To set up an at-home gym, you don’t need a mansion. Getting a nice workout (without taking up too much space) is possible with these small-space ellipticals. If the pandemic taught us anything about fitness, it’s that we don’t have to drag ourselves to the gym just to get a good exercise.
However, although strength training at home can be as simple as picking up a set of free weights (or even a collection of wine bottles), getting your daily dosage of cardio from your living room can be far more difficult. Sure, HIIT classes and jump rope sessions are fantastic, but if you’re searching for a lower-impact way to raise your heart rate, one of the best small-space elliptical trainers may be the way to go—even if you only have a few free feet to spare.
Ellipticals have a reputation for being “easier” cardio machines than, say, a treadmill or a spin class, but that isn’t the case, according to trainers. “Don’t be fooled by the elliptical machine,” Jacey Lambros, co-founder of Jane Do, told Well+Good earlier. “The elliptical is a total-body exercise that works your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, core, and upper back, depending on the choreography you choose. The elliptical’s appeal lies in the fact that you may choose which muscles to target and adjust the resistance.”
They’re wonderful for getting in a low-impact sweat that’s easy on your knees, and they have a “choose your own adventure” appeal in that you can adjust your speed, resistance, or training time to suit your demands. While you may believe that these advantages are only available at the gym (or at least to those who have the space for a full-fledged home gym), there are lots of space-saving choices that will only add a few inches to your living room.
With that in mind, we went online in search of the best small-space ellipticals available. There are choices out there that will fit in even the smallest studio apartment, whether you’re seeking to get some additional steps in at your desk or wishing for a full-blown sweat session. Continue scrolling to get your hands on them.
Find the best elliptical trainers for tiny spaces (ideal fapartments)
The best under-desk, low-cost elliptical machine
Inmotion Elliptical – Stamina 55-1602 – $99.00
Although this is a simple elliptical that takes up little space, it comes equipped with everything you’ll need to log 10,000 steps (or even more if you stand). It is portable, quiet, and efficient. Additionally, it comes in three different colors to fit any home office setup. It features a built-in knob that allows you to adjust the resistance as well as an LCD screen that shows your progress.
According to reviewers, the product is very compact, light, smooth and easy on the knees.
An elliptical that’s worth the cost
Cumii JR1 Seated Under Desk Elliptical Machine – $249.00
Its built-in LCD monitor tracks calories, distance, time, and RPM, enabling you to track your progress through your desk workout. It has the features to take your desk workout to the next level. According to its website, it is whisper quiet (meaning you can peddle while you Zoom) and there are eight levels of resistance. Besides that, what else is there? Using Cubi Studio+, you can take expert-led live and on-demand fitness classes to stay motivated.
Users say: “I use this to count how many steps I take every day below my desk. After years of weakening [calf] muscles and knees, my legs are now toned again and problems with cellulitis are massively reduced. I wish I had bought one years ago. It is truly changed my health and life.”
Cheapest elliptical machine
Elliptical Machine Glider with LCD Monitor for Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902 – $100.00
A good workout doesn’t require fancy equipment, and this device proves it. A simple yet effective machine, it comes with non-slip pedals, long-stride functionality, ergonomic handlebars, and a digital monitor. You can easily store it in a corner when you’re done working out.
Reviewers say: “This is totally unresistance if you like that challenge, but for those who just want to move without fancy tech and features.”. Then this is your absolute go-to for low impact cardio. It’s also very small so it doesn’t take up a lot of space.”
Exercise machine with the best portability
Portable Elliptical Magnetic Under Desk / Standing – $170.00 Sunny Health & Fitness
This elliptical is easy to move around your home (or office) thanks to a set of front wheels that make it easier to move the machine. Don’t let its small size fool you: In addition to tracking your pace, distance, and calories, it comes with eight levels of magnetic resistance and an adjustable handlebar that allows users of varying heights to find an ideal fit.
