It is the dream of every workout enthusiast to set his own gym at home. But this dream is always shattered when the fitness equipment that a person loves takes too much space and is expensive. This is where compact fitness equipment takes the stage. Elliptical trainers are such fitness equipment that are loved by everyone for doing their cardio workouts. But they might take up a lot of space in your small apartment. So a compact elliptical trainer for home is your best buy if you love to work out in the comfort of your home.
Never choose a cheap elliptical and sacrifice on your health. Always go for the best elliptical at an affordable price otherwise you might not get the result you expected. Most of the compact ellipticals have non-folding frames and their drives are placed at either the centre or front. They conserve a lot of space due to their drive placement. Folding ellipticals generally have rear drive and they are comparable with the most popular compact ellipticals on their conservation of space.
As a helping hand, our experts have made a list of top 5 ellipticals for home 2020.
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How to Shop for the Best Compact Elliptical Machine
Before jumping into conclusions on which elliptical to buy you must ensure that it has all the basic features. Your budget and available space must be equated with these features to find the best elliptical for the home.
The more money you invest the better the quality of the elliptical will be. It is better to compare the features of compact ellipticals with other models. Some of the models have features that are a necessity like many workout programs, heart rate monitoring, etc.
These are some of the basic features that can help you in your workout.
If you need a really small elliptical then there are options available with foldable parts and even ellipticals without the upper body portion. They can even be kept under your desk. But they are partial workout machines so you will miss your upper body workout. So don’t buy it unless it is a requirement.
How does the Performance of a Compact Elliptical Matter?
Elliptical trainers for the home have a wide range of performance levels available. These are really cheap variants and you can find commercial grade compact ellipticals too. Folding ellipticals are generally neglected for commercial use. The factors that affect the performance levels are:
Smooth ride on an elliptical helps you in continuing the workout for longer periods without tiring yourself. This also reduces the accidents that might occur during a workout. If you buy the best elliptical for home then it will provide the optimum resistance that you need. Flywheel weight is an indication of the resistance levels and you can prefer the ones that have a weight of 18 pounds and above. For heavy people and for users who desire intense workout sessions must choose heavier flywheel to satisfy themselves.
Strides determine the intensity of your workout. If the foot spacing is narrow then it will give you a very natural stride on an elliptical. In a natural walk pattern, there isn’t much space between your feet so the best elliptical trainers also have narrow foot spacing. Height is an important factor when deciding stride length as longer people will need longer strides of more than 20″ and for shorter people 18″ is fine. The best elliptical trainers have adjustable stride lengths that give more flexibility to workouts.
Just like an adjustable stride, an incline also plays a crucial role in effective workouts on an elliptical trainer. The best of the ellipticals have power inclines that offer a tilt of nearly 20% but steeper slopes are also available. There are some elliptical trainers that give scenic video together with these inclines to virtually create an environment for working out.
No one wants to spend money on repairing their equipment just after buying them so durability is an important factor to consider. The best elliptical trainers last long without any issues.
Make sure to check the features listed below before buying them.
Buying Guide for Compact Ellipticals
1. Drive Design
A rear-drive elliptical takes up more space than other kinds. A folding model can be a good alternative to it. So choose a drive design based on your space availability.
2. Maximum User Weight
Most of the people exercising have weight loss as their aim so ellipticals must be capable of supporting heavy people. The best compact ellipticals in the market have a weight capacity of up to 300 pounds to 400 pounds.
Warranties are an indication of manufactures confidence in their products. And it varies widely among different compact and folding ellipticals. Normally they offer warranties of 2 or 5 years and lifetime warranties for the frame. Labor expenses are also free for the 1 or 2 years.
Features of Compact Ellipticals
Compact ellipticals perform just like their larger counterparts. And there are foldable variants too. Check out the features of the best compact ellipticals.
Foldable elliptical trainers are highly compact and with the hydraulic or electronic mechanism, it can be folded with ease. Foldable ellipticals can reduce the length of the elliptical by up to 1/2 of its original length.
2. Interactive Workouts
Best compact ellipticals offer variety in the workout offered by them. They have many interesting interactive workouts and the traditional workout. Technological advancements like the Google street view aid the interactive workout where you will be virtually taken to a real environment while working out. Ambient sound is also another feature that adds up to this.
3. Easy App Integration
Modern elliptical trainers are well known for their app integration. They can wirelessly communicate with your smartphone using mobile apps and help you monitor your health much efficiently. My Fitness Pal, Hulu are some of the famous apps that are known for their integration with elliptical trainers.
Things to Watch out for in a Compact Elliptical?
- Elliptical trainers are non-motorized so it is your pace that determines the intensity of the workout. So never back down and get lazy.
- Elliptical trainers don’t come in multiple sizes, therefore, it can be difficult for short people to work out. They might injure themselves trying to extend their limbs.
