A heavy-duty elliptical machine is one of the best ways a heavy person can lose weight. Unlike other cardio machines, ellipticals can work both the upper and lower body, providing an intense full-body workout. This ultimately burns more calories.
One major advantage of elliptical machines for heavy people is that they’re low impact.
But, before you start your cardio workouts, you have to make sure it has enough weight capacity. Once you’ve made sure the weight limits meet your needs, you’re good to go.
This article will review the best heavy-duty elliptical machines available.
Ready? Let’s get going!
In a Hurry? Here is our top pick:
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The Best Heavy Duty Ellipticals
- Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical – 400 lbs. – Best Overall
- ProForm Hybrid Trainer – 400 lbs. – Best Combo Bike And Elliptical
- Life Fitness Club Series Elliptical Cross-Trainer – 350 lbs. – Best Club-Style Elliptical
- Nautilus E618 Elliptical– 350 lbs. – Best Bluetooth Connectivity
- HCI Fitness PhysioStep RXT-1000 Recumbent Elliptical Trainer– 350 lbs. – Best For Seniors
- Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3912 Elliptical – 330 lbs. – Best Value
- Horizon Fitness 7.0 AE Elliptical – 325 lbs. – Best Portable Elliptical
- NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i Elliptical Trainer – 325 lbs. – Best For iFit
- Exerpeutic 1000XL Elliptical– 300 lbs. – Best For Beginners
- Schwinn 470 Elliptical – 300 lbs. – Best Compact Elliptical
- BowFlex Max Trainer M8– 300 lbs. – Best For Multiple Users
Reviews – The Best Heavy Duty Ellipticals
1. Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical – 400 lbs. – Best Overall
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Here’s our pick for the best heavy-duty elliptical. The Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical machine features a steel frame that has a 400 lb maximum weight capacity.
This elliptical for heavy people has 20 levels of magnetic resistance. Plus, the E95 has an exclusive power incline feature. An incline adds intensity to your workout and the E95 offers 20 incline levels .
Plus, there are multi-position handles with integrated resistant and incline controls for quick, easy adjustments.
The Sole E95’s pedals adjust to the unique way you walk, which in turn supports stride length. The pedals can be used in a forward or backward motion and the max stride length is 20″.
The E95 console is easy to use and easy to read. It’s Bluetooth-enabled with built-in speakers, a tablet holder, and a USB port. It can be integrated with the most popular fitness apps.
There are also pulse grips and a chest strap to monitor heart rate. Finally, the Sole Fitness E95 Elliptical has a lifetime warranty on the frame, with 5 years on electronics.
- 400 lb Weight Limit
- Features Foot Pedals That Adjust To Your Unique Walking Style
- 20 Levels Of Magnetic Resistance And Incline
- It May Be Hard To Assemble For Some Users
2. ProForm Hybrid Trainer – 400 lbs. – Best Combo Bike And Elliptical
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Here we have a two-in-one low-impact exercise machine. The ProForm Hybrid Trainer is a combination recumbent bike and rear drive elliptical machine.
With an alloy steel frame, the Hybrid Trainer has a 400 lb maximum weight capacity. There are 16 levels of SMR Silent Magnetic Resistance. There is also an inertia-enhanced flywheel. These features mean you will have a smooth and quiet training session.
There is also a free 30-day iFit Membership with live-streamed and on-demand workouts. Plus, there are global and studio workouts and your trainer can adjust your speed. Of course, it’s also manually adjustable.
The simple LCD display tracks workout performance. This includes calories burned, distance, time, and cadence. Plus, there is a tablet holder.
There are two sets of handles. One set is meant to hang onto while you target your lower body. The other set is long handles that work in sync with the pedals for a complete full-body workout.
To monitor heart rate, pulse grips are built into the handles. There are also built-in speakers.
Also, the oversized pedals are adjustable so you have the best foot position for either the bike or the elliptical. Finally, the elliptical stride length is 15″.
The ProForm Hybrid Trainer comes with a 5-year warranty on the frame.
