We tested 5 fitness machines. Read on to see which you should purchase!
If there’s one thing that 2020 taught us, it’s how to be innovative. Being stuck at home meant finding new ways to work, cook, socialize, and most importantly, exercise.
For fitness fanatics, no longer having access to gyms meant finding new ways to work out. The question for many was how do we integrate exercise into daily living amidst a global pandemic? What people quickly realized was working out from home was the solution, making exercise approachable, flexible, and allowed for personal freedom. Fast forward to today, and while many have returned to work and fitness studios are once again open, the love of working out from home has continued in 2021.
We have home trainers to thank for revolutionizing the fitness industry, which is why we felt compelled to test and rate the five most popular trainers that kept us fit in 2021. For us, good home fitness equipment is defined by something that is versatile, performs well, has a simple design and high functionality.
Our top picks are stated below, ranging from our favourite to least favourite fitness equipment.
1) Nordic Trainer
We are starting off with our absolute favorite home trainer, the Nordic Trainer. Manufactured by Nordic Strong, a new fitness concept inspired by Nordic lifestyle, the Nordic Trainer is without a doubt the most effective full body trainer we have ever tried!!
Rapidly gaining notoriety in the fitness community, this truly versatile full-body trainer activates 96% of your body’s muscle mass simultaneously, making it the most effective home trainer you can find. Other machines such as treadmills, cycles or ellipticals, use far less muscle mass, which ultimately means you need to spend more time on these trainers to obtain same fitness results.
The Nordic Trainer is a machine for cardio, endurance, balance, and strength training.
Featuring both high and low-intensity exercises, the Nordic Trainer not only focuses on smaller and deeper muscle groups but requires you to coordinate both the lower and upper body, which means that your core muscles are engaged in all exercises. It is a trainer that will make you fitter and stronger than ever and we absolutely love it.
Furthermore, when using The Nordic Trainer your body moves through a soft, full range of motion which ultimately minimizes the risk of injuries to your joints and muscles. This means that you can reach your maximum level of power without overexerting yourself.
The only downside of the Nordic Trainer is the absence of a training app. Currently, the Nordic Trainer comes with a pre-installed computer, which shows all relevant fitness stats, but your data cannot be saved. However, Nordic Strong has announced they will be launching a training app for the Nordic Trainer in late 2021, which will give you access to countless training videos and provide you with an immersive fitness experience on your trainer.
We were recently introduced to the Nordic Trainer, and we’ve used it on a weekly basis since. The noticeable benefits derived per unit of time are truly unparalleled to any other home trainer on the market. In less than 20 minutes, you can effectively train the whole body, get your heart rate up and do proper strength training.
Our second choice falls on the Peloton bike, another home trainer that boosted in enormous popularity over the pandemic, so we decided to test it out for ourselves.
Providing the closest experience to a spin class, Peloton brings you a convenient and immersive indoor cycling workout right in your own home. Streaming daily live videos, you have access to loads of studio cycling classes. The major benefit of Peloton is the encouraging fitness community, including top-quality instructors, that you become a part of, giving you the feel of an exercise class at the gym.
The price of a peloton bike is €1,300, but it comes with a lot of hidden add on costs, like a monthly app subscription fee, spinning shoes, weights for the bike etc.
Verdict: Did you live for spin classes before the pandemic? Then purchase.
3) Concept2 Rower
Next up on our list is the Concept2 Rower. This is another piece of fitness equipment that many has turned to for an effective workout during Covid-19.
Setting the standard for indoor rowing machines, the Concept2 rower is used by people of all ages and abilities looking to achieve a full-body, low-impact workout. For a good, intense cardio session, the Concept2 Rower is great. Rowing on the Concept2 Rower and double poling on the Nordic Trainer give very similar cardio benefits, as both engage the full body and have a low impact on joints and muscles. However, the many different strength and balance exercises that we discovered on the Nordic Trainer give amazing additional benefits, making us favor the Nordic Trainer.
Although the Concept2 Rower has set a high standard in the fitness industry for many years, we find the training to be too one-sided for a fitness trainer, with just one single movement possible. Some of the newer home training equipment on the market, like the Nordic Trainer, give the same full body workout effect as the Concept2 Rower, but has far more possibilities for varied strength and balance training.
Verdict: Don’t purchase – It is time to try a new full body home trainer!
4) Wahoo Kickr
Our fourth choice fall on the Wahoo Kickr home trainer. For avid cyclists looking to bring their riding experience indoors, this trainer combines the legendary ride feel with cutting-edge innovations to give you the type of workout you crave from an outdoor ride.
The Kickr became a go-to home trainer, providing riders with virtual training options as well as high-intensity interval workouts with the most realistic ride feel and precise power. Boasting a carbon steel body for guaranteed stability and durability, this machine provides immediate feedback by responding to rider-specific tempo and body position changes. Fully customizable to fit your riding preferences, the integrated action feet can be independently tuned, and you have the option of three stiffness levels.
€1,199.99 for the Wahoo Kickr is a considerable investment. Furthermore, without a proper outdoor bike, the Waho Kickr simple doesn’t make sense to purchase. If you do own an outdoor bike, our advice is that you use it outside and purchase different equipment for your home training to mix up your routine.
Verdict: Only purchase if you are an outdoor cyclist fanatic.
The Wahoo Kickr is the best indoor smart bike trainer on the market. However, if you are not a cyclist enthusiast, the costs simply outweigh the benefits of the Wahoo Kickr as a home trainer.
5) Nordic Track Elliptical Trainer
The final home trainer on our list is the NordicTrack Elliptical Trainer.
Unlike ordinary elliptical trainers, the NordicTrack Elliptical Trainer comes with a 14” Smart HD touchscreen that will offer you an immersive fitness experience. You will find studio session videos that will guide you through your training on your Elliptical Trainer.
Besides the smart HD touchscreen, the elliptical trainer works like any other elliptical trainer would, which – in our opinion – makes it the most boring and least effective fitness trainer that we tested.
Although the NordicTrack iFIT technology and content is incredible, the elliptical trainer is our least favorite of the home trainers we tested. It is a very one-sided training and requires a lot of effort to really challenge yourself.
Verdict: Challenge yourself with a different home trainer
Covid-19 has taught us many things, including that working out doesn’t have to involve going to a gym or an exercise class and this transformative notion of at-home fitness became a silver lining to the pandemic. Although gyms and exercise studios are reopening, the trend of working out from home will only continue to grow and allow for ultimate freedom and personalization. We encourage you to try a new home trainer this fall. And we promise you, it is possible to challenge yourself from home.