Do you want to train your whole body and make the most of your workouts? Choosing a cross trainer might just be the thing you need.
An elliptical is great for working out all your muscles at once; you’re using your legs to pedal, your core to keep your balance, and your upper body moves at the same pace with your legs. That’s a great low-impact workout in the privacy of your own home.
IN A HURRY?
If you’re in a hurry, here are some of the best cross trainers available on Amazon UK right now:
- Resistance: 8 Magnetic Resistance Levels
- Display: Time (mins:secs), Speed (km/h), Distance (km),...
- Flywheel: 5kg Two-Way Flywheel.
- The GX40’s 7 kg flywheel weight ensures a challenging,...
- You can tailor the intensity of your workout, while you...
- To help keep you motivated, there are four fitness programs...
- Get in shape now in the comfort of your own home with the...
- Provides a total body, low-impact, cardiovascular workout!...
- Tubular steel frame giving you a secure and stable workout
Which cross trainer is best?
Let’s now analyse some of the best elliptical trainers for home use that the UK market currently has to offer. Please bear in mind that due to the current climate, some might be out of stock.
XS Sports Pro 2-in1 Elliptical Cross Trainer Review: Best cheap cross trainer
- XS Sports Pro Fitness Elliptical Cross Trainer with Pulse...
- Front Mounted Flywheel for Added Stability - Adjustable...
- Can Be Used to Workout Legs, Hips, Buttocks, Arms &...
Weight: 28 kg
Dimensions: 60 cm x 1.22 m x 1.54 m
Specifications: Steel frame; heart rate display; pulse sensors; 2in1; dual direction; front flywheel; adjustable resistance; LCD display; wide platform pedals; 110 kg max weight; size 12 maximum foot size; needs some assembly
The XS Sports Pro is one of the cheapest cross trainers you can find. Although it has a steel frame, it’s a lightweight machine. However, the maximum allowed weight for the user is 110 kg, while your foot size can’t be more than a UK size 12.
A disadvantage here is that you need to spend some time with its assembly. The instructions aren’t extremely detailed, so you need a degree of DIY know-how.
With its 2in1 construction, it can also be used as an indoor bike, and the cross trainer functions work decently. You can measure your heart rate thanks to its pretty accurate pulse sensors and adjust the workout accordingly.
The front flywheel adds to its stability, and the adjustable resistance can turn your workouts into high impact too. The LCD display is easy to read, while the wide platform pedals are comfortable enough. However, this machine is a bit noisy once you use it for some time – nothing some noise-cancelling headphones can’t take care of though.
You can work out your entire body and the dual direction both forward and back is great. Besides, this machine actually mimics the way your body moves when you’re walking and that’s great for toning purposes.
Charles Bentley Fitness Elliptical Cross Trainer Review: 2 in 1 combination
Weight: 28 kg
Dimensions: 54 cm x 100 cm x 1.52 m
Specifications: LCD display; 8 levels magnetic resistance; 4 kg flywheel; non-slip feet; handlebar heart rate sensors; tubular steel and plastic build; dual action elliptical handlebars; 100 kg max user weight; assembly required
The Charles Bentley Elliptical Cross Trainer is another affordable and compact cross trainer, with features that make it stand out compared to its XS Sports counterpart. You can use this for low impact workouts, with all the basic measurements provided on its easy-to-read LCD display. So you’ll be reading the time, speed, distance, along with your calories and pulse, to understand how hard you’re working and eventually how to achieve better fitness results.
The 8 levels of magnetic resistance aren’t as much as that of other items reviewed below, but it’s a fairly decent number to increase or decrease the impact of your workouts. The 4 kg flywheel offers good stability too, though other heavier flywheels can be considered better. Either way, we like the fairly accurate handlebar heart rate sensors and the good grip provided by the non-slip feet.
Its total weight is on the light side, but it’s probably because of the steel and plastic construction that isn’t as sturdy as a full steel build. It also needs some assembly, though you’ll get great instructions for that. The 100 kg maximum user weight could have been improved, so a heavier built guy or gal can’t use it for achieving their weight loss goals.
Reebok ZR8 Cross Trainer Review
- The ZR8’s 9 kg flywheel weight ensures a challenging,...
- You can tailor the intensity of your workout, while you...
- To help keep you motivated, there are 20 fitness programs...
Weight: 50.8 kg
Dimensions: 63 cm x 1.44 m x 1.69 m
Specifications: 12 programmes; 32 resistance levels; adjustable foot plates; large flywheel; 120 kg max user weight; forward and backward pedal movements
In the mid-range price pool, The Reebok ZR8 is one of the best home cross trainers for people who are interested in a basic total body workout without having to go to the gym. And this machine is quite close to the ones you’d find in a gym, though it does have its critics.
