[product_list cat=”Home Cross Trainers”]
Top 5 Home Cross Trainers
Gym memberships these days are expensive. the going rate for a commercial membership has increased quite substantially over the last few years, with fees of up to £100 per month not being uncommon for evenmid-range establishments. For those of us lucky enough to work in highly paid industries, cost may not necessarily be the problem.Here other issues arise, namely finding time away from the desk in an increasingly demanding working environment. But the rising cost of gym memberships and/or ever more exacting employers do not take away from the life changing difference that exercise can have, not only on our physical but also our mental health.
Having worked for many years as a personal trainer to some of the world’s most senior investment bankers and technology whiz kids I have seen first-hand just how powerful and effective of an instrument exercise can be for facilitating radical change in motivated individuals lives.
For those of us facing the struggles of either annual membership price hikes or very little available time, don’t fear, there is another option, and I don’t mean having to join a back alley gym populated with musclebound doormen and biker gangs, rather I refer to home exercise. The beauty of home exercise is in the name, it’s at home. This means we can burn off that lunchtime burger or sneaky afternoon snickers from the comfort of our own living room. And the crowning glory? We can do so while catching up on such wonders as the coronation street omnibus, last Thursdays edition of question time or the latest big budget American box set.
I am a particular exponent of the cross trainer, to my mind it is a very potent method of delivering cardiovascular training while (and this is the key factor) being completely friendly on our most precious joints. Both running and rowing, although excellent forms of exercise, can be extremely stressful for those of us who, unfortunately, were not blessedwith the awe inspiring symmetry of the elite athlete, Cross training on the other hand produces largely the same results while being almost risk free.
So for a safe, cost effective and convenient way to get our daily dose of health and fitness we could do much worse than a home cross trainer. As such I have reviewed 5 of the top home cross trainers available today. Below are the results.
JTX Tri-Fit Review – Our Number 1
The JTX Tri-Fit (SHOP NOW!) home cross trainer is a great choice for a home exercise machine. It has a solid, sturdy and attractive design perfect for modern apartment living. It has exceptionally quiet operation meaning you won’t miss a word of your favourite show, and neither will you disturb family members as they watch theirs. To the extent that a large mechanical piece of exercise equipment can be social, this is social. JTX have an excellent reputation for customer service, I tested this out by giving them a call regarding a couple of questions I had, they replied quickly and with candour, providing a succinct and accurate response to my queries.
- This hardy piece of kit features a changeable stride length system, this makes it suitable for families of all different shapes and sizes. No excuse for anyone not to jump on start getting fit.
- The JTX Tri-Fit has an Incline control feature that is not universal in cross-trainers. This feature is excellent as it can help shift the focus to large muscle groups that while not being completely ignored by the traditional angle of cross trainers, are hugely under-served.
- This cross trainer has an in-built computer and free fitness app that connects to your smart device and provides you with training tools to help motivate and push you through those difficult after work exercise sessions.
- The cross trainer comes complete with 19 workout programs, a custom program feature and heart rate sessions (complete with free heart strap) so you will never get bored while ensuring you are keeping within the heart rate range relevant to your particular exercise goal.
All in all the JTX Tri-Fit is a fantastic piece of home exercise kit, it’s relatively small size and as previously mentioned quiet operation make it ideal for those with limited space. it is however a great fit for any individual or family regardless of whether you have a cosy city apartment or a sprawling country estate. Its packed full of features and programs that make this trainer one the best I have reviewed. If you were to go out and purchase this machine you would not be disappointed.
Features: changeable stride length – incline control –multiple program selection
Price: High End
JTX Strider – X7 Review – Number 2
The JTX Strider is another excellent home cross trainer from JTX, This company really do care about what they are doing and it shows in the quality of work they produce. It’s requires home assembly but it’s quite simple, with a helping hand the whole assembly process should take no longer than 90 minutes. The product is extremely quiet, you could almost use that most serene adjective ‘silent’, a word that you could absolutely not use to describe the experience of using a similar piece of kit in a local health club. The machine is really straight forward to use, with an intuitive touch screen system that makes switching between the machines many functions extremely easy.
- This cross trainer has an extra-large touch screen display that informs you of all aspects of your workout, from heart rate and calories burned to your progress through your current workout.
- This cross trainer has a huge 16 levels of resistance controlled by magnetic technology which makes it suitable for all fitness levels, I only managed to get to level 14 and then my legs gave up, it really is suitable for anyone, from the complete beginner to the budding sportsman.
- A great feature of this product is the inbuilt body fat measurement system. Accurately measuring body fat has long been an arduous task, usually involving paying for a personal trainer to do it for you or purchasing a set of expensive bio-impedance scales for the bathroom. Now you can get a precise body fat reading in the middle of your workout.
- This machine has a computer that allows you to design and store 4 of your own custom designed workouts, this is an extremely useful function for those who play team sports. You can program the workout to replicate the action/inaction time of your particular sport. The benefits of this feature for sports men and women are legion and truly, I cannot overstate the affect this programming can have on your performance on the day.
