5 Best Ellipticals for Runners

Let’s be real, elliptical machines can’t replace running, but you can’t also ignore how useful they are. Regardless of the reason why you want to purchase an elliptical, it is going to be excellent for your home gym. With so many choices out there, it might seem overwhelming to choose the best one. So, let me help you out, to find the 7 best ellipticals for runners!

SCHWINN 411 is the best elliptical machine available out there. Runners with past injuries who miss running will love its high-contrast LCD screen, which allows them to choose from a variety of running locations virtually. While exercising, you can monitor your heart rate, speed, and calories burnt. The long 18” strides make it perfect for running simulations!

There are several other ellipticals available in the market, that are also great, given their price and unique features. Plus, as a runner, you need to have a clear idea of what you want from an elliptical machine. Therefore, I recommend that you read through this article to learn more about the best 7 ellipticals intended for runners like you!

Following is a list of the ellipticals I’ve tried and suggested here, with some of their unique and essential features. It hopefully will make deciding easier for you!

Elliptical ModelsProduct Dimension (LxWxH)Max User Weight (lbs.)Stride Length (inches)Links
SCHWINN 41170.1 x 28.1 x 63.130018Check Price On Amazon
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905  28 x 17x 5722011Check Price On Amazon
Fitness Reality E5500XL57.5 x 24 x 6627018Check Price On Amazon
 SCHWINN 47052 x 22 x 34.530020Check Price On Amazon
Body Power 2-in142 x 24 x 6225012Check Price On Amazon

The 5 Most Effective Elliptical Machines for Runners

These ellipticals have some distinctive features. Each of them includes heart rate monitors, speed trackers, calorie counters, and more. Some of them have long strides, and some have smaller ones, but all 5 of them are fantastic for running exercises.

1. SCHWINN 411 Compact Elliptical Machine

The SCHWINN brand never disappoints. Schwinn has a series of elliptical trainers and other exercise machines that I have used. If I have to say something about this, then I would say- they are very user-friendly and provide exceptional features compared to other brands. I’ve witnessed very few exercising companies that provide their users with so many facilities.

However, our primary focus here is to look for elliptical trainers that are suitable for runners, so let’s take a look at that. First off, SCHWINN 411 offers 18-inch strides, which is remarkable for a compact product like this. Runners who are tall and have a preference for bigger steps will find this stride very comfortable to use.

The handles are both adjustable and movable. Therefore, you can choose whether you want to do a full-body or a lower body workout. This lets you have a strong grip on your leg-days, if you lose balance. Steel pulse sensors are placed in the handles too, so they can measure your heart rate, and count brunt calories. You won’t have to worry about false reading anymore. 

This elliptical offers another amazing thing, which is an application called- Explore The World. It has 3 free virtual courses, that reflect exotic locations and trails for you to run in virtually. So, when you are bored at home, and can’t go out to run, this will keep you content. Personally speaking, this feature was a game-changer for me.

Specifications:

  • Diameter: 70.1 x 28.1 x 63.1 inches
  • Gross Weight: 102 lbs.
  • Functions: Time, Speed, Heart Rate, Calories, Pulse
  • Resistance: Level 16
  • Screen: 5.5” High Contrast LCD

Features:

Added Programs: The trainer has 13 programs for exercises. So, you don’t need to look for other workout routines online. With added guidelines, these will work great for home workout sessions.

Build-in Parts: Comes with one media rack and a water bottle holder, so you don’t have to get down while exercising. Hence, it keeps you more engaged in the workout sessions.

Media Rack: This allows you to watch your favorite shows while you are exercising. The surface on top of the screen can be used for keeping your phone, tablet, and even a MacBook.

Pros:

  • Long strides 
  • Big LCD screen
  • Higher resistance level
  • Sufficient leg space

Cons:

  • No incline choices
  • Not touch screen
  • Noisy

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2. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 is one of the best ellipticals for runners, who want a compact size machine in their home. It comes with a digital monitor, which can scan your heart rate, and track the calories you have burnt while exercising. It can also measure speed and distance, so runners who like to keep a count of their mileage would love this!

The level 8 magnetic resistance feature will be very helpful when you want to challenge yourself. Because when we run, we face no resistance apart from our own weight. Hence this additional pressure on your legs and lower body would be incredibly beneficial for an intense running experience. You can use this feature for knee injuries as well!

