Best Cross Trainers – A Buyer’s Guide
Cross training has become an integral component of modern workouts. Ensuring a well-balanced as well as grounded fitness level throughout, cross training is best carried out with the help of a dedicated cross training machine or elliptical trainer by your side. If you intend on working out from the comfort of your home, cross trainers can help in providing an effective as well as a low-impact form of exercise, meaning it can be kinder on your joints than other forms of exercise and therefore means it should be sustainable over long periods of time. If you are a newbie or even a more experienced user who wants to work out from your home then our ‘best cross trainers’ guide is for you.
Cross trainers help in building the core strength of your body as they cause your torso to twist slightly –allowing your body to burn more calories and offering more engagement of your core muscles. If you wish to improve the overall cardiovascular fitness of your body, at-home cross trainers are one of the best all-in-one options out there. With a wide range of cross trainers available out there on the market, it sometimes becomes an overwhelming task to choose the best.
Reasons to Buy a Cross Trainer
Cross trainers are regarded as the best cardiovascular training equipment. But, the question arises, “Why use a cross trainer in place of an exercise bike or a treadmill?” Here are some top reasons to bring home a top of the range cross trainer for yourself:
- Comprehensive Workout: Unlike working out on a treadmill or exercise bike, an elliptical trainer that comes along with arms, is known to work on your entire body, including quadriceps, calves, core muscles, biceps, and other smaller muscles. The comprehensive workout session increases the total amount of calories burnt. As far as the workout of the upper body is concerned, when you pull & push the handles of the arms, it turns into a full-body workout.
- A Wide Range of Workouts: As you adjust the resistance of the cross trainer, you can diversify your workout session seamlessly. With the lowest setting of the resistance resembling a brisk walk, the highest resistance value of the cross trainer is known to imply running a steep hill. Cross trainers are also increasingly used for HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Some of the best models are also known to adjust the intensity in relation to your heart rate.
- Low Impact Exercises: Using a cross trainer serves to be a form of low impact exercise when compared to other forms of exercise such as running on a treadmill. This serves to be a perfect form of exercise –especially when you have joint pain or are prone to issues with your joints. A cross trainer is also a great option when you wish to minimise the overall risks of developing joint pain in later life or take rest from a day of running. A cross trainer is known to be beneficial for your heart rate, just like running on a treadmill.
- Activation of the Glute Muscles: Most of the western form of gym-based exercises are not known to activate the glute muscles. When you tend to sit a lot, it allows the glute muscles to enter into the stage of “sleep.” As per a recent study, it has been observed that elliptical trainers are great for activating the glute muscles rather than running. At the same time, cross trainers are also known for strengthening external rotators in the hip region –ensuring balanced biomechanics.
Choosing the Right Cross Trainer
If you are looking for the best cross trainers in the market out there, here is a detailed guide of how to buy the best one:
- Resistance: Most of the advanced cross trainers are known to make use of magnetic resistance. The cheaper versions might come along with a mechanical control. Other models feature a specialised motor system allowing you to adjust the resistance levels through an on-board computer system.
- Length of the Stride: The longer the stride of the model is, the more intensity the given cross trainer is able to provide. Most of the cheap models out there are known to come with a short-length stride. If you are looking for a more effective workout, you should go for the one featuring a stride length of around 16” to 21”.
- Smoothness While Stepping: A high-quality elliptical trainer is known to feature a smooth stride as you take your steps. The smoothness factor of the machine is affected by features like the flywheel’s weight and drive train.
- Stability & Maximum Weight of the User: Make sure that you go for choosing the elliptical trainer featuring a maximum user weight capacity. This is to ensure that the workout machine turns out suitable for every member of your house. At the same time, the machine should also feature effective stabilisers such that there are no chances of the machine toppling over while performing an intense workout.
- Other Useful Features: While shopping for the best cross trainer for your home, you can come across a series of non-essential features that can enhance the overall usability of the machine. For instance, you can consider installing tablet holders on the machine to enjoy watching your favourite tv show or watching a motivational exercise video while exercising. You can even consider installing a drink holder to remain hydrated throughout the workout session.
Top Cross Trainers UK 2019
Since its inception in 1995 by a famous US-based company named “Precor,” the elliptical or cross trainers have gained huge momentum all across the world. The introduction of the cross trainers sparked the advent of the low-impact exercise era.
An elliptical or cross trainer features two large platforms that allow you to stand while rolling your feet from the heels to toe –whether you are running or walking. As you are not leaving the platforms, it causes zero to minimal impact on the joints & muscles. Unlike an exercise bike or a treadmill, the cross-body trainer is also known to work on the upper body with the help of two handles as you push them. In this buying guide, we will help you choose from some of the top models in the UK market.
