Foldaway Elliptical Trainers - Are They Worth It?

Are you tight on space and considering a foldaway elliptical trainer? Learn all about the benefits and top foldaway elliptical trainers on the market today.

The beauty of working out at home is the ultimate convenience. No trips to the gym, no line ups for the equipment, and basically – no excuses! The drawback to a home gym is the space it takes is not available in many homes.

Recognizing the need to develop and market equipment that optimizes space, several manufacturers introduced foldaway elliptical trainers.

An elliptical trainer is an excellent cardiovascular machine providing full body toning without the jarring impact of treadmills or stair climbers. Most foldaway models are ideal for both beginners and seasoned athletes.

There are three main benefits of using a foldaway elliptical trainer:

• They take up very little space when folded up. Easy to get out and use, just snap it down when finished and roll away for storage. No need to dedicate a permanent space for your elliptical machine.

• Elliptical trainers offer one of the best all over cardiovascular and weight bearing exercises around. Using the moveable handlebars gets your heart rate up quickly and gets your body benefiting from exercise immediately.

• The smooth motion of the elliptical pattern is easy on your joints and suitable for people with joint problems. Also great as you age because of its gentleness on the knee, ankle and hip joints.

Good foldaway models will offer steel frames to ensure a stable workout and quiet operation. In addition, they should fold down in a snap and roll away for storage.

There are so many foldaway elliptical trainers on the market that it can be difficult and confusing to make your selection. In addition, there are various price points, so there is something for every budget.

Here are my picks for the top three foldaway elliptical trainers covering a variety of budgets.

Inexpensive:

Foldaway Elliptical Strider with Heart Rate Monitor – under $200.

This model has the added benefit of a heart rate monitor. The metal contact plates on the handlebars instantly measure heart rate in beats per minute as you exercise. In addition, the LCD shows your heart rate, elapsed time, steps taken, estimated calories burned and steps per minute.

The ample contoured footplates allow for a comfortable, stable stance as you take full range strides while moving the cushioned handlebars. You can also rest against a padded body cushion for optimal posture and balance.

When your workout session is finished, the footplates and frame conveniently fold down and lock into position with the included pins for compact storage.

Apparently, it folds away easily and lays almost completely flat so that it can be placed right under the bed or stored upright in a small closet. When folded, it's just 55”x12”x18”.

Perhaps the biggest downfall of this unit is the maximum recommended weight limit of 200lbs and the shorter 90-day warranty.

Mid Range:

ProForm XP Elliptical, XP 130 – approx. $600

An excellent mid range elliptical trainer, the ProForm XP130 offers a smooth, frictionless resistance system allowing you to adjust your workout intensity without interrupting your workout. You can choose from ten intensity levels to target specific workout and conditioning goals.

This model has terrific oversized, slip resistant pedals allowing you to find a comfortable position.

The heart rate monitor helps you keep in the proper zone for your fitness goals. It even contains a pacing coach, which lights up to let you know when you need to work a little harder or you need to slow down. This excellent benefit helps you make the most of your precious exercise time.

Another great feature is the built in ‘cool aire fan', which helps you work out longer and more comfortably. The fan is built right into the console so it's easy to access and use.

Expensive

Vision X6200HRT Elliptical – approx. $1500

This model rivals many that I've seen in my local gym. The X6200HRT is the manufactures top of the range home elliptical and has everything you would require for a safe, fun and effective workout.

Features a console display that shows watts, speed, RPMs, distance, time, calories, heart rate, and program level. In addition, you can choose pre-programmed exercises including manual, interval, weight loss, hills, mountains and rolling.

You can move the pedals/foot plates from a step to a glide position giving you even more variety with this machine.

The X6200HRT is of light commercial quality but does fold to reduce its length by over 20”. You cannot store this model under your bed, but its additional features and the ability to make it substantially smaller means it is an excellent choice for your home gym.

As for where to purchase your foldaway elliptical trainer, you basically have three options: online, at a fitness equipment specialty store or from a department store.

While you might get the best price online, you are sacrificing the ability to try the unit out and to get great advice from professionals. Fitness speciality stores are more expensive; however, they have qualified staff that can help you select a machine that meets your fitness needs. Department stores vary widely.

You may get excellently trained staff, or it may be a salesclerk with little product knowledge or interest in helping you select your equipment.

My best advice is to do your research and try out the machine before you buy. Your foldaway elliptical trainer is an investment in your long-term health!

All the best,

Blake




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