A question anyone will reasonably ask before buying a new piece of exercise equipment for the home is likely to be ‘Will it fit?’ Cross trainers can take up a considerable footprint, so no wonder people are keen on ways to minimise the space they occupy when not in use.
But do cross trainers fold up? Fortunately, there are several models on the market that can be folded up, so you can stow your cross trainer vertically when not in use. This, however, is not a standard feature. Most machines out there will not be collapsible, particularly higher end, heavier duty models.
Cross trainers can provide an effective aerobic workout that burns calories and boosts cardio, without putting the same strain on your lower limbs as running might do.
If you’re keen to introduce this piece of kit into your routine but have limited physical space to work with, we’re here to look at which cross trainers can be folded away after your workout.
Can You Fold a Cross Trainer?
It’s worth noting that being able to fold your cross trainer is not a standard of the industry. The majority of cross trainers will not have this capacity.
That being said, many of the top brands recognise that limited physical space is truly a decisive factor for many people looking to have some form of home gym set-up. For this reason, ProForm, NordicTrack and Horizon Fitness all produce models which can be folded away vertically after use.
There are, however, other leading companies such as Sole Fitness who don’t manufacture folding cross trainers at all.
Cheaper, budget models are actually more likely to be foldable than some of their heavier-duty, more durable cousins. This is simply because cheaper models are made from lighter materials and it is much easier for the manufacturers to include a folding mechanism at little extra cost.
However, cheaper models are also going to be less reliable, and are likely to provide less satisfying workouts compared to smoother, more finely built machines. Try to ensure you don’t sacrifice too much quality for the sake of being able to fold away your cross trainer.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that some of the smaller, foldable cross-trainer models may come with smaller maximum stride lengths. You want to make sure that, regardless of the model you choose, the stride lengths it offers are suitable for your size and physicality.
If you end up buying a cross trainer with a stride length that is too restricted, you are going to find workouts less comfortable and less effective.
Do Ellipticals Fold?
Nearly all high-end, premium-grade ellipticals are unlikely to fold. This is because the manufacturers will usually prioritise ensuring the workout the machine provides is the smoothest and most enjoyable it can be, rather than focusing engineering efforts on having it fold away.
Producers of premium-grade ellipticals also recognise that most people looking to purchase these expensive machines are going to be willing and able to put aside the physical space required for their use. Indeed, customers of high-end ellipticals can often be professional gyms with dedicated room.
Finally, the materials used to construct premium elliptical machines are likely to be heavy duty, durable, and therefore more difficult to fold away with ease. Once again, quality and sturdiness of build are likely to take precedence over the ability to compress the size of the machine once it’s been installed.
However, if having an elliptical that folds away is a priority for you, don’t despair! Just because the highest-end machines on the market don’t tend to come with folding capacity, doesn’t mean you can’t buy a durable folding machine that can still provide reliable, good quality workouts.
Best Folding Cross Trainer
Successful manufacturers of gym equipment are always responsive to the evolving needs of consumers. With more people than ever looking to work out from the comfort of their home, producers of exercise machines are having to find ways of giving people the flexibility and compact solutions that they seek.
NordicTrack, a leading brand in the world of cross trainers and treadmills, are perhaps the only well known producer providing rear drive ellipticals that come with folding capacity. Rear drive ellipticals are often prized due to their stable build and smoother fly-wheel mechanism.
NordicTrack’s SpaceSaver series combines the quality of a rear drive machine with the convenience of a foldaway model.
NordicTrack Spacesaver SE9i Elliptical Trainers
- At the touch of a button: Adjust your resistance between 24 different levels for a higher calorie burn using the convenient one Touch & Rag; controls.
- Heart RATE training: find the right heart RATE zone for your fitness goals using the built-in heart rate sensors and included iFit bluetooth; Smart chest strap.
- Wireless iFit Bluetooth chest strap, adjustable oversized pedals, 18 lb. Effective flywheel
Last update on 2024-02-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
ProForm are another competitor on the market, though in fact owned by the same parent company as NordicTrack. They too offer foldable cross trainers as part of their Smart Stride range.
ProForm tend to offer marginally more affordable machines than NordicTrack, although both sibling brands predominantly target a good quality, mid-range market.
Horizon Fitness are a brand that produce a series of front drive, foldable ellipticals. They have what they refer to as a FeatherLight folding mechanism, which effectively allows the user to hoist the machine effortlessly from the bottom in order to fold it away.
Their Evolve 3 and Evolve 5 machines both come with this feature.
Finally, you may discover a range of budget ellipticals that, due to the lightness of the build materials, come with the ability to fold away neatly.
Budget machines may be an option for some people looking for the most affordable workout, but they are less likely to provide comfortable, enjoyable exercise sessions than their more expensive cousins.
Try not to sacrifice quality merely for the sake of convenience – sometimes it’s worth investing in yourself!
An ex-triathlete, fitness coach and writer with a Masters in Sports Physiology. Fitness is my passion and I've had my fair share of home fitness equipment tried and tested!