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If you are looking for a low impact exercising machine, consider any of these seated elliptical machines. In my experience, a sit down elliptical is the perfect exercising machine for rehabilitation or for anyone looking to protect their knees, hips and back while working out.
In this review, we’ve covered the best 9 recumbent trainers starting with the top-rated Teeter Freestep cross trainer. Here is a quick look at our top three.
Top 5 Best Seated Elliptical Machines Reviews
1. Teeter Freestep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical
Founded over 40 years, Teeter is a US based company that produced some of the best low impact fitness equipment on the market. Their products include gravity inversion boots, bikes, back decompression tables, elliptical machines and more.
The LT3 elliptical by Teeter is a unique, low impact sitting elliptical machine. It offers most of the features you’ll find on premium ellipticals such as the Nu Step elliptical at an affordable price. Let’s have a quick look at some of the features.
The LT3 seated elliptical machine is designed to minimize impact on your joints, hip and back while exercising. It is equipped with a magnetic resistance system that allows for smooth motion, reducing impact on your body.
This magnetic system works quietly, allowing you to watch your favorite program while working out from the comfort of your living room.
For your comfort, this Teeter Freestep recumbent cross trainer and elliptical has several features.
One; a well-padded seat with a backrest. The seat is wide enough to accommodate most users. It is also height adjustable, using a spring-loaded adjustment knob, to accommodate users of different heights.
This seat can also recline in 3 different positions, so you can find your sweet spot for maximum muscle engagement.
For the pedals, you get wide, slip-resistant pedals that move without much effort. These pedals work smoothly, taking load off your joints and back.
The LT3 sit down elliptical also features suregrip front handles. These are coated with rubber material which is sweat-resistant. The handles isolate upper body muscles and work your triceps, biceps, back and chest.
Lastly, you’ll also get to enjoy the easy-to-use, easy-to-read digital console that helps you monitor time, distance, calorie burn and speed.
- Handles on the seat sides help with stability and engaging different muscles
- Pedals with tread overlay for traction and cushioning
- Has multiple resistance levels for intense workouts
- Comes with a water bottle holder
- Transport wheels make it easy to move this recumbent elliptical machine
- Doesn’t have workout programs
More on the Teeter Free Step Machine
2. Proform Hybrid Trainer
If you are looking for a seated elliptical machine with workout programs, we recommend this Proform trainer.
First off, it features a unique 2-in-1 design. You can use this trainer as a bike or as an elliptical trainer. This not only saves you space but also money. It also ensures you get to work out your upper and lower body.
For programs, the Proform Hybrid Trainer is iFit ready. The iFit app allows you to mix-up your workout, so there is never a boring workout day.
With iFit membership you get access to a vast library of workout videos designed for users of different fitness levels, personalized training from world class trainers and you can create your own workout route using Google Maps.
Also, iFit allows trainers access to your machine, changing the resistance level, speed and more to help you meet your fitness goals faster.
When it comes to this sitting elliptical’s pedal, users get to enjoy wide, adjustable pedals. You can adjust them to suit your height whether you are using the elliptical side or the bike side.
For handles, you get three sets. Two on the front and another on each side of the seat. The front handles offer a firm, sweat-resistant gripping surface. One set comes with built-in pulse sensors that help you monitor your heart rate.
Lastly, to ensure you are hydrated during your routines, this hybrid trainer comes with an easy to reach water bottle holder. This Proform sit down elliptical trainer is ideal for users up to 350 lbs.
- Offers 16 levels of resistance to accommodate users in different workout groups
- Ideal for users up to 350 lbs
- Transport wheel make portability easy
- Comes with a strong warranty; up to 5 years
- Easy to use monitor with built-in speakers
- Doesn’t have a cooling fan
- Labor and part warranty is short (90 days)
3. HCI Fitness Physiostep Seated Cross Trainer
If you are looking for an elliptical to aid you in physical therapy, you won’t go wrong with any elliptical by HCI Fitness. This brand offers some of the best physical therapy equipment including the best low impact treadmills, total body trainers, rowers, stretching tables and more.
The PhysioStep LTD recumbent elliptical machine is ideal for people recovering from back, hip, and knee surgery. This seated elliptical machine needs some assembling. You only have to attach the monitor, arms and seat. There is a manual to guide you through the process.
It features a step-through frame that allows users to get on and off the bike without straining their knees and back.
Its frame is quite sturdy and large enough to accommodate users between 4’10 to 6’4”. To handle different types of users, this elliptical recumbent machine comes with some adjustable features.
First, its seat comes with a backrest and is adjustable forward and backward in 14 different positions. The seat is well-padded for user comfort and comes with side handlebars for user stability.
