A Guide to Used Ellipticals

 |  Thomas Ferriere

A recent survey showed that 64% of respondents were more interested in at-home fitness options than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are one of those people trying to build up your home gym, you may be thinking about adding a piece of cardio equipment.

Used ellipticals are a great choice, as they provide a low-impact cardio workout. They stimulate running without all the impact. Keep reading to learn what you need to know before purchasing a used elliptical for your home gym.

Set Your Budget

Money is a huge factor when you buy any piece of gym equipment. Ellipticals can range from anywhere between $200 and $5,000, depending on the condition and features of the equipment. When deciding on your budget, there are a few things you should take into consideration.

While it’s possible to find relatively cheap models, they tend to have shorter lifespans and are less sturdy than more expensive models. If you plan to use your elliptical often, a cheaper model probably won’t last you a very long time. Investing in a higher-quality elliptical may be a better option.

Additionally, you should take into account your body type and workout needs. For someone with a smaller frame who uses their elliptical once or twice a week for a moderate run, a small machine should be sufficient. On the other hand, if you have a larger build or want to regularly incorporate HIIT into your workouts, you should think about a more sturdy machine.

Types of Ellipticals

All ellipticals have a drive system, which is a critical element. There are three different types of drive systems, each with its own pros and cons. It’s important to understand the different types of systems so you can pick the best one for you.


There has been a recent trend towards center-drive ellipticals. The design of these is similar to a treadmill, but there are pedals where the track would be. The way this is designed makes the machine shorter and more compact than other models. It also offers a very gentle workout and the machine is very quiet compared to other models.


Front-drive models tend to be the least expensive and have proven to be quite reliable. They usually don’t require much maintenance, however, they tend to be noisy and vibrate quite a bit when in use.

This type of model usually has a large wheel housing at the front of the machine. It’s important to note that if you’re looking at a front-drive model, you want to make sure it has articulating foot pedals. This type of pedal will adapt to your motion with angle changes. Without these pedals, a front-drive elliptical can be very uncomfortable to use.


Rear-drive systems have a smaller wheel housing behind the pedals. This makes them the longest design on the market. These systems create a very natural stride during use and are considered to offer the smoothest workout.

These ellipticals require low maintenance and have a proven track record of durability. Rear-drive systems tend to be more expensive than other models.

Evaluate Your Gym Space

Now that you understand what types of ellipticals are available, you should think about the different types in relation to your gym space. In general, all ellipticals take up a good amount of space. But some are bigger than others.

On average, ellipticals take up about 5.5 by 2.5 feet of space. You also need to allow for movement of the pedals when the machine is in use. The space available in your home gym will play a part in determining what kind of elliptical is best for you.

Safety Features

Ensuring what you purchase is safe to use is a vital part of buying used workout equipment. At a minimum, you should check the emergency shut-off switches and ensure there are no frayed wires or other signs of damage to any of the electronics.

If you want to go a step further, you can look for models with warm-up and cool-down functions. An elliptical with a display that is easy to read will help you keep track of how hard you’re working.

People with children may worry that their kids will look at the elliptical and think it’s a toy. There are models that come with a pin to lock the wheels and others that have a setting to lock the screen. It may be worth looking for one of these models to have peace of mind that your kids won’t accidentally get injured.

Features to Think About

Ellipticals come with all sorts of different features. Knowing what you want out of an elliptical will make the buying process easier. Below, we break down a variety of features that you should consider.

Adjustable Incline

If you want variation in the intensity of your workouts, being able to adjust the ramps is a great feature for you. There are some models that have automatic adjustments and others where you have to do it manually.

Adjustable Resistance

Most ellipticals offer adjustable resistance but think about how much of a range you want. A broader range will offer maximum benefits and will allow you to increase resistance as you get stronger.

Stride Length

It’s important that the stride length of your machine is right for you. A stride that is too short won’t give you the fluid motion that you want. The typical stride length of ellipticals is between 19 and 21 inches. If multiple people will be using the same machine, consider finding an elliptical with an adjustable stride length.

Arm Handles

Arm handles will make your exercise a full-body workout. Not all ellipticals have them, so make sure to find a model with arm handles if you want them. You’ll also want to make sure that the handgrip and arm motion is comfortable for you.


Some ellipticals are louder than others. If you’re trying to work out while the rest of your family is still sleeping, the noise level might matter to you.

Try Before You Buy

Before buying anything, it’s a good idea to try out several different models. This will help you get a feel for what is comfortable for you. Wear your usual workout gear and try each model for at least ten minutes, so you’re getting a real feel for the machine.

While you’re testing machines out, you’ll want to pay attention to a few different things. Think about whether the console is easy to use while you’re mid-workout. Make sure there is nothing impeding your movement and that your movements feel smooth and comfortable. If you like a specific model, take down its measurements so you can make sure it’ll fit in your home.

Purchase Used Ellipticals from the Best Second-Hand Gym Equipment Site in the Business!

Now that you have in-depth knowledge about used ellipticals, it’s time to start shopping! Global Fitness is ready to help you find the used exercise equipment you need to achieve all your fitness goals. Contact us today to get started!

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