loud.
That being said, the friction knob on the Body Rider Fan Elliptical Trainer does allow you to adjust the resistance to various levels. Something that is a big bonus about the Body Rider BR1830 Fan Elliptical Trainer is that it does help save a whole lot of space, plus it is not very heavy either. This particular elliptical machine does come with motion handlebars. The Body Rider Fan Elliptical Trainer is made with a durable steel frame, it has an included workout video, and it does have a pretty decent display that keeps track of various fitness metrics.
What To Look For When Buying An Elliptical Machine For Home Use
Before you go out and spend any amount of money on an elliptical trainer, whether it be $100 or $1500, there are a few things that you are going to want to look out for before making your purchase.
All elliptical machines need to have some kind of resistance mechanism. That is how they provide you with a challenge, by providing resistance against your efforts. Now, when it comes to elliptical machines there are two main types of resistance, those being air and magnetic.
The difference is that air resistance mechanisms tend to be louder, lighter, and a little more fragile than their magnetic counterpart. Magnetic resistance is what the pros prefer, but it will usually mean a slightly more expensive elliptical machine. Any good elliptical machine should have an easy to use tension adjustment dial, as well as a minimum of 8 resistance levels.
Another important thing to consider before buying any elliptical trainer is how big and heavy it is. This is really a matter of preference and personal need because if you have a big home with lots of space, the size of the elliptical machine in question is not really going to matter. However, if you live in a smaller home, you are going to want to invest in a fairly compact option.
Keep in mind, elliptical machines are not one size fits all, so you will need to get one that balances you spatial needs with your own size requirements. As for the weight, it is really only important if you are going to be moving it back and forth from one spot to another. If it is fairly heavy try to get an elliptical machine with wheels for easy movement.
Yet another important thing to keep in mind before making your purchase is how durable the machine in question is. Now, this could be the difference between aluminum and steel, thick oversized pedals or small skinny ones, or even the overall build. Keep in mind, heavier elliptical machines do tend to be a little more durable simply because of the higher quality of materials used.
The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to durability is the maximum user weight limit. Some elliptical machines can only handle 200 pounds while others can handle 500 pounds and up. This need really does depend on your own size and weight.
Most modern elliptical machines will come with some sort of fitness tracking display. It can range from basic digital displays to more sophisticated LCD displays. Of course, a more advanced LCD display is fancier, a little easier to read, and simpler to navigate, but a digital version will do just fine too. The main part to keep in mind is that the display needs to keep track of some vital things such as speed, distance, time, calories burned, and if possible, your heart rate.
The next thing to consider before buying an elliptical machine is the arms. Some elliptical machines, mainly cheaper ones, will only have stationary arms. Those are fine, but will not give you an upper body workout. On a side note, some stationary handlebars do come with pulse sensors so you can keep track of your cardiovascular output. There are also elliptical machines with moving arms, which are great for giving you a bit of an upper body workout. The best elliptical machines will incorporate both of these handlebars to give you a choice.
When buying an elliptical trainer, you want to be sure to get one that has big foot platforms. This will let you be more comfortable while using it because you can place your feet the way you prefer. Moreover, the platforms need to have some kind of texture on them to prevent you from slipping while the elliptical machine is in use.
The Main Elliptical Benefits
An elliptical machine is definitely a great piece of fitness equipment to have in your home. It comes with many different benefits so let’s just talk about those in some detail.
Benefit #1: It Is Joint Friendly
One really good aspect of the elliptical trainer is that it is joint friendly. This is because using an elliptical trainer is considered to be a low impact exercise. This means that there is no constant shock being sent up throughout your joints like with a high impact exercise.
High impact exercises are ones like running, where the feet leave the ground and slam back down repeatedly, thus causing impact force to go up your body. This can end up being pretty bad for your joints, especially if you already have existing joint conditions. The elliptical trainer does not involve your feet leaving the platforms and slamming back down, thus making it a joint friendly exercise.
Benefit #2: It Is Good For Your Heart
Another benefit that you get from using an elliptical machine is that it is heart healthy. This kind of exercise is considered to be an aerobic cardiovascular exercise. This means that it makes your heart beat much faster than its usual resting heart rate. This may sound like a bad thing, but it is actually the best way to train your heart to be stronger and more efficient at its job.
