What is the difference between a cross trainer and an elliptical trainer? Cross trainer is simply the generic term for fitness equipment that moves legs and arms at the same time.
Elliptical trainers are a further developed, high-quality piece of sports equipment with a more natural sequence of movements, ie “cross trainers with an elliptical sequence of movements”. Of course, the flywheel is always round, but hinges create an elliptical movement.
The difference is only slight, but an elliptical trainer suits many people more than the cross-trainer. With an elliptical trainer, you don’t train in round movements, but in slightly elliptical ones.
Due to the more natural elliptical sequence of movements, a higher cadence can usually be achieved. The round form of movement of the simple cross trainer puts more strain on the hip joints and can therefore lead to problems.
Elliptical trainer with adjustable stride length for big and small
An important factor when choosing an elliptical trainer is the right stride length! Small people, of course, have a shorter step size than tall people. Ladies with long legs have a different stride length than women with shorter legs.
Then of course it is also a habit whether you take small or large steps. Usually, it is not so problematic for smaller people to train on an elliptical trainer with a long stride length, but it is not pleasant in the long run.
Tall people who are “forced” to take a short stride feel very uncomfortable on an incorrectly chosen cross trainer, regardless of whether the movement is round or elliptical. It’s like trying to ride a bike on a children’s bike.
Unfortunately, there are very few elliptical trainers with adjustable stride lengths. With most models, you have to choose the right size, as it were with a bicycle.
Smaller people can usually choose cheaper models and larger and usually heavier ones to more expensive ones. If several people are to train on the elliptical ergometer, it is better to choose a longer step size. But the best thing is the MAXXIS CX 7.4 with step length adjustment, so you can adjust the step length individually. => Compare models & reviews on Amazon
Elliptical trainers up to 500 euros: only for small people
There are actually no real elliptical cross trainers for less than 400 euros. Since some manufacturers apparently do not know the difference between a round and an elliptical movement, “elliptical trainers” are often advertised even though they are actually cheap cross-trainers with a round pedal barrel.
For example the company AsViva and Ultrasport. The Aviva company even praises the “round motion sequence” of the E2 elliptical trainer.
CAUTION: If a pedal or stride length is not specified, the manufacturer may not know much about an elliptical or cross-trainer. Most of the time, the stride length with such cheap sports equipment is very short. Usually, such elliptical ergometers are only suitable for small people.
The Sportstech elliptical trainers offer a GOOD price-performance ratio with even adjustable pedal spacing. With a flywheel mass of 21kg and 12 training programs, people up to 120kg can train on it.
The elliptical ergometers from this company have a tablet holder and the company’s app makes training much more fun than models with normal training computers. This makes losing weight even easier. => Compare models & reviews on Amazon
Elliptical cross trainer for tall people with long strides
From a height of 175 cm tall people can often no longer cope with the stride length of normal elliptical trainers. Instead of a pleasant cross-country skiing movement, many tall people feel more like riding a children’s bike on inexpensive cross trainers. For a longer stride, the elliptical cross trainer must also be larger overall.
At the same time, the elliptical exercise bike has to be built more stable and needs a higher flywheel mass in order to be able to offer sufficient training resistance. With a maximum load of up to 180kg, the Maxxus elliptical trainer is also highly recommended for most overweight people. ( all information on Amazon )
Foldable elliptical cross trainer Space-saving exercise bike
For many, an elliptical trainer is out of the question as an exercise bike because this fitness equipment takes up a lot of space. However, there are some foldable cross trainers with a folding mechanism. The exercise bike can be stowed away to save space without wasting too much space. But beware of the old saying “out of sight, out of mind”. Maybe it is better to place the exercise bike prominently at home so that the elliptical trainer is used regularly.
Elliptical trainer workout for weight loss
The elliptical trainer training is ideal for losing weight. During this workout, not only the legs are in motion, but also the arms and thus the torso. As a result, many muscle groups are stressed at the same time, which increases calorie consumption and has a higher fat-burning effect. The heart becomes more efficient, which prevents cardiac (heart-related) diseases.
In addition, the muscles are strengthened in a way that is gentle on the joints, but proper muscle building, as is the case with training with dumbbells, is not possible.
Elliptical trainer test & quality criteria
Stiftung Warentest carried out an elliptical trainer test in February 2011 and also examined several cross trainer models, the boundary between the two fitness machines is often blurred. The elliptical trainers were tested for handling, training and pollutants. Here are the elliptical test winners:
- Kettler Crosstrainer CTR 3
- Reebok Crosstrainer C5.1e
However, these models can only be found used on the market. It is often better to find out about the quality of elliptical trainers via customer reviews. However, very few customers test the pollutants in grips.
Elliptical trainer manufacturer and purchase recommendations
As the test already showed, the Kettler brand has the edge when it comes to elliptical trainers and is one of the best elliptical trainer manufacturers on the market. Reebok was also able to achieve a test winner with their device.
Other elliptical trainer manufacturers:
- Horizon Ellipsentrainer
- Christopeit Ellipsentrainer
- Schmidt Sportsworld Ellipsentrainer
- Hammer Ellipsentrainer
- Finnlo Ellipsentrainer
- Buffalo Ellipsentrainer
- Bremshey Ellipsentrainer
- AsViva Ellipsentrainer
- Ultrafit Ellipsentrainer
- Vision Fitness Ellipsentrainer
- Tunturi Ellipsentrainer
- LifeFitness Ellipsentrainer
Discounter elliptical in the test and customer testimonials
The discounters Aldi, Lidl, Netto or Real also often have fitness offers, including elliptical and cross trainers. If you rely on customer experience reports, the discounter’s elliptical trainers are of good quality and can definitely keep up with the branded devices. Only the procurement of spare parts turned out to be difficult.