- Two Cardio Machines In One
- Features A Free iFit Membership
- 16 Levels Of Silent Resistance
- Some Users Report An Irritating Squeak After A Short Time
3. Life Fitness Club Series Elliptical Trainer – 350 lbs. – Best Club-Style Elliptical
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This is the home gym version of the popular Life Fitness Elliptical Trainer found in many gyms. This commercial-grade elliptical machine provides a full-body workout with synchronized lower and upper body movement.
The large LCD screen provides 18 preset workouts. There are 7 personalized workouts, goal workouts, and a race mode. The LCD tracks all your stats, such as cadence, calories, time, and distance.
A unique feature of this elliptical for heavy people is special HeartSync™ heart rate-controlled training sessions. This auto-adjusts the resistance based on your heart rate.
It does this with the built-in Lifepulse™ digital contact heart rate sensors on the handles. There is a Polar® wireless chest strap included also.
This commercial-grade elliptical machine has oversized, one-size-fits-all foot pedals. They are placed in a way that limits hip shifting. This minimizes pressure on your lower back.
If there’s a downside, the stride length is a little unclear in the description. It seems to run from 21″ to 24″. Before buying this elliptical machine, I suggest users verify the stride length.
Finally, the frame is steel with a 350 lb weight capacity. The frame has a lifetime warranty, with 3 years on the parts.
- Club Quality For Home Use
- 350 lb Capacity
- Features 18 Preset Workouts
- Heavy-Duty Steel Frame – Lifetime Warranty
- Some Users Feel It’s Too Noisy
4. Nautilus E618 Elliptical – 350 lbs. – Best Bluetooth Connectivity
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The Nautilus E618 Elliptical has enhanced Bluetooth connectivity. The E618 syncs with several fitness apps, including Nautilus 2 Trainer, Explore The World, and RunSocial. This app lets you choose from 27 locations. You can then exercise alongside other users in real-time.
The E618 includes 29 workout programs, with several preset workouts. There is also a wireless heart rate strap for your chest.
The Nautilus E618 Elliptical machine features 25 heavy-duty magnetic resistance levels and a motorized incline. The incline ranges from 0 to 10%. Plus, the stride length is 22″.
There is no mention of what the frame is made of, but it has a 10-year warranty and there’s a weight limit of 350 lbs.
Also, Nautilus suggests checking your ceiling height clearance by adding 21″ to the height of the tallest user. Still, this is a compact machine. It measures 27″ W x 73″ L x 67″ H. Therefore, other than checking height, it will fit in most spaces.
- Features Enhanced Bluetooth
- There Are 25 Resistance Levels – Incline Up To 10%
- Heavy-Duty Elliptical Holds Up To 350 lbs
- Some Users Feel The Workout Stats Do Not Seem Accurate
5. HCI Fitness PhysioStep RXT-1000 Recumbent Elliptical Trainer – 350 lbs. – Best For Seniors
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Here’s our pick for the best elliptical cross trainer that is ideal for seniors. The HCI Fitness PhysioStep RXT-1000 Recumbent Elliptical Trainer puts you in a zero-impact, stress-free recumbent position. Your back is supported, and you have the option of using the upper body handles for a complete workout.
The RXT-1000 is a high-weight capacity elliptical with a 350 lb weight capacity. The frame is steel and comes with a lifetime warranty.
There are 16 levels of computer-controlled resistance. The stride length is 12″, but remember, you’re working the pedals from a fully seated position.
Since this is an elliptical machine for heavy people, it has a large padded seat. There are also multi-grip handles that work your chest, shoulders, back, and arms.
Next, there is a 9″ color-coded display that tracks workout data, which you can export to a USB. These workout summaries allow you to monitor and track your progress.
Finally, it’s self-powered, there’s no motor.
- Recumbent Design Is Ideal For Seniors
- 16 Resistance Levels
- Holds Users Up To 350 lbs
- Some Users Feel The Motion Is A Little Jerky
6. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3912 Elliptical – 330 lbs. – Best Value
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Here’s our pick for the best elliptical for value-minded users. The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3912 Elliptical is made of steel for durability and strength. This is a heavy-duty elliptical with a 330 lb weight capacity.
The SF-E3912 has 16heavy-duty magnetic resistance levels. You can use the optional SunnyFit app and the included 24 workout programs. The display tracks all your workout stats. These include speed, distance, time, and calories burned.
