Best Elliptical Machines

If you’re looking to begin a workout routine at home, or you want a solid piece of exercise equipment to help you reach your training goals, then you’ll love the efficient, time-saving, full-body and low impact workouts the best elliptical machines can bring you. Elliptical machines are renowned for their ability to provide a total body workout that doesn’t require heavy contact, reducing the potential for injury while helping people get quick workouts they can squeeze easily into a busy schedule.

Elliptical machines are very popular products because of their ability to produce results without long, intensive workouts, and there are many options available on the market today. To help save you time when you select your elliptical, we’ve comprised a list of the best elliptical machines, and to further help you narrow down your selection, we’ll examine some criteria points you’ll want to evaluate so you can decide on the best elliptical machine for your workout goals.

Nautilus E614
  • Nautilus E614
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • mp3 speaker system
  • Price: See Here
Exerpeutic 5000
  • Exerpeutic 5000
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Ideal for getting started
  • Price: See Here
Bowflex Max Trainer
  • Bowflex Max Trainer
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Low impact design
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Elliptical Machines

 

Nautilus E614

If you’re looking for a high-quality elliptical that’s manufactured by a reputable brand, then Nautilus’s E614 Elliptical could be the right choice for you. Designed with innovative style and some of the latest technology on the market, you’ll get a durable piece of equipment with a great monitor and a lot of cutting edge features.
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Features: Nautilus’s E614 Elliptical packs a lot of great features into one excellent piece of workout equipment, and comes with six different inclined positions so you can adjust your workout to fit you. Plus, there are over 22 programs on this elliptical to help vary up your workouts, and in-console speakers that work with an MP3 player so you can blast your tunes as you work up a sweat.
Computer Options: Nautilus’s E614 Elliptical comes with a DualTrack computer featuring two LCD windows and the ability to store up to two personal profiles on the system so you can track your workouts. You’ll also be able to see things like heart rate, time, and distance on the screen when you work out.
Ease of Assembly: Made for easy assembly, when you purchase this elliptical you’ll get a step-by-step set of directions that features illustrations to help you construct the machine. Putting the machine together is relatively simple, and usually takes around sixty minutes.
Stability and Durability: Nautilus designed their E614 Elliptical to be both stable and durable, with high-quality materials manufactured into the design that will extend the lifetime of the product. Plus, the elliptical’s features help to keep it balanced, offering you plenty of stability during your workouts.
Pros
  • Excellent computer

  • Good workout variety

  • MP3 speaker system

  • Good balance

  • Durable

Cons
  • Elliptical levels have to be manually set.

  • May need to stop your workout to make adjustments on machine.

Exerpeutic 5000

If you’re shopping for a high-quality elliptical on a budget, then you’ll love the affordable Exerpeutic 5000 Magnetic Elliptical Trainer, which provides you with an excellent home workout system in a compact elliptical model. This elliptical has an excellent, easy-to-read computer system, and also does a great job of giving you an intense full-body workout.
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Features: Exerpeutic’s 5000 Magnetic Elliptical Trainer offers eight different resistance levels, so you can adjust your workouts to make them harder as you build up toward your goals. Also, it’s extremely quiet and efficient, making it a nice system to have at home when you want to fit in a relaxing workout.
Computer Options: The LCD computer designed into this elliptical is made to be easy-to-read and simple to use. You’ll see all the exercise information you need to track your workouts as you progress, so you can monitor your workouts daily.
Ease of Assembly: Exerpeutic’s elliptical comes with step-by-step directions with easy to follow pictures included, so you get a lot of guidance through the setup process. The entire system is easy to put together, and you can set it up in about 40 to 50 minutes.
Stability and Durability: Although this elliptical is both compact and affordable, it’s still made from high-quality, durable materials that are meant to be long lasting. Also, the elliptical provides a lot of stability and balance designed into the system, so it gives you an excellent workout each time you use it.
Pros
  • Good starter elliptical

  • Affordable

  • Easy to use

  • Quiet

Cons
  • Small stride length.

  • LCD computer only has basic functionality.

