Difference Between Cross Trainer and Elliptical Trainer

Cross training machines and ellipticals are very popular for their low-impact aerobic workouts. But if you’re out buying exercise equipment, what will you select between the two? This post can help you make the right decision.

No matter if you want to start a new cardio routine or are already in between a sports season, cross-training equipment and ellipticals, are an excellent choice for low-impact aerobic workouts. You can easily find both of these equipment in almost every gym. Both offer a host of benefits, making it difficult for a lot of people to select between the two.

While you have trainers at the gym to help you decide, what if you want to purchase the equipment for your home? How will you choose between the two? Understanding the differences between the two could make the selection easier.

5 of the most significant differences between a cross-training and elliptical equipment are as follows-

  1. Handle movement

A cross-training machine is basically a type of elliptical. Arguably, the greatest difference between the two is the fact that while the handles of an elliptical are stationary, cross training machines have movable handles. This means that while elliptical only allows you to work out your lower body, cross training machines cover your biceps, triceps, back, etc.

The hand and leg movement on a cross-training equipment gives you a full body workout, allowing you to burn more calories.

  1. Adjusting Leg Pedal Incline

The incline of leg pedals is not adjustable in cross-training machines while ellipticals do offer this feature. By regulating the incline, you can exercise your glutes and hamstrings more.

If you’re aiming for a more intense workout, you can raise the incline of the leg pedals in an elliptical along with the resistance level and speed. But with cross training machines, you only get to adjust resistance and speed.

  1. Backward and Forward Movement

Most of the cross-training machines have forward as well as backward movement capabilities. This allows you to work on different muscles of your legs. You can burn more calories and enjoy a better overall body workout.

However, the majority of the ellipticals only have a forward movement. But this also makes them an excellent choice for people with lower body pain or joint problems.

  1. Balancing Difficulty

As compared to an elliptical, a cross-training machine is generally more difficult to use as it needs more coordination and balance. With an elliptical, you have stationary handles for the support. However, the same is not true with cross training machines as their handles move back and forth as well. So, there is no solid support available.

As a result, ellipticals are usually recommended for elderly and beginners. However, if you’re aiming to improve your coordination and balance, a cross-training machine can be a great option.

Making a Decision

Now that you know the differences between the two, the selection shouldn’t be difficult. Prefer a cross trainer if you have good balance and coordination and want full-body workouts. An elliptical is a better choice for beginners and elderly wanting to work out their legs.

You can now also find cross-training machine with movable as well as stationary handles to give you the best of both worlds. However, such models are generally expensive than a standard elliptical or cross-training machine.