Last Updated On March 1st, 2019
Before the 1990s, most gym enthusiasts had a very limited range of options for their cardio workout. Either you had to hit the treadmills for hours at a time – which could be terrible for people with bad knees, or you could try the exercise bike or rowing machine. Fortunately, in 1995, the “cross trainer” was invented, transforming the world of low-impact exercise as we knew it.
The elliptical, or cross-trainer allows you to roll your feet from toe to heel, just as if you were running or walking. The difference is that because your feet never leave the platforms, you don’t have a significant impact on your joints. Unlike other gym equipment, they also help with working your upper body, thanks to two handles that you can push while you use it. If you only have space for one piece of gym equipment in your home, it pays to invest in the best cross trainer.
Since 1995, the number of elliptical cross trainer machines available to choose from has sky-rocketed. With so many available, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. Fortunately, we’ve looked at all the cross trainer reviews we could find to compile a list of the top machines in the UK.
Here’s your guide to figuring out which is right for you.
Our Favourite Cross Trainers Compared
Top 9 Best Cross Trainer Reviews
When it comes to buying fitness equipment, you need something reliable and robust. According to the latest reviews, the JTX Tri-fit offers security and stability as you move, with a variable stride length system that makes it ideal for virtually any user. You can adjust the machine so that you’re training on an incline, which engages your glutes and core to give you a complete workout. What’s more, there’s also an advanced computer console connected so you can monitor your performance.
As options go, the JTC is one of the more advanced models. The machine is compatible with Android and Apple phones, and it’s designed to fit well into virtually any living space thanks to its super streamlined design. There’s up to 19 programs to choose from, as well as an available “custom program” feature. Additionally, if you pick the heart rate programs, you’ll automatically adjust the resistance levels for more powerful workouts.
There are plenty of ways to monitor your performance and improve the quality of your routine over time, including a screen for displaying time, speed, distance, pulse, calories, and RPM. What’s more, it comes with a 2-year home repair warranty.
Sometimes, when you’re searching for the best cross trainer, you need to start by deciding what kind of trainer is right for you. A magnetic cross trainer is a streamlined and space-saving machine that offers a fantastic full body movement, without the unnecessary impact on your joints. The JTX Stride-X7 is a great option on the market with the magnetic design, and it comes with a free heart rate chest strap.
The system comes with 21 programs to choose from, including hill climb, heart rate control, fat burning and more. There’s also 16 levels of magnetic resistance to choose from, along with quick start buttons so that you can launch your workout in no time. The programmable console comes with the option to save up to 4 programmes at a time, and there are non-slip adjustable pedals to make sure that you feel secure during your exercise.
The JTX Strider doesn’t just come with plenty of features to boost your workout; this cross trainer machine also comes with an exceptional five-year frame warranty and another 2-year warranty for in-home repairs.
If you’ve been wondering which to buy for a particularly small home gym, and you want to get the most out of your purchase, then the Pro XS Sports 2-in-1 trainer could be perfect for you. The Pro XS sports trainer can be used either as an exercise bike or a cross trainer depending on your preference.
Designed to give you more variability when it comes to your cardio workouts, the XS Sports Pro trainer is ideal for working out the legs, arms, shoulders, buttocks, and hips. There are adjustable resistance levels so you can decide exactly how challenging you want your routine to be. Additionally, with the solid steel frame, you won’t have to worry about stability or durability.
The moving stride bars provide a fantastic upper body workout, while the fixed parts in the centre of the elliptical cross trainer give you an insight into your pulse rate so you can monitor for optimum heart rate. There’s backwards pedalling available if you’re trying to work out your hamstrings (back of your thighs). The LCD screen shows distance, speed, time, pulse, and calories.
Designed to provide an immersive experience, the JLL CT300 Home Luxury trainer is a great option with an exceptionally stylish and durable design. Capable of simulating walking, climbing, and running without placing undue pressure on your joints, this simple but effective cross trainer machine gives you everything you need for an excellent routine.