Bowflex Max Trainer

Bowflex’s Max Trainer offers you a combination of a treadmill and elliptical in one machine that produces better results than most elliptical machines because of its effective use of combination technology in its design. You’ll be able to get a full body workout easily without much impact, which is an excellent option for people who have injuries or other issues that other exercise approaches can irritate.
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Features: With Bowflex’s Max Trainer, you get a low-impact machine that works out your full body so effectively you’ll burn double the calories in the same amount of time, meaning with just three quick 15-minute workouts weekly, you’ll start experiencing the reward of looking great with relative speed. Plus, this elliptical has 16 different levels of resistance and adds an extra focus on your upper body, toning your arms and chest better than most other elliptical machines can.
Computer Options: Bowflex’s Max Trainer comes with a backlit screen that provides you with a variety of workout program options while the screen demonstrates the data you need to know about your workout. Plus, the computer can also store and track two different workout profiles so that you can track your workout progress.
Ease of Assembly: Unfortunately, while this is a great elliptical machine, it isn’t easy to assemble at home by yourself. Many users admit they’ve hired professional help to put this machine together, but once it’s up and usable, the workout results leave them satisfied.
Stability and Durability: Bowflex’s Max Trainer is built to last, and features a lot of high-quality materials that help make it durable. It also comes with a two-year manufacturer warranty, and the stability and balance you get from the machine ensures a good workout.
Pros
  • Compact

  • Offers one of the best elliptical workouts

  • Good screen

  • Low impact design

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Hard to set up

Horizon Fitness Evolve 5

Horizon Fitness Evolve 5
If you’re looking for a high-quality elliptical that will allow you to build-up your workouts so you hit your maximum potential, then you’ll love what the Horizon Fitness Evolve 5 Elliptical has to offer. Designed with a heavy flywheel that gives you the resistance you’ll want, this elliptical provides an excellent full-body workout for any person looking to get great results.
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Features: Made with a one-step folding frame, this elliptical can be easily compacted to save space, and when you use it, you can get workout feedback using its CardioCompass technology. Plus, the workout is designed to be low-impact and comfortable, so you’ll get great cardio without having to put extra stress on your body.
Computer Options: The computer on the Horizon Fitness Evolve 5 Elliptical brings a bevy of features that help you both track and monitor your workout. You’ll be able to see your workout data on your screen while you’re active, and you can track and monitor your performance with the ViaFit connectivity feature.
Ease of Assembly: This elliptical offers one of the easiest set-ups on our list, and has only three steps in the setup process. That means you’ll have this product put together and ready to go in a little under 20 minutes.
Stability and Durability: The materials designed into the Horizon Fitness Evolve 5 Elliptical make it a durable and long-lasting machine. Plus, it’s a very stable system, providing you with a complete, well-balanced workout system.
Pros
  • Easy to assemble

  • Good computer

  • Excellent full body workout

Cons
  • Not a great machine for those new to elliptical machines

  • The long stride might be hard for some to use

NordicTrack Spacesaver SE9i

NordicTrack Spacesaver SE9i
NordicTrack is a well-known manufacturer of great home workout products, and their SpaceSaver SE9i is one of the most popular elliptical trainers they make. There are many reasons why this is such a popular elliptical, ranging from its excellent electronic system, fantastic features, and long-term warranty.
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Features: Designed with a foldable frame so the elliptical saves space when you aren’t using it, each tine you do whip it out for a workout, you’ll get a choice of 24 levels of resistance as well as over 30 workout programs and apps to help you vary up your exercise routine. Plus, the incline on this elliptical is easy to adjust if you want to get a more hardcore, uphill workout.
Computer Options: NordicTrack’s SpaceSaver SE9i is made with a seven inch HD touchscreen computer that allows you to use the Internet while you work-out, so you can livestream if you want, and the computer will still register your workout data as you proceed. This elliptical also features built-in iPod compatible speakers so you can rock out to your favorite tunes if you need more exercise inspiration.
Ease of Assembly: NordicTrack’s SpaceSaver SE9i comes with a set of easy to follow step-by-step directions that help you get your elliptical up and running quickly. Set-up times can vary on this product, but the assembly is simple enough for you to easily accomplish at home.
Stability and Durability: NordicTrack’s SpaceSaver SE9i is designed with excellent, durable materials and top-of-the line technology, so you’ll get a lot of use out of this system. Plus, the elliptical is very stable, and will provide you with a balanced work-out session.
Pros
  • Excellent workout options

