Which One is Right for You?
Trying to decide between a Nordictrack Freestrider vs elliptical trainer?
Curious about which is best for you?
The Nordictrack Freestrider (or Freestride Trainer) is a unique style of elliptical with something you don’t usually find: a fully adaptable stride.
Basically, this means that you choose your own stride depending on how hard and in which direction you push the footpedals.
So you can do short, up-and-down strides like a stair climber, longer jogging strides like an elliptical or even longer hurdling strides like a treadmill.
This has 2 benefits.
First it gives you a lot more training options than a standard elliptical – you’re not locked into a set stride as you are with a regular crosstrainer.
Second, it lets you choose the stride length that feels best and most comfortable for your body.
So it’s a very cool twist on an elliptical trainer.
However, depending on your situation and goals, an elliptical trainer also has some benefits that might make it the better choice for you.
So which should you choose?
This post will show you some important benefits of each so you can better compare between the Nordictrack Freestrider vs elliptical.
So let’s get started.
Nordictrack Freestrider vs Elliptical: Price
This really comes down to which elliptical trainer you’re comparing to which Freestrider model.
There are currently 3 different Nordictrack Freestrider models – the FS5i, FS7i and FS9i. They start around $1499 and up with Free Shipping here.
Elliptical trainers give you a lot more model options to choose from. However the prices are fairly comparable.
While you can get a starter elliptical for under $1000, a quality mid-range elliptical (similar to the Freestrider) will start around $1500 and up. So there isn’t really a price advantage for an elliptical vs the Freestride Trainer.
The Freestride trainer is what is known as a center-drive elliptical. Instead of one large flywheel in front of the pedals or behind the pedals – you have two smaller flywheels on the sides of the pedals.
This has a couple of benefits.
First, it reduces the size needed for the machine and makes it more compact.
Second, it places the pedals closer together and reduces the strain on the hips. It also tends to put the user in a more upright position – so there’s less leaning on the handrails. For many people this can feel a lot more comfortable.
With traditional elliptical trainers, you can only choose from a front drive trainer (where the flywheel is in front of the pedals) or a rear-drive trainer (where the flywheel is behind the pedals).
There isn’t really a consensus as to which elliptical design is best. It really comes down to the quality of the elliptical in most cases.
One of the biggest benefits of the Freestrider is that it gives you a lot more crosstraining options than a standard elliptical trainer.
You can go forward and back like an elliptical. But you can also go up and down and also vary your stride from shorter jogging strides to longer hurdling strides.
This constant changing of your stride ensures that your body doesn’t get used to one set stride and adapt. So, in theory, you can end up burning more calories and getting a more optimal workout.
Get A Longer Stride with the Freestrider
This is another benefit to the Freestrider vs the elliptical. Not only can you choose your stride – but you can also get longer strides than a standard elliptical as well.
Most elliptical trainers give you one set stride length, usually around 18 or 20 inches.
But with the Freestride Trainer, you get strides of up to 32 inches! So this can help work your leg muscles more fully, again burning more calories and giving you a more optimal workout.
Freestrider vs Elliptical: Construction
The Freestrider has cushioned pedals that ride on belts rather than traditional rails attached to the crank like you get with a standard elliptical.
This gives you more of a feeling of floating on air – and reduces the impact on your joints.
It also means you don’t have the traditional elliptical track and wheel design out behind you – which can sometimes get clogged with dust and dirt over time.
Freestrider or Elliptical: iFit
All Nordictrack Freestriders come iFit Coach compatible. With iFit Coach you can stream studio elliptical workouts to your machine for extra challenge.
You can also travel the world and run famous world trails with a personal trainer coaching you along the way. Run through the streets of Paris or along the shores of Hawaii and see the landmarks pass you by in the console (or tablet) screen for some virtual reality training fun.
While you can find iFit Coach on other Nordictrack and Proform elliptical trainers, other elliptical brands do not come with iFit Coach.
Elliptical Trainer Benefits
So with all of the benefits of the Freestrider over the elliptical, you might be wondering – “What are the benefits of an elliptical vs the Freestrider?”
Great question – there are a few.
First of all you can find some elliptical trainers like the Nordictrack Spacesave SE9i that fold up with wheels on the bottom. So if space is at a premium in your home, you might want a folding machine you can move out of the way easily. You can’t do this with a Freestrider.
Second, if you’re on a really tight budget, you can still find a decent starter elliptical like the Nautilus E616 for under $1000.
So ellipticals can be a bit more attractive price-wise. You can’t find a Freestride trainer for under $1000 (it’s more of a mid-grade to high-end elliptical trainer).
Also, it’s worth noting that the Freestrider feels a bit different at first. Because you set the stride with how hard you push and in which direction, it can feel a bit different than a traditional elliptical. This isn’t a huge issue but it is something to be aware of.
So what’s the bottom line when comparing the Nordictrack Freestrider vs Elliptical?
While it really comes down to which models you’re comparing, there are few general differences.
Elliptical trainers can be more affordable and easier on the budget. Plus, you can find more of them with the ability to fold up and heart rate hand grips.
The Nordictrack Freestrider can give you a much longer stride and more stride options than a regular elliptical trainer.
It can also give you more lower body crosstraining options – giving you a better workout overall. And with the different design, you can also get a more comfortable, lower-impact workout.
So at the end of the day, it comes down to what you prefer.
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