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Best Ellipticals for Beginners

When you're just starting on your fitness journey, you're going to want a cardio machine that keeps you motivated, helps you meet your goals, and most importantly, doesn't break the bank.

Working out when you are out of shape sucks! It’s tough and you will pant as you get out of breath. Picture a dog coming back home from a long run with its tongue sticking out of its mouth. You will get hot and sweat will drip into your eyes.

But, working out is not in vain. Besides getting the post-workout high, you improve your health. If you have a party coming up, you will look good in your outfit. The key to success is to start and keep it consistent because, follow up workout sessions are easier after the first workout. 

As a beginner, don’t go over your budget for a good training machine. It’s advisable to start with a simple exercise machine such as an elliptical.

What are the main reasons to get an elliptical?

Ellipticals have a low impact on your knees and joints. You will get a full-body workout and build endurance without straining your body. As you burn the calories, you condition your heart and lower body for cardio because you become stronger after every training session. 

More people are picking on ellipticals as good training machines. According to rxfitness.com, ellipticals are popular because they are easy on your knees, ankles and lower back. These machines don’t stress your body because the motions are as natural as walking instead of heavy impact exercise such as jogging. When training on an elliptical, you don’t work one group of muscles, but muscle groups on both upper and lower body. Even without exerting too much energy, your work out is more efficient. 

When training on an elliptical, you don’t work one group of muscles, but muscle groups on both upper and lower body. Even without exerting too much energy, your work out is more efficient.

Aaptiv says, when you train on an elliptical, you avoid the impact received when using a treadmill; which is a hard impact on your knees and joints. Your exercise on an elliptical is like riding a bike and has a low impact on your knees and joints. If you have arthritic knees, Healthline.com says elliptical training is a low impact exercise which can significantly strengthen your knee muscles and promote weight loss without stressing the knees.

Even though an elliptical is a low impact training machine, it’s not less challenging. For an intense workout, select short interval training. If you don’t hold the handles of the elliptical trainer, you can work out your core. Or, increase the incline if you want to work out your glutes and hamstrings. Remember, increasing the resistance level, increases your workout intensity. 

What features are good for beginners?

It’s advisable to keep the cost of your training equipment low when you are a beginner. Ellipticals are affordable and you can get many for less than $1000. 

If you thought working out is boring, you are wrong. With an elliptical, you can connect the headphone jack and listen to music as you exercise. Or, bring your tablet along because the machines have a tablet shelf. Distracting yourself as you work out can help you maintain a consistent workout routine. 

Stay motivated by keeping track of your progress as you work towards your training goals, says vision fitness.com. When you see your improvement, you will get on the machine for the next session. Tracking your effort level, speed and distance can help you follow a rewarding training schedule. You can share your improvement with a friend who can celebrate with you. 

Read the following list and discover the best elliptical for your training needs.

1) Fitness Reality E5500XL available for $366 on Amazon

Key features
  • Back-lit LCD display and hand pulse sensors
  • Tablet shelf
  • 24 resistance levels, 21 workout programs, 3 workout settings
  • Double transmission system and 18” stride

Founded over 10 years ago, Fitness Reality has ellipticals at a friendly price range. The Fitness Reality E5500XL is a budget elliptical for a beginner. 

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

It’s good to work with goals as a beginner and this budget Elliptical has 3 goal workouts. You can choose settings according to the number of calories you want to burn, distance and time. Even if you are 300 lbs, your foot will not slip off when you are working out. So, no need to be afraid if you are a beginner. With 24 resistance levels, you can start slow and build up, varying your workout to make it rewarding. 

What's not so good about it?

Fitness Reality E500XL has no incline but as a beginner, the 24 resistance levels, will make your workout intense.  The company must make a thick power supply cord to make sure it doesn’t get damaged.  If you receive a squeaky product or a missing part such as a washer, contact customer service for help. At its low price, this elliptical is sturdy and you can track your heart rate as you train. Assembly is easy if you follow the guide. 

