Best Budget Elliptical Machines 2020 : Buying Guide & Reviews

Expert Contributor

Mia Davis

Are you missing the gym? Wish you could work out from home, but not sure what equipment to go for? Think you might want a brand new exercise machine that’s low cost, gives you a range of full body workout methods and gives you added bonuses to keep the calories burned and the heart rate up?

Well we have just the thing for you! Today, we’re showing you our 15 best low cost elliptical machines which all come at a low price, whilst giving a load of beneficial bonuses like a water bottle holder or LCD display. You’ll never be stuck for monitoring health & fitness in the home gym again, as our listings are smooth and quiet, and provide a means to give you a high intensity session.

Whether it’s lower body or full body workout programs you’re opting for, no matter the type of muscle groups you want to flex, our listings come with a load of features to enhance the user experience of these cheap elliptical machines – whether a family member, friend, or even a curious neighbor… these elliptical trainer machines are a must-have.

Best Budget– 2: Sunny Health Fitness Magnetic Elliptical

Best Premium– 5: MaxKare Magnetic Elliptical

Cheapest Available- 3: Body Rider Body Flex Elliptical


Keep reading if you want to go straight to our top 15 list, which is below. However, we also have a useful buyers’ guide and FAQ section at the bottom of this page to aid you in your search for the best inexpensive eliptical machines.

15 Best Budget Elliptical Machines 2020

Here is our list of the top 15 elliptical machines for those on a budget. These are the best of the picks we found on amazon.com with the highest popularity. They will give you the answer to all of your questions, stress free and with ease. We’ve tried to balance price against quality with these, so for each position make sure you check everything out against what you need… even be sure to pay attention to comments to see what other people have said about these products.

1. EXERPEUTIC 1000xl Heavy Duty Magnetic Elliptical Machine

Heavy Duty Magnetic Ellipticals with Pulse

Best Features: Tension levels and tension resistance adjustments. Heavy duty structure with sustainability and ergonomically friendly design.


Programs: Dual action handlebars provide an upper body workout; the LCD console tracks a combination of time, speed, distance, calories and heart rates.

Review: This product is a super quiet, fun and fast-paced elliptical designed to build a number of problem regions for you such as strength and stamina with little difficulty. The pulse elements help you to get in shape fast, whilst the ultra-quiet magnetic resistance allows you to seamlessly build your stamina. With its brilliant specifications, it’s an easy decision – you need this quiet working machine.

The tension adjustment is also a great benefit on your side, and other information on the menu shows that this is a product worth advertising. It’s perfect for the whole family, regardless of the settings.

SPECIFICATIONS

Capacity: 325 lbs | Stride: 13 inch

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2. Sunny Health & Fitness Elliptical Machine

with 8 Level Resistance and Digital Monitor

Best Features: Multi-function workout computer with LCD display. Easy to use magnetic resistance with perfect user settings for home use.


Programs: Easy to use foot pedals; transportation wheels; 11 inch stride; a load of elements on the LCD screen.

Review: This product is another sterling item amongst the best budget ellipticals on offer. It’s the Sunny Health & Fitness elliptical, and it gets our vote for its array of good elements – such as a stabilizer, its space-saving compact nature suited to any workout space or workout needs in the home, and its digital monitor with pulse monitoring.

What’s more, the large anti-slip foot platforms ensure maximum protection whilst the easy-to-grip handlebars provide plenty of support for your hands. Some of the best ellipticals for support, with a great variety of resisting settings that you can easily track on the easy to read LCD monitor. With pre-set time speed and time distance, it really couldn’t be easier to use this elliptical.

SPECIFICATIONS

Capacity: 220 lbs | Stride: 11 inches

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3. Sunny Health & Fitness Elliptical Cross Trainer with 8 Levels of Resistance

Body Rider Body Flex Sports

Best Features: Easy to manage short stride. Wide ranging weight capacity to support different user weight allowance.


Programs: 8 resistance modes; scan, time, speed, distance, calories, and pulse settings.

