Greatest Ellipticals for Low-Affect Exercises


On this article

Should you’re seeking to put money into a chunk of cardio tools that’s low affect, it’s best to take into account an elliptical machine. The elliptical is a helpful addition if you wish to construct up a house health club with a cardio machine. The most effective elliptical machines provide the means to effectively work your higher and decrease physique in a managed method. It additionally takes up much less area and is simpler on the joints than in the event you have been to make use of a treadmill. 

These are our high picks of the very best ellipticals available on the market.

Gianmarco Chumbe/CNET

With so many ellipticals available on the market, we examined and tried numerous fashions that will help you select the very best match to your way of life. This was a collaborative effort from the crew at CNET to find out our high picks for the very best elliptical machines value including to your house.

Learn extra: 6 Greatest Peloton Options: Nice Indoor Train Bikes That Value Much less

Lindsay Boyers/CNET

The NordicTrack Industrial 14.9 actually has all of it — an adjustable stride size, a 14-inch shade touchscreen, oversize cushioned pedals, auto-adjustment capabilities and Bluetooth connectivity. At 32 kilos, this elliptical machine additionally has one of many heaviest flywheels available on the market. Whenever you mix that with magnetic resistance, the top result’s an impressively quiet machine with easy motion.

One factor that makes this machine stand out is that it is totally built-in with iFit, an immersive coaching expertise that offers you entry to elite private trainers and structured, guided exercises that will help you obtain your health objective. Whenever you select a exercise via iFit, you are taken via terrain in locations like Chile and the Canary Islands as an elliptical coach guides you thru a simulated exercise that mechanically adjusts each incline and resistance in your machine as you go. And the 14-inch touchscreen made it that significantly better and extra real looking. 

You get one month of iFit household membership at no cost with the NordicTrack Industrial 14.9, after which it is $39 a month. You even have the choice to skip iFit altogether and run the machine manually, however the iFit expertise takes this elliptical coach machine from good to nice.

The one actual detrimental of this health tools is that it is large. As a result of this elliptical train machine was technically designed for industrial health club tools use, it takes up loads of area in a house health club, each horizontally and vertically. It is not solely the biggest horizontally, it is also the tallest machine of the bunch, so after I was standing on it, I felt like my head was fairly near the ceiling, even at common top. Should you like the entire options of the 14.9, however need one thing that is just a bit bit smaller (and somewhat bit inexpensive) the NordicTrack Industrial 12.9 is nearly the identical factor — it does have a smaller display and a lighter flywheel — in a extra compact dimension.


  • Fashionable design
  • Easy stride
  • Has an iFit program choice


  • It is large
  • The iFit membership comes at further price

Lindsay Boyers/CNET

One of many greatest hesitations in buying a standard elliptical machine is the scale. There are loads of compact ellipticals on the market, however as a normal rule, it’s important to sacrifice efficiency for area. That is not true of the ProForm Carbon HIIT H7, although. Not like different ellipticals that take up loads of horizontal area in your house health club, the Carbon HIIT H7 has a vertical design that makes this residence elliptical extra harking back to a stair stepper machine, fairly than an elliptical.

Due to the way in which it is designed, it takes up about half the area of an everyday elliptical. It is not nearly health club tools area, although. The ten-inch vertical and 5-inch horizontal elliptical path have been deliberately mixed to present you a greater exercise depth and a better calorie burn. The stride undoubtedly felt totally different than a standard elliptical machine, however when utilizing the machine, my legs have been on hearth, in all the very best methods. I particularly felt it on my glutes and the backs of my thighs, much like the locations a stair climber targets. Nevertheless, since your foot by no means leaves the foot pedal, it is nonetheless a zero-impact exercise that places much less stress in your physique than stair climbing or different cardio exercise choices.

One other factor that made this ProForm elliptical machine stand out is that it is quiet. When in comparison with among the different higher-end ellipticals, this one was significantly much less noisy. That is as a result of as a substitute of air resistance, it makes use of Silent Magnetic Resistance, or SMR, a trademarked type of resistance that is smoother and quieter. It was additionally steady, with none rocking or shaking in any respect, even at excessive speeds on the cardio machine.

