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Best Ellipticals with Long and Adjustable Stride Length

One of the things that you need to keep in mind when buying an elliptical, is making sure that it actually fits your body type. Using an elliptical with that is too short can lead to back pain, knee pain, and even injury.

Working out is hard enough without worrying about injury. You don’t want to leave your training session with a busted knee or hurting joints because of using the trainer incorrectly. Ellipticals are popular because of low impact to your joints as opposed to using treadmills or jogging, but if you are using the wrong elliptical for your body type, you can end up doing more harm than good.

Before you rush out to get an elliptical, you need to know how to select a machine suitable for your height and weight. Weight capacity is pretty straightforward, but for height, you need to consider the stride length of the elliptical.

How to pick the correct elliptical for your height

Stride length is the greatest distance between your left foot and right foot when moving in alternating forward and backward motion on an elliptical. Using an elliptical with a stride length that’s too short can injure your knees, says Livestrong.com. If an elliptical has adjustable strides, such as those in commercial gyms, it can more easily be shared by people of varying heights and sizes.

People who are 5’ 3” (160cm) and under only need a stride length that measures from 16-18 inches (40 cm – 45 cm). This is great news for short people, as most budge, entry-level machines have a stride length of about 17-18 inches.

 If you are average height and taller (5’ 4”, or 166 cm, all the way up to up 6’ 7” or 195 cm) will require a minimum stride length of 18 inches, and will likely feel more comfortable running around 20 inches (51 cm). People who are even taller may need a customized elliptical machine, or look for commercial grade equipment that can be adjusted up to 26 inches.

It’s important to note that a rear-drive machine (that is, an elliptical that has the flywheel on the back) can feel more comfortable with a shorter stride length (about 2 inches less than front-wheel elliptical.) So for context, a 20” stride length on a front-drive machine equates to roughly an 18” stride length on a rear-drive machine.

Your stride has to be in line with the elliptical you use otherwise you will injure your hips and knees. It’s also important to not lean too far forward or hunch your back to reach the handlebars if you don’t want to injure your back. That being said, adjusting the stride on an elliptical can be a good way to target particular muscle areas for development (as long as you are on high-resistance and use the machine for a short amount of time). A short stride will build calf and thigh muscles, while a long stride will focus more on hamstrings and glutes.

The following list is a sample of the ellipticals for tall people.

1) Bowflex E216 available for $1799 on Amazon

Key features
  • 22" stride length
  • 400lbs user weight
  • 9" full color LCD
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Bowflex fitness equipment dates back to 1986, and the company’s mission was to develop equipment for home use. The company is known for its innovation in developing cardio and strength building products. Bowflex E216 is not for the budget shopper because of its price which hinges the $2000 mark.

Image Source: Amazon

What makes it better for tall people?

This is a sturdy machine if you are tall and built. You can work out on it even if you are up to 400 lbs and at least 5 feet 7 inches, and it won’t fold under your weight. The wide 22” stride is perfect for your long legs and exercising is comfortable. It’s not suitable if you are shorter than 5 feet 3 inches because you can pull your leg muscles and strain them. 

What’s great about this item in particular?

This elliptical is compatible with apps to help you achieve your fitness goals. Use the Bowflex Series app to track your progress. If you want friends to cheer you on, use the RunSocial app and you can exercise through different routes out of 19 locations. Don’t stress your body instead, adjust your workout using the “Burn” metre. 

What’s not so great about it?

Thumbs down because you cannot connect to the in-console speakers via Bluetooth to play your music. But, you can get entertainment using your tablet to keep your session interesting. The customer service team can take long before responding to your queries.

Pros:
  • Sturdy and good quality-frame
  • Smooth movements
  • Comfortable posture and handlebars
  • Wide Stride
Cons:
  • Assembly is tedious for a first timer
  • Fragile parts
  • Large footprint and you cannot use it in a room with a low ceiling of fewer than 29 inches

2) Efitment E020 Air Walker available for $114 on Amazon

Key features
  • 24" stride length
  • 180 degrees motion
  • Transportation wheels
  • 220lbs user weight

The Los Angeles, California based Efitment company, imports affordable training products and gets it to your home at an affordable price. This glider, Efitment E202 Air Walker, is helpful for a total body workout and tones your body as you lose weight. The low price makes this a good elliptical for a budget shopper. 

Image Source: Amazon

What makes it better for tall people?

