||JTX Tri-Fit||16″ – 20″ variable stride length – Incline Feature – 19 Preset Workouts – 17kg Flywheel – Heart Rate Strap Incl – 16 Level resistance – Space saving design – 2 Year Warranty||Mid Range||Lowest Price Here!|
||Xterra Free Style 5.8e||20″ stride – Incline Feature – 13 Preset Workouts – 11.3kg Flywheel – 20 Level resistance – 5 Year Parts Warranty||High end||Lowest Price Here!|
||JTX Strider X7||16″ stride – 21 Preset Workouts – 5kg Flywheel – 16 Level resistance – 2 Year Warranty||Mid range||Lowest Price Here!|
||DKN XC-140i||16″ stride – 12 Preset Workouts – 14kg Flywheel – 32 Level resistance – DKN iWorld Virtual Reality Workouts! – 2 Year Warranty||Mid range||Lowest Price Here!|
||Kettler Premium||12 Preset Workouts – 14kg Flywheel – 16 Level resistance||Affordable||Lowest Price Here!|
Top 5 Cross Trainers To Buy UK 2015 – 2016
- 1 Top 5 Cross Trainers To Buy UK 2015 – 2016
- 1.1 JTX Tri-Fit Review – Our Number 1
- 1.2 Products from Amazon.co.uk
- 1.3 Xterra Free Style 5.8e Review –Number 2
- 1.4 JTX Strider X7 Review – Number 3
- 1.5 DKN XC-140i Review – Number 4
- 1.6 Kettler Premium Review – Number 5
- 1.7 Verdict
- 1.8 Cross Trainers – The Buyers Guide 2016
- 1.9 Low Impact, High Intensity Workouts
- 1.10 Muscle-Group Focussed Training
- 1.11 Warranty
- 1.12 It’s All In The Branding
- 1.13 Maximum Height & Weight
- 1.14 Budget Cross Trainers Vs Premium – The Ultimate Resistance
- 1.15 The Fly Wheel
- 1.16 User Profiles
- 1.17 Pre-set Workouts
- 1.18 Console
- 1.19 Heart Rate Monitor
JTX Tri-Fit Review – Our Number 1
Our number 1 product in today’s line up is The Tri-Fit (lowest price here!) and here’s why;
- Extremely robust trainer constructed with an eye for detail
- 16” – 20” Variable stride length, which makes it ideal for a multiple users of varying heights. Ideal if you are going to be sharing the trainer. 5 different options in between the 16”-20”.
- Electro-magnetic resistance, which powers your workouts and gives you ultimate control via your console while you workout.
- Incline feature – to help you take your workout to the next level of intensity – work harder for maximum effect! Four incline levels.
- 19 focused workout programmes to keep you motivated to work hard during your exercises. Programs include sprints, fat burning, intervals, heart rate controlled and even offers fitness tests to test exactly how fit you really are!
- Custom workout program so you can create a routine based on your fitness level and goals
- 17kg flywheel – that is actually a decent weight to give you enough resistance. At this weight, the flywheel will keep your movement swift, smooth & quiet thus removing all impact away from your joints
- Heart rate strap included! While you have heart rate monitors on the handles of the trainer, JTX also include a chest strap to ensure you get accurate readings.
- Heart rate programs on the trainer which is intuitive and adjusts the resistance based on your heart rate reading
- 16 levels of magnetic resistance – so you have a good choice to work out at your optimum level
- Space saving design from JTX which they have also patented. All of these great features and 30% physically smaller than their competition!
- Large colour display – so you can see all the stats at a glance and it is easy on the eyes. Instant feedback for time, distance, speed, RPM, calories and pulse.
- 2 year in-home service and repair warranty. Labour and parts included.
The Tri-Fit is an exceptional product. The price range it sits at is mid-range and for the features that you get in the trainer is a bargain.
Whether you are a beginner or an avid fitness enthusiast, The Tri-Fit should be your number 1 choice!
