Your local gym is busier than ever this time of year. Whether you'd prefer to avoid the gym in 2023 or want to save some cash by, consider investing in a home elliptical.
These cardio machines allow you to select your own pacing and level of resistance, while their poles offer an upper body workout as well. Running on an elliptical is less stressful on your knees, hips and back than running on a treadmill. Many ellipticals can also be pedaled backward, offering more of a calf and hamstring workout.
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Ellipticals can easily run upward of $1,000, but we've found some reviewer-loved options from Walmart, Amazon and more for under $500 to add to your home gym. Options in this price range offer only the basics, but you can make an inexpensive model feel a lot more luxe and high-tech if you add an affordable tablet holder, such as this one from Amazon.
Body Rider 2-in-1 fitness machine with elliptical
This wallet-friendly elliptical and exercise bike combo comes with a monitor that displays the time, speed, distance and average calories burned. Its attached adjustable seat turns it into an exercise bike. A manual knob adjusts tension, and the machine has a 250-pound weight capacity.
"My husband and I both use it every day and find it very sturdy and easy to use," wrote a reviewer. "It took a little bit of time to put it together but I did it all by myself and only had to ask my husband a simple question to complete the assembly."
Sunny Health & Fitness advanced programmed elliptical
For more features, pick up this elliptical with a media device holder and a backlit display that tracks speed, time, distance, calories burned, RPM, exertion (in watts) and resistance level. It offers 24 workout modes and has a 330-pound weight capacity.
"My husband and I are so happy with this elliptical," said an Amazon customer. "We have a small condo, so I was worried about the space, but it really doesn't take up too much at all. It also has these little plastic sliders, so we keep it along the wall when not in use, and it's very easy to move across our wood floors so we can watch TV while we work out. It's very stable and doesn't bob or rock us around even if we're going fast."
Sunny Health & Fitness magnetic elliptical
This simple elliptical has an eight-level tension controller to customize workout difficulty. It has a digital monitor that displays time, speed, distance, calories and heart rate. It's a small machine intended for users up to 220 pounds.
"This is not a gym-quality elliptical by any means, but for the price, it offers everything I could ask for," a reviewer said.
Stamina InMotion under-the-desk elliptical
If you're short on space or want a more affordable option, go for half the elliptical instead with this machine. You can use it while sitting or standing and its tension is adjustable. Its monitor displays the number of strides per minute; total number of strides; exercise time; and calories burned. It supports a maximum of 250 pounds.
"I love this strider," wrote a Walmart customer. "I would recommend this to anyone looking to stay active while at a desk job!"
Body Power 3-in-1 exercise machine
If you're looking for versatility in your workouts, pick up this 3-in-1 machine that functions as an elliptical, upright bike and recumbent bike. It has an electronic console that tracks calories burned, time, speed and distance. A 28-day meal plan is included.
"It takes a bit of time to put together, but once it's all set up it's a very reliable workout machine," said an Amazon customer. "Just as promised, it offers three types of cardio workouts in one, the computer is basic but useful, and it's sturdy and fairly portable."
This affordable elliptical has eight levels of resistance, heart rate sensors and an LED screen. The screen displays time, speed, distance, calories burned and pulse rate. This elliptical has transport wheels and a weight capacity of 300 pounds.
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