Those who prefer to build up their fitness at home rather than in the studio no longer have to bring half a fleet of equipment into their home. A so-called cross trainer is sufficient.
The mixture of stepper and Nordic walking movement trains not only endurance but also a whole bunch of muscle groups from the arms, thigh and calf muscles to the buttocks and knees.
Training goals are easily achieved with endurance training on the cross trainer. And that is easy on the joints. It is not without reason that cross trainers have overtaken other fitness equipment such as the ergometer with their market share of a good 70 percent .
The variety of models for cross trainers for strenuous training is enormous and the price range is wide. This product comparison would like to support the purchase decision. A total of 10 cross trainers with their different properties and special features are presented.
The guide following the product comparison goes into detail on the technology, explains contexts and technical terms and says what consumers should pay attention to when buying.
In addition, various alternatives to the cross trainer are presented and tips for a better workout are given. Finally, there is a look at the test results and test winners from Stiftung Warentest and Öko-Test.
Detail Review for 10 Best Cross Trainers at Home
1. ANCHEER Elliptical Cross Trainer with App Control and Ten Resistance Levels
The ANCHEER crosstrainer is black / red and has a flywheelof 18 kilograms. The device is equipped with ergonomic handles and a magnetic brake system.
There is also a belt drive mechanism. This model also has ten resistance levels. This makes it possible to adjust the training intensity. The training can be made more effective.
The ANCHEER elliptical cross trainer has an LC display. This transmits training information in real time. For example, users are shown the time, distance, speed, heart rate or calorie consumption.
There is also a suitable fitness app. This can be used to simulate natural training units. You can also compete with other people at home in real time using the app.
The pulse sensors on the handles are designed to monitor the heart rate of the user, while the screen can also be used as a tablet / mobile phone holder.
The device itself weighs 36.5 kilograms. Users may weigh a maximum of 150 kilograms to use the cross trainer. The device should be safe to use during exercise.
Anti-slip pedals should ensure a stable and secure hold. The space required in the four walls at home is limited, as the dimensions are 119 x 61 x 152 centimeters.
The flexible design of this elliptical trainer should enable a joint-friendly full-body workout for arms, legs, bottom and shoulders.
According to the manufacturer, up to 90 percent of the entire body muscles are used when training on the cross trainer. This should enable a high calorie consumption.
2. Miweba Sports Elliptical Cross Trainer MC300 – for Intensive Fitness Training
The Miweba Sports elliptical cross trainer MC300 has a flywheel mass of 21 kilograms. Thus, the turning point of the up and down movement should be easy to overcome.
Thanks to the eight intensity levels and the 16 predefined programs, it is possible to design the training according to your own fitness.
Beginners as well as advanced learners choose an easy or demanding training. The whisper-quiet belt drive, according to the product description, should ensure that the Miweba cross trainer can be used at home without disturbing other family members or neighbors.
Using the heart rate monitor on the handlebars or with the heart rate beltthe exerciser can keep an eye on his heart rate. The profiled standing surface should ensure a secure hold on the training device and the anti-slip handles should help to keep your balance.
According to the manufacturer, the angle of inclination of the handlebars, which can be adjusted by 100 degrees, helps to carry out training that is easy on the back and joints. The feet can be adjusted in height in just a few simple steps.
Further product features are:
- Magnetic Breake
- USB connection
- Bottle holder
- Holder for tablet and smartphone
- Conveyor rollers
3. Christopeit Sport FXM 2 1621 – Foldable Cross Trainer Ergometer Including Heart Rate Belt
The Christopeit Sport FXM 2 1621 is a cross trainer ergometer. This cross trainer in our comparison has a flywheelof about 12 kilograms. Its flywheel is in the front. Other features are:
- Can be folded up : After training, the device can be folded up and stowed away to save space, so that less space is required. When folded, the dimensions are 126 × 67 × 171 centimeters. The installation dimensions are 202 × 67 × 171 centimeters.
