How To Choose The Best Elliptical Trainer For Home

How To Choose The Best Elliptical Trainer For Home: Everyone who is going to train at home should consider buying a unique device – a compact trainer that allows you to build muscle and keep yourself in good shape. CHIP will talk about all the nuances of such mechanisms and offer the best models.

How to choose an elliptical trainer? Considering the different options, many pay attention to elliptical – a technique that trainer walking on stairs or skis. Among the advantages of this choice are safety of operation, relatively favorable prices, and high efficiency.

How To Choose The Best Elliptical Trainer For Home

But, deciding what to choose an elliptical trainer for the home, you can come across a huge assortment of models. In order not to make a mistake in the choice, it is worth getting acquainted with the main parameters and features of various types of orbitrek.

Types of Elliptical Trainers

How To Choose The Best Elliptical Trainer For Home

One way to classify elliptical is to divide them into three categories – home, semi-professional, and professional. They differ, as the name implies, in size and functionality. One of the best options is a semi-professional model, average in price and features. But, figuring out how to choose the right elliptical trainer for the home is not the class of the device, but the principle of its action and the type of drive.

Operating Principle

According to the principle of operation, all orbitrek divided into four types:

  • mechanical;
  • magnetic;
  • electromagnetic;
  • aeromagnetic.

The first mechanical type is the most affordable model, the mechanism activated by the user himself. Exercise machines of this type are characterized by smooth running. However, they can make a lot of noise and are limited to using electronic measuring instruments. To choose such an economical option is also for compactness and non-volatility.

Among the models that were on sale in 2020, one can distinguish the DFC Challenge Climber 3.0 orbitrek worth about 20,000 rubles. The device simulates a walk uphill, allowing you to adjust the frame’s height and measure a number of indicators – from heart rate and speed to distance traveled and calories burned.

How To Choose The Best Elliptical Trainer For Home

The second type of technique is magnetic. The average price of such devices is higher – although you can find quite functional budget models such as HouseFit HB-8166ELL.the elliptical provides a good load and, like mechanical devices, does not require a power supply. Among the advantages of a magnetic elliptical trainer, simple load adjustment and low weight can be distinguished. And when choosing, it is worth paying attention to the mass of the flywheel – the larger it is, the more convenient it will be to use the model.

Another type is an electromagnetic Trainer, which is characterized by a minimum noise level, efficiency, and reliability. It will work only when connected to the network – but the functionality of the built-in computer will be much higher. The equipment size allows you to place it in a private house or a reasonably large apartment, but this option is not suitable for small-sized housing. One of the right choices is Svensson Body Labs ComfortLine ESA worth about 32,000 rubles. In the ranking of the best electromagnetic ellipticals of 2019, he took the first place and characterized by high functionality. Users of such a device are available 16 levels of load and 21 programs, including weight loss and muscle strengthening.

Another type of ellipse trainer is aeromagnetic. A feature of such a device is the ability to work from a network or autonomously. The design includes an electric generator that supplies electricity to the nodes. When the battery runs down, you have to reconnect the device to the network. The reasons for buying such an orbitrek maybe its compactness and mobility, and for failure – a high price. However, the costs offset by the presence of 76 built-in programs (with the ability to add your own) and 24 load levels, a solid look, and simple use.

Type of Drive

Another important parameter of an elliptical device is the type of drive, which can be front or rear. Rear-wheel-drive models are more common. In them, the transmission and flywheel are located at the back, allowing you to form such a trajectory when the body leans forward slightly. This brings the training closer to real conditions but makes exercise equipment uncomfortable for tall people.

How To Choose The Best Elliptical Trainer For Home

The reason for choosing a front-wheel-drive model can be convenient use by athletes of any height. The handles of this technique are located higher, and the body is in an upright position without tilting. However, due to the device’s design, the load is distributed unevenly, and the muscles are not fully loaded.

Device Specifications

Having decided on how to choose an elliptical trainer for the house according to the principle of action and the type of drive, it is worth moving to other parameters. Of primary importance are dimensions – step length, the distance between pedals, and dimensions of the entire structure. It is worth considering the mass of people who will use the device and the appearance and brand of the manufacturer.

Orbit Track Dimensions

One of the main parameters that affect the choice of an elliptical trainer for the home is the length of its “step.” That is, the distance that the leg of the training person moves. For high stature people, it is worth choosing a front-wheel-drive device with a step of 51-52 cm or with rear-wheel drive, where this parameter will be about 46-48 cm. Low athletes are recommended ellipticals with legs moving a distance of 33 cm, for average height – about 39-40 cm.

Another critical parameter is the Q factor or the distance at which the pedals located from each other. For models with rear-wheel drive, it reaches 20 cm, which will be convenient only for a tall person. The legs of the short and medium height trainees will correctly position when buying a front-wheel-drive device with a Q factor in the range from 1 to 10 cm.