As a result of ProForm is owned by Icon Well being & Health, just like the NordicTrack, this machine comes geared up with iFit, which is one other large examine within the professional column, providing the choice to be guided via your exercise by knowledgeable elliptical coach. And the 7-inch HD touchscreen on the console made the iFit expertise hyper-realistic and simple to navigate.

One factor that bothered me concerning the ProForm Carbon HIIT H7 was that there isn’t any place to place a pill. This is not a significant deal, particularly in the event you’re utilizing iFit, because you doubtless would not be taking note of your pill anyway, however I assumed it might be a pleasant further contact for individuals who produce other health memberships. I additionally did not like the truth that there isn’t any energy button. The handbook says the machine has auto shut-off, but it surely by no means kicked in for me. I needed to unplug it to show it off after I wasn’t utilizing it — one thing that was inconvenient for a high-end machine.


  • Splendid for small areas
  • Quiet
  • Has iFit membership choice


  • Turning it off could be a problem 
  • Lacks area for a pill or different streaming gadget

Lindsay Boyers/CNET

Whereas ellipticals are categorized as one of many lowest-impact cardio machines, they’ll nonetheless be an excessive amount of for anybody with joint ache, therapeutic accidents or mobility points. That is the place the Teeter FreeStep LT3 Recumbent Cross Coach and Elliptical is available in. Much like a recumbent bike, due to its recumbent — or reclined and seated — place, the Teeter FreeStep eliminates stress in your joints and takes the load off your again, so you will get an ideal exercise in with out untimely physique fatigue.

Along with being simple on the joints, this elliptical cross machine can be easy to make use of. The console is essentially the most easy of the bunch, so you do not have to be tech-savvy to get it going. It has one button you may press to toggle between time, distance, pace and energy. There’s additionally an adjustable knob proper underneath the seat that you should utilize to vary your sitting place and you may transfer the angle of the seat for a extra custom-made place.

One warning: It is simpler to cellphone it in when utilizing this machine in comparison with others. Since you’re sitting again, as a substitute of standing up, it is tempting to lean again and provides the minimal effort required to examine “work out” off your to-do listing, however in the event you keep aware of that and maintain the adjustable resistance as excessive as you may, you will get an ideal exercise with virtually zero affect.


  • Simple on the joints
  • Good for these with limitations 
  • Reasonably priced


  • Simple to be lazy on the machine as a result of you may sit again
  • Much less difficult than different elliptical choices

Gianmarco Chumbe/ CNET

The Schwinn 470 is the elliptical for you in the event you’re searching for a cushty but intuitive machine. Upon first look you may inform it is a step up from the Schwinn 411, which we beforehand really helpful. The Schwinn 470 has a extra fashionable aesthetic. This was one of many simpler machines to assemble on our personal as a result of the handbook supplied clear directions with illustrations. The design on this machine can be much less cumbersome than anticipated, though it is bigger than the Schwinn 411. 

When in use, the machine is sturdy and would not wobble, which signifies that it might probably help folks of various weights and heights. The pedals have massive footplates and are easy and cozy with every stride. This machine’s stride size is 20 inches, due to this fact it needs to be appropriate for folks over 6 ft tall. I am brief, so it did not have an effect on me, however in the event you’re on the taller facet be certain to have sufficient room between the machine and the ceiling in any other case it could really feel somewhat cramped.

Given its simplicity, I used to be not anticipating the machine to be as easy and cozy because it was. The pedaling was quiet, which is not all the time to be anticipated in relation to train tools. The digital monitor is nothing novel and has a easy show like most elliptical machines. That is the place I want Schwinn would’ve challenged their designs and experimented with a touchscreen. The show appears to be like outdated as a result of it solely makes use of letters and numbers and could be tough to learn because of the blue mild background. Regardless of not having a extra fashionable take, the Schwinn 470 makes up for it by providing 25 ranges of resistance, 29 exercise applications and the choice to arrange a profile for as much as 4 relations. Regardless that this machine would not have Wi-Fi, it does have Bluetooth and allows you to connect with your favourite apps comparable to MyFitnessPal, Apple Well being and MapMyRun/Journey. Should you merely need a machine that feels comfy and will get the job carried out, then you definitely’ll just like the Schwinn 470. 


