Features to consider while choosing an elliptical under 700
Don’t get carried away by the bells and whistles on these products. Many elliptical machines come with a wide range of features designed to lure buyers. Keep your eye on the prize by comparing features that actually count and will help you achieve your fitness goal. We list them below.
Stride Length, Resistance Levels and Workout Programs
We’ll have you know that the stride length is among the most important specifications on an elliptical. It generally refers to the length of the product’s pedals when they’re at their farthest distance from each other. Different brands have varying stride lengths which can range from 13” to 22”.
The ideal stride strength is largely determined by your height.
If you’re on the shorter side, pick a unit with a small stride length. It follows that taller people will need a unit with a long stride length such as the Nautilus E614 which as a 20” stride length. But to play it safe (and if you’re not the only person who’ll be using the machine), rather opt for an elliptical that comes with adjustable stride lengths. This way everyone is accommodated. Where possible try out the machine first to be absolutely certain.
After stride length, you need to consider the resistance levels. How many resistance levels does the unit have?
The levels give an indication regarding the amount of effort that you need to exert on the foot platform to complete a pedal cycle.
Low resistance levels are ideal for moderate exercise. But if you want to beef up those muscles or burn calories faster, high resistance levels are the way to go. Just be sure not to overdo it. The resistance levels on the unit you pick will depend on your fitness goal. Again, the Nautilus E614 leads the pack with a total of 20 resistance levels which is the highest number compared to the other units on our list.
How many workout programs does the machine offer? Cardio, fat-burn and incline intervals are a few options that come with elliptical trainers. Pick a machine that has the programs you need to help you achieve your goal. The Sunny & Fitness Elliptical has 24 workout programs making it the machine with the highest number of programs on our list.
Elliptical machines designed for home use usually have a smaller weight capacity compared to their commercial counterpart. But it’s extremely important to consider the weight capacity of the machine before making a purchase.
Most elliptical machines can accommodate body weight ranging from 220-400lb (220lb being for lightweight users and the latter for heavier people).
The Horizon Fitness and Exerpeutic 1000XL models have the highest weight capacity of 300lb compared to the rest of the units. If you want a machine with a lower weight capacity, the Efitment Magnetic Elliptical machine which has a 220lb weight capacity will suffice. Make sure that you pick an elliptical that can accommodate your body weight with ease.
Thankfully most modern elliptical machines come with an LCD display screen. This is evidenced by how all the models on our list feature an LCD screen. Otherwise how else will you keep track of your fitness goals? The screen displays crucial information during your workout such as the number of calories burned, heart rate and pulse rate. But not just any LCD screen will do. Make sure that it’s easy to read and displays information clearly. If you can get a screen with a backlight that’ll definitely come in handy if you’re using the machine in low-light situations. Other manufacturers take it a step further by including a screen designed for dual track LCD display. The Nautilus E614 is one such example that comes with this feature.
Dimensions and Weight
Generally, elliptical machines designed for home use are usually smaller and more compact than those found in your local gyms. But it’s still important to consider the weight of the machine as it largely affects portability. Will you be moving the unit around from one room to the next or will it be stationed in one position? If you’ll be moving the elliptical around, then purchasing a smaller unit such as Exerpeutic 1000XL elliptical which weighs only 76lb will make the task much easier. You’re likely to have a hard time dragging around the Horizon Fitness model which weighs 187lb making it the heaviest on our list.
Also, consider the dimensions after assembly in relation to available space. Do you have limited room? Opt for a small unit such as the Efitment Magnetic Elliptical that won’t further cramp up your space. If you have more space to work with, then feel free to purchase a larger model like the Horizon Fitness EX-59.
To get the most out of your workout, picking an elliptical that features an adjustable incline is recommended. This way you can add variety to your routine as you target different muscle groups at any given time. Monotonous workouts can quickly get boring. An elliptical machine with this feature will certainly spice things up and enhance your motivation.
A well designed elliptical allows for smooth and quiet operation. And that’s regardless of the intensity levels at which you’re operating the machine. A noisy machine interferes with your background music (if you have any) and it’s downright annoying for you & people nearby. The Horizon Fitness elliptical is one of the quietest models on our list.
We’re certainly not keen on purchasing elliptical trainers that have numerous features that offer no real value. However, there are a few extra features that we consider to be very useful and well worth the additional cost of the unit such as the following:
- Bluetooth Connectivity: Exercise is always better with a little background music or even your favorite series playing on the TV in front of you. If that’s how you imagine your exercise on your elliptical to be, then pick one that allows for Bluetooth Connectivity like the Horizon Fitness EX-59. This way you can connect your device to the machine and listen to your favorite playlist while you work out.
- Built-in speakers: By purchasing an elliptical with built-in speakers, you’ll significantly enhance your workout experience making it more fun and engaging.
- Device holder: Where will you place your device, you might ask? Opting for an elliptical with a device holder such as the Sunny Health & Fitness elliptical will take care of your device handling concerns.
- USB charging port: Other models like the Horizon Fitness EX-59 include a rapid USB charging port so you can keep your device charged up.
- Mat: Some manufactures even include a fold mat with the unit. The Exerpeutic 1000XL is one such example that comes with this mat. The mat is designed to minimize noise and protect your floors from friction caused by the machine during use.
- Wheels: Wheels on an elliptical are particularly valuable when you have to move the machine around. The task is certainly made a whole lot easier. You definitely won’t be struggling to move your Efitment Magnetic Elliptical machine around since it features wheels.
- Non slip foot pedal: Grip and balance while you pedal away are crucial to avoid slipping from your elliptical. The manufacturers of the Sunny Health & Fitness elliptical understand this which is why they incorporated non-slip foot pedals on the machine.
- Cooling fan: A fan to wick the sweat away will definitely come in handy if you’ve been training on your elliptical for hours.
- Bottle holder: Of course a unit that has provision for your water bottle is always appreciated. You won’t have to take frequent water breaks to and from the kitchen.
As previously stated, all elliptical trainers on our list are below 700, and there are even cheaper options, such as ellipticals under 600 or 500. But of course, you need to pick a product that suits your budget. How much are you willing to spend? Naturally, elliptical machines with a higher price tag come with more features, as, for example any of the best elliptical under 1500 options. Also, you don’t have to worry about sacrificing important factors such as quality, performance and durability. The afore-mentioned might be the biggest trade-off to purchasing a cheaper unit. But always make sure that you pick a unit that has the features you need and will use. This way you don’t have to pay more than you need to for unnecessary features.
Product malfunctions aren’t uncommon even with elliptical machines. Having your new unit break down a few months after purchase can certainly be disheartening. That’s even more so if the product isn’t covered by any warranty whatsoever. To avoid this kind of disappointment, pick a machine that’s covered by a reasonable warranty period. Besides, a warranty on a product is a clear indication of how confident the manufacturer is in that particular unit. Also, determine if the warranty covers mechanism only, machine parts or just the frame? Always read the fine print to avoid any unpleasant surprises.