The ellipticals are a good option among those senior citizens who cannot practice strenuous sports but want to continue having physical activity. In the specific case of older people, age is usually associated with joint injuries, osteoarthritis, some operations, etc.
Therefore, impact sports should be avoided. The senior elliptical cross trainer cushions the impact on the joints and protects the bones, even if you increase the exercise duration and intensity.
But in the market, there are various elliptical models for elderly people who are over 60, 70, or even 80, and it’s tricky to find the right senior elliptical machine.
That is why we present you with a review that includes the best ellipticals for seniors and hopes it can make your investment worth it.
In a hurry? Here are our top picks of the best elliptical machines for the elderly:
- Cubii Jr Mini Elliptical—Best Mini Elliptical for Seniors
- Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical—Lowest Impact
- Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E902—Best Budget Machine
- Stamina InMotion E1000 Portable & Quiet Peddler—Best Compact Under-Desk Elliptical Trainer
- Octane Fitness Q35x Elliptical Machine—Best High-End Home Elliptical for Seniors
See the overview, pros & cons, and features below.
Things to Consider When Buying an Ellipitcal for Seniors
If you are a senior citizen and want to do cardio workouts at a moderate pace, nothing can stop you as long as your elliptical machine is comfortable. Comfort is paramount. Therefore, you should keep this in mind when choosing a good quality elliptical.
You should think that sometimes cheap is expensive, so do not get carried away only at a low price since it can be of low quality. The material of its construction may be responsible for a bad experience.
Consider the following factors:
- Price: The materials’ quality with which the elliptical machines for older adults are made tends to directly influence their price. Besides, it also influences if it brings some features such as an LCD console. Its durability is directly related to its price.
- Warranty: You will find a wide variety of guarantees depending on the brand. Generally, recognized and good brands provide a lifetime warranty on their frame and more than two or three years on their parts.
- User Weight Limit: Choosing a low-impact elliptical cross trainer that supports up to 300 lb is an indication that it is a robust and stable machine, i.e., of good quality. Beyond your weight, if you choose one with this weight capacity, you will be assured of a durable machine.
- Material: Older people need stable and secure equipment. Therefore, choosing an elliptical for the elderly with a metal frame will ensure a high-quality machine. Your safety and comfort are very important.
Here, I will break down features that make a low-impact elliptical have smooth, comfortable movements. Pedals and handlebars also play a role as they provide great user support.
The movement of the stride is essential, so you should keep in mind the following tips:
- Stride: For a home use senior elliptical, the best is one where the stride length can be adjusted from 18” to 22’’. Lower quality machines tend to have a short stride, and this makes exercising uncomfortable.
- Resistance: Electromagnetic resistance models are more recommended. Magnetic resistance is generally offered from mid-range models and is quieter than mechanical resistance.
- Flywheel Weight: If the flywheel is too light, pedaling will not be pleasant but rather unstable. But if it is heavier, then there will be more resistance, and your pedaling will be more stable. Seniors should use a machine with a flywheel weighing between 20 and 30 pounds for a better experience.
- Incline: It is best to choose an elliptical machine for seniors with bad knees to change the inclination of the pedals between 10% or 20% of their original position. Depending on its inclination, it will be the effort and, therefore, the muscles you will tone.
- Handlebars: You will find ellipticals with both moving and fixed handlebars. This last one has built-in sensors that control the heartbeat, and the moving handlebars help you exercise your arms and back. When purchasing your machine, make sure that these handlebars’ movement moves to the whole with the pedals but simultaneously.
As I mentioned before, the price may increase a little if the machine includes some features. It will be good to invest in a home-use elliptical with these accessories because they are very useful.
- LCD/Console Screen: You have the option to buy a home use elliptical machine where you can check the calories burned, distance, etc. Try to find one with a Bluetooth connection so you can share your data with your mobile and get better control. Also, check the screen’s size. Be sure it is big enough for better visualization.
- Workout Program Included: To have the best of your elliptical machine, choose one with a workout program included. In this way, you will know the different training methods that you can perform with this machine.
- Water Bottle Holder: Some machines include a water bottle holder so you can have your hands free. Having your water bottle close when you are training is comfortable and a good option for seniors.
Top 9 Best Budget and Compact Ellipticals for Seniors
To help you choose the best options available for elliptical machines for seniors, I highlight the best machines on the market and thus save you time.
Cubii Jr is a seated elliptical mini exercise machine that can be placed under the desk, allowing you to exercise at any moment and in any place of your home. This mini elliptical machine lacks handlebars but allows you to exercise while sitting down.
Measuring just 23.2″x 17.6″ x 10″, the mini under desk elliptical provides a smooth exercise that has a low impact on the joints, making it suitable for seniors with bad knees.