These handlebars are fitted with pulse sensors that will help you monitor your heart rate.
Another adjustable feature is the front handlebars. You can turn them to different handles for proper gripping. Also, the handlebars move with the pedals to allow for upper body exercising.
Speaking of pedals, this HCI Fitness seated elliptical trainer comes with large foot pedals with straps for easy fitting. The surface is textured, providing a firm grip surface for different types of exercise shoes.
The LTD physical therapy elliptical is powered by a poly belt drive system. This system works smoothly and is whisper quiet, allowing users to exercising while watching TV or listening to their favorite podcast.
Lastly, this seated elliptical trainer comes with an easy-to-use, backlit monitor where you can track your progress, change resistance levels, choose a workout program and keep an eye on your heart rate.
- Offer 16 levels of resistance and 17 workout programs for guided and intense workouts
- Seat adjustable and can recline for user comfort
- Monitor backlit and easy-to-use
- Comes with a strong warranty
- Somewhat expensive but it’s a good machine for rehabilitation
4. Nustep TRS 4000 Elliptical
The Nustep TRS 4000 is an elliptical trainer designed for the elderly and for people in need of physical therapy. This high-end machine has a lot of awesome features to enjoy. First, its frame is made of 14 gauge heavy-duty frame. What this means is your machine will last for years. Also, it’s more stable compared to other seated elliptical machines.
This heavy-duty frame can handle up to 400lbs, making it one of the best elliptical for heavy people. This long stride elliptical comes with a well-padded seat for user comfort. The seat also swivels, 360 degrees, to make it easy for users to get on and off the machine.
The seat is also adjustable forward and backward to accommodate users of different heights. We recommend the Nustep TRS 4000 sitting elliptical for users between 4’6” to 6’4”.
Another feature users enjoy is the large pedals that are textured to keep users secure. The pedals move swiftly and smoothly, ensuring no stress on joints and back.
To ensure you get the best workout experience, this bike offers 10 resistance levels. The levels allow for warm up exercising, intense exercising as well as cool down exercising.
You choose and change the resistance levels via the easy-to-read digital monitor that automatically turns on when you get on this seated elliptical trainer. The monitor also help you monitor steps, time, and calories burned.
- Arms are adjustable and well-padded for comfort
- Has a higher weight capacity than other recumbent elliptical machines
- Textured foot pedals keep feet secure
- Comes with transport wheels for portability
- Has fewer workout programs compared to the HCI Fitness LXT-700 elliptical
- Recumbent elliptical benefits
5. Octane Fitness XR6 Elliptical
One of the brands that can hold candle to HCI Fitness is Octane Fitness. From standing ellipticals to cross trainers to seated elliptical trainers, this brand is dedicated to providing high-quality and durable fitness equipment for users of different ages and sizes.
The Octane Xr6 features an unbeatable design and offers loads of features.
One of the features we loved is its step-through design. Like the HCI elliptical trainer above, all you have to do is step-in, workout, and step out. No hassle. No straining.
Its frame is large, 71 x 35 x 60 inches (180 x 90 x 152cm) and will require you to set aside enough to place it. Fortunately, it comes with front wheels that make it easy to move around.
For your comfort, this sitting elliptical trainer features a well-padded seat with a backrest. The seat is height adjustable in 20 positions and can tilt in 5 different positions. On each side of the seat you’ll find a handle that you are to hold for stability while exercising.
Also, these handles are integrated with pulse sensors that help you monitor the heart rate while exercising.
To ensure your workouts are never boring, this recumbent elliptical offers 43 preset workout programs and 20 resistance levels. These programs will ensure your muscles keep working and your heart pumping.
Lastly, you get access to the Octane App that allow you to track your progress, set goals, and workout smart.
- Has a strong warranty
- Ideal for whole body workout
- Fitness programs ensure your workouts are interesting
- Seat adjustable to accommodate different sized users
- Machine is heavy
6. Xterra Fitness RSX1500 Seated Stepper
Offering 24 diverse workout programs, the Xterra Fitness RSX1500 seated elliptical is a fitness machine that will ensure you stay motivated and reach your fitness goals with ease.
There are five reasons why this sitting elliptical stands out from the rest
Dual action: This recumbent elliptical is a dual action exercise machine. It’s designed to work the upper body and lower body. The pedaling motion works the lower body while the handle motion works the upper body. With this recumbent elliptical you can work multiple muscles simultaneously.
Programs: If you want guided workouts, the RSX1500 is the machine for you. It offers 24 on-board workout programs. This includes 5 heart rate programs and 4 custom programs.
