I’ve come to love my mini elliptical machine. I had been using a full-size expensive one in my community’s clubhouse fitness room. Then it was temporarily closed so I started using my mini elliptical machine more often. Now I use it every morning. I don’t see myself going back. Here’s what I love about it.
- Convenience – No need to get dressed and go somewhere.
- Clean – No concerns about what the last person left on it.
- Low-impact – Much less strain on knees, ankles, hips, and back.
- Size – Fits most anywhere, even in a tiny house (articles).
- Mobile – Easy to move to a different location, room, or home.
- Price – Much less expensive than a full-size elliptical machine.
I bought the Stamina InMotion Compact Strider (pictured above). Although there are many to choose from, my research showed the Stamina to be the best deal. I liked its low-price, attractive design, and its higher rating among the inexpensive mini elliptical machines. Update: I’ve been using mine daily for years now and it still works great.
1.) You might feel a bit awkward and off-balance on your mini elliptical machine in the beginning. But soon your muscles and brain will adjust like they did when you first started skating or snow/skateboarding. Just give it some time and soon you’ll be flying.
2.) If the rubber soles of your athletic shoes come in contact with the sides of the foot pedals while using the machine you may hear a squeaky sound. It’s not the machine, it is your shoes. Just move them to the center of the foot pedals.
3.) Silicone oil is best for liberation. If oil gets on the track, it may produce a squeaking sound. You can eliminate this by cleaning off the oil and applying moisturizing lotion. Sounds weird I know but it works. The noise is created when the rubber wheels run on the track. It’s like rubbing an oily finger on a balloon.
If you look at the full-size elliptical machine and compare it to a mini, it is quite astonishing what the engineers have achieved with the tiny version. I’ve used both and the movement and smoothness are similar. And by not having handlebars, I have found that the mini elliptical machine allows better strengthening of my midsection, legs, and balance.
I’ve noticed several commercials about using a mini elliptical machine while seated. I do not see much benefit in using it in that way. It seems like a gimmicky, lazy person’s approach to getting a (bogus) workout. If an older person is unable to safely use the machine from a standing position, I think they would be better off taking brisk walks instead.
I put it next to a bookcase and a countertop. The bookcase provides a spot to put my phone and a timer. I listen to music and audiobooks on my phone using headphones while working out. The countertop gives me a place to put water. In the beginning, I used the bookcase and a handle on an opened cupboard above the counter to steady myself. I no longer need any support, but it’s nice having it near should I get a bit off-balance after a late night. 😀 I also put a mat underneath it to protect the floor.
Achieving a stable balance takes a couple of weeks. I’ve found it best to allow my arms and hips to move naturally like fast walking. These movements give you balance. Balance is also attained as needed muscles strengthen. When listening to inspiring music, it’s kind of like dancing with skates on. Eventually, you get good at it. 😎
Although the Stamina mini elliptical machine has a meter on it that measures count, time, calories, and distance, I prefer using a tiny, simple, digital food timer (about $1 at Walmart). I like the buzzer for ensuring equal time in both directions. Going forward and in reverse varies the muscles that are worked. So it’s important.
Along with the simple and inexpensive home gym (article) I put together and my mini elliptical machine, I’ve got a complete gymnasium. By having this setup, I workout consistently and I save a lot of time, gas, and frustration by not having to go to the fitness room or drive to a health club.
To your health and fitness,