The 9 Best Ellipticals Under $5000 That You’ll Love
As we know exercise is important for well-being and to achieve certain fitness goals, people have engaged in different ways to burn up the calories within their system, some by engaging in vigorous sporting activities like running, jogging, jumping, squatting, etc. But from the observation of many health fitness trainers, it was noticed that many people that engage in this exercise routine suffer from excessive pains in their joints, some even get injured as a result.
After all this observation, Precor in 1995 introduced an alternative to these normal exercise routines and designed the first elliptical fitness cross trainer (EFX). With this device, it helps to reduce the effect of this traditional exercise routine that leads to excessive joint pains in people and injuries. This elliptical machine was designed to operate like riding a bicycle, and it imitates running also. The device has a flywheel and a pedal connected to it to operate in an elliptical motion. One of the benefits of this elliptical trainer is that even people on recovery can easily use it and achieve the same purpose others have. The elliptical trainers also provide a non-impact cardiovascular workout that varies from light to high intensity, this means that the users have the power to control how fast or how slow they want the speed of these elliptical trainers should be.
Over the years, elliptical trainers gained popularity and were modified and designed into different types. There are majorly three types of elliptical trainers; some are categorized due to their location of the drive or motor. These sets are considered to be the oldest elliptical design, and they have their drive at the rear. The second type or second-generation elliptical design has its drive in the front and the last, which is the most recent elliptical design has its drive in the center. Our goal in this article is to identify the best elliptical machine in every category (front, center, & rear drives) that is affordable with its price range under $5000. Please read on to select the best elliptical machine under $5000 that can make your fitness dreams come true without having to deal with frequent maintenance.
The Life Fitness E5 Cross-Trainer, Titanium
Life Fitness E5 is one of the best elliptical machines in 2022 and is also designed as an elliptical cross trainer machine. This elliptical machine has three attributed that perfectly describe the goals of fitness. They have a lot of workout packages to aid exercises and are also ergonomic in nature with long-lasting durability. They are the second generation elliptical design and has its drive in the rear. It also has an 18″-24″ adjustable stride. This elliptical cross trainer has a comfortable motion and also a reliable performance due to its rear-drive and the 18″-24″ adjustable stride. One of the benefits of E5 is that its user-friendly and different people can use it, and it also can target different exercise level of its users and can store and save workout programs for different users.
Workout programs: Life Fitness E5 Cross-Trainer has two workout programs which are: Go and Track+. Go: It is a simple workout program, and it is for beginners who want to have some exercise. The elliptical cross trainer machine begins to work once the program button is press and exercise can begin. You can also choose from 12 preload workouts that are available on the console of the E5. The Go console can save a workout routine for just 2 people, and each can access each other workout programs. Track+: This can support four different users, it also has a tracking technology of which the name was derived. It was designed to support wireless connectivity, Android and iOS. With these features, you can track and get an update on your workout progress; you can also upload the data from your workout program on social media. It has a 14 preset workout programs, and each user can save 12 custom program. The two consoles each have an activity zone which provides two special workout modes: Leg Sculptor and Total Body Training.
Life Fitness E5 Cross-Trainer has an adjustable stride of 18″ to 24″; this wide range offers a lot of option for people of different size to fit-in perfectly and also provide variety for a different muscle group. The pedal also has a cushion to reduce feet strain and offer comfort for its users. You can entertain yourself with music while trainer because of its Track+ console available on the E5. It has a comfortable machine movable arm with cushions. It as an in-built cup holder and accessory tray it each of its console and can also reduce the energy usage up to 90%. It does not produce loud noise because of the magnetic resistance design.
The Life Fitness E5 Cross-Trainer is a sure winner durable, comfortable, and has high-quality programming. It is a great choice for homes with more than one trainee thanks to its multiple user-profiles and adjustable stride.