The tiny exercise equipment for the elderly allows you to select between 8 resistance levels, which allows you to adjust and control the intensity of the training.
It also has a screen that shows in real-time the calories burned, RPM, steps, and distance. Cubii Jr can be perfect exercise equipment for seniors who spend many hours sitting without going out to exercise.
Specifications & Features
- Dimension: 23.2 x 17.6 x 10 inches
- Footprint: 23.2″ x 17.6″
- Resistance levels: 8
- Weight: 29.9 pounds
- Weight capacity: 250 pounds
- Batteries: 1 LR44 battery required
- Warranty: 1 year
- A built-in display monitor
- Its small size allows you to store it under the bed
- The brand provides excellent build quality
- 8 different resistance levels
- Quite and smooth movements
- Available in four different colors
- It can improve the display screen size
This foldable elliptical cross-training machine is also ideal for seniors as it helps you perform smooth movements without much impact on your joints/knees.
With its reclined position and the incorporation of adjustable handlebars, you can simultaneously train the legs and arms, adjusting the resistance according to your needs.
On the other hand, it also includes a seat, so you don’t need to worry about keeping your balance while doing elliptical workouts; its wide and padded seat will give you comfort and stability.
This seated elliptical machine for the elderly is compact, affordable, and robust, and it also comes with a holder to place your smart device. It is an ideal senior exercise machine to have at home and do cardio exercises comfortably. Read the full review here.
Specifications & Features
- Dimensions: 54 x 38 x 52.5 inches
- Footprint: 54″ x 38″
- Weight: 110 pounds
- Weight capacity: 300 pounds
- Resistance levels: 8
- Warranty: 1 year
- Zero impact exercise
- Friction-free linkage system
- Dual power motion
- One water bottle holder
- It helps you take care of the joints
- The handlebars and seat are adjustable
- Easy to assemble
- It does not take up much space
- It does not include a heart rate monitor
SF-E902 elliptical machine allows you to take 30” strides with a smooth and quiet ride, which is ideal for tall people or those who have a long stride.
You can exercise both your legs and arms with this affordable elliptical machine, thanks to its handlebars, but keep in mind that it has no resistance, so you need to control the movements.
The compact machine is very light and can be easily transported. Also, it can be folded and stored in a small space.
Control your LCD screen metrics; you will see that you can burn calories and keep moving easily.
Specifications & Features
- Dimensions: 15L x 19w x 61.5H inches
- Footprint: 15″ x 19″
- Weight: 40.6 lbs
- Maximum weight capacity: 220 lbs
- Resistance levels: None
- Stride length: 30 inches
- Warranty: a 1-year frame; 90 days of parts
- Batteries: 2 AA batteries required
- Built-in fitness programs: Yes
- Non-slip pedals
- Easy storage and easy to transport.
- Foldable and quiet movements.
- Natural stride length.
- Affordable price.
- It does not include resistance.
If you were looking for another mini under desk elliptical for older persons, here is another great choice that is good for you and your pocket.
Compared to any other elliptical machines, with this E1000 peddler, you will save a lot of space, and you will exercise anywhere in your home at an affordable price.
Living in small spaces is that you always think that you can never have an elliptical machine to exercise. If this is your case, this portable E1000 peddler only measures 24.5″ x 17″ and can store anywhere.
Now exercise daily by adjusting its tension manually and without damaging your knees. It is ideal for those who have physical disabilities or who need to recover from surgery.
If you live or know an older person who has trouble going for a walk, then this mini elliptical is for him or her. Keeping moving is also very good for health, regardless of age. Only the body grows old, the heart never.
Specifications & Features
- Dimensions: 24.50″ x 17.00″ x 11.40″
- Footprint: 24.50″ x 17.00″
- Weight: 24 lbs
- Maximum weight capacity: 250 lbs
- Resistance levels: Adjustable tension to control the workout intensity level
- Warranty: a 1-year frame; 90 days parts
- Batteries: 1 LR44 battery required
- Sturdy steel construction
- Non-slip pedals
- It is easy to store due to its size.
- It is lightweight.
- Adjustable resistance.
- Excellent price.
- You can do forward and reverse strides.
- Its stride is short.
This famous brand has transformed training and set new performance levels with features not available on any other machine.
Known as an innovative elliptical for both athletes and seniors, the Q35X was one of the first machines to incorporate the Body-Mapping Ergonomics system and Quadlink handling that allows for more natural and smooth movements for the entire body.
Additionally, this high-end elliptical machine Q35 offers a variety of high-quality features that are hard to beat.
