Seated elliptical trainers (also called Recumbent ellipticals) are elliptical with seats. They function exactly as regular ellipticals but their forms are a bit different. The foot pedals are usually inclined in these types of ellipticals, because of the seat. For these same reasons, the stride length of these ellipticals is usually quite short.
Elliptical cross trainers cause the least amount of impact on their user’s joints. It’s suggested to people who cannot start to use traditional exercise equipment. Because of this reason seated ellipticals are quite popular as rehabilitation exercise equipment.
You will be getting:
- Magnetic Resistance
- Silent machines
- Compact Footprint
- Basic HRM
- Basic Programs
You will not get:
- Long Stride
1. Marcy Regenerating Recumbent Exercise Bike
When it comes to exercising, Marcy is a name to trust. One of their most prominent products you could buy is the Seated exercise bike with an adjustable seat and various other amenities. It’s really obvious to ask what’s so special if you haven’t gone through the features yet. Build quality: its base is made with premium quality steel. This ensures high durability and long-lasting performance from the product itself Power saver: Since the basic power generation process is a turbine spinning when you pedal the bike, it regenerates power. Thus you save electricity Bulti-panel LCD: there’s a multipanel LCD monitor that’s mounted on the bike with which you can see your exercise stats.
- Adjustable seat
- High build quality
- Regenerates power
- LCD monitor
- Customizable workout
- Batteries for the monitor have to be bought separately
2. ProForm Hybrid Trainer
The proform hybrid trainer might be the most ordinary-looking exercise bike on this list. But it definitely is a heavy-duty one and does the job perfectly.
The design is really basic. But it does have a user weight capacity of 350 pounds where others have a 300-pound capacity. As this trainer was designed to be a hybrid trainer rather than just a seated elliptical, it does not have a heart rate sensor with the seat handle.
Transport wheels: an exercise bike might seem a compact device when it’s folded but it can be quite heavy regarding the fact that it’s made to carry a person. So, moving it inside the house is a tough job. But not with this one because it has transport wheels that you can use to move the bike around the house without having to tear it down.
Build quality: proform is actually a very well-known name in the game of exercise machinery. Their build quality is absolutely astounding. On the hybrid trainer, they provide a 5 years warranty on the frame. This proves that the frame built is really strong and they have faith upon the device.
Variety resistance: according to the type of exercise you’re looking for you can set 16 different levels of resistance from the bike to adjust the perfect type of exercise for yourself.
- Best build quality
- Transportation wheels
- Big monitor
- 16 resistance levels
- 5 years frame warranty
- The very widespread basic design
- No heart rate sensor in the seat
3. HCI Fitness PhysioCycle RXT
As the days are going forward, everything is getting a simple touch of the modern era to cope up with the time. The modern touch has also blessed the area of exercise bikes. The PhysioCycle RXT has one of the most modern designs that you can possibly think of to make the work out even more fun and the structure, even more user friendly.
Easy movement: most bikes don’t have the comfort to move them from one place to another at our will. We fix them somewhere and they stay there. But with this one, that’s not absolute. The RXT has wheels. You can move them pretty much anywhere in your home.
Heart rate sensors: the seat contains heart rate sensors that monitor the user’s heart rate at all times.
Walkthrough design: most bikes are hard to get onto because they are usually high. But this one has a walk through design where you can literally pass through the device.
- Easy to read display
- Can be moved easily
- Heart rate sensors
- Walkthrough design
- Adjustable straps on pedals
- Very expensive but only applicable for home use, not professional use.
4. Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical
Exercise bikes are usually meant to make you tired, burn calories, and overall keep you fit. But the teeter FreeStep has a really cool feature. While other bikes will make you feel fatigued, this one has a technology that they like to call zero-impact exercise.
This means you will get less fatigued because of the seat position but you’ll burn more calories and relieve stress from the joints.
Very quiet: usually exercise bikes make noise while you’re working out but this one has a quiet feature. You can have a whisper-quiet exercise experience with this bike.