  • Comfy and intuitive to make use of
  • Splendid for folks of all heights and weights


  • Lacks fashionable contact display
  • No Wi-Fi connection 
  • Not good for small areas

Gianmarco Chumbe/ CNET

If you would like an elliptical that reminds you of the basic ones you discover within the health club, then you definitely’ll just like the Nautilus E618. This machine gives a easy journey and the footplate makes use of a suspension-adjust performance-cushioning system, which helps you to modify the angle from zero to 10 levels for custom-made heel help. The stride rails are additionally designed to create a balanced and steady expertise. Assembling this machine took longer than anticipated as a result of the directions on the handbook weren’t clear. I might advocate buying the in-home meeting choice or having somebody help you in the event you plan on placing this machine collectively your self. Throughout testing, the stride felt pure and easy. It was even largely quiet excluding a few squeaks right here and there. 

This elliptical can maintain as much as 350 kilos, which makes it versatile for folks of various weights and heights. Though the interface appears to be like like an ordinary elliptical, it gives 29 totally different coaching applications you could observe. If you would like a change of surroundings you may obtain the Nautilus Discover the World app which helps you to train nearly in 19 totally different places. You have got the choice to join $10 a month or $60 for the yr, and you may cancel your subscription at any time. The machine could be paired along with your cellphone or pill through Bluetooth, so you may see, save and share your health journey. Sadly, the Bluetooth expertise isn’t multifunctional so that you would not be capable to join a coronary heart price monitor or one other gadget to the machine. 

The multiposition handlebars are additionally a pleasant contact as a result of you may management the incline and resistance with the clicking of a button, and you’ve got the choice of various hand grips. Much like the Schwinn 470, the Nautilus E618 has a blue show display that appears outdated for 2022. This is not a giant deal if all you are searching for is a reliable and sturdy elliptical that allows you to use it as a standalone gadget. 


  • Sturdy 
  • Easy stride
  • Principally quiet 


  • Outdated show display
  • Bluetooth expertise is restricted
  • No Wi-Fi

Gianmarco Chumbe/ CNET

The Bowflex Max Whole 16 is the one elliptical on the listing with all of the bells and whistles. We beforehand really helpful its predecessor, the Bowflex Max M9 and this can be a barely improved model. The at-home meeting was easy and simple to observe – chances are you’ll want an additional particular person that will help you unload the machine from the supply field, but it surely’s potential for one particular person to place it collectively.

The machine is sturdy and nonetheless has the identical stepper movement because the Bowflex Max M9, although it requires somewhat breaking in at first. The handlebars on the Bowflex Max Whole 16 have six grips as a substitute of the unique 4, making it simpler to vary up hand positioning. The resistance dial remains to be conveniently positioned within the heart and it has over 20 resistance ranges.

In comparison with the Bowflex Max M9, the touchscreen is larger this time, measuring 16 inches as a substitute of 10 inches. It is nonetheless Bluetooth appropriate, so you may join your coronary heart price band or different appropriate gadget, and it requires a Wi-Fi connection in addition to a membership with the Bowflex program, JRNY. The nice factor is you will get a free yr of JRNY so you may take full benefit of the elliptical. After your trial is over, it is $149 for the yr or $20 a month. 

All issues thought-about, the value is affordable in comparison with different memberships that solely offer you a free month trial and may price properly over $30 a month. What’s additionally an ideal function is you could personalize your health expertise via real-time teaching that mechanically adjusts the depth of your exercises as you get stronger — so there isn’t any likelihood of you dishonest your self.

The opposite function that made us fall in love with the Bowflex Max M9 within the first place was the flexibility to hook up with your favourite streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney Plus and extra. This function was nonetheless included within the Bowflex Max Whole 16 and is a pleasant choice for if you simply wish to binge your favourite present and get a fast exercise in.

