The 6 Best Ellipticals for Heavy People of 2024, Tested and Handpicked by Our Team

Finding an elliptical designed for larger body types can sometimes be tougher than the actual workouts. The best ellipticals for heavy people offer accessible, low-impact cardio training with frames sturdy enough to suit athletes of a variety of shapes and sizes. Whether you crave the structured workout of preset programs and fitness apps or just want to climb aboard and get moving, the models on our list boast the steel frames and quality construction you need to feel stable during the full-body workouts ellipticals deliver.

When you’re looking to bring home a new elliptical, first consider just how much space you have to spare. Most ellipticals are roughly the size of an average loveseat, so take a look around and ask yourself, “Could I fit another couch in here?” (1) After planning where it will fit in your space, consider how it will fit into your budget and daily routine. Our team of certified fitness pros has tested over 20 ellipticals, consulted with experts, and rounded up the best models with weight capacities that meet (or exceed) the industry standard. Check out our picks below to help make your search a little easier.

The 8 Best Ellipticals for Heavy People

Best Elliptical for Heavy People Overall: NordicTrack AirGlide 14i

Best Elliptical for Heavy People for Comfort: Sole E35

Best Elliptical for Heavy People for Beginners: Horizon EX-59

Best Compact Elliptical for Heavy People: ProForm Pro HIIT H14

Best Budget Elliptical for Heavy People: Schwinn 430 Elliptical

Best Maximum Weight Elliptical for Heavy People: Niceday Elliptical Machine

Best Under-Desk Elliptical for Heavy People: Cubii Move

Best Combo Elliptical for Heavy People: NordicTrack FS10i

About Our Expert

This article has been reviewed by Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC, a certified personal trainer and CrossFit Level 1 instructor. She reviewed the research we cite and the ellipticals we listed to help ensure we’re providing helpful, accurate descriptions and recommendations.

How We Tested and Chose the Best Ellipticals for Heavy People

Our team of fitness professionals — including certified personal trainers, gym owners, and CrossFit coaches — has spent years testing 23 of the top elliptical machines, so we know what to look for when we step onto those oversized pedals. As part of BarBend’s equipment testing methodology, we assign ratings of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest) across 13 distinct categories, like durability, customizations, value, and more. Check out some of the key factors we considered below.

Weight Capacity

While we included models with the industry standard weight capacity for ellipticals, we prioritized models that exceed it. Our expert reviewer Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC, detailed just how high an elliptical’s weight capacity should be.

Our tester on the NordicTrack AirGlide 14i.

“The industry standard is 300 pounds,” she said. “Budget-friendly ellipticals are likely to have a lower weight capacity, while luxury options may have a weight capacity of 350 to 400 pounds.” 


Because ellipticals that feature steel builds and flywheels of at least 16 to 20 pounds (or beyond) offer a steadier ride for heavier users, we prioritized models that our testers bestowed with high durability ratings. When testing equipment, we always take note of any shaking or wobbling during use, not to mention the quality of its construction, from the consistency of a machine’s welding to the amount of plastic incorporated into its design.

Available Programming

From preset workouts to fitness app integration, we prioritized ellipticals that feature structured training that allow beginners and advanced users alike to simply press play and get to work. Virtual studio classes or scenic elliptical series from around the world promote the engagement, immersion, and just plain fun that can help you stick to your cardio routine.

[Related: The Best Fitness Apps]

Many fitness apps require monthly subscriptions, but Capritto suggests that if the additional cost is prohibitive, there are other options. “Many ellipticals integrate with fitness programming. NordicTrack and ProForm ellipticals, for instance, can stream iFIT programming,” she says. “If you don’t want to pay for a fitness subscription, you may want to look for an elliptical that has built-in workouts.”


When it comes to shopping for ellipticals, athletes can prioritize different features or types of training. Some may want a dazzling HD touchscreen, while others may be planning to read a book while working up a sweat. You may already have a workout plan in mind that doesn’t require the virtual classes that come with an app like iFIT. Our list features models that cover wide ranges of price, size, and tech capabilities.

Our tester using the Sole E35 Elliptical.

“You’ll pay a lot of money to get top-tier features on an elliptical, just like you will for any other big piece of cardio equipment. While there are plenty of budget-friendly ellipticals available, they won’t check all of the boxes for a lot of people,” Capritto says. “Additionally, higher-end models are generally very heavy and can be unsafe for one person to move on their own. White glove delivery and assembly, which costs extra, might be required.”