The 9-function LCD monitor displays everything from distance covered, to time, heart rate, temperature, body fat, RPM, and even pulse recovery. There are 8 levels of magnetic resistance built-in, along with a belt-driven resistance technology so you can access a more adjustable and quiet workout experience. There’s even a space near the monitor where you can place your tablet.
This trainer is particularly well-suited to smaller homes because it doesn’t take up a lot of space, or make a lot of noise. It’s also a great machine if you’re looking for something to give you a challenging workout that you can manage and adjust according to your preferences.
If you’re wondering which to buy when you don’t want to break the bank, then it’s hard to go wrong with the JLL 2-in-1 elliptical cross trainer. This dual-purpose machine doubles up as a cross trainer and exercise bike to give a fantastic workout experience from top to bottom. If you want to focus on your legs for a while, simply switch to the bike function, and you’ll be building muscle in no time.
There’s a fully-adjustable range of multi-level resistance options available to increase the intensity of your training, as well as a multi-function LCD to show you everything from calories burned, to speed and time. Additionally, the fixed bars feature pulse sensors to monitor your heart rate during your workout.
The JLL 2-in-1 comes with a 12-month warranty included, and plenty of features that allow you to adjust for different workout preferences, such as a custom seat height, extra-wide pedals and more. The robust front-mounted flywheel offers an extra level of stability, so you can enjoy absolute confidence as you move.
Sometimes, the elliptical cross trainer for your needs will be the one that fits seamlessly into your home. The Charles Bentley Fitness is a very sleek and streamlined exercise machine, offering a fantastic multi-function LCD that shows information like calories burned, distance covered, speed, time and more.
There are eight levels of magnetic resistance to choose from, as well as a 4kg flywheel to manage stability. The design is sleek, but it still gives excellent workouts with everything you need, complete with an exercise routine ideal for a person who needs minimal impact on their joints and muscles.
The Charles Bentley elliptical trainer will fit into almost any flat or house, as it’s only 54 centimetres wide, and 100 cm in length.
One of the top options for people who want incredible design and performance, the Reebok ZR8 is a fantastic piece of machinery with a solid 9kg flywheel included for exceptionally smooth motion during your workout routines. The 32 levels of electronic resistance ensure that you can tailor the intensity of your exercise routine to suit your needs.
With 19 console programmes included, as well as 12 pre-set workouts so that you can plan your routine with ease, the Reebok has it all. With the large backlit screen, you can track your performance according to crucial fitness details like speed, calories, time and distance travelled. In terms of comfort and safety, it comes with fully-adjustable footplates with slip-resistant coverings to support the perfect stride length.
Designed to handle up to 120kg of weight, this low-impact machinery is excellent for anyone who wants to improve their fitness at home, without relying on a gym membership.
When it comes to figuring out which cross trainer you should buy, the answer is usually the one that gives you the most comprehensive routine. Everyone exercises differently depending on the muscles that they want to work out. Fortunately, the Fitnessform ZGT Z10 ensures that you can get whatever you need out of your exercise strategy with both backward and forward motion.
Carefully designed according to the highest quality standards for elliptical and cross trainers, it delivers fantastic high to low resistance settings for a variety of workouts. The reversible movement is great for improving the exercise at the back of your thighs. You can even decide whether you want to use it as a bike or an elliptical with a fully-adjustable seat for less intense workouts.
The LCD screen on this trainer shows your speed, how many calories you’ve burned, elapsed time and the distance travelled.
If you’re looking to get into shape and enjoy a healthier lifestyle in the comfort of your own home, then the Confidence 2-in-1 could be the ideal option. Designed to provide people up to 110 kg with a complete low-impact workout that targets the heart, legs, hips, shoulders, and arms, this has it all. There’s a four-function on-board computer built-in so you can view speed, distance, time, and calories burned. Additionally, the adjustable resistance level means you can choose your intensity.
With forward and reverse motion to choose from, you can adjust your exercise routine to target the muscles that you need to focus on most. There’s also an instruction manual included if you have any trouble putting your new device together. According to Confidence, the trainer burns up to five times more calories than walking.
