There aren’t many options that you can take when it comes to exercising, keeping comfort in mind. Comfort ability is a major deciding factor for people in their 30s or 40s who want to exercise without breaking their back.
Recumbent steppers come in handy as they allow you to assume a laid-back position while you work out your hips and legs. There are many different kinds of steppers, having various features and aspects.
What Is a Recumbent Stepper and Why you should Have one?
If you just started going to the gym. You might be familiar with a exercise machine, Recumbent exercise bike. It is a type of bicycle that you can lay on and still ride the bike in full of capacity.
Recumbent steppers are just that, except they have you peddle on steps. They’re kind of like pedals in a car, where you push them down with your feet.
When you work out on a recumbent stepper, you achieve the cardio impact of a stepping machine but with the comfort of a recumbent exercise bike. It is the best of two worlds as it helps you be comfortable while you perform stepping exercises.
Recumbent Stepper Machine for Seniors
People are not in their prime age, Recumbent stepper is a game-changer as it allows them to work out their calves and legs without exerting too much energy.
On the other hand, recumbent bikes or general stepping machines don’t even come close to the utility and comfort recumbent stepper provide.
- Adjustable seats with sturdy frames
- Back support
- Pedals that are easy to reach
- Provide a low-impact workout that is easy on the joints
7 Best Recumbent Stepper [ Elliptical Reviews ] Machine for Home
For your utmost convenience, we put all of the reviews together in a detailed and comprehensive list so that you can take a look at each option and pick one that you most like.
Our Top Picks
Best For Seniors and Rehab : XTERRA Fitness RSX1500 Seated Stepper
Best Quiet : Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical Combo
Best 3-in-1 Home Gym : Body Champ – Upright, Elliptical & Recumbent Bike Combo
Best Elliptical Hybrid : ProForm Trainer Recumbent and Rear Drive Elliptical[iFIT]
Best High Weight Capacity : Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent and Cross Trainer
Best For Seniors 350 LBS : HARISON Magnetic Exercise Bike Stationary for Home
1. Best For Seniors and Rehab : XTERRA Fitness RSX1500 Seated Stepper
What separates a recumbent stepper from its counterparts is the unparalleled comfort factor and features you get from it. You get both features and comfort in one package, making it a lucrative machine to get.
What separates a recumbent stepper from its counterparts is the unparalleled comfort factor and features you get from it. You get both features and comfort in one package, making it a lucrative machine to get.
The first stepper that caught our eyes was the RSX1500 fitness model by XTERRA. It is a machine that has all the bells and whistles you will ever need and then some. Superlative durability, reliable operation, and modern features make it a handsome stepping machine that would catch anyone’s eye.
Firstly, this seated recumbent stepper has a seat with a mesh backrest that you can adjust freely at any time you want. It has a foam pad for the seat that is highly resilient and does not deflate at all. The mesh in the back keeps you cool, while the foam pad keeps you comfortable throughout your stepping exercises.
Let’s talk about the screen controller, one of the machine’s more lucrative and attractive features. It is a dual-color LCD screen with 5 inches by 2.5 inches dimensions. The two colors, blue and yellow, make it easier to read the text on the screen.
With the operating system on board, you have a plethora of features and measuring tools at your disposal. You can track your program profile, the time of your workout session, the speed at which you’re stepping, how many meters you have traveled, calories burnt, RPM, heartbeat, and many more.
It also features an MP3 player that you can use to play that workout playlist you’ve been working on for hours! Simply plug any portable device such as a mobile phone, sd card, etc., into the console through the 3.5mm audio port, and voila! You have music playing in the background.
For added comfort, the manufacturers incorporated pivoting handles on the side of the seat. With these handles, you can easily position yourself in a way that is most comfortable for you. There are also sensors built into the handles that can track and monitor your heart rate for you.
As for the front handles, you can freely rotate them as they move three hundred and sixty degrees in any direction you want. They have exceptionally durable bearings that don’t get rusty even after using them for a long time. You can also adjust the handlebars to suit your own body.
If you think your feet are going to slip while you’re stepping on the pedals, think again because they have ratcheting straps that you can use to affix your foot to the pedals.