Plus, there are pulse monitors built into the handles. The handles are multi-grip. There are long handles that move with your stride to work the whole body. Also, there are short, fixed handles if you prefer to only work your lower body.
This machine gives you a tablet holder and a water bottle holder.
Finally, the SF-E3912 Elliptical for heavy people does not fold but does have transport wheels for easy moving.
All this at a value-minded price!
- Ideal For Budget-Minded Users
- Holds Users Up To 330 lbs
- 16 Resistance Levels
- Some Users Feel It Is Too Noisy
7. Horizon Fitness 7.0 AE Elliptical – 325 lbs. – Best Portable Elliptical
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Here’s an elliptical trainer with transportation wheels. Combined with a compact footprint, that makes this our pick for the best elliptical for portability.
The Horizon Fitness 7.0 AE Elliptical Cross Trainer is compact, fits in any size space, and can be easily moved.
This is is a heavy-duty elliptical trainer made of aluminum with a 325 lb weight capacity. The heavy-duty frame has a lifetime warranty.
The Horizon Fitness 7.0 AE Elliptical Cross Trainer features 20 resistance levels and a motorized incline. There are 20 levels of incline, from 0% to 100%. One-touch keys and handlebar controls allow easy and fast adjustments.
The Horizon Cross Trainer has Bluetooth connectivity so you can access your favorite fitness apps. Plus, there are numerous workout programs included. The LCD screen tracks your workout performance, providing calories burned, distance, incline level, and time. Heart rate is also monitored.
Finally, the pedal movement imitates your natural movement.
- Compact Elliptical Includes Transport Wheels For Easy Moving
- 20 Resistance Levels – 20 Incline Levels
- Lifetime Warranty On The Frame
- Some Users Complain Of Excessive Squeaking
8. NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i Elliptical Trainer – 325 lbs. – Best For iFit
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This elliptical machine comes with the full iFit experience. The Nordictrack SpaceSaver SE9i Elliptical Trainer doesn’t simply offer a 30-day trial, this appears to come with complete access to iFit. That makes it the best elliptical for iFit.
First, there is a 7″ Smart HD touchscreen with iFit Bluetooth. There are outdoor workouts, studio workouts, and access to an unlimited library of workout programs.
All of these are trainer-led. The trainer can auto-adjust your elliptical based on your experience level for best results.
In all, there are 30 included workout programs, heart rate training, and a Bluetooth-enabled Smart chest strap.
From there, the basics of this elliptical trainer are 24 levels of zero-impact SMR resistance. The frame is made of steel for durability and strength. This machine has a 325 lb capacity, and a 10-year warranty on the frame.
The SpaceSaver SE9i has an 18″ stride length. The large pedals are adjustable. Finally, this machine folds, making it a space-saving elliptical machine for heavy people.
- Features The Complete iFit Experience
- 24 Levels Of SMR Resistance
- Sturdy Steel Frame
- Space-Saving Folding Design
- While This Elliptical Folds, It’s Difficult To Move
9. Exerpeutic 1000XL Elliptical – 300 lbs. – Best For Beginners
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Here’s our pick for the best elliptical for beginners. The Exerpeutic 1000XL Elliptical is a high weight capacity, heavy-duty elliptical with a weight capacity of 300 lbs. This Exerpeutic heavy-duty elliptical has 8 levels of resistance with a 13″ stride length.
The Exerpeutic heavy-duty elliptical machine provides a natural walking motion. There is no bounce like other ellipticals might have. That means it’s easier on your knees and joints.
The LCD is easy to read and tracks your workout stats. These include heart rate, time, speed, calories used, and distance. Also, on-demand studio classes are available.
Finally, there is a waterproof mat included free of charge. Everything a beginner needs to get off to a good start!
- Good Elliptical For Beginners
- Smooth, Natural Elliptical Motion
- Includes A Free Mat
- Weight Limit 300 lbs
- The Stride Length May Be Too Short For Some Users
10. Schwinn 470 Elliptical – 300 lbs. – Best Compact Elliptical
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The Schwinn 470 Elliptical machine is the most compact elliptical in this guide. That means it can easily fit in your home gym. Only have a small area in your home? That’s OK, chances are, it will fit.