For instance, you can’t go uphill with it, in the sense that there’s no height adjustment to mimic an incline. However, it does have 32 different resistance levels, more than some of its pricier JTX peers. Besides, it offers both the forward and backward pedal movements, and that means you can work different muscles and adjust your workout level.
We love the 12 preset programmes for better workout customization and increased user experience. Still, the instructions aren’t that detailed and you’ll mostly have to figure out on your own what each programme does.
You’ll also have to spend some time with the assembly. Its overall weight is quite big, so you can’t move it around your home very easily, though that means it’s a stable machine.
The large flywheel is another plus though, it contributes to the increased stability and accounts for a smooth motion. The foot plates are also really comfortable and they’re also adjustable.
JTX Strider-X7 MAGNETIC CROSS TRAINER Review: Best budget professional cross trainer under £500
- Large colour touch screen console. 21 programs including...
- Provides an outstanding low impact, full body, workout....
- 16 levels of magnetic resistance and quick start buttons....
Weight: 54 kg
Dimensions: 70 cm x 1.3 m x 1.7 m
Specifications: Steel frame; large console; touch screen; 21 programs; 16 inches stride length; 12.5 kg flywheel; wireless chest strap compatibility; 16 levels magnetic resistance; integrated pulse receiver; non-slip pedals; frontal transport castors; floor pads; maximum user weight 110 kg; 2-year warranty
In the world of best value elliptical trainers, this one definitely wins the jackpot in terms of price and features with so many things we love about it. Its steel frame screams resistance and stability, though it’s not the lightest in the market. That’s probably why it has a 5-year warranty. Conversely, the in-home repair warranty is 2 years, which is still a lot.
Its large console is easy to read, and the touchscreen works fast just like the start buttons. With its non-slip pedals and floor pads, you’ll definitely have a secure grip and you can work your magic, provided you weigh less than 110 kg.
This piece of machinery is great for backcountry-skiing training since it offers you low impact training for the whole body, just like skiing does.
With its 21 programs and 16 levels of magnetic resistance, you can control things from your heart rate to the angle and how much fat you’re burning. Yes, you actually get both body fat and pulse measurements, and the 16-inch stride can make you work harder.
Alternatively, you can read our full JTX Strider-X7 review here.
JTX Tri-Fit Cross Trainer Review: Best gym-like cross trainer
- Robust cross trainer with variable stride length system (16-...
- Increase the incline to focus the workout on your stomach...
- Advanced computer connects via Bluetooth to a free iConsole...
Weight: 75 kg
Dimensions: 75 cm x 1.53 m x 1.73 m
Specifications: Steel frame; variable stride length; electro-magnetic resistance; incline control; Bluetooth connection to iConsole; bio-mechanic handlebars; screen tilt; 19 programs; custom program feature; heart rate measurements; 16 levels of Silent Magnetic Resistance; 17 kg flywheel; 135 kg max user weight; lifetime frame warranty; 2 year home repair warranty
This JTX Cross Trainer might be the best home cross trainer you can get if your purpose is losing weight and training your lower body very well. That’s because you get a very strong electromagnetic resistance, as well as the ability to control the incline so you can give your core and gluteal muscles a better workout. And let’s not forget that it has an adjustable stride length, which can get fairly long and contributes to the added resistance.
So you can adjust all these dimensions to increase or decrease the level of difficulty, but you also have heart rate programs plus an included heart rate strap to customize your workout minutely.
And the fact that you can connect it to an iConsole app is amazing in terms of motivation. Plus, you can use any Apple or Android-using phone or tablet.
The dimensions are quite compact to reduce the space taken in your home, while the handlebars are extremely ergonomic since they offer multiple grip points and a bio-mechanic design. Besides, you can use this machine if you weigh less than 135 kg, so that’s more than the previous products we reviewed here.
We also appreciate the lifetime warranty for the frame, as well as the 2-year warranty for home repairs. So what can be wrong with such a great fitness machine? Well, some might say it’s a tad heavy, and the price is on the expensive side of the spectrum.
Alternatively, you can read an in-depth review of JTX Tri-Fit here.
JTX Zenith Review: best professional cross trainer
- Robust elliptical cross trainer with heavy gauge steel frame...
- Commercial quality components. Sleek gym-style design with a...
- 19 Workout Programs: Heart Rate Control, Intervals, Sprints,...
Weight: 86 kg
Dimensions: 87 cm x 1.9 m x 1.73 m
Specifications: Steel; 17 kg flywheel; 21 inches stride path; 19 programs; HR chest strap included; Bluetooth connection to fitness app; protection mat included; lifetime frame warranty; 3-year home repair warranty; 165 kg max user weight
This trainer is the most expensive in our reviews, but we wanted to end up circularly. And do you believe us that this might be one of the best quality cross trainers ever made? With its sturdy build and a steel-made frame that’s a really heavy gauge, you’ll get stability, smoothness and irksome screeching.