[Related: Best Ellipticals Under $1,000]

Best Elliptical for Heavy People Overall: NordicTrack AirGlide 14i

NordicTrack AirGlide 14i

NordicTrack AirGlide 14i

With 26 levels of resistance, incline and decline capabilities, and an adjustable stride length that toggles to your personal preferences, the AirGlide 14i is one of the most tech-savvy and feature-rich ellipticals on the market. Plus, like other NordicTrack machines, this elliptical is compatible with iFIT, unlocking over 17,000 live and on-demand workout programs for a fresh sense of training each time you hop on for a session.

Shop NordicTrack


Price: $1,799

Resistance Levels: 26

Stride Length: 17.8″ to 18.5″ auto-adjustable

Weight Capacity: 300lbs

Product Dimensions: 69″ L x 25″ W x 71″ H

Product Weight: 244lbs

Warranty: 10-year frame, 2-year parts, 1-year labor


Athletes up to 300 pounds can use this iFIT-compatible elliptical to ramp up their training with over 17,000 on-demand workouts.

Its 26 levels of resistance and -5% to 15% incline range can be adjusted via the 14-inch HD touchscreen. 

The steel construction and 32-pound flywheel help promote a stable workout. 


Its $1,799 price point is at the top of the  $1,200 to $1,800 average range for ellipticals.

The console lacks a media shelf to secure your device during use.

Since it weighs a whopping 244 pounds, our tester recommends the white-glove assembly option for around $200.

Between its 26 resistance levels, -5% to 15% incline range, adjustable stride length, and 300-pound weight capacity, the iFIT-equipped NordicTrack AirGlide 14i was an easy choice for the top of our list. After spending quality time with this elliptical, our tester — a CrossFit Level-1 coach — rated its ergonomics, customizations, tech capabilities, durability, and ergonomics all 5 out of 5.

[Related: The Best Ellipticals with Incline]

With the 14-inch HD touchscreen as their vessel, our tester took advantage of iFIT’s SmartAdjust feature during their jaunt up a — virtual, of course — volcano. “I was running up the side of a volcano in Hawaii, and my resistance and incline adjusted automatically, so it really felt like I was right there with my trainer,” said our tester. 

Our tester on the NordicTrack AirGlide 14i.

We typically recommend ellipticals with 16- to 20-pound flywheels to ensure stability during operation, so the 32-pounder here stood out to our tester. “Everything felt solid during my workouts,” they stated. “I’d credit the heavy 32-pound flywheel at the front of the machine for keeping things well-balanced.”

The 14-inch HD touchscreen on the NordicTrack AirGlide 14i.

Since the touchscreen on the AirGlide 14i is only capable of streaming iFIT workouts, it would be nice if it had a media shelf or device holder for when we just want to vibe. We do, however, think iFIT’s programming is worth the $39.99 monthly subscription to get the most out of this elliptical, but that recurring cost could disqualify it from some athletes’ budgets.

At 244 pounds, this elliptical is roughly 25 to 70 pounds heavier than many comparable models. As such, our team recommends springing for the $200 white-glove assembly. “If you don’t go that route, you’ll definitely need at least two people to move and build this machine,” our tester said, rating its delivery and setup 3 out of 5.

[Related: The Best Ellipticals for Seniors]

Best Elliptical for Heavy People for Comfort: Sole E35

Sole E35 Elliptical

Sole E35 Elliptical

Mirror your own iOS device to the 10.1-inch HD touchscreen or use it to stream its 12 preloaded apps, including Amazon Prime and Netflix. It comes loaded with 12 preset workout programs, though you can also create custom workouts. The 350-pound weight capacity is 50 pounds higher than the average elliptical.

Shop Sole


Price: $1,599.99

Resistance Levels: 20

Stride Length: 20”

Weight Capacity: 350lbs

Product Dimensions: 70″ L x 31″ W x 70″ H

Product Weight: 231lbs

Warranty: Lifetime frame, lifetime flywheel, 2-year parts, 2-year wear items, 1-year labor, 90-day cosmetic items


Along with its stationary and mobile handles, the adjustable pedals and built-in fan allow for a comfortable ride.

The 10.1-inch HD touchscreen can mirror iOS devices and stream 12 preloaded apps, including Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Its 350-pound weight capacity is 50 pounds greater than the industry standard for ellipticals.


It gobbles up 15.07 square feet of floor space — roughly 2 to 4 feet more than the average elliptical.

At 231 pounds, it surpasses the range we typically see for ellipticals — around 175 to 220 pounds.

