best ellipticals

Best Ellipticals Reviews - My Top Picks

One of the best aspects of owning an elliptical trainers, as opposed to other fitness equipment, is that you can usually adjust the incline and resistance. It can trick you into thinking that you aren't working as hard as you are. You'll be able to workout for longer sessions because you don't feel pushed to your limits. If you don't mind to keep going and for you to push yourself harder.

I love using elliptical machines in my home gym. They became one of my favorite fitness machines when I had my gym membership because of the full-body workouts that they provide. Every time I went in, I would always hit up the ellipticals while listening to my morning podcasts. In this article, I'm going to discuss some of your options if you're looking into getting one of these marvelous machines in your home! Here are my Elliptical Reviews: 

Bowflex Max Trainer M7

Bowflex Max Trainer M7

This is one of the best ellipticals for home use. Combining the power of a stepper and the full-body exercise of an elliptical, the Bowflex Max Trainer M7 provides a smooth, low impact workout. This elliptical machine tracks, responds and adjusts to your needs as you train, encouraging you to get the most out of every workout. 

Through Bluetooth, you can sync your machine with workout apps on your phone (iOS and Android). Not only will it help you monitor and track your workouts, but it also includes video streaming content from professional trainers to advise you. 

It’s as though you have a personal fitness coach standing next to you to make sure you’re hitting your goals. With this kind of technology, you can be much more certain that you’ll get the most out of your investment. The Max Trainer M7 has stainless steel, sports performance racing pedals, a dual backlit LCD display to track fitness information, and 11 cardio workout programs with 20 levels of computer-controlled resistance. One of the best things about this machine is that it is relatively compact in terms of footprint in comparison to other ellipticals (49 L x 30.5" W x 65.5 H Inches). 

This machine holds user profiles for up to 4 people. The handles have integrated contact grips with an included chest strap to track heart rate. You can also upgrade the handlebars with the aero bar.


  • Relatively easy to assemble
  • Comes with wheels at the base for easy storage
  • Plenty of novice settings for people unused to high intensity exercise


  • Some models may squeak during use
  • The construction of some elements could use improvement

Read my detailed review of the Bowflex Max Trainer M7.

Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical

Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical

The Teeter FreeStep Recumbent was created to provide you with a full fat-burning cardio workout while in a naturally-reclined and comfortable seated position. Because this elliptical uses adjustable magnetic resistance, it is relatively quiet in comparison to other cardio machines.  

You can use it at home without fear of disturbing your family members. You can get a full-body workout, targeting all your major muscle groups, or isolate your arms and legs to increase intensity.

Not only can you get a great cardio workout, but you can also build definition by isolating your legs, effectively using the elliptical as a leg press, or reposition the handles to focus on biceps and triceps. The Dual Power motion will help you build more muscle, while the patented Stride Technology prevents your knees from traveling past the level of your toes, to prevent strain.

Another thing that makes this elliptical trainer so attractive is that it works to distribute the pressure on your muscles to avoid burn out. There is no drag and pop motions like that you might find on ordinary cardio machines. And if you’re someone concerned about hurting your hips or back this zero-impact recumbent is safe. Other enticing features include a fully adjustable reclining seat, adjustable handlebars, a digital console with a smart device stand, a water bottle holder, and transport wheels.  


  • Easy to assemble
  • Provides a low impact workout that is easy on the joints
  • Sturdy, comfortable, smooth, and quiet


  • No visual indicator for desired resistance settings
  • Fitness monitor can be difficult to read

Product Specifications

Nautilus E614 Elliptical

Nautilus E614 Elliptical

This elliptical provides a premium experience for a more affordable price. It comes with a Dual-Track LCD multi-display console allowing you to monitor and track your fitness goals. With a 20” Precision Path stride length, you’ll have more room to move.


The articulated, cushioned footplates on the ramp can be manually adjusted to your liking. The perimeter weighted flywheel keeps your pre programmed workouts smooth and consistent.

Though the fitness monitor allows you to track your exercise goals, such as distance traveled, calories burned, and workout time, it does not come with a companion app you can use to check this information from your phone. It also has a sizable footprint, so you’ll want to check dimensions before buying this machine to check if you’ll have enough space. If you’re tall, you’re also going to want some clearance.


  • An excellent choice for an average user
  • A very quiet machine with most of the features you need


  • Movement not as optimized as commercial ellipticals at health clubs
  • Tricky assembly unless you are mechanically savvy

Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine

Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine

This might be one of the best elliptical machines available on the market. One of best parts of this machine is the way it tracks your data, making it motivating to reach your fitness goals.

The machine has 29 preset programs to choose from with four user settings. Another great feature is that this machine has 25 levels of resistance to push you to your limits.

One drawback to this device is its large footprint, so you'll need ample space to store it. The good news is that you can easily move it after you're done, using the wheels underneath.This model includes a very decent warranty that will help you purchase with confidence.


  • Outstanding Warranty
  • 25 Level of Resistance
  • 29 Preset Programs
  • Tracks Fitness Data


  • Large Footprint
  • Fixed Stride Length

NordicTrack E 7.5 Z Elliptical

NordicTrack E 7.5 Z Elliptical

If you want to buy an elliptical, but you’re worried about space constraints in your home, you might consider the NordicTrack E 7.5 Z. Yes, it’s that’s right. You can fold this machine for easy storage! 

