A quality cross trainer is a great addition to your home gym. The ongoing pandemic keeps disrupting the ability of gyms to open and in turn, people’s exercise routines. You may be finding it difficult to maintain sports activities out of the house without the right equipment. As the world learns to adapt to the new normal, now is the perfect time to consider investing in a cross trainer.
Cross trainers are an excellent choice among stationary exercise machines and for good reasons. Similar to an elliptical trainer, this type of exercise equipment allows for a safe full-body cardio workout regardless of your fitness level. You can easily set-up a cross trainer in your home gym or living room.
Start burning calories right away by choosing the best cross trainer on the market. First, you should get to know the benefits of exercising on an elliptical trainer and the features that make a quality machine. Take a look at our picks of the best cross trainers to help you decide.
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Top 7 Cross Trainers
1. PowerTrain Elliptical Cross Trainer
Here’s a top-tier, highly functional 2-in-1 elliptical cross trainer that doubles as an exercise bike at the cost of one. Optimized for home use, this extremely low-impact trainer will keep your joints safe while giving you a complete workout.
This elliptical cross trainer has an excellent range of resistance levels and a sturdy, steel frame. Besides features such as reversible movement and an LCD display that shows your heart rate and more, this model comes with additional perks, including resistance band attachments and two vinyl-coated dumbbell sets.
With its ergonomic and versatile design, this is easily the best cross trainer Australia residents can get for home use.
2. Everfit Elliptical Cross Trainer Exercise Bike
This is another well-performing elliptical trainer with a solid build and all the basic features, though without the added benefits of our top pick. It comes with a mechanism for mechanical adjustment of its eight levels of resistance.
It has 120 kilograms maximum weight capacity and falls into professional-level machines, but before buying this model, make sure you have plenty of floor space for it.
3. AIYLY Mini Elliptical Cross Trainer
Here’s a lighter space-saving trainer that gives you roughly the same benefits as sturdier models. This compact piece of fitness equipment folds up to half its size, making it the best cross trainer for small apartments. You can even store it in a closet!
Despite its very specific build, this mini air walker is perfectly capable of working your whole body. It can get tricky to maintain your balance at times, which suggests that it may not be an ideal choice for older users or beginners.
4. PowerTrain 5-in-1 Elliptical Cross Trainer
Another model from one of the best-performing cross trainer brands in Australia made it on the list owing to its premium features and high versatility. The easy switching between workout modes will make sure you’re never bored with it.
Tired of your exercise style? Just switch the position of the handles and find a new routine or use some accessories that come with it such as the resistance bands on each end of the bike.
As with other PowerTrain models, the heart rate monitor will show you more than just your pulse. Track everything, including calorie-burn. Optimal for home use, you can have a top-rated elliptical an arm’s length away from you.
5. Oofay Elliptical Cross Trainer Bike
An all-around solid elliptical with the advantage of a relatively quiet drive system. While it offers no adjustable stride length, you can choose between a wide range of different intensity workouts.
It has an especially well-designed seat, making this machine a good option for those who prefer the more standard bike use. It has built-in Bluetooth connectivity and an iPad tablet holder.
6. ZAIHW Cross Trainer Machine for Small Rooms
One more product that boasts a quiet work mode, with a seriously handsome look supported by some even more serious functionality.
Less heavy-duty than most other options on this list, it still delivers a good workout, while being easy to move around thanks to the convenient wheels. Other highlights include well-designed non-slip pedals.
7. Powertrain 2-in-1 Elliptical Cross Trainer and Exercise Bike
Last but not least, another money saver: lower the seat to quickly transform this functional 2-in-1 machine into an exercise bike. In a standing position, it provides for a fully-featured cross trainer with adjustable resistance levels. At any point, you can sit and fix the arm handles to use it as a bike.
What Is a Cross Trainer?
The cross trainer is the best stationary exercise machine to give you a low-impact workout without the harmful strain on your knees. Unlike running or treadmill workouts, this type of elliptical trainers puts less pressure on the joints.
Cross trainers can easily adapt to your fitness needs making them equally good for rookies and experienced gym-goers alike. They offer both forward and backward movement options along with moving handles, making them excellent for both achieving weight loss and toning different muscle groups.
What Is the Difference Between a Cross Trainer and an Elliptical Machine
A number of stationary cardiovascular machines go by the term elliptical. Anyone who has ever visited a gym has likely seen several different styles of ellipticals. The cross trainer is a type of elliptical machine that offers many added benefits.
A cross trainer is the same as any other elliptical in that it moves your legs in an ellipse motion. It provides for a multi-muscle lower body workout with minimal impact on the joints since there is no need for lifting the feet off the foot pedals. The chances for injury are significantly lower for the same reason.
What sets the elliptical cross trainer apart from other ellipticals is the moving handlebars. Standard elliptical machines have fixed bars and allow you to focus on working your lower body only. A cross trainer provides for a full-body workout. The pushing and pulling action with your arms engages your torso and tones your arms while simultaneously providing you with a lower-body workout.
The moving handlebars add to the aerobic aspect of the exercise by quickly elevating your heart rate. Every part of your body that gets into contact with the machine moves. Many users end up burning more calories on a cross-trainer than with more demanding gym equipment or weight loss workout programs.
Unlike elliptical machines, however, the cross trainer has fixed foot pedals. While you can tone a range of different muscles on a cross-trainer, if your goal is to emphasize specific lower body muscle groups, you better opt for an elliptical machine with adjustable pedals that lets you control the incline.
Key Features of a Cross Trainer
To choose a cross-trainer that matches your fitness goals, you need to be clear on the basic features of a solid cross trainer design.
Stride length is one of the most important features to consider. In technical terms, it refers to the maximum distance between the pedals. Higher stride lengths make more intense workouts possible and are available in higher quality models.
Anything with 18 inches or above is considered a generous stride length. Make sure not to buy a machine with a low stride length since that gives you a very limited range of movement.
With a higher stride length, the machine better mimics the natural leg motion during running. Likewise, a shorter stride length setting provides action similar to walking.
The higher the resistance level is set, the harder your muscles need to work to move the foot pedals and arm handles on a cross trainer, whether forward or backwards. Cross trainers come with adjustable resistance levels. Higher-end trainers offer a wider range of resistance levels than simpler models. However, a high number of levels of resistance available doesn’t necessarily provide significantly more value in terms of workout quality.
Some cross trainer brands offer models with an incline control feature. Changing the incline adjusts the motion to simulate either uphill walking/running or flat terrain training. Products with this feature usually come with a heavier price tag.
The main draw to the adjustable incline is the fact you can then focus your workout on specific muscle groups. Additionally, different family members can use the same machine and make it work for their respective fitness needs.
A central part of the elliptical cross trainer, the flywheel determines how the workout feels. Heavier flywheels provide for a smoother movement during use and offer higher resistance levels. This is usually a good indicator of the machine quality. The only drawback of models with heavier wheels is, well, their size and weight.
Based on the flywheel location in the machine, they can be front drive or rear drive, with rear drive being more common among the older generation models.
Design and Build Quality
Lastly, you should look at factors such as size, compactness and the length of the product’s warranty. Be clear on where roughly you want to fall regarding the trade-off between gym-grade quality and home-use compactness.
The Bottom Line
Cross trainers are among the best pieces of exercise equipment for home workouts.
A cross trainer gives you the option to work your whole body without placing any stress on your joints. The best elliptical cross trainers are versatile as they can work for different fitness levels, making them the best alternative to training out of the house.
For people with foot or knee problems, those looking for supplementary exercise before a big sports challenge, or those who prefer exercising at home, a cross trainer is the way to go.