As a classic low-impact cardio machine, ellipticals are meant to offer comfortable workouts. The E35 distinguishes itself with angled, adjustable pedals that Sole claims can even further reduce stress on the knees and ankles. With those oversized pedals, along with two options for handles — fixed and moving — the E35 earned a 5 out of 5 for ergonomics and is our pick for the most comfortable option for heavy people.

[Related: The 11 Best Cardio Machines]

After getting comfy, you’ll have the option to fire up one of iFIT’s studio classes (for an additional $39.99 per month), a virtual workout from Sole+ (for an additional $0 per month), or one of 12 preset workouts. If you prefer zoning out with a show or movie instead of zoning into a workout, though, the latest iteration of the E35 features a 10.1-inch HD touchscreen that comes preloaded with 12 streaming apps, including Amazon Prime and Netflix.

The console of the Sole E35 Elliptical.

The E35 is hefty compared to most ellipticals. At 231 pounds, it’s not the heaviest elliptical we’ve seen, but it still surpasses the 175- to 220-pound average for ellipticals we’ve tested. It is also rather space-hungry — 15.07 square feet lands somewhere between a typical loveseat and two-seater sofa. 

Our tester on the Sole E35 Elliptical.

That said, its size contributes to its durability. The steel frame (and its lifetime warranty) bodes well for its longevity and stability, while its 350-pound weight capacity — 50 pounds more than the industry standard — can offer a bit of peace of mind when you climb aboard.

Read our full Sole E35 Elliptical Review.

Best Elliptical for Heavy People for Beginners: Horizon EX-59

Horizon EX-59

Horizon EX-59

This Horizon Fitness elliptical can be a great starter machine for budding home gym enthusiasts thanks to its approachable price tag, intuitive controls, and comfortable handlebar setup. The stride length is also accommodating at 18 inches, which can be great for athletes of most sizes.

Shop Horizon Fitness


Price: $699

Resistance Levels: 10

Stride Length: 18”

Weight Capacity: 300lbs

Product Dimensions: 74″ L x 25” W x 64.5″ H

Product Weight: 145lbs

Warranty: Lifetime frame, 1-year brake, 1-year parts, 1-year labor


Beginners can use the five preset workouts to jump-start a new cardio regimen.

The $699 price tag is more approachable than the $1,200 to $1,800 average range for ellipticals.

Its 18-inch stride length and 10 resistance levels offer plenty of challenge and variety for new users.


Its 14.3-pound flywheel falls a few pounds short of the 16- to 20-pound flywheels we recommend.

While Horizon includes a lifetime warranty on the frame, there is no warranty for the flywheel.

People kick-starting their fitness journey may not need the high-tech and high-priced ellipticals that can easily reach up to $1,800 or more. Instead of overwhelming users with thousands of workouts streaming through monstrous touchscreens, the Horizon EX-59’s simple display and five preset programs offer beginners more than enough variety to jump-start a new cardio routine.

Our tester on the Horizon EX-59.

On the intuitive 4.5-inch display, you can choose from workouts like intervals, distance, or weight loss, which our tester, a certified personal trainer, found suitable for anyone new to using an elliptical. “The programs are a little basic for more experienced individuals, but I still feel they have some merit, especially for those just getting started in home gym training,” they said.

[Related: The Best Budget Home Gym Equipment]

Even for roughly $500 less than the average price range, the EX-59 offers a lot of the features we like to see when we climb aboard an elliptical. Its 18-inch stride length, 10 resistance levels, and 300-pound weight capacity are close to what we typically see on high-end machines, but still offer plenty of challenge and intensity for beginners — especially for just $699. “I think this is a really good elliptical for the price,” our tester said, scoring its value a 4 out of 5.

Our tester gripping the handles on the Horizon EX-59.

While we appreciate that Horizon’s lifetime warranty covers the frame — along with one year for parts and labor — the 14.3-pound flywheel is not covered. We also wish it was a bit heavier. “We usually like to see 16- to 20-pound flywheels, but I still thought it was super smooth and didn’t feel any shifting or wobbling,” they said. 

Best Compact Elliptical for Heavy People: ProForm Pro HIIT H14

ProForm Pro HIIT H14

ProForm Pro HIIT H14

This unique profile combines a stair stepper and elliptical for a space-saving, high-performance training experience. The Pro HIIT H14 is also integrated with the iFit online workout program, giving you access to over 17,000 live and on-demand fitness classes.

