Best Cross Trainers 2018
If you dread going to the gym and you aren’t a big fan of running, but you want to exercise and burn calories nevertheless, pick a cross trainer and get a full-body workout at home.
Ever since it was first introduced in 1995, the cross trainer, or elliptical, has changed cardio exercise for good. While the treadmill, rowing machine, and exercise bike are still popular options, the cross trainer has become many people’s favourite from day one.
So, what makes this machine so well received?
Through an elliptical motion, cross trainers reduce the stress and strain on your legs. Since your feet never leave the pedals, it’s like walking in mid-air. On the other hand, when you run or walk, every step causes a jolt to your body. Apart from joints, your lower back is also affected when you run.
What makes a cross trainer unique is the combined upper and lower body workout. In fact, cross trainers are the only fitness machines that train so many muscle groups simultaneously. In a single workout, you will work on your triceps, biceps, chest, back, glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps.
It’s simple - when you exercise more muscles, you burn more calories. One more thing - an elliptical workout often doesn’t feel very hard or tiring, which is great. However, that doesn’t mean that you aren’t exercising hard. In most cases, your cross trainer workout is more difficult than you normally perceive it.
Finally, since the best cross trainers come with multiple workout programmes, you can customise your workout and challenge yourself. Also, with many programmes available, you won’t get bored easily.
Buying the Best Cross Trainer
If you aren’t a professional, choosing the best cross trainer for yourself could turn out to be a bit challenging.
Start by checking whether the flywheel is at the front or back of the machine. If you like the feeling you get when you are on a stair climber, pick a front-drive cross trainer. If you prefer movements similar to running, pick a rear-drive one.
Next, it’s a good idea to check how heavy the flywheel is. Heavier models are more stable, allowing a smooth exercise.
Also, if you are tall, check the handle size and the stride length. Avoid short strides - they can make you feel uncomfortable while working out.
Be sure to see if the features on the cross trainer you are interested in will work for you. It’s important to have a number of programmes available so that you can challenge yourself and have fun while working out.
Finally, consider the price. There are countless cross trainers on the market. Prices range from £300 to over £3000. Knowing how much you are willing to spend will make your job easier.
Without further ado, here is the list of the best cross trainers of 2018, classified by price:
Best Cross Trainers Under £300
We’ll be honest - you can probably find a cross trainer under £100. Still, not much is to be expected from a cross trainer so cheap. It will, without a doubt, lack in sturdiness and stride length. So, if you want to get something that you will actually be able to use for some time in the future, prepare to spend between £150 and £300.
JLL CT300 Elliptical Cross-Trainer
The flywheel on this rear-drive elliptical machine isn’t particularly heavy. However, it is heavy enough to allow it to run reasonably smoothly, even on the highest resistance setting - there are eight levels available.
When it comes to the console, it’s pretty basic but still readable. Also, the stride length is 32 cm, which is just about long enough for most people. Still, if you are over 6ft tall, the stride might not be long enough for you.
The price of this model is £159.99.
Fitnessform ZGT Z10 Cross-Trainer 2-in-1 Elliptical Exercise Bike
This 2-in-1 cross trainer and exercise bike looks like a great idea, especially when you see that it costs less than £150.
However, the dual nature of this machine affects the cross trainer functions, which are not as impressive as those we reviewed on the JLL CT300.
Still, even with limited features, you can get a good workout on the Z10 elliptical trainer. Also, you can always go for an indoor cycle. Mixing things up is always a good idea - you will feel motivated when you try something new.
The price of this model is £149.99.
In this section, expect to see several great cross trainers that can satisfy most home users without costing them a fortune.
With this cross trainer, you will never feel bored - it offers 32 levels of resistance, which is amazing and, honestly, unreasonable at the same time. The good thing is that you will always be able to find exactly the right level of resistance for your workout.
On top of that, the Z Jet 400 has 20 exercise programmes (with 12 preset options), as well as a 146mm LCD colour screen.
You can get this model for £399.
Under the condition that you don’t have an especially long stride, the Hammer Crosstech XTR will be a great fit. With a chunky flywheel that weighs 16kg, it is stable, and it runs smoothly. Also, this cross trainer comes with 16 levels of resistance.
Four workout programmes (out of 16 in total) are linked to your heart rate, which is measured through the sensors located on the handles.
The price for this cross trainer is £395.
The JTX Tri-Fit also belongs to the mid-range machines, but there is something that makes it stand out from the rest - two killer features. First of all, the stride length on this machine is not only long but also adjustable (40cm-51cm). Secondly, if you feel like trying out some uphill cross-training, the JTX Tri-Fit comes with four incline options.
Moreover, there are 19 workout programmes and 16 levels of resistance in total. Some of the programmes are linked to the chest strap that tracks your heart rate.
At £699, this cross trainer is just under the £700 mark.
If you are looking for a massive range of training options, this cross trainer will satisfy your needs; with an incline range of up to 51cm and 22 levels of magnetic resistance, it will make the most of your workout. You can select a workout from the 29 preset ones and adjust the length of the stride up to 53cm, too.
This elliptical is equipped with an LCD screen which shows standard statistics such as time, distance, and calories burned, but it also provides feedback on your peak effort levels and tempo, which is a plus. If you like to push your limits, you will love this cross trainer.
You can get it for £949.
If you don’t want to settle for anything less than a gym-standard cross trainer that will last for years, run silently, and provide you with the best preset programmes, prepare to spend between £1500 and £3500.
Although the E1 is an entry-level cross trainer, it is strong and reliable - you can be sure that, even with heavy and regular use, it will last forever. This Life Fitness’ trainer comes with two user-customisable workouts, 20 levels of resistance, and 12 preset workouts, which is more than enough for the majority of home users.
What’s more, if you decide to go for the more expensive Track+ console, instead of the Go console, you can link your smartphone to the E1 and track your workouts, creating personalised training options.
The E1 can be yours for £1,799.
If your budget is more than £3,000, you can select any cross trainer you want. We recommend selecting the Technogym Synchro Forma since it comes with the integrated MyTrainer programme. With it, you can create a personalised workout plan and achieve your fitness goals easily.
In addition, if you get the Training Link as well, you’ll be able to connect this cross trainer to a tablet and use it as a console that will display the details of your workout. What’s more, while your tablet tracks your workout, you can use it to listen to music or watch videos. That way, you will never get bored.
For this top-notch cross trainer, prepare to pay £3,141.
As you have probably realised by now, there is a number of factors you should take into account while shopping for a cross trainer. Also, finding the best cross trainer for yourself can be challenging.
Make sure that the one you choose feels comfortable, and that you are satisfied with the features it provides. One last thing - it’s a good idea to set a budget and stick to it. You will surely be able to find something in your price range that suits you.