Welcome to HomeCrossTrainerReviews.com, your guide to the best in elliptical machines for the fitness enthusiast or workout newbie alike. No matter who you are, you’ve likely found your way to us as someone who wants to work out at home on a cross trainer. You’re in the right place!
Our reviews will introduce you to everything you need to know about elliptical cross trainers, the best brands and ways to get the most from your workout. Sound good? Let’s jump straight in.
- 1 Best Cross Trainer in 2017
- 2 Top 10 Cross Trainer Reviews In 2017
- 3 Repairs And Maintenance
- 4 Muscle Groups Used In A Cross Trainer Workout
- 5 Fitness On A Budget
- 6 Fitness For Beginners
- 7 Benefits Of Training At Home
- 8 Elliptical Trainer Classes
- 9 Cross Trainer Buying Guide
Best Cross Trainer in 2017
We are going to have a brief look at what we think are the best cross trainers for 2017. The table lists the cross trainers with a short feature list and price range. From this you can narrow down two or three that suit your needs – just click the read more link to see a more detailed summary, and even a full and in depth review:
|JTX Strider X7 Magnetic||Mid-Range
|Reebok GX50 One Series||Mid-Range
|Reebok ZR10 ||Mid-Range
|JTX Tri Fit||Mid-Range
|JTX Transition Folding||Premium Range
|Octane Q47xi Adjustable Stride||Pro Range
|JTX Zenith Superior||Premium Range
|NordicTrack Elite 12.5 Elliptical||Premium Range
|JTX 2 in 1||Mid-Range
|Reebok ZR8||Budget Range
Top 10 Cross Trainer Reviews In 2017
Now we’ve listed those top rated machines, it’s important to go into a little more detail about just what it is that makes them so appealing compared to the vast number of alternatives out there on the market. Just below, you’ll find much more detail about each of those top ten cross trainers, in the form of a mini review for each model. We hope that will give you a better idea about which ones are best suited for your needs and budget, and from there you can check pricing and see more detail, either in our full review section, or from the huge amount of data collected by Amazon if you’re in the mood for it!
So, let’s delve into a lot more detail about that top ten…
JTX Strider X7 Magnetic
Our highest placed elliptical machine is the JTX Strider X7 Magnetic cross trainer. It’s a very popular choice with fitness newbies and experienced gym-goers alike, with its highly configurable feature list that is controlled via a simple touch screen, which will feel familiar out of the box as it’s similar in use to a smartphone.
As it’s configured in such a simple way, it’s not too confusing when you first get started, as you can get underway with the X7’s defaults, and as you become more used to the machine, you can get more adventurous and fine tune your workouts to your needs. In terms of the default programs out of the box, there are twenty one to choose from, ranging from low effort sessions for people just beginning on their journey to fitness, right up to high effort cycles to really get the heart pumping, even if you’re in peak physical shape!
In addition to the electronic programs, the X7 also features variable magnetic resistance, which allows you to work within a wide range of resistance settings. In layman’s terms, that’s changing the difficulty in keeping going through your workout by modifying the effort needed to keep moving. Think of it in the same way as running downhill being easiest, with running on a flat surface in the middle, and steep uphill inclines being much harder. Of course, there’s no real uphill training involved, you can increase and decrease the resistance as needed during your workout.
While this isn’t as versatile as some of the really expensive machines (see the Octane below for a price reality check!), this ticks a lot of boxes for a wide range of people, ranging from those who are overweight and starting from a very low fitness level right up to people who are super fit that want to stay in shape at home. There’s not really such thing as a high quality ‘cheap’ home cross trainer, but this is probably as close as you’re likely to get!
If this sounds like the right elliptical machine for you, read our JTX Strider X7 review, or check out the latest price:
Reebok GX50 One Series
If you’re not really familiar with the fitness world, you may not have heard of JTX Fitness before when you read about the Strider X7, but we’re confident that virtually everyone will know the Reebok name. While many of us think of trainers, Reebok are actually huge across almost every type of fitness product you can think of, and cross trainers are no exception.
If you’re the sort of person that likes to buy branded goods in order to feel confident in a known name, this may well tip the balance for you over the JTX Strider X7 elliptical machine. They’re both in a similar price bracket, so the fact that this falls into a close second should demonstrate that we don’t think that you get quite as much for your money with the Reebok, and it’s probably going to appeal more to those of lower fitness than those who really push themselves. We say that because it’s not got the same level of workout customisation available, and doesn’t have quite the same feel of sturdiness (you can even tell that from the picture!).