  • Fantastic computer system

  • Comes with iPod speakers

Cons
  • Stride is a bit small for tall people

  • Elliptical doesn’t always feel smooth

Proform Hybrid Trainer

Proform Hybrid Trainer
If you’re looking for an affordable elliptical that also offers you some versatility with your workouts, then you might like the Proform Hybrid Trainer Elliptical, since you can use it as either an elliptical or a bike, depending on your exercise choice. Plus, this model is easy-to-adjust and use, and recent updates have made added more durability to the product.
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Features: Proform’s Hybrid Trainer Elliptical can be changed into a bike using a simple three step process that adds some versatility in exercise with this affordable elliptical. It also comes with over 16 workout programs and apps, and is built to be quiet and smooth whenever you work out.
Computer Options: This elliptical comes with an iFit Bluetooth console, so you can easily keep track of your workouts and progress as you exercise. You’ll also get a Watts Power Meter so you can monitor yourself as you climb towards your weight loss goals.
Ease of Assembly: Proform’s Hybrid Trainer Elliptical is easy to set-up and has a full list of directions so that you can assemble the elliptical yourself. Plus, the elliptical is also easy to transform into a bike, making it a very efficient design.
Stability and Durability: Proform’s Hybrid Trainer Elliptical features a steel frame that’s very long-lasting, and also adds a level of stability to the product. You’re elliptical will stay balanced and you’ll be able to get a lot of use out of it with its durable design.
Pros
  • Elliptical transforms into a bike easily

  • Good workout programs

  • Smooth workout

  • Durable

Cons
  • Need to subscribe to iFit

  • Does not fold up

  • Stride does not adjust

Life Fitness Platinum Club Series

Life Fitness Platinum Club Series
Life Fitness’s Platinum Club Elliptical Cross Trainer is one of the company’s most popular workout products, and comes with a high-quality design that offers a lot of durability. Designed to be an at-home elliptical that’s as effective as your local gym’s elliptical machines, you’ll get an excellent product that offers a lot of features that will give you an excellent full-body workout.
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Features: Life Fitness’s Platinum Club Elliptical comes with over 26 levels of resistance, so you can adjust your workout as you gain experience and get closer to reaching your workout goals. Also, this elliptical has transport wheels on it, so it’s easy to move around and re-position when needed.
Computer Options: Designed with a durable LED touchscreen, you get several options in workout programs as well and the ability to connect to the internet if you want to livestream something while you exercise. Plus, the computer on this elliptical can be used with either Apples or Androids, allowing you to play songs or access other features while you work out.
Ease of Assembly: The assembly on this product is a bit more intensive than some of the other options on our list, mostly because of the quality of the design. While it is possible to set this elliptical up on your own, you may need extra assistance, depending on how comfortable you are with your elliptical.
Stability and Durability: Life Fitness’s Platinum Club Elliptical comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame of the product, and also offers several years of assistance when it comes to replacing and fixing other parts. The machine is very durable and built to last a lifetime, and offers plenty of stability and balance.
Pros
  • Very durable and long-lasting

  • Nice program features on computer, including livestream

  • Excellent full body workout

Cons
  • No fan

  • Doesn’t fold up

  • Not easy to adjust

  • Expensive

Octane Zero Runner ZR8

Octane Zero Runner ZR8
Octane’s Zero Runner ZR8 Elliptical offers a workout system that combines the best features of a treadmill and elliptical together, giving you the run time you want without the impact. Designed to help you progress toward your workout goals, you get an excellent, high-quality elliptical that gives an effective full-body workout.
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Features: Designed for a hardcore workout that doesn’t require any impact, helping you avoid stress and injury, this elliptical requires very little maintenance. You also get the ability to adjust both your resistance and stride easily on this elliptical, so you have plenty of options to help you train and get back into shape.
Computer Options: The console computer on this elliptical has an LCD display that utilizes Bluetooth and SmarthLink, so you can design your own workouts as you progress. Plus, the computer also offers 35 different programs to help you switch up your exercise routine while you can monitor your vital signs and track your workout sessions.
Ease of Assembly: Octane’s Zero Runner ZR8 Elliptical does come with a step-by-step direction guide, but the system isn’t incredibly simple. So, while some feel it is easy to set-up, others have felt this elliptical set up does require time and extra assistance.
Stability and Durability: Made with aircraft-aluminum legs and a heavy duty frame, this elliptical is both long-lasting and stable, providing you with the balance you’ll want whenever you hit your elliptical. Also, this elliptical comes with a lifetime warranty, which is one of the best features.
Pros
  • Provides an excellent low impact workout

  • Not much maintenance

  • Good workout aps and programs

  • Lifetime warranty

Cons
  • Could be easier to set up.