Cardiovascular exercise like the elliptical machine can help make your heart much more enduring and prevent a whole host of life threatening conditions. Things like heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and various other conditions can be prevented with some simple cardiovascular exercise. There is also the fact that this kind of exercise helps your heart pump more blood around your body, thus supplying your muscles with the oxygen they need to work hard and work for a long period of time.
Benefit #3: Muscle Building
Yet another benefit that you can reap from using an elliptical machine on a regular basis is that it will help to strengthen your muscles. Now, an elliptical trainer is obviously not going to build muscle as much as something like lifting weights, but it is better than nothing. Obviously, since the elliptical trainer involves using your leg muscles, it does a great job at strengthening those same leg muscles.
Your calves, hamstrings, quads, glutes and other leg muscles will all appreciate a good elliptical trainer session. Moreover, many elliptical machines have moving handlebars. These force you to use your arms, shoulders, and your core to a certain degree. Therefore the elliptical trainer is actually a compound muscle building exercise.
Benefit #4: It Is Healthy For Your Lungs
The next benefit that you get from using the elliptical machine is that it is good for your lungs. Just like the elliptical trainer works your muscles and your heart, so does it your lungs. The faster and heavier you breathe due to cardiovascular exercise, the more your lungs will be trained to be more efficient at their job. This all has to do with something called your VO2 Max, which is how much oxygen your lungs can absorb and process.
The more you work your lungs at a high intensity, the better your VO2 Max will become. At the end of the day, this means that your lungs have the ability to send more oxygen around your body, which is good for many reasons, the least of which is the ability to work out for longer. Having strong and efficient lungs is also beneficial for various other health reasons. Just think about how tired and winded you get from walking up a few flights of stairs, something that can be brought under control with some simple elliptical work.
Benefit #5: Calorie Burn
Something else that the elliptical machine is useful for is losing weight. This is a type of exercise, which when done right, uses a whole lot of energy, and that means either burning available calories or losing weight. An elliptical machine can help a 185-pound person burn an average of 400 calories for every half hour on the machine. This means that if you spend an hour on an elliptical machine you will burn away close to a third of your required daily calorie intake.
If you don’t have the calories in your system, like if you have not eaten yet, your body will turn to your fat reserves for the necessary energy. At the end of the day, this means losing a whole lot of weight. This also has to do with your metabolism, which will be increased thanks to using the elliptical machine. The faster your metabolism is, the faster you burn through calories, which means keeping weight off like no tomorrow.
Benefit #6: Increasing Endurance
The final benefit of the elliptical machine that is worth mentioning is that it will help to increase your overall endurance. The combination of having a healthier and more efficient heart, weighing less, having strong muscles, and having a high VO2 Max, which you get from using an elliptical machine, will all contribute to the overall increase in your endurance.
How To Use An Elliptical Machine & A Few Elliptical Tips
In case you have never used an elliptical machine before, you might want to take some tips from us. To be fair, using an elliptical machine is technically not all that hard, but there are a few things that you will want to keep in mind before you start.
One thing that you need to do before you get started is to set a goal for yourself. Never get on an elliptical machine without setting a goal first. This is because it will provide you with the necessary motivation to keep going even when your muscles are telling you to stop. It is really easy to give up when you have no concrete goals set.
On that same note, if you are a beginner and aren’t in the best shape of your life, you are going to want to go easy the first time. Sure, you want to sweat and be a little out of breath, but don’t go so fast or so hard that you end up feeling sick. That is a surefire way to scare you away from the elliptical machine forever. Remember, work hard, but don’t overdo it.
Another thing to remember before you start using an elliptical machine is to not slouch. You want to have a straight back when using one of these machines, just like with any other exercise really. The point is that a slouched back can end up making you feel tired and it can end up causing severe back pain as well, even long lasting damage. Another thing to do when using an elliptical trainer is to use the motion handles. Sure, you can use the stationary handles, but like we said above, those will not force you to engage your core, shoulders, arms, and upper back. If you are already going to spend a certain amount of time exercising, you may as well really make it count.
Another thing to keep in mind is to not repeat your same old routine day after day. Your body will get used to the same routine, and thus the benefits you get from it will quickly decrease. As you can see, it is best to switch up your routines every few days. You will see a number of different elliptical machine workout routines below. Our recommendation is to switch back and forth between those.