Review: Another from Sunny Health & Fitness, this fabulous machine comes with a digital LCD monitor to track your pulse, calories, and other elements on this small machine. What’s more, the easily adjusted resistance allows you to change the intensity of your workout to suit your needs at home. The transportation wheels means you can take them to any room, too!

For long time trainers and completely new users, this trainer machine is perfect for all of your speed, distance, and motion experience requirements. With a great supporting weight capacity too, this model is worth the money.

SPECIFICATIONS

Capacity: 220 lbs | Stride: 11 in

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4. Body Rider Elliptical Trainer and Seat 2-in-1 Cardio

Office Fitness Workout Machine BRD2000

Best Features: 2-in-1 functionality with this handy bike. Price point.


Programs: functions as a bike or elliptical; offers electronic LCD display to track time, distance, heart rate, and calories burned.

Review: Our fourth pick from Body Max brings you an elliptical trainer with a support pad seat and other brilliant elements. This two-function machine comes with exercise bike and elliptical capabilities, with high momentum fan blades for a smooth, fluid mobility. What’s more, the resistance level is easily adjusted, and the electronic LCD console tracks your time, calories, and includes heart rate sensors too, as well as cooling fans. The 250 lbs weight capacity makes it perfect for a wide group of users too! A high quality machine for high quality users.

SPECIFICATIONS

Capacity: 250 lbs | Stride: n/a

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5. MaxKare Magnetic Elliptical, Smooth and Quiet Flywheel

Front Flywheel/LCD Monitor/Dual Handles for Home Use

Best Features: LCD Display. Ergonomic design with comfy handlebars and foot pedals.


Programs: Brilliant magnetic resistance; easy transportation wheels; full body exercise regime; 8 resistance modes; limb coordination

Review: This brilliant choice from MaxKare is a magnetic resistance elliptical, which comes with smooth quiet front flywheels, dual handles, and an LCD monitor making it perfect for using in the house. The adjustable resistance levels allow you to gradually increase the strenuousness of your workout, whilst its compact size means it can take perfect space next to your desk. It even comes with a water bottle holder for any sized water bottle! The stride length is also an amazing aspect.

You’ll see results in just a couple of sessions, this is perfect for any combination of muscle, from quads to glutes. Build your stamina with this brilliant model, which offers much more flexibility than the average market favorite such as an Exerpeutic 5000 or the Sole Fitness E35. With tension levels which are adjustable, it’s perfect for any user weight.

SPECIFICATIONS

Capacity: 264 lbs | Stride: 13.5 inches

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6. Stamina Inmotion Elliptical Trainer

With Handle - Black

Best Features: Frame protective policy. Adjustable controls to modify intensity level – exercise your way at your level.


Programs: Ideal for cardio and lower body workout; ergonomic handles; non slip pedals; adjustable tension controls for easy motion

Review: Our sixth pick comes from Stamina with the Inmotion Elliptical Machine, which comes with ergonomic grip handles and a sheen black chrome. Ideal for whichever way or place you want to work out, users would typically spend their money on this console for lower body or cardio workouts. This elliptical trainer has brilliant reviews, an adjustable level of resistance, and has a space-friendly design. The one year frame protection protects from any dissatisfaction you may have in your workouts, though people in the reviews recount how unlikely this is!

With non-slip pedals which can be worked in a forward or reverse motion, this market favorite is perfect for trainers and beginners alike. No wheels needed to move this thing – it’s so lightweight you can just pick it up and lift! The stride length is also highly ideal for low impact workouts, whilst the weight capacity, as the reviews say, can support a range of users.

SPECIFICATIONS

Capacity: approx 175 lbs | Stride: approx 6.5 inches

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7. Gazelle Freestyle Elliptical

Gazelle Freestyle by Tony Little

Best Features: Easy assembly. Comes with a water bottle and workout DVDs.


Programs: Dual-action, low impact design; 10 exercises possible in one amazing calorie burning workout; smooth transitions from walking to running; high density foam handlebars provides extra support whilst these ellipticals fold flat for easy storage.

Review:Our seventh pick of ellipticals comes from Gazelle, and is the Freestyle elliptical designed by Tony Little. With a peak stride length and design tailored to tightening and toning all your major muscle groups, this elliptical provides a low impact, high reward workout with dual-action split suspension.