A quality feature I appreciated in this elliptical was the transportation wheels. You can shift this trainer anywhere you want in your house, without the struggle of carrying or dragging it around. Hence, it does not leave traces on your floors! Also, as mentioned previously, this is a very compact machine, which makes it fit practically anywhere.

In general, the trainer itself is very comfortable to use and provides a smooth running experience. With its anti-slip surface, it’s great for runners who are injured and are having a hard time exercising. The movable handles were another plus point for me because it got my upper body moving and I felt like I was actually running on the streets!

Specifications:

  • Diameter: 28 x 17x 57 inches
  • Gross Weight: 69 lbs.
  • Functions: Time, Speed, Heart Rate, Calories, Pulse
  • Resistance: Level 8, Magnetic
  • Screen: Digital Monitor

Features:

Floor Stabilizers: Prevents floor damage when you are using the machine. You’ll stay balanced and in control while getting a range of options until you find the level best suited for you.

Arm Monitor: This is extremely helpful for runners because it keeps track of your run time, distance and heart rate.

Synchronous Grip: It stimulates running because it forces the upper body to move in sync with the legs. This works wonderfully for defined back muscles

Pros:

  • Compact size
  • Excellent stability
  • Smooth runtime
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Noisy
  • Short pedals
  • Minimal leg space

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3. Fitness Reality E5500XL Magnetic Elliptical

One of the most underrated products I have come across so far. Running enthusiasts will love the Fitness Reality E5500XL, with its smooth 18-inch strides. There is a whole set of workouts you can do on this elliptical machine that remains within your control.

It has 21 pre-set workouts to choose from, and magnetic resistance of 21. With the price range of this elliptical, that’s a lot of options you are getting. The extended leg stabilizers prevent movements from happening while you are on the machine and keeps you balanced. There are also two set handles (2 big, 2 small) for different kinds of upper body workouts.

Another amazing thing was the double transmission system this had. One was, flywheel, and another was belt design. Both of them together made the pedaling motions smoother, and easier to control. It too has a hand pulse sensor, which measures heart rates, with additional alternatives for post-workout recovery. 

Specifications:

  • Diameter: 57.5 x 24 x 66 inches
  • Gross Weight: 93 lbs.
  • Functions: Heart Rate, Speed, Odometer
  • Resistance: 24 levels, Magnetic
  • Screen: Backlit LCD

Features:

Backlit Computer: With a backlit LCD monitor attached, it provides the users with clearer images. The screen highlighted each number distinctly, with clear graphics.

Dual Systems: With double transmission, and double handles, this elliptical provided one of the smoothest experiences while pedaling. Great options for people who want a stronger upper body.

Slim Design: A unique sleek design, that delivers a natural walking and running simulation for the runners. The compact size and stature make this model ideal for any environment.

Pros:

  • Included AC adapter
  • Transportation wheels
  • Dual handle
  • Compact

Cons:

  • Slippery pedals
  • Noisy
  • Difficult to assemble

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4. SCHWINN 470 Elliptical Machine

The best features of this particular model were the Bluetooth connectivity and MP3 player. It kept me focused, yet I zoned out into music, without realizing how much time I’ve spent on the elliptical. The strides were very comfortable to pedal with and had a smooth texture. You’d have enough leg space in between you, so it’s very decent for running.

Next comes the Dual Blue Backlit LCD screen, and the guided workout programs. I’ve faced this difficulty before, that the screen of the elliptical machines was not clear enough to see while exercising. But with this one, I encountered no problems at all. This elliptical, with the previously stated attachments, was sturdy and felt very comfortable to ride.

However, this elliptical is slightly bigger than a standard-sized elliptical, but it should be okay if you have a small space. You can easily store it in a corner, and take it out when you are ready to exercise. Its 20 inch long and wide strides make it the most accurate simulation of running. On top of it, it does not make unpleasant sounds when you pedal!

The 29 free programs available are also very important for you to take a look at. Only a few brands offer such a variety of options to their consumers. These workout programs were made in a way, so that everyone, from beginners to experts, could benefit from them.

