Best Elliptical Cross Trainers in the UK (2021) – Reviews, Comparison & Top Machines

Want a full body cardiovascular workout from the comfort of your home? Here are 7 of the best elliptical cross trainers available in the UK.

Elliptical cross trainers are amongst the best gym equipment for low-impact cardiovascular workouts. Unlike treadmills, there’s little or no impact placed on your joints. And, unlike an exercise bike, they provide both a lower and upper body workout.

Yes, they make you look a little strange when you’re working out, but that’s a small price to pay considering the benefits!

It’s vital to choose the right cross trainer for your exercise needs though. While most ellipticals have a similar form and design, there’s a huge variation in features, durability, resistance level and stride length.

To help you make the right choice, we’ve listed seven of the best cross trainers depending on your budget, fitness level and available space.

The Quick Picks

If you’re in a hurry, here are our top picks depending on your budget (read the reviews below to compare each model in more detail):

  • Our pick for the best cross trainer is the excellent NordicTrack Commercial 12.9. It provides gym-standard smoothness, quiet magnetic resistance, thousands of workout programmes and adjustable stride length, all for a great price. It also has iFit integration and a heavy 13kg flywheel. When it comes to value for money, the 12.9 is an easy choice for our #1 pick.
  • Our #1 mid-range cross trainer is the NordicTrack C7.5. It’s cheaper than the E12.9, so it’s an excellent alternative if you prefer a front-drive machine. It also has live resistance and incline technology, allowing the cross trainer to dynamically adapt to online iFit workouts.
  • Our #1 budget cross trainer (under £350) is the ProForm 225 CSE. You’re never going to match the quality of mid-range or high-end machines in this price range, but the 225 CSE provides smooth operation and 13 built-in programmes. The stride length may be too short for tall people though.

What Should You Look for When Choosing an Elliptical?

There are three key factors when choosing an elliptical cross trainer. The machine must be comfortable, stable during the type of workouts you want to complete, and able to provide enough resistance to challenge you.

This means the best cross trainer varies depending on the individual. If you’re an athletic person who wants a cross trainer for high-intensity workouts, be prepared to spend more on a stable machine with a high maximum resistance, long stride length and adjustable platforms. If you just want an elliptical for light workouts, a cheaper machine with a compact design could be all you need.

Here are some other factors to consider:

  • Flywheel Weight. Cross trainers use a flywheel to generate resistance. Heavier wheels tend to feel smoother and can generate more resistance, but are more expensive. As a general rule, the more intense your desired workouts, the heavier flywheel you need. Look for a minimum of 5kg – but heavier if possible.
  • Front or Rear Flywheel. There are two broad categories of cross trainer: front-drive and rear-drive. The rear-drive design usually provides a longer stride and a movement pattern that’s closer to running, but at the expense of space. Front-drive trainers sometimes feel more like a stepper, but have a compact design. Low-quality front-drive machines tend to feel less stable though, which is something to keep in mind if you’re planning to use it for vigorous workouts.
  • Stride Length. A longer stride length is essential for tall people. If the stride length is too short for your gait, the cross trainer will always feel uncomfortable and cramped to use.
  • Handle Size and Grips. Similarly to stride length, taller people need a larger handle size for a comfortable ride. Multiple grips can also be useful for getting a more varied workout.
  • Resistance Levels. While the flywheel plays an important role in the difficulty of a workout, nearly all cross trainers also have adjustable resistance. Check how many magnetic resistance options are available and whether there are built-in programmes.
  • Incline. Some mid-range and high-end elliptical trainers have an incline option. This is another way to increase the difficulty without relying on the resistance. Some inclines need to be adjusted manually, while others can be changed electronically via the machine’s control panel.
  • Size and Folding Designs. The space you have available for a cross trainer is a vital consideration. Pricier ellipticals are often bulkier and weigh more, as this increases stability, but can mean they are difficult to fit in a home gym. Some models have a folding design to save space though.
  • Other Features. Modern cross trainers come with a host of advanced features and settings. Examples include adjustable platforms, smart connectivity and multiple handles. It’s also important to check the maximum user weight to ensure the trainer is suitable for everyone in the house who wants to use it.