Its smooth transitioning from a slow walk to a full run is ideal for those wanting an elliptical with flexibility, so it’s perhaps best for those that are beginners and don’t know what they want just yet!

SPECIFICATIONS

Capacity: 300 lbs | Stride: n/a

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8. Body Champ Magnetic Cardio Dual Trainer

Cardio Dual Trainer

Best Features: Sleek design with much to offer in the way of features. Space-saving design makes it perfect for your apartment desk.


Programs: 17 trainer programs on the LCD exercise console; a two function exercise bike and elliptical; integrated hand pulse and heart monitor; excellent feature of a workout DVD.

Review: Our eighth elliptical is one tour de force: it’s the Body Champ magnetic resistance elliptical. Its two in one design provides value for money and a sturdy frame so you can go at different speed values, whatever your weight. This makes all the difference – as does the LCD control which provides 17 training options.

The sturdy frame also incorporates magnetic adjustable resistance, meaning this trainer really does provide the best value possible to support every weight! Work out at whatever levels suit you – it couldn’t be easier with this value trainer. If you’re not sure about ellipticals but you’re definitely wanting a new piece of exercise gear to quell your needs, check out the best cheap electric bikes that we’ve selected.

SPECIFICATIONS

Capacity: n/a | Stride: n/a

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9. ProForm Hybrid Trainer

ProForm Hybrid Trainer

Best Features: Array of easy-to-use features for high performance and on-the-spot momentum. No question asked policy on returning or refunding this device within the warranty period.


Programs: Target pacer, inertia enhanced flywheel, 16 digital resistance levels

Review: The ninth item we have comes highly recommended for a number of factors, seen through effective advertising of this ProForm trainer. Much better than Exerpeutic makes, or another version of device, there’s no challenge at hand here – just value and variety.

With a large LCD window to display all vital information and SMR silent magnetic resistance, the advertising of these products really doesn’t let them down – no questions asked, the bonuses of this machine are evident. The EKG grip pulse and transport wheels are perfect to move this elliptical around, and to hold onto and track your pulse. No whistles or bells, this is completely quiet.

Just give the manufacturer your feedback if you disagree and find items from competitors that are more your style – you have a 5 year frame warranty and 90 day parts policy, so make a note of that email if you have a reason to make a return to staff.

SPECIFICATIONS

Capacity: 350 lbs | Stride: 15 inches

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10. Nautilus Trainer

 E614 Elliptical Trainer

Best Features: 22 programs. Goals Track contents and capability.


Programs: 20 levels of resistance; 22 programs including 12 profile, 9 heart rate control, 4 custom, 2 fit tests, 1 recovery test and 1 quick start

Review: This Nautilus machine offers you the option of stability for anything you need, regardless of your height or size. That’s a fact. Anywhere you need to use this machine, it can be easily stored as part of any place, and we haven’t even gotten on to how good the stats are.

Watch TV while you exercise your core, thanks to this brilliant machine you can take easy strides or steps in either direction, controlling the vast variety of settings from the tablet LCD display. It’s also easily moved with the transportation wheels. Take steps, or strides, in the right direction and buy this for your work out session. One of the best in its category for affordability and statistics, costing you minimal bucks for maximum advantages.

SPECIFICATIONS

Capacity: 300 lbs | Stride: 20 inches

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11. NordicTrack Spacesaver

NordicTrack Spacesaver SE7i

Best Features: Spacesaving easy storage. Various warranties.


Programs: 24 pre-set programs for pro training; as well as a vast quantity of specialised settings

Review: They don’t call these bikes the Spacesaver for nothing; as they can be easily stored and even easier used. There’s a lifetime frame warranty, a 2 year parts policy and a one year labor warranty for max protection!

It’s iFit coach ready, and has a 5″ backlit LCD display, with an autobreeze workout fan and one touch resistance controls. The amount of features this machine has to give is absolutely astounding! There are so many positive aspects, allowing you to purchase these electronics with confidence and minimal concern.

SPECIFICATIONS

Capacity: 325 lbs | Stride: 18 inches

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12. Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine

Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine

Best Features: Excellent statistics. Market preference, preferred to brands such as Exerpeutic.