The stride of this trainer is 24” and comfortable for tall people. With a height of 4 feet from the foot pedal to the handlebars tips, this trainer can also accommodate a medium height. The foot pads are non-slip and you won’t fall off as you move your legs in different directions. 

What’s great about this item in particular?

This great workout machine targets your outer thighs and gives you 180 degrees free motion. If you want to try air splits, get this glider. You can move clockwise, counterclockwise, forward and backward. Or, just move one leg at a time as you hold the other leg stationary. 

What’s not so great about it?

Well, you can’t use this trainer if you weigh over 220 lbs. But, if you are as tall as 5 feet 7 inches, you can adjust the handlebars for a comfortable posture while you are working out. For a height of over 6 feet, this trainer is uncomfortable. It’s best suited if you are of medium height.

Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Adjustable Handlebars
  • Compact and easy to store 
  • Transport wheels for ease of movement from storage to workout space
Cons:
  • Limited weight allowance
  • Not suitable if you are over 6 feet tall
  • You cannot increase the resistance level

3) Harvil Elliptical

Key features
  • 2 in 1 elliptical
  • Reversible movement
  • Heart rate sensors rails
  • Transport wheels

From Dazadi, you can get a 2 in 1 trainer. The Harvil Elliptical is a cross trainer and an exercise bike. It’s among good ellipticals for a budget shopper. 

Image Source: Amazon

What makes it better for tall people?

If you are 3 feet 7 inches or more, consider this reliable elliptical for your regular workout. With a 24” stride and long foot pedal, you can work out using this trainer comfortably. You have a 5-inch allowance to adjust the leather seat and make sure you hold the correct posture while working out. 

What’s great about this item in particular?

Forward or backward pedal movement on this 2 in 1 trainer strengthens your legs and builds muscle. The movement is like walking, skiing, stair climbing or running. You can increase the resistance level to make your workout more intense. This model is suitable for a beginner and you can use the bike or the elliptical. 

What’s not so great about it?

If you are over 250 lbs, you cannot use this trainer. You can adjust the seat up or down but not forward or backward. This makes it hard to reach the pedals if you are short. A few users found it difficult to change the resistance level, and the trainer can rock if you exercise vigorously.  

Pros:
  • Customer service is helpful
  • Smooth training session
  • Easy to move to storage using the transportation wheels
Cons:
  • Short 90-day-warranty
  • Limited weight allowance
  • Uncomfortable seat
  • Difficult to assemble

4) IronMan X-Class 610

Key features
  • 23" stride length
  • Waterproof equipment mat
  • 12 workout programs
  • 32 magnetic resistance levels

From BestFitness Equipment, you can get a range of exercise equipment for less than $1000. IronMan X-Class 610 is sturdy and allows you to workout intensely even if it’s a budget-friendly trainer. Interesting features include dual speakers and a fan to cool you as you break into a sweat. 

Image Source: Amazon

What makes it better for tall people?

The stride of this trainer is 23” and it can support more weight up to 325 lbs. If you are between 5’1” to 6’4”  and heavy built, get this sturdy machine for regular exercise. Cushioned pedals and waterproof equipment mat included in the package, keeps the machine stable while you exercise. You won’t be noisy while exercising so you can watch TV as you train. 

What’s great about this item in particular?

You can reach your training goals by using up to 12 workout programs. This elliptical's high number of resistance levels 32, makes it a good machine for an intense workout. The Double transmission system for the Rear belt drive muffles out unnecessary noise even while working out vigorously. Don’t forget to reach for your water bottle every few minutes if you want to stay hydrated. 

What’s not so great about it?

No incline adjustment is available while training on this machine. Faulty machines can produce a clanking noise from the wheel casing due to bad bearings. If you have more users with a height less than 5’1”, they cannot use this trainer without straining their muscles. Customer service support is lacking. 

Pros:
  • Easy to assemble
  • Higher weight limit of 325 lbs
  • Higher height limit of 6’4”
  • Higher resistance levels for intense workouts
  • Water bottle holder
  • Cooling fan
Cons:
  • The customer support is not fast to respond to queries
  • The console can read an error
  • No incline

5) NordicTrack E 7.0 Z

Key features
  • 20 workout apps
  • adjustable stride length
  • iFit compatible
  • Adjustable incline

From a leading brand in fitness equipment development, you can get the NordicTrack E 7.0 Z trainer. NordicTrack brand is associated with quality but a higher price range. 

Image Source: Amazon

What makes it better for tall people?

The stride of this trainer is 20” and it’s adjustable. This means it can accommodate tall and short people making it proper for people of different heights. It’s a good trainer if you are up to 6” tall. 