These include X-Mode training and other resistance options already programmed, such as effective interval training.
Also, it features a fixed at 20.5″ and provides quiet and very smooth movements.
It comes with special handlebars that converge in the front movement and diverge in the rear movement to decrease the stress on the joints, increase the range of movement, and mimic the natural movement of the upper body’s muscles.
With its large console, you can see your workout data easily and comfortably.
Specifications & Features
- Dimensions: 69″ x 33″ x 28.5″
- Footprint: 69″ x 33″
- Weight: 210 lbs
- Maximum weight capacity: 300 lbs
- Resistance levels: Change as per the program you choose
- Stride length: 20.5″ fixed stride
- Warranty: 6 months of parts and labor for a refurbished machine
- Easy to assemble and does not need too much space.
- Big size console with training program included.
- Its height of 4’’ set-up makes it easy to use.
- Quality assured.
- You can not adjust its stride.
6. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905
For those interested in doing light exercises at the comfort of their home, the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-E905 elliptical must be a great fit.
Coming at an affordable price ranging around $200, this fitness equipment is designed to satisfy all the requirements.
Remember, this model might not be a great choice for intense weight loss, but an apt one for those wishing to stay fit and get back into shape.
Don’t expect any pre-set workouts, or try using it for hardcore workouts. With only 8 resistance levels, the intensity is not challenging, which makes it one of the best safe ellipticals for seniors who prefer a casual exercise session.
7. Sole Fitness E95 Teeter
Are you an elderly person suffering from arthritis pain? If so, the Sole Fitness E95 model is one of the best low-impact ellipticals for the elderly with arthritic knees, as this is a smooth-performing elliptical.
Any elliptical machine that functions without smoothness is bound to increase the strain and pressure on the knees. But, a smooth machine gives a gliding feel that makes the pedaling action easier.
The flywheel in an elliptical decides upon the machine’s resistance levels. Coming with a 20-pound flywheel, expect optimal resistance from this unit.
The Sole Fitness E95 has other attractive features such as foot pedals (designed by rehabilitation experts) and Bluetooth speakers to keep us entertained while exercising.
Offering smoothness and stability, this is the perfect choice for those who love to get into shape and safeguard their knees.
8. FreeStep Recumbent Elliptical
The best combination of comfort and fitness-related advantages, the Teeter FreeStep is a superb recumbent elliptical that satisfies these requirements.
A survey by the company highlights the unit’s admirable performance—almost 97% of individuals felt that using the elliptical was comforting for the back and knees, while 93% responded with lesser pain in the hips, knees, and back.
For all individuals facing such problems, the Teeter FreeStep must be their choice.
Rather than standing and working out, this elliptical is designed to sit comfortably and work out.
Still, it’s possible to reap the same benefits as standing and working out.
Every part of the elliptical is comfortable—the seat, the pedals, and the handlebars.
9. Stamina 55-1602 Inmotion Elliptical
Working out while doing office work saves time and offers fitness benefits simultaneously. The Stamina 55-1602 elliptical is a famous model in the fitness industry among those wishing to purchase an under-desk elliptical.
Use this equipment to burn calories while watching TV or doing something else.
A lightweight unit is easy to use, can be transported at ease, and comes at an affordable price.
Pedal away (sitting or standing) on the elliptical any time during the day as it assures a noiseless performance.
Choose from three different colors and enjoy playing video games on the elliptical as this is suitable for gamers. Individuals under 250 lbs can use this elliptical by simply changing the tension levels and exercise their way to fitness.
Are Elliptical Machines Safe for Senior People?
Every piece of fitness equipment comes with its set of benefits and disadvantages. Hence, it is better for those suffering from ailments or other medical conditions to consult a physician before starting to work out.
Among all the fitness equipment, the elliptical machines are considered one of the safest fitness equipment for all, irrespective of age, making them the perfect choice for seniors.
The impact caused on the knees, ankle and hip joints due to running is reduced when working out on an elliptical as compared to a treadmill.
So, just like a recumbent bike or a simple bicycle, an elliptical can preserve joint health and promote the strength of the muscles.
An elliptical has another big advantage over a treadmill—the treadmill has a running belt that keeps moving continuously irrespective of the individual’s ability to keep up the pace.
Such constant movement can lead to falls and accidents in people of any age group.
Whereas, as ellipticals operate on the individual’s pedaling capacity, there is no situation of falling due to Overspeed or an inability to stop working out when needed.
Benefits of Using Elliptical Machines for Seniors
Let’s take a look at the list of benefits that someone making use of an elliptical could acquire:
Cardio health is simply undeniable for overall body health, and training on an elliptical is a great way for improved heart health as this machine provides complete cardiovascular exercise.