Programs: 29 programs, 4 user controlled modes with target tracking, and 25 levels of resistance.

Review: This machine offers a dualtrack two LCD window system, which allows you to monitor up to 13 different display feedbacks! What’s more, the Schwinn Connect Goals tracking on this elliptical gives you 29 programs and 4 user goal-orientated settings, with 25 levels of resistance aligned with a high speed, high inertia perimeter weighted flywheel.

One of the greatest elements, however, is the charging USB port and data exchange mechanism, so you can easily download and keep tabs on your statistics using apps.

SPECIFICATIONS

Capacity: 300 lbs | Stride: 20 inches

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13. NordicTrack Commercial 12.9

NTEL71218 Commercial 12.9

Best Features: PT with iFit. Price is brilliant for included features.


Programs: 24 digital resistance levels; 1 years’ free membership to iFit with interactive, trainer-led PT and statitics viewable on the LCD screen.

Review: Our thirteenth comes the incredible element of interactive personal training in the convenience of your house, powered by iFit app. With this purchase, as the info will show you, you get 1 year of iFit membership and access to lots of different PT settings on demand.

There’s a 7 inch smart HD touchscreen display on these exercise bikes for immersive trainer-led workouts as well as stat tracking, which is rounded off with the 20 degree adjustable incline ramp and the easy, oversized pedal set. With 24 resisting levels, this position holder takes the cake – just check the review comment names for confirmation of this. Every body type is more than satisfied.

SPECIFICATIONS

Capacity: 350 lb | Stride: 19 inches

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14. Sole Fitness E95

E95 Elliptical Machine

Best Features: Hundreds upon thousands of positive reviews. Scope for many amazing features, for instance the power incline or bottle holders.


Programs: Power inclines; 2 heart rate programs; 6 standard programs; 2 customer defined programs

Review: This make comes from Sole Fitness, the retailers with some of the most recommendations amongst runners and fitness guidance on the market. The chance of success with this machine is high- so it’d easily appeal to the selection of anyone, on the basis of entertainment alone.

The ECB resistance settings, heart rate monitor, and calories burned read out is a sophisticated mechanism that gives someone all the details and stats they need, with the purpose of efficient fitness tracking. What’s more, reverse motion allows the working of different muscle group placements with the exact same choices of work outs! There’s even built-in speakers on easy placement so you can listen to your iPod as you go.

SPECIFICATIONS

Capacity: 400 lbs | Stride: 20 inches

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15. NordicTrack FreeStride FS9i

NordicTrack FreeStride Trainer FS9i

Best Features: Enhanced stride of these exercise machines. Combined functioning and resistance system.


Programs: 10% incline/ decline rate; client controlled programs; easy movement; combined functioning

Review: The final trainer on offer has ways of making you feel like you’re floating on air, or at least that’s the idea. This combines the functions of a stepper, a treadmill and an elliptical all into one machine, and it’s iFit enabled with a bunch of added extras and every setting you’ll need.

Shop for clothing, watch Youtube spam or movies, read articles or books – you can do anything on the go with this awesome model which comes with 20 lbs inertia enhanced flywheel and a +- 10% incline/ decline rate.

SPECIFICATIONS

Capacity: 375 lbs | Stride: 38 inches

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Buyers’ Guide

Typical Cost of Elliptical Machines:

One of the first things you’ll be thinking about before you make sure your best budget elliptical has a heart rate monitor, tablet holder, or even a pre-set time distance, is the price range.

The price is the thing that’s, realistically, going to dictate which budget elliptical you go for – so it’s handy to know which ellipticals price to more than others, and why. Certain brands or features of elliptical trainers will amp up the price compared to cheaper ellipticals machines. Luckily, we have something for everybody’s price range, as our picks range from about $150 to $500.


Considerations for Buying Ellipticals:

There are a range of different considerations you’ll want to remember when buying your machine – because these tips and factors will affect the price of your budget elliptical trainers, ultimately. If you want to keep the heart rate up but the prices low, here are the key things you’ll need to keep in mind for shopping for the newest addition to your home gym.