- Adjustable stride which ranges from 18″ to 24″
- Adjustable stride which ranges from 18″ to 24″
- Has a reversible motion and handlebars have multiple grip positions
- It has a perfect choice of consoles with wireless heart rate monitoring
- Cushioned pedals to relieve strain on feet
- It has preset workout variety and activity Zone coaching
- It has 2 or 4 user profiles (Depending on console)
- It has two cup holders and comes with 5 years warranty
- High price (Track+ console costs extra)– No cooling fan
Octane Fitness Pro 3700 Elliptical Machine
The pro 3700 Classic Elliptical Machine Trainer by Octane Fitness is a third generation of the elliptical machines. It was the first machine to be produced among the Octane elliptical machine. It has a converging path handlebars. Octane Fitness Pro 3700 Classic Elliptical Machine Trainer is the first machine of the third generation of elliptical machines of Octane. The Pro3700 Classic Elliptical was the first that introduced the Converging Path Handlebars. The handlebars provide comfort by reducing the strain for its user and also prevents injury during and intense workout sessions. The elliptical machine was originally designed for commercial use, but with all its inclusive features, it can also be used at home. It is one of the best elliptical machines sold; it is a great choice for anyone who desires to have balanced workout routines for domestic and commercial use.
Workout programs: The Octane Fitness Pro 3700 Classic has an in-built 30 different workout programs. They include: Workout Boosters: This elliptical machine has an in-built workout booster, including X-Mode, GluteKicker, and ArmBlaster. This feature offers its users to cross-train, either by working on the muscle or cardiovascular exercises (working on the heart). This feature offers motivation, comfortability and leads to perfect fitness results for its users. 30:30 Interval Program: The program was created by Paul Robbins of Athletes’ Performance to enhance elite athletes’ cardiovascular performance. It also works perfectly for deconditioned people. It offers different workout routines for its user with different abilities. MMA or Mixed Martial Arts – MMA: It is a new workout program designed to imitate real-life Mixed Martial Arts and gives room for its users to have an efficient training session.
Resistance: The resistance is 30 levels. The elliptical machine users can access and change them easily on the console or app. This system is ideally designed to develop resistance training to help with weight loss, endurance, etc. These features are well-loved by gymming enthusiasts, circuit trainers, athletes etc. Fitness meter: It comes with an in-built Large LED screen that displays important workout data such as time, calories burned, the time elapsed, target heart rate zone, distance, speed, heart rate, and level. The PRO3700 TOUCH model has a touch screen ability with 15-inch widescreen and an Intel processor. The Pro 3700 Classic is user-friendly and has buttons like the program workout and level; with these options, you can select resistance level and other bottoms like Quick Start, MOM, Pause and Boost workouts. Dashboard: The Octane Fitness Pro 3700 is designed with a shelf to put smartphones or tablet and keep your device safe. It is also designed with a water bottle holder to put your water bottle while working out. The movable handle and built-in transport wheels: The elliptical machine is designed with a movable handle that challenges the upper body and offers varieties of exercise choice for the upper body better than the traditional ellipticals. It also has transport wheels that allow the elliptical machine to be moved easily within the machine room.
The Octane Fitness Pro 3700 Classic Elliptical Machine is perfect for those who want to have strong upper and lower body muscles. Pro-Classic 3700 is an excellent choice for cross-circuit training. Workout professionals agree that ellipticals from Octane Fitness deliver innovative training that results in an outstanding outcome. It is enormous and weighs about 320 pounds, and has dimensions of approximately 69′′ x 31′′ x 56′′, which allows it to carry a maximum consumer weight of approximately 400 lbs. Thanks to its unique ergonomic design, advanced technologies and personalized software options, the Pro 3700 Classic is worth investment when you’re serious about home fitness. So if you desire a fitness training at an advanced and professional level, this elliptical machine is perfect for this.
- Offers a comfortable, natural movement with less noise from the machine.
- Large LED display panel and a message center.
- Built three-speed cooling fan and wireless heart rate function.
- Has varieties of workout programs and resistance levels.
- Displays workout data and data essentials simultaneously.
- 24" Stride length (fixed) and many high-end customizations.
- Converging Path handlebars, which helps to develop the upper body.
- Supports users with over 400 Ib weight and safe for virtually all users.
- It is an expensive and massive elliptical machine.
- The incline is not adjustable.
- Although the stride is 24", it is not adjustable (it is fixed)
- To enjoy additional features like CrossFit, you will need to buy extra accessories.
