Just like treadmills and rowers, cross trainers (or ellipticals) are a type of exercise machine designed for indoor workouts. They can simulate a number of different motions and exercises, including walking, running or stair climbing. With a range of intensity levels and multi-purpose exercise options, cross trainers are a fantastic option for a fitness enthusiast or someone who likes to regularly change-up their routine.

What parts of the body does a cross trainer work?

The key benefit of a cross trainer is that it can be used to engage muscles across your whole body, including your legs, glutes, core, and arms.

Cross trainers can look daunting or intensive, but they actually offer a low-impact workout which is great news for your joints.

While most cross trainers involve standing on steppers, the Teeter Free Step™ Recumbent model allows you to sit while you train, offering a comfortable workout.

Teeter Free Step™ LT1 Recumbent Cross Trainer

How do cross trainers work?

The best way to explain how a cross trainer work is to list its key features:

Moving handlebars and foot pedals

If you’re wondering how an exercise machine can engage the whole body, the secret is in the handlebars and foot pedals. Having both moving handlebars and foot pedals is what sets a cross trainer apart from other machines which typically only engage the upper or lower part of the body. You can still choose to exercise with just your legs, but having the option to exercise both simultaneously saves time and makes the cross trainer a great investment.

You should also be able to adjust your stride length or resistance levels according to how vigorous or light you want your workout to be.

The flywheel

Similarly to a rowing machine, cross trainers are built with a flywheel. This enables the smooth motion of the pedals.

Screen monitors

On modern cross trainers, screen monitors are often placed at the front so you can check your progress as you exercise or tap into some light entertainment to make your workout a little more fun. Many models benefit from a full colour screen display.

Can you use a cross trainer every day?

You can use a cross trainer every day, but if you’re a beginner you may want to ease in gently with a couple of 30 minute sessions a week on a low resistance level.

While it may take a few attempts to get used to the coordination of moving your arms and legs, once you find your rhythm it’s an incredibly mood-boosting and body-strengthening exercise. As always, we recommend watching a professional tutorial or enlisting the help of a fitness coach to ensure you’re getting the most out of your exercise.

Cross trainers for sale

Cross trainers are a fantastic piece of kit for your home professional gym. Shop our selection of top quality new and refurbished cross trainers today from leading commercial brands, such as Teeter, BH Fitness and Star Trac.