7 Elliptical Cross Trainer Reviews – Which is Right for Your Budget?

PriceImageNameFlywheel WeightStride LengthMax. User WeightView Price
£ - BUDGET
Pro Fitness XT2000
6kg33cm120kgVIEW PRICE
£ - BUDGET
ProForm 225 CSE
6kg36cm115kgVIEW PRICE
££ - MID-RANGE
JTX Strider X7
12.5kg40cm130kgVIEW PRICE
££ - MID-RANGE
NordicTrack C7.5
9kgAuto-Adjusting (46cm Max)125kgVIEW PRICE
££ - MID-RANGE
ProForm Endurance 720E
9kg50.8cm (adjustable)135kgVIEW PRICE
£££ - HIGH-END
Life Fitness E1 with GO Console
-51cm159kgVIEW PRICE
£££ - HIGH-END
NordicTrack Commercial 12.9
13kgMax 51cm (adjustable)135kgVIEW PRICE

Best Budget Cross Trainers (Under £350)

If you don’t have a large budget for a cross trainer, there are still some decent models available. Models under £350 won’t have the advanced features or long stride length of more expensive options, but the top cross trainers in this price range can still provide a decent workout.

Before we get to our top budget picks, a quick word about the cheapest ellipticals. While you can get cross trainers for under £100, they are usually lacking stability and have a short stride length. It’s better to spend a bit more to get a trainer that will last.

Note: Want to learn more about this price range? Check out our page of the best cheap cross trainers.


1. Pro Fitness XT2000

Pro Fitness XT2000

The Pro Fitness XT2000 isn’t stable enough for the highest intensity workouts, but for steady-state cardio it’s hard to beat at this price.

  • Flywheel Weight: 6kg
  • Stride Length: 33cm
  • Resistance: Magnetic with 16 levels
  • Built-In Programs: 12 User Programmes
  • Product Weight: 43kg
  • Folding Design: No
  • Maximum User Weight: 120kg

If you’re looking for an entry-level magnetic cross trainer that doesn’t cost a fortune, the Pro Fitness XT2000 is an excellent choice. The combination of relatively heavy (for a budget trainer) 6kg flywheel and magnetic resistance provides smooth operation and plenty of scope for fitness progression.

Panel of the Xt2000 eliptical X trainer

As you would expect from an entry-level model, there aren’t many advanced features included with the XT2000. It does have a 5″ LCD display that allows you to choose from 12 built-in programmes, but there’s no smartphone connectivity. The console displays basic metrics, such as calories burned, speed, distance and time, but it lacks a power output reading.

These features aren’t necessary for basic workouts though. If you just need a cross trainer for light/moderate home workouts, power output readings or smart connectivity function won’t make a huge difference. You can always watch a YouTube workout on your TV or tablet, after all.

Away from the console, the XT2000 is built to a high standard and should last a long time. The new Pro Fitness models are generally high-quality workout machines that provide great value, so it’s no surprise the XT2000 feels smooth when in operation. It’s also easy to put together – which can’t be said for all gym equipment!

It’s important to have realistic expectations though. With a 6kg flywheel and 43kg total weight, it’s not as stable as more expensive options. The stride length of 33cm is also much less than the 50cm average for more expensive models. It’s a great choice for steady-state workouts or people who want to gradually get in shape, but if you’re already fit and want a challenging workout, you’ll need a mid-range machine.

So, while it doesn’t have many advanced features, the Pro Fitness XT2000 is perfect for people who want to start getting fit from home. It’s not quite sturdy enough for high-intensity workouts, but if you’re trying to get in shape without breaking the bank, it’s certainly an option to consider.

Note: If you’re looking for an alternative model, check out the Gold Magnetic, which is part of the Roger Black range.


2. ProForm 225 CSE

Proform 225 CSE

The best entry-level cross trainer on sale at the moment. Slightly more expensive than the Pro Fitness, but with a longer stride, more programmes, and iFit interactivity.