2. Best Quiet : Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical Combo
Recumbent elliptical cross trainers come in a lot of different shapes and sizes. Some are shaped like a rowboat, while others are a combo of a recumbent bike and recumbent elliptical cross trainer. Each and every one of them has its own fans that they argue are better than the other.
If you want to try out something new, you can try out the FreeStep stepper by Teeter. It is a cross trainer recumbent bike and elliptical combo that means functions as a recumbent elliptical trainer, recumbent stepper. The recumbent cross trainer means you can perform a lot of exercises with just one machine.
With this one the recumbent bike and recumbent elliptical combo, you’re getting many features that can help you fine-tune your workout routine. The seated position has a spring-loaded knob that you can use to adjust the seat’s height at your discretion. You can also change the intensity of the operation using a magnetic dial with three levels of power.
The manufacturers incorporated a new technology called stride that protects your knees while you operate the machine. Since you have to put in a cycle motion, the knees can get caught up with the handles, so they make sure your knees are safe from getting scratched or hurt while you’re pedaling your legs back and forth.
Dual power motion is at the core of this recumbent elliptical trainer. You push and pull on the handles while stepping on the pedals in tandem to achieve a full-body workout that you would do with a multitude of exercises otherwise.
With this, you can easily burn more fat while exercising and keep burning even after using the machine.
As for the backrest, you choose what angle of reclination you want to suit your body’s comfort best. Rotate the handles to work on specific muscle groups with precision. Because of the magnetic mode of operation, the machine is completely silent when you’re working out.
Apart from the seat and adjustable backrest, you also get a digital console screen that shows variables like time spent on the machine, distance and calories burnt.
The fun thing about the console is that there is a stand on which you can affix a smartphone or tablet and use that instead.
If you want to store your water bottle, you can do so on the water bottle holder below the seat. The transport wheels make it easier for you to move it around in your house. With these wheels, exercising anywhere in the house is no big deal at all.
The magnetic resistance system will last a long time before you have to fix or replace parts of the machine.
3. Best 3-in-1 Home Gym : Body Champ – Upright, Elliptical & Recumbent Bike Combo
Multi-functionality can go a long way in your workout routine as you can perform different types of exercises on a single machine. In the case of the recumbent elliptical, it can also work as a recumbent bike if you pedal by standing or cycle with its elliptical training facilities.
The point is that you’re getting several workouts done without resorting to 2-3 machines. If you want to try out such a machine, you should check out the trio trainer plus by Body Champ. It is a three-in-one package that offers a horizontal stationary bike, recumbent steppers, and recumbent elliptical facilities.
Let’s start with the elliptical training system because it is the first feature you will encounter. To use it, you have to stand on the standing pedals and move the handles back and forth to initiate momentum. The handles work following the encased flywheel to give you elliptical training modules in no time.
Recumbent elliptical is easy since you can lie back down on the seat and pedal with the recumbent pedals. The chair has a two-way adjustable system that you can use to control both the height and length of the seat with ease.
If you want to use the machine to cycle, you can do that as well since the flywheel acts like the gears of a bicycle to give you that motion of cycling. The flywheel is a magnetic wheel that enables you to cycle without generating excess noise, resulting in a quiet and serene workout experience.
You can change the magnetic resistance of the wheel to switch between elliptical training, recumbent stepping, or cycling. Because of this design, you won’t have to run to and fro to perform different exercises since this -works as an all-in-one solution for your recumbent workout routine. forgot to mention upper body workout?
Aside from the multi-functionality, this recumbent elliptical trainer machine has a console on the top portion. You can access up to 21 training programs using this console, ranging from recumbent stepping to upright bicycling.
The operating system and training programs are pre-installed, so you don’t have to bother yourself with installing anything.
Like to watch movies or listen to music while you’re working out? You can do that easily since the front handles of the machine act as a shelf that you can put any device on. This way, you can enjoy all your favorite shows without looking for a place to prop up your device.
For your convenience, this machine has transport wheels that allow you to move it anywhere you want in your house or office.
