An elliptical machine offers a great way of working both your upper and lower body to keep you fit. It gives you a good cardio workout that is safe on your joints. If you have $500, then there are plenty of good quality elliptical machines for you to choose from. This article will give you a quick buying guide and a product review on seven of today’s best elliptical trainers under $500.
What to Expect
Shopping for a good quality elliptical machine for home use can be challenging. With a budget of $500, you may be wondering what to expect from elliptical trainers being sold at this price. Here is a brief guide to help you find the right one for your home workouts:
Budget elliptical trainers often only offer the basic features, which are:
- Heart rate monitor: A cardio machine should have this feature to help you regulate your heart rate, and easily target specific zones.
- Workout programs: Your program options may be slim with low-budget models, usually around six to 12 workout programs in one to two categories.
- Display: Most models under $500 tend to have small screens, and the display is difficult to read. If you are lucky enough, you can find models with bigger screens and a more readable display. Some even have touchscreen color displays.
Performance is another important factor that you can expect a good quality budget elliptical should have, and these are the things that you will want to note:
- Resistance type: There are two types of resistance: contact braking and magnetic force. The former tends to be noisy and is high maintenance, while the latter runs quietly and is now the standard for most elliptical under $500.
- Resistance amount: Most low-budget models have a maximum resistance of only 12 to 15 pounds, which is best suited for beginners. It is best to look for a model that offers a maximum of 20 pounds, especially if you are already an intermediate to advanced user.
- Resistance level: Some models have eight resistance levels, while others have 16.
- Stride length: This is crucial to keep your workout comfortable and safe on your joints. Most adults have about 18 to 22 inches of natural stride length.
Elliptical machines should be durable, even if they belong to the lower price range. You will want to consider the following:
- Maximum user weight: Models for home use should be able to hold at least 250 pounds.
- Warranty: This one will ensure the machine stays in top shape for a long time. You can expect warranty coverage of six months on parts and 90 days for labor for this price range.
Elliptical Machine Models Under $500
It is now time to check out today’s best ellipticals under $500, and a review of each model to help you see which one best suits your needs.
This model is great for those who are tight on budget and/or are only looking for basic features. It is sturdy and offers a smooth operation. You will enjoy 12 resistance levels and a 15-inch stride length. It also has a water bottle and a reading rack to keep you going. While it offers a compact design, it can handle up 275 pounds of maximum user weight to keep it durable enough for long-term use. The machine stretches around 41 inches and is 22.5 inches wide and 64 inches high.
ProForm 500 F
This ProForm elliptical trainer has a built-in fan, a heart rate monitor, a 16-inch stride length, and over 10 workout programs. The programs focus on weight loss and personal training. You can encode your calorie goal for the weight loss programs to let the machine automatically adjust the resistance level. The personal training mode, meanwhile, lets you pick weight loss, increased aerobic fitness, or improved performance. The unit’s maximum user weight is 275 pounds, which is perfect for a home machine.
ProForm 850 (with GameFit)
The ProForm 850 allows you to play games as you workout, thanks to its GameFit feature. You can either play the Calorie Destroyer or the Fat Blocker. These video games may not sound appealing at first, but they can help give you a good workout and a source of entertainment. This unit has an iPod dock, a heart-rate monitor, an 18-inch stride length, 12 programs, and 12 resistance levels. With so many interesting features to offer, this model is definitely a bang for the buck.
This unit may not have the fancy features often seen in more expensive models, but it does offer a great workout session. The machine is stable enough to eliminate the bouncing and wobbling as you exercise. Thanks to its dual direction flywheel, the machine allows for forward and backward movements for added versatility. It moves smooth and quiet, as well. Other features include a heart rate monitor, LCD panel, and a 13-inch stride length. For a starter machine, this is worth considering.
This brand is popular for its elliptical trainers with good resistance. For its price, the unit offers more features than you would expect, including a backlit LCD panel, handlebar grips with heart rate monitors and six pre-programmed exercise programs. The screen display shows all your workout data, which is something that you will want to see as you exercise.
Horizon Fitness EX-69-2
This model is perfect for a home gym. It offers 20 magnetic resistance levels, a 14.3-pound flywheel for a smoother glide, and rubberized footpads to offer better grip. It also comes with a COOLfit cooling fan, an MP3 port, water bottle, and built-in Sonic Surround™ stereo speakers. It has a heart rate monitor in the handlebar grip, and your data is displayed on the LCD panel as you exercise. With these cool features, this model can be your best bet.
This model offers 12 resistance levels, a three-speed fan, and a five-inch monitor with stereo. It lets you listen to your favorite playlist as you workout to keep you entertained. The unit also has transportation wheels for quick storage, an LCD display with tablet holder, an 18-inch stride length, and up to six different user profiles. Best of all, it is covered by a one-year warranty on electronics and parts, and five years for the frame.