This machine is ideal for small spaces like apartments or condos because of its compact vertical SafeSaver® design. With wheels at the bast, you can easily move it into the next room and/or reposition it as necessary. Not only is it easy to assemble, but it is also perfect for most home gyms with dimensions of 67″ H X 32″ W X 80″ L.

The E 7.5 Z comes with an 18-pound flywheel, 22 digital resistance levels (with silent magnetic resistance), as well as  10% power-adjustable incline. Stay comfortable during your whole workout with the adjustable oversized cushion pedals and SoftTouch™ body grips. Take advantage of the machines iFit compatibility with the standard 5” LCD where you can dock your tablet or smartphone for entertainment. 

There are 24 on-board pre programmed workouts that come with the machine if you aren’t interested in subscribing to iFit. Other comforts include a workout fan and auxiliary music port for your device. Play your music through the digitally amplified speakers. This model is an excellent choice for shopping seeking a budget compact elliptical machines. It offers many more features than similar portable alternatives for a similar price, and won’t crowd a bunch of space in your home. 

Stamina In-Motion Elliptical

Stamina In-Motion Elliptical

This elliptical machine is very different than other models in that it doesn't have any handles. This design is meant to strengthen your lower body.This model is lightweight and compact. You could even take it to your job if you wanted. You can use it while standing or sitting. 

It includes a monitor displaying time, strides and calories burned. Just like the previous machines, this machine is easy on joints.One interesting feature is that you can use the machine in forward or reverse motion. These activities burn about the same amount of calories as jogging, but it's low impact so that you won't injure your joints. For more examples of products like these, please read my roundup review of mini ellipticals.


  • Inexpensive
  • Easy Storage
  • Compact


  • Fragile Design
  • Makes Noise After Extended Use

Health Benefits of Using Ellipticals

On elliptical machines, the number of calories you burn depends on the intensity of the workout program plus your weight. The more you weigh, the higher your heart rate, and the more calories you’ll burn. You can fire through to 400 calories in a half hour if you push yourself hard enough. If you want to improve the intensity of your workout on an elliptical, all you have to do is increase the resistance of the machine.

Long term use can improve your balance and mobility. Ellipticals are perfect for people who're recovering from an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury in the knee. Using an elliptical can also boost your health overall, including your lung capacity. You can upgrade your stamina as well as your cardio capacity.

Ellipticals are also ideal for people with arthritis, as the workouts are easy on your joints. In some cases, it may even improve the condition. If you're someone that has knee or hip pain, you can use an elliptical without any added pressure. It won't cause any further damage to those joints.

And the most obvious benefit of using an elliptical is increasing your heart rate for cardiovascular health. Exercising regularly reduces your risk of heart disease, and an elliptical machine can help with that.

elliptical workout

Different Types of Ellipticals

Standard Ellipticals

The best elliptical trainers only strengthen the lower part of your body. To use this kind of an elliptical, you stand on foot pedals while holding stationary bars. Pushing on the pedals creates a circular motion while working their lower body. They sometimes offer adjustable stride. 

Elliptical Cross-Trainer

A cross-trainer strengthens more muscles than an elliptical, including your shoulders, upper back, elbows, and chest.

Elliptical Glider

Even though the glider looks just like a standard elliptical, it's an entirely different machine, with different features. An elliptical glider combines a treadmill and a stair-climber. Together, it creates a motion similar to skiing.

The glider track has two pedals. To use this device you allow your legs to glide along the track. Some elliptical gliders include handles, allowing you to adjust the resistance and the incline. Your legs move slightly backward instead of in circles like on an elliptical trainer.

Front Positioning

An elliptical with front positioning is usually the least expensive out of all the other machines. Because these models have more moving parts, they require more maintenance. They also tend to be noisier. They typically require you to lean forward during use and this kind of positioning may be uncomfortable for some people.

Rear Positioning

Ellipticals with rear positioning are the most popular on the market. These have less moving parts, and you can use them in an upright position, which most people find the most comfortable. These machines are typically quieter than their front-positioned counterparts. The only drawback is that these kinds machines are usually more expensive.

Center Positioning

There isn't as much information on ellipticals with center positioning as they are relatively new on the market. Though these models are generally more expensive, they offer better features. They tend to be silent and more compact.

Common Questions About Ellipticals

Can you lose belly fat using an elliptical?

Absolutely. An elliptical provides low-impact workout programs that works your arms and legs. As long as you consistently workout, your belly fat will lessen.

Is an elliptical a good workout?

Yes. An elliptical is easy on your knees, but some may complain that working out on an elliptical lacks excitement. Either way, ellipticals offer an effective total body workout with great cardio. 

What part of the body does the elliptical target? 

Whether your walking or running, when you use an elliptical, your lower body is primarily at work. The machine typically targets hamstrings, calves, anterior tibialis, glutes, and quadriceps.

What’s the best elliptical for money? 

More than a few sources claim that the Schwinn 470 Elliptical is one of the best value ellipticals on the market. Though it has a large footprint, it has a decent warranty, 29 workout programs, and tracks data.

Are ellipticals bad for one’s back? 

Using an elliptical reduces that stress placed through your vertebrae and intra-vertebral discs. Also, the subtle rotation that comes from using your legs and upper trunk rotation has a relaxing effect on the para-spinal muscles.

What are the benefits and disadvantages of ellipticals? 

The advantage of using an elliptical is that it’s easy on your knees and joints. It is much easier on your body than running on solid ground. However, it doesn’t work your core or do as much to strengthen your lower body as the best treadmill might or the best rowing machine. But it is beneficial for burning calories.