4. Best Elliptical Hybrid : ProForm Trainer Recumbent and Rear Drive Elliptical[iFIT]
For a recumbent elliptical cross trainer to function properly, you need to take care of it every once in a while. Without proper maintenance, the machine can break down without caution, leaving you unable to exercise.
Some machines have built-in features that allow you to maintain them easily without breaking a sweat.
If you are looking for an easy-to-use seated elliptical, the exercise stepper by Proform is a perfect choice for you. It is a multi-functional machine that will allow you to perform recumbent ellipticals training, use it as a recumbent bike, or lean back and step on it.
The elliptical training function allows you to use the stepper as an elliptical Cross fit trainer, which you can use to perform lower body exercises effortlessly . You can freely adjust the pedals to find a position and angle that suits your comfort the best.
If you feel like cycling for leg muscles, you can do that since the machine has smaller handles on the front.
These handles have sensors that work in tandem with the console to provide heartbeat and blood pressure readings. It might not be as accurate as a proper medical device, but it is very close to the actual values.
To turn the machine into a recumbent stepper or recumbent elliptical, you can sit on the reclining seat (seated position) and angle the pedals upwards so that you can easily reach them without any trouble. You can freely adjust the reclining seat to an angle that provides the best comfort and doesn’t break your back.
For your concern, the machine’s flywheel has 16 resistance levels that you can pick from the front console. They are also linked to the iFit program, where you can auto-adjust your settings according to the intensity level you want.
The features don’t just stop here as we still have to talk about the front console’s blessing. It is a great exercise equipment that contains many features to make your workout more convenient and effortless.
Firstly, the console has an LCD panel with an operating system full of helpful and convenient apps. These apps range from your usual health and lifestyle app to fitness training programs – all of them in one single essential package!
Secondly, there is a speaker under the console that you can use to play music or follow along with a training program on board the operating system. These speakers are 2 inches in dimension and are internally attached to the console itself, eliminating any extra setup or installation processes.
To summarize, this is one of the top rated recumbent steppers if you’re talking about easy maintenance and use of access. If you don’t want a hard time configuring a machine and just want to take it easy, this is the stepper for you.
5. Best High Weight Capacity : Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent and Cross Trainer
In the case of a recumbent stepping machine, the position of the flywheel determines to what level of reclining you can adjust the seat and exercise.
You’ll often see the flywheel under the seat, meaning it is in the back. While this positioning generally works, having the wheel in the front position can yield some benefits too.
If you want to try out a recumbent stepper or cross trainer with a front flywheel, you can check out the magnetic stepper by Sunny Health. This is a cross trainer machine with a flywheel in the front, which provides some benefits over back positioning.
Certainly, not everyone will be persuasive towards these benefits, but anyone can try them out.
Firstly, the design of the machine is somewhat unique and stands out from other recumbent cross trainers or recumbent steppers. As previously stated, the flywheel is in the front of the stepper with both pedals and handles attached to it.
Instead of the front panel is far away from you, it is right up to your face so that you can see the readings.
There are eight levels of resistance that you can select from using the lever below. The flywheel essentially dials down or turns up the magnetism to meet the resistance level you set with the lever.
You will love the seats on this machine as they are cushioned with extra padding that ensures optimal blood circulation in your glute muscles while you’re working out (total body workout).
It specifically targets pressure points in your tailbone and removes any drowsiness or “leg muscles falling asleep” phenomenon you could have.
There is a handle underneath your seat with a bright yellow cap that you can use to adjust seated position effortlessly. It works like a lever because you can tilt it forward or backward to lower the seat or raise it according to the level of recline you want.
As for extra features, the front handles have sensors built into them that detect your heart rate in a matter of seconds. Measuring your heart rate is imperative to your workout routine as it portrays an efficient burning of fat from your muscles. You simply need to hold the handles, and it will measure your heart rate in BPM.
In the front, you’ll find a digital monitor with an LED panel displaying various measurements and readings like heart rate, calories burnt, distance traveled, etc. It is your ultimate friend as it will help you keep track of your workout routine and how much fat you’re burning while using the machine.
6. Best For Seniors 350 LBS : HARISON Magnetic Exercise Bike Stationary for Home
In most cases, you’ll find recumbent stepping or elliptical training machines to be very durable in their build quality. Obviously, durability is an essential quality as it determines the longevity of the equipment. Without good durability, you won’t get much quality of life with the machine you get.
