People are always looking to find a way to improve their health and save precious time. This is why workouts such as HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) are very popular these days. Another very popular way of getting the most out of your workout in a shorter amount of time is by using an Elliptical Cross Trainer. The Elliptical Cross Trainer has been around for over 20 years and has been a favorite of countless fitness enthusiasts for its low-impact, full-body workouts. They used to cost a small fortune, and while many still do, it is not far fetched to get the best elliptical under $1000 now.
Why Use an Elliptical Cross Trainer?
As compared to running, walking, and biking, the elliptical trainer works more muscles and burns more calories in much less time. What’s more, it’s also low-impact which means that there is no stress to your joints, especially your knees. This makes it also ideal for senior citizens who have brittle joints but still want to remain healthy and active.
What Muscles Does the Elliptical Work?
The elliptical trainer works several muscle groups at once – including your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, chest, back, triceps, and biceps. An important thing to note is that while you burn more calories on an elliptical, you will not feel that you are exerting that much, which makes the workout much easier all around.
Should You Buy an Elliptical Cross Trainer?
If you are thinking about buying an elliptical cross trainer for home use, you first need to consider a few things. First and foremost, how often do you plan to use it and how much are you willing to pay? Depending on your budget and fitness needs, a best quality elliptical trainer can range well over $1000 bucks. But if you are smart, you can get a great elliptical from as little as $200 to $500.
You also need to make sure that you have enough space in your home to store the machine. Typically, ellipticals take up about 4 to 7 ft. in length and you also want to allow for an extra 20″ on each side as well as behind the machine for the pedals while you are in motion. If you plan to keep and use the elliptical in your basement, you’ll also need to consider the height of your ceiling.
Important Features to Look For in an Elliptical Cross Trainer
Once you have decided to purchase an elliptical trainer for your home, you need to be on the lookout for the right features needed for your fitness goals.
Length of Stride
If you are shorter than 5’5″, a 14″ stride length should give you the range you need. If you are taller, you want to go for a machine with a 21″ stride.
Make sure that the pedals move smoothly and quietly without a jerky sensation. They should comfortably fit your feet throughout the entire movement.
Upper Body Comfort
Make sure that your arms can comfortably reach the handgrips at all times during movement.
You can find adjustable resistance options on almost all elliptical trainers. Generally, the broader the range, the more fitness benefits you will receive.
This feature is not absolutely necessary, but adjusting the ramp incline is a nice bonus to have which will add more intensity to your workouts.
Keep It Quiet
If you like to do your workouts early in the morning or late at night when the rest of your family is asleep, you want to choose a machine that generates minimal noise.
Play It Safe
If you have small children, you can bet they will want to play on this machine which can be unsafe. Look for an elliptical with a pin lock so the pedals can’t move and/or options to lock the screen console.
Additionally, check the manufacturer’s warranty. Good warranties for elliptical cross trainers usually include one year for labor and one to three years for parts.
While none of these features are totally necessary, they do add convenience and help you to get even more from your workout. These include:
- Water bottle holder
- Book or tablet holder
- Wi-Fi and/or Fitness Tracker Apps
Keep in the mind that the more features you want, the more money you are likely to spend.
The Best Elliptical Under $1000 – Great Cross Trainer Reviews
Now that you have a good idea of what you want in an elliptical trainer, let’s take a look at some of the best available models on the market today.
Precor is a high-end company with expert knowledge when it comes to elliptical manufacturing. This gym quality elliptical trainer is designed to give you a comfortable, natural feel while in motion. It is preloaded with numerous different programs to help you maximize your workout results.
The Precor Cross Trainer machine also operates very quietly and includes a stand to securely hold a book or tablet. You can also enter and save profile information for two users.
You need to be aware, however, that while this is a high-quality machine, it will take up a good deal of space. Assembly is not difficult, but it does require two people to set it up.
While the price is quite high for this model, you are guaranteed one of the best heavy-duty trainers available on the market today as well as many years of great challenging workouts.
The Schwinn A40 Elliptical comes with 7 preset programs – 6 Profile and 1 Quick Start and has 8 levels of resistance. The weighted flywheel gives you a smooth and quiet workout from start to finish.
The easy-to-use LCD console tracks your speed, time, RPM, distance, calories, and results. At an affordable price, this elliptical trainer gives you great value for money.
This is a good quality machine at a reasonable price, but there a few things to consider. You should give yourself time to get used to this machine since it moves slightly from side to side during use which makes it feel a little unstable. You also may find yourself becoming bored after mastering the preset challenges. That said, it gets the job done and is great to use during inclement weather or if you can’t make it to the gym.
Wow! You get so many different options with this machine along with numerous accessories to make up a nice little home gym – all for a very reasonable price. It includes 2- and 3-lb. hand weights and resistance bands so that you can perform several different exercises, not just with the elliptical.
You can set the easy-dial tension adjustment to make your workout as challenging as you want it to be. The built-in fan features high-momentum blades that give you a nice refreshing breeze as you exercise.
You can enjoy additional features such as pulse sensors, adjustable seat, and large monitor which reads your pulse, speed, distance, and resistance level.
Its compact frame measures 4.4″ length x 19.7″ width x 61″ height so you don’t have to worry about excessive space consumption.
This is another affordable trainer which includes a lot of bonus features. However, because you get so much for such a small price, you do sacrifice in other areas. The frame is not as sturdy and there are possible issues with stability while in use. Also, if you are taller than 5’5″, you may be uncomfortable using this machine. This elliptical also generates more noise than other more expensive models.
For a great little home gym, you can’t beat this cross trainer. The included weights, resistance band, and push up bars help you get the most out of your workout time.
This compact trainer is great for smaller apartments and boasts 8 magnetic resistance levels. To increase workout intensity, use the convenient tension knob on the machine.
