Most of us that work office jobs are sedentary… and we know how difficult this can make it if you want to become more active throughout the day – or if you want to lose weight.
And while we all dream of going to the gym everyday, it’s not that easy. Getting a workout in can be incredibly challenging, especially if your desk job is stressful or time consuming.
You may think that there’s no solution, but getting in some cardio can be as simple as sitting at your desk.
Behold – the mini elliptical! This is like an elliptical but – get this – miniature! It can slot under your desk or you can plod away while you’re watching TV. Some even have attachable resistance cords so you can also work your upper body.
It doesn’t take up massive amounts of space either. The issue is that there are so many great models on the market that it can be difficult to narrow down what option will be the best for you.
Thankfully, we’re here to help. Here are some of the best mini elliptical trainers on the market. We’ve also written a nifty buyer’s guide to help you to narrow down your decision.
Top 5 Best Mini Ellipticals
The Cubii Junior Under Desk Elliptical Pedal Exerciser is one of the best mini ellipticals out there and is certainly a good choice for anyone looking to increase their heart rate while working!
It’s very simple to assemble too, so you don’t need to spend hours attempting to figure out how to put it together.
This elliptical is ideal for trying to engage the core, and if you struggle with your posture this elliptical can also help with that. It’s a really great choice if you are trying to rehabilitate yourself after a surgery or if you are just getting a head start on your new fitness lifestyle.
It features low impact ergonomic pedals and this means that no matter what your background is, you can use this elliptical to great effect.
Furthermore, the elliptical features little pads on the bottom of it that are designed to ensure that it doesn’t move when you are using it on slippery floors. You can even track your progress easily as it has a built in display monitor that can help you to measure your calories, strides, RPM and distance.
Of course, there are some issues with it. The main problem is that it is a little bit heavy so it may be more difficult to transport from a to b.
- Helps with posture and engages the core
- Can fit under a desk
- Ergonomic pedal design
- A little bit heavy
If you want to get moving a little more during the day, then this is the ideal choice for you. The Cubii Pro can be easily put underneath a desk in the office so you can get moving throughout the day. It has been designed with pedals that are ergonomic so it’s super comfortable to use and it’s low impact.
The elliptical features an optimal stride height which means that you don’t need to worry about bumping your knees on the desk.
You can even adjust the resistance to your liking, so if you need a more intensive workout then you can simply increase the resistance levels. If you’re recovering from an injury then you can set it lower.
One thing that is particularly cool about this product is that it even comes with an app. With this, you can monitor your workout and check your metrics as you go. As you’ll be able to see your metrics as you go, you will be able to achieve your goals much faster.
It operates very quietly too so it’s ideal for the office. One thing to remember though is that it doesn’t sync up with an iWatch or iHealth.
- Ideal for use in the office
- Compatible app ideal for setting goals
- Comes in a range of color options
- It won’t sync with iWatch or iHealth
There’s a lot to love about this elliptical. The J Fit Under Desk and Stand Up Elliptical is a great choice for helping you to live a slightly less sedentary lifestyle and can be used in a range of ways to fit with your requirements.
To start with, you can use this elliptical if you’re seated or if you’re standing. This makes it pretty versatile. It even has adjustable footplates that can be altered to three different positions.
The elliptical features a 12 inch footplate movement that means you will have plenty of room under the desk to use it properly. It doesn’t come with any handlebars if you want to use it standing though.
The elliptical comes in one color, and it allows you to monitor your strides, time, calories and speed. You can also manage the tension yourself. It’s very durable so you can expect it to last a while.
One thing to note though is that it’s nothing particularly fancy, it’s just your basic under the desk trainer so if you’re looking for something with more bells and whistles you may be better off looking at a different model.
- Tension control
- Can be used seated or standing
- Doesn’t come with handlebars which means you’ll need good balance if you want to use it standing
The Stamina In-Motion Elliptical is by far one of the most well known elliptical trainers on the market. It has a very versatile design and it’s been built well, making it a staple on the market.
It is possible to use this elliptical whether you are standing or sitting, and you can even slip it under your desk for some calorie burn throughout the day.
Just make sure that you have 7 inches in between your knee and the desk. You will also need to ensure that you have stellar balance if you use it while standing.
The trainer is pretty affordable, so you don’t need to worry about breaking the bank when you buy this elliptical. It even comes in three different color options. The controls are simple.
Of course it doesn’t come with any extra bells and whistles, though.
- Can be used seated or standing
- Very simplistic
There are a lot of reasons why you should invest in the Fitdesk Under Desk Elliptical. Like many other mini ellipticals on this list, you can use this model under your desk when you’re in the office.
The elliptical comes with nonadjustable footplates and a pedal rise of around 8 inches in total. It’s very comfortable to use, and will give you all of the basic metrics that you want to track. It weighs roughly 30 lbs in total, which means that it’s pretty easy to transport.
The elliptical isn’t the most affordable but it is decent in terms of price. It also makes very little price which makes it suitable for an office environment.
- Sleek, attractive design
- Can be used under desk
- Tension control avilities
- Doesn’t have a bunch of monitoring features
Best Mini Elliptical Buyer’s Guide
What Is A Mini Elliptical?
A mini elliptical is essentially like a normal elliptical, but smaller.