Despite its simplicity to assemble, light weight and two wheels, it is not as wide a circle motion as you would have on a high quality gym elliptical, but is acceptable and okay for use at home during quarantine for work and exercise.”
Elliptical stepper that is best
A mini stair stepper with resistance bands and an LCD monitor for $50.00 from Real Relax
An elliptical machine without handlebars, this one uses a set of resistance bands to enhance resistance. How did it turn out? In addition to the usual cardio-and-lower-body workout, this workout includes a full-blown arm workout. Your knees are protected and kept stable by the non-slip foot boards and the load-bearing hydraulic cylinder. The folds down so compactly that you can carry it around with you wherever you go.
Customer reviews: “I love this product! I can walk while working and get my steps in easily. There’s plenty of resistance and I can get an arm workout in as well. I did add lubricant as recommended otherwise there’s a big squeak. Great product.”
The best elliptical machine for splurging
The Bowflex Max Trainer Series M3 costs $999.00
A machine like this will give you the feeling of being in the gym again. A preprogrammed workout gets you on and off in 14 minutes, and the other provides eight resistance levels so you’re sweating profusely. Reviews have praised its smooth stride and simplicity, which could explain why it has received 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Ellipse with the highest level of connectivity
The Spinn 411 Compact Elliptical Machine costs $549.00
Get your steps in while exploring the globe via an app that connects to Explore the World on your smartphone, providing stunning views of exotic locations. Though it’s compact, you’ll still get 18 inches of stride space, and there are 16 resistance levels so you can ramp up your workout.
Reviews state that it comes with preset workouts, an iPad tray, and a water bottle holder among its features. Its only downside is that it doesn’t incline but it still provides a great workout for beginners and [advanced] exercisers alike.
Folding elliptical machine best
Low Impact Foldaway Strider by Hammacher Schhelmmer – $300
When it’s not in use, your attention is not drawn to this elliptical. With a folded size of 48″ H x 16 1/2″ W x 17″, it can be stored in a closet or under the bed for easy storage in any room. This stepper does not require a wall plug, so you can drop it wherever you like and get walking.
The reviewers are unanimous: “This is awesome!” I use it nearly every day for thirty minutes, watching TV, and the time flies by. It gives a great cardio workout with no stress on the knees, lower back, or other joints. It is so small I can just push it to the side of my bedroom. Highly recommend for those of you who find endless excuses not to go to the gym or walk outside. Excellent quality and easy to assemble…comes nearly completely assembled.”
Choosing the right elliptical for your budget
Fitness Equipment for Home Gyms – Plasma Fit Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer, Exercise Bike, Cardio Workout – $175.00
The elliptical bike that combines all the benefits of an elliptical machine and a spin bike will give you both a great workout and take up only one machine’s worth of space. Standing on it or sitting on it, you can exercise as you normally would, and an LED will measure your speed, time, distance, calories burnt, and pulse rate.
It is a great combination of an elliptical and a cycle. When my legs are tired I use my arms. It took two people to assemble and about an hour total. Not bad assembly at all. This is a solid machine and works for shorter and taller people alike. Very sturdy in my opinion. Great first cycle elliptical combo especially for the price.”
Invest in an elliptical machine that is best for hybrids
Trio Trainer Plus Two – Body Champ 3-in-1 Exercise Machine – $399.00
With this machine, you can cycle through all of your cardio workouts every week without ever getting bored. It’s an elliptical trainer, upright stationary bike, and recumbent bike. You can also switch out the integrated handlebars, offered in three different kinds: pro cycle, dual action, and wraparound. Once you’ve decided which workout you’d like to do, it will only take a few seconds for you to get ready to go.
I found this equipment to be good for my husband and me both. He preferred to do something for his upper body/arms, while I preferred to do something for my legs and legs. A whole body workout is provided by this 3-1 machine. Likewise, the computer comes with a variety of programs for cardio and fitness.”
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