How To Choose The Best Elliptical Trainer For Home

The width and length of the orbitrek are selected depending on the place that will allocate for its installation. In a full-length apartment or private house, you should buy a model of any size. For small-sized housing, the dimensions of the equipment are no less important than other parameters.

Maximum Weight

Another way to choose elliptical trainers is to focus on the maximum weight of the user. If they try to buy models for the gym that can withstand 180-200 kg, smaller models suitable for 100-120 kg are ideal for the home. You should focus on the mass of the largest family member who is going to train in orbit.

For the equipment to last longer, it is worth considering the need for a “supply” of weight. It should be at least 20%. In extreme cases, you can buy a model whose maximum load differs from the mass of the most massive user by 10% – for example, 100 kg with a weight of people up to 90 kg.

Model Functionality

You can find an elliptical with a minimum number of functions in the market, showing only speed and distance. Or choose more functional models that allow you to assess the level of training and compete with virtual rivals. Most devices provide heart rate measurements during exercise. The accuracy of heart rate monitors often exceeds 20-30% compared to real medical devices – but not much different from the accuracy of budget fitness trackers. To obtain accurate readings, it is worth using a particular wireless chest belt.

And because during homework, the user cannot use a trainer’s services, it is worth thinking about buying an ellipse with built-in programs. An experienced athlete, of course, can set the load on his own. But for those who are just starting training, a model with the so-called “smart” console is suitable. It will replace a personal trainer, allowing you to set various modes, including heart rate and interval training.

Having an Internet connection will increase costs – but it will also improve functionality well. A device connected to the network will allow you to download additional programs, making classes more diverse and exciting. In premium trainers, you can find whole entertainment complexes that allow you to watch videos during training and even take a virtual walk in nature. Some models connect to mobile phones to save training results, fitness trackers, and other sports gadgets. For most buyers of orbitrek, such functionality will be superfluous, especially if it significantly increases the trainer’s price.


Of course, the technique’s appearance cannot be called the main criterion by which it is worth choosing it for training. However, if all the parameters have already selected and there are several options left, it is better to give preference to a trainer that looks more attractive. And also – it is desirable that the device fits into the interior of an apartment or house, not too different from other things. Primarily if a part of the room is allocated for it, where there is also a relaxation area – an annoying user design can adversely affect the desire to exercise.

How To Choose The Best Elliptical Trainer For Home

Considering different options for orbitreks, you can pay attention to such original-looking and vibrant models as the DFC Challenge Climber 1.0 or INFINITI VG20. The ellipticals Stingray ST-2570M and Sport Elite SE-800HP will fit well into the interior of a modern apartment. The Bowflex Max Trainer M5 model with its futuristic design is quite capable of becoming a real interior decoration, and the Sole Fitness E95S does not at all resemble an orbiter, but a snowmobile.


Based on the results of a review of parameters and selection criteria for orbitreks, one can draw the following conclusions:

  • If you need to buy an inexpensive entry-level model, you should choose a mechanical device. It will not have a built-in computer – but the price will be affordable. The training effect will be the same as that of more expensive and functional models, but the level of comfort from use will decrease.
  • The desire to use medium-priced and affordable equipment can be satisfied by purchasing a magnetic device with a flywheel weighing 10-15 kg.
  • If there is enough space in the apartment or house, and financial capabilities allow, it is worth buying an expensive electromagnetic unit. The weight of the flywheel is not less than 10 kg, and in the list of programs should be several dozen modes.

An expensive mechanism, even in a budget version, should not be bought on the Internet, but at a point of sale – a sporting goods store or a supermarket with a particular department. This will allow you to test the equipment personally to check the ease of use and the smoothness of the flywheel. Sellers should inquire about the duration and conditions of the warranty, the availability of the nearest service center, and the service features.

What Muscles Work on an Elliptical Trainer

  • With a direct course, quadriceps (the quadriceps femoris) are actively working.
  • During the reverse course, the biceps femoris (hamstring) trained. Also, exercises are useful for her when increasing the angle of the ramp.
  • In the climb mode, the gluteal muscles are best worked out.
  • The calf muscles are well influenced by exercises with fixed arms and a reverse stroke.

Thanks to the vertical position of the body and the set of arms, the muscles of the upper half of the body worked out – biceps and triceps, large back muscles, oblique and transverse abdominal muscles, and shoulder girdle.

How to Do on an Elliptical Trainer

Before starting classes, consult a doctor, and make sure that there are no contraindications. Then free up time for training, preferably a few hours before bedtime, pick up comfortable clothes and shoes that do not restrict movements. For a full effect on the body, you should combine training and the right diet.

For beginners, regular classes 3-4 times a week for at least 20 minutes a day at a comfortable pace with a low level of activity are enough. To increase their intensity and duration is also necessary regularly, once a week.