Xterra Free Style 5.8e Review –Number 2
Below are some of its best features;
- A decent stride length of 20” which is a nice and happy medium
- Flywheel of 11.3kg – giving you a good amount of resistance and a smooth movement
- 20 levels of magnetic-electro controlled resistance pushing you to workout as hard as you can
- 20 levels of incline – electronically controlled incline on the 5.8e. Bump up or lower the intensity of your workouts, while you workout!
- Large blue backlit display which is clear and easy to read
- 13 programs, including heart rate measurements, fat loss and toning.
- Hand grip heart rate sensors – so measures your heart rate as you work!
- Handle bar intensity controls – control your intensity and incline right there on the handle bars
- Speakers built-in with an audio jack to connect your smart phone or iPod so you can listen to your music as you work!
- Lifetime warranty on the frame – 5 year parts and 2 year labour
A very good option from XTerra Fitness, The 5.8e is a premium product with some very good features. It has a strong build and comes with a 5-year parts and 2-year labour warranty.
JTX Strider X7 Review – Number 3
Our number 3 trainer is another JTX product so the high quality of build and excellent customer service comes as standard. The Strider X7 is a step down from Tri-Fit but still has a very good feature set;
- A decent 16” stride length catering for the majority of the height ranges
- 5kg flywheel which provides for a quiet, smooth movement and a good amount of resistance
- 21 workout programs. This includes fat burning, hill, and a heart rate controlled workout
- Free polar compatible wireless chest strap to monitor your heart rate BPM which will give you instant feedback on the display
- Large colour touch screen display giving you instant feedback on your workouts
- 16 levels of magnetic resistance workouts, including the ability to program your own– up to 4 custom workouts
- Integrated hand pulse sensor
- Body fat & pulse measurement sensor
- Non-slip ergonomic footplates
- 2 Year in-home warranty covering parts and labour
As you can see, The Strider X7 is another good trainer from JTX. Not quite as high spec as The Tri-Fit but a very good product none the less. Ideal if you’re a beginner.
DKN XC-140i Review – Number 4
The XC-140i has some very good features, which we will look at below;
- 14kg flywheel – a good medium weight giving you a quiet smooth movement
- 32 level computer controlled electro-magnetic resistance – plenty of space to progress and advance on your workout routines
- A decent 16” stride length – so many of the height ranges are able to use The XC-140i without an issue
- With The DKN iWorld you are able to explore various parts of the world using map, street view or satellite. This feature also gives you the ability to share your workouts and challenge your friends on social media
- 4 user profiles so each person using the cross trainer is able to set up their own unique profile so they can track and monitor their progress
- 12 Pre-set workouts as well as 1 manual, watt control and heart rate measured workouts
- Tablet integration – connect it to The iPad, iPad Mini and Android tablets to give you all the data you would need and to display The DKN iWorld
- 2 colour backlit display
- 2 Year parts and labour warranty
Overall The XC-140i is a very good cross trainer. It has some good points to it essential to a cross trainer and also, The DKN iWorld is a very nice feature which is unique to The XC-140i enabling you to workout virtually, anywhere in the world.
Kettler Premium Review – Number 5
From Kettler, The Kettler Premium Trainer is another solid product in the world of fitness. Kettler are another company known for their high quality products in the industry. Here are some of the features;
- 16 electronic magnetic levels giving you a good amount of resistance to push your workouts
- 12 very good training programs – something for every level of fitness here!
- 14kg flywheel to keep your workouts smooth and quiet
The Kettler Premium is a good cross trainer and perfect for the beginner. If you are in the market for a basic, entry level cross trainer than this is the one for you. However, spending a little more will in fact get you a better product, such as The XC-140i.
Our number 1 trainer is The JTX Tri-Fit and for good reason too! It comes with all of the features you would essentially need in a cross trainer. With its patented space-saving design, adjustable stride length, free inclusive heart strap and 2 year warranty all complimented with its modest price point; you cant go wrong with The Tri-Fit.
Cross Trainers – The Buyers Guide 2016
Cross trainers, also known as elliptical trainers, are undoubtedly one of the best cardio vascular workout machines in the market.
What makes a X-trainer so good is the fact that you get a very good, high-intensity workout without causing impact to your joints.