  • Console could have audio

  • Expensive

Precor AMT 885

Precor AMT 885
Precor’s AMT 885 Elliptical is designed to give you an intense cardio, calorie-burning full-body workout without forcing you to experience adverse impacts that could create injuries. Plus, you can adjust this elliptical for either long or short strides, depending on the type of workout you want to accomplish.
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Features: Precor’s AMT 885 Elliptical has not only a stride length adjustment, but also a stride height adjustment, meaning you can create an incline when you want to climb uphill. You’ll get 20 levels of resistance with this elliptical, which can be adapted to be used as a climber or treadmill as well as an elliptical so that you get versatility in your workout options.
Computer Options: Precor’s AMT 885 Elliptical comes with the manufacturer’s latest console, known as P30, which also features a great motion control system. Plus, you get over 20 different workouts to choose from, and a nice, easy to see LED screen that records your vitals as you work out.
Ease of Assembly: Not a lot of maintenance is required with this elliptical, and Precor provides you with easy to follow directions so you can easily setup your elliptical. Not only is this elliptical easy to set-up, it’s also very easy-to-use, and designed for simplicity.
Stability and Durability: Precor’s AMT 885 Elliptical offers a seven-year warranty, and features plenty of high-quality materials that help enhance the durability of the product. Also, the elliptical is stable enough to allow you plenty of balance.
Pros
  • Easy to setup

  • Easy to adjust and use

  • Can be used as an elliptical, climber, or treadmill

  • Good full body workout

Cons
  • Motor is loud

  • No fan

  • No speakers

Golds Gym Stride Trainer 380

Golds Gym Stride Trainer 380
If you’re looking for a nice elliptical on a budget, then the affordable Golds Gym Stride Trainer offers just what you need to get an effective, full body, low impact workout. While this elliptical doesn’t include a lot of bells and whistles on it since its designed to be cost-effective, the intensity of the workout is excellent, and you’ll be able to get yourself back into shape while saving a bit of money.
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Features: This elliptical offers 12 levels of resistance so you can adjust your workouts to meet your training goals. You’ll also get Silent Magnetic Resistance with this elliptical, which means the elliptical is quiet and efficient.
Computer Options: The console on the Golds Gym Stride Trainer 380 Elliptical brings you an LCD screen and six workout programs. You can also track your workout progress, monitoring things like calories burned, pulse, distance, speed, and much more.
Ease of Assembly: With this elliptical, you’ll get step-by-step instructions that make the setup process very simple. The set-up for this elliptical is so efficient you’ll be able to accomplish it yourself in under an hour of time.
Stability and Durability: Gold’s Gym doesn’t offer a warranty on the frame of this elliptical, but does provide three months of help on parts and labor if anything does go wrong with your elliptical. The machine is durable for its price range, and also gives you enough stability so you feel balanced during your workout.
Pros
  • Affordable

  • Provides a good full body workout

  • Easy to set up

  • Decent computer options for the price

Cons
  • Short stride

  • No fan

  • Can only handle up to 250 pounds


The Criteria We Used To Find The Best Elliptical Machines

When you do your research to find the best elliptical machines for your workout goals, you’ll want to consider a few criteria points to help you make your decision. By being to understand the features, computer options, ease of assembly, stability and durability of your elliptical options, you’ll be able to make a better decision about what type of elliptical will help you train so you reach your maximum potential.

Features

Various manufacturers that design elliptical machines typically offer different options in features, depending on the price and design of the elliptical they’ve produced. Some elliptical machines offer more features than others, and the amount of features anyone really needs is really a matter of personal preference. If you’re shopping on a budget and know you can live without some of the bells and whistles that come on more expensive elliptical machines, then you’ll be able to save some money while retaining some of what you’d want in a good elliptical. With that in mind, we’ll cover the types of features that you’ll typically find on most elliptical machines, and that can help you figure out what you really need out of your elliptical.