- Foot shells: According to the manufacturer’s instructions, the foot shells are slip-resistant.
- Magnetic brake system: According to the manufacturer, the magnetic brake system is wear-free.
The Christopeit sports cross trainer is also equipped with transport rollers and an LC display. On this the user can read seven pieces of data at the same time.
These are the pulse, the speed, the time, the approximate calorie consumption, the distance, the pedal rotation and the power in watts.
The stride lengthof the model is around 47 centimeters and the footplate distance is around 10 centimeters. The device can be loaded with a maximum user weight of 130 kilograms.
There is also the cross trainer ergometer with twelve training programs and four heart rate programsequipped. It has a manual program and a speed-independent watt program for this purpose.
In the manual program it is possible to specify the calorie consumption, the distance, the pulse and the training time and to set the resistance level. In the speed- independent watt program the user can set a power between 10 and 350 watts.
4. Sportstech CX625 Cross Trainer – For high Demands
The high-quality sports equipment from the Berlin manufacturer Sportstech is popular and this brand is also represented in the field of cross trainers.
According to the manufacturer, the Sportstech CX625 cross trainer is primarily intended for users who are looking for an exercise bike for high demands.
The Sportstech CX625 brings a flywheel of 24 kilograms and should run very smoothly. The 16-step computer-controlled magnetic brake systemsupports the smoothness and the elliptical running movements according to the manufacturer.
The user should benefit from an ideal form of training so that he can optimize his endurance and train different muscle groups.
To structure the workout as simply as possible, a free fitness app from the manufacturer can be downloaded from the app stores. 22 different training programs can be selected via the app.
Thanks to the support of Google Maps or Delightech, the user can virtually walk around the world in the Street View view. This takes motivation to a whole new level.
5. CAPITAL SPORTS Helix Star MR Elliptical Cross Trainer with Tablet Holder and USB Charging Port
The CAPITAL SPORTS Helix Star MR cross trainer weighs about 60 kilograms and is 58 centimeters wide, 171 centimeters high and 155 centimeters deep. Its floor rollers make it easier to move the training device.
The training programs include four programs for beginners, four programs for advanced users, and four programs for professionals. The CAPITAL SPORTS model also offers a manual mode that can optimize training for calorie consumption, training time, pulse or distance.
If you want to track your training progress or share it with others, you can install the Kinomap fitness app, which is compatible with the CAPITAL SPORTS crosstrainer.
Connected to the app, this cross trainer sends values such as heart rate, route progression or times to the software from our comparison.
Kinomap evaluates the data and makes its own tours available to other users on request. It is even possible to train together with other users over the Internet.
The CAPITAL SPORTS crosstrainer has a flywheelof 21 kilograms. The maximum weight of the user should be 120 kilograms and his stride length40 centimeters.
The model is equipped with hand pulse sensorsand a SilentBelt system, thanks to which the belt drive is very quiet according to the manufacturer. Further features are:
- Training computer: On the training computerthe user reads various values such as the training time, the distance covered and the pulse. It is equipped with a USB charging port.
- Flywheel: The flywheel of the cross trainer is attached to the front. According to the manufacturer, the movements are natural and smooth. This is easy on the joints.
- MagResist system: The cross trainer allows you to choose between 32 magnetic resistance levels .
6. AsVIVA C28 Cross Trainer with WLAN and 16 Programs
The AsVIVA C28 crosstrainer is black and has a flywheelof 16 kilograms. It can withstand a weight of up to 150 kilograms and is also suitable for people up to 2 meters tall. The flywheel is attached at the back.
In addition, the cross trainer is equipped with a holder for a tablet PC or smartphone and a holder for a drinking bottle . The model also has a USB port with a charging function. Further features include:
- Magnetic brake system : The model is equipped with a permanent magnet brake system. With this braking system, the resistance is controlled electronically.
- 16 programs: The device has 16 programs. This includes four heart rate programsand four custom programs. The model also has a watt program. The load control is speed-dependent.
