Looking for the best elliptical for a short person?
Not sure where to start?
If so – this post is for you.
One of the main things you have to consider when buying an elliptical is the stride length. (Stride length is the furthest distance between the two pedals – it’s basically your running gait).
While everyone makes a big deal today about longer 20 or 21-inch stride lengths – if you’re shorter, these might not feel so good for you.
It will probably feel like you’re straining on the elliptical.
The ideal elliptical for a shorter person will probably be around 18-inches.
This presents a problem however.
Many cheaper quality elliptical trainers do give you shorter strides – like 14 – 18 inches. And that stride might feel ok – but the quality of the machine is poor.
So it can be easy, if you’re short, to fall into the trap of choosing a shorter-stride elliptical, but ending up getting a poorly built machine.
So what can you do?
This page will give you 3 quality elliptical options (plus a bonus option) for short people (around 5 foot 3 inches and under). So let’s dive in.
Best Elliptical for A Short Person? 3 Options
If you want a shorter 18-inch stride – but still want a quality machine, the Proform 895 is a great option. It’s a rear drive trainer coming in under $1000 – making it ideal if you’re on a budget.
While the 18 -pound flywheel is not the heaviest on the market, it’s still heavy enough to give you a strong, stable-feeling ride when you run.
The Proform 895 also comes with a full-color, touch-screen, HD console where you can stream iFit workouts or run trails all over the world.
It folds up for easy storage. So if space is at a premium in your home, this is another benefit.
The Proform 895 also gives you up to 10 degrees of incline for more crosstraining challenge. Incline changes the slope of your running pathway and helps you work more lower body muscles groups.
While it’s not a commercial grade machine, if you want an affordable quality elliptical with an 18-inch stride, it’s definitely worth considering.
If you want something that’s a bit more high-end, you might want to consider the Nordictrack Freestrider.
This is a different type of elliptical with something other trainers don’t have – an adaptable stride. So you can choose your own stride on this machine (of up to 32 inches).
The benefit here is that you can easily find the most comfortable stride length for you. Plus if there are other (taller) users in the home, they can find a stride that’s most comfortable for them as well.
You can also vary your stride on this elliptical – from short, up-and-down stair-stepping motions – to longer running strides. By varying your running motion, you can continually challenge your body and burn more calories.
There are currently 3 different Freestride Trainer models with varying consoles and features. You can compare them all here.
All of them come iFit Coach compatible. So you can stream high-energy studio workouts to your elliptical or run famous trails all over the world – from the streets of Paris to the shores of Hawaii.
I personally like the FS7i model – since it has the full-color touch-screen console with iFit Coach.
But if you want to save around $400, you could also go with the FS5i model. It still gives you the adaptable stride – but the console is a bit simpler and dual-color only.
#3 Bowflex Max
This isn’t necessarily what you’d think of as an “elliptical” – but it will work nicely if you’re shorter. The Max Trainer is more of a stair-climbing lower body motion combined with upper-body elliptical arms.
The advantage to this is that, according to Bowflex lab testing, you can burn up to 2.5 times more calories than a standard elliptical.
The benefit if you’re shorter?
Since it’s not a “running” elliptical motion, you don’t have to worry about the stride being too long and straining your legs.
The Max Trainer would suit anyone regardless of height because it’s more of a climbing motion than a running motion.
Plus, because you’re closer to the machine arms, you also don’t have to worry that you can’t reach the moving arm bars (which is another common problem shorter people have with elliptical trainers).
There are currently 4 different Max Trainer models. They all have a similar design – they just vary in terms of console options, resistance levels and built-in workouts.
The good news? You can use the link below to get a free Promo Code on any Max Trainer model.
Bonus Option #4:
This is another affordable elliptical with an 18-inch stride length to consider. While Horizon isn’t the most well-known brand, they’ve been around for years and are well-respected in the industry for building quality starter ellipticals.
The EX-59 model is not as strong construction-wise as the Proform 895 above (ie. it has a 14-pound flywheel vs the 18-pound flywheel on the Proform).
However it is a decent starter elliptical with a few extra perks like a media shelf for holding your tablet and 10 levels of magnetic resistance to add some challenge.
This is probably my least favorite option – and it’s probably not the best choice if you plan on having intense, every-day workouts.
Still, it’s still worth considering if you’re looking for an ultra-affordable elliptical with an 18-inch stride built by a well-respected company in the business.
So those are some are some great options if you’re looking for the best elliptical for a short person.
Regardless of what you choose, remember the 2 features to really consider if you’re shorter are the stride length and the arm bars. (Arm bars that are closer to the user tend to be better for shorter exercisers.)
Take your time and research your options before you buy. And also look for a good-quality of construction as well – to ensure you get an elliptical that will last you for years to come! Good luck!