So in the event you’re searching for an elliptical that may slot in a small or large area and has modernized high-tech options, the Bowflex Max Whole 16 is a strong choose. If the Bowflex Max Whole 16 value is a bit steep to your style, the Bowflex Max M9 remains to be a superb choose because you get all the identical options for at the least $500 cheaper.


  • Suits in most areas
  • Has a giant HD touchscreen
  • Helps you to stream Netflix, Hulu and different streaming providers
  • Personalizes your exercise expertise


  • Heavier than Bowflex Max M9, which could be a problem to maneuver
  • Costly
  • Cannot use and not using a JRNY membership 

Different ellipticals we examined

Cubii Whole Physique: Good Seated Elliptical: I had a nice expertise utilizing this mini elliptical and will see it being utilized by these recovering from an harm, the aged or these with sure bodily limitations. It is not heavy and it is simple to maneuver round on its wheels. I undoubtedly broke a sweat, which I did not anticipate from a low-impact exercise you are able to do whereas sitting down. It additionally included resistance handles so you may embrace higher physique exercises. The explanation it did not make our listing is as a result of it is a newer model that was offered out on Indiegogo, however there are older variations on the Cubii web site if you wish to get an analogous expertise. This mini elliptical is one in every of many who exist available on the market and would make a superb candidate for a future mini elliptical greatest listing. 

How we picked

We perceive that buying an elliptical is an funding and we narrowed it down to those vital components to make our picks. 

Value: We made an effort to incorporate ellipticals of assorted value factors to suit your funds.

Performance: An elliptical has one fluid movement, however there are totally different designs, together with standing or sitting choices. We additionally noticed how simple the machine was to make use of as soon as it was arrange.

Consolation: In addition to ease of use and performance, we additionally checked out how comfy it was to make use of the machine in response to stride and person expertise.

Options: Some elliptical manufacturers have improved the expertise on its consoles, so we checked out how that provides to the person expertise.

Components to think about 

  • Browse round to get an concept of how a lot an elliptical might price you after which funds accordingly. Machines vary from $500 to over $2,000.
  • Contemplate the area you’ve gotten in your house to suit one and be sure to account for these measurements when buying an elliptical.
  • Determine in order for you a machine with all of the bells and whistles (like streaming TV or guided exercises) or in the event you’d be content material with an ordinary machine.
  • Decide whether or not you would be prepared to assemble the machine or in the event you’d want white-glove service. If it is the latter, discover out if that is included in your order at no cost or at an extra price. 

Elliptical FAQs

Are residence ellipticals value it?

Whether or not having an elliptical machine at house is value it or not is dependent upon a number of components. Should you’re searching for a low-impact train machine that gives a full-body exercise, an elliptical is a superb choice. Additionally weigh how usually you anticipate to make use of it versus different kinds of train. 

Value can be a big aspect. Elliptical machines can run within the lots of or hundreds of {dollars}, so be sure to take into account the general worth of the acquisition before you purchase.

What number of energy do you burn on an elliptical?

What number of energy you burn on an elliptical will fluctuate relying in your weight and the depth and period of the exercise. In keeping with Harvard, half-hour of train on an elliptical can burn a mean of 270 energy for a 125-pound particular person, 324 energy for a 155-pound particular person and 378 energy for a 185-pound particular person.

Is the elliptical good cardio?

The elliptical is an effective cardio exercise as a result of it really works your coronary heart and lungs. It may be carried out as a steady-state exercise or as a excessive depth interval coaching exercise. In consequence, it helps you construct up your endurance.

CNET writers Lindsay Boyers and Megan Wollerton additionally contributed to this story.

Extra for health fanatics

The knowledge contained on this article is for academic and informational functions solely and isn’t meant as well being or medical recommendation. All the time seek the advice of a doctor or different certified well being supplier concerning any questions you’ll have a few medical situation or well being aims.

Supply hyperlink