- Pulse receiver: The cross trainer is equipped with a pulse receiver for chest straps. This enables the connection between the device and a heart rate beltdone automatically. The chest strap is not included. It must therefore be purchased separately. Alternatively, it is possible to measure the pulse using the integrated hand pulse sensors to monitor.
7. CAPITAL SPORTS Helix Series Cross Trainer – with Kinomap App
According to the manufacturer CAPITAL SPORTS, the Helix Series crosstrainer is a very high-quality training device that enables training at gym level.
The device should be suitable for all levels of experience and every level of training. With the MagResist system, the user can set 32 different levels of difficulty. The SilentBelt system should ensure an extremely quiet belt drive.
What is special is that consumers are looking for a flywheel when buying this cross trainerof 18 or 20 kilograms. The training computer offers twelve training options: four each for beginners, advanced and experts.
There is also a performance program, a cardio program and a manual mode in which the user can set the training time, the distance, the calories consumed or the maximum heart rate.
Useful features such as the integrated hand pulse sensors and a tablet holder are also included in the CAPITAL SPORTS cross trainer.
8. Sportstech CX640 Elliptical Cross Trainer – with Video Events and Multiplayer App
The elliptical cross trainer CX640 from Sportstech is suitable, according to the manufacturer, thanks to the high-quality workmanship both for your own four walls and for fitness studios.
This device from our comparison has a 16-stage magnetic brake, which the user controls via the training computer, and a flywheelof 24 kilograms, which should ensure a pleasantly smooth run. It is possible to choose from 26 different training programs.
According to the manufacturer, this cross trainer has many useful features. This includes heart rate measurement using the device’s handles.
The pulse can optionally be determined using a chest strap. This is not included in the scope of delivery. With the Kinomap app belonging to the cross trainer, the user experiences real routes in video mode.
To further increase motivation, it is possible to compete with other athletes in real-time in multiplayer mode.
9. MAXXUS CX 4.3f 600000-00019-0001 Cross Trainer with Bluetooth and a Flywheel Mass of 24 Kilograms
The MAXXUS CX 4.3f 600000-00019-0001 cross trainer is equipped with a 9-kilogram flywheel and an LC multifunction display. The display shows various training values such as wheel revolutions, training time and calorie consumption.
In addition, the MAXXUS model has a Bluetooth interface and a USB charging port, which enables a tablet PC or smartphone to be charged. The device also offers the option of using your own smartphone or tablet PC as a fitness computer.
This is achieved with the help of the iC + trainer app. This is available in the App Store and the Google Play Store.
The flywheelof the MAXXUS cross trainer weighs 24 kilograms. The stride lengthin this model from our comparison is 51 centimeters and the Q factor9 centimeters.
The model weighs 69 kilograms and has a magnetic brake system that, according to the manufacturer, is wear-free. It has 16 resistance levels and is equipped with hand pulse sensorsMistake.
The device also has an HRC receiver. This is compatible with uncoded chest straps from Polar. The programs of the MAXXUS model include:
- Twelve preprogrammed training programs
- Four heart rate programs
- A watt program
- A manual program
Who one of the heart rate programsshould use a heart rate beltis required. The hand pulse sensors are not sufficient for the use of an HRC program. The chest strap is available separately.
10. Skandika Cardio Cross Carbon Pro SF-3200 – Foldable Cross Trainer with 19 Programs
The skandika CardioCross Carbon Pro SF-3200 crosstrainer is an elliptical trainer . It has a flywheel system of 23.5 kilograms and an LCD monitor . The monitor is provided with a backlight.
At the same time, the user sees various training values on the display, such as speed, training time, calorie consumption, pulse and distance.
The skandika elliptical trainer also features 19 programs:
- Twelve training programs: These twelve programs are predefined. When using one of these programs, it is possible to set the calorie consumption, the training time, the upper heart rate limit and the distance.