Basically, this is one of the elliptical trainers you could find in a gym, with top-notch components and supple design, though its flywheel weighs 17 kg. The stride path is 21 inches long, so you can get a harder workout thanks to the increased resistance.
There are 19 different programs to choose from, each making you sweat a little more, with all sorts of intervals, sprints, fat burning or endurance workouts. You can measure your heart rate, and use the fitness app for interactive motion and increased motivation.
The HR chest strap is great for making a better idea of how hard you’re working out, and the floor protection mat is a really thoughtful addition. We love the lifetime warranty for the frame, as well as the long 3-year home repair warranty that JTX has gotten us used to.
Besides, you can use this machine even if you’re heavier, it supports a max user weight of 165 kg. However, its own weight is 86 kg, so you can’t move it around the house too often.
Things to Consider Before Buying
There are many benefits of using a cross trainer but plenty of things need to be taken into account before making such an important purchase. Therefore, the main ones are listed below:
This is the top factor to consider, particularly because it influences all the others, as well as your overall budget. So, if you want to train on a machine that does similar stuff as the one you’d find in a gym, be ready to spend over £500.
However, there are tons of decent elliptical trainers at a very affordable price that help you get toned and lose weight. You can buy one for as low as £100, the cheaper ones usually come in a 2in1 combo, so you can use it as an exercise bike as well.
But for a better core and lower body workout, you’ll have to look for an inclined angle capability or extra resistance. To get a better idea of how many calories you’re burning, you’ll need accurate heart rate measurements or even an included chest strap. You won’t find these features in a cheap cross trainer.
The materials used are really important, these will tell you how sturdy the cross trainer machine is. For instance, steel is really robust, but it adds to the overall weight of the machine. That means it offers increased stability, though you can’t move it around the house quite that easy.
Make sure you check the overall dimensions before making a purchase, so you’ll know if you have space for it. Other than that, look for a heavy, big flywheel for extra smoothness and stability. The foot pads should also be comfortable, just like the chair.
Programs and Magnetic Resistance Levels
This is an essential feature in choosing a good machine. More programs allow you to customize your workouts better and get great results in no time. However, make sure you understand exactly what each program does and if it fits your purposes.
Each trainer has various magnetic resistance levels, meaning you can adjust the level of difficulty. A long stride also contributes to added resistance, so your muscles have to work harder. That’s great if you want better toning results.
Max User Weight
Since plenty of us want a cross trainer to lose weight, it’s essential to check this feature. In fact, we’d advise you to check this one first, so you can get it out of the way and not lose time falling in love with a machine you can’t use.
Take into account the fact that you’ll also be wearing gym equipment and that your weight fluctuates throughout the day. So if you’re very near the max weight limit for a specific cross trainer, you’d better choose one with a higher one.
Warranties and Extras
Warranties are a guarantee of quality and the included extras show that the company is interested in user experience. Just remember that there are different sorts of warranties: for the frame or for other in-home repairs.
In terms of the extras, you can get stuff like an HR strap for monitoring your heart rate more precisely, access to a free fitness app for more motivation or even a floor mat. These shouldn’t be deal-breakers though, unless they’re essential for your purpose. For example, an HR strap might be for people who want to make their weight loss process extremely mathematical.
How long should I spend on a cross trainer?
You should spend about 30 minutes per day, five days per week doing medium-intensity exercises. This time will help you stick to the WHO’s recommendations regarding the minimum amount of physical activity you need per week.
However, you can always spend more time on it doing challenging workouts, if you want to lose weight faster. Remember not to exercise if you’re sore. Rest days are extremely important because they allow your muscles to recover. Besides, over-exercising leads to injury and weight loss plateaus.
If you can’t exercise for 30 minutes/ day, don’t despair. You can try a 45-minute session three times per week, or 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening. Take your schedule into account and remember that the only thing that matters is that you move.
What muscles does a cross trainer work?
A cross trainer tones all your muscles. Your lower body gets a more intense workout, while the upper body and core get a medium one.
If you want to see more results in your lower body, increase the incline. That way, your hamstrings and glutes will work harder to push on the pedals, which is almost like a sort of resistance training for your legs.
Once you’re here, and you’ve read all our cross trainer reviews, you see we’ve taken you through a large selection of different machines. That, along with our first section about how to choose, should probably give you a good idea of how to pick something that works for your needs.
With that in mind, we’re curious to learn a bit more about you. What will you use this elliptical trainer for? Which machine did you fell in love with? What did we miss in this article? Leave us a comment below.