Shop ProForm


Price: $1,799

Resistance Levels: 26

Stride Length: 10” vertical, 5” horizontal

Weight Capacity: 325lbs

Product Dimensions: 52″ L x 29” W x 66″ H

Product Weight: 224lbs

Warranty: 10-year frame, 2-year parts, 1-year labor


Its vertical design creates a footprint of just 10.47 square feet, which is below average for ellipticals. 

The 325-pound weight capacity is 25 pounds higher than most ellipticals.

With iFIT compatibility and a 14-inch HD touchscreen, you can fire up studio elliptical classes and scenic workouts from around the world.


The display doesn’t support streaming content from apps like Netflix or Hulu.

Access to iFIT’s library of workouts costs $39.99 per month after your included 30-day trial.

Our tester reported that assembly took over two hours.

If you’re already a bit tight on space, the vertical orientation of the ProForm Pro HIIT H14 can deliver a full-body workout without eating up your floor plan. Thanks to its hybrid elliptical/stair-stepper design, users up to 325 pounds can move vertically and horizontally, whether you hop in a studio class or explore the world with scenic elliptical series on iFIT. 

[Related: The Best Compact Ellipticals]

When our tester, a CrossFit Level-1 trainer, climbed aboard, they were impressed by the comfort and challenge afforded by the unique design, rating its ergonomics 4 out of 5. “The 5-inch horizontal stride definitely feels shorter than the 20-inch standard I’ve experienced with other ellipticals, but the 10-inch vertical climb makes up for it with a comfortable, stepper-like sensation,” they said. “I also liked that the foot pedals were oversized and well-cushioned, and the multiple handlebars had a nice sense of padding, too.”

Our tester using the ProForm Pro HIIT H14.

Although our team consistently rates iFIT’s programming 5 out of 5, it’s all you can access on the 14-inch HD touchscreen. That said, iFIT’s incredible library of classes encompass more than 17,000 workouts. They’ll cost you, though — after a 30-day free trial, you’ll need to pay an additional $39 a month for access.

The 14-inch HD touchscreen on the ProForm Pro HIIT H14.

Another consideration is setting this hybrid machine up in your training space. “You definitely need an extra set of hands, as well as a clear schedule,” our tester explained. They rated its assembly and setup just 2 out 5 and added, “If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t hesitate to take advantage of the $199 white-glove assembly package.”

[Related: The 3 Best Folding Ellipticals]

Best Budget Elliptical for Heavy People: Schwinn 430 Elliptical

Schwinn 430 Elliptical

Schwinn 430 Elliptical

This affordable elliptical features 26 resistance levels and six levels of incline. A whopping 22 preset workout programs can add some structure to your training. The 20-inch stride length is on par with more expensive machines.

Shop Schwinn


Price: $999

Resistance Levels: 26

Stride Length: 20”

Weight Capacity: 300lbs

Product Dimensions: 70.1″ L x 28.2″ W x 63.2″ H

Product Weight: 165lbs

Warranty: 10-year frame, 2-year parts, 90-days labor


For $200 less the typical cost of commercial ellipticals — between $1,200 to $1,800 — it offers 26 resistance levels and a 300-pound weight capacity.

Its six levels of incline — a rarity among ellipticals — let you increase intensity level.

The transport wheels assist in moving this 168-pound machine around your training space.


Although its overall weight is in line with most ellipticals, it occupies 13.73 square feet, which is above the average range. 

In rooms with a standard 8-foot ceiling, Schwinn’s recommended overhead clearance of 26 inches would only suit users up to 5 feet 10 inches. (2)

Despite coming in around $200 less than the average range for ellipticals, the Schwinn 430 checks a lot of boxes that we look for on commercial machines — plus a bit more.  Twenty levels of resistance? Check. Twenty-two preset workouts? Check. Six levels of incline? Bonus. “This machine has qualities that we don’t tend to see on ellipticals priced under $1,000,” said BarBend editorial member Kate Meier, NASM-CPT, USAW-L1, CF-L1.

While Meier spent time with the 430’s big brother, the Schwinn 470, she was impressed by this sub-$1,000 elliptical. “They both have a long 20-inch stride length and magnetic resistance,” she pointed out. We typically recommend ellipticals with lengths between 18 and 20 inches because they can more closely mimic natural running motions, especially for taller users.

