The Best Mini Ellipticals for Compact Spaces

  Reviewed
 by Dr. Steve Hruby, D.C.

I’m a fitness advocate with a holistic approach to health, wellness, and longevity. I’ve walked the walk since 2009 - using my personal development methods to unleash the fitness champ within you.

  Fact Checked
 by Rhealyn Celestial
Reviewed by Rhealyn Celestial

I’m a researcher, and I’m also a full-time mom. I spend my weekdays crafting thoughtful articles for small businesses, and my weekends with my son learning about the world together

Do you feel like you never have the time to lead an active lifestyle? One where you can both be at your optimum health, and be able to maintain physical fitness, all while juggling the demands of your job?

In A Hurry? Here Are Our Top Recommendations
Cubii Jr Under Desk Elliptical
LifePro Under Desk Elliptical
Stamina Inmotion Elliptical

A lot of us dream to be able to do it. However, the reality is a lot of us tend to lead sedentary lives.

Believe it or not, there are exercise pieces of equipment out there that can help with your fitness goal! And one such piece of equipment is the mini elliptical.  

In this article, let’s explore the best mini elliptical machines out there that can get you started on a more active, and healthy lifestyle.

The Best Mini Ellipticals: Our Top 3 Recommendations

Preview
Best Overall
Cubii JR1, Under Desk Elliptical, Bike Pedal Exerciser with LCD Fitness Tracker...
Runner-up
LifePro Under Desk Elliptical - Under Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser - Perfect Desk...
Best Value
Stamina InMotion E1000 Compact Strider
Features
A whisper-quiet operation that will not distract you or other people at home or work.
With an LCD display to help you monitor calories burned, time elapsed, number of strides
Offers tension control by turning the dial. This controls your workout intensity.
Downsides
It only allows for seated workouts and the user cannot stand up while using the machine
Pedal tension is hard even if put on level 1. This may be difficult for elderly people
A few have reported noise either in the form of clunking or squeaks after a few days of use.
Prime
Best Overall
Preview
Cubii JR1, Under Desk Elliptical, Bike Pedal Exerciser with LCD Fitness Tracker...
Features
A whisper-quiet operation that will not distract you or other people at home or work.
Downsides
It only allows for seated workouts and the user cannot stand up while using the machine
Prime
Check Price
Runner-up
Preview
LifePro Under Desk Elliptical - Under Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser - Perfect Desk...
Features
With an LCD display to help you monitor calories burned, time elapsed, number of strides
Downsides
Pedal tension is hard even if put on level 1. This may be difficult for elderly people
Prime
Check Price
Best Value
Preview
Stamina InMotion E1000 Compact Strider
Features
Offers tension control by turning the dial. This controls your workout intensity.
Downsides
A few have reported noise either in the form of clunking or squeaks after a few days of use.
Prime
Check Price

Leading a Sedentary Life

If you are like most of us, you probably find it hard to juggle real life with your goal to be physically fit. And that if you were to choose between two things – – keeping your job or becoming fit – – you feel like you do not have an option but to choose your job. It pays the bill, after all. 

The upside to this is, yes, work does pay the bill. But the downside is we tend to lead a sedentary life. A sedentary life is where you do not do, or is unable to do, physical activities, exercise, or physical movement.

It is an inactive lifestyle where we tend to just lie down or sit down a lot. This lifestyle may not even be our intentional choice.

The Downside of Leading a Sedentary Lifestyle

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that a sedentary life:

  • Increases all causes of mortality
  • Doubles the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity
  • And increases the risks of colon cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, lipid disorders, depression, and anxiety.

In short, your health is at risk and your overall quality of life is low.

Getting Started

So, how do you start? Because if you are like most of us, you want to start on that healthier lifestyle. We want to live longer, after all, right? 

So, you may want to consider marrying fitness into your day-to-day with minimal changes to your usual routine. The National Institute of Health recommends:

  • Getting up from your chair and moving around at least every 60 minutes
  • Standing up when you are talking on the phone, or conducting virtual meetings
  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Use your break time to exercise, like walking around your home, or walking around the building

We recommend that you block off time, and force yourself to move, move, move. Get your blood pumping through your body.

feet on an elliptical machine

If you do not have the time or are not able to walk around your house for whatever reason (you are on the phone, or in a Zoom meeting), elliptical machines would work for you.