If you want our recommendation for the most durable elliptical trainer out there, we would tell you to try the magnetic stepper by HARISON. In terms of build quality and durability, you won’t get anything close to this in the market. You can trust their construction and build quality without worrying too much at all.
Due to the stellar construction of the stepper, it can hold up to 350 pounds in weight, so don’t fret or worry at all if you’re obese or overweight. The frame of the machine is built with heavy stainless steel, which perfectly balances the equipment and helps it run steadily.
With the special baking paint that is sprayed on top of the surface, you won’t have to worry about any rust forming on the metal. It is also friendly to the environment as it doesn’t interact with external factors like air.
The seat has a unique design as well since you are sitting on it for the duration of your workout. It has a vented mesh design that allows air to pass from your back through the mesh with ease. The mesh cools you off and doesn’t allow any sweat to accumulate on your back.
If you are an overweight person, then you’ll be delighted to know that you can adjust the seat according to your weight! The silent slide rail can move back and forth to provide over sized seating for overweight or obese people.
Pedaling on a recumbent stepper can sometimes be stressful since your foot might come off the pedal at any moment. Well, you won’t have to worry about that anymore as this stepper has pedals with non-slip properties.
The wide pedal has straps that you can put your foot in and not worry about slipping off the pedal.
In terms of features, you’re getting a multi-function display that has many little tidbits of valuable measurements and readings that can improve your workout experience.
On the handrails, you’ll find a heart rate sensor that measures your heart rate in real-time while using the machine, optimal for keeping track of your vitals.
You can also put your tablet device in the holder and watch your favorite movies or tv shows while you’re burning those calories!
7. HCI Fitness : Recumbent Compact Elliptical Cross Trainer
Measuring your vitals can go a long way in exercising on an elliptical cross trainer. You can see your progress in real-time as you use the machine to perform lower body exercises.
Heartbeat sensors and calorie counters are just the start, as there are tons of machines with useful features out there.
If you are someone who likes to keep track of their progress often, you can check out the HXT stepper by HCI Fitness. This is a machine that has all the bells and whistles you need to keep track of your health and fitness without needing to resort to any external devices.
First of all, this trainer machine has two functions in one, meaning you will be able to use it for either recumbent stepping or elliptical training. The machine is designed so that you can seamlessly switch between the modes without having to adjust anything.
With the reclining seat, you can have a comfortable experience working out on the machine. It is fully adjustable and even contoured to fit anyone of any age. The seat also has heartbeat sensors that can detect your heartbeat in BPM pretty accurately.
You can manually adjust the front handles effortlessly using the quick release. By using the quick-release knob, you can adjust the handle to target a specific set of muscles in your body.
As for the pedals, you won’t have any trouble with feet slipping away as the pedals have straps that keep your feet in place. You could use the machine at very high intensity and not have to worry about your legs getting jammed anywhere.
Now comes the features, as they are easily the highlight of this trainer. The front panel has an LCD panel that displays numerous measurements and units in accordance with the physical readings of the machine.
this recumbent bike has up to 17 built-in programs that feature tons of exercise routines and valuable tips. You can also manually adjust the resistance of the flywheel as there are 16 different resistance levels installed in the front panel.
With the front panel, you can measure the speed of the trainer machine, distance traveled, heartbeat, calories burnt, and how much you’ve worked out on the machine. You can see how you can keep track of your health by noting these measurements down in a journal every day.
Overall, this is a machine that won’t let you down when it comes to features. It can become your best companion to leading a healthy lifestyle in simple and easy steps.
Recumbent Stepper Benefits [ Specially for Seniors ]
There are many pros to using in your workout routine. Here are some of the details for your convenience.
Comfort: Comfort is the name of the game. With a recumbent stepper, you won’t have to worry about breaking your back while performing stepping exercises. As you lie down on the stepper, you slip into a state of coziness that isn’t found in other stepping machines.