When they become familiar, you can move on to one of the built-in programs or interval training, in which periods of intense stress alternate with gentle ones.

It recommended starting training with a warm-up not to damage unheated muscles – squats, running, and pedaling with a minimum load.

End the workout should be a “hitch” for relaxation and muscle stretching.

The pulse during the lesson should not exceed the value calculated, depending on the purpose of the experience. The calculation uses the concept of maximum heart rate, that is, heart rate (220-age). At a pulse equal to 60-80% of heart rate, fat burned; at a frequency of 80-95% of heart rate, endurance increases.

An optimal workout for losing weight can include warming up and alternating an exercise with moderate intensity and maximum intensity. In conclusion, you should perform a “hitch.”

The duration of the intervals of moderate and intense load can be adjusted.

To increase endurance, you can recommend long workouts (up to 1 hour) with a constant load or interval training with alternating 0.5-1 minutes of high load and 1-2 minutes of moderate.

Which Elliptical Manufacturers Are Better?

All manufacturers of elliptical trainers can divide into two groups:

  • serious world-famous companies producing both expensive professional units and simplified, but far from the cheapest “home” versions. These are the brands Kettler, Hastings, Spirit, Oxigen, Life Fitness, ClearFit, AeroFit, and others. The minimum cost of their products is 20,000 p.
  • companies specializing in home fitness equipment: HouseFit, Atemi, Torneo, Body Sculpture, and others. Their price starts at 8-10 thousand rubles.

The quality of products in both groups is directly proportional to their price because a good trainer really can not be cheap. It is worth noting that even world-class companies place part of their facilities in China. According to customer reviews, the original Chinese elliptical trainers (not to mention fakes) are more likely to get married. There are creaks, plastic defects, and a sudden, unexplained “death” of the computer. Therefore, when buying, it is especially useful to clarify the country of origin of your orbitrek.

The 4 Best Elliptical Trainers


Semi-professional rear-wheel-drive orbitrek. The classic magnetic elliptical INFINITI VG30 is popular with customers due to its reliability and convenience. There are four pulse-dependent and four user programs, a delicate increase in load (16 steps). The step length universal for the average user is 40 cm—a solid elliptical trainer for the home.


  • sturdy frame;
  • there are movable and stationary handles;
  • 16 load levels;
  • convenient computer menu;
  • sold almost assembled – easy assembly.


  • the built-in heart rate sensor is inaccurate (but you can connect a wireless chest sensor).

2. Body Sculpture BE-7200GHKG-HB

Strong, reliable, compact, stable elliptical trainer with reinforced frame design. There are very few complaints about this model. Suitable for beginners and professionals.


  • conveniently tuned to different heights,
  • grip wide, comfortable,
  • detailed instructions with pictures on the assembly of the trainer and the implementation of exercises,
  • simple operation
  • 12 built-in programs
  • low noise.


  • not suitable for frequent intense loads (power engine fails),
  • there may be problems with the repair (a few service centers).

3. HouseFit HB-8166ELL

The best budget compact elliptical trainer. For small spaces and small-sized apartments, this model is optimal. For a low price, the consumer receives a full-fledged home elliptical with five load levels and necessary sensors, whose weight is only 26 kg. The model is especially useful for women who are watching their figure. Saves money and space.


  • affordable price,
  • takes up little space
  • quiet work
  • have a calorie counter.


  • only for people with small stature and weight,
  • flywheel total 5 kg.

4. Oxygen Cariba ii

Easy to use, small and lightweight orbitrek is not suitable for professionals and too tall and overweight people. But for women who want to lose weight and keep fit, this is an excellent elliptical trainer. A 9 kg flywheel gives sufficient load. An adjustable pedal tilt allows you to set the most comfortable position for training—bottom line: the “female” option for muscle strengthening and weight loss.


  • weight 43 kg
  • pedal adjustment
  • built-in fitness score,
  • Eight load levels.


  • stride length 33 cm.

So Which Elliptica Elliptical is Better to Choose?

Also, when choosing the best elliptical trainer, consider the following points:

  • pay attention to the Q-factor – the distance between the pedals. The smaller it is, the more comfortable and more natural the move;
  • the possibility of a reverse stroke makes training more diverse;
  • the possibility of folding – theoretically, the idea is good, but it makes no sense if the trainer is heavy and you plan to train daily;
  • But the transport wheels are beneficial to move the trainer around the house;
  • people with more weight and height will have to “fork out” for a more expensive model.

Also, ellipticals can be:

  • front-wheel-drive: the flywheel is located in front of the pedals, convenient for tall people and makes the design more compact;
  • rear-wheel drive: wheel behind the brakes, a more common and affordable solution.

So, “Price Expert” has proposed several options for a good elliptical trainer in different price categories. But there is no universal recipe. It is selected strictly individually, depending on the height, weight of the user, and the purpose of the device itself.

Good choices and successful workouts!

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