Specification:

  • Diameter: 52 x 22 x 34.5
  • Gross Weight: 189.2 lbs.
  • Functions: Fitness Test, Heart Rate Control, Workout Programs
  • Resistance: 25 Levels
  • Screen: 2 DualTrack Blue Backlit LCD

Features:

Bluetooth Facilities: This elliptical has an MP3 input port for when you want to listen to music while exercising. Also, has added console speakers for guided workout sessions.

Social App: You can sync your social apps like ‘Run’ and use up to 19 locations and 27 routes. This app allows you to see people who are running on the same roads as you so you feel at ease.

Comprehensive Programs: With 29 free workout routines, this elliptical will make your life much easier. You can choose any of those while monitoring your run time and calories!

Pros:

  • User friendly
  • Advanced technology
  • Clear graphics
  • Advanced workout routines
  • Noiseless

Cons:

  • Wrong reading of the pulse
  • Installation takes time

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5. Body Power 2-in-1 Elliptical Stepper

In High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), you go through an intense physical exertion followed by a low-intensity recovery period. The elliptical gives you a chance to try it while retaining and shifting your resistance levels as you pedal.  It burns more calories than usual and is very effective for weight loss programs.

However, for runners, this elliptical would provide a little more than running. With the curve crank technique, it replicates exercises that feel like hiking (vertical climbing) in the mountains. Thus, for those who prefer increased pressure on their legs and lower body, this elliptical is the one for you! You would also get the option to select and deselect options as per your needs.

Moreover, for its tiny size, it’s very easy to store. You won’t have to worry about this taking up extra space in your home. The basic design and functions of this elliptical provides straightforward instruction and manual for when you have to assemble it. It won’t take you more than 3 hours, even if you have never assembled one before!

The strides are made of heavy plastic and are medium in size. I found nothing particularly interesting in that department. One disappointing aspect was, at the end of each stride, there were no edges or grips, so if you aren’t being cautious enough, you might slip. Apart from this, the elliptical is one of the best in the market.

Specifications:

  • Diameter: 42 x 24 x 62 inches
  • Gross Weight: 96.8 lbs.
  • Functions: Calories, Time, Speed
  • Resistance: 8 Levels
  • Screen: LCD

Features:

HIIT Trainer: The 2 in 1 HIIT trainer performs as a personal guide through the full-body workouts and vertical climbing. The synchronized handles cover a wide range of movements for upper body exercises.

Curve-Crank Technology: This technology applies a constant tension into the X and Y axes of your body, so you get the sensation of running, by creating free rotation zones.

Pros:

  • 2 in 1- Climber + Elliptical
  • Easy to assemble
  • HIIT 
  • Works as a stepper

Cons:

  • Not very rigid
  • Old fashioned screen
  • Not suitable for hardwood floors
  • Makes constant sound

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Things to Consider Before Buying an Elliptical As a Runner

When buying an elliptical machine, the first question you should ask yourself is, what is your budget? There are hundreds of options out there, and the price ranges vary too. The amount of money you will spend will determine the kind of elliptical you can get. There are excellent elliptical machines available at a lower cost too, so don’t get scared if your budget is low.

The next question is, how much space do you have to keep an elliptical in your home? It’s better to go for a lightweight and compact elliptical if you have a modest apartment, than a bulky one. You also need to consider the trainer’s weight and add your own weight. The floors in many homes aren’t designed to handle much pressure, which might cause them to chip or break.

Your purpose with the elliptical is also another aspect you should focus on while purchasing. As you are a runner, make sure you buy an elliptical that provides you with enough speed for you to simulate running. If you are injured, look for adjustable strides that put less stress on your lower body.

Likewise, as a runner also looks for- longer strides, and wide-leg space between you and the machine before buying. Keep your height in consideration, and check if the diameter of the elliptical is comfortable enough for you. Moveable handles are also an important part to look for, for having a real-like running experience.

Conclusion

The mentioned ellipticals are the 5 best ellipticals for runners available in the market right now. Any one of them can be an excellent choice to bring to your home. But, do your research on these and select the one that will suit your needs best, and fit your budget. Thank you so much for taking the time to read the whole article. I hope I’ve eliminated a lot of your headaches regarding which elliptical to buy. Best of luck buying you new elliptical. 

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