Cost

Of course, as we just said, price is a major point of your consideration process. For example, some use fan wheels which are designed to provide a smooth ride – and these tend to be seen more on lower cost makes. What’s more, some of the lower cost models may offer you a different mode of workout programs with less features. If you want to get a cardio workout in, you might have to opt for some pricier fitness equipment, but hopefully it shouldn’t dent the bank too much either way.

Make sure you’ve established your chosen price range before you begin yourhunt, so you can then tailor all the coolest magnetic resistance ellipticals to your range.

Design

You’ll also want to consider the design of your elliptical in practical terms. In order to get the most out of your magnetic resistance elliptical machine, you’ll want to check out the different types on offer and what they can each provide you with. The three main designs and their features are as follows:

Front-Drive Ellipticals have a large wheelhouse at the front of the machine. The most basic and affordable design, this offers a weakness of being a little noisy and vibrating, whilst being budget friendly.

Center-Drive Ellipticals are similar to treadmills, but instead with the pedals where the tracks would be. The workout offered here is gentle. These tend to be the most compact and low impact, but keep in mind the pedal reach in the rear.

Rear-Drive Ellipticals have smaller wheel housing towards the rear, behind the pedals. These are therefore the longest and largest design, but they allow some incline which gives fluidity into your health & fitness regime. Some of these use a suspended arms system and therefore offer the smoothest workout.

Stride Length

One of the most key features you’ll want to look at when finding the budget elliptical machine for you is the stride length, whether short stride or longer. This is important because the machine features utilises your body’s measurements, namely your height, to work out the optimum stride length for your legs to ensure the most efficient workout.

If the stride length on your ellipse machine is too short, your legs will move in an awkward and uncomfortable short ovular motion – meaning your legs aren’t being worked out efficiently and you won’t reach you ideal calories burned. If it’s too long, then your elliptical trainer risks making you pull muscles because you’re extending your legs too far.

Generally, somebody between 5’3″ and 5’7″ should look for an 18 inch to 20 inch stride length, with 21 inches being a good hallmark to try to aim for. If you’re buying an elliptical trainer for a home gym, where many people might be using it, you might want to buy one with adjustable stride length.

Resistance

You’ll want to ensure that whichever ellipticals you’re searching amongst all have some form of adjustable resistance. These resistance features essentially test your endurance as you change the settings on the elliptical machine. The lowest resistance level will be easy for you in working out, whilst around 75% is the point at which your workout becomes most challenging.

A resistance mode is a really useful tool to help you gain strength and endurance, so your workout can be as low impact or high impact as you’d desire. Look out for elliptical trainers with magnetic resistance, as these make resistance levels on your bikes very easy to adjust.

Comfort for your Arms

Upper body support is also of the utmost importance. Whilst you don’t necessarily need arm handles, they can be a great option to provide a more intense health & fitness core workout. What’s more, you want to make sure the hand grips provide maximum comfort so your arms don’t become strained to an uncomfortable amount. You want to break a sweat, not gain an injury you’ll regret.

Safety

To ensure that your trainings are both safe and effective, the addition of features is a pivotal question to your workout session. You’ll want to look for makes with a warm-up and cool-down period, in case you want to gradually increase pace and face a challenge as you go.

What’s more, you’ll want to make sure that safety is offered by the stride lengths and resistance levels of your picks, so you don’t end up with a pesky injury or any strained ankles. Exercises should be fun, effective, and easy to do from the ease of your apartment… so whilst you’re looking for options that provide freedom, make sure they provide plenty of safety too.

This is especially important for the average customers who want a long-term investment with no problem to ease themselves into heavier routines, where adjustability can be handy.

Programs, Controls, and Other Features

In order to meet all of your fitness goals, you’ll want to search for budget ellipticals and fitness machines that are great for home use and are slapped with an easily-met price tag.

Whilst the most basic budget elliptical offers you a whole body workout to the highest effect, exercising all of your muscle groups, the best elliptical will offer you particular features that make your workouts seamless. Whether following workout routines on workout DVDs or devising a custom regime for your target body parts and fitness levels, you’ll want a great machine that has a bunch of different features for your chosen price ranges.

