Elliptical Trainers Vs. Cross Trainers

Elliptical Trainers Vs. Cross Trainers

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Fitness being the thought occupying every single person’s mind these days, a variety of equipment are available to serve the purpose. We have treadmills, steppers, bicycles, etc. You can read the cross trainer vs treadmill which will show you the differences between the two.

Whatever be your kind of workout, be it high-intensity or low-intensity workouts, there is a variety of equipment for every workout. Ellipticals and cross trainer machines have become quite popular for low-impact exercises.

Both these machines come with their own set of benefits and drawbacks, however, one can get a great workout from either of these two machines. Difference between elliptical and magnetic cross trainer.

Will help you understand that selecting the perfect workout equipment totally depends on the areas of focus which can be burning of fat or opting for a low-impact workout or opting for a complete body workout.

History of The Machines

In the year 1995, Precor developed the first Elliptical Fitness Crosstrainer (EFX). The machine was created with a low-impact design- this design restricts the stress in tendons and joints, thereby minimizing the possibilities of injuries.

These machines were also designed and developed to be utilized in rehabilitation since physiotherapists, as well as doctors, would advise patients with certain injuries and joint pains to make use of these machines.

The range of ellipticals and cross trainers these days varies from 200 dollars to anywhere above 2500 dollars depending upon the features. You can have a look at the ellipticals that fall under the categories Best Elliptical Under 500$ and Best Elliptical over 2500$.

Types of Cross Trainers And Elliptical Trainers

Numerous types of cross trainers and elliptical machines are available in the market these days. Some of the typical elliptical machines are:

Rear-Drive Ellipticals: These machines come with the rear-end drive function wherein the flywheel is located at the rear of the machine.

Front- Drive Ellipticals: These machines come with the front-drive function wherein the flywheel is located at the front of the machine. What we need to understand is that the front-drive and rear-drive elliptical machines are quite similar and the selection of the right machine depends on one’s personal requirements.

Recumbent Elliptical Cross Trainer: This cross trainer is identical to a static bicycle wherein you sit on the machine and move your legs in a specific pattern.

This machine is similar to an elliptical cross trainer and comes within flexible armbars. The impact and stress are lesser on the joints, as the person is working out in sitting position.

Elliptical Cross Trainer with Wheels: one can get the best results of one takes the elliptical workout outdoors- it adds to the excitement and burns more calories. It is more exciting than a stationary elliptical cross strainer.

However, this machine is best suited for those who love adventure and prefer working out outdoors. You can check out our Best Elliptical Bikes if you wish to know more about this kind of elliptical.

Basic Differences Between a Cross Trainer And An Elliptical Trainer

The most common difference observed between any cross trainer and elliptical trainer is :

1. The Handlebar of the machines: The elliptical trainer comes with a static handle, wherein the user of an elliptical mainly ends up working out his or her legs; the hands cannot be moved around as they have to hold the handle of the elliptical. Cross trainers differ in this aspect from an elliptical.

They offer the user the option to either workout using only legs or make use of their arms along with the legs to maneuver the machine.

The handles are flexible- many cross trainers come with handles which can move in sync with the movement of legs or the user can make it static in case he or she wishes to focus on working out the legs.

2. Movement of arms: An elliptical machine due to its static handlebars fails to provide an upper-body workout. They help you work on your legs. A cross trainer gives the user an upper-body as well as lower-body workout, as the handlebars are flexible.

These give the arms a good resistance training workout, which in turn works on the torso area and results in burning a good amount of calories.

How To Make The Best Use of Ellipticals And Cross Trainer Machines?

One must ensure that the body weight is equally distributed on the handrails. It is advised that a person using an elliptical trainer or a cross trainer should ensure that the handrails are held lightly. This gives the user the right balance rather than holding the handrails way tighter than necessary.

It also ensures the legs get a good workout. If the handrails are flexible, the user needs to get familiar with the leg movements of the machine before beginning the simultaneous movement of the handrails.

Click here to understand what to look for when buying a cross trainer. You could have a look at some of the elliptical that have made it to our Best Home Ellipticals.

Benefits of An Elliptical Trainer And a Cross Trainer

Benefits Of an Elliptical Trainer:

  1. Stationary handlebars benefit people who suffer from upper body issues like joint pain. these handlebars help them to have a balance while working out.
  2. These trainers have an adjustable incline which can bring about a variation in the difficulty level.
  3. There are few elliptical trainers that come with a customized training program which will target specific muscles like the glutes and hamstrings.

Benefits of a Cross Trainer:

  1. It gives a dual action movement I.e. the forward and backward movement which targets different muscles of the legs. The movement is quite similar to the natural walking or running movement of an individual.
  2. The flexible handles give you an upper body workout in addition to the lower body workout.
  3. A cross trainer workout gives an individual a complete body workout.


The selection of either an elliptical trainer or a cross trainer totally depends upon an individual’s personal preferences and requirements. If a person has upper body issues and prefers a low-impact yet effective machine, he or she could go in for an elliptical trainer.

However, if a person prefers both upper and lower body workouts, he or she could opt for a cross trainer machine which would be the ideal choice.

Both the elliptical trainer and cross trainer have their own benefits and drawbacks. What we need to understand is that personal preferences play a vital role in the selection of any workout machine.

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