Ellipticals are great for cardio workouts. However, they are really big, bulky machines that take up space.  Good thing we have mini elliptical machines! These are growing in popularity nowadays. 

What Is a Mini Elliptical?

Mini ellipticals are portable and lightweight and provide the same benefits as a full-sized elliptical machine.  Some units also come with resistance bands to give you a total body workout.  

They are easily storable because of their size. You can store it under your desk, in the trunk of your car, or under the bed. 

You can use a mini elliptical even while seated down. A lot of people also use this machine even while working or watching TV. These are designed to operate silently so the user is not distracted.  

They may be a mini version, but they offer the same benefits as the full-sized version. So, what’s not to love about these machines?

In this article, we will explore the best mini ellipticals that are now out on the market. 

Top 10 Mini Elliptical Machines for 2022

The market for home gym equipment has grown exponentially over the last couple of years.  Because of the global lockdown, we were encouraged to invest in workout machines that we could use at home. Manufacturers saw this opportunity and quickly jumped in to meet the demand. 

As a result, a lot of sub-standard products that were not worth your dime came out in the market. Here, we review the top ten best mini elliptical machines that you can consider for your home. 

Cubii Jr Under Desk Elliptical

The Cubii Jr is a multitasker’s dream. It is an ergonomic and compact elliptical that lets you put in the workout while working at home or the office. 

Cubii JR1, Under Desk Elliptical, Bike Pedal Exerciser with LCD Fitness Tracker...
14,588 Reviews
Cubii JR1, Under Desk Elliptical, Bike Pedal Exerciser with LCD Fitness Tracker...
  • COMPACT ELLIPTICAL - Leading compact and ergonomic mini elliptical that lets you workout or rehab while you sit at home...
  • REHAB AND FITNESS EXERCISE PEDDLER - The smooth gliding motion can be switched between 8 resistance levels to increase...
  • WHISPER-QUIET MINI EXERCISE BIKE - Enjoy your favorite show, read your current book, and stay productive at work all...

This machine delivers a perfect low-impact exercise for people who are in rehab or are recovering from injuries. 

One watch out is to make sure you have enough leg room under your table for you to pedal comfortably, without your knees hitting the underside of your table.

Features:

  • A whisper-quiet operation that will not distract you or other people at home or work. 
  • With eight pedal resistance levels available, which allows for more options to amp up your ante, as your legs become stronger over time.
  • With a built-in LCD monitor that tracks your progress and tells you the distance you have pedaled, calories burned, and the time spent working out.
  • It supports a maximum user weight of 250 lbs.  
  • With an integrated handle that allows you to carry and reposition the equipment.
  • Is compact and portable, one that you can easily store anywhere at home.

Downsides: 

  • It only allows for seated workouts and the user cannot stand up while using the machine. 
  • Some have reported that the pedals are fragile, with the button needing tightening every day or so.
  • Some have reported that the pedal quietness degraded over time. 

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LifePro Under Desk Elliptical 

The LifePro Under Desk Elliptical machine is another great option for a mini portable elliptical machine. Users report this machine to be very sturdy and durable.

Sale
LifePro Under Desk Elliptical - Under Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser - Perfect Desk...
2,182 Reviews
LifePro Under Desk Elliptical - Under Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser - Perfect Desk...
  • BOOST YOUR FITNESS - our professionally designed under desk bike can help you burn calories, decrease stress, tone your...
  • BONUS FEATURES - we added many free add ons to our elliptical - enjoy the yoga mat and resistance band for your...
  • CUSTOMIZE THE CHALLENGE - whether your a beginner or a pro, you can choose the level of difficulty you want - simply...

It can provide better blood circulation, calorie burn, toned muscles, and improved flexibility after regular use. 