Other than those tips, there is not all that much to be said about using an elliptical trainer. They are fairly simple and straightforward to use. Simply step on the platforms and go at it. It might take you a while to get used to the circular motion of the elliptical trainer, as opposed to a running motion, but your muscle memory will take over quickly enough. Remember, the point is to be healthy, but also to have fun while doing it.
If you want to be efficient and get as much out of your workout on the elliptical as you can, try watching this video.
Also, here is a video that includes some additional elliptical trainer tips and tricks so you can get the most out of every minute spent on it.
6 Great Elliptical Machine Workouts
To get you started on the elliptical machine. Let’s go over some basic workouts that you can do on them. Remember, you should not repeat the same routine day after day. Try to switch it up if you can.
Workout #1: The Beginner Workout
Neutral Incline to 20-degree incline (beginners will keep the incline at a neutral level)
- Go for 3 minutes at a resistance level of 3 at 130 strides per minute.
- Go for 2 minutes at a resistance level of 5 at 130 strides per minute.
- Go for 5 minutes at a resistance level of 5 at 140 strides per minute.
- Go for 5 minutes at a resistance level of 7 at 140 strides per minute (going backward).
- Go for 5 minutes at a resistance level of 7 at 140 strides per minute (going forward).
- Go for another 5 minutes at a resistance level of 7 at 140 strides per minute.
- Go 5 minutes at a resistance level of 5 at 140 strides per minute.
- Go for another 5 minutes at a resistance level of 3 at 130 strides per minute.
Workout #2: The Strong Start & Strong Finish Workout
This is a good routine for more seasoned people as it involves an hour-long workout with a pretty heavy incline.
Workout #3: The Butt Buster Workout
If you want to tighten up that backside, this is the workout for you (35 minutes).
Here we also have a few other elliptical machine workouts that you can try doing. These are in video format so enjoy!
Workout #4: Cross Trainer Interval Training Workout
Workout #5: The Insane High Intensity 20 Minute Elliptical Workout
Workout #6: The Elliptical Cross Trainer Workout
How To Clean And Maintain Your Elliptical Trainer
When it comes to any kind of fitness equipment, especially one such as an elliptical trainer that can end up costing a pretty penny, it is quite important to clean and maintain it as best as you can. Follow these tips and you should have no problem keeping your elliptical trainer in prime condition for years to come. The most important thing to keep in mind is that this is a pretty big piece of equipment with lots of moving parts. If something breaks or becomes misaligned, you will most likely need professional help to rectify the issue.
- Always have the elliptical in an area where it is fairly cool and dry. Excessive heat and humidity, especially the moisture, can end up causing damage to your elliptical machine over the long term.
- Always use a damp cloth to clean any areas that come into contact with your feet and hands. This includes the grips, the foot platforms, and the console.
- Sweat, oil, and dirt can damage the display console, so always use a damp cloth to clean it after every use.
- Every week or so, use a damp cloth with a very mild cleaner and wiped down all accessible surfaces to keep grime and dirt from building up.
- If you have long finger nails, either cut them or use finger pads to touch the display. Long finger nails can scratch the screen of the display.
- Inspect the mounting every month or so. In other words, make sure that the base is firmly attached to the rest of the elliptical machine. Make sure that all screws and bolts are tight and secure.
- Every couple of months inspect all moving parts for proper alignment, cracks, and any kind of damage. Anything that is not aligned properly will need to be realigned, and any damaged pieces will need replacing.
- If you notice any grinding, an increase in friction, or loud noise, make sure to stop using the elliptical machine immediately and inspect it for damage. If you cannot find the problem yourself, you will need to get professional help to fix it. Using a damaged elliptical machine will only cause the problem to worsen, so don’t do it.
There it is, the ultimate elliptical machine list, with entry level, mid range, and high end elliptical trainers, all of which are absolutely fantastic in their own way. These elliptical reviews are intended to help you find the best elliptical machine for the money that you are looking to spend, so we sincerely hope that we have been of assistance.
Keep in mind the things you should look out for before buying an elliptical machine, the tips, the various workouts, and how to maintain them too. If you need any kind of elliptical machine, no matter what the price, you should definitely check out what we had to say about them. No matter how much money you want to spend, there is a great option out there. Elliptical machines are fantastic pieces of exercise equipment and you should try one out today!