- Four heart rate programs : Thanks to the four heart rate measurement programs, the cross trainer enables pulse-controlled training.
- Manual program: In the manual program it is possible to change the load level during training. There are 16 resistance levels to choose from in terms of load.
- Personally definable program: With this program, the user can define a training profile, adapt it to his needs and save it. The program allows the setting of the load level and the definition of the training time, the upper pulse limit, the distance and the calorie consumption.
- Watt- controlled program: Who the Watt program want to use, can set a power between 10 and 350 watts.
Other features of the skandika cross trainer are the integrated hand pulse sensorsand the two transport rollers.
The model also has a magnetic brake system and can be loaded with a maximum weight of 145 kilograms. His strideis 51 centimeters and its Q factor at 11 centimeters.
What is a cross trainer?
The pulse measurement
Many models can measure the heart rate during exercise. By monitoring the heart rate, the user can prevent himself from overworking or underworking.
Most cross trainers have hand pulse sensors on their handles. These sensors determine the heart rate less precisely. Another disadvantage is that the person exercising has to touch the sensors to measure their heart rate. This restricts the freedom of movement of the hands and arms.
Alternatively, there is often the option of a heart rate beltor to use ear clips. These two variants allow a more precise measurement of the heart rate.
If the heart rate is to be measured using a chest strap, the cross trainer must be equipped with an appropriate receiver. A chest strap is required for this. This is often not included in the scope of delivery.
If you want to use ear clips to measure your heart rate, you should check whether the cross trainer has a suitable connection before buying it. The user wears the ear clip on his ear.
The clip determines the pulse and sends the value to the training computer via a cable. One of the disadvantages of ear clips is the often poor durability. In addition, the ear clip can slip and is often perceived as not particularly comfortable.
The different training programs
Some cross trainers get by with just a few training programs. Others offer a wealth of possibilities – as our comparison has shown. Cross trainers, which offer programs for the heart and circulation , are especially useful for people who have problems with the heart or circulation and want to do some exercise.
The pre-programmed training units offer an efficient training process, as the resistance changes at certain time intervals and the trainee has to use more or less force to get to the goal.
The display, the app connection and the other functions
The display should be easy to use and read. With most cross trainers, the setting is made via the display, which is available on some devices in the form of a touchscreen.
In addition to the program selection and the resistance setting, the display often shows the training success. As a rule, the display, which is usually easy to use, shows the following values:
- The distance
- The training time
- The set, current resistance
- The speed
- The calorie consumption
- The pulse
Cross trainers that have an app connection and a Bluetooth function offer even more features. With some devices, users can choose, for example, whether they want to run virtually on the beach or across green meadows. The information is shown on the display or a tablet or smartphone.
Interesting facts about the cross trainer
Today’s cross trainers offer a variety of programs and features, such as the connection to the smartphone, so that the training successes can be recorded in the media.
The rolling movement of the foot is important when running on the cross trainer. As a rule, the newer cross trainers are designed in such a way that this is automatically integrated into the sequence of movements. This means that today’s cross trainers are gentle on the joints and promote athletic fitness with consistently good training results.
The HRmax value indicates the optimal pulse value. This value is used to measure the heartbeats per minute at full capacity. This value varies from person to person.
How do I move correctly on a cross trainer?
Correct movement on the cross trainer is the be-all and end-all of proper training. Anyone who moves incorrectly on the fitness equipment can suffer postural damage.
It is important to move your legs smoothly and evenly. You should be “in tune” with the poor. With a correct sequence of movements, a fluid rhythm results.
When exercising on the cross trainer, the legs do most of the work – not the arms. When taking the first steps, some people may tend to push the elliptical machine with their arms. Beginners should make an effort to focus specifically on footwork.
It is important to keep arms and legs balanced during exercise. With the cross trainer, specific muscle groups can be trained and tightened through the corresponding load. We give some tips on this below:
Exercise for firm buttocks
When exercising in a bent knee position , the muscle in the buttocks is more stressed. The user should tense the stomach and buttocks and try to keep the training duration in this position for half an hour.