- The exercises you do on an elliptical trainer helps in building muscle strength and causes a low impact on your body too. They are very effective for cardio workouts but not as good for muscle strength because they have less weight bearing index. So you may need to change your workouts for muscle building and bone strength too.
So only come to a buying decision after going through these points or else you might regret later.
The Pros and Cons of Small Elliptical Machines
After going through our suggestions you must have got a better idea regarding the best compact ellipticals for homes. But make sure that you are well aware of the positives and negatives of an elliptical trainer. How does the size of the elliptical matter? Will it be a big sacrifice if you choose a compact one? Or is it better than other variants?
So let us look at some key points to find out
- It is compact and you will conserve your available space. Nobody wants to congest their just because they want to workout at home. Compact elliptical trainers can be kept in your closet after working out keeping your room as spacious as it always was.
- Everyone loves working out in the comfort of your home. It will keep you more focused and is much more convenient.
- Since they are small they are easily portable to any place that you like
- Compact elliptical trainers for the home are way cheaper than traditional ellipticals.
- Never expect to get the experience you have on a full sized elliptical trainer on a compact one. A smaller footprint means sacrifice in the workout space. It may not be that inconvenient but still, it is a bit disadvantaged on this side than a full sized machine.
- The stability of the frame is less as compared to larger ellipticals.
- Many features of full-sized ellipticals are absent in compact elliptical trainers
What to Expect From a Compact Elliptical
The best elliptical trainers give the user the ability to do lower and upper body workouts with the least impact on your body. There are many more things that you can expect from a compact elliptical trainer. Read and find out more about the good features that come packed with compact elliptical trainers.
- A very intuitive console must be present on the elliptical trainers. It helps you to adjust the resistance levels. It must also possess a monitoring mechanism that could help you track your speed, distance and time during the workout. Some even show the number of calories burned.
- Chain driven fan ensures that you get a silent and smooth workout experience.
- Manufacturer warranty is a good indication of the quality of the product, the longer the better.
- Compact treadmills with video workout can guide you well when you are a beginner.
- Elliptical trainers with motion handlebars let you do exercises specifically for the upper and lower body.
- The compact size of the elliptical makes it an obvious choice for small homes.
- Best compact elliptical trainers have street simulation supported by Google. This makes the workout more interesting.
Benefits of a Compact Elliptical Machine
1. Accelerated weight loss
People are more focused on weight loss than bodybuilding these days. Elliptical trainer for the home is a good choice for those people. Nowadays there is an increasing trend among people to choose cross trainers over other conventional machines like bikes and treadmills. The biggest advantage of elliptical trainers is that they are capable of burning much more calories than any other fitness equipment while also engaging all of your muscle groups in a single workout.
2. Improves your balance and mobility
Elliptical trainers also provide many physiotherapy related advantages during your workout sessions. It improves your overall balance and mobility. It is nowadays being popularly used in hospitals for patients who have suffered severe injuries to get their body balance back.
3. Exercise for the whole body
Training on an elliptical engages all the muscle groups in your body. This is a big advantage for people aiming for full body workout sessions. With the help of varied resistance levels, you also have the possibility of doing very intense workouts on the same machine.
4. Mimic many different exercises
The best elliptical trainers have the ability to mimic many different exercises. You can jog, walk, box, run and even climb stairs using the same elliptical trainer. All these are done by varying the resistance levels of the machine. With effective monitoring, you can also know about the distance you traveled and the time taken for that travel. Some even have heart rate monitoring and that is a good advantage.
5. Use in minimal space
Compactness keeps the compact elliptical trainer for home the favorite option for space conservatives. You can fit this kind of elliptical into almost any tight corner. There are even machines like FitDesk that are designed to fit under your desk.
Modern ellipticals are a delight to the enthusiasts. Nowadays they even have the facility to watch your favorite shows or read a novel while working out on them. Some of them are fitted with sound systems to let you enjoy music during your work out session.
7. Easy maintenance of the machine
Compact ellipticals are cheaper to many other fitness machines making it an easy buy for many people. It has very less moving parts so it is less susceptible to wear and tear with time. Reputed machines like Horizon Fitness EX-59-02 Elliptical Trainer provide a lifetime warranty on the frame and 20 years warranty on the motor. These are an indication of the durability of the elliptical trainer.
8. Protection for your joints
Compact ellipticals cause less impact on your joints while working out and this prevents your joints from getting injuries. It is highly likely to get your joints hurt on fitness equipment like the treadmill. Cross trainers are a preferred choice for people suffering from knee and hip problems.
Elliptical trainers had changed the way people look at fitness machines. It has become the favorite choice for the people who need cardiovascular exercises. Ellipticals do not cause any impact on your body while you are improving your fitness levels. It offers maximum safety to its users. With the kind of versatility and compactness, ellipticals have become the best work out equipment for home. After reading our guide you must have got a clear picture in choosing the best compact elliptical trainer for your home. So make a good decision, buy one and start working out.