[Related: The Best Commercial Ellipticals]

However, taller users should also double check their ceiling heights before bringing the 430 home. Schwinn recommends an overhead clearance of 26 inches, so if you crunch the numbers, that means anyone over 5 feet 10 inches may bonk their head in a room with a standard 8-foot ceiling. Although she considers herself a non-tall user, Meier made sure to call this out. “I’m 5 feet 4 inches on a good day, so I’m good, but taller users will need to be wary of their ceiling’s height.”

This budget-friendly elliptical is much less friendly when it comes to gobbling up floor space. While the transport wheels are helpful when moving it around, its footprint of 13.73 square feet makes it almost the size of a typical loveseat. (1) Most ellipticals take up around 11 to 13 square feet, so make sure your space can accommodate the extra square footage.

Best Maximum Weight Elliptical for Heavy People: Niceday Elliptical Machine

Niceday Elliptical Machine

Niceday Elliptical Machine

This quiet elliptical from Niceday has a 16-pound flywheel, 16 resistance levels, and comes 90 percent assembled. Plus, it doesn’t require external power, so you don’t have to worry about where to plug it in. 

Shop Amazon


Price: $499

Resistance Levels: 16

Stride Length: 15.5”

Weight Capacity: 400lbs

Product Dimensions: 48″ L x 25″ W x 62″ H

Product Weight: 106lbs

Warranty: 1-year


Its steel base and arms support users up to 400 pounds — a full 100 pounds more than the industry standard for ellipticals.

The $499 price tag is less than half of the $1,200 to $1,800 average price range.

Its 8.33-square-feet footprint makes it one of the most compact ellipticals we’ve tested.


The 15.5-inch stride length may be too short for some users — we typically recommend an 18- to 20-inch range. 

It has no Bluetooth capabilities or preset workout programs.

Our tester felt a bit of wobbling during use.

For users needing a bit more leeway than the standard 300-pound weight capacity, the Niceday Elliptical Machine supports athletes up to 400 pounds — the highest for any elliptical we’ve tested. After BarBend editorial member Kate Meier, NASM-CPT, USAW-L1, CF-L1 took it for a spin, she rated 11 of 13 categories a 3.5 out of 5 or higher, including its footprint, portability, and durability.

“It uses steel for the base and arms, so when they say that the weight capacity is 400 pounds, I believe it,” she said. “I cycled through all 16 resistance levels and I did feel a tiny bit of shifting side to side, but not much. One of the arms was kind of wobbly though.” 

[Related: The Best Ellipticals for Seniors]

Its $499 price point is less than half the cost of the average elliptical we’ve tested, which helped it earn a 3.5 out 5 from Meier for value. Part of its value comes from its compact design. The 8.33 square-feet footprint — a 4 out of 5 from Meier — makes it roughly 3 to 6 square feet smaller than average. “For those in tight quarters, some of the appeal for this machine comes with the ability to use this wherever you have space,” she said.

The 16-pound flywheel just squeaks into our recommended 16- to 20-pound range, and while the 15.5-inch stride length wasn’t an issue for Meier, taller users may find it a bit short. “I’m 5 feet 4 inches and I wasn’t uncomfortable with this stride length, but anybody taller than me might not find this length ideal,” she mentioned, scoring its ergonomics and her workout experience a 3.5 out of 5.

Meier rated its tech capabilities a 3 out 5, citing its simple LCD display — it tracks metrics like time, speed, calories, heart rate, and distance — and lack of preset workouts. “There isn’t any programming on this elliptical, or Bluetooth connectivity that would allow you to pair with an app,” she said. “But if you’re looking for a simple, super-quiet elliptical, this could be the right fit.”

[Related: Try These Elliptical Workouts for Weight Loss During Your Next Workout]

Best Under-Desk Elliptical for Heavy People: Cubii Move

Cubii Move

Cubii Move

The Cubii Move can be a great solution for athletes that want a way to stay active from the confines of their home office. The sleek, 17.6-pound frame fits easily under a desk, giving you access to low-impact resistance training as you power through your daily step counts, email responsibilities, and Zoom calls.

Shop Cubii


Price: $199

Resistance Levels: 6

Stride Length: 12.25”

Weight Capacity: 250lbs

Product Dimensions: 21.7″ L x 19.7” W x 9.7″ H

Product Weight: 17.6lbs

Warranty: 1-year


With a footprint of just 2.97 square feet and a 17.6-pound weight, it’s perfect for sliding under a desk to stay active while you work.

You can ramp up your intensity with six levels of resistance.

The assembly was so easy we let an 8 year-old put it together.