Our top picks are:
Bowflex Max Trainer M5
If you are looking for a high-end model, this cross trainer is a good option. Featuring as a one-stop machine for your stair-climbing as well as elliptical benefits, this top-end cross trainer offers you the opportunity to engage in an intense workout. The 14-minute workout on this cross trainer helps in burning as much as 2.5 times more calories than any other standard model.
Additionally, the M5 elliptical trainer can also be integrated with your smartphone with the help of Bluetooth. Typically, this implies that you can sync the workouts –serving to be a vital function for those who wish to make use of the fitness apps while recording the exercise routines. The elliptical trainer offers as many as 16 resistance levels that are controlled by a computer system. Moreover, it also sports an interactive console featuring a blue-backlit LCD display for time, speed, distance, and others.
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Reebok GX40 One Electronic
If you are a beginner when it comes to cross training you would not typically need a model featuring adjustable stride, incline, and a hulking flywheel. However, you would not like to bring home a model merely going through the motions. With the all-new Reebok GX40 trainer, there is no potential danger as it is a sturdy cross trainer. Therefore, it is typically known to cover all the basics of cross training.
The cross trainer is known to feature an advanced 5-inch LED display for guiding you through a series of built-in workouts. There is also the presence of advanced console feedback on essential workout parameters like speed, calories, distance, and so more. The model is known to feature around 9K of flywheel along with 32-level tension control and an impressive 15-inch stride length. The model can go as fast as you can go.
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If you are looking for a high-quality incline cross trainer, this model by JTX is the perfect option. Incline cross-body trainers are considered perfect for those individuals who wish to target the core muscles of the body, along with focusing on the upper thighs. The JTX Tri-fit trainer also allows the users to be quite basic while ensuring the overall ease of using a home-based cross trainer.
The JTX Tri-fit model is known to feature as many as 3 different levels of an adjustable incline along with providing full control over the respective incline adjustments of the machine. As such, the machine offers the freedom to its users to independently change the overall stride length conveniently. The incline model by JTX is combined with the provision of a 17kg flywheel along with 16 levels of the revolutionary electromagnetic resistance and a 51cm stride length for improved performance. With JTX Tri-fit, you can be assured of having a complete suite of full-end body workout sessions at your feet.
The JTX Tri-fit model is also known to feature the computer capability of being connected through Bluetooth technology using the included iConsole app. This serves to be immensely useful in motivating thanks to its visual training as you continue to achieve the desired milestones.back to menu ↑
Bowflex BXE326 Results Series
If you are looking for an elliptical trainer with variable stride length, then this model by Bowflex is the perfect choice for you. Featuring an impressive 55.8cm stride length, the model allows you to switch from brisk walking to an all out intensive effort at the touch of a button. The impressive stride length of the model is ample to satisfy even the fastest runners out there.
The best feature of the cross trainer by Bowflex is that it comes fitted with motorised incline adjustments. This helps in delivering you a highly personalised workout session while featuring the hefty 19.5kg flywheel along with 25 varying levels of resistance. The model also comes equipped with the modern 9-inch LCD colour display for keeping a tab on major stats like telemetry heart rate, contact heart rate, heart rate monitoring and more with the help of a chest strap. Some of the additional features of this advanced trainer model are a USB charging port, 3-speed fan integration, MP3 plug-in, water bottle holder, speakers, four different user profiles, media tray, and useful transport wheels.back to menu ↑
NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE7i
While buying an elliptical trainer for your home-based workout space, the overall space is a major concern for the homeowners. While you might be looking for something that suits your small-space requirement, you might not easily come across the model that can be folded away to help you with space minimisation. The NordicTrack SpaceSaver model –as the name implies, helps you in saving ample space as you work out at your home-based gym. Once you are done with your exercise, you can simply fold the handles of the trainer while storing it upright in a wardrobe or other area.
In addition to its unique space-saving feature, the all-new trainer by NordicTrack is also great for running. The trainer is known to feature an impressive 46cm of stride length along with the presence of an oversized adjustable pedal, 22 level resistance, and a great incline to be adjusted to around 8 degrees. The NordicTrack elliptical trainer is also known to feature the 5-inch advanced backlit LED screen that provides guidance across as many as 24 built-in workouts. Some of the additional features of the cross trainer are the presence of a water & tablet holder, an auto breeze fan and an iFit Bluetooth connection.back to menu ↑
Proform 7.0 Cross Trainer
If you wish to keep track of your workout session rather than mindless pressing down and pulling, the magnetic resistance elliptical trainers are the best available options. The elliptical trainer model by Proform takes an impressive step by including additional features to the electromagnetic resistance model. Some of the additional features include target power output & real-time power output – both parameters clearly displayed on the innovative LED display screen for keeping track of the overall fitness goals.