Dual body exercise: Bikes usually provide only one dedicated body part exercise. It’s either upper part or lower. But this bike will give you a total body workout and burn more calories.
Commercial usage: The exercise bikes you’ll find in this list are more dedicated for personal use rather than commercial use say for a gym. But this one can be used for commercial purposes. It has a commercial-grade design and size.
- Very elliptical design
- Full body workout
- Smart exercise monitoring
- Commercial use
- Quiet experience
- The design is a bit unusual
5. Body Champ 3-in-1 Trio Trainer
Imagine doing cardio exercise first, now imagine that you’re doing three types of cardio at once! Impossible? No, not with the body champ trio trainer plus two.
With this bike, you can get three types of cardio training at the same time. You can transit between the types of cardio without any hassle. The digital transition lets you relax and continue your preferred type of exercise.
Multifunctional: Usually even in a gym you need three different machines for doing different cardio exercises. But with this trio bike, you can do all types of cardio with the smoothest of transition.
Quiet flywheel: the heavyweight flywheel lets the device function as quietly as possible to make your exercise experience even better.
Perfect home gym equipment: as it’s not feasible to have different devices for each type of exercise the trio is actually a great deal for those who love to enjoy a workout at home.
- Great build quality
- Three in one cardio
- Quiet training
- Great design
- The seat is a bit small
6. Body Flex Sports Body Champ 3 In 1 Trio Trainer
Another home trio trainer exercise bike with a patented design from body flex. Body flex has the idea of making exercise interesting and more fun than usual. That’s why they have tried to jumble 2-3 exercises together on one machine before.
Regarding that success, they have created this amazing exercise bike that can provide you with three different exercise cycle.
No pedal adjustment: the transition between exercises might require some pedal adjustment, do you agree with that? Everyone would. But this device comes with such a unique design that to make your transition to a different exercise you don’t have to adjust the pedals. It’s just that simple.
Advanced training program: the machine packs a computer with 17+ preset exercise regimes. You can add up more and get yourself a nice workout.
Heart monitor: it has an integrated pulse and heart monitor to keep them in check at all times.
- Perfect for home
- Multifunctional purpose
- Smooth hassle-free transition
- Advance training regime
- Magnetic adjustable resistance
- Priced a bit higher than others
What are the benefits of Seated elliptical trainers?
The main benefits of Seated elliptical machines pertain to their purpose as rehabilitation exercise equipment. First and foremost, they provide low impact cardiovascular exercise. Since the user is seated, there is minimal impact on the back (specifically lower back), hips, knees, and ankles. In addition to just being seated, the seats on this type of elliptical trainer are designed for maximum comfort. This means ample back support, high-density cushion, the angle of the seat is intended to prevent stress on joints and so forth. As a result, a more comfortable workout experience is created and, due to that comfort, users find it easier to exercise for longer durations. Extended workout duration means more calorie burn, fat burn, and muscle development because the longer you exercise, the better.
Another benefit pertains to workout intensity. Exercising in the seated position makes users feel safe since it comes with decreased injury risk. Due to that safety, individuals, especially those who have difficulty exercising while standing, are more inclined to push themselves. Higher intensity workouts produce better results.
Lastly, recumbent ellipticals are versatile. Whether you are physically fit, are just getting started, have a chronic condition, difficulty walking or are recovering from an injury, a seated elliptical can accommodate a wide range of individual fitness needs. All you have to do is make the appropriate adjustments to both the chair and resistance level.
Do you need this type of elliptical cross trainer?
The short answer is maybe. Most will find a seated elliptical trainer useful. Those who are physically fit will enjoy adding a more convenient and comfortable exercise option to their routine while those with mobility issues will like being able to exercise again, challenge themselves and improve their physical fitness. With muscle development and strength comes improved balanced and mobility.
Furthermore, you may need this type of elliptical if you have back problems, are obese, or are undergoing physical therapy for something like hip or knee surgery. If any of the aforementioned applies to you, yes, this type of elliptical trainer is needed and is certainly worth the investment.
