The Different Types of Elliptical Trainers

October 14, 2020 4 min read

Building a home gym is no easy task when you have a lot of equipment to choose from. There are treadmills, exercise bikes, lateral trainers, and so much more—and that’s just cardio equipment. Your home gym should be full of versatile equipment that can both get you in shape and keep you safe since you might be working out alone most of the time. One piece of cardio we failed to mention that happens to be one of the best types you can get is an elliptical trainer. An elliptical trainer might be that one piece of equipment you’ve seen in public gyms but never bothered to test out. As you continue to read this blog, you will not only learn about all the different benefits that come with using an elliptical trainer, but you will also discover that there are various kinds to choose from. Here are the different types of elliptical trainers and why you should make one a part of your home gym.

Benefits of Ellipticals

Regardless of the elliptical machine you use, it can offer you a variety of benefits. For example, elliptical trainers:

  • Improve your stamina
  • Burn lots of calories
  • Are low impact
  • Provide a full-body workout
  • Improve your balance
  • Are easy to use
  • Offer a great cardio alternative to running

An elliptical has no shortage of perks for your health. The real trick is to find out, among all the different types of elliptical trainers, which one is right for you. You might think you know what an elliptical looks like, but you may be surprised to learn how diverse Top Fitness Store’s elliptical exercise equipment collection is. Get a clearer idea of all the options you can choose from ahead.

Ellipticals Based on Their Drives

  • Center-Drive Elliptical Trainers: Some ellipticals get their names from where the flywheel or motor sits on the machine. Therefore, a center-drive elliptical trainer is one where the flywheel resides in the center of the machine, on one of its sides. Where the flywheel is can be important to some because it can dictate the kinds of movements you can do on the exercise machine. Center-drive elliptical trainers are one of the newest types available and offer a quiet and smooth motion that might more naturally emulate a walk or a run, due to the location of the flywheel.
  • Front-Drive Elliptical Trainers: The flywheel for an elliptical trainer may also sit in the front of the machine, leading to some unique features of its own. If you decide to go with a front-drive elliptical trainer, you might find that it’s more affordable, allows you to choose different inclines, and fits more easily into your home gym, given its compact design. A front-drive elliptical trainer is more in line with what you would normally recognize as the typical elliptical’s look. Some things to note about a front-drive elliptical trainer is that it might make more noise than other ellipticals and require more maintenance.
  • Rear-Drive Elliptical Trainers: The final type of elliptical that references the location of the motor is known as the rear-drive elliptical trainer. The most notable difference with a rear-drive elliptical trainer is that you will find the motor in the back. However, its movements tend to be the same as a front-drive elliptical and might even feel more natural to the user. A rear-drive elliptical also has fewer parts, so they tend to be quieter and require less maintenance. Some downsides to a rear-drive elliptical trainer are that it can take up more space in your home gym, cost more, and won’t feature much of an incline.

Ellipticals Based on Movements

  • Elliptical Cross-Trainers: Ellipticals don’t just refer to where the drive is on the machine. If you come across an elliptical cross-trainer, this means that you will get a nice, full-body workout since both the pedals and the handles move back and forth. While using an elliptical cross-trainer, you will remain in an upright position as you perform the movement on the machine. An elliptical cross-trainer might also classify as a front- or rear-drive elliptical trainer, depending on where the motor sits.
  • Elliptical Glider: The biggest difference between an elliptical glider and a cross-trainer is that a glider will only work your lower body. This is because an elliptical glider has stationary handles but still features pedals that move your feet, so your legs will be doing all the work.
  • Recumbent Elliptical: Most elliptical machines require the user to stand up while they are exercising on it, but there are also ellipticals that come with a seat. This type of machine is known as a recumbent elliptical, and its function is very similar to some exercise bikes you may find. A recumbent elliptical will work your lower body and upper body with pedals and moving handles. A recumbent elliptical is a great option for those who have limited mobility due to age or injury.
  • Standard Elliptical Trainers: The final type of elliptical that we will be going over is probably the one you are most accustomed to seeing. Like a glider, a standard elliptical training will only work your lower body since the handles will not move. However, the pedal movements are very similar to other ellipticals, which cause you to push on them and create circular movements. This results in hip and knee extensions, which will work your glutes, hamstrings, and quads.

Choose the Right Elliptical for You Today!

As you can see, there are a ton of different options available to you if you are interested in getting an elliptical machine. The biggest thing you will have to consider that can make your choice simpler is if you are looking for a machine that will give you a great full-body or leg workout. That tends to be the biggest difference among ellipticals that you will want to look for. Top Fitness Store has all these ellipticals and so much more when it comes to both cardio machines and strength-training equipment. Take one step closer to building the ultimate home gym—browse our collection of equipment from top brands online or head into a store near you.

The Different Types of Elliptical Trainers


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