Elliptical machines have become a popular choice for individuals seeking effective cardio workouts while minimizing the impact on their joints. These versatile fitness devices provide an excellent option for those looking to boost their cardiovascular fitness without subjecting their bodies to the stress associated with high-impact activities. Here are some of the top benefits of using an elliptical:

  • Low-Impact Exercise – Ellipticals offer a smooth and fluid motion that reduces the impact on your knees, hips, and lower back, making them ideal for individuals with joint issues or those recovering from injuries
  • Full-Body Workout – Using both the arms and legs, ellipticals engage multiple muscle groups, providing a comprehensive workout that can help you tone and strengthen your entire body
  • Cardiovascular Health – Regular elliptical workouts can improve heart health by elevating your heart rate, enhancing endurance, and promoting efficient circulation
  • Calorie Burn – Ellipticals allow for intense workouts that burn a significant number of calories, making them a valuable tool for weight management and fat loss
  • Customizable Resistance – Many ellipticals offer adjustable resistance levels, allowing you to tailor your workout intensity to your fitness goals and preferences
  • Forward and Reverse Motion – The ability to pedal both forward and in reverse on an elliptical can target different muscle groups and add variety to your routine
  • Low Learning Curve – Ellipticals are user-friendly and require minimal coordination, making them accessible to people of various fitness levels, including beginners
  • Monitoring and Tracking – Most modern ellipticals come equipped with consoles that track essential workout metrics like time, distance, speed, and calories burned, helping you stay on top of your progress
  • Versatility – Whether you prefer steady-state cardio, interval training, or hill climbs, ellipticals offer a wide range of workout options to keep your fitness routine engaging and effective
  • Quiet and Space-Efficient – Ellipticals are relatively quiet during operation and are compact, making them suitable for home use without causing disturbances or taking up too much space
  • Low Risk of Overuse Injuries – Due to their low-impact nature, ellipticals reduce the risk of overuse injuries that can be associated with activities like running or jumping

Even with all these benefits, some users may still find these machines to be troublesome for sensitive joints, muscle groups, physical limitations, or existing injuries. These individuals may be looking for low-impact cardio alternatives to elliptical machines, and there are several effective options to consider.

When choosing an alternative to ellipticals, it’s essential to consider your specific needs, preferences, and any existing physical limitations. Always consult with a healthcare professional or fitness expert to determine which low-impact option is best suited for your individual circumstances. With all that being said, here are the best elliptical alternatives.

Precor EFX 835 Commercial Series Elliptical Cross Trainer 

Precor EFX 835 Commercial Series Elliptical Cross Trainer on a white background.

Don’t be fooled by the name. This machine is more cross-trainer than elliptical for a more natural motion. This wonderful low-impact elliptical alternative, the Precor EFX 835 Commercial Series Elliptical Cross Trainer, stands out. Designed to combine reliability, ease of use, and a natural converging stride path, this elliptical offers an excellent low-impact exercise option. One of its distinctive features is the adjustable converging CrossRamp technology. With ramp inclines ranging from 10 to 35 degrees, you can target different muscle groups, providing a versatile and effective workout. The converging stride path naturally follows the footpath toward the midline of the body, mirroring the experience of walking or running.

Additionally, the EFX 835 features moving handlebars that engage the upper body with both push and pull motions, delivering a total body workout. This not only enhances the overall workout experience but also provides more comprehensive fitness benefits. The P30 console is designed for user-friendly motion controls and an LED-based display that focuses on essential fitness statistics. This ensures that users can stay informed and engaged during their workouts.

Top Reason to Buy: The Precor EFX 835 Commercial Series Elliptical Cross Trainer is an excellent choice for those seeking a low-impact exercise option. With its natural converging stride path and adjustable CrossRamp technology, it offers an effective way to target different muscle groups while keeping things easy on the joints. The addition of upper body moving handlebars and a user-friendly console makes it a well-rounded elliptical alternative for low-impact, total body workouts. One of the best elliptical alternatives available today.

Cybex 750AT Total Body Arc Trainer 

Cybex 750AT Total Body Arc Trainer on a white background.

The Cybex 750AT Arc Trainer is an exceptional elliptical alternative designed for those who demand a total body cross-training workout. It’s the ideal choice for individuals seeking an efficient and effective cardio and strength training machine, both in a demanding commercial gym setting and for fitness enthusiasts at home. What sets the Cybex 750AT apart is its versatility. It serves as a versatile machine suitable for beginners and advanced cross-trainers alike, making it an excellent investment for fitness centers. With a focus on cross-training, this machine allows users to work various parts of their bodies by combining exercises in different ways, which is a more holistic approach compared to traditional ellipticals. It’s worth noting that while all ellipticals are cross-trainers, not all cross-trainers are ellipticals.

The Cybex 750AT is a calorie-burning powerhouse. Research has shown that it burns more calories than most other cross-trainers or ellipticals. This is due to its unique Arc motion, which engages the quads and glutes, demanding significant energy from the body and resulting in substantial calorie burn. Notably, this intense calorie burn doesn’t put excessive strain on the joints, knees, hips, or back, making it suitable for longer workouts. In essence, the Cybex Arc Trainer is three machines in one, offering a range of incline and resistance levels. At lower inclines, it mimics a cross-country skier’s motion, providing a gliding experience. In the mid-range levels, it offers a striding motion, similar to an elliptical but with improved positioning. At higher inclines, it simulates the climbing motion of a stepper or climber.

Top Reason to Buy: The Cybex 750AT Arc Trainer is an outstanding elliptical alternative that delivers a total body cross-training workout. It burns more calories than most other machines, offers versatility, and doesn’t strain the joints. Whether you’re looking for a challenging workout in a commercial gym or a home fitness solution, the 750AT is your answer. Truly one of the best elliptical alternatives on the market today.