This elliptical includes the Explore The World fitness app. The app gives you 50+ global routes that will adjust to your speed. This provides a more realistic experience.
From here, the dual-track LCD displays 29 workout programs. You can set your workouts, then monitor and track your progress.
The 470 has 25 levels of heavy-duty magnetic resistance, and a 10-degrees auto-adjustable ramp. This incline feature takes your workouts to the next level. Plus, the stride length is 20″. The Schwinn 470 features an exclusive Foot Motion Technology that imitates the natural motion of running.
The frame is steel and has a 300 lb weight capacity. Finally, the frame has a 10-year warranty.
- Compact Elliptical
- 300 lb Weight Capacity
- Features Power-Adjustable Incline And 25 Levels Of Resistance
- Some Users Feel The Handles Are Too Low
11. BowFlex Max Trainer M8 – 300 lbs. – Best For Multiple Users
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Do you have several people in your household that want to use the same elliptical machine? Do you want an elliptical that tracks the workout of each user? The BowFlex Max Trainer M8 can track the progress of up to 4 users.
The M8 Max Trainer is not just an elliptical. It’s a combo stepper and elliptical in one heavy-duty machine. This also has the advantage of giving the M8 a small footprint. It’ll easily fit in your home gym or spare room.
However, it adds to the height of the unit. This is especially true with a person on it. Still, this is a very compact unit.
The M8 has a heavy-duty metal frame with a maximum weight limit of 300 lbs. No warranty information is listed in the Amazon description.
The Max Trainer has 20 levels of resistance and access to fitness apps JRNY and Explore The World. The M8 comes with 7 workout programs. The large display is easy to use and read. Plus, there is a tablet holder for your iPad or smart device.
Finally, do you want to burn as many calories as possible? You can use the M8 as an elliptical machine and a stepper.
- Two Calorie-Burning Machines In One – Elliptical And Stepper
- Features The Popular Fitness Apps JRNY Or Explore The World
- 20 Levels Of Resistance
- Some Users Complain Of Squeaks After A Week Or So Of Use
Buying Guide – How To Choose The Best Heavy Duty Elliptical?
What Is A Heavy Duty Elliptical Machine?
An elliptical machine is a piece of exercise equipment that provides a low-impact workout for the lower body. Basically, your legs move in an elliptical, or circular motion.
The best elliptical machines include long handles that work your chest, back, shoulders, and arms.
That means it’s one of the few pieces of exercise equipment that can provide a cardio-based upper and lower body workout.
You’ll not only burn fat, but you’ll also tone your muscles.
Weight Capacity Guidelines
You’re in the market for a heavy-duty magnetic elliptical machine (meaning the resistance is magnetic). No doubt you’re looking at elliptical machines for heavy people with a high capacity weight limit.
Heavy-duty elliptical machines are surprisingly sturdy. They are built tough enough to handle the weight as well as intense workouts.
Here’s a breakdown of the user weight limit elliptical machines should cover.
Measured as pound weight capacity:
- 250-300 lb
- 300-350 lb
- 350-375 lb
- 375-400 lb
Anything lower than this will not work for a heavy person.
Types Of Elliptical Machines
There are several types of ellipticals available. Here they are:
Front Drive – This refers to the placement of the flywheel. That’s where the handles attach, It’s also what provides the resistance. In this case, the flywheel is positioned in front of the pedals. This improves stability. It also tends to put users in a lean-forward position, which can burn more calories. A good example of this type is our best heavy-duty elliptical, the Sole E95.
Rear Drive – As you may have guessed, this puts the flywheel in the back, behind the pedals. This creates a more natural walking motion. It also requires more room than front-drive ellipticals because it’s a longer machine. The best example is the NordicTrack SE9i.
Center Drive – This puts the flywheel right in the center. This creates a compact, upright design. It’s good for stability and causes less pressure on the back, knees, and hips. An example of this is the BowFlex M8 Max Trainer. This approach works well for the M8, which is a combo stepper/elliptical machine.
Standard Trainer – This refers to ellipticals that have fixed handles. An example of this type of heavy-duty elliptical is the BowFlex M8 Trainer. The drawback is that you can only work the lower body with this type.