Great for Joint: Ergonomics is another benefit you can enjoy with a recumbent steppers as they are exceptionally gentle on the joints of your feet. Even if you are injured, you can work out in the arm and rehabilitate without any worries.
Features: If you want versatility, then you’ve chosen the right machine as a recumbent stepper offers you a wide variety of features and aspects. You can have these features work in tandem to give you the ultimate stepping workout routine.
Most of the recumbent stepper you will find have built-in features that will make your exercise session a bit more unique and convenient. Digital screens, measuring equipment, and many other valuable aspects further amplify your exercises.
Tracking System: You can monitor most of your vital signs like heart rate, blood pressure, etc., with the on board operating systems of the machines. It is a massive bonus as they help you keep track of your health.
Those have great options for seniors who may be concerned about joint pain and other health issues. Additionally, the recumbent position is easy to maintain. It does not require lot of balance, which can be helpful for those who are unsteady on their feet.
Recumbent Stepper perfect for use at home. So if you’re looking for an Exercise Machine that is easy on your body, easy to use, a Recumbent Stepper is the way to go!
What to Look for Before Buying
You must consider many factors before buying a recumbent stepper as it is a machine with many intricacies. We made a guide to help you choose the equipment that best fits all of your needs.
The reason why recumbent steppers are so popular is because of the reclined seating system. You take a step back and lean back on the chair to comfortably perform any lower body exercise you want. So, it is absolutely imperative that you get the best seating possible.
Check if the seat has adequate cushioning and padding, as both of these will provide your glutes protection against sore muscles. Without proper cushioning, your back falls asleep, leaving you with inactive muscles and back pain.
Having a backrest is crucial, too, as it is the part you lean on while using the machine. Some backrests have a rigid padding design, while others have a mesh design that allows for better airflow. Whichever design you prefer, you should check if it is durable enough to endure your weight.
Under the seat, you’ll notice a circular wheel that is connected to the pedals and handles. That part is called the flywheel, and it is the thing that makes the stepper move. It operates using magnetism, and often, you can adjust the flywheel’s resistance using a lever or control of some sort.
Check if the flywheel has any issues with it, as the magnetism can be janky in some machines. You should also inspect the control system and how well you can control the resistance of the wheel.
In most machines, you will see a front panel tied to the stepper’s operation. It controls most of its function and can measure heart rate, calories burnt, etc.
In terms of the front control panel, it comes down to what you need, as many machines do have different features embedded in their panels. Some have an LCD panel, while others have loads of fitness programs in their operating system.
Check out each feature individually and see what you like best. You may want a back lit display if the panel is far away from your face, or you might want a tablet holder where you can put your tablet in.
Some machines come with their own training programs that are pre-installed in the control panel.
If you are a beginner, you should get a machine with these training programs as they are a great starting point for your workout routine.
How Do You Use a Recumbent Stepper & Elliptical Cross Trainer ?
Recumbent steppers might look like daunting machines to use, but their operation is straightforward in that you use the machine in a cycling motion.
In a trainer machine, you’ll find pedals and handles that work in tandem to make the flywheel moving. Here are the steps you should follow to use a recumbent stepper properly-
1. Start by sitting on the reclining seat and putting your legs on the pedals. You can adjust the reclining angle of the seat using the handles or knobs below the seat.
2. Grab hold of the handles and get a feel of the positioning of your body. It is essential that you grasp how your legs and hands will move while using the machine.
3. Like a cycling motion, pedal one foot and detract the other foot. Please do the same with your hands, as working them both will enable you to move in a specific pattern.
4. Slowly increase the speed of your movement by working the handles and pedaling faster.
5. If you have the option of manually adjusting the resistance of the flywheel, set the resistance to a low point initially and slowly work your way up to higher intensity.
6. Work out in short lengths, taking 30-second breaks in between as that will help facilitate the pattern of your movements better.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is a good workout machine as you’re getting cardio impact with more accessible and comfortable seating!
They work the lower body muscles such as the knees and hip joints, ankles, and the foot in general.
As an exercise machine, the recumbent stepper might look like a daunting machine to use and even more daunting to purchase. Luckily, our review guide featuring 7 of the best recumbent stepper that you can find in the year 2021 will help you get one that you will find most useful!