Buying the GX50 will get you a good entry level cross trainer, offering adjustable resistance, so that you can start with a fairly easy to manage workout. It’s then possible to slowly work harder as the weeks progress to improve your strength and stamina, and this elliptical machine is more than capable of guiding you up to a healthy level of fitness. Like the JTX model above, it’s got multiple workout programs built in, accessed via a control panel and display screen. What it doesn’t have, though, is quite the same level of configuration to really fine tune things, or take you up to a higher level of fitness on its own.
We believe this is the right choice for people that need to get into shape, but aren’t to bothered about whether they take their fitness routine too much further. More specifically, if you’re looking for something to use every day rather than two or three times a week, look at the JTX Strider above, or one of the more expensive machines.
For more on this popular choice, here’s our complete Reebok GX50 review.
Following close behind their GX50 is the ZR10 cross trainer by Reebok.
Something you’ll notice straight away if you see these side by side is that this machine doesn’t need power. It’s a self generating machine, meaning that your workout generates the energy needed to operate to cross trainer (the power is also also stored via rechargeable batteries). It’s a really nice feature, and adds a whole level of versatility to this machine. For example, you’ll be able to use it as part of a garage based home gym if you wish, even if there’s no power sockets available. In fact, for this reason, you can use it anywhere you like! In the unlikely event that you do find yourself with flat batteries though, you can still use an adaptor to charge it up if needed before you start your workout.
On to the fitness matters, this model provides 32 resistance settings, along with twelve programs for workout sessions, controlled via the panel between the handlebars. It’s operated with simple buttons that run across the bottom of the control panel underneath the LCD display. All in all, it’s an easy to use machine, that generally retails at a slightly higher price than the GX50 above. Where it really shines is the lack of a need for power.
Learn more in our in depth Reebok ZR10 review.
Our second product in the top ten from JTX Fitness is the Tri-Fit. This is probably best suited to those that want to replicate the gym experience at home, and are prepared to pay a little more for that step up in quality.
The JTX Tri-Fit is a machine that effectively bridges the gap in the market between home and gym targeted cross trainers – offering a lot more than the rest of the models we’re covering on this page, with the exception of the high end gym elliptical trainers from Octane.
Where you really notice the difference above and beyond the equipment we’ve covered above is the extra level of customisation available, beyond the resistance adjustments and varying degrees of exertion required to complete the programs.
For example, with this cross trainer, you’re moving into personalised workouts at an increased level, such as the adjustable stride length, allowing multiple users to easily use the same machine. This is particularly effective if you have two or more adults at home wanting to work out – especially if they are significantly differing in height. What’s more, that’s going to be more comfortable for individual use too – to illustrate – a walking stride is likely to be significantly shorting than a running stride.
So, while the previous cross trainer models are great, for a multi person household exercising regularly – the JTX Tri-Fit cross trainer makes a great choice. There’s more detail in our full JTX Tri-Fit review.
JTX Transition Folding
Hot on the heels of the Tri-Fit comes another great machine from the same company – the JTX Folding Transition cross trainer.
You might be starting to notice a theme in our top five – we’re trying to provide a quick reference guide for varying needs. This time, the elliptical machine will appeal to households with limited storage space available, as you may have guessed from the name.
Again, it’s a little pricier that some of the top ranking equipment, and the reason for that is you’re paying for the convenience of the fold down machine. In terms of other functionality, a lot of the Folding Transition’s features are similar to that of the Tri-Fit, including the variable stride mentioned above. The programming of your workout is done via the built in LCD display panel, giving the easy and intuitive JTX feel to this choice of trainer.
Fortunately, JTX have managed to create a piece of equipment that still has a sturdy feel to it – sometimes this type of folding equipment can have a tendency to feel less robust than alternatives that remain fully assembled when not in use. Of course, it’s an unnecessary extra expense if you have plenty of space available to use in your home, so it’s only really a sensible consideration for those homes that require the machine to be folded away after use.
Get the lowdown on this fold down equipment in our detailed JTX Transition review.
Octane Q47xi Adjustable Stride
It was a bit of a dilemma for us in deciding whether to include such a pricey option in the top ten, but ultimately concluded that we needed to reflect the full market, so one spot should be given to a really high end machine.
As we alluded to previously, the Octane machines are far more likely to be found in professional gyms that in homes, but there’s nothing to stop you buying one if you have the money and inclination.
While there’s a clear step up here in quality and performance, we want to be clear that the reason it’s in the bottom half of the table is quite simply price. It’s way out of the bound of what’s sensible for a piece of home gym equipment, so unless money really is no object, go for one of the above options and decide based on our recommendations in the detailed reviews.