The all-new magnetic resistance model of the cross trainer by Proform is known to feature as many as 22 levels of varying resistance along with 11kg of the flywheel and a 53cm stride length that can be adjusted. The trainer also features around 20 inches of the incline range and is therefore perfect for a dedicated trainer. There are as many as 29 built-in workout sessions in the Proform 7.0 that guide you to complete your workout session like a pro. You can also log into the LED screen of the machine to access Google Maps –allowing you to virtually run anywhere in the world.back to menu ↑
Hammer Crosstech XTR
If you are looking for a more budget cross trainer model, this is the best option under £500. Featuring a significant 16kg of the flywheel, the Hammer Crosstech XTR cross trainer comes equipped with as many as 16 levels of resistance along with 16 workouts that are built in. The wide number of built-in workout sessions is great for beginners and will even provide a good challenge for intermediate and some advanced users.
The adjustable loads on the trainer are available across 12 profiles. At the same time, 4 profiles of the trainer allow you to remain within the target range for your heart rate. This turns into optimal burning of calories which serves to be an impressive feature of the elliptical trainer. At the same time, the presence of multiple levels of resistance in the model allows you to move gradually from a simple one to a complex workout. The trainer has been combined with a significant 16kg of flywheel serving as one of the best features of this cross trainer.back to menu ↑
JTX Strider X7
JTX is regarded as one of the leading manufacturers as well as suppliers of high-quality cross trainers on the market. The JTX Strider X7 is no exception to its diverse range of high-quality fitness equipment. It is strategically categorised as one of the best sellers of their entire range. It is presented as a sturdy & durable machine that is complete with an advanced touchscreen LED screen to enhance your overall workout experience. The model is known to feature the revolutionary computer-based system along with an impressive collection of 21 built-in workout sessions, 16-inch stride length and as many as 16 levels of workout resistance for allowing you to switch to challenging workouts like a pro.
With the given price range, the all-new range of cross trainer by JTX Strider should serve as a good investment. Some of the additional features of this model are the presence of a large coloured touchscreen console and the provision of an outstanding full-body, low-impact workout.back to menu ↑
If you are in the price range of something below £300, then this model by JLL is a good investment for you. The model features an on-board computer system with as many as 9 multiple functions. There is the presence of a 5.5kg flywheel as well, along with multiple resistance levels. The JLL CT300 serves to be an affordable option for those who are not willing to go overboard when it comes to setting up a home-based gym area.
In addition to its impressive specifications, the model is also known to sport a built-in heart rate sensor along with an advanced tablet holder for delivering great convenience as you work out. The experts have also claimed the excellent performance of its myriad of resistance levels as it operates smoothly due to the presence of the 5.5kg of the 2-way flywheel. In the given price range, the model has the absence of any built-in workout programmes for the users.
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Pro XS Sports Trainer
This is yet another budget elliptical trainer and although it lacks some of the features of the other models listed above, it will suffice for beginners or those who are not going to be using it on a daily basis. The model is available for around £100 and serves to be a great option when it comes to an entry-level machine. This is the perfect option for those who are looking for something advanced yet on a tight budget. The model is known to feature the technology of adjustable resistance that offers the assurance of adjusting the tension as per your preference – on the basis of whether you are performing a low or high intensity workout.
The resistance of the trainer is controlled with the help of a flywheel driven chain, a tension dial, and an advanced belt resistance – something often found on entry-level trainer models. One of the major benefits of the revolutionary Pro XS Sports trainer is that it features the cutting-edge 2-in-1 functionality. This implies that this model is available with an adjustable seat. As such, this allows you to utilise the machine in the form of a stationary bike as well adding to the overall appeal of the trainer. In addition to this, the trainer also features the advanced LED display functionality which is used for displaying time, speed, distance traveled, and the number of calories burned at the same time. It is known for measuring the heart rate as well with the help of the hand sensors that are used for displaying your pulse rate on the respective screen.
If you plan to bring home an advanced cross trainer for yourself, it can serve to be a great way in achieving your fitness goals seamlessly. Right from getting the perfect body shape to being at the peak of your fitness levels, the high-quality elliptical trainers are the best choices for a home-based gym area. While it might become a challenging task to choose the right model for cross trainers in the market out there, this detailed guide can help you out. Depending on your fitness goals, pick the right one from our list!