Many studies have shown cross trainers burn the most calories out of all exercise machines, they are also low impact so easy on the joints.
After being an avid runner over the last 5 years, my legs are shot…being nearly 50 doesn’t help. Physiotherapy has helped a little, but I have been told to reduce my running so started looking at alternatives. Swimming was an option, but it’s hassle driving to my local pool, parking and working out the time you can actually swim school-kid-free. The other option was buying a home cross trainer, otherwise called an elliptical trainer.
Benefits of Using a Home Cross Trainer
Cardio exercise is essential for weight loss or just staying in shape and a cross trainer is perfect for the job.
Like with rowing machines, a cross trainer will give you a full body workout if you use the machine correctly.
Home cross trainers give you the freedom to work out whenever you want, even in your pants if the mood takes you. I watch Netflix while I burn through a few hundred calories; finding a good series will make the time fly and the fat melt.
Cross Trainer FAQs
Home Cross Trainer FAQs
Most frequent questions and answers
Both are superb and low impact. I would opt for a cross trainer but it’s down to personal preference. Some people hate rowing and get bad backs after heavy use.
Best Cheap Cross Trainers for Home Use
Reebok ZR8 Home Cross Trainer
Best budget cross trainer for home use
I didn’t know Reebok made exercise machines until I started my research into buying a cross trainer for mu house. Reebok now have a separate division and website for all the gear, which all seems pretty decent.
The Reebok ZR8 Cross Trainer is a solid machine with 9KG flywheel: A heavy flywheel creates good resistance while remaining smooth.
This cross trainer has a large LCD display which lets you quickly change the resistance levels up or down between the 32 levels. The Reebok ZR8 Cross Trainer also has 12 ready-to-go programs for you to try.
Researching through all the Reebok cross trainers, the Reebok ZR8 Home Cross Trainer seems to be an old model which is being sold off. I landed on the product via an Amazon sponsored ad. For this reason, it’s much cheaper than all the other models Reebok do. The top of the range model is the GX50 cross trainer which costs around £150.00 more.
Maxi-Glider 360 Cross Trainer
Best value cross trainer
The Maxi-Glider 360 Cross Trainer by New Image is the ‘amazon choice’ product due to it’s low cost and high number of good reviews.
Like many Amazon choice products, it could be their own label as I cannot find any mention of the company ‘New Image’ anywhere, but they have a decent about of fitness gear selling on Amazon.
I like the look of this product as the legs section can be rotated to perform different movement: 4 directions are possible including rotations, see examples below in the video.
Women will love the leg work out the side direction gives, guys are never bothered about working these muscles in the gym.
I don’t like the fact that the Maxi-Glider 360 does have a display unit or heart monitor, I tend to use these all the time in the gym. If I’m doing HIITs I like to get by heart rate to 140BPM+ , then don’t go again until my heart rate has come down to around 100 BPM.
Pro XS Sports 2-in1 Elliptical Cross Trainer Exercise
Best 2 in 1 cross trainer
The Pro XS Sports is a very handy, low cost home cross trainer and it allows you to use the machine as an exercise bike too. The machine has a seat and stand-on pedals, you can also totally remove the seat if required.
The Pro XS Sports home cross trainer comes with a display LCD which is battery powered and can measure all your stats from distance to calories burnt. Note, all these types of exercise machines tend to burn through battery life really quickly – I’m not entirely sure why as it’s only a display unit and not exactly powering the whole machine.
You have to self-assemble this cross trainer, but here’s a video to show you how easy it is to do:
A few people (10%) who bought this product complained that the cross trainer is poor quality, this is quite a high number but the product is only around a hundred quid. If you are thinking of using a home cross trainer a lot (2-3 times per week), I would consider spending a little more and get the Reebok GX50.
Best High-End Cross Trainers Suitable for Commercial Use
So far we’ve looked at cross trainers at the cheaper end of the market, but what if you have some decent cash to spend on a professionally built home gym? You’ll want to buy a decent commercial style cross trainer.
Here’s a few pro cross trainers that you can still use at home.
Nordic Track Unisex's Commercial 14.9 Elliptical Cross Trainer
Best overall cross trainer
Nordic Track are regarded as one of the leaders in gym equipment for home use, though a lot of their products are used in commercial gyms due to their quality. The company has been around for over 20 years and have a strong research and development (R&D) division based in the USA.
The Nordic Track Unisex’s Commercial 14.9 Elliptical Cross Trainer has a 15KG flywheel and 24 different resistence levels, all controlled from a single screen tap. It’s made of solid-steel, unlike cheaper home cross trainers that will be made of aluminium. This cross trainer weighs in at a solid 98KG, but is still easy to move around your front room or into a storage space.
This Nordic Track cross trainer has a 10” smart screen which connects to the internet via Bluetooth – you then have access to 12,000 on demand workouts and coaching controls.
These smart interactive workouts are very similar to Peleton’s workouts, but I don’t think Nordick Track actually do live classes like Peleton. Still they have a huge database of workouts for you to tap into.
The cross trainer also has a bluetooth speaker system for you to blast your music out from your smartphone, the speakers are decent quality too.
The cross trainer comes with a 5 year warranty in the frame and 2 years on the parts.
If you are looking for a decent brand like Nordic Track, but don’t want to spend the £1500 price tag, you could consider the Nordic Track C7.5 Elliptical Cross Trainer which is a stripped down version of the commercial 14.9 trainer. The Nordic Track Elliptical Cross Trainer and 11.5 is also great value for money and more compact if your short on home space.
Best Home Cross Trainer Workout
The best workout you can do on a home cross trainer is a HIIT workout. HIIT stands for high intensity interval training, you go full out then let your body recover and heart rate come down before you go again.
HIITs workouts are known to burn calories for hours after you have finished and produce the highest amounts of endorphins as you push yourself further.
See this video below from Thomas DeLauer which explains how to effectively do HIITS