Unlike many cross trainers available today, reviews suggest that this is also quite easy to put together, with simple and straightforward instructions included.
Which Cross Trainer Should You Buy?
Deciding which elliptical trainer is right for you can be a difficult process. Often, there’s a lot more to it than reading cross trainer reviews on Amazon and checking your budget. If you want to get the best cross trainer, then you need to know exactly what you’re looking for.
There are many popular gym-based machines used for fitness, an example of which is the exercise bike. If you want a something that offers a low-impact, high-result cardio workout that simulates standard running, then elliptical trainers may be what you are looking for. The motion of an elliptical protects your joints from harm, which is crucial for anyone with hip or knee injuries. Additionally, many people feel that elliptical trainers help to make cardio workouts more fun!
Of course, as fantastic as the right elliptical cross trainer can be, purchasing one for your home can be confusing, thanks to the wide variety of options available. Unless you’re a pro, there’s a good chance that you won’t know which one is right for you. Additionally, there are many “added extras” available to choose from.
Finding the Right Cross Trainer
Gym equipment like exercise bikes can generate electricity and cross trainers are no different. The first thing you need to consider when buying one is the amount of electricity it consumes. Next, look for one that is suited for your body type, and your workout needs. If you have a small build and you’re just planning on using the machine a few times a week, then a small and rather basic device is likely to be more than enough for you. However, if you plan on using it as part of a high-intensity training session, then you might need something more robust.
It’s also worth looking at the style of the elliptical that’s right for you. The most common options include:
These machines come with a large wheel housing toward the front of the device. These options are the most affordable because of their basic design.
These come with a smaller wheel housing behind the pedals. The pedals allow for an incline in some cases so that you can increase the intensity of your workout.
The design of this machine is similar to a treadmill. However, there’s simply pedals where the standard track would be. These ellipticals offer a more gentle and compact cardio workout experience.
You’ll also need to consider how much space you have to fit a cross trainer into your home. Remember that elliptical machines aren’t small, and some of the more complex models will take up quite a bit of space. If you don’t have a lot of room to work with, then you’ll need to look for a cross trainer with a compact design that can accommodate the room you have available. Remember, you’ll need to make sure that there’s enough space at either side for you to get on and off. Additionally, there needs to be space behind the elliptical for the arms and feet to move.
The Must-Have Features of Elliptical Machines
Ultimately, there’s no one-size-fits-all guide to the ideal elliptical, but most designs will come with a selection of specific features that make them more attractive to the majority of buyers. For instance, some of the features you’ll need to consider with your elliptical include:
The pedals need to move smoothly and quietly so you can enjoy your workout. If you’re aggravated by a squeaking sound, then you’re more likely to give up on your exercise.
The stride length needs to be long enough to accommodate your legs. Some machines only offer a 16-inch stride, which might not be enough for someone with longer legs.
Upper Body Comfort
Most cross trainers will come with arm handles to help manage your upper-body motion. These handles improve intensity and give you more support as you work out.
Everyone has a specific level of resistance that works well for them when it comes to exercising. It’s important to work out according to your needs, so make sure that you get a cross trainer with adjustable programs to suit your strategy.
While incline isn’t essential for everyone, it’s important for people who want to be able to access high-intensity workouts on their elliptical machines.
Buying the Ultimate Cross Trainer Machine
As mentioned above, the cross trainer that’s right for you will depend on the kind of workout you want to create for yourself. If you’re looking for a low-intensity exercise that simply keeps you active through the week, you can go for a much simpler machine. On the other hand, if you want something that’s going to kick your exercise up a notch, then you might want a more complex device.
Among all our cross trainer reviews, we particularly like the JTC Tri-Fit for its advanced workout option. It offers everything you could need to create a truly customised routine, including adjustable incline, stride length, and intensity. You can even connect the display to your smartphone to play music or get a graphical display of your performance.
What do you think about our guide to the best cross trainer? Is there a trainer that you love that we haven’t mentioned? Let us know in the comments below, and enjoy your workout!