All that said, the Octane Q47xi provides everything you could reasonably expect a cross trainer to do for you and more, with the obvious exception of the workout itself! It’s got a range of monitoring tools to provide information to you about your workout, even to the point that it monitors your heart rate so that you can tailor your workout perfectly.
It’s got more preset workouts that you are ever likely to use, and the machine itself is highly configurable, allowing you to customise the action when in use to your individual body needs.
In summary, it’s expensive, but it’s good!
The complete Octane Q47xi review will give you more information.
JTX Zenith Superior Elliptical
Back to a familiar name if you’re working your way down the page. JTX have their final dedicated cross trainer entry with the Zenith Superior elliptical machine (although there’s a 2 in 1 further down for those of you who like to mix up your workouts with a bit of bike time).
It has been pushed a lot further down the page form the others in the JTX range because it doesn’t offer a lot in addition to the Strider X7 or the Tri-Fit, yet comes with a price tag to rival the Tranisition folding cross trainer. In truth, there’s not the same feel with this machine as those featured above that it has a ‘place’ in the market. The others all have a clear appeal, either being a great all rounder, a high level customisable choice for fitness enthusiasts or aimed at those with limited space.
All that said, this machine still stacks up well against other brands. In a way, the lower placing shows that the Zenith is actually a victim of the other JTX machines’ success. What you do get here is a varied set of workout programs on a well built and sturdy piece of home gym equipment. There’s the heart rate monitor to fine tune your exercise, a clear and easy to use screen and control interface too.
If we had to define a market for this one, it would have to be for those that can afford a little more and want to spend a bit more. Where some might put that extra money into a well known all rounder brand, this is more likely to be a buy for someone looking to buy a machine from a company that really specialise in cardio equipment, and cross trainers in particular.
Read more about this elliptical machine in our detailed JTX Zenith review.
Repairs And Maintenance
If you are spending a lot of money on a mid to high range cross trainer it is wise to check out how easy it is to get spare parts and how long the guarantee period is to cover faults. If you use your trainer a lot, the chances are that at some point it will need a service or repair. The moving parts inside these machines come under quite a lot of strain if used regularly.
When you are looking at the different models that look similar but are more expensive it is often the inner workings that are more robust. The more expensive models will (in general) have heavier fly wheels and stronger linkages that provide a smoother motion while training and will last longer. If you think you will use it regularly it is worth going for a more expensive model as you could save a lot of money in repairs over a couple of years or more.
There are plenty of companies around that provide support for gym equipment and a lot of firms that build home gym equipment will support them as well. Companies like JTX Fitness have their own engineers that will come out to your home to fix any problems that may occur.
When you are looking at making your purchase it is a good idea to get a good idea of how the warranty works. If you buy some of the mid to high range JTX cross trainers you will get a 2 year in-home warranty. Any problems during this time will be sorted out by a specialist engineer that visits.
Muscle Groups Used In A Cross Trainer Workout
One really good thing about using a cross trainer is that fact that is works a lot of muscle groups around your body. Equipment like exercise bikes concentrate on one area, the ellipticals however, give you a much more well rounded tone up. The action requires you to work hard with your arms, legs and core muscles.
Pushing hard with your arms then pulling back the levers will give you a good workout of your upper body working the pectorals, deltoids, triceps, biceps and trapezius muscles. When you are training it is up to you how hard you work your arms. You can use them less and concentrate on your legs or really push hard with the upper body muscles.
These are the group of muscles that many of us are looking to work on, giving us a great body shape. This muscle group sits around the bum and top of them legs. They are made up of the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles. Sitting at the top of your legs and around your buttocks these muscles are worked very hard during a session. They are key to moving your legs and getting the trainer moving. The harder the programs you work on the more you will tone this group of muscles.
Your thigh muscle groups will work hard with the motion of pushing and pulling up your legs. The quadriceps and hamstring groups of muscles will work hard to keep your legs moving. By lifting your legs as well as pushing down while training you will get a good balance between these muscle groups. Exercise bikes tend to target this muscle group rather then give you a more well rounded workout that a cross trainer offers.
Core strength is so important for every part of our life and exercise in general. It will give you good posture and the ability to train for longer and harder. Often it is not seen as much as other muscles like the biceps but is very important. The core focuses around the abdominal group of muscles and goes deep beneath the surface. These muscles will be working all of the time while you are training and the more tired you get the harder they have to work. By toning this group of muscles you will get a good flat tummy. Something most of us are looking to achieve!
Fitness On A Budget
Keeping fit can be a very daunting and expensive task. We are all bombarded with the latest technology that claims to help you in your quest for fitness. When you looking at all of the gadgets and pieces of fitness equipment it can be hard to choose.
A lot of sports equipment and club memberships can cost a lot, so any sports and fitness supplements need to be value for money.