Pros:
  • Affordable equipment with a strong frame
  • Tablet holder for entertainment
  • Easy to Assemble
Cons:
  • No incline
  • Short 1-year warranty period
  • Thin power cord

2) Stamina InMotion E1000 available for $83 on Amazon

Key features
  • Sit or stand workout
  • Lightweight and small size
  • Forward or reverse foot motion
  • Electronic fitness monitor for displaying statistics

If you love binge watching TV shows and you wish you could fit in workouts, get budget friendly Stamina InMotion E1000. This product from Stamina Products Inc., is affordable, portable and you can use it while seated because it won’t block your sight from your TV. 

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

This beginner-friendly product allows you to workout while getting entertained. It is easy to take on the habit of regular exercise if you use this training machine. The low price does not compare to its ability to give you a good workout. Whether sitting or standing, your feet won’t slip out because of the textured pedals and non-slip end caps. Adjust the tension to increase the intensity of your workout. Stay motivated by checking statistics such as calories burned, using the electric fitness monitor. 

What's not so good about it?

If you are taller than 5’10” this product can have short strides if you stand while exercising. But, you can sit and use backward motion to sneak in a training session. If the unit breaks or has a fault, contact the helpful customer service. This workout equipment helps you train different muscles and can ease the pain in arthritic knees; making it a great product for the elderly. Your workout will be smooth and quiet. 

Pros:
  • Useful for elderly or persons with arthritic knees
  • Easy to use and assemble
  • Small size and lightweight
  • Small storage space needed
Cons:
  • Not suitable for persons taller than 5’10’’
  • Weak built or frame for heavy persons

3) Best Choice SKY1733 available for $159 on Amazon

Key features
  • Cross trainer and bike
  • Strong steel frame
  • Workout progress tracking 
  • Adjustable tension and 11” stride

This Elliptical from Best Choice comes at an affordable price. No middlemen mean a better end price and good value for this Elliptical trainer and bike. 

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

With this trainer, no need to break the bank to get it to your house. You can check your statistics as you exercise and your progress keeps you motivated to get onto the machine regularly. It’s suitable if you are 250 lbs or fewer and you won’t break the strong frame. Adjust the machine tension for a total body workout. 

What's not so good about it?

Assembly of this trainer can take about an hour because of the many parts to be put together. But if you find it difficult, contact the helpful customer care for help. Though the seat is uncomfortable, you can take intervals standing and sitting like a walking break while jogging. Enjoy a variety of workout sessions by alternating sitting and standing and adjusting the tension upwards as you get stronger and build.

Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Easy storage and movement around the room
  • You can track your training progress
Cons:
  • Short 60-day warranty
  • Not suitable if you are over 250 lbs
  • Short stride not suitable for persons 5’8” or more

4) ProForm Hybrid Trainer Pro available for $608 on Amazon

Key features
  • iFit compatible and Bluetooth enabled
  • Higher weight support 350 lbs
  • Adjustable incline 3-20 degrees and 20 resistance levels
  • Tablet Holder and integrated speakers

Get your back supported by using ProForm Hybrid Trainer Pro; a combination of a recumbent bike and an Elliptical trainer. For less than $1000, you can enjoy advanced features with this trainer from ProForm, a leader in fitness equipment development.  

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

The padded seat is comfortable and supports your back during the workout session.  Achieve your training goals within a short period by using the pre-loaded workout programs. Keep your workout interesting by listening to music as you train. By tracking the calories burned and other statistics, you can stay motivated and build a good exercise routine. It’s difficult to reach the pedals if you are 5’3” or shorter, but you can adjust your seat.

What's not so good about it?

Assembly of this trainer is tough if you are not a handy person. Also, reaching the handles is difficult while seated and you must adjust the screen if you move from recumbent to the elliptical. If your trainer makes unnecessary noise as you train, contact customer service. Customer support must be responsive and solve customer problems fast. But, you can get a smooth training session and rewarding workout session by adjusting the incline and increasing resistance level. 

Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Adjustable incline 
  • 20 resistance levels
  • Higher weight limit
Cons:
  • Short Stride
  • Difficulty to reach the pedal for short persons
  • It can make unnecessary noise

5) AFG Sport 5.5AE available for $539 on Amazon

Key features
  • Multiple profiles
  • Speakers, audio plug-ins and LED screens
  • 43 workout programs and 10 resistance levels
  • Stride 18”

Get the full package with the AFG Sport 5.5AE, one of the training equipment from Advanced Fitness Group. With this elliptical, you stay entertained while working out hard and the fan blows cool air on you.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

This trainer comes under $1000 and it has good features for a beginner. You can stay motivated through your workout by listening to music. The wide stride is suitable if you are tall stature. Footpads hold your feet comfortable and you can't fall off while exercising. As you get hot, the fan blows on you to cool you down. Definitely, consider this elliptical if you want to form a regular habit of exercising. 

What's not so good about it?

Even though the distance between the pedals is small, your body is positioned well as you hold the ergonomic handlebars of this equipment. The heavy and stable steel frame of this trainer can withstand a vigorous workout session. It has a weight limit of 275 lbs. Your exercise will be smooth and quiet and you can enjoy your music. 

Pros:
  • Long stride 18”
  • 43 workout programs
  • One-touch controls
  • Multiple profiles
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons:
  • A short distance between pedals
  • No water bottle holder

6) ProForm HIIT available for $899 on Amazon

Key features
  • Full-colour screens 10” and tablet holder
  • iFit compatible, workout stats
  • Weight limit 350 lbs and 30 lb Flywheel
  • Coolaire fan

High Intensity Interval Training method has a promise of helping you burn more calories within a short time. From ProForm, a company with a history of over 30 years in training equipment development, ProForm HIIT trainer can help you achieve this.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

For the many features, you get with this trainer, it's worth the retail price even for a beginner. Set at slightly below$1500, this trainer offers you more resistance levels compared to other ellipticals. Keep track of your progress and stay motivated to train regularly. With iFit, 34 workout apps and entertainment ready design, you can enjoy working out on this trainer. 

What's not so good about it?

You must pay a subscription if you want to enjoy using iFit. But, aside from stepping, this elliptical gives you boxing motion making you lose more calories in a shorter time. The trainer gives you a quiet workout because of the silent magnetic resistance so you can enjoy your media as you work out. Storage is easy because of the compact footprint of the trainer and transport wheels. 

Pros:
  • Sturdy frame
  • Higher weight allowance 350 lbs
  • HIIT workouts
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons:
  • Must pay subscription fees for iFit and workout tracking stats

7) Horizon Fitness EX59

Key features
  • Speakers, tablet shelf
  • Water bottle holder and cooling fan
  • 10 magnetic resistance levels and 10 workout programs
  • Stride 18”

Horizon Fitness products have a promise of quality and comfort during your workout. Horizon-Fitness EX59 is a good choice for a beginner. 

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

Get this elliptical for well below $1000 despite the many features. The proper distance between pedals doesn’t strain your hips while you work out. Use the wireless Bluetooth speakers to stay entrained as you shed off unwanted weight. Keep track of your workout stats by reading from the 4.5” LCD display. It’s a stable trainer and good for vigorous workouts. Assembly of this trainer is easy even for a beginner.

What's not so good about it?

If you get a knocking sound while training, contact customer care for help. The company must increase the customer support team for a fast resolution of customer queries. You need to bend low if you want to reach your water bottle. But, for its price, this machine offers a quiet and smooth workout. The fan cools you and you can get entertained while exercising. 

Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Fan 
  • Higher weight limit
Cons:
  • The position of the water bottle is difficult to reach while training
  • Short power cord

8) ProForm 520E available for $849 on Amazon

Key features
  • iFit compatible and  18 workout apps
  • Adjustable incline 0-20 degrees and 18 resistance levels
  • 5" backlit display and tablet holder
  • iPod and MP3 player compatible, USB charging ports

Another classic and affordable elliptical trainer from ProForm is the ProForm 520E. You can get it under $1000 and the preset workout programs can help a beginner reach their fitness goals fast. 

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

If you want to train your muscles and make them ready for outdoor activities, adjust the incline and work out hard. The tablet holder is adjustable and you can easily consume entertainment as you exercise. With the large pedal, you can position your feet comfortably without fear of falling off while training rigorously. Also, this trainer is suitable for tall and heavy built persons. 

What's not so good about it?

Though the customer service is not responsive, get this sturdy trainer with a small footprint. After training, you can move the equipment to storage with ease due to the transport wheels. Some customers received their machine with a broken part, but one-year warranty takes care of this. The frame has a solid steel construction and you can enjoy a lifetime warranty on it. 

Pros:
  • Higher weight limit 300 lbs
  • Longer stride
  • Water bottle holder
Cons:
  • Recurring cost from iFit subscription
  • Inaccurate heart rate monitor
  • Short power cable

9) Nautilus E616

Key features
  • Bluetooth compatible, Nautilus Trainer app and MyFitnessPal app
  • USB charging port
  • 4 Profiles
  • 25 Resistance levels and 29 workout programs

For just below $1500, you can get this trainer from Nautilus; pioneers of the commercial gym and top developers of cardio and strength training equipment.  Hold on to the ergonomic handlebars and train away as you enjoy the music playing from the acoustic chambered speakers.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

If you want to vary your workout, alternate between the forward and backward movement. Also, you can adjust the incline to increase the intensity of your workout. Or, increase the resistance once you get too comfortable on one level. This trainer comes with easy to follow instructions for its assembly and you can use apps to help you reach your fitness goals.

What's not so good about it?

If a part breaks or the equipment wobbles, contact customer support for help. But, support team should be better to improve their ability to sort out customer issues fast. You have a 10-year warranty on the frame and 1 year for the mechanical parts. No reason to stop working out because you can get a repair or replacement. The stride of this trainer comfortably accommodates tall and heavy built bodies. 

Pros:
  • Longer Strides
  • Adjustable Ramp
  • Higher weight limit 300 lbs
Cons:
  • Customer service is not responsive
  • Fragile parts
  • Inaccurate metrics

10) Schwinn 430 available for $899 on Amazon

Key features
  • Goal tracking and data export
  • 22 workout programs
  • 20 resistance levels
  • USB charging port

Schwinn makes this list complete with the sturdy Schwinn 430 elliptical trainer. Schwinn is a trusted brand name for good quality fitness equipment. 

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

For a full body rewarding workout session, make sure you change the resistance levels and try out different workout programs. You can prevent squeaking or grinding sound by lubricating moving parts with the silicone oil provided. When you need to move it to storage, you can do it easily using the transport wheels. This trainer allows you to adjust the height making it good for multiple users.

What's not so good about it?

Some customers had a screw or bolt come out from the equipment, but you can contact customer service for a replacement. The handlebars are too close to the console but, training is smooth and quiet when using this elliptical. Using your MP3 player, you can listen to music and stay motivated through your session.

Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Sturdy and stable frame
Cons:
  • Inaccurate calorie counter
  • Fragile bolts and screws

In conclusion...

Majority of these ellipticals for beginners are affordable. But if you pay more than $1000, you can get more features and stay motivated through your workout. Neither cost nor time should hold you back from a regular fitness schedule. If you have no time for the gym, wake up earlier and step onto the trainer before leaving for work. To get lasting results, keep training regularly. Once you start, you can stay motivated by tracking your progress and keeping it interesting using different media.