Exercise for a firm stomach
In order to train the stomach and tone the muscles, it is important to take an upright position on the cross trainer. The back muscles must be stretched during the execution.
Avoid leaning forward and sticking your butt out. Only with the right posture can the user carry out efficient training and prevent postural damage.
Exercise for toned thighs
The legs are very stressed when training on the cross trainer, as they have to fight against the set resistance. If you want to tighten the thigh muscles , you should run backwards on the cross trainer in between.
When running forward, the front thigh muscle is used, while running backward, the rear muscle is used.
Over time, some athletes get to the point where they are looking for new challenges on the cross trainer. In this case it is possible to combine the training units with weights, for example in the form of training cuffs for the ankles and arms.
Tips for the first steps and training units on the cross trainer
Regardless of whether the main focus is on building muscle, weight loss or endurance – every workout should start with a warm-up.
This phase is between 5 and 10 minutes on the cross trainer. During the warm-up, the body is gently and slowly introduced to the upcoming training session. When warming up, the intensity should be low.
After the warm-up it is possible to slowly increase your performance. This means that the cross trainer increases speed and resistance. The exerciser should feel that the heart rate increases. This second phase can also last between 5 and 10 minutes.
In the following intensive phase , the body is “ramped up” to the highest performance level and the heart rate also increases. At the beginning of the training, the intensive phase can only be 5 minutes.
It is important to slowly approach the training program. After 5 minutes in the intensive phase, the trainee can give his body some time to rest. Those who want to end their training program slowly run out.
Once the training is over, the cool-down begins . The heart rate is reduced and breathing becomes slower. The speed and resistance decrease, eventually reaching the starting level.
Accessories for the cross trainer
A large selection of accessories is available for training on the cross trainer. With this, the training can be made more efficient or clearer. For example there are:
- An underlay mat: This underlay mat can be placed under the cross trainer. The mat protects the floor from scratches and absorbs the noises that can arise when exercising on the fitness machine. The training succeeds without disturbing the family or the neighbors.
- A drinking bottle or a drinking bottle holder: Sport makes you thirsty. That is why you should drink enough during training, about 0.5 to 1 liter of liquid is ideal to avoid circulatory problems. However, drinking breaks would be annoying. If the cross trainer does not have a bottle holder, you can buy one in an accessory store and mount it afterwards.
- A heart rate monitor or a heart rate monitor: Most cross trainers have a heart rate monitor that is integrated into the handles of the device. If both hands are on the handles, the sensor measures the pulse and shows the determined value on the display of the cross trainer. However, many athletes prefer the heart rate monitors, which are either attached to the wrist or around the chest. These heart rate monitors provide far more accurate results, even when the hands are not on the handles of the cross trainer.
- Fitness wrist bands : The fitness wristbands are a further development of the classic heart rate monitor. These little companions are worn on the wrist. They provide values about the current pulse rate and show the calorie consumption, the distance covered and the speed. Monitoring and analysis of sleep are also possible with the fitness bracelet. The advantage of the combination of cross trainer and fitness watch: As a rule, the fitness bracelet automatically recognizes the sporting activity and tracks the whole thing. The user can later analyze the values and data determined.
Has Stiftung Warentest carried out a cross trainer test?
Yes, the Stiftung Warentest took a close look at various cross trainers a few years ago. The consumer organization carried out the cross trainer test in February 2011. Since then, one thing or another has happened in fitness equipment.
The testers put ten devices through their paces. Some were able to shine in the test with the grade “good”. However, there was an elliptical cross trainer that the experts rated “poor”.
The expensive cross trainers performed best in this test. But two medium-priced cross trainers also managed to get the test grade “Good”.
Has Öko-Test carried out a cross trainer test?
Öko-Test has not yet published a test on cross trainers. If the company publishes a cross trainer test in the near future, we will report on the test result of this practical test here.