Octane Fitness ZR8 Zero Runner, Silver
Unlike other cardiovascular machines, the Zero Runner from Octane Fitness is a unique exercising machine. It can actually simulate the real running experience. It is designed to be used in the house because of its lightweight design, and it is a relatively small footprint. It is a hybrid elliptical machine that suspends the whole body in order to prevent damaging joints and muscles. It will help it users to prevent injuries and prolong their running career. With all its embedded features, it is among the most expensive home elliptical cardio machines. There are four major models produced by Octane Fitness. They are Zero Runner ZR7, Zero Runner ZR8, ZR7000, and ZR8000. The Zero Runner ZR7 and Zero Runner ZR8 are majorly used for home use and small gym start-up. While the ZR7000 and ZR8000 are used for commercial purposes.
Workout Programs: SmartLink: This is a program designed to have a personalized training session online. This program can create customized training programs based on its user’s goals either for strength/muscle build, or recovery. It can also be used to track workout sessions. These programs have embedded standard workout programs such as 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon and Just Run. StrideLink: The program serves as the elliptical memory facilitator, it saves data from workout sessions and also has a long-term tracking ability.
There is freedom of movement: Zero runner is a customizable elliptical machine. Unlike other elliptical trainer machines that move automatically, the Zero Runner is designed to be driven by its users; they can even choose how high they want to ride and how fast. This helps greatly to focus on the hips and knees and thereby achieve maximum exercise routines for these parts. It also has a minimal impact: The Zero Runner helps to stay in shape without unnecessarily stressing the joints. It is effective for injury and recovery users: This is an elliptical exercising machine designed even for people suffering from an injury or are recovering from an injury. This is possible because of its stride. It gives its users the ability to lean on the part and work on another and vice-versa. Because of the less pressure, it gives its users any form of exercise routine that will not compound the previous problem in the case of injured users or users recovering from injury. It has low step-up height: The elliptical machine is designed to fit any of its users, either tall or short. Its pedals are about 7 inches from the floor, and this makes its user’s feet steady without losing their balance.
The Zero Runner 8 is one of the best cardio machines. It is unique because of its no-impact running-mimicking movement. This elliptical machine gives its users a full-body workout with less stress and impacts. If you seek a low impact cardio machine for domestic use, the Zero Runner ZR8 is the best choice.
- It is designed with an aircraft grade aluminum pedals
- It has moving arm bars with contoured grips
- It has an adjusting stride length up to 58”
- SmartLink training and has a tablet holder
- It has a water bottle holder and transport wheels
- It has wireless heart rate monitor
- It is a bit expensive considering the basic-tech monitor
- There isn't much of resistance for high-intensity workouts
- There is no incline adjustment on this elliptical
Life Fitness Club Series Cross-Trainer Machine
The Life Fitness Club Series Cross-Trainer is a second-generation elliptical machine with its drive in the rear. It is one of the best Life Fitness club series. It is biomechanics and also durable, smooth, and has a quiet operation mode.
Workout Programs: Compact 7-inch touchscreen display: There are 10 preset-program in this elliptical cross trainer machine although. Additionally, there is a quick start button to start a workout session if you want to a quick/short workout. You can easily make changes if you want to increase the intensity level. Fat Burn program: It has a preset workout program with a low-intensity workout designed to make its users burn a higher percentage of fats. It also has these other programs, which include Hill, Random, Time Goal, Distance Goal, Calories Goal, Heart Rate Goal, Rolling Hills, Speed Interval, and Incline Interval.
The club series + Cross-Trainer elliptical machine has unique characteristics such as: A whisper-quiet system: This feature makes it suitable for home use because it is less noisy. Oversized pedals: They are designed to provide comfortability for its users. Padded system: It has an in-built padding system which helps in reducing strain with affecting its riders’ stability. Bluetooth and heart rate monitoring functions: It helps its users to be able to connect their devices such as smartphones and iPad to the elliptical machine and enjoy music and other forms of entertainment during workout sessions. It also has a wireless heart rate monitoring chest strap that can measure heart rates during exercises.
If your focus is high quality, the Elliptical Club Series is an excellent choice in its luxury price range. It provides a club trainer’s smooth performance and provides workout plans to help everyone attain fitness and wellness goals. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, Club Series trainee will serve you for several years.
- Highly respected biomechanics with reversible motion.
- It contains movable handlebars with multiple grip positions.
- It has a wireless heart rate function for monitoring heart rate and a chest strap.