  • Flywheel Weight: 6kg effective inertia
  • Stride: 36cm
  • Resistance: Magnetic ranging from 1-12%
  • Built-In Programs: 13
  • Product Weight: 41kg
  • Folding Design: No
  • Maximum User Weight: 115kg

The ProForm 225 CSE elliptical trainer is our top pick for an entry-level machine. This is mainly due to its 36cm stride, iFit connectivity, and smooth operation, as it’s a step up from the Pro Fitness XT2000 without costing a lot more. If you’re looking for a cheap cross trainer that feels smooth and comfortable to use, it’s an excellent choice.

Aside from its 6kg flywheel and magnetic resistance, the ProForm has an LCD display showing metrics such as RPM, time and speed. The display also shows Watts, which is a brilliant addition for such a cheap trainer. There’s also built-in EKG grip pulse sensors on the stationary bars, a tablet holder and front transport wheels.

There are a couple of drawbacks though. The instructions are clear, but putting everything together can be a struggle. The Bluetooth connectivity option is also only compatible with iFit, which requires a separate subscription.

Even so, with a longer stride length and more programmes than the Pro Fitness XT2000, the ProForm 225 CSE provides excellent value for money. While it’s still not the best choice for high-intensity training, it’s a brilliant elliptical for beginner or intermediate workouts.


Best Mid-Range Cross Trainers (£350-£1000)

If you want a cross trainer that’s capable of higher intensity sessions, you’ll need to move into the mid-range category. These ellipticals have heavier flywheels, longer stride lengths, are stable at higher speeds, and have a wider range of pre-set programmes.

3. JTX Strider X7

JTX Strider X7

The JTX Strider X7 is a big step up from entry-level cross trainers. The 12.5kg flywheel provides a smooth and comfortable workout for almost all fitness levels, while the 21 programs and heart rate training provides a tough challenge.

  • Flywheel Weight: 12.5kg
  • Stride: 40cm
  • Resistance: Magnetic with 16 levels
  • Built-In Programs: 21
  • Folding Design: No
  • Maximum User Weight: 130kg

Once you get into the mid-range category, the quality of cross trainers increases dramatically. The JTX Strider X7 is a good example, as it has a heavy 12.5kg flywheel, 40cm stride length and 16 levels of resistance – yet only costs a few hundred more than the ProForm 225CSE.

Strider X7 PanelAs you can see from the photo, the X7  is a rear-drive cross trainer. This takes up a bit more space, although rear-drive models tend to feel more like real running than front-drive models. JTX has also included transport wheels and electromagnetic resistance for a smooth ride.

There is a colour touch display showing metrics such as pulse, body fat, distance, speed and time. You can also choose between 21 built-in programmes, which includes hill, fat burning, interval and target heart rate options. For more accurate heart rate measurement, the display includes a POLAR compatible receiver, although you’ll need to buy the chest strap separately.

As you would expect from a mid-range cross trainer, the JTX Strider X7 provides significantly more stability and resistance than entry-level models. You shouldn’t expect gym-standard quality, but it’s capable of providing almost anyone with a tough workout. There’s no incline option or advanced connectivity options though – you’ll need to spend a bit more to get the NordicTrack C7.5 for those features.

Even so, with its smooth operation, heavy flywheel and range of programmes, the JTX Stider X7 is an excellent choice for almost any type of workout. The 12.5kg flywheel is heavier than  more expensive options, and it feels comfortable and smooth to use.


4. NordicTrack C7.5

NordicTrack C7.5

 

One of the best mid-range cross trainers is the Nordictrack C7.5. With features such as incline-matching tech, 22 difficulty levels and a stable construction, it’s great for all fitness levels.

  • Flywheel Weight: 9kg
  • Stride: Auto-Adjusting
  • Resistance: 22 levels
  • Built-In Programs: iFit with Live Resistance and Incline Control
  • Folding Design: No
  • Maximum User Weight: 125kg

If you’re looking for a cross trainer that allows for true variety in your workouts, the NordicTrack C7.5 is one of our top recommendations. The combination of auto-adjusting stride, 20 incline settings and 22 levels of resistance makes it easy to vary intensity or target different muscle groups. It’s also available for a great price compared to machines with similar features.

