Cardiovascular exercise is a critical part of our overall fitness, and committing to at least 150 minutes per week can dramatically decrease the chance of health issues and boost our immune system, cardiovascular health, and nervous system.
If you don’t exercise regularly, it’s a good idea to consider buying your own elliptical machine so you can work out at home. Ellipticals are perfect for burning calories without lifting weights or running on treadmills.
What Is an Elliptical Machine?
Ellipticals are designed to mimic the motion of running on a treadmill, allowing you to get a full-body workout without straining your joints.
You can adjust the resistance level to suit your fitness goals, allowing you to work out effectively without worrying whether you’re working hard enough or too much.
Ellipticals have become very popular over the past few years because they provide a full-body workout that allows users to work their legs, arms, back, chest, and core all at once.
The best thing about ellipticals is that they are extremely versatile and can be used anywhere from home gyms to commercial fitness centers.
There are several types of elliptical machines available, each with its set of benefits and drawbacks. Some of them are better suited for home gyms than others. Here are some tips for finding that perfect elliptical for your needs, and we’ve also shortlisted three models that you might want to check out.
How to Choose the Right Elliptical for You
All ellipticals provide a low-impact workout to help you keep fit, but not all ellipticals are created equal. Choosing the right one is going to depend on a lot of factors.
The first and practical thing to consider is how big or small the piece of equipment is going to be. You don’t want a piece so bulky, taking up so much room, that it has to be stowed away and likely never to be used again.
So, if you have limited space, take note of the machine’s dimensions and the space you need to move around it.
On the other hand, if you have ample space, such as a dedicated space for a home gym, then choosing an elliptical with a bigger footprint is not going to be a problem.
Levels of Resistance
Just like an exercise bike, ellipticals use a flywheel to generate resistance that can be manually adjusted depending on your personal preference.
Cheaper units will have fewer levels of resistance to adjust to, so if you are physically fit and require challenging workouts, you’ll want to invest in a model offering a greater range of resistance.
On the contrary, beginners or those just getting into exercise again or coming back from a long-term injury will find it more beneficial to buy an inexpensive elliptical machine with lower levels of resistance.
If you want to go beyond the elliptical and incorporate other workout modalities, you may choose a hybrid option, such as some models that also double as a stepper and climber.
On the other hand, if you’re just starting out, you don’t need all the bells and whistles of multi-functional equipment and will be better off with something simple.
Weight & Maximum Capacity
This is another important factor to consider when shopping around. Remember that the more features you add, the more complicated and heavier the unit becomes.
A heavy elliptical machine will be more difficult to move around, yet it also suggests stability and durability.
Besides the machine’s weight, you’ll want to inspect the maximum capacity that it can support. Make sure that your weight and other users’ weight are well below the machine’s maximum weight capacity (you might like to also read elliptical machines with 300 lb weight capactity here or my article on the best elliptical for heavy person ).
Our Favorite Models
Now that you have some idea about choosing the perfect elliptical machine for your home gym, we’d like to show you three of our favorite picks. Remember that what works for other people may not always work for you. So inspect each machine below, and see which one answers your specific requirement or need.
Bowflex Max Trainer
One of the more popular brands in the industry, Bowflex has been around since the early 2000’s and offers a wide range of products. Their Max Trainer line of ellipticals is one of the most popular lines of equipment on the market today.
It comes with a large LCD screen, dual motor system, and Bluetooth for connecting to smart devices and heart rate monitors.
This combination elliptical and stepper includes several different modes that allow variety in your workouts. You might also like to check out my Teeter Free Step Recumbent Cross Trainer Review
Schwinn Fitness 470 Elliptical
Our pick for the best budget option is the Schwinn 470 elliptical, which was designed for people who want a compact unit that doesn’t take up too much room.
It features a sleek design, enhanced Bluetooth connectivity, and a user-friendly interface. There are also many global routes you can follow with over 50 journeys you can take in real-time.
This model is perfect for someone who wants a high-quality product at a reasonable price.
NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i
For those who want a little bit more space, NordicTrack’s SpaceSaver SE9i is a good choice. This space-saver can be easily folded for compact vertical storage.
It comes with 24 resistance levels so there are plenty of options for progress, allowing you a more customizable workout experience.
When shopping for a home gym, you’ll find endless options, and that alone can be overwhelming. It’s good to note that from the cheapest to the most expensive model that you will find, there’s one that will suit every budget and lifestyle.
While choosing may seem like a daunting task, you have some criteria to help you narrow down your options and make picking out the right equipment so much easier. If that still proves to be a challenge, you can check out our shortlisted models and pick the best one for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do Ellipticals Help with Weight Loss?
They certainly help you burn calories. Remember, however, that the key to weight loss is to expend more energy than you consume. The number of calories you consume per day must be less than the calories you burn to make a difference in your weight.
2. Are Ellipticals Bad for Joints and Knees?
No, in fact, they are likely more beneficial for your joints and knees. Ellipticals are low-impact exercise machines that are easier on your joints and knees than running or cycling are. They also provide a full-body workout that strengthens your core, improves balance, and increases flexibility.