Features:

  • Built for endurance; primarily made of steel and plastic
  • With 8 pedal resistance levels for tension control 
  • With an LCD display to help you monitor calories burned, time elapsed, number of strides
  • With Bluetooth connectivity which allows you to control and monitor your workout from your mobile phone
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty!
  • With extra accessories provided:
    • With a floor mat to help keep your machine in place. 
    • With a resistance band in case you want a more challenging workout
    • With tether strap to secure your elliptical machine to a chair, if needed
  • With an integrated handle that allows you to carry and reposition the equipment.
  • Is compact and portable, which you can easily store anywhere at home.

Downsides: 

  • Some have reported that Bluetooth is not connecting
  • Or pedal tension is hard even if put on level 1. This may be difficult for elderly people.
  • Sitting while using the elliptical machine can be uncomfortable

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Stamina Inmotion Elliptical

The Stamina Inmotion Elliptical is a versatile strider as it allows both seated and standing workouts. 

Stamina InMotion E1000 Compact Strider
13,009 Reviews
Stamina InMotion E1000 Compact Strider
  • PORTABLE, QUIET AND EFFICIENT CARDIO: This mini strider is compact and lightweight, making it easy to use and transport...
  • ADJUSTABLE TENSION WITH MONITOR: Vary the intensity of your workout by turning the adjustable dial while you stride. See...
  • USE SITTING OR STANDING: Depending on your needs and abilities, the Compact Strider can be used sitting or standing;...

Features:

  • Sturdy steel construction
  • You can use it while standing up or seated
  • Offers tension control by turning the dial. This controls your workout intensity.
  • With a small multi-function LCD monitor that tracks strides per minute, total strides, exercise time, and calories burned
  • With free access to Muuv, a smart audio coaching app where you can get workout ideas from
  • With non-slip pedals that can move in a forward or backward motion. This allows you to work out your quads and hamstrings
  • Warranty: 1 year for the frame; and 90 days on parts
  • It supports a maximum user weight of 250 lbs.  
  • Is compact and portable, which you can easily store anywhere at home.
  • With 3 color options (Silver, Green, and Orange) which cater to different preferences

Downsides:

  • A few have reported noise either in the form of clunking or squeaks after a few days of use.
  • Some have also reported misaligned pedals, which makes them awkward and uncomfortable to use.

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PERLECARE Portable Elliptical Machine

The Perlecare Elliptical machine boasts of it being dual-model equipment that combines an elliptical and a stair stepper machine into one.  

PERLECARE Under Desk Elliptical Portable Elliptical Machine, Desk Bike Pedal...
404 Reviews
PERLECARE Under Desk Elliptical Portable Elliptical Machine, Desk Bike Pedal...
  • DUAL MODE ELLIPTICAL: Combine the benefits of an mini elliptical and a stair stepper with this under desk exercise...
  • LCD MONITOR: The digital monitor can track calories, RPM, stride, time, and distance during exercise. Accomplish...
  • ANTI-SLIP PEDALS: The pedal exerciser, support rod, and the bottom of this under desk elliptical machine are designed...

This equipment also features silent operation, however, may need to be frequently lubricated to keep the machine quiet. 

Features:

  • The base and frame is metal
  • With non-slip plastic pedals, support read and mat to ensure stability while using the machine
  • A whisper-quiet operation, designed to operate quietly without excessive noise
  • You can use it while standing up or seated
  • With multiple resistance levels, adjusted through a dial, to control your workout intensity.
  • With a digital monitor which tracks calories burned, RPM (heart rate per minute), total strides, exercise time, and distance covered
  • Holds a maximum pedal load of up to 264 lbs
  • With an integrated handle that allows you to carry and reposition the equipment.
  • Is compact and portable, which you can easily store anywhere at home.

Downsides:

  • Some have reported the equipment to be bulkier than expected.
  • Some have also reported that the equipment makes clicking or grinding noises after a few days of use.

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Xiser Commercial Mini Stairmaster

The Xiser Mini Stairmaster machine is arguably the most portable on this list, weighing only 13.5 lbs.  It is strictly a standing workout machine that simulates climbing stairs.

Xiser Commercial Mini Stairmaster, Black
248 Reviews
Xiser Commercial Mini Stairmaster, Black
  • Cast Aircraft Alloy
  • Ergonomically Optimum Design
  • Light Weight 14 lbs.(Portable), NO ASSEMBLY REQUIRED

It is one of the first stepping machines in the market. 