Although it’s lightweight, the lack of handle could make relocating it a bit cumbersome.

The incline position of the pedals is meant to accommodate under-desk use, but it can’t be adjusted.

To sneak in some cardio during work, under-desk ellipticals like the Cubii Move — our favorite option for heavy people — are compact and sturdy enough to get the job done. Not many models this small feature adjustable resistance, but the six levels on the Move let you ramp up your intensity using a rotating knob like you would on an exercise bike.

[Related: The 6 Best Under-Desk Ellipticals]

It’s just 9.7 inches tall and takes up 2.97 square feet, so it should fit comfortably under most office desks. (3) While compact machines like these can sometimes slide away as you pedal, our tester, a certified personal trainer, highlighted its stability. “It has a floorplate on the base that helps make it a bit more sturdy and actually work up a sweat,” they said. “I wouldn’t try a HIIT workout or anything, but it’s ideal for working at a desk or watching TV.”

Our tester using the Cubii Move under their desk.

Because it arrives mostly assembled, the Cubii Move only requires an Allen wrench and a third-grade education. “It seemed so simple that we literally had our 8 year-old put it together and it only took him 45 minutes,” our tester said. They rated its assembly and portability both earned a 5 out of 5, despite its lack of a handle. “It’s only 17.6 pounds, so even though you’ll just have to lift it, most people shouldn’t have an issue moving it.”

Our tester checking their metrics on the Cubii Move.

While the ergonomically-designed angled pedals may make pedaling while sitting more comfortable for some users, our 6-foot tester noted that they may not be ideal for taller people. “The angle of the pedals was kind of high for me,” they said, rating their workout experience 3.5 out of 5. “Instead of engaging my quads and calves, I had to roll my ankles forward to get it moving.”

[Related: The Best Mini Stair Steppers]

Best Combo Elliptical for Heavy People: NordicTrack FS10i

NordicTrack FS10i Freestride Trainer

NordicTrack FS10i Freestride Trainer

The FS10i features a 10-inch touchscreen monitor, and can serve as a stepper, elliptical, and treadmill by simply changing your natural movement. 

Shop NordicTrack


Price: $1,799

Resistance Levels: 24

Stride Length: 32”

Weight Capacity: 375lbs

Product Dimensions: 58.5″ L x 29.5″ W x 74″ H

Product Weight: 284lbs

Warranty: 10-year frame


This three-in-one cardio machine operates as an elliptical, stepper, and treadmill.

Its weight capacity is 375 pounds — 75 pounds higher than the average range for ellipticals.

Over 17,000 iFIT workouts are at your fingertips via the 10-inch HD touchscreen.


While you’ll have the functionality of three machines, the $1,799 price point is at the upper end of the typical range we see for ellipticals.

Because the legs can’t lock into place, our tester had trouble wheeling it around our gym.

Access to iFIT requires an additional $39.99 per month subscription after your included 30-day trial.

When you step into the oversized pedals of the NordicTrack FS10i, you can determine the type of training you want to tackle just by changing the path of your stride. As a combination of an elliptical, stairmaster, and treadmill, the legs respond to your stride as you move, unlocking the functionality of three machines in one package.

[Related: The Best Ellipticals with Incline]

Still confused? Check out BarBend’s lead video reviewer, Jake Herod, NASM-CNC, demonstrating just how this unique machine lives up to its “FreeStride” name. “It operates as a stair master, elliptical, and even a treadmill — all based on your specific stride,” Herod says. “It’s going to change in a matter of seconds…and it’s a pretty smooth process.”

As you might imagine, this 284-pound machine — roughly 50 to 100 pounds heavier than the average elliptical we’ve tested — is a heavy-duty piece of fitness equipment. Herod doesn’t recommend trying to relocate it often. “It’s definitely not easy to move around,” he said. “The legs can’t lock into place, so sometimes when I’m moving it, they kind of bump into me, which is annoying.”

BarBend lead video reviewer Jake Herod on the NordicTrack FS10i.

This led another of our testers, a CrossFit Level-1 trainer, to score its portability 3.75 out of 5. However, they also noted how its heft helps it support users up to 375 pounds — 75 pounds more than the industry standard. “There was absolutely no shaking or rocking while I used this cross trainer,” they pointed out. “It felt like a machine you’d find in a commercial gym.” 

Herod also emphasized the wide range of training types it can handle, especially with iFIT onboard the 10-inch HD touchscreen display. “You’re never going to get bored or run out of possibilities when it comes to workouts,” he said of iFIT’s library of 17,000 workouts. 

