It is a New Year and time to recommend the best elliptical trainer for your body and your budget. Elliptical trainers are an excellent way to lose weight and burn excess calories with minimal impact to your body, and that is one of the main reasons they have grown to be the second most popular fitness equipment on the market.
There are countless different styles and models, and selecting the right model for your fitness needs can be a daunting task. Therefore, these brief recommendations can assist you in narrowing down your selection.
Trends in the Elliptical Trainer Industry
- Elliptical machines in general have improved in quality, and tend to be more durable then earlier models. You can see this reflected in the trend towards increased warranty coverage.
- Elliptical trainers are becoming more interactive. Several brands are allowing your crosstrainer to communicate with the Internet. This is adding some new and innovative features to your cardio workout. First, you are able to record and track your stats online. NordicTrack and ProForm ellipticals directly communicate with the Internet through Wi-Fi; while some other brands let you download you stats through a USB drive. Through online accounts and with the benefits of graphs and charts you can visualize your progress. Reports have shown that individuals that track their fitness stats are more likely to achieve their fitness goals.
- In addition to recording your stats there are some intriguing technologies that allow you to create personalized workout routines based on your fitness goals. The result is a workout routine that controls your resistance and the incline over a set period of time. In the case of NordicTrack and ProForm you also get audio coaching. Furthermore, NordicTrack, ProForm, Smooth and LiveStrong have features that allow you to simulate and visualize running outside with your elliptical. Some have libraries of routes through famous National Parks or cityscapes.
Best Buy Ellipticals for 2013
NordicTrack E 7.5 & NordicTrack AudioStrider 990 PRO
I mention both these models because they are based on the same design and are very similar. The 990 PRO includes a heavier flywheel, more workout routines and a longer warranty. What makes these ellipticals unique is that the design is based on the high-end Precor elliptical trainers. In fact, Icon, the parent company, pays for the rights to the design. The E 7.5 and 990 PRO are rear drive elliptical trainers. This rear drive design tends to be more ergonomic then the competing models. Also iFit Live is available, which allows you to get personalized workout routines with audio coaching. And you can map out routes on Google Maps and it will simulate the route by controlling the resistance. The non-sale price of the E 7.5 is $799 and the 990 PRO is $999.
The Sole E35 has been out for a number of years and has a solid reputation of a very durable machine for $1,299. This is a front drive machine, and the main issue is that you may feel as if you are leaning forward a bit when you are utilizing the front handlebars. However, the front drive design makes it much easier to mount and dismount the machine. There are no interactive features, but you do get a 5 year parts and 2 year labor warranty, which also suggests this is a low maintenance machine.
Smooth CE 7.4
The Smooth CE 7.4 is another elliptical that has passed the test of time. This is a rear drive machine that is very stable and durable and provides an excellent ergonomic experience. There are few maintenance issues, which is why the company offers an industry leading 7 year parts and 2 year labor warranty. It also has a long and smooth 21” elliptical stride length. The typical non sale price is $1,499.
NordicTrack E 14.7
The NordicTrack E 14.7 is similarly priced at $1,499. This is a front drive elliptical, and although I have slight preference for rear drive machines, the E 14.7 has other features that make it worth considering. For example, you have the ability to incline the elliptical motion to 20 degrees and also decline it to 10 degrees. This gives you the sensation of hiking up and down hills and mountains, and in the process you are able to target additional lower body muscles. The E 14.7 comes with a 7” touch screen full color Android browser. Not only does this enhance your feedback, but it also you to access the Internet.
Although a small player in the fitness equipment industry, Yowza offers one of the most unique elliptical trainers on the marker, the Captiva. First you have the variable motion; this gives you a series of different motions that trend from a stair stepper to an elliptical stride. The motions range the stride length from 18”-32” and are designed to target various lower body muscles. In addition, you have upper body” Cardio Core Training”. Rather than having handlebars that move back and forth, you have a t-bar that goes left to right. This allows you to target your abs while getting the lower body elliptical workout. The Yowza Captiva typically sells for $1,999. Of course this is not a complete list, but it gives you an ideal of some of the better values in various price ranges. For further recommendations go to my ”Best Buy” Elliptical Reviews.
About the Author Fred Waters has been reviewing fitness equipment for the last 8 years, and previous to that was a V.P. of marketing for a fitness equipment firm. He has helped literally thousands of individuals in selecting the right fitness machine for their body and their budget.