Cross Trainer – This means the elliptical has built-in long handles for your arms that move with the foot pedals. This creates a full-body workout. You have the option not to use the handles. A good example is the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3912 Elliptical.
Combo Trainer – This is a combo unit. We mentioned the BowFlex M8 above. Another good example of a two-in-one cross trainer is the ProForm Hybrid Trainer. This is a combo recumbent bike and elliptical. A two-in-one adds variety to your workouts. Also, it gives more to work with in your quest to lose weight. Plus, you can use both units in one workout.
Finally, a few elliptical trainers fold to save space. That’s not so much a type as it is a design feature. The best folding elliptical is the NordicTrack SpaceSaver Se9i Elliptical Trainer.
The Benefits Of A Heavy Duty Elliptical
Low-Impact – If you’re a heavy person, your joints are under a lot of pressure. That means you need a cardio machine that’s as low impact as possible. An elliptical keeps your feet in constant contact with the pedals. Plus, you never walk on a hard surface. Many ellipticals stimulate a natural walking motion, and a few are designed to limit natural hip movement. All this adds up to a safe workout experience for the heavy person.
Burns A Lot Of Calories – The number of calories you can burn depends on exercise time, intensity, age, and weight.
For example, if you weigh 300 lbs, spend 15 minutes on the elliptical, and exercise at low intensity, you will burn approximately 164 calories. That may not sound like much, but it’s a good start.
If this same person exercises for 30 minutes, they will burn 329 calories. Sounds a little better, doesn’t it?
Taking this one step further, if our example 300 lb user exercises for 30 minutes at moderate intensity, they will burn 350 calories.
If this example user weighs 350 lbs, then they will burn 408 calories in the above example.
Finally, let’s use our new 350 lb user who’s exercising for 30 minutes. Let’s up the intensity too high. They will burn 457 calories. Now we’re talking!
For reference, low intensity equals a resistance setting of 2, moderate intensity equals a setting of 5, and high intensity equals a resistance setting of 8.
Works The Whole Body – This is model-dependent and requires moving long handles to work the upper body. You will burn more calories if you can involve the entire body in the exercise. Add an elliptical trainer with an incline, and your potential to burn calories and, in turn, burn more fat increases.
A good example of a heavy-duty elliptical that has moving handles and incline settings is our best heavy-duty elliptical, the Sole Fitness E95.
Adds Variety To Your Workouts – This is also model-dependent. Any of the elliptical combo machines will add variety to your workouts. For example, as noted the ProForm Hybrid Trainer is a combo bike and elliptical.
Another example is the BowFlex M8. This is a combo stepper and elliptical trainer. With this unit, you can mix it up any way you like! Which one should you use? You can take your pick!
What Features Should I Look For?
The maximum user weight limits of the ellipticals you’re considering are your primary concern. An overweight person needs to make sure the elliptical has a high weight capacity. That means you will need to check the manufacturer’s recommended weight limit.
It’s usually suggested to choose a machine that can handle your weight plus another 25 lbs. That should be the max weight limit of any elliptical you are considering.
For example, the heavy-duty ellipticals you’re considering have a weight limit 300 to 400-plus lbs. Let’s say you weigh 275 lbs. Add another 25 lbs, and any elliptical with a 300 lb capacity will be ideal.
Here’s one more example. Let’s assume you weigh 375 lbs. You should consider ellipticals for heavy people with a 400 lb user weight limit.
Design And Available Space
The design of heavy-duty elliptical machines varies. As noted above, there are different types. They all look different. For example, a rear-drive elliptical is longer than other types. That’s because the flywheel is in the back, behind the pedals.
On the other hand, a center drive means the elliptical will be higher with a very compact footprint.
The biggest factor that will determine the design of your high-weight capacity elliptical is the space you have available. Do you have a well-equipped, spacious home gym? Well, then, you can choose anything.
Do you have a small room or even a corner of a room? Then you will need the most space-saving elliptical you can find.
The heart of any cardio exercise machine is the console. Most cardio machines feature an extensive console layout, and heavy-duty elliptical machines are no exception.
Whether you’re a heavy person or not, you need to track your exercise performance. Progress is a strong motivating factor. You will be motivated to keep pushing forward if you can see improvement.
Depending on the machine, the console may have a large, easy-to-read screen. It may also have a tablet holder for your smart device.