Features:

  • Tough and sturdy with its material made of aircraft-grade alloy
  • Supports 400 lbs weight capacity, which is more than what most mini ellipticals offer
  • Ships fully assembled
  • Very compact when folded. Easily storable anywhere. You can lean it against the wall, hang it on the wall, or store it under any furniture

Downsides:

  • It is more expensive versus other mini ellipticals on the market
  • It will not cater to those who prefer to work out while sitting down

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ATIVAFIT Under Desk Elliptical Bike, Pedal Exerciser, Mini Elliptical Machine

The Ativafit trainer is a multi-function machine that supports both seated and standing workouts.

ATIVAFIT Under Desk Elliptical Bike, Pedal Exerciser, Mini Elliptical Machine...
2,481 Reviews
ATIVAFIT Under Desk Elliptical Bike, Pedal Exerciser, Mini Elliptical Machine...
  • Multiple - Function: Ativafit mini exercise trainer supports sitting or standing position, forward or reverse motion,...
  • Highly Adjustable & Built-In Monitor: This mini elliptical is designed with multiple resistance levels, you can adjust...
  • Large Anti-slip Pedals: This Ativafit elliptical trainer has two large and sturdy anti-slip foot pedals, which can...

The LCD display provides real-time feedback on your workouts like distance, calories, and steps.  Take note, though, that you would need AAA-type batteries to keep the LCD monitor operational.

Features:

  • Offers multiple functions. You can use it while standing up or seated. You can also pedal in a forward or backward motion.
  • Operates quietly, which will not distract you or other people at home or at work. 
  • With multiple resistance levels, adjusted through a dial, to control your workout intensity.
  • With a battery-operated LCD monitor which tracks calories burned, exercise time, strides per minute, total strides, and distance covered 
  • With an integrated handle that allows you to carry and reposition the equipment.
  • Is compact and portable, which you can easily store anywhere at home.

Downsides: 

  • Mostly made of plastic compared to other ellipticals in the market made of metal.
  • A few have reported squeaky noise even when they have lubricated the wheels and pedals.

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jfit Under Desk & Stand Up Mini Elliptical

This elliptical machine features an adjustable pedal angle that allows you to use it in two ways: standing like a regular elliptical machine, or sitting down as you would on a stationary bike. 

JFIT Under Desk and Stand Up Mini Elliptical/Stepper w/Adjustable Angle
514 Reviews
JFIT Under Desk and Stand Up Mini Elliptical/Stepper w/Adjustable Angle
  • HIGHLY VERSATILE DESIGN: JFIT mini elliptical features a unique, smart design with adjustable angle pedals that allows...
  • SMALL BUT MIGHTY: With a compact design, this mini elliptical fits easily under any desk, with a top handle to allow you...
  • MAGNETIC TENSION DIAL: Featuring a durable and easy to turn magnetic tension bar for adjustable resistance, set your...

Features:

  • Weight capacity for stand-up mode is up to 250 lbs
  • You can use it while standing up or seated. 
  • With adjustable pedals to cater to a better workout experience when seated or when standing.
  • With multiple resistance levels, adjusted through a dial, to control your workout intensity.
  • Boasts of a rotating LCD monitor which tracks time, distance, speed, and calories burned. 
  • The larger wheels under the front of the pedal offer a smoother and quieter workout experience. 
  • With a molded top handle which allows for an easier carry. Also, it has an integrated handle between the foot pedals that allows you to reposition the equipment easier.
  • Is compact and portable, which you can easily store anywhere at home.
  • The package comes with oil which you can use to lubricate the pedal.

Downsides:

A few have reported sub-standard quality with the screws coming loose. Some also reported that the wheels and pedals got broken over time.

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SCHWINN Fitness 411 Compact Elliptical Machine

The Schwinn Fitness 411 Compact Elliptical Machine is a cross between the mini ellipticals and a full-sized elliptical.

