|Name||Max User Weight|
|JTX Stryder X7||110kg|
|JLL Fitness 2-in-1||110kg|
|XS Sports Pro 2-in-1||110kg|
It’s a fact that many thousands of pounds worth of gym memberships go unused every year. The reasons are simple: you sign up, full of enthusiasm, then once you have been a few times, things just get in the way. The pressures of home, the long days at work, you can’t be bothered to drive or get the bus to the gym. Wouldn’t it be better if you had your own equipment, in the home? The thing is, it’s not actually that expensive, and you don’t even need much equipment, or much room.
The trick is to invest in the simple machinery and equipment, which is why we keep coming back to the cross trainer. These stationery yet highly effective devices can help with all manner of exercise, as they replicate everything from walking to running and at a pace that you set yourself. They are safe to use and bring about excellent results, and are a favourite with home gym equipment users as they are surprisingly compact. So, before we go on to tell you more about the top 10 cross trainers, let’s talk a little more about what they are, and why you need one.
The Top 10 Best Cross Trainers
Table of Contents
- 1 The Top 10 Best Cross Trainers
- 2 Important Features to Consider
- 3 How It Works
One of the things you will discover as you read our reviews of cross trainers is that there are many different types, and they also cover a wide range of budgets. This one, from JTX – a brand with a range of excellent gym equipment – is one of the more costly models, but also one of the most comprehensive in terms of range and ability. You get a fully programmable console with 16 resistance levels and more adjustments, so you can take things at your own chosen pace.
It has 21 different programs so you can choose the workout you want, and is easy to program so you will soon get the hang of it. It is quite large at 170cm long, so you will need a decent sized space to put it in, but it is also well-made and very usable. You get a considerable warranty with this model, too, so that’s added peace of mind. This is a serious piece of kit and, at around £475, is one of the more expensive – but you will get plenty of use from it.
2: JTX Zenith
As one of the most prolific makers and suppliers of cross trainers and other gym equipment, it is hard to get away from JTX, so don’t be surprised that we have included a few of theirs in this review. It is worth bearing in mind, also, that this is a brand used in commercial gyms, so quality is not an issue. This one, the Zenith, is an excellent and very comprehensive machine that does everything a cross trainer should do, and more besides. With 19 separate workout programs you will find everything is catered for.
This is another big machine – it’s almost 2-metres long – but is robustly built and excellent quality, and you will find it easily caters for your every need. It’s a fully functioning home gym device that will help you stay firmly in shape, and one that you will get plenty of use out of. However, as with all JTX machinery, you pay for the privilege; this one will set you back almost £800, but if you want the best, you have to pay for it.
3: JTX Tri-Fit
Our third model is another from the JTX range – the Tri-Fit – and it is a very neat device indeed. This one comes with adjustable stride length, so various users can change it to suit, and is a robustly-made model that will suit any purpose. You can adjust everything including the resistance, which as with most of these is done by magnetics, and also simulate an incline, which is a great way of training and very effective. You also get access to an app which can be used in conjunction with the visual display.
This model is designed to be compact, so is only 150cm long, yet still offers all the functions of the bigger machines seen above. You get 19 workout programs and 16 levels of resistance, plus many other adjustments so you can fine-tune it to perfection. All in all, this is a great device, typical of the JTX brand, and at about £700 is in the middle of the price range for this maker.
Another brand with a wide range of home gym products, JLL focuses more on the budget end of the market, as this clever and affordable model shows. It’s a 2-in-1 design in that it provides you with the benefits of a cross trainer as well as being an exercise bike. It comes with fully adjustable seat and handlebars, and a multi-function LCD display that keeps you informed of how you are doing as you work out.
You can adjust the resistance across a broad range – the front-mounted flywheel provides the effect – and it is made from durable but light steel, so you can easily move it around if needed. It is less than a metre long so will fit in just about any available space, and it displays all the information you need on distance travelled and more. At around £75 this is considerably cheaper than those above, but bear in mind it is not of the comprehensive nature those models offer.
It is far from unusual to find the same items branded in different ways, and as far as we can see, this one is identical to that above. It’s a 2-in-1 design in that it provides you with the benefits of a cross trainer as well as being an exercise bike. It comes with fully adjustable seat and handlebars, and a multi-function LCD display that keeps you informed of how you are doing as you work out.
You can adjust the resistance across a broad range – the front-mounted flywheel provides the effect – and it is made from durable but light steel, so you can easily move it around if needed. It is less than a metre long so will fit in just about any available space, and it displays all the information you need on distance travelled and more. At around £90 this is very good value, but bear in mind it is not of the comprehensive nature those models offer.
The basic concept of a cross trainer is ably displayed in this model, from the renowned Sportstech brand. It’s a clever machine that offers all the functions and features you could want from one of these, with a powerful resistance function that is fully adjustable. Indeed, you control the resistance setting – across 32 possible levels – with the built-in computer, which also handles many other very useful functions.
12 pre-programmed settings give you access to a full workout procedure, while the machine is capable of accessing Google maps so you can plan your ‘route’ and memorise it! If that sounds like a gimmick, it’s a rather neat one that makes working out more fun. Neat details such as a water bottle holder and full-grip large pedals are also great ideas, and at 1500mm in length this is far from the biggest of these, but not exactly compact. It’s a very impressive cross trainer that would be excellent in a home gym set-up, and at around £370 we think it is very good value.
This is another model from the JLL range of budget equipment, and it is very similar to their previous entry. It’s a 2-in-1 design in that it provides you with the benefits of a cross trainer as well as being an exercise bike. It comes with fully adjustable seat and handlebars, and a multi-function LCD display that keeps you informed of how you are doing as you work out.