A cross trainer is a great way to spend your money of you are looking to buy one piece of equipment that is not too expensive. It will work for your body hard and add to your fitness while not putting too much pressure on your joints. The all round cardiovascular benefits will help with most sports and general fitness.
The different types of fitness programs you will have at your disposal means you can target the sort of fitness you want to aim at.
Fitness For Beginners
If you are new to fitness we highly recommend that you purchase a cross trainer as your first piece of equipment. Our elliptical cross trainer reviews give you a good view of some of the best models available in 2016.
When you are starting out it is a good idea to build your all round fitness. Building up your cardiovascular fitness will put you in a good position to take on other exercises as you move forward.
There is nothing worse than dragging yourself around the local streets on a run when you are not really up to it. You feel very self conscious and it is not going to be an enjoyable experience. With a good elliptical trainer set up at home you can spend a few months building your fitness and finding your level. Once you feel ready to go out and have a run you will be confident and a lot more focused on the job at hand.
Because the pressure on the joints is low you will find the elliptical workouts a lot more comfortable as you get used to training. You may not be the most flexible person when you are starting out so a gentle approach could well be the way forward.
Cross trainers are fast becoming one of the most popular machines in the gym and that is for good reason. People enjoy training on them, they are great for beginners and athletes alike.
Injury Rehabilitation On An Elliptical Machine
Many of us that participate in sports will have been injured from time to time. We face a good amount of time not being able to do the sport we love couple with a battle to keep fit and fix the injured area.
Elliptical trainers have become a very important tool for an athlete’s battle to get back to fitness. The low impact sessions allow muscle groups to be worked and gently brought back to a strong state without hammering the joints with repetitive impacts. It is worth bearing in mind though, that whilst you will not be compacting the joints there is still a lot of movement in the joints from the motion that needs to be thought about.
Runners that have injuries such as hamstring strains use cross trainers a lot to maintain cardiovascular fitness and work the affected muscles. If you have damaged a knee joint or shoulder it would be wise to talk to a physiotherapist before hopping onto an exercise machine for your rehab.
Many of the programs are set to be long low intensity work outs. These can be great for strengthening muscles as the strain on the muscles is low but the repetitive nature of the workout gives great strength. All in all the cross trainer is great for injured people in general looking to get moving, but get yourself checked out first!
Benefits Of Training At Home
There are so many benefits of having home gym equipment and in particular an elliptical trainer.
Modern life is very busy and most of us rush form one thing to another. The one thing that really suffers is our fitness. We all have great plans of how we will train a number of times a week, but how often does your training time get pushed to the back of the queue? Probably very often, going out to the gym once you have got home from a hard day at work is often a chore or you don’t have time. Your fitness routine is finished before you have even started.
By having an elliptical machine at home you can train whenever you like, and for how long you like. A cross trainer will fit nicely into a bedroom, shed or garage. You can hop on at any time to train when you can are free. The various programs are of differing length or you can set your own programs. You will have far fewer reasons to not train!
If you have very active life and are looking for a few quick workouts during the week to add to your fitness a cross trainer at home would also be great. You don’t have to go out again to train you can quickly work up a sweat and then get in some relaxing time from your busy schedule. All of the cross trainer reviews in our top ten are suitable for home use.
Elliptical Trainer Classes
With a massive boom in the amount of elliptical trainers being used in gyms and at home it is no surprise that you will be able to attend classes and group sessions at your gym. You can book in at some gyms to work out in a group, being pushed really hard by an instructor to get the most out of the workout. You will always work that bit harder when someone is putting pressure on you!
If you start to really enjoy using your elliptical trainer it is well worth going along to a class or getting some specialist advice from a trainer to get the most from your training. As well as using the programs on the machine for each workout you will be able to get weekly fitness schedules that really work to improve fitness. As you start to get fitter these can be increased.
As with all training it’s great to get advice and maximise the effectiveness of the time on the trainer. It is sometimes easy to do a lot of easy miles, it only takes some small tweaks to make them effective and improve your fitness.
Cross Trainer Buying Guide
This site is designed to help you make a decision on which cross trainer to purchase and why you should purchase one. A buyer’s guide is all about providing the most information possible about the products and how they fit into your lifestyles.
Our cross trainer reviews are aimed at specific models that will give you a lot of detail on the features and how they can work for you. As a buyers guide these are pretty good at pointing you towards the best model.
On our home page you will find a mix of product overviews and general cross trainer information that will help you decide is, firstly, an elliptical is for you, and secondly, which one.
All of this information should hopefully come together to give you a great cross trainer buyers guide. Even if our site makes you realise that they are not for you, it has done its job.