SCHWINN Fitness 411 Compact Elliptical Machine
1,714 Reviews
SCHWINN Fitness 411 Compact Elliptical Machine
  • Low-impact cardio workouts at a fraction of the size of other ellipticals
  • Explore the world and discover more than 50 global routes that auto-adjust in real time to your speed (Explore the World...
  • Space saving design with 18” stride length

It is a lightweight elliptical machine that retains the features of a full-sized machine. Despite having the full-size feature it is still compact, and only requires little storage space. 

Features:

  • Made of steel
  • With multiple handles bars that allow for better stability
  • With a streamlined console that displays time, speed, distance, calories, and heart rate. 
  • With 16 levels of variable resistance that allows you to control workout intensity
  • Offers 13 programs including HIIT
  • With Bluetooth heart rate tracking system embedded in the handlebar
  • With a media rack attached to the console to hold your gadget
  • Supports a 300 lbs weight capacity
  • Warranty: offers 10 years for frame, 2 years for parts, and 90 days for labor
  • Space saver compared to regular-sized elliptical machines in the market

Downsides:

  • Some have reported that resistance is higher than expected, even on the lowest setting
  • A few more have reported that assembling the machine was challenging

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Goplus 2 in 1 Under Desk Elliptical Stepper

The Goplus 2 in-1 machine supports seated and standing workouts, and features an oversized pedal for comfort.

Goplus 2 in 1 Under Desk Elliptical Stepper, Resistance Adjustable, More Stable...
215 Reviews
Goplus 2 in 1 Under Desk Elliptical Stepper, Resistance Adjustable, More Stable...
  • Ergonomic Design for Safety and Comfort -- This Stepper is designed with two large, non-slip textured pedals to secure...
  • Flywheels Combined with Silent Belt Drive -- The balanced flywheel creates more momentum for a longer time allowing you...
  • Adjustable Tension Levels for the Different Motion -- This elliptical stepper has an excellent tension control system...

It also simulates running motion without the impact of actual running. This makes the machine less harsh on the knees. 

Features:

  • Primarily made of plastic and iron
  • The weight capacity limit is 245 lbs
  • You can use it while standing up or seated.
  • With multiple resistance levels, adjusted through a dial, to control your workout intensity.
  • With an LCD display monitor that tracks speed, exercise time, calories burned, and distance 
  • Is compact and portable, with 2 bottom transport wheels for easy moving and relocation.

Downsides:

  • A few have reported that the elliptical machine is larger or bulkier than expected
  • Some have also reported that it is hard to pedal even with the resistance dial turned to the minimum

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PROHIKER Under Desk Elliptical Bike

The Prohiker Elliptical bike is designed for heavier users with a maximum capacity of 350 pounds.

PROHIKER Under Desk Elliptical Bike,Trainer Machine,Mini Elliptical Machine...
122 Reviews
PROHIKER Under Desk Elliptical Bike,Trainer Machine,Mini Elliptical Machine...
  • [2-in-1 compact] This ergonomic indoor leading elliptical machine can be used directly without power supply. It can...
  • 【Focus on Your Health】The indoor elliptical machine uses a large-textured non-slip foot pedal for effective...
  • 【Built-in Display Monitor】Start planning and recording your fitness statistics by using the advanced LED Built-in...

The equipment also comes with adjustable resistance levels controlled via a resistance knob.

Features:

  • Made of plastic
  • Ships fully assembled
  • With a weight capacity limit of 350 lbs
  • Offers multiple functions. You can use it while standing up or seated. You can also pedal in a forward or backward motion.
  • A whisper-quiet operation that will not distract you or other people at home or at work. 
  • With multiple resistance levels, adjusted through a dial, to control your workout intensity.
  • With a built-in LED display that tracks time, distance, scan, speed, and calories burned 
  • With an integrated handle between the foot pedals that allows you to reposition the equipment easier.
  • Is compact, portable, and easy to move around.

Downsides: 

  • A few have reported that the installed LED display was upside down.
  • Some have also reported that the machine is not as quiet as it said it was.

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Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Mini Elliptical for You

Although deciding on the best mini elliptical trainer will come down to your individual need, workout plan, and preference, we have come up with a few more that you need to take into account before getting one for yourself.