Working out machines ought to have Wi-Fi for greater usability. Some also come with a sound system for enhanced workout options. Moreover, a lot come with resistance training systems as we explained earlier – and this is particularly effective for interval training where you want to increase your enduring gradually.

Finally, some will also come with both aesthetic and practical features to make the overall usability of the machine easier for you to monitor your workout progress. This can range from heart rate sensor, heart rate monitors and a pulse sensor/ pulse monitor, to a bottle holder, to a distance-calories burned display, and even to an easy-to-read LCD screen.


Benefits of Elliptical Machines:

Elliptical machines can be good for a lot of different exercises and needs, so whatever purchases you make, we have a suggestion for how you can reach optimum usage.

Whilst – disclaimer – we have our preferred model, as does the market, when you make your own decisions using your web browser and the power of comparison, you’ll see that different company websites offer a different solution or capability via their best elliptical models which each have a specific benefit.

The key benefits of elliptical machines include:

  • A range of modes including boosting stamina and cardio capacities – some have a setting of a heart rate monitor to allow you to monitor this easily.
  • Burns a lot of calories
  • Puts less stress onto joints and targets specific leg muscles, i.e. your thighs – calves and thigh muscles will be toned and muscular in no time
  • Durability and continued use, even beside your office desk
  • Technological enhancements and ability, such as music systems, iPad holders, monitors and LCD screen systems, and more – for peak performance and easily-monitored changes.

As a buyer, why wouldn’t you want these amazing machines? Everyone in the world seems to want one – so read on to see what else we have to tell you before you find a quality deal.


FAQs

How Do Ellipticals Work?

One of the first questions you’re going to have is: how exactly do elliptical machines work? Well, an elliptical machine works to work out both the lower and upper body. The key body parts targeted are the:

  • glutes
  • quadriceps
  • anterior tibialis

When your thighs move backwards during the gliding motion, your glutes and hamstrings are getting a pull that you should feel. Equally, when you move forwards you’ll feel your quadriceps being exercised.

Elliptical trainer models are generally great for weight loss or calorie reduction because most LCD displays on machines will tell you what your heart rate is using the heart rate monitor, and give you an estimate for calories burned.


Which is Better: An Elliptical or a Treadmill?

An elliptical trainer and a treadmill both have really brilliant features, but what is best really depends on your individual needs when you use your equipment. This can be dictated by body weight, overall experience, and fitness targets when using equipment.

If you’re injury-prone or have musculoskeletal conditions, elliptical devices may be best for you. If you’re looking for a highly intense workout that meets a very specific progress goal, i.e. you’re training for something like a 10K, then you might want to consider a treadmill.

Besides these obvious points, there’s really a minimal difference – both machines will offer you stability and safety support.


Is an Elliptical Better than Walking?

There’s research to suggest that an elliptical trainer has both more benefits, and less benefits, than walking. In short, both offer different elements.

For example, using an elliptical machine is likely to burn more calories than walking, which is considerably more low impact and will not get the heart rate going as much, however walking is substantially better at exercising your hamstrings, calves, and micro-muscles around your ankles.

Therefore, before making your purchase you should consider what sort of goals you’re hoping to get out of your work out and which body muscles you want to work out. These processes of monitoring your fitness level can be aided by a fitness tracker app, or a nutrition guide/ fitness app – who knows, maybe you don’t need exercise equipment at all and you’d be better off with cross country skiing!


Are Elliptical Machines Bad for Your Knees?

Of course, another important consideration of your health when using home workout equipment is whether it’s entirely safe for you to do so.

Given that elliptical machines offer a low-impact work out for all level and ability users, there should be no pain or damage caused to your joints or bones if you’re using everything correctly. In fact, studies have shown that you should purchase an elliptical specifically if you have musculoskeletal issues, as they can be a good alternative experience to running or jogging for people with joint problems.

If you have the room at home to buy an elliptical model, then, we highly recommend you use your money to do so!

About This Expert

Mia Davis
With a passion for interior design and health & Fitness; Mia is our all-round superstar here at Best Budget miadavis@bestbudget.com