- Additional stationary handlebars and Bluetooth technology
- Display has a 7-inch touchscreen
- It has excellent workout varieties and an accessory tray
- It is expensive and has a poor warranty coverage
- It has no cooling fan
- 20" Fixed stride (not adjustable)
- There is no incline adjustment on this cross trainer
Octane Fitness Q47xi Elliptical Machine
The Octane Q47 is a famous elliptical trainer for shoppers with higher fitness budgets. It supports ergonomic 18′ “to 26′′ strides. It has outstanding fitness support and high-quality components for easy use. Over the years, providing high quality for club elliptical trainers. The elliptical machine suits virtually every member of the family because of its length, weight, and challenge. There are two consoles available, plus the Octane Q47, which is shipped with an iPad Mini. Using the iPad or other tablet device, the Octane’s SmartLink interface is the perfect way to achieve effective fitness performance with comprehensive, customized training, video workouts, and fitness data management.
Workout program: The Elliptical Trainer provides an average of 10 to 20 fitness routines free of charge. The Octane Q47xi console has 14 integrated programs and offers hundreds more via a wireless connection to SmartLink. The SmartLink app was designed with physical therapists, coaches, and other fitness experts, the SmartLink app was developed to provide personalized feedback and advanced data monitoring. Cross Circuit Live is one of the SmartLink apps. It has 225 workouts and 35 workout plans. It extends the fitness options and makes the selection to be easy. You can also choose the muscle groups you want to target and your general training objective. SmartLink provides the following unique target workouts: 12 weight loss, 20 “Look Good,” 12 tone-up, and 30 for athletic performance. The Q47x has 10 optimized fitness systems on a simplified console.
Power-adjustable Stride: This feature supports natural walking for virtually anyone. It provides a wide range to target muscle toning. Console display screens: It has two console display screens that are easy to read; it also has SmartLight, which shows the users’ exertion zone. SmartLink: This feature prepares its users for a cross-training workout session. It also automatically store workout data and enable its users to share workout progress on social media. Moving handlebars with adjustable resistance: The elliptical machine has moving handlebar with adjustable resistance, which allows different grip positions. This helps to target different muscle groups in the arms, chest, and back. Contact heart rate sensors: They are in-built to the handlebars. They measure heart rate during workout sessions.
The elliptical Octane Q47 facilitates excellent muscle toning with its dynamic run. It’s more than just a big elliptical gym fitted with cross-training prompts and high body resistance. This trainer is designed to commercial specifications and is ready for customers with high expectations and high fitness budgets.
- Perfect for commercial purposes as well as home use
- It has an adjustable stride of 18″ to 26″ (Motirized and Smart)
- There are plenty of resistance for high-intensity workout (20 magnetic levels)
- It has two unique consoles and advanced data tracking
- Has an iPad Mini display and tracks workout sessions
- It has varieties of training with the SmartLink
- Wireless heart rate monitor and SmartLight heart rate zone indicator
- Three-speed fan, a water bottle holder, and MOM Mode for safety
- It is highly expensive (Approximately $5000, depends on console)
- It has no incline adjustment
- It is not for users more than 300 pounds
Sole Fitness E98 Light Commercial Elliptical
The Sole E98 Light Commercial elliptical is the sole’s leading trainer. This elliptical machine is built to accommodate up to three hours of workout a day. It is an excellent option for fitness rooms, apartment complex training rooms, and other light business exercises. With its price around $2499, this is also perfect for households.
Workout programs: The new Sole E98, unlike all other Sole ellipticals, has a 10-item workout menu. There are six traditional types of training: Intermediate, Cardio, Fat Burn, Hill Climb, Interval, and Strength. The two systems use data from a wireless chest brace or touch sensors to help the trainer remain in a given heart rate zone. The last two programs are defined by the user.
34-pound flywheel: This feature gives this elliptical machine a very smooth motion. Resistance settings: It has 20 resistance settings that can accommodate users’ skills at different levels. 10.1” display screen: It has a screen display of 10.1’’ with a high-resolution contract display. It also has Bluetooth, which its users can connect to. The Sole Fitness App: It allows a mobile device to connect to the E98 and establish workout training programs. It can even gather information based on the workout sessions. Power Incline: This feature allows its users to focus on different muscle groups. Overall Sole Fitness E98 Light Commercial Elliptical Machine is one of the best cardiovascular machines to have both at home and in gyms. It provide full body workout sessions, because it combines both the upper body and lower body into one training routine. It has a product rating of 4.5 out of 5.