Comfort: The Xterra Fitness RSX1500 sit down elliptical is designed with the user’s comfort in mind. It features a mesh back seat that well-padded. Also, the sides of the seats come with handlebars for your stability during exercising. The front handlebars are adjustable to accommodate users of different heights.
Leg motion: Under desk elliptical machines are great but do not offer a wide stride range. Most offer up to 5 inches. The RXS1500 offers a 13-inch stride range which is ideal even for taller users. Also, here are some 20 inch stride elliptical for standing exercises.
User capacity: This sitting elliptical can handle up to 300 lbs (136 kg) which makes it a great option for heavy users.
There you have it, 5 reasons why this Xterra elliptical is a great pick. And there is more.
Other features you’ll enjoy include the built-in speakers, pulse sensors to monitor your heart rate, and pedals with straps for your safety.
So, if you are looking for a low impact seated elliptical, the RSX1500 by Xterra Fitness is a great pick.
- Comes with a strong warranty; lifetime for frame
- Dual action allows for upper and low body workouts
- 24 resistance levels ensure your workouts are always intense for fast recovery and weight loss
- Steel frame and wide base ensure your stability during workouts
- Heavy to move around
Recumbent elliptical benefits
A sitting elliptical has the same benefits as a standing elliptical. Here are some of the benefits you’ll get by using this seated elliptical machine
1. Great for full body workout
2. Low impact exercising
3. Easy to access
4. Improves cardiovascular health
5. Reduces inflammation. Some types of inflammation are caused by low blood pressure. Exercising on the best hiit trainer will help boost your blood circulation, reducing inflammation.
How to choose a Sitting Elliptical Machine
Choosing an elliptical trainer from the many offerings on the market is not easy. However, our team prepared this list of things to consider while choosing an elliptical machine to make the process easier and faster.
- Frame construction
The way a machine feels while exercising is dependent on the type of frame. Most elliptical machines come with varying resistance levels; the higher the resistance level the higher the energy/force required. You need to look for a machine that can handle the force.
One of the best ways to know if a machine has a durable frame is to check its weight. Opt for one with a heavy frame. Also, ensure the base is wide for stability.
- Resistance levels
Why do I need resistance levels? Resistance ensures your workouts are never ‘easy’. A good unit offers adjustable resistance so you can warm up for a few minutes, then proceed to a higher resistance level for more intense workouts, then reduce the intensity for cool downs.
There are two ways you can adjust resistance; one via a knob, this is mostly for under desk ellipticals and through the control console for the recumbent units. We recommend you pick one that best suits your needs.
Under desk ellipticals are straight forward. For office use, pick one that fits under your desk perfectly and remember to use the right chair. When choosing a recumbent trainer, check on the seat’s adjustability and padding. The adjustability feature allows other people in your home to use the machine comfortably while the padding ensures your comfort.
- Stride length
The simplest way to describe stride length is the maximum distance or space between the two pedals on your machine. Most under desk elliptical machines, you get around 5 inches. This is why these machines are great for office use since they don’t take up much space.
The recumbent units offer up to 17-inch strides and would be most suited for home gyms.
- Moving or stationary arms
When it comes to sit down ellipticals, depending on the brand, a unit can has stationary or moving arms. As a team, we opted for units with moving arms since they offer more intense workouts especially for the upper body.
- Control panel
You want an elliptical machine with an easy-to-use, easy-to-read control panel. The mini elliptical machines on this list come with a monitor that allow you to track your calories burned, time, speed, and distance.
The other recumbent options provide easy-to-use control panels that allow you to change resistance levels, track your progress, set goals and more.
Recumbent elliptical units have more parts, more programs, and cost more. Most brand offer lifetime warranty on the frame and between 3 – 5 years on the parts.
1. How many calories can you burn on a seated elliptical?
According to this study working out on an elliptical is better than doing most exercises. Working out on an elliptical trainer for 30 minutes will help you burn up to 250 calories. To burn more calories, ensure to work out for longer and also observe your diet.
2. Which is better recumbent bike or elliptical?
Honestly, there isn’t much difference between this two exercising machines. A recumbent elliptical allow you to mimic the running motion. An elliptical is great for anyone recovering from injury or for the elderly. A recumbent bike is ideal for beginners.
3. Does elliptical tone buttocks?
Yes, an elliptical trainer can tone your butt. The best way to tone your body is by burning calories, and for an elliptical machine, the higher the resistance the more calories burned.
How do you choose the best recumbent elliptical cross trainer? This is the question most people struggle with when choosing a trainer. But, don’t worry we’ve got your back. The list above covers the best seated elliptical machines.
These machines include mini elliptical trainers as well as recumbent elliptical trainers. The units are made of durable steel, work smoothly and silently. You can’t go wrong with any of the options above.
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