Cross trainers have grown in popularity over the past few years, with a wave of new models and brands to choose from.
But finding the best cross trainer on a budget isn’t easy, especially with thousands of cross trainer reviews online and low-quality imports flooding the market.
This guide will help new buyers find a cross trainer that won’t end up collecting dust in the corner.
If you’re in a hurry, these cross trainers in the quick comparison table below are worth checking out:
Our Best Elliptical Cross Trainers
Below we have taken a closer look at cross trainers which we think provide a good balance between build quality, features and price. We also highlight the features of each model including the pros and cons.
1. Hammer Crosstech XTR
Hammer offers the Crosstech XTR, which is one of the best cross trainers on the market. This model comes in white and black, and free delivery is offered in the UK.
The Crosstech is a German-made machine that has a mid-range price tag.
The Hammer brand itself has been established in Europe for over 100 years. It’s a brand that’s received the TUV GS certification (an independent testing organisation), ensuring that this model meets quality standards.
Before we dive headfirst into our review, let’s take a few seconds to look at what we liked and didn’t like about this model – there really wasn’t much to complain about.
- The flywheel is magnetic and offers smoothness with each motion.
- Allows for user weights of all sizes up to 20.5 stones, or 130 kg (perfect for anyone trying to lose weight).
- Handlebars are stationary and movable to provide a more intense workout.
- This model comes with 16 different resistances, and programmed workouts.
- Needs to be oiled or develops a squeak.
This compact cross trainer is exceptional in virtually every way, but is not an exception when it comes to moving parts. You’ll notice that this model begins to squeak after extended use, but what model doesn’t?
You need to add a little bit of oil to the moving parts if it begins to squeak. That’s our only complaint.
Aside from this, you’ll really enjoy the fact that this model is rather lightweight – just 38 kg – and is a snap to assemble.
The instructions are rather straightforward, and once you set up this model, it’s time to begin adjusting it to your preference. You’ll be able to adjust:
- Seat height
- Various resistance settings (16 in total)
And you’ll also be able to use the handlebars in a stationary or movement position.
Why is this such a big deal?
If you want to get a full workout, you want to engage more than just your legs. Being able to move the handlebars while working out simply adds more muscle engagement, and helps you burn more calories at the same time.
It’s another element your workout, and will help you build strength and stamina.
Features and Specs
- LCD screen featuring:
- Calorie consumption
- 16 exercise programs
- 16 computer-controlled resistance
- Transport wheels for easy movement
- Stationary and movable handlebars
- Handball sensors
- Chest strap pulse sensor
When it comes to finding the best cross trainer, it doesn’t get much better than the Hammer Crosstech XTR. It’s affordable, durable and blows the competition away.
- German brand HAMMER has been established in European for over 100 years
- Heavy 16 Kg magnetic flywheel for ultimate smoothness
Read our Detailed Hammer Crosstech XTR Review
2. Reebok ZR8 Cross Trainer
Reebok is known for their amazing sportswear lineup, but the company also produces some of the world’s best cross trainers. The ZR8 is slightly more expensive than our previous model, and this model comes only in a black color.
The reason that this Reebok cross trainer is second on our list is that it costs more than the previously listed Hammer.
Is this model better than our first pick?
This is a difficult question to answer. The one thing that we to really like about this model is that you have 32 different resistance levels to choose from, which is perfect for anyone who is trying to gain strength during their workout.
Cross trainers offer more than just an aerobic workout – they also help build strength.
Let’s take a look at what impressed us with the ZR8:
- Large range of resistance levels allow you to gradually and effectively increase strength.
- 12 preset workout programs are included, helping to vary your workouts.
- Transport wheels allow you to easily move this model from one room to the other.
- Assembly isn’t the easiest.
If you have someone to help you assemble this model, I couldn’t recommend it more. The total weight of this model (boxed) is 57 kg, so it is little on the heavy side for a single-person assembly.
Offering a 38.1 cm stride length, you’ll be able to experience full range of motion during your workout on this cross trainer machine, and the rubber foot plates are adjustable with anti-slip rubber.
There is even a hand pulse included, so you to see how fast your heart is beating during your workout – perfect for anyone trying to increase their stamina, or if you are planning on doing a heart-rate based workout.
What really stands out with this machine is the electronic resistance levels, and the LCD computer. The computer allows you to see:
There are also 12 programmed workouts that range from beginner to advanced for users that want to build up their stamina. The handlebars also move to provide you with the extra work that we were talking about in our last review.