General recommendations stand at getting at least 150 minutes of exercise per week—which is about 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week.
Fulfilling the weekly recommendations could be done using the elliptical completely, or the machine could be used in combination with any other workout. By doing this, the body pumps blood evenly to all parts, leads to strengthening the heart, and minimizes the risk of heart attacks and heart disease.
Complete Body Strength
Every elliptical comes with handlebars that are designed to offer stability and workout to the arms.
So, besides offering total workout benefits to the legs, the machine also provides equally strengthening workout benefits to the arms.
Depending on the individual’s strength and capability, the difficulty levels of the machine could be adjusted using the dial knob.
Change the intensity back and forth as per requirements. Increase the intensity to enhance calorie-burning abilities and decrease it to continue doing the cardio workout.
Besides health and fitness, the elliptical machine is a great choice for rehabilitation purposes.
A research study found the elliptical machine to be more effective than a treadmill to recover from injuries and re-learn effective ways to walk while recovering from an injury.
How Often Should the Elderly Use an Elliptical Machine?
As mentioned previously, while the general recommendations stand at doing 150 minutes of exercise 5 times a week, the duration and speed entirely depend on your capabilities.
It is better for those new to exercising or who haven’t exercised for a while to start slowly and work up the time duration.
Maybe, start with 15 minutes of training—this equips the body to overcome the stiffness and makes it used to the exercise routine.
In due course, the body becomes used to regular physical activity, and hence, it becomes possible to stretch the exercise duration to as much as up to 30 minutes a day.
Once in good form, it is also ok to stretch the exercise duration to beyond the recommended thirty minutes. You could even extend it to up to one hour.
But, before doing any of these, get in touch with a physician to discuss your body health, any medical issues and get complete feedback on how much exercise the body can withstand.
Safety Tips for Seniors and Elderly Using Elliptical Machines
Before starting to exercise, read the safety tips given below to stay safe and avoid any injuries:
Start Slowly: Start slow and before trying anything challenging, become well-known with the elliptical and get used to handling it.
Though it is quite a rarity that individuals using an elliptical fall prey to strain or muscle pulls, working out too much on the machine can lead to such scenarios sometimes.
Decrease the Intensity: Ellipticals come with adjustable resistance options just like many other exercise equipment.
Set the desired resistance option (hard or easy) and go about working out on the machine.
Individuals using the machine for the first time are advised to stick on to lower resistance levels. This way, the body gets used to the exercise routine and the muscles before being flexible before speed and resistance levels are increased.
Look for Body Cues: When some workout tires or sores you, it is clear that the body needs some rest before pushing yourself further.
While individuals generally recommended pushing harder despite the soreness, doing so can result in muscle strain and overuse injuries.
If the body gives clues of tiredness, it is never wrong to rest for a couple of days or decrease workout duration. By doing this, you can avoid paying a visit to the physician!
Is the Elliptical the Best Exercise Machine for Seniors?
Being a low-impact exercise, an elliptical is one of the best machines for seniors. Also, as the exercising actions on an elliptical can be compared to jogging and running, this gives a total body workout that includes the arms and legs.
All these make an elliptical one of the best fitness equipment for seniors as it could be started or stopped as you wish.
Balance is also never an issue as the elliptical’s movement is dependent on our speed.
In comparison to an exercise bike, an elliptical is much better as it imposes a decreased strain on the joints due to its shape of movement.
What Is the Best Exercise Machine for Bad Knees?
Besides being a preferred choice for seniors, an elliptical is a good exercise machine for those suffering from joint problems due to the minimum stress imposed on the knees and its low impact.
For those who are reluctant to move their legs despite the maximum safety, arm bikes and upper body strength exercise machines can be of use.
From a certain age, and especially in athletes, it is not surprising that injuries to the knees and ankles that have undergone operations are counted.
On the other hand, it is also advisable for osteoarthritis to avoid joint impact sports such as running, paddle tennis, soccer, etc.
Elliptical machines, while still being a very good exercise machine for our muscles, avoids impacts at all times, both due to the damping of the gears and the type of movement that elongates the rotation.
The stride length of the machine helps the movements to be always progressive and prolonged, so that, although it may require a lot of the quadriceps, the gluteus, or the hamstrings, it does so in an increasing way, never forcing a sudden contraction of the muscle that positively affects both the joints and the tendons.
Indeed, the handlebars are coordinated with the rest of the apparatus to help crown the rotation when performing push and pull exercises.
Remember, no matter how old you are, physical activity is always good for young and seniors. If you are a senior and are looking to perform a home exercise, feel free to choose the elliptical machine that best suits your needs, your investment will be worth it.