Aside from your budget, below is our guide in choosing what best mini elliptical will work for you:

Maximum User Weight

You wouldn’t want to use a mini elliptical whose weight capacity limit is below your weight. For one, it can void the product’s warranty. For another, it can contribute to faster wear and tear. 

pedals of modern elliptical machine

Invest in a machine that will hold your weight. It can also provide that extra stability you need when working out using the stand-up mode.

Size of the Product

Even though mini ellipticals are designed to be midget-sized compared to their regular counterpart, their sizes will still vary. Be mindful of this when choosing your machine. You would want to consider how space-saving it will be, or if it will even fit right under your desk when your goal is to work out while working. 

Product Weight

Mini ellipticals also vary in weight. A lighter elliptical machine is more easily transportable, while the heavier variance may be inconvenient for you, especially if you frequently travel or go places.

One consideration for you in choosing the product weight is the elliptical’s material or make. Some are made of metal or steel, while others are primarily made of plastic.  Some are lighter, and some are heavier than expected.

Resistance

Resistance levels offer you that option to amp up your workout program. It is fine to stay at the lowest level, however, working out will be too easy for you over time. Look for an elliptical machine that will offer various resistance levels to continually challenge you.

Also, start reading customers’ feedback. They’re actual reports on people’s experiences, and you may find them mentioning the machine’s resistance levels.

Workout Program

You may also be targeting to get an elliptical machine that offers more workout programs. The choice will depend on your preference, target, and budget. The more function the machine offers, the pricier it can get. 

All elliptical machines will have the basic offering – something that you can use while seating, with resistance levels for added challenge. Yet, some machines would have additional programs like the HIIT.

Also, some are just meant to be used while seating, while some can be used when standing. 

And lastly, some will offer forward and reverse motions, providing more workouts to the body.

The choice will be up to you.

What Is the Best Compact Elliptical Cross Trainer?

The best trainer is not necessarily the most expensive or fanciest model out there. The best trainer for you is the one that fits your needs and checks all the boxes in terms of their size, portability, price point, etc.  

It also depends on which feature you prioritize. If you find that durability is on top of your list, then you should check out the Xiser Commercial Mini Stairmaster. It is made of really tough material that will last for a very long time. 

If you want the features of a full-sized elliptical machine but do not have enough home space for it, then you should look into the SCHWINN Fitness 411 Compact Elliptical Machine. You get all the features of the full-size models without the bulkiness. 

Commonly Asked Questions About The Mini Elliptical

Are Mini Elliptical Machines Effective?

Absolutely! It can even help with your lower back pain because the machine supports low-impact cardio.

elliptical with other gym equipment

These machines provide a great workout and should help achieve your fitness goals. Keep in mind, however, that you should maintain correct form throughout the workout to prevent injuries. 

Also, be consistent with the workout program so you can achieve your goals.  

You should also choose the right machine for your needs especially if you will use it as a rehabilitation tool. 

And lastly, like other workout programs, volume, frequency, and resistance should be progressive. Too much too soon may do more bad than good. 

Are Mini Elliptical Machines Worth It? 

Yes, they are worth it, if you use them consistently. These machines are designed scientifically, with thousands of users attesting to their effectiveness. 

If you find that the elliptical machine is not for you, you may want to consider other workout machines like peloton stationary bikes. These can also provide you with a good body workout while hitting your requirement for a space-saving machine.

Is a Mini Stepper the Same as an Elliptical?

The mechanics of using a stepper and elliptical are anatomically different. However, some machines can simulate both like the Perlecare portable elliptical machine. 

Can You Lose Weight With a Mini Elliptical? 

Absolutely! They burn calories so they are effective tools for weight loss. They are calorie busters because they burn more calories compared to other low-impact exercises. 

The reason is that ellipticals and stair steppers engage the quadriceps – the biggest muscle in the body.  

Of course, a weight loss program should consist of a diet plan and a work plan to be effective. 

IN SUMMARY

Mini elliptical machines are great options to help you on your fitness journey. Because of their design, they are great for people with bad joints and for those who are under rehab for previous injuries. 

You can also use ellipticals under your desk while working or when doing sedentary activities like watching TV or playing video games. This allows you to multi-task and burn calories and exercise while you are working or playing! 

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