  • Adjustable Incline. Some elliptical machines come with inclines that are easy to adjust by simply pressing a few buttons, while others require you to manually adjust their inclines. Having an elliptical with an adjustable incline adds an extra bonus to your workouts because you’ll be able to increase your toning abilities each time you exercise by adjusting the incline to different levels. Some elliptical machines with adjustable inclines also feature interactive videos and come with training programs designed into the system, which gives you options to vary up your workouts easily. Purchasing an elliptical that has an adjustable incline will let you have more variety in your workouts, and also increase your ability to tone your lower body.
  • Adjustable Stride. The stride on some elliptical machines is actually set on some brands, while others provide you with an adjustable stride. If more than one person is going to be using your elliptical, having an adjustable stride will allow a larger person to get a workout styled for them, and also allow a smaller person to get the same workout made for him or her. If you have multiple people of various sizes ready to use your elliptical, an adjustable stride will make it easier for everybody to use the machine to suit their workout needs. Elliptical machines that come with adjustable stride features typically do cost more, but it’s certainly worth it in the long run if the entire family decides to use one machine.
  • Levels of Resistance. Elliptical machines offer a variety of resistance levels, and some higher-priced models come with more levels of resistance than others. Regardless, it’s nice to be able to adjust the resistance level on your elliptical if you want to get into great shape. When looking for an elliptical that provides you various levels of resistance, make sure you find a strong, heavier flywheel so that you can get higher levels of resistance out of your machine. Most elliptical machines feature some resistance options, and your higher-priced elliptical machines will have higher levels of resistance. Again, for this feature, consider what you need and how much you plan to workout since any level of adjustable resistance is still beneficial, even if you are shopping on a budget.
Computer Options

Most elliptical machines come with some kind of computer console built-into the system, capable of measuring your workout progress while also providing a bevy of other benefits. With consoles on an elliptical, the more bells and whistles the computer system offers, typically the more money you’ll spend. So, if you are shopping on a budget, try to stick to what you know you’ll really need to get an effective workout.

  • HD Screens and Internet Features. High-quality elliptical systems usually features some kind of LCD screen, sometimes as large as a standard 22 inch widescreen, although it’s more common to have screens that are 7 to 10 inches. These screens are able to allow you to watch videos and livestream as you work out, so if you want to watch TV, you’ve got that option. Or, if you prefer to search the web, you’ll be able to do that as well. Elliptical machines that come with Internet features are also able to track your workout data as you progress.
  • IPhone/IPod Compatibility. Some elliptical machines come with MP3 functions that allow either Apple or both Apple and Android phones to be placed into the system and play music out through in-console speakers. If you love listening to your playlist when you work out, and find that music motivates you, then this is a great feature to have.
  • Workout Programs. The elliptical machines we provided on our list feature a variety of exercise programs that are either already built-into the computer system, or can be customized only. Less expensive elliptical machines don’t typically have as many programs, but still offer some workout assistance to help get you going. Higher-end elliptical machines allow you to setup profiles on your system, so that if more than one person works out on the machine, each person can track their workout progress and performance.
  • Heart Rate Monitoring. Elliptical machines also typically feature some kind of heart rate monitoring, and many also have programs built into them to help you control your own heart rate levels as you work out. Higher-end elliptical machines are able to adjust to help people meet their selected target heart rates, providing effective assistance to help you reach your workout goals.

Not all elliptical machines feature all of these computer options in their consoles, but most of them have at least some of what we’ve listed above. If you are shopping on a budget, it will be difficult to buy an elliptical that can do everything on this list, so try to focus on what you really need, and then make your selection.

Ease of Assembly

Depending on how you plan to setup your elliptical, whether you want to do it on your own or with professional assistance, pay attention to the fact that different elliptical machines offer easy set-ups, while some other, more complicated models require professional assistance, which comes at an additional price. Depending on the elliptical you select, ease of assembly can vary from model to model and brand to brand. So, keep in mind how much assembly you can do on your own if you are shopping on a budget when you select your elliptical.