There are also other factors to consider when determining if you need this type of elliptical. One of those factors is space. Seated ellipticals do require an adequate amount of floor space so those who live in small spaces may have a hard time finding room for the trainer. If having one at home isn’t an option, remember that they can be found at many gyms and fitness centers.
Workouts on a Seated Elliptical
Most models have preset programs or feature interactive personal training integration which add variety to your fitness routine and with that variety comes direction for those who are new to using this type of machine. That being said, there other workouts to do on a recumbent elliptical. Take high-intensity interval training for example. Pedaling at short intense intervals delivers an effective aerobic workout plus it cuts workout duration in half.
Another option is focusing on an area of the body like the upper body or core. To challenge the upper body, simply take the legs out of action temporarily to isolate this region. During these periods of upper body isolation, you’ll engage the biceps, triceps, shoulders, back and more. As for targeting the core, sit up instead of resting against the back of the seat, engage the core muscles and pedal away.
Working out in reverse is also great when you’re looking to challenge yourself. Since legs aren’t used to working in the backward direction, especially against resistance, the body is forced to work harder. Better yet, it changes the way muscles in the lower body are stimulated and they become significantly more active. Lastly, heart rate goes up and calorie expenditure increases.
Do form and technique matter when using a recumbent elliptical trainer?
Form and technique matter regardless of the exercise or workout machine but there are fewer factors to consider with seated ellipticals.
First, the seat must be in the right position. If it isn’t, every motion will feel awkward and uncomfortable which throws off any technique you try to implement.
To find the right seat position for you, sit in the seat then slide it backward or forwards until the leg on your far side is only slightly bent when in the extended position (with the maximum back support). Additionally, you want to keep your back straight and engage the core, especially when working against more resistance.
What to look for when purchasing a recumbent elliptical?
The first thing you want to look for when purchasing a recumbent elliptical trainer is a swivel seat. Without this, it will be quite difficult to get on and off the exercise machine, especially for those with mobility issues. A low step-through height is also important since it offers easy access to the seat. Furthermore, you want to pay attention to the drive system. A heavier flywheel means the machine will have a much smoother motion. Another consideration is adjustable handles because the last thing you want to do is overextend yourself from a seated position. The seat on some models also feature armrests for added comfort. Other things to look for when purchasing a seated elliptical include:
Resistance: In addition to multiple resistance levels which are present on all models, look for recumbent elliptical trainers with electro-magnetic resistance. Electro-magnetic resistance is not only smooth but delivers whisper-quiet operation and adjusts quickly to maximize workout performance. Motorized is also a good option but moving parts are involved so this type of resistance is noisier.
Reverse motion: Along with breaking monotony, reverse motion stimulates more glute activity which is important since the gluteal muscles are the largest in the body.
Adjustable seat: Unlike standing ellipticals where stride length is a key consideration, recumbent ellipticals do not have adjustable stride length but should have an adjustable seat so users can pedal with ease. This feature also plays a key role in preventing muscle strain.
Comfort features: The decision to purchase a seated elliptical relies heavily on comfort so when shopping for a recumbent model look for comfort features like an ergonomic seat with a nice cushion, soft-grip texture on pedals to prevent slipping and handles with a comfort grip to enhance the workout experience. Many models also feature a water bottle holder as well as a reading rack and/or phone holder so users can multitask.If you search for seated ellipticals, you will see a lot of models from Octane Fitness. Octane Fitness was the pioneer to introduce recumbent bike in the market. They have introduced “PowerStroke technology”, that maximum leg extension while seated. Octane Fitness xR6 and XR6000 are the two most popular elliptical in the market. But because of their unavailability, we did not add them to our list.
Recumbent elliptical trainers are best suited for those with mobility issues and those recovering from an injury, but anyone will find the machine useful. This type of elliptical is easy to use and who doesn’t like the idea of exercising while seated? To make things better, owning this type of trainer comes with a long list of benefits, there are several workout options to help break the monotony and keep workouts engaging plus maintaining proper form and technique is super simple.