What’s great about this item in particular?

With NordicTrack, you have virtual assistants to help you reach your workout goals. Select from the 20 workout apps for a rewarding workout. The incline is adjustable so you can sweat it out more as you prepare for your upcoming hiking weekend with your friends. Though the stride of this elliptical is 20”, you can lower it if you of medium height. 

What’s not so great about it?

This elliptical has only 20 levels of resistance but the incline makes up for the few resistance levels. Incline adjustment is not automatic. This disrupts your training session because you must step down to increase it manually. The trainer has no fan so prepare yourself for a hot and sweaty session. 

Pros:
  • Adjustable incline
  • Adjustable Stride
  • A quiet training session
  • Easy to assemble
Cons:
  • Low number of resistance levels compared to other trainers
  • A few workouts need iFit subscription thus adding to the cost of this elliptical
  • Customer service is slow to respond to queries
  • Inaccurate heart rate monitor

6) Nautilus E616

Key features
  • Dual track LCD display
  • 20" stride length
  • Grip and chest strap for heart rate monitoring
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Nautilus is a big brand name in the fitness industry, and the company was a pioneer of the present commercial gym.  Nautilus E616 is a quality trainer with a cost surpassing $1000 mark. If features and quality is your concern while choosing a training machine as opposed to budget, buy this trainer. 

Image Source: Amazon

What makes it better for tall people?

If you weigh 300 lbs or fewer and you are tall, this exercise machine is reliable. The 20” stride can guarantee comfort as you train. Largely cushioned footplates will hold your feet in place and you cannot fall off even if you are tall and heavily built. 

What’s great about this item in particular?

The incline is adjustable and no need to step off the trainer to adjust it because it’s motorized. An oversized crossbar tubing makes keeps the trainer stable as you work out. The cooling fan has 3 speeds and you can adjust it to your desired level. Using the 29 workout programs and 25 levels of resistance, you can get a total body workout while listening to music from your MP3.

What’s not so great about it?

A few customers received their packages with missing parts. Assembly can take 2-4 hours so you need to factor in this time in your schedule. If the bolts break or sheer off, contact the helpful customer service to sort this issue. Remember to apply the silicone lube to stop the squeaking sound from the back rollers. 

Pros:
  • Smooth and quiet workout
  • Higher weight limit 300 lbs
  • Compatible with workout apps
  • Motorized Incline
  • Tablet shelf
  • USB port
Cons:
  • Missing parts 
  • Screws can loosen causing the equipment to wobble
  • Fragile parts
  • Inaccurate calorie counter

7) Octane Fitness Q47Xi available for $4550 on Amazon

Key features
  • 26" adjustable stride length
  • Reversible motion
  • Octane Fitness app
  • Tablet holder

Expect the best from a company founded in 2001, to develop high-quality elliptical trainers in the world. From Octane Fitness, you can train with features such as SmartStride, Workout Boosters and use up to 74 workout programs. Octane Fitness Q47Xi is expensive but the useful features help you achieve your workout goals. 

Image Source: Amazon

What makes it better for tall people?

Whether you are over 6 feet or of medium height, this elliptical is a perfect match. The stride of this trainer is customizable between 18”-26”.Once you step on the machine, SmartStride adjusts the stride to a suitable length according to your height. No need for you to adjust it by yourself.

What’s great about this item in particular?

Besides automatic stride adjustment, you can select x-mode workout booster and engage in HIIT routines for intense workouts and rewarding results. Build strength and muscle by engaging in 30:30 intervals, Cross Circuit and MMA. These workout programs are specific to Octane Fitness equipment. You get a pair of resistance bands to work out your upper body and build strength. 

What’s not so great about it?

You must dig deep into your pocket to get this elliptical into your house. The large footprint of this elliptical needs bigger workout space and higher ceiling compared to other trainers in this list. You need a large space to train using the resistance bands or to store this trainer. 

Pros:
  • Automatic stride adjustment
  • Sturdy and suitable for very tall people
  • Tablet shelf
  • HIIT workout routines for intense training in a short period
  • 74 workout programs
  • Octane Fitness app
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Large footprint and needs bigger workout space 
  • Large storage space needed

8) Precor 546i

Key features
  • 10 programs
  • 24.7" adjustable stride length
  • 20 resistance levels
  • 6 program buttons

Precor has a history of over 30 years in developing fitness equipment for homes, higher learning institutions, health clubs, hotels and Spas. The Precor 546i Elliptical Fitness Cross trainer allows you to engage forward or reverse motions between 13-40 degrees. This elliptical falls into the bracket of expensive trainers due to the advanced features included in it. 