It features big oversized pedals along with a centre drive that is designed to work the machine. The trainer is designed to be compact so it can be used in smaller places, making it ideal for use at work, for example.
One of the biggest issues that people find with elliptical trainers is that they can be quite noisy. This is not an issue with a mini elliptical, as it’s designed to be quieter. It also tends to feel like you’re going on a laidback jog when you use a mini elliptical, which is very enjoyable to use.
Why Use a Mini Elliptical?
Mini ellipticals are a great choice if you’re looking to make your lifestyle a little bit less sedentary.
It should be noted that they shouldn’t be used to completely replace a fitness regime, but for a little bit of light exercise throughout the day they really are ideal.
They can help you to burn a few more calories a day which can be very helpful if you are trying to lose weight. They can help you to increase your movement throughout the day which can result in increasing your circulation.
Mini ellipticals are also ideal if you’re not sure where to start with your fitness. You may not be ready to tackle the gym yet, and you may not have the budget.
A one off purchase of a mini elliptical can be a good compromise. It’s also great for people that are recovering from surgeries or illnesses, and can help to quench any fears you may have about exercising.
Mini ellipticals are great for toning your legs too. Sure it won’t give you a whole lower body workout but it’s a great way to start.
Things to Consider
There are a few things that you should think about when you’re buying a mini elliptical in order to make sure that you’re making the best possible decision for you.
Here are just a few!
Use – Standing Or Sitting?
The very first thing that you will need to consider when buying a mini elliptical is how you are planning on using the machine. Your decision of which model to buy may differ depending on whether you will be sitting or standing when using it.
If you’re going to be using the mini elliptical when you are standing, it’s going to be important to think about balance. The vast majority of mini ellipticals that are currently on the market have been designed with sitting in mind, .
A lot of them have been designed so that they can be transported from one place to another, such as from the office to the home office, more easily so they are more compact. If you do intent to stand when you use the mini elliptical then it’s very important that you buy a model that will accommodate for this.
We don’t all have the balance capabilities of a tightrope walker so it’s important that you don’t make things more difficult for yourself than they actually need to be.
Are you planning on using the mini elliptical while you are sitting? If that it the case, you will need to make sure that you look for a model with footplates that can be adjusted.
You will also need to make sure that if you are putting the elliptical under your desk that you have ample height that you can use, so think about that lower leg height and the height of the pedal.
Are they compatible?
The amount of money you have to spend on an elliptical trainer should always factor into your decision. You will be pleased to know that there are a bunch of affordable options on the market that you can buy without breaking the bank.
However, you should certainly be wary of models that are too cheap because they aren’t always going to last as long and won’t be as sturdy.
You should always consider your key wants and desires, and then compare these to the price that’s being offered. Is it worth the money? This should always be at the forefront of your mind.
We aren’t all the same. Sometimes our legs may not be as strong as our coworker’s. On the other hand, you may even be stronger than your coworker. You may be working on a resistance 1 level while your friend could be working on resistance 13.
For this reason, it’s important to opt for a mini elliptical that has adjustable resistance levels. Furthermore, your abilities may improve with time so you want a machine that can challenge you as you get better and better.
Not all models offer adjustments for resistance so this is certainly something that you should take into consideration.
You should make sure that the pedals of your mini elliptical move quietly and smooth.
Now, one great thing about mini ellipticals is that they are designed to be much quieter than full sized trainers, but you still need to be mindful of the noise.
You don’t want to be sat next to your coworker who is on the phone with a client and you’re in the corner making hideous squeaking noises. You should also be able to get a decent amount of leg movement with the elliptical too.
If you’re planning on using your mini elliptical under a desk then it’s important that you know the height of your desk. You will also need to know how long your leg is and the height of the pedal.
In order to check what size elliptical you need, put your feet onto the ground when you are sitting, and then measure from the floor up to the top of the knee to figure out leg length.
You should then have a look at the manufacturer’s specifications so you can see the stride height of the elliptical, and make sure you add around one or two inches to make sure that you don’t end up hurting your knees on the desk.
Of course, when you’re purchasing a piece of gym equipment it’s always worth considering if the equipment comes with any extra goodies you can take advantage of.
For example, can it link up with an application? Does it come with any extra accessories? These are things worth considering, especially if you’re stuck between two different models.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will I need to use my mini elliptical in order to lose weight?
Exercise alone often is not a strong enough component to lose weight. Exercise is just one component of a person’s metabolism, so if you aren’t reducing your calories through your diet too you may be looking at hours on the treadmill before you can get yourself into a suitable calorie deficit.
Combined with a suitable nutrition regime, however, around 60 minutes or so of intense exercise five days a week should be sufficient.
How many calories will you burn on a mini elliptical machine?
This is a little bit like asking how long is a piece of string. It can depend on a number of different factors, such as your weight and height. These things will give you a baseline of how many calories you burn through different kinds of exercises.
In general though, if you are working extremely hard at full speed then it’s possible that you could burn as many as 300 calories per hour, which is a pretty decent amount!
Is it really worth getting a mini elliptical?
Let’s put it this way, a form of exercise is better than none.
If you can get more movement into your day you can help to improve your cardiovascular health. It’s ideal if you are sitting still at a desk all day.