This JTX home cross trainer is incredibly versatile and full to the brim with all kinds of wonderful gadgets designed to enhance your exercise experience. If you are somebody who enjoys flat pack furniture or DIY then the fact the machine requires home assembly won’t put you off one bit, it will, if anything add to the overall experience. There is no reason why I wouldn’t recommend this cross trainer to any home fitness enthusiast.
Features: large touch screen display – body fat measurements –create and save custom workouts
Price: Mid Range
York Fitness Active Review – Number 3
Now for something a little different. The products we have looked at so far have only given us the option of using them as a cross trainer. This product does something special, it can double up as a home exercise bike. This may seem inconsequential, however, the brilliance in this lies in the potential that cross training can have to cause pain in the ankle. While uncommon and usually traced to pre-existing imbalances rather than cross training itself, this pain can become quite unbearable and the option of switching to the bike means you can continue your exercise routine whilst separately rehabbing the ankle.
- This machine has a fixed stride length (30.5cm) making it ideal for shorter individuals to use without risk of developing back, knee and ankle problems
- For the cycle function the product is equipped with both fixed and moving handlebars, this enables a full body workout.
- This machine features pulse grip sensors that allow you to get a quick heart rate reading at any point during your workout.
- As mentioned this product has dual capabilities, switching between a cross trainer and an exercise cycle. Considering both machines would usually retail separately, this is potentially a huge cost saving and adds flexibility and variation to your workout.
York has long been a stalwart in the home fitness industry, producing good quality and affordable products for as long as I can remember. In fact the first pair of dumbbells I ever picked up were made by York. They really care about the consumer and the aforementioned versatility of this product highlights that fact. It’s a great product at a great price. Any bargain hunters out therecould do a lot worse than going out and picking up this cross trainer / cycle
Features: Cycle function – Pulse grip sensors –fixed stride length
Hammer Crosstech XTR Review – Number 4
German health and fitness brand Hammer have long been one of the leading companies designing fitness equipment of all disciplines, their work is considered industry leading, with many health clubs and discerning fitness enthusiasts swearing by the quality of their craftmanship. This cross trainer is no different. It’s quality can be seen from the moment you open the box, it’s heavy, that extra weight makes it extremely stable. The design, as can be expected from Hammer is of the highest spec. Presentation is one thing, but the proof, as ever, is in the pudding, so let’s take a closer look at this home cross trainer produced by a true industry giant.
- This high quality product is built from heavy gauge steel making for a more stable base, no chance of it sliding around no matter how hard you train
- The product has been certified to German quality standards, these are significantly higher than standards elsewhere, just think of BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen
- This machine has an extremely heavy flywheel, weighing a considerable 16kg, this extra weight translates to a smoother, quieter ride.
- Alongside the 12 set profiles there are 4 pulse rate linked programs, these programs can be utilised to ensureyou are hitting either your fitness or health related targets for the session.
As expected Hammer haven’t disappointed, a really smooth ride with enough resistance levels to keep things challenging no matter your fitness levels. A great machine and a great option for anyone looking for a manufacturer with true fitness pedigree. It looks great and it performs great. The self-assembly is simple and can easily be managed solo within 2 hours. If you have much experience with health club resistance weight machines then you may have come across Hammer before, if not go check them out, the same quality you get with the resistance machines is present here in the home cardiovascular equipment. Another solid purchase that won’t disappoint.
Features: solid, quality design – pulse rate linked programs – 16kg flywheel
Sportstech CX6010 Review – Number 5
This home cross trainer has one outstanding feature that in ingenuity at least, separates it from every other product I have reviewed. More on that later, but trust me, it’s worth reading on for this (secret for now) feature alone. As the final cross trainer on our list this machine has some big footsteps to follow, let’s get right into the features to see what it can do and whether or not it can come along at the last minute and steal the show.
- This machine has one very special feature, you can connect your device via Bluetooth and access google maps, you can then cross train around, well, just about anywhere. For those of us not interested in catching up on corrie, this is a much more interesting option
- This machine is very strong while remaining super light. Not only can you exercise on a stable base but you can move it around pretty much anywhere you want (although I suggest keeping it away from busy roads)
- The Sportstech Professional has anti-slip pedals offering improved grip, these are adjustable so everybody will be able to enjoy the comfy but tiring ride of this great machine
- This product has a whopping 32 resistance levels, the most I have encountered, if you opt for this trainer, be prepared for some serious hard work, but then harder work equals more results.
This is a really clever product with lots of great ideas, with the google map tool standing out as something really special. Its available at an excellent price considering the tech going into it. If you are looking for a great piece of reasonably priced kit with a little something extra then this is your pick.
Features: google map app – 32 resistance levels – super lightweight
Price: Mid Range
Wow, it’s been a really tough review with every product tested a great buy, but I suppose I’m not here to recommend them all, I’ve now got the really tough task of choosing a winner. No matter how exciting the google maps feature of the Sportstech may be, or how steeped in quality and history the Hammer is, the overall winner has to be number 1 on the list, the excellent JTX tri-fit.The incline feature gives you increased activation of possibly the most important muscle groups in the body, the glutes and the abs, or the bottom and the tummy. The Muscles ensure more than any other that our lower backs, hips and knees stay healthy and pain free.