A Cross trainer also known as an elliptical trainer, as quoted by Wikipedia, “is a stationary exercise machine used to simulate stair climbing, walking, or running without causing excessive pressure to the joints, hence decreasing the risk of impact injuries”.
Running outside or even, to some degree, on the treadmill, can cause injuries to your joints, in particular, your knees and back. These cannot be avoided as the act of running is a high impact movement. Cross trainers, on the other hand, promote an elliptical movement, which is a circular cutting out any impact to your body.
One of the best exercise machines to work your upper and lower body, it tones while working to burn calories and reduce fat. Cross trainers have been around since 1995, and was pioneered by Precor.
The cross trainer can target specific areas to work and tone, so you can focus the workout today on glutes and tomorrow the shoulders, this is very effective when one body part is lagging behind. With the side to side and twisting motions, you whole body will feel alive after a workout.
In this article, we take a look at the top 5 best cross trainers on the market. We have reviewed the top product for your money, so you don’t have to!
If you are in the market for a cross trainer, then there are some feature you should familiarise yourselves with.
Here, we look at the different aspects you should consider before making the investment.
Low Impact, High Intensity Workouts
If you want a good workout but want to keep the impact as low as possible, then an elliptical machine is definitely the way to go.
With exercises like jogging, you naturally get a high intensity workout. It is great for fat loss. However, as stated above, it is high impact and overtime it can cause long term joint issues.
The rowing machine is a great example of a low impact movement, another great fat loss exercise that doesn’t cause injury to your joints. However, with the rowing machine, you do not get the option to workout at a high intensity.
It is also known that poor form while rowing can cause long term back issues. Which, in and of itself, posses a risk you shouldn’t take.
The cross trainer is fantastic as it gives you the ability to have a high intensity workout as you are able to control the resistance and your movement.
For example, you can set the resistance to low for a minute and train all out, give it your all until you cant breathe, then take a 30 second easy lap. This is known as HIIT (high intensity interval training). While keeping the intensity high, you are keeping the impact low – the beauty of the XTrainer.
If you want to do a LISS workout, then simply set the resistance to low (or high) and workout at a steady pace. You would need to keep your heart rate above 120 or 130 beats per minute to be in the fat-loss zone. But like this, you can workout for a long period of time without worrying about fatigue.
As you can see here, with a good quality trainer, you can do everything you want in a workout without worrying about joint or back issues.
Muscle-Group Focussed Training
Running is good, but it primarily focuses on training your legs and buttocks, secondary to that, your stomach and shoulders. While you get a global cardio fitness workout, you are targeting these areas for toning. You will see this over time if you workout consistently enough.
On a cross trainer, you actually have the ability to target specific muscle groups for toning when working out.
You could focus on your arms and upper body. Your legs would still get a workout but your focus area would be your arms. You would be driving the movement using your arms.
On the other hand, you hone in on your legs. Just like the above arm-driven workout, you would be driving with your legs using the arms just to assist you.
Moving in a forward direction on the trainer localises your workout to your frontal muscle groups. To switch it up, you would then move in a backwards motion, this would stress your rear muscle groups, such as rear delts, triceps, glutes and hamstrings.
One of the most important things to keep an eye out for when making the investment is the warranty.
As you likely have an idea by now, that cross trainers can be quite expensive. A good quality product can cost you in the region of several hundred, or even around a thousand pounds.
Having a good warranty period gives you that piece of mind that if something was to go wrong with your new purchase; it will be repaired or replaced at no charge to you.
Most manufacturers should give you a warranty with your purchase as standard but the questions you have to ask are;
- How long is the warranty for? A year, 3 years, 5 years?
- Is the warranty return-to-base or home-repair? Remember; if it is return-to-base, you may well have to dismantle and then repackage the whole kit and then pay to send it back.
- What exactly does the warranty cover?
It’s All In The Branding
While it is advisable to go for a reputable brand, you cant always be sure that it will be a 100% perfect product or customer service.
I would always opt for a manufacturer who has been in the market for at least a few years. This way, you are buying their experience in the industry and product. They may not be the cheapest but the one thing you will get from them is reliability.