Teeter FreeStep LT3 – Recumbent Cross Trainer

Teeter FreeStep LT3 - Recumbent Cross Trainer on a white background.

The Teeter FreeStep LT3 Recumbent Cross Trainer is a remarkable elliptical alternative designed to provide a comfortable and effective total-body workout while minimizing impact on joints. It’s an excellent choice for individuals of all fitness levels, including those who may be dealing with conditions like Arthritis, Parkinson’s, or MS. The LT3 comes with several premium features that enhance the user experience. Upgraded UltraGlide Bearings ensure smooth and frictionless motion, offering a seamless start and transition during workouts. The SoftStep Pedals feature a durable grip surface, providing added traction and control. The ComfortSelect Seat offers more positioning options and greater comfort. The SureGrip handles have a high-grade polyurethane coating for unmatched durability.

One of the key highlights of the Teeter FreeStep LT3 is its zero-impact exercise. This recumbent cross trainer combines a smooth stepping motion with a comfortable seated position, resulting in a total body, fat-burning cardio workout without placing stress on the joints and back. This makes it an excellent choice for individuals with joint-related issues. The machine offers a whisper-quiet and fluid stride that mimics natural linear striding motion, ensuring joint and knee protection. With 13 levels of smooth magnetic resistance, you can easily adjust the intensity of your workout by turning a simple dial.

The Teeter FreeStep LT3 delivers a total body workout by engaging both the upper and lower body through dual power motion. This means you can distribute muscle exertion evenly and achieve an efficient and effective workout that targets all major muscle groups. You can choose to isolate your legs or arms to add variety to your exercise routine. In terms of engineering, the FreeStep LT3 is designed for durability with its friction-free linkage system, ensuring long-lasting use. It has a low-profile footprint, making it suitable for home use with a 54″ x 38″ design. The digital console is easy to read, and it operates cord-free for hassle-free tracking of your workout progress. Additionally, the machine comes with a device stand, water bottle holder, and convenient transport wheels.

Top Reason to Buy: Outstanding choice for individuals looking for a lower-impact alternative to traditional ellipticals. Its premium features, whisper-quiet operation, and zero-impact exercise make it suitable for users with joint concerns. Enjoy a total body workout with the Teeter FreeStep LT3 while minimizing the stress on your joints and back.

Gazelle Total Body Glider

Gazelle Total Body Glider on a white background.

Yes, that’s right. That minimalist-looking piece of equipment from those wonderful ’80s infomercials actually is a solid elliptical alternative cardio machine. The Gazelle Total Body Glider offers a convenient and efficient solution for achieving a comprehensive total body workout in the comfort of your own home. This fitness glider boasts a low-impact design, making it suitable for users of various fitness levels, as it’s gentle on your arms, legs, and joints. One of the key advantages of the Gazelle Total Body Glider is that it provides multiple exercises within a single workout machine. With six different exercises available, you can target various muscle groups while enjoying a combined cardio and strength training session.

The gliding motion of this machine effectively engages both upper and lower body muscle groups, helping you burn calories and improve cardiovascular function. It’s a versatile option for those looking to enhance their fitness journey without the need for multiple pieces of equipment. The basic fitness computer integrated into the Gazelle Total Body Glider allows you to monitor and enhance your workout experience. It tracks essential metrics like calories burned, distance covered, time elapsed, and speed attained, giving you the information needed to measure your progress.

This glider is durably constructed with steel, rubber, and plastic, ensuring stability and longevity during every use. When not in use, it conveniently folds flat for easy and compact storage, making it a space-efficient addition to your home gym.

Top Reason to Buy: Excellent choice for those seeking an affordable and space-efficient fitness machine that offers both cardiovascular benefits and strength training. With its low-impact design and multiple exercise options, it’s a versatile addition to your home gym.

HCI Fitness PhysioStep LXT-700 Recumbent Cross Trainer 

HCI Fitness PhysioStep LXT-700 Recumbent Cross Trainer on a white background.

The HCI Fitness PhysioStep LXT-700 Recumbent Cross Trainer is a versatile and low-impact fitness machine designed to provide a comprehensive total body workout while accommodating users of various fitness levels. It’s a patented recumbent linear stepper that offers a unique exercise experience. Key features of the HCI Fitness PhysioStep LXT-700 include a natural 2:1 stepping motion that minimizes the impact on joints and a comfortable ergonomic seat, making it ideal for users who may require a gentler exercise experience.

One standout feature is its premium 360° swivel seat, complete with an oversized 20″ orthopedic foam seat cushion and lumbar support. The swivel handle makes it easy for users to transfer in and out of the machine. The seat’s slide and recline can be adjusted to fit a wide range of users, from 4’6″ to 6’4″, with a maximum weight capacity of up to 400 pounds. The adjustable display is another highlight, featuring a telescopic tilt display with a large 9-inch color-coded screen. It provides easy-to-read workout data, making it simple to track your progress. You can start your workout quickly using the Quick Start option or select from 19 workout programs to keep your exercise routine varied.

The HCI Fitness PhysioStep LXT-700 is built with a compact design suitable for home use. Its full commercial-grade construction ensures durability. The rear roller wheels make it easy to move the machine, and its footprint (2.5′ x 5′) is compact enough to fit in most rooms. The machine also features wide-ranging resistance levels from 1 to 32, making it suitable for users with different fitness goals.

Top Reason to Buy: A low-impact and versatile fitness machine, especially if you have mobility concerns. The combination of ergonomic design, adjustable features, and an inclusive weight capacity make it suitable for a wide range of users. With 19 workout programs, this recumbent cross trainer provides a total body workout that can be adapted to various fitness levels.