BarBend lead video reviewer Jake Herod choosing an iFIT class on the NordicTrack FS10i.

Access to iFIT requires an additional $39.99 per month, so along with its steep $1,799 cost, the FS10i is certainly a commitment. However, its programming consistently earns a 5 out of 5 from our testers, so we think if you’re investing in a combo machine like this, iFIT can really unlock its potential.

Read our full NordicTrack FS10i Freestride Trainer Review.

What to Consider Before Buying an Elliptical for Heavy People

Before dropping significant cash on a new elliptical, remember that, because these are complex machines, their specifications and features can vary. Our expert reviewer Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC, suggests being familiar with common specs and features before you start looking.

“Ellipticals, even the simpler, budget-friendly models, are machines with many components, so potential buyers should be aware of what’s considered standard, better, and best when it comes to elliptical specifications,” she says. As you peruse our list, consider just how often you plan to use your elliptical, how much floor space you can dedicate to it, and if its stated weight capacity works for you. 

Weight Capacity

While the industry-standard weight capacity for ellipticals is 300 pounds, we have seen models well below and well above that threshold. Your first step to finding a match may be as simple as stepping on a scale. Take note of your current weight, then check the specs to make sure the machine you add to your cart supports that measurement. 

The 32-pound flywheel on the NordicTrack AirGlide 14i.

You’ll also want to look for durable builds with steel frames. Though they can be a pain to move, heavier machines — think on the high end of the 175- to 220-pound average for ellipticals — tend to also be the most stable ones. 

Frequency of Use

Whether it’s the centerpiece of your fitness routine or a periodic change of pace, if you plan on using your elliptical frequently, consider the type of programming it includes and its durability. We typically recommend ellipticals with steel frames and flywheels of at least 16 to 20 pounds because not only do these machines provide more stability, but they tend to last longer (with proper maintenance).

[Related: The Best Lubricants for Ellipticals]

Another consideration that Capritto thinks is often overlooked is the variety of preset workouts or fitness app integration. iFIT is some of the best interactive programming out there and really helps prevent boredom,” she says. “Many ellipticals integrate with fitness programming. If you don’t want to pay for a fitness subscription, you may want to look for an elliptical that has built-in workouts.”

Available Space

Because many ellipticals eat up as much floor space as the average loveseat, make sure to inspect the area where you plan to park it. If you have narrow door frames or thick carpet, bulkier machines may also be difficult to move. 

Our tester on the Sole E35 Elliptical.

Capritto recommends grabbing a measuring tape before you fall in love with an elliptical that doesn’t match your space. “This is a good place to start, because you’ll be really frustrated if you buy an elliptical that doesn’t fit in your intended space or — if you need to be flexible with your space — isn’t easy to move.”

Elliptical Trainer Vs. Recumbent Exercise Bike

Both ellipticals and recumbent bikes are great options for heavy people because they can make the benefits of regular cardio exercise — like improved lower blood pressure and reduced risk of heart disease — more accessible. Our expert reviewer Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC, highlighted the low-impact nature of both these machines when assessing them for BarBend

[Related: Best Recumbent Bikes]

Recumbent bikes open up the cycling experience to more people, particularly those with back, hip, or knee issues,” she says. “The reclined position reduces stress on the lumbar spine and does not require as much flexibility in the hip joints.” 

A key difference according to Capritto is the possibility of recruiting upper-body muscles during elliptical workouts, while simultaneously putting your lower body to work. “For those who need low-impact exercise options, ellipticals sit near the top of the list. These cardio machines provide a full-body workout without putting undue stress on the joints,” she says. 

The handles and console on the Horizon EX-59.

A recumbent bike can provide a more passive workout experience than an elliptical, as the user is seated and does not need to support as much of their own body weight. Mounting an elliptical may also be more challenging than recumbent bikes with walk-through designs. These two popular cardio machines both support low-impact cardio exercise, but ellipticals require the user to stand and engage more muscles than recumbent exercise bikes.

Benefits of Ellipticals for Heavy People

As certified personal trainer Jesse Zucker, CPT, points out, the low-impact cardio offered by ellipticals can be uniquely beneficial for heavy people. “One benefit of elliptical machines is that they’re safe for all fitness levels and many body types,” they say. “Since your feet never leave the pedals, there’s little impact on your joints, and they can be safer for folks with larger bodies.”

