Purchasing an elliptical machine for home use is a great decision. Elliptical machines provide superior cardiovascular workouts while also reducing the chance for injuries through their low-impact design. Because of their popularity and effectiveness, the number of different models and manufacturers producing elliptical machines has soared in recent years, and deciding between different models can be difficult.
Here at Fitness and Exercise Reviews, we have examined many of the different elliptical machines on the market to come up with our list of the best elliptical machines for 2012. These recommendations are based on surveying the general features offered, pricing structure, customer reviews on multiple websites (such as Amazon.com), consumer review agencies (such as those provided by Consumer Reports), customer service, warranties and the overall workout options available. Based on these reviews, we have come up with our top three elliptical machine recommendations for home use.
Our Top Overall Pick For 2012: Yowza Fitness Ellipticals
Yowza Fitness is one of the newest manufacturers of elliptical machines on the market. The company was launched by the inventor Leao Wang, who worked formerly with Smooth Fitness before starting his own company (Yowza Fitness). Wang holds hundreds of patents for cardio equipment, and his Yowza Fitness elliptical trainers have emerged as industry leaders, raising the bar for what to expect from a home elliptical machine.
What makes the Yowza Fitness elliptical machines so special is their patented Cardio-Core design and the fact that you can purchase these machines directly from the manufacturer himself, often saving up to 50% off of the suggested retail price. This means you can often purchase an elliptical machine that would normally sell for well over $3000 at a substantial discount.
There are actually two different Yowza ellipticals that are best suited for the home user, both of which feature their patented counter-rotational design that targets your abdominal muscles in a way that no other elliptical machine can duplicate: the Yowza Captiva and the newer 2012 Yowza Pompano. It is because of this patented technology that the Yowza Elliptical trainers offer a superior workout to any other elliptical trainer that is currently on the market.
The main difference between these two models is that the Yowza Captiva offers an adjustable stride (ranging from 18″ up to 32″) while the newer Yowza Pompano is a fixed stride model (20″) and slightly more affordable. Also, while the Yowza Captiva offers 16 different workout programs to select from, the Yowza Pompano only has 12 programs.
* Small footprints, making them ideal for in-home use. The Yowza Captiva’s footprint is only 66″ (L) x 33″ (H) by 66″ (H); Yowza Pompano’s footprint is 71″ (L) x 22″ (W) x 66″ (H).
* Superior warranty and service agreements. Yowza Ellipticals come with a lifetime warranty on the frame and braking system, a 5 year warranty on parts and electronics, and a two year warranty covering in-home labor costs. They also come with a sixty day cash back guarantee, and also have factory-direct financing available as well.
* Maximum weight capacity for both units is 400 pounds.
* Smooth electromagnetic braking system. The braking system is also guaranteed for the lifetime of the machine.
* A built-in Polar heart rate receiver and Grip Pulse handle bars.
* Ipod/MP3 dock with hi-fidelity speaker system.
For more information about current pricing and discounts, we recommend you visit the Yowza Fitness manufacturer website directly: Click Here To Visit Yowza Fitness!
Best Elliptical Machines For 2012 Runner-Ups
Although the Yowza Elliptical Trainers emerged as the best overall in our survey of elliptical machines, there were two other strong contenders that are worth mentioning as well:
1) Sole Elliptical Trainers
Sole Elliptical Trainers have repeated ranked high in terms of consumer reviews. In fact, in the Consumer Reports 2011 survey of elliptical trainers, the Sole E35 ranked second overall and was given the highest “Best Buy” rating of all the elliptical trainers surveyed. In addition, customer reviews of the model at Amazon.com and other online retailers are also overwhelmingly positive.
The Sole E98 is their top of the line model, and we believe it is well worth paying a few hundred more to get this model for the additional features it offers. The Sole E98 really feels like a health club quality machine, with its vibrant LCD monitor, two heart-rate-controlled workout options, 16 resistance levels, over-sized foot pedals, whisper quiet drive system and a revolutionary “worm drive” foot pedal angle adjustment feature that allows you to fine tune your pedal adjustment to a precise angle in order to avoid numb toes, sore Achilles tendons or other potential injuries or strains.
All Sole elliptical trainers have a 20″ fixed stride length, heart rate monitor controls and MP3/iPod compatibility. In addition, both the Sole E55 and Sole E98 also come with lifetime frame warranties as well as five year warranties on the parts and electronics and a two year in home labor warranty.
Please note that you can purchase both of these models at a significant discount at Amazon.com (up to $1000 in savings). Click Here For More Information!
2) Smooth Fitness Elliptical Trainers
Smooth Fitness is another leader in the elliptical trainer industry, with Treadmill Doctor voting the Smooth CE 8.0 LC (“Light Commercial”) to be one of the “best new ellipticals” of 2011, while the more affordable Smooth Fitness Agile DMT-X2 model has some of the best customer reviews of any elliptical at Amazon.com.
Compared to the Yowza Fitness and Sole Elliptical Machines, the Smooth CE 8.0 is a slightly larger unit (with a 21″ fixed stride length) with an exceptionally sturdy design. Smooth Fitness elliptical machines also come with an amazing ten year warranty on parts, plus a lifetime warranty on the frame and braking system, and a two year warranty on in-home servicing and labor. However, for those with limited space in their homes, one downside of the Smooth CE 8.0 may be its larger size (although it is meant to be suitable for both home and commercial locations).
Customer reviews of the Smooth CE 8.0 have been exceptional as well. Currently it has a five star rating (out of five) at Amazon.com, although there are fewer overall reviews available when compared to the Sole elliptical machines (probably because this is a much newer model).
Here are some additional features that makes the Smooth elliptical trainers a great choice:
* The 8.0 features 24 intensity levels and 21 challenging exercise programs. This includes four different customizable heart rate programs.
* Heavy duty flywheel. This gives it a noticeably smoother ride than many other elliptical machines.
* Tilt and go wheel system. Given its size, this feature is both a necessity and a convenience.
* SmoothSound™ Integrated High-Clarity Audio System. The audio system features two powerful speakers (for those who do not like to use headphones) and is fully MP3/iPod compatible.
For those who are looking for the best workout possible, Yowza Fitness elliptical trainers offer a superior workout thanks to their patented rotating cardio-core feature that gives you a great lower and upper body workout.
For those looking for the model with a strong track record of positive consumer reviews and feedback, the Sole Fitness E55 and Sole E98 models are the right choice. Both these models have superb customer comments and reviews at online retailers like Amazon.com.
Finally, for those looking for a larger, more sturdy model that is suitable for both home and gym applications, we recommend a Smooth Fitness elliptical trainer. This model also has some excellent customer reviews backing it up at different online retailers.
For those interested in elliptical trainers at a different price point, stay tuned for our upcoming recommendations for the Best Budget Elliptical Machines for 2012 and the Best Commercial (Gym Quality) Elliptical Machines for 2012.
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