The NordicTrack has a 5″ backlit screen showing metrics such as time, distance and calories. Like most of NordicTrack’s latest models, the C7.5 is iFit compatible and has “LIVE Interactions.” This effectively means that online trainers can adjust your resistance and incline, allowing you to get a personal trainer effect from home. You’ll need to purchase a separate subscription for iFit, but it’s worth it for the almost unlimited training sessions.

While many modern cross trainers have similar designs, the C7.5 resistance has a much higher ceiling than cheaper models. This, combined with the interactive workouts and incline settings, mean the cross trainer can challenge people of almost any fitness level.

Most importantly, the C7.5 provides a stable ride due to the heavy construction and solid design – even at high speed. It’s smooth and has a similar feel to a gym-standard cross trainer, which is a big complement considering the lower price (at least compared to commercial models.)

It’s worth noting that the incline can be adjusted electronically – there’s no need to manually adjust the setting like with older NordicTrack ellipticals. This is a welcome change, as it makes the incline options much more dynamic and brings the C7.5 closer to a gym-standard cross trainer. A drawback is that it takes time and patience to put together, although the instructions are clearer than those provided by other brands.

Overall, the NordicTrack C7.5 is an excellent cross trainer that provides a host of functions for a great price. It feels smooth to use and is capable of high-intensity workouts, so it’s a brilliant option in this price range.


5. ProForm Endurance 720E

The Endurance 720E provides a smooth workout, along with advanced features such as a workout fan, power incline adjustment and USB charging station.

  • Flywheel Weight: 9kg
  • Stride: 50.8cm (adjustable)
  • Resistance: Magnetic with 20 levels
  • Built-In Programs: 24
  • Folding Design: No
  • Maximum User Weight: 135kg

The 720E is a direct upgrade to the previous 420E model, with a number of extra features and improvements. It has a 9kg flywheel that provides a smooth ride, along with an adjustable stride length and 24 pre-set workout programmes.

As it’s more expensive than the NordicTrack 7.2, ProForm have managed to include several advanced features. Aside from a 0-20% difficulty range, there’s a power ramp with a maximum incline of 20 degrees. This provides plenty of scope for increasing the difficulty of your workout or targeting different muscle groups.

Like the NordicTrack models, the 720E is compatible with iFit via Bluetooth. This requires a separate subscription, but lets you “run” real routes via Google Maps and take part in challenges with friends. Even if you don’t get iFit, the Endurance 720E’s iPod-compatible speakers and tablet holder can make your workout much more enjoyable.

As you would expect, the ProForm feels great to use. It’s sturdy and highly durable, so it can handle high intensity workouts. It’s also surprisingly quiet.

In short, if you want a mid-range cross trainer that comes close to gym machines, the ProForm Endurance 720E is an excellent choice. It’s more expensive than the NordicTrack 7.2 though.


Best High-End Cross Trainers (£800+)

If you’re looking for a home elliptical cross trainer that can match gym machines, you’ll need to spend at at last £800+. When you get into this price range, the ellipticals are rock solid, come with a range of advanced pre-set programmes, and are often quieter than cheaper options.

6. Life Fitness E1 with GO Console

Life Fitness E1

With quiet operation, sturdy design and a wide-range of built-in programmes, the E1 is a fantastic home cross trainer.

  • Stride: 51cm (not adjustable)
  • Resistance: Magnetic with 20 levels
  • Built-In Programs: 12 +  2 custom workouts + 2 user profiles
  • Folding Design: No
  • Maximum User Weight: 182kg

Life Fitness produce some excellent workout machines, and the E1 is a great example. It’s a high-quality rear-drive trainer that matches gym-standard machines in almost every respect.

What makes this such a high-quality cross trainer though?

Go control panelFirstly, the E1 includes lots of features you won’t find on mid-range models. It’s built with unique “WhisperStride” technology for quieter operation, along with a new drive system for a smoother stride and a heavy flywheel. This, combined with the rear-drive design, provides natural gait that mimics running much more closely than cheaper models.