The new elliptical Sole E98 is a great deal for light commercial applications. This model has a long history of high, consistent performance, and Bluetooth is now also available. However, the Single E95 is probably a better purchase for home use. It is the same price as the E98 Light Commercial, nearly as hardy and offers the added advantage of an adjustable step.
- It has 10 workout programs including custom program
- It has a 10.1” coloured screen and 20 motorised incline adjustment
- Option to connect the mobile device as a workout display
- Bluetooth connection for the Sole Fitness App
- Heart rate control Resistance and wireless pulse reader
- Touch pulse sensors on its stationary handles
- Moving armbars and a 34-pound flywheel
- Bluetooth audio speakers, a USB charging port
- Cooling fans, a water bottle holder, and tablet holder
- It has a good warranty or both domestic and commercial use
- It has a fixed (not adjustable) 20” stride length
- New workouts cannot be downloaded (limited Bluetooth functionality)
- It is big and cannot be folded to save space.
Precor EFX 222 Elliptical Cross Trainer
Precor is among the best elliptical cross trainer machine. The Precor EFX 222 is majorly designed for home use, unlike its other models. It has both upper body and lower body training features that enable users to reach their fitness goals in no time. The elliptical machine also has other qualities like 10 workout programs and entertaining session for its users during workout sessions.
Workout programs: Manual mode: These features have three levels (beginner, intermediate and advanced), it has programmed training that helps its users in weight loss and cardio training. EFX 222 console: It allows two users to save workout information. It also has 12 categories of feedback that are displayed during training.
One of the unique features of Precor is its comfortability and its smooth movement for its users. Three incline levels: The elliptical machine has three incline levels of 15°, 20°, and 25°. This gives it body amazing sculpting body. Moving armbars: It has moving arm bars which aid upper body movement Workout screen: It has a high contrast blue and white LCD, which its users can either watch movies or listen to music during workout sessions.
If your goal is having a comfortable and effective workout session for domestic use (fancy bells and whistles are not a factor), Precor EFX 222 is the best option for the price. Its the perfect affordable choice for building leg muscles thanks to its adjustable incline and handlebar design.
- Stationary and moving armbars
- It has a manually adjustable stride length 18" to 26" (adjusts when you adjust the incline)
- Manually adjustable incline (15 to 25 degrees) and reversible motion
- 16 Electromagnetic resistance levels (10 watts to 550 watts)
- 12 Varied preset workout programs
- Wireless pulse monitoring and contact pulse monitoring
- Two user profiles and 12 data points
- It has iPod/iPhone/Android Command functions
- Tablet/computer holder, additional accessory holder
- Incline adjustments are manual (not motorized)
- It has an extra delivery/shipping cost (often)
- Stride adjustments are manual and it only adjusts when incline is adjusted
Bowflex Max Trainer Series M8 Elliptical
The Bowflex Max Trainer series is different from the regular elliptical training machines. They are designed with a combined motion of elliptical and stair steeper; this helps in a low-impact exercise, which helps the users to burn more calories in less period of time.
Workout programs: The Bowflex Max 8 comes with 7 workout programs and 4 user profiles where each user can save their daily workout progress on the machine without having to subscribe to an application. Additionally, it has wired and wireless heart rate reading capacity. It’s also compatible with two good apps: JRNY App and Explore the World.
There are selected features to note as you look for the dream trainer. Below are what makes Bowflex series special: Resistance: If you want to improve the overall strength of your preparation. The Bowflex M8 series Trainer helps to make this dream come through. This provides 20 different levels of resistance. Upper Body: One unique element that distinguishes the elliptic and max trainers from all other cardio machines is that you receive lower and upper cardio training. The Bowflex M5 is one of the best devices for upper body training because of its construction. The Bowflex series takes us to the next level when we think about fitness services. The Bowflex M8, for example, provides a manual mode that allows its users to decide how they want to train. Its users can set pace and power, so it’s perfect for those who want to track their workout programs. Its users can also get the classic programs like steady-state training, which takes you one speed for the entire exercise training and a healthy glute burner. It also has a fat burn mode to improve fat oxidation and a calorie burn mode for those who only want to burn as many calories as possible during their workout.
If you need to achieve maximum workout sessions and have resulted in no time, the Blowflex series M8 is an excellent elliptical choice for you. Thanks to the combination of stair steppers and elliptical, you get the benefits of climbing and walking and full upper body workout.