Look for features important to you. Do you need a water bottle holder? Cooling fans? Speakers? Then be sure you check out all the features of any high-weight capacity elliptical you are interested in.
An example of an elliptical with a good console is our best heavy-duty elliptical, the Sole Fitness E95.
Elliptical trainers use adjustable magnetic tension resistance from a flywheel that spins in a magnetic field. There are magnetic brakes that apply pressure to the spinning flywheel. This is where the resistance comes from.
You will want an elliptical with at least 16 resistance levels. You’ll want higher resistance as you become more experienced.
As noted, some ellipticals use incline. This makes the exercise that much harder and burns more calories. The rate of incline can vary. Also, most ellipticals feature a motorized incline. Buy according to your experience, but allow room to grow.
Of course, you can simply get on your elliptical, adjust the resistance, and go. Or, you can choose from several preset workout programs based on your experience level.
If your machine has Bluetooth, you can access the fitness app that comes with the elliptical. That means workout options dramatically increase.
All of this means you have enough workout options to keep you interested and progressing for a long time to come. You only have to choose according to your level of experience.
Besides space, this is the biggest factor in choosing any high-weight capacity elliptical. After all, it has to be within your budget, right? When considering a heavy-duty magnetic elliptical, always go with the best combination of features within the best possible budget range.
Ellipticals for heavy people will most likely be used consistently. Since your goal is to lose weight, you may be using it 5-6 days a week. The most motivated users may even be using it twice a day.
That means you should look for the best possible warranty. For example, the SoleE95 features a lifetime warranty on the frame. This is even more impressive when you consider the E95’s 400 lb weight capacity.
Is A Front Or Rear Drive Better?
First, as noted there is also a center drive elliptical. Having said that, the best way to go is largely a question of space.
A rear-drive, a recumbent elliptical, or a combo trainer, will require more room. This type of exercise machine will be ideal for a home gym.
On the other hand, if space is limited, go with a front or center drive. Remember to measure your ceiling height with these models. And, add your height while standing on the machine, plus at least another 15″.
Is A Heavy Flywheel Better On My Elliptical?
The weight of a flywheel helps determine smooth and quiet operation. The heavier the flywheel, the quieter and smoother your elliptical will be. That’s because the weight of the flywheel helps stabilize the spin. Heavier flywheels typically last longer than lighter ones.
Is 30 Minutes A Day Enough To Lose Weight?
If you’re a beginner, you’ll want to start small and work up. For example, maybe all you can do is in 5 minutes. Fine. Your goal is to work up to 10 minutes. From there, 15 minutes and up until you reach 30 minutes. If you can spend 30 minutes on an elliptical at moderate intensity 3-5 days a week, you will be well on your way to achieving your goals.
How Many Inches Should The Stride Length Be?
The inch stride length will vary among elliptical trainers. Some, such as the HCI Fitness PhysioStep RXT-1000 Recumbent Elliptical Trainer have as little as 12″. That’s mainly because this is a seated trainer that limits the amount of stride length you need.
Others, such as the Sole E95, have a 20″ inch stride length. Of course, you’re in the usual standing position on this elliptical.
Look for a machine with sufficient stride length to walk naturally. In other words, your natural walk should determine the stride.
If possible, you should try out any elliptical you’re considering. That way, you can be sure the machine’s stride length will work for you.
So, you’ve checked out this guide and decided it’s time to take the plunge and choose an elliptical.
You can’t go wrong with our best overall, the Sole E95. This is a 400-pound machine. That means it’s ideal for any heavy user. Plus, it has 20 modes of resistance and 20 incline levels. That gives you plenty of room to gain more experience.
Are you interested in a combo unit? The ProForm Hybrid Trainer is an elliptical and a recumbent bike. If you’re an overweight person new to exercise, this is an ideal combination. You can start on the elliptical, and if you get tired, sit down and use the bike.
Finally, you may be interested in the best value. The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3912 Elliptical is made of steel with a 330 lb weight capacity. It has 16 modes of resistance, a water bottle holder, and a device holder. It’s value-minded yet packed with features.
Which one is right for you? The one that meets your goals the most. Use our guide and pick the best heavy-duty elliptical for you!