In today’s article, we’re going to be looking at elliptical machines, or as some of you may know them, cross-trainers. I’m going to talk you through exactly what they are, why they’re useful, and exactly what you can hope to achieve from using some of the best variations available, such as the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine.
- 1 Importance Of Cardio
- 2 Why Buy Elliptical Machines?
- 3 Comparison Table Of The Best Elliptical Machines
- 4 Sunny Health And Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine
- 5 Alternative Options
- 6 Best Foldable Option-Gazelle Edge
- 7 Best Compact Option-Stamina InMotion E1000 Compact Strider
- 8 Best Digital Option-Bluefin Fitness Curv 2.0
- 9 Best Seated Option-Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer
- 10 Conclusion
Importance Of Cardio
When it comes to topics of conversation with your fellow fitness enthusiasts, cardio is one of the most divisive options you can choose. To some, it’s the best part of their training, where they can lose themselves for a while and sweat it all out. To others, it’s a dirty word and something they would rather avoid, if at all possible.
No matter what your primary fitness goals may be though, cardio plays a pivotal role in helping you to achieve them. While the benefits may be more obvious for someone looking to lose weight, it can be just as beneficial for those looking to build lean muscle.
Cardiovascular exercise boosts your metabolism, so will allow you to consume the additional calories you require to build big, strong muscles while limiting the amount being stored as fat.
Beyond fitness, it is also incredibly important for keeping your heart and organs healthy, so is something that should be incorporated to some extent by everyone.
Why Buy Elliptical Machines?
With the world having been gripped by the coronavirus pandemic for most of the year and gyms closing their doors as a result, we’ve been forced to turn to home workouts to continue our training.
While a set of dumbbells or resistance bands can allow you to train pretty much anywhere in your home, cardio tends to rely more on outdoor activities, such as running, cycling, rowing, etc.
Over the summer months, that hasn’t been a problem, but as winter approaches and the days get shorter and colder, it’s only a matter of time before we need to start looking at indoor options for this too.
Now, you clearly won’t have space in your home to keep the same variety of cardio machines you would find at the gym. That means you’re going to need to decide on the one you can use every day.
When looking at what criteria to consider, the prime options will include machines that:
- Train the whole body.
- Limit the risk of injury.
- Provide an intense cardiovascular workout.
Elliptical machines tick all of these boxes. There is zero impact, so the chance of injury is minimal and you use both arms and legs to operate the machine, providing a full, well-rounded workout that can be as intense as you want.
Now, elliptical machines aren’t cheap, so making sure you select the one that suits your needs best is imperative. That’s why I’m going to not only show you what I believe to be the best option but also to provide you with a few alternatives that may better suit your needs.
Comparison Table Of The Best Elliptical Machines
Sunny Health and Fitness are a company based in both California and China that have been producing fitness equipment for over a decade.
They provide a wide array of fitness equipment that covers all types of training and are consistently well-reviewed by both critics and customers.
When it comes to elliptical machines, their SF-E905 comes in right at the top of the pack. One of the top sellers, both in the US and internationally, it’s received glowing feedback and does everything you would want from an elliptical machine.
- Digital Monitor-You can track your progress in clear, easy fashion with the built-in monitor. Not only will it keep track of your speed and time, but it will also provide you with a constant view of your burned calories and heart rate, allowing you to make sure you are working at the intensity you desire.
- Adjustable Resistance-8 differing levels of resistance make this suitable for users of all abilities and gives you the opportunity to build a variety of different workouts.
- Compact-When you are looking at training from home, it is essential that the equipment can be easily used and stored without requiring much space to do so. The compact nature of the SF-E905 makes it suitable for use just about anywhere.
- Built-In Stabilizers-When you are using a machine that will be in constant motion throughout, it is important that it is stable, especially when considering home users may be on less even floors, such as carpets. The built-in stabilizers here give you confidence that you can push yourself as hard as you like and your machine will stay upright.
- Anti-Slip Hand and Foot Pads-Considering you are likely to build up a sweat while using elliptical machines, making sure that slipping doesn’t become an issue is incredibly important. The specially designed anti-slip pads allow you to work out comfortably, without the risk of losing control of the machine and your workout.
- Price-The top options of a product often end up having a price to match, but that isn’t the case in this instance. Coming in at the lower end of the price range for elliptical machines, the SF-E905 provides just as much value as it does quality.
- Not Foldable-When it comes to home equipment, one thing that is highly desirable is the ability to stow it away, out of sight, when not in use. While it is compact and doesn’t take up a huge deal of room, it is still not able to be completely put away after a session.
So, while its may seem the SF-E905 covers most of its bases, I completely understand the need to ensure a machine of this type does exactly what you want.
That’s why I’m now going to provide some alternative elliptical machines, to cover the few options it may have missed.
I’ll start off by covering the main drawback of the SF-E905, its inability to be folded away for storage.
While the Gazelle Edge may be a much more simplistic elliptical machine, without all the frills, it will still provide you with a solid, full-body cardio workout.
If your number one priority is the ability to easily store your machine away after use, this may be the product for you.
Following on with the theme of space, while some may just be worried about storage, others may struggle to even find the space to use the equipment in the first place.
While different from traditional elliptical machines, as they don’t feature the upper body section, these compact options have been becoming more and more popular for home use in recent years. Their size makes them great not only for using in limited spaces but also for being able to take with you on the go.
As far as the compact elliptical machines go, the E1000 is the cream of the crop. One of the most popular of its type, it provides both quality as well as value and is well-reviewed by the majority of users.
Digital fitness is one of the fastest growing trends in the industry. It provides users with the convenience of training by themselves, but with all the benefits of group or joint sessions like:
The interactive screens built into these machines give users access to classes, instructor sessions, in-depth analytics of your session or even just virtual locations to travel through to help you zone out during your workout.
As digital is such a new and specialized market, each type of machine seems to have a clear leader in terms of quality. When it comes to elliptical machines, that is the Bluefin Fitness Curv 2.0
If you are looking for an interactive cross-training experience, from the convenience of your own home, this is definitely the option for you.
There are a number of reasons people may opt for seated cardio, from injury all the way to simple personal preference. Whatever the reason, it would be a shame if someone had to miss out on the benefits of elliptical machines purely because they involve standing.
That’s why in recent years, companies have started to produce seated options. Out of those options, Teeter have positioned themselves as the standard bearers, providing comfortable yet effective equipment.
While they certainly take up a little more room than a traditional standing variety, if you’re looking for a seated elliptical machine then look no further than the Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer.
If you’ve made it this far, it’s clear you’ve decided that cross-training is the right choice for you.
No matter your goal, it’s one of the best options going when it comes to cardio.
It can help you burn off those love handles and boost your metabolism to keep you lean while you pile on the muscle.
Whether you want to do it standing up, sitting down, or in a virtual world all of your own, there is something on here to please everyone and make sure you get your purchase just right.
So with that in mind, there’s no time to lose, as like they say on TV, winter is coming.