- Burns a ton of calories in short time
- 20 Resistance levels which help in the challenge
- It has a gauge readout which is easy to read
- It has a robust set of 7 built-in workout programs
- Low-impact on joints (knees, back, etc.)
- A convenient media shelf and cup holder
- 12" Vertical incline adjustment
- 4" Fixed stride length
- 2 Years full warranty which is not okay but not great
- They are more expensive
- Air vents (designed for extra resistance) make the machine a bit louder than fully magnetic resistance ellipticals
Life Fitness FS4 Cross Trainer Elliptical
FS4 is a High-End Cross-Trainer. The elliptical cross trainer machine has a unique 3-in-1 design feature that offers a better experience than normal elliptical. The system connections allow the user to use a resistance band and supports on either side, providing an excellent experience to operate on the users’ upper body.
Workout programs: Experience 10 workouts featuring LFA custom workout uploads via the 7″ LCD. The premium touch screen console interacts with popular fitness Apps and wearables via Bluetooth and NFC connection, while wireless connection allows for software updates and new workout uploads, which keeps workouts fresh and inviting. Now you can incorporate strength training into your cardio workout thanks to the attachment points which are located on the machine. These allow for the use of resistance bands, and are coupled with platforms on each side to enable upper-body workouts.
Resistance: The FS4 has strong 20-level resistance, allowing its users to train with different body areas and obtain better performance. The challenging resistance makes the training sessions exciting and helps to achieve the desired successful goals. Fitness Meter: Elliptical machine has a 7-inch touch screen LCD monitor that offers information on time, distance, resistance, calories, and essential readings. This also monitors Its user’s fitness progress and synchronizes their workouts with recording and sharing. Pedals: LF FS4 provides well-fitted pedals and extended pedals with the unique Side Drive System to give its users the most natural feel for their workout. It ensures that their legs and knee joints are less stressed. It offers a relaxed teaching atmosphere. Overall the FS4 is a compact elliptical with an impressive extended stride and a friendly screen touch, It is a highly technological elliptical machine.
The FS4 is one of the top Life Fitness models with outstanding revolutionary features, one of which is the first of its kind in this elliptical form. The key highlights of the model are its rear and compact 3-in-1 configuration, which gives a small footprint.
- Side-Drive Mechanics- which imitates walking feel during a workout
- It has Bluetooth and NFC Connection which is used in tracking workout training progress
- It has a premium touch screen console compatible with fitness apps
- It has a compact footprint which makes it fit for domestic purposes
- It has a 3 in 1 unique design which provides a complete body workout sessions
- No in-built cooling fans, or audio speakers
- 22" Fixed (not adjustable) stride
- No incline adjustment for hill climbing exercise
My Comparison Chart For Ellipticals Under 5000
|The Life Fitness E5 Cross-Trainer, Titanium||18"-24" Power Adjustment||N/A||On Handlebars & Monitor||Go Console: 12|
Track Console: 14
|Bluetooth, dual bottle holders, phone & tablet holders|
|Octane Fitness Pro 3700 Elliptical Machine||24" Fixed||N/A||On Monitor||30 Built on the elliptical||Tablet holder & accessory holder|
|Octane Fitness ZR8 Zero Runner, Silver||58" Adjustable||N/A||On Monitor||4 on the machine 31 on the SmartLink App||Tablet holder & resistance bands|
|Life Fitness Club Series Cross-Trainer Machine||20" Fixed||N/A||On Monitor||10 Built-in programs||Tablet holder & bottle holders|
|Octane Fitness Q47xi Elliptical Machine||18"-24" Power Adjustment||N/A||On Monitor||14 Built-in programs||Tablet holder & accessory holder, (bands, & squad stands not included)|
|Sole Fitness E98 Light Commercial Elliptical||20" Fixed||20-Degree Motorised||On Handlebars & Monitor||10 Built-in programs||Tablet holder (depending on the model) & accessory holder|
|Precor EFX 222 Elliptical Cross Trainer||18"-26" Manual Adjustment||18-25 Degree Manual||On Monitor||12 Built-in programs||Phone holder and bottle holder|
|Bowflex Max Trainer Series M8 Elliptical||4" Fixed||N/A||On Monitor||7 Built-in programs||Tablet holder & accessory holder|
|Life Fitness FS4 Cross Trainer Elliptical||22" Fixed||N/A||On Monitor||10 Built-in programs||Tablet holder & accessory holder|
Final Verdict For Elliptical Buyers!