While this elliptical is small, it is tough. Its frame is made out of high-quality metal and can support a maximum of 250 lbs. You can also move it to anywhere in your home using the transport wheels on the frame of the machine.
This cross trainer is meant to give you a quiet and smooth workout and includes an advanced digital monitor and pulse rate grips to track all of your vital stats.
When assembling the machine, you may want to use your own tools since there are reports that the provided tools aren’t quite up to the task. Also, make sure to tighten the screws periodically after repeated use. Nevertheless, you get a well-built cross trainer for a great price.
With an 11″ stride length, this cross trainer is ideal for shorter individuals. It is also very compact and fits into tight spaces. The frame comes with transport wheels so you can move this machine to anywhere in your home.
The belt driven flywheel produces a smooth, quiet workout. You can prop up your smartphone as you track all of your workout stats, including heart rate and calories.
Because this elliptical is designed with shorter people in mind, it is not comfortable for taller individuals over 5’5″. There have also been reports of a lack of challenging workouts even at the highest resistance setting.
For people who normally have trouble using an elliptical because the stride is too long, this is a perfect choice at a great price point.
If you are a techie nerd, then this elliptical trainer is for you! The Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine employs cutting edge technology and Bluetooth connectivity. You can sync up with the Schwinn Trainer App as well as the free downloadable Run Social App on your smartphone and it syncs with other fitness apps as well. You can then run through 19 virtual locations with 27 routes while training with people in real time from all around the world.
This trainer features everything you can think of – A total of 29 programs including – 12 profiles, 9 heart rate control, 4 custom, 2 fitness tests, and 1 Quick Start. On top of that, you get a whopping 25 levels of resistance.
In-console speakers with an MP3 input port, USB media charger, and adjustable fan come with the Dual Track LCD display so you are absolutely good to go!
The technology and numerous options can make the programs a bit of a challenge to browse through, however. It is strongly recommended to read the instructions for using the console. To ensure the smooth operation of the belt, you will need to use a lubricant. Hence, we recommend using a mat below the elliptical to keep any excess lubricant from getting on your carpet or floor.
With all of its bells and whistles, you’ll need to shell out quite a bit more money. However, you can’t top the vast array of options you will enjoy with this top-of-the-line elliptical trainer of the future.
Another elliptical trainer with Bluetooth technology, the Sole E55 allows you to transfer your workout data from the console to your smart device. You have the option of downloading and tracking your data for free or transferring it to other apps such as Fitbit, Record, Mapmyrun, and Apple Health.
The foot pedals provide you with the utmost of comfort since they were designed in collaboration with a lead physical therapist.
However, what separates this machine from the others is its power incline feature which targets parts of your lower body not normally challenged with other ellipticals.
This trainer can take on a lot of weight with its have steel frame so you don’t need to worry about wear and tear.
If you sweat a lot, do make sure you have a towel handy since holding on the heart monitor grips will cause the sweat to contact the circuit board, thus shorting it out. There are also a few inaccuracies in the assembly manual referring to the screws and bolt fasteners.
Aside from a few minor issues, this durable cross trainer gives you all the benefits you are looking for and you will be glad you added it to your exercise routine.
EFITMENT Air Walker Glider Elliptical Machine with Side Side Sway Action and 360 Motion for Exercise and Fitness – E020
This machine offers 24″ range of motion and here’s the kicker – 180 degrees of free motion. You can tone all of your lower body muscles by not only moving back and forth but also side to side.
You can easily store it away with its transport wheels and foldable frame and it is easy to assemble.
While it offers a 24″ motion range, there are still reports that taller people are not comfortable with using it as they have to hunch over to grab the handlebars. There are also no resistance settings, so the movement is purely aerobic and may be too easy for many people.
The 180-degree motion is a great feature and if you have any sort of mobility problems, this would be an ideal trainer for you.
This is a nice little portable elliptical machine with 8 levels of resistance as well as a tension knob to turn the resistance up or down. It features vinyl-covered handles and oversized pedals for all foot sizes. Its space-saving frame is also portable and includes transport wheels for easy storage.
The manufacturer stands by this product, offering a 2-year limited warranty.
The price is hard to beat, nevertheless, the machine tends to be a little wobbly and while it can hold your smartphone, there is no holder for a water bottle. Even so, for the incredibly reasonable price, you can expect to get a great workout out of this trainer and its resistance settings.
Take your workout on the go! You have three vibrant colors to choose from with this mini-strider which is meant for use and transport to your office, hotel room, or your home. You can use this elliptical trainer while sitting or standing at your desk and it packs a great punch!
You can turn the adjustable tension dial to ramp up the resistance and view your stats on the included monitor. If you are a gamer, this would be a great way for you to stay fit by keeping your legs in motion while you game.
The entire design of this trainer is so you can take it with you wherever you go. However, there is no handle attached which would make it a little easier to carry. It also tends to feel more like a bike workout than an elliptical, especially when you are sitting.
Despite some minor inconveniences, if you travel a lot or spend a lot of time at your desk, this elliptical trainer is an absolute must-have.
Overall Pros and Cons of an Elliptical Cross Trainer
Using an elliptical cross trainer is part of your fitness regimen will offer you countless benefits in lesser time. Keep in mind, though, that you may possibly become bored with the exercise programs and you may eventually surpass the resistance levels. People who normally run are typically not used to the motion of an elliptical therefore feel that they’re not getting a challenging workout. It’s important that you consider these points before you decide to make your purchase.
To Sum It Up
Each individual’s fitness needs are unique and everyone prefers different types of exercise. Whether you use an elliptical trainer or any other exercise machine, make sure that it is something you enjoy so that you will continue to use it. Each step will take you closer and closer to better health.