Ellipticals tend to take up less floor space than home gym equipment like treadmills and rowing machines, and their moving arms open up the possibility of a full-body burn. Here are a few of the benefits you can expect when you bring home a new elliptical.

Low-Impact Cardio

The low-impact nature of elliptical exercises can help make the benefits of cardio workouts more accessible for heavy people. Regular cardio exercise has been shown to improve heart health, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart disease. (4)

The pedals on the ProForm Pro HIIT H14.

According to our expert reviewer Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC, “Ellipticals are a wonderful option for individuals who want to increase their cardio exercise volume but need a low-impact way to do it. Compared to other forms of low-impact cardio, like cycling and rowing, ellipticals keep the user in the upright position, making them ideal for individuals who struggle with back pain, too.”

Compact Footprint

The average footprint of 11 to 13 square feet for ellipticals is relatively compact compared to cardio machines like treadmills and rowing machines. If you think you have space for a loveseat — roughly 15 to 16 square feet — then an elliptical may be a good fit in your space. (1

[Related: The Best Compact Exercise Equipment for Any Small Space]

While overall weight is certainly a factor, their compact footprints can also increase their portability. “Ellipticals come in a wide range of sizes; higher-end models typically weigh more and are harder to move,” Capritto says. “Many ellipticals come with mounted transport wheels for added portability.”

Total-Body Workout

“In addition to being low-impact, ellipticals (at least the ones with moving arms) provide a whole-body workout, so they’re an excellent option for people who need to maximize their exercise time,” Capritto explains. When you push and pull on the arms, you can recruit back muscles, scapula, biceps, triceps, and chest for a total-body workout.

BarBend lead video reviewer Jake Herod using the NordicTrack FS10i.

On top of that, according to a Harvard Health study, in 30 minutes on an elliptical, a 155-pound person can burn up to 324 calories. That’s more than a “vigorous” 30-minute session on an exercise bike and roughly the equivalent of a 30-minute run at a pace of 12 minutes per mile. (5)

Final Word

Although ellipticals provide more accessible low-impact cardio than other machines, not every model is built to support users with larger body types. Because they offer such efficient total-body workouts, ellipticals can be ideal for heavier users trying to start a new fitness routine or mix up their training. From app-connected machines with virtual workouts to no-nonsense, tech-allergic options, we’ve brought you ellipticals with weight capacities beyond the standard 300 pounds to help your match made in cardio heaven.

Once you map out how much space you spare in your home and your budget, use our expert-curated list to give you a head start on hitting your fitness goals. The steel frames and heavy-duty builds on our list also offer the stability that will allow you to focus on your workout. Take advantage of our years of pumping the pedals and arms on all types of ellipticals to give your fitness routine the boost you’ve been looking for.


What is the best elliptical for heavy people?

With a 300-pound weight capacity and iFIT workouts pumping through the 14-inch HD touchscreen, we think the NordicTrack AirGlide 14i is the best elliptical for heavy people. Its steel build and 32-pound flywheel can provide a smooth and stable workout, and its 26 levels of resistance and incline and decline capabilities can be adjusted automatically via iFIT’s Automatic Trainer Control.

Are ellipticals good for weight loss?

For any person to lose weight, they’ll simply need to consume fewer calories than they burn. Because they provide total-body workouts, ellipticals are an efficient machine to do just that — burn calories.

Is an elliptical good for heavy people over 50?

Ellipticals can provide low-impact workouts that reduce stress on your knees and back, while efficiently torching calories. According to the Arthritis Foundation, these exercise machines are great for home workouts for anyone with chronic joint issues or who is recovering from an injury. (6)


Jaramillo, C. (2022, December 29). A guide to sofa dimensions & sizes. SeatUp, LLC.

Rybczynski, W. (n.d.). Ceiling Heights in Homes and Offices. Ceiling Heights in homes and offices – Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center.

Team, B. (2024, February 26). Standard desk dimensions for office desks. 

Nystoriak, M. A., & Bhatnagar, A. (2018). Cardiovascular Effects and Benefits of Exercise. Frontiers in cardiovascular medicine, 5, 135.

Calories burned in 30 minutes of leisure and routine activities. Harvard Health. (2021, March 8).

Elliptical machines go easy on your joints: Arthritis foundation. Elliptical Machines Go Easy on Your Joints | Arthritis Foundation. (n.d.-b).

The post The 6 Best Ellipticals for Heavy People of 2024, Tested and Handpicked by Our Team appeared first on BarBend.


您的电子邮箱地址不会被公开。 必填项已用 * 标注