Stability and Durability

When you purchase your elliptical machine, you want to make sure your equipment is both stable and durable. What’s great about most elliptical machines is the fact that even the more affordable models are designed to be both durable and stable, so the machine won’t breakdown or create an accident. In fact, cheaper elliptical options don’t feature a lot of electronics on them, but still make sure their products provide plenty of balance and strength.  When you’re analyzing an elliptical for durability and stability, there are a few factors you can consider to help you make your decision.

  • Metal or Plastic Parts. Elliptical machines that are built to be long-lasting usually have metal parts designed into them, which are higher in quality than elliptical machines that use plastic as the primary material. Even more affordable elliptical machines are designed with metal parts, and if you do need to shop on a budget, know that getting an elliptical machine with metal parts rather than plastic ones means the elliptical will last much longer, and be a lot more stable when you exercise on the machine.
  • Maximum User Weight. It’s important to note what the maximum user weight is for the elliptical you plan on purchasing, because it gives you a bit of information on the overall durability of the machine. If the elliptical you are considering purchasing can hold up to 300 pounds, then it’s manufactured to be very durable, even if it comes at a more affordable price.

 

A Couple More Things To Think About

Warranty

Different manufacturers offer different warranty options on their elliptical machines, and some give you lifetime warranties while others will only cover you for three months. If your elliptical comes with a warranty that lasts at least two years, then that’s a tip off to how durable the machine actually is as well.

Upper Body Workout

Some elliptical machines come with moving arm bars, which give you an arm workout and improves your upper body strength each time you hit your elliptical. Make sure your elliptical has moving arms if you want the full body workout, and also make sure that the arms on the elliptical fit you well, since people come in all shapes and sizes. You want the arms to feel easy to grab and comfortable as you move, and you also want a machine that moves your upper body and lower body together in a fluid motion so it’s easy to complete your workout.

 

FAQ

Q: How can I tell how intense my exercise will be on my elliptical?

When you are looking for intensity and variability in your workout, you’ll want to make sure you purchase an elliptical that offers a few different levels of resistance. That way, you can start out easier and then increase the elliptical’s resistance level as you get stronger. Some elliptical machines offer more resistance levels than others, but everything on our list has some levels of resistance. So, simply take a look at the levels of resistance on the elliptical you want to buy, and you can tell how intense your workouts could get.

Q: What do I need to know about elliptical program options?

All the elliptical machines on our list offer some variety of programs to help guide you as you work out. If you’re shopping on a budget, it will be hard to get variety here, but if you have the money to spend, then you can purchase an elliptical with several different workout options. While more variety is always nice, stick to your budget and what you need, because even more affordable elliptical machines still offer great workout programs.

Q: Do I really need an elliptical with high-tech computer options?

Really, that depends on you. If you have the money to spend and want all the bells and whistles, then go ahead and grab the elliptical that has all the technology you want. On the other hand, not all of the high-tech features on these elliptical machines are really necessary to get a good workout if you are shopping on a budget, so it’s all based on your personal preference.

Q: Do elliptical machines come with safety features?

Yes, most elliptical machines have safety features on them, and it’s important to use them especially if you have young children. Make sure you turn the safety features on each time you are done with your workout so nobody gets hurt if they come too close to the machine.

Q: Is a rear drive elliptical more durable?

Elliptical machines that are designed with a rear drive don’t need as much maintenance as their competitive counterparts, but there are still plenty of center drive elliptical machines and front drive elliptical machines that are very durable and effective. Also, if you need something that’s small and you can fold up to save space, you’re probably going to need to purchase a front drive elliptical, which also costs less than an elliptical with a rear drive or center drive.

Q: How do I make sure my elliptical gives me a great upper body workout?

Check to make sure the elliptical you purchase features moving arms that are spaced apart so that it’s comfortable for use to use the arms while you work out. Not all elliptical machines have moving arms, so if you want a good upper body workout as well, then you’ll want to purchase an elliptical with moving arms.

 

Sources

  1. Consumer Reports, Best Elliptical Buying Guide, Informational Consumer Website, Sep 20, 2016
  2. Allie, Best Elliptical Machines for Home Use 2017, Informational Elliptical Website, Apr 11, 2017
  3. John Carlsen, The Best Elliptical Machines of 2017, Informational Consumer Website, Sep 20, 2017