Rows of cross trainers (or elliptical trainers, if you’re from the US) are a familiar sight in any decent gym. A versatile piece of equipment, the best cross trainers offer a low-impact alternative to running, combining an assisted running motion with a push-pull arm action designed to target your upper and lower body at the same time.
Cross trainers are also ideal for mixing up your training routines. If you’re tired of the same old treadmill, exercise bike or rowing machine sessions, or you’re recovering from an injury and need a low-impact form of exercise that’s softer on your muscles and joints, a cross trainer is a great option.
To help you find a cross trainer fit for your home gym, The Recommended searched the internet to find a selection of the best you can buy online. We’ve considered budget, features and practicality to compile a list of the best cross-trainers to suit every user.
The best cross trainers at a glance:
- Best for virtual classes: NordicTrack Ellipticals
- Best premium cross trainer: NordicTrack Elliptical Commercial Series
- Best mid-range cross trainer: Reebok Cross Trainer
- Best budget cross trainer: Sunny Health & Fitness Unisex’s Air Walk Trainer
- Best under-desk elliptical: Cubii Junior Under Desk Elliptical Pedal Exerciser
- Best compatible cross trainer: Sportstech CX2 Cross Trainer
- Best 2-in-1 cross trainer: Neezee Elliptical Cross Trainer
- Best sit-down cross trainer: Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike
Best for virtual classes: NordicTrack Ellipticals
NordicTrack is known for its quality gym equipment and their C Series trainer is no exception. This model has 20 digital resistance levels and a five-inch display for streaming group workouts at home.
This cross trainer also features dual Bluetooth speakers for streaming workouts or playing music while you work out, a water bottle holder for keeping hydrated, as well as a high-contrast display for reading your performance stats and following along to workouts. You can also connect your tablet or smartphone to the trainer to gain access to iFIT’s library of personal training plans and sessions.
Best premium cross trainer: NordicTrack Elliptical Commercial Series
Impressive touch-screen display
A significant step up from NordicTrack’s mid-range series of ellipticals, this cross trainer has an indulgent 14-inch touch-screen display for a commercial gym experience at home.
One of the standout features of this cross trainer is that it has a max incline of up to 20 degrees and up to 26 resistance levels, which you can either digitally alter with the push of a button or the machine will automatically adjust them for you when following training sessions selected from the iFIT membership library. Other highlights include oversized adjustable pedals that can be adjusted to fit you, soft grip handles, and a built-in workout fan to keep you cool.
Best mid-range cross-trainer: Reebok Cross Trainer
Easy to manoeuvre
A solid mid-range option, this cross trainer from Reebok combines a slim design with a weighty 9kg flywheel for a solid feel and smooth workout.
This trainer has pulse sensors integrated into the handlebars for monitoring your heart rate data, which is then displayed (along with other performance metrics) on the 5.75-inch LCD display. It also has 32 electronically adjustable resistance levels and 12 preset workouts if you want to follow a training session. Wheels on the bottom of this cross trainer also make for easy manoeuvrability.
Best budget cross trainer: Sunny Health & Fitness Unisex’s Air Walk Trainer
For no-impact training
If you don’t have a fortune to spend, this air walker-style cross trainer is a great budget option. It also doesn’t require you to bend your knees to operate, so offers a no-impact workout.
This trainer is best suited to those with modest fitness needs that are looking for a piece of equipment for performing light exercise. It has an LCD monitor that displays time, count, distance covered and calories burned, and is fitted with an adjustable abdominal pad for comfort and support.
Best under-desk elliptical: Cubii Junior Under Desk Elliptical Pedal Exerciser
Convenient and subtle
If you struggle to hit your daily step count, this under desk pedal trainer from Cubii is a great option for keeping active during the working day.
The Cubii Junior pedal elliptical can be used while sitting at your desk and has a built-in display monitor that tracks your time, number of calories burned, RPM, strikes and total distance. It also has eight resistance levels for adjusting the difficulty.
Best compatible cross trainer: Sportstech CX2 Cross Trainer
No power source required
This cross trainer doesn’t require a power source to operate the display, but instead runs off the power you generate as you exercise.
Featuring a tablet and phone holder for storing your device, this cross trainer is compatible with a range of fitness apps via its built-in Bluetooth functionality, allowing you to work out to your favourite workouts and online classes. It also has an impressive 24 resistance levels, slim design for easy storage, and 27 kg flywheel designed to promote a smooth feel.
Best 2-in-1 cross trainer: Neezee Elliptical Cross Trainer
Save on buying two machines
If you’re struggling to choose between a cross trainer and an exercise bike, then struggle no more! This machine from Neezee can be used as both.
This cross trainer and exercise bike combo has pulse sensors for monitoring your heart rate, as well as an LCD monitor that displays your performance metrics. An adjustable resistance knob allows you to toggle between eight difficulty levels, while the addition of two wheels make for easy manoeuvrability.
Best sit-down cross trainer: Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike
Great for elderly riders
A mix between a standard elliptical and an exercise bike, this sit-down trainer is ideal for people who aren’t able to stand up on a traditional cross trainer but would still like to exercise at home.
This cross trainer has an oversized seat with a backrest designed to support your hips and maintain a healthy posture while you exercise. It has eight resistance levels for altering the difficulty of your workout, pulse sensors on the handlebars for monitoring your heart rate, a digital monitor for displaying your data, and a handy device holder for storing your phone.
What is a cross trainer good for?
Cross trainers are great for a low (or no)-impact workout. For those carrying an injury, they offer a convenient alternative to a running machine as while they do require you to bend your knees to operate, your feet are always in contact with the ground, so they’re kinder on your knees, hips, feet and back.
Like rowing machines, cross trainers also bring your upper body into the workout. Most models have handles which move in tandem with your feet, requiring you to pull and push your arms. This is great for anyone wanting to tone their arm, chest, shoulder and back muscles.
Cross trainers also give you more control over the machine than, for example, a treadmill, as their movement directly responds to the push and pull motion that you exert. This is great for those who want a safe workout and are not comfortable with the risks associated with a running machine or clip-in exercise bike.