A budget of $5000 is well enough to buy a top-of-the-line quality elliptical for home use. All you have to do is prioritize the features that matter the most to you and how they suit your fitness goal. The good news is that all the ellipticals on this list are worth their sale price and you have a wide range to pick from. My personal recommendation would be Octane Q47xi because it meets my needs (stride length, dimensions, and workouts). But if you have different needs, you may want to look deeper into Life Fitness E5 or Precor EFX 222. It all depends on what your budget and needs are. Also, don’t forget that for $5000, you can get some really top value used ellipticals with warranties included.
An Elliptical or Treadmill? How to Make the The Right Choice
As far as indoor cardio exercise machines are concerned, ellipticals and treadmills are top contenders. These two classic machines have been leading the popularity contest for eons, and would easily beat any competitor. But choosing one over the other is a tricky and mentally tasking undertaking. While both types of equipment share several similarities, they have major differences that set them apart.
In a nutshell, treadmills and ellipticals are aerobic exercise machines that aid rapid calorie burn, improve cardiovascular health, and minimize the risk and development of chronic illnesses. However, one sports a low-impact design that minimizes stress on the joints while the other is adept at strengthening the bones. Read on to learn; which is which, their distinctions, strong points, and which machine is more suitable for your needs. While at it, also take a look at these home gyms I have reviewed.
The Elliptical Machine
An elliptical machine is best defined as a piece of indoor, stationary exercise equipment that fitness enthusiasts use for walking or running. The machine typically mimics stair-climbing or cross-country skiing ( as it is equipped with two-foot holders and handles for gripping). Using the machine entails pumping the pedals with your feet to stimulate up and down or forward and backward motions. The elliptical gets its name from the unique motion it demonstrates — as the user’s hands pump the handles in back and forth motions, their feet cycle and form an “ellipses” shape.
Generally, elliptical machines come with resistance settings that allow users to control the intensity of their workout. However, only a few ellipticals are engineered with incline settings. Because one’s foot doesn’t come in contact with the ground when using an elliptical machine, there is minimal pressure on the knees, hip, and back joints — thus making it a low impact machine.
Muscles Targeted by the Elliptical
The elliptical engages the hamstrings, quads, glutes, and several muscles concentrated in the lower body. Since it is also equipped with handles, users can also work the muscles of the arm and upper back by pushing and pulling the handles. As a result, the machine provides both upper and lower body workouts with extensive benefits.
Who Should Use an Elliptical Machine?
The elliptical machine is an effective well-developed low-impact cardio machine that is best suited for individuals with achy or sensitive joints. It is perfect and often recommended for recovery training following an injury or major surgery. Elderly people with joint issues can also reap the benefits provided by elliptical machines without aggravating their condition. It helps protect the joints and bones from stress and impact while improving old injuries or joint conditions.
The machine is also an excellent alternative for fitness fanatics who want to ditch high-impact exercises. While it is difficult to run backward on a treadmill, an elliptical does so seamlessly. As such, it isolates the hamstrings and glutes for a perfect workout. And if you are looking to shed some weight, you can take advantage of its HIIT settings!
Elliptical Machine Pros and Cons
Low-impact Stimulation — an elliptical machine simulates running and walking motions without exerting strenuous impact on your joints.
Cross-Training Function — The vast majority of elliptical machines include mobile handles along with pedals, allowing exercisers to simultaneously engage the muscles of their upper and lower body.
Multi-Muscle Conditioning — Because elliptical machines allow users to pedal or reverse backward, you get to work different muscles at a time. When you take a reverse stride instead of moving forward, you will condition and strengthen your calves and hamstrings.
Recovery and Post-injury Training — Regardless of its low-impact orientation, the elliptical provides intensive training. This is advantageous to people recovering from an injury and who want to maintain their fitness routine.
Minimal Muscle Development — While the elliptical provides a low-impact workout and engages several muscles, a treadmill engages and develops more muscles. If you are big on muscle strengthening, you might have to include strength training in your fitness regimen.
Learning Curve — Truth be told, the elliptical takes some getting used to because of its unique locomotion. This is especially noticeable for amateurs who may feel awkward when using the machine for the first time.