Features and Specs
- 9 kg flywheel
- 12 programmed workouts
- 32 resistance levels
- LCD monitor
- Adjustable footplate
- Foot level adjustment (perfect for smaller users)
- Transport wheels
The Reebok ZR8 is a great mid-range machine. This model offers good build quality, and exceptional amounts of resistance that are perfect for users of all levels. The monitoring system and adjustable features are a nice addition to any workout.
- 12 Preset programmes
- 32 levels of resistance
Read our Reebok ZR8 Review
Update: A new version has been released, so take a look at our Reebok ZR9 Review.
3. JTX Strider X7
The JTX Strider X7 may be ranked third on our list, but it is still one of the best cross trainers on the market. If we really sat down and judged every feature, this model might even be tied for second in terms of quality and price.
JTX gets a lot right with this model – we should know after using it for several weeks.
The LCD screen is larger than most, which is nice when working out. There 16 levels of magnetic resistance, and 21 programs to help you boost up your workout at any time.
Transport wheels are included as well as adjustable foot plates, and you’ll receive a two-year in-home warranty.
- Very solid construction.
- In-depth LCD monitor helps you enhance your workout.
- 21 preprogrammed workouts allow you to enhance your stamina and endurance.
- 16 levels of resistance are perfect for gaining strength.
- The courier delivery service is lacking.
You can definitely assemble this model by yourself, but expect to spend around two hours for full assembly. For this reason, I also recommend bringing someone along to help you get through the assembly process as quickly as possible.
It’s not a difficult process, but some parts are heavy, and it never hurts seven extra pair of hands around when you need them.
The X7 offers everything you want: transport wheels, adjustable foot pads, body fat and pulse measurement, and non slip pedals.
But what really stood out with this model was the in-depth built-in programs that help you reach your fitness goals. The programs that are included offer:
- Heart rate control
- Hills for higher intensity
- Interval workouts
- Fat burning workouts
Want to lose weight? Just choose one of the settings or design your own workout for total control over your fitness gains.
You’ll find that the resistance levels are more than sufficient for every fitness level, and delivery is the only issue we had.
Delivery was late, and a lot of people seem to have had the same issue. It’s definitely not a deal breaker, but it is something to be aware of if you need this model to arrive at a specific time with no flexibility.
If lightning fast delivery is something you need then it’s worth checking out a NordicTrack cross trainer, but they don’t come cheap.
Features and Specs
- 16 levels of magnetic resistance
- 21 programs preprogrammed
- Adjustable foot pedals and four pads
- Enhanced monitoring system with wireless chest strap
- Robust design able to handle users up to 130 kg
- Two-year in-home service warranty
The X7 is one of the cross trainer reviews that we enjoyed most. This model is exceptional in virtually every way, and it would have landed higher on our list if the delivery was on time.
It’s almost as good as our number one pick, and in some ways, it offers more flexibility, such as the programmed workouts of this model.
- Large colour touch screen console. 21 programs including heart rate control,...
- Provides an outstanding low impact, full body, workout. Features a 16 inch...
Read our JTX Strider Review
The Benefits of a Cross Trainer
Cross trainers allow you to get a full body workout (at least the ones with movable handlebars). You’ll be able to engage quads, calves, core, biceps, triceps, chest and several other muscles all while using your crosstrainer.
Full body workouts mean that you’ll be spending less time in the gym, and more time seeing results.
A total body workout is ideal for anyone trying to lose weight, or boost endurance. Utilizing several muscle groups at one time will cause your body to burn more calories, and it will also result in you getting out of breath and expanding your lungs to try and keep up with the intensity level.
Cross trainers offer the perfect at-home workout, and they’re incredibly affordable.
Cross trainer benefits are simple:
- Cross training is a low impact exercise, meaning that it’s perfect for older users, and it doesn’t put extra strain on your joints (knees and ankles in particular).
- Crosstrainers burn between 8 and 12 calories per minute – more than most treadmill exercises, depending on intensity.
- Cross trainers provide a full-body workout that is perfect for users of all ages.
- You’ll gain strength thanks to the resistance levels of cross trainers.
- You can move at a speed that is just right for you with very little room for injury occurring.
And if you’re someone who is trying to lose weight, you’ll find that using cross trainer is exceptional. Just a 30-minute session can burn up to 360 calories or more, depending on your intensity. If you are someone that is looking to build muscle rather than lose weight, then it might be worth taking a look at our home multi gym buyers guide as this would help you sculpt your desired physique.
Now that you understand the benefits, let’s take a look at the top three models on the market.