Image Source: Amazon

What makes it better for tall people?

The stride of this elliptical is adjustable between 21”-25”. It has a high weight limit of 350 lbs and large foot pedal dimensions. This makes it a sturdy and reliable trainer for both tall and short people. 

What’s great about this item in particular?

You can exercise using 10 programs and workout stats are available 8 different languages. This elliptical has CrossRamp Technology and 20 resistance levels for an intense total body workout. You can track your workout stats from the console and this makes it a good trainer to motivate beginners to workout consistently. 

What’s not so great about it?

This elliptical is expensive. It’s self-powered but for continuous screen display 30 seconds after ending your workout, you must plug it into a power source. Lack of an incline strikes it off as a reliable trainer for preparing your muscles for a demanding outdoor activity such as hiking. 

Pros:
  • Sturdy steel frame suitable for tall and heavy built persons
  • Can be used by tall or short people
  • 6 One-touch buttons for workout choice
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • No incline
  • Low number of resistance levels

9) Sunny Health & Fitness E 2310 available for $208 on Amazon

Key features
  • 44lb flywheel
  • 300lbs user weight
  • Transport wheels
  • Non-slip pedals

Sunny Health & Fitness is another importer and distributor of fitness products. For over 10 years, the Los Angeles, California based company has been importing high-quality products and distributing them at a low price point for home consumers. This elliptical is for the budget conscious individual, with a price point way below $500. 

Image Source: Amazon

What makes it better for tall people?

According to the company, this elliptical has a maximum weight limit of 300 lbs and 44 lbs Flywheel. If you are tall and heavily built, you can work your thighs, glutes and calves without slipping off the trainer due to non-slip foot pads. The ridge is wide giving you stability as you exercise. 

What’s great about this item in particular?

For this affordable elliptical, your upper body gets a good workout when using the Dual-action workout arms. The dimensions are small and it’s suitable for confined spaces such as an apartment. You can move it in and out of storage with ease because of the attached transport wheels. 

What’s not so great about it?

Despite the weight limit of 300 lbs as the manufacturer states, this elliptical buckled in on a few users with a much lower weight. To adjust resistance, you must turn the knob. This disrupts your momentum as you work out. 

Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Assembly is fast 
  • Small footprint and needs a small storage space
Cons:
  • Fragile parts and can easily break
  • It’s not reliable for heavy built people
  • It can produce unnecessary noise as you exercise

10) Yowza Fitness Miami

Key features
  • 32" adjustable stride length
  • 3 custom mobile apps
  • Audio system
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Yowza Fitness Miami specializes in high-quality ellipticals and distributes them to consumers. Their trainers have CardioCore; counter-rotational movement, which gives a total body workout even while sitting. But, their ellipticals lean towards the high-end market because of their high cost.

Image Source: Amazon

What makes it better for tall people?

This elliptical has a wide stride of 19”-32”. The wide stride creates an allowance for short to very tall people to use this machine. Also, the high weight limit, 400 lbs makes it suitable for a tall and well-built individual. 

What’s great about this item in particular?

Besides the wide stride, you can adjust the incline for an intense workout session. It has 30 workout programs; 29 preset and you can customize 9 workout programs. For your comfort, the foot pedals have gel cushioning, making sure you don’t get numb on your shins, toes and foot after working out. You get a free weight scale to help you keep track of your training goals. 

What’s not so great about it?

It’s difficult to get correct readings from the heart rate grips or other workout stats.  Parts, such as springs, can easily break after a short period of use. But, you can contact the responsive customer support team and make use of the 7-year parts warranty. 

Pros:
  • A good customer support team
  • Higher weight limit 400 lbs
  • Gel-cushioned foot pedals
  • Adjustable incline
  • Water bottle holder
  • Tablet shelf
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Fragile parts
  • The console is too close to the user

In conclusion...

If you are tall, stride length is the most important feature to consider when shopping for an elliptical. It determines your comfort while exercising and avoidance of injury to your back, hips, knees and ankles. Choosing an elliptical too small for your height can cause a wrong workout posture and pain to your body. Ellipticals are great trainers with low impact, but you must choose the equipment well to avoid injury to your body and for a comfortable posture. Comfort while exercising can help you build a consistent workout habit and propel you to achieve your fitness goals.