Less Versatility — unlike the treadmill, where users can simultaneously adjust the incline and speed for varied intensity, most ellipticals are not equipped with an incline feature.
Minimal Weight Bearing Effect— compared to the treadmill, an elliptical’s pedals are located above the ground, hence they don’t have as much weight bearing effect that is key to strengthening bones and muscles.
The Treadmill Machine
Like the elliptical, a treadmill is an indoor, stationary cardio machine that is used for walking, jogging, and running. It features a conveyor belt that facilitates the above-mentioned actions. More often than not, treadmills are equipped with adjustable speeds and incline for a varied workout experience. Thus, you can stimulate an uphill motion with the push of a button. Most treadmills can reach an incline of up to 10% and can go as fast as 12 mph.
Unlike outdoor running, amateur users can adjust the intensity of their workout on a treadmill. Hence, they can run more efficiently and comfortably than running outdoors. Also, it minimizes a user’s susceptibility to injuries owing to its soft belt — the same can’t be said for asphalt or concrete terrains that are associated with outdoor running.
Muscles Targeted by the Treadmill
Compared to the elliptical, working out on a treadmill only targets the muscles of the lower body. You can tone your core to the maximum by sprinting on a treadmill. Overall, the treadmill acts on the calves, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and abs.
Who Should Use a Treadmill?
A treadmill is a fantastic option for runners who will rather train indoors than in harsh weather conditions. Plus, running outdoors can translate to frustrating traffic and avoidable risks. Treadmills also include advanced settings for mileage, pace, and goals, so you can effectively monitor these specifics.
If you are looking to improve cardiovascular fitness or lose weight, a treadmill might be the best exercise machine for you. Runners preparing for marathon events and the like can also leverage the advantages of a treadmill — in this case, you can set the incline at 1% to compensate for the lack of wind and terrain changes, thereby replicating an outdoor run.
Treadmill Pros and Cons
Versatile and Dynamic — Treadmills offer a platter of options that maximize their speed, incline, and multi-program settings. Hence, users have more control over their workouts and can reach their fitness goals in record time.
Leg Strength Development — Working out on a treadmill can do a world of good for your leg muscles; the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. Your hip flexors and glutes are not excluded.
High-Performance Output — Because you utilize significant effort to push your body forward when using a treadmill, your body will rapidly burn more calories.
Maximum Weight Bearing Effect — In contrast to an elliptical, a treadmill has a higher weight bearing effect which aids bone and muscle strengthening for improved posture and other benefits.
Unkind to Joints — Unlike an elliptical machine, running or jogging on a treadmill can exert unwanted pressure on your knees, hip, spine, and ankle joints. Though some treadmills have a sizable shock absorption mechanism, the impact remains on the high side.
Uncomfortable Handles — While the handles on an elliptical are more natural and comfortable, those on a treadmill can seem awkward and uber uncomfortable, especially when monitoring heart rate zones.
Safety Concerns — Performing high-intensity training such as sprints on a treadmill can prove dangerous for exercises with low competency skills.
Challenging — Running is no easy task, especially when using incline. As such, users who prefer easy-to-navigate machines will find the treadmill too challenging for comfort.
Which Machine is Best for You?
Generally, your choice of machine is dependent on your health status and fitness needs. On the whole, both exercise machines are fantastic at improving cardiovascular fitness and burning calories. But you might choose one over the other because of distinct features that work to your advantage.
For instance, people with injuries or prone to joint issues will naturally decide on an elliptical machine because of its low-impact benefits. In addition to this, the elliptical will be a better fit for you if you are looking to perform full-body and cardiovascular workouts with less exertion or effort. Yes, the elliptical machine allows you to perform high-intensity exercises with minimum effort yet high output.
On the other hand, the treadmill might be your cardio machine of choice if you are not suffering from or susceptible to joint conditions or injuries. It is also the best option for exercisers looking to attain a specific goal or who want to strengthen the muscles of their glutes and legs. While space requirements and price are other factors to consider when making a choice, there isn’t much going on there — both machines have similar builds and are sold at low, mid, and high price points.
The elliptical and treadmill machines are incredible cardio machines with a platter of benefits that reflect positively on overall health. They are well-built and developed and promise to satisfy your fitness needs. Your goals and physical health will determine which machine will work best for you. Otherwise, both are great options!