There are plenty of new and emerging manufacturers always entering the industry, some are decent, some – not so much.
Buying from a recognised supplier is always encouraged and reassuring.
Maximum Height & Weight
All cross trainers have a maximum user weight and height which you should not exceed.
If the user exceeds the maximum weight then you can cause damage to the unit, and this will likely not be covered by the warranty. So be careful here.
The height is also something to bear in mind, as a very tall person may not get the full elliptical movement depending on the stride length. This can also be true if the user is short too, they can struggle to make proper use of the product. This can also cause injury.
So when looking to make the investment, be sure to go for a long stride length if the users are likely to be tall or a short stride length if you have shorter users.
If you have a mixture of tall and short people living in your household that will be using the cross trainer then it is best to go for one with an adjustable stride length.
Budget Cross Trainers Vs Premium – The Ultimate Resistance
The resistance is key when looking at cross trainers.
Lower end models do not come equipped with magnetic resistance or a flywheel and use air to provide resistance to the user. This basically means, it is free flowing and the user generates their own resistance (similar to running).
While some models do allow you to change resistance, it is not something you can do whilst working out. You have to actually get off the unit to change it so doing routines like the HIIT is out of the question.
For someone who may not use the cross trainer on a regular basis, this may be sufficient as the cost is low.
If you are serious about getting fit then I would definitely recommend a trainer with a magnetic resistance facility and a moderately heavy fly-wheel.
The Fly Wheel
The flywheel is what provides you with the resistance and keeps the movement smooth.
Think of it as a weight that is working against you as you work out. Using the control panel of the elliptical machine, you can lower or increase that weight. Lower weight means less resistance, heavier weight means more resistance.
The heavier the flywheel, the more range you have to control the resistance. Basically, the heavier the flywheel, the better the trainer (so long as you purchase from a reputable and known manufacturer).
User profiles are great for keeping track of workouts, stats and goals. When you have multiple users in a household all using the same trainer, this feature is ideal to keep track of everyone’s progress.
In a typical family scenario, you could have mum, dad, Lucy & Ben all using the same machine. Each would have their own profile. Now they can all compete and because the goals would be based on their own statistics, it would be a fair competition.
To set the profiles, a user would enter their weight, height, age, BMI and maybe some other user statistics.
Profiles on the cross trainer can now even sync to your smart phone or activity tracker. This is great for keeping track of your progress and more importantly for motivation to keep you going.
Most of the mid-range to high-end elliptical trainers come with a number of pre-set workouts. These are ideal for beginners and seasoned fitness enthusiast alike.
Workouts can be for fat loss where you train with the ultimate goal of losing those pounds!
You could also have a pre-set for toning. You may want to tone down the glutes or thighs, or arms. The targeted toning presets are designed to do just that! Target the groups you want to focus on.
Another common pre-set is full body conditioning, so unlike the fat burner, this is for those with low-fat % levels that want a full body conditioning workout.
This is where most of the action on your trainer takes place. The console is the computer that powers and controls your entire workout.
Lower end models have pretty basic controls, giving you the bare bones such as time, distance and strides.
The mid-range to higher end models will give you a whole host of useful data as well as ultimate control.
The decent models will give you information like time, calories burnt, strides, distance, heart rate, time left, pre-set workout, resistance etc.
You also have the option to control many of the features while you workout, such as the intensity or resistance – great when doing HIIT, some of the higher end models come with a built-in fan, which you can get a blast of wind right when you need it or even controlling your music.
Heart Rate Monitor
The premium machines will usually come with a heart rate monitor built in to the handlebars. These, as the name suggests, monitor your heart rate as you workout – which is ideal to keep your heart rate in the correct zone for the type of goal you are working towards.
Some companies even supply a chest strap heart rate monitor. These are much more accurate than the hand sensors and you don’t even need to hold on to the sensors for the machine to monitor your BPM.
If you have an activity tracker, then there is no need for an external monitor unless you want to cross-reference your results for complete accuracy. I have the Vivoactive HR and it is great (and accurate!).
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