The best NordicTrack elliptical

Maintaining your cardiovascular fitness can be challenging as it takes hard work, dedication and access to a gym, which can be costly. Ellipticals are excellent for staying in shape, and although they’re expensive, the convenience of having one in the comfort of your home can make them a worthwhile investment.

NordicTrack is a top exercise equipment manufacturer and makes several high-end ellipticals. They offer a range of machines, each with distinct specs and features, so you can choose something that suits your fitness goals and needs.

What you should know about ellipticals

Are ellipticals better than treadmills?

Ellipticals and treadmills are excellent exercise machines for maintaining and improving cardiovascular health, but there are a few distinct differences. A treadmill doesn’t limit range of motion like an elliptical and is ideal for marathon training. Ellipticals offer low-impact activities, so they’re not as taxing on the knees as treadmills, making them better suited for those who have arthritis or suffer from joint pain.

Size

Ellipticals are typically around 6 feet long and 2 to 3 feet wide, but size can vary. Smaller machines are usually cheaper, and although they often have fewer features, their compact design makes them suitable for smaller spaces like apartments.

Price

Ellipticals vary in price depending on size and features, but they’re generally cheaper than treadmills. If used regularly, an elliptical pays for itself and is more affordable than the cost of a gym membership over time.

NordicTrack ellipticals offer state-of-the-art technology and elite performance, so they’re among the pricier ellipticals. Their cheapest machine costs $900, but mid-tier models cost $1,300-$1,800, with the most expensive one costing $2,500.

The three types of elliptical machines

All ellipticals mimic walking and running motion, but there are three types of ellipticals based on where the flywheel drive system is located.

  • Front-drive machines are usually more compact than other ellipticals and offer more incline levels. However, they require more moving parts, so there’s a greater chance of breakdown or them requiring maintenance from time to time.
  • Rear-drive machines have a flat design, giving off a more natural feel while pedaling. They operate more quietly, but they’re usually more expensive and don’t offer much inclination.
  • Center-drive ellipticals aren’t as common as front-drive and rear-drive ellipticals but offer excellent stability and a slightly sleeker design.

What should I look for in an elliptical?

Intensity levels and angle adjustability

The best elliptical machines come with several intensity levels and adjustable inclines. Having the option to tweak the intensity level can diversify your workout routine and let you challenge and push yourself harder. Exercising at an incline targets different muscles and is an excellent way to improve your endurance and overall fitness.

Programs

Some cheaper ellipticals don’t have built-in programs, but NordicTrack offers machines with plenty of premium features such as virtual workout programs and trainer-led interactive training sessions. Most training programs are designed to provide a specific experience and include modes such as random, hill climbing, interval training, long slow distance and target heart rate.

Forward and reverse motions

Most of the time, ellipticals are used in a forward motion similar to a treadmill, but some ellipticals can work backward as well. A backward movement targets the hamstrings and calves more than a forward motion, and the diversity in workouts reduces the risk of injury or strain from repeated exercises.

Connectivity

Many NordicTrack ellipticals can be controlled through the iFit smartphone app, where users can access online programs and track their workouts and progress. Some machines also have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities, so users can wirelessly connect an external device to stream music or watch workout videos.

Fan

Staying as cool and dry as possible during workouts is important for keeping up your performance and intensity, making a built-in fan a must. All NordicTrack ellipticals have one that can be adjusted to multiple settings based on preference.

Best NordicTrack ellipticals

Best NordicTrack FreeStride ellipticals

NordicTrack FreeStride FS14i

NordicTrack FreeStride FS14i

Retailing at a whopping $2,500, this is the only elliptical you’ll ever need. It has a stunning 14-inch high-definition touchscreen, 32-inch auto-adjusting stride and decline and incline levels up to 10%. It boasts three movements, stepper, elliptical and treadmill, and supports Bluetooth headphones.

Sold by NordicTrack

NordicTrack FreeStride FS10i

NordicTrack FreeStride FS10i

This elliptical is the little brother of the FS14i, but it still packs plenty of premium features, including hands-free training and adjustable stride length. It has a workout fan, upper body grips and a 10-inch HD smart touchscreen.

Sold by NordicTrack

Best NordicTrack front-drive ellipticals

NordicTrack Commercial 14.9

NordicTrack Front-Drive Commercial 14.9

The front-drive ellipticals are more traditional than the FreeStride series but offer many premium features. This model boasts a 14-inch smart HD touchscreen, 20% incline control, 26 digital resistance levels, one-touch controls and Bluetooth headphone connectivity.

Sold by NordicTrack

NordicTrack Commercial 9.9

NordicTrack Front-Drive Commercial 9.9

This machine is one of the more affordable models and has a more compact design than other NordicTrack ellipticals, making it excellent for small spaces. It has a 7-inch display, automatic trainer control and 22 digital resistance controls.

Sold by NordicTrack

NordicTrack Studio Elliptical

NordicTrack Studio Elliptical

The Studio Elliptical is similar to what you’d find in most gyms and is the cheapest model, costing $900. It has a five-inch high contrast display, and two 2-inch digitally amplified speakers. It has oversized cushioned pedals, 20 digital resistance levels, and is Bluetooth smart-enabled.

Sold by NordicTrack

Best NordicTrack rear-drive ellipticals

NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i

NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE9i

This elliptical provides a smooth workout experience with a soft impact and features 24 resistance settings. It has one-touch controls, 10% incline adjustment and the vertical SpaceSaver design allows convenient storage.

Sold by NordicTrack

NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE7i

NordicTrack SpaceSaver SE7i

This elliptical is excellent if you’re looking for a more affordable NordicTrack elliptical for a small workout area. It has a 10-inch smart HD touchscreen, 18-inch auto-adjustable stride and 22 digital resistance levels and the iFit trainer automatically adjusts workout settings.

Sold by NordicTrack

 

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