Secondly, the E1 has an advanced GO console with plenty of programmes and other options. The backlit display features 2 user profiles, along with a variety of feedback metrics, including calories, distance, heart rate and target heart rate. There are also 12 training programs, such as “Random Hill,” “Extreme Heart Rate” and “Fat Burn.”

If there’s one area that lets the E1 down, it’s lack of connectivity options. There’s no Bluetooth connectivity for iFit, for example (you’ll need the Track+ console version for connecting to compatible apps.) If you just want a cross trainer that provides a gym-standard workout and don’t need connectivity options, however, it’s one of the best around.

In summary, the Life Fitness E1 is a brilliant cross trainer that provides a smooth, quiet and stable ride at any intensity. It’s not cheap, but provides an outstanding workout.


7. NordicTrack 12.9 Commercial Elliptical

NordicTrack 12.9

 

Touchscreen display, powered incline, many workout programmes, and gym-standard smoothness – all for a great price. Our #1 elliptical cross trainer.

  • Flywheel Weight: 13kg
  • Stride: 51cm (power adjustable)
  • Resistance: Magnetic with 24 levels
  • Built-In Programs: iFit Integration
  • Folding Design: No
  • Maximum User Weight: 135kg

If the Life Fitness E1 is outside of your budget, but you still want a gym-standard cross trainer, the NordicTrack Commercial 12.9 (replacing the now discontinued NordicTrack E11.5 Power Incline) is one of the best options.

One of the great things about the 12.9 is how adjustable it is. Aside from the 24 difficulty levels, there’s the option of changing stride length, pedals and incline. This allows you to emphasise different muscle groups and continuously challenge yourself as you get fitter.

Along with adjusting the resistance and incline, the 7″ touchscreen display provides easy access to over 12,000 workouts with a variety of options for calorie burn, performance, and intensity. It also shows all the standard metrics – heart rate, time, distance and more – and there’s the option of tracking your stats.

Like most NordicTrack ellipticals, the 12.9 is relatively quiet when in use. This is due to the company’s SMR technology (Silent Magnetic Resistance), which reduces noise output and provides a smooth gait.

A bonus is the 12.9’s AutoBreeze fan. This automatically adjusts depending on the workout intensity, which is a nice feature that isn’t included with many cross trainers.

To summarise, the Nordictrack Commercial 12.9 Power Incline is one of the best cross trainers that’s the clear winner if you want a balance between quality performance and value for money. While there more expensive options with more features, there aren’t many that can match the 12.9’s bang for buck.


 

Is an Elliptical Machine The Same as a Cross Trainer?

Technically, a cross trainer is a specific type of elliptical. In practice, the two terms are used interchangeably though.

So, what’s the difference?

A cross trainer allows you to move your legs and arm bars. When most people talk about using an elliptical machine, they are talking about an elliptical cross trainer.

Some types of elliptical trainer have static arm bars, however, and these are not cross trainers.

Are There Any Models I Should Avoid?

As a general rule, avoid the cheapest home gym equipment. These machines can be tempting, but often have short strides and unstable designs, so they aren’t useful for much more than light workouts. If you’re looking for an intense workout, it’s also probably not a good idea to buy a combination of elliptical and exercise bike, as these machines are usually unstable.

We also recommend avoiding any machine that doesn’t have magnetic resistance. The best cross trainer machine all use a magnetic system.

Summary

Working out on a home cross trainer can be a great way to get in shape. Ellipticals provide a full-body workout, due to the moving arms, and don’t put much pressure on the joints.

It’s vital to get the right cross trainer for your needs though. Factors such as price, stride length, resistance levels, built-in programmes and stability should all be considered before buying.

If you’re looking for the best home cross trainer, we recommend the NordicTrack Commercial 12.9 Power Incline. It’s a brilliant machine that provides gym-standard stability and smoothness for a great price. If you need the best home cross trainer under £1000, then the NordicTrack C 7.5 is an excellent alternative.

Do you have any questions about choosing the best home cross trainer? Or is there a model you think we should have included? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

 

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