You can adjust the resistance across a broad range – the front-mounted flywheel provides the effect – and it is made from durable but light steel, so you can easily move it around if needed. It is less than a metre long so will fit in just about any available space, and it displays all the information you need on distance travelled and more. At around £75 this is a good value choice for a budget home gym, but you are getting what you pay for.
Another from JLL, but this one is a little bit more up-market compared to some of their other models. It’s a very nice design that emulates more to-quality models, and has many excellent features. The magnetic resistance level can be set to 8-levels – not as comprehensive as some but adequate for a budget home gym device – and is easy to operate, and while the resistance wheel is not as powerful as some, it is decent.
You get a decent monitor that can also hold a tablet, a choice of handle-bar options for comfort, and it has front wheels on the frame so it can be moved around easily if you wish. This one is compact too, at around 120cm in length, so can be used in even the smallest of available space. All in all, if you have limited funds this one could be a great buy at around £160, so well worth checking out.
This is another budget 2-in-1 model, that is a combined cross trainer and exercise bike, that would be suitable for anyone with limited space and money. It comes with fully adjustable seat and handlebars, and a multi-function LCD display that keeps you informed of how you are doing as you work out.
You can adjust the resistance across a broad range – the front-mounted flywheel provides the effect – and it is made from durable but light steel, so you can easily move it around if needed. It is less than a metre long so will fit in just about any available space, and it displays all the information you need on distance travelled and more. It’s a nice little model that will do the job it is intended for, and at around £75 is perfect for light workouts in a small space.
10: Reebok ZR8
Our final entry comes from a brand that is synonymous with training and exercise, but better known for its running gear. Reebok is a world-wide household name, so this cross trainer should reflect the brand, and it does. You get no fewer than 32 levels of resistance from a very powerful and effective mechanism, so you can choose your perfect level with ease. It’s a simple to use and effective model that looks the part, as is expected from a brand renowned for great design.
12 pre-set programs means you can choose an ideal workout with little effort, adjustable footplates add comfort, and the large flywheel means you smooth and effortless performance every time. This clever design also weighs only around 50kg so can be moved relatively easily, and at under 150cm in length will not take up too much space. As we would expect from Reebok, it is a success, and one for the shortlist at a surprisingly affordable £300.
That’s our list of the top 10 best cross trainers on the market right now and, as you will surely agree, the diversity in different styles and types is quite considerable. Also, the price range is broad so there may be some that are out of your budget, and others that are under it. Before we go on to give you a final summary, let’s recap on some of the important features you need to consider when buying one of these very useful machines.
Important Features to Consider
So, you want to begin your home gym, and a cross trainer is a fine place to start. These very versatile and usable devices provide a wide range of workout options – some more than others – so let’s check a few points you need to think about before you buy one.
Size – before you even think about buying one of these, make sure you have available space in a sensible room in the house. The garage is a great choice if you don’t use it for a car, and a spare bedroom is also, but check the size of the model you want and ensure it fits – or it could be an expensive mistake!
Programs – most of these come with pre-set workout programs, and some more so than others. These are very useful as you can generally choose them with the touch of a button, so it’s worth checking carefully.
Resistance settings – the more variable the resistance, the better; you will find that these models come with anywhere from a few to more than 30, depending on the sophistication of the machine, and some have more powerful resistance devices than others. You will pay more for added complexity, so again, check carefully.
Other Features – an LCD display, app compatibility, Google Maps and much more – these are just a few of the added features on some of these models, so choose one with stuff you want.
Budget – this is always a factor, and with these machines, is very much a major consideration. The price range covered across our ten choices is from around £75 to £800, so you need to set your budget before you make a shortlist of possible models. There is something for everyone here!
That’s our list of a few tips you need to remember, and you may have your own to add, so all that remains now is to wrap things up!
How It Works
So, a cross trainer – otherwise known as an elliptical trainer – what is it? In short, it’s a multi-purpose machine that is designed to help you keep fit, and one that usually comes with many different functions for various purposes. Some are self-powered, although most modern ones have electrical connections for added usage, and they are used to tone both upper and lower body muscles very efficiently indeed. They are not expensive to buy, thanks mainly to their simplicity, hence are popular in the home.
They replicate the running motion by introducing resistance, a technique first seen in the earliest such devices introduced in the early 1990’s. The benefits of this are clear: you can go ‘running’ any time, in all weathers, without leaving the home. You can also use them for walking and climbing replication, and for much more besides. The tension and resistance – and the speed – are all adjustable so you can work out at your own pace, and as they offer a safe, non-impact method of training, they are also widely used by people who are recovering from injuries, with equally great effect.
Do you need a cross trainer? Put simply, if you like to work out and want the convenience of an affordable home gym, this is one of the first items you should consider. They are versatile and effective, and take up not too much room in the home, so a spare bedroom or even the corner of a little-used room – or perhaps a converted garage – will be sufficient. So, let’s get down to business and give you the details of the ten best cross trainers on the market right now, so we can help you build that surprisingly affordable home gym!
Let’s Wrap It Up!
A cross trainer is a great idea for a home gym, and with ten to choose from – some very different to the rest – which one is for you? Well, let’s start by saying that if you want a simple machine for occasional workouts, and don’t have a lot of money or space, look to the cheap and cheerful models at around £75 – the JLL and similar – as they will do the job without breaking the bank.
If, however, you want a professional standard machine and are willing to pay the price, you have a choice of the more expensive JTX models – which are very good indeed but will each set you back in excess of £600 – or, and we reckon it’s the best buy here, the Reebok model which, at around £300, offers excellent quality and performance for a sensible price.
So, get yourself a cross trainer, and begin building that home gym!