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Most people over 6 feet will have trouble at one time or another finding a piece of gym equipment that works for them and an elliptical is no different. Because elliptical trainers help mimic the motion of walking, you have to be able to maintain a natural stride length while using one in order to get full extension of your legs. That way, you can exercise for a good amount of time without feeling uncomfortable and work all the proper muscles fully. The best elliptical for a tall person will usually have at maximum stride length of at least 20″ because tall people usually have longer strides than average.
When a long stride elliptical is well built for tall people, it naturally is bigger and therefore more expensive, so keep that in mind when looking at prices. You can choose a machine that comes with a long fixed length stride, but adjustable stride elliptical machines are a good fit for households with multiple people wanting to use it, especially if everyone is of varying heights. You should also ensure that the elliptical pedals are ergonomically positioned and preferably adjust naturally for toe to heel angle.
Another factor that tall people have to take into consideration is ceiling height and whether it will accommodate you when you’re at the highest point in the stride. Ellipticals with front drives tend to have a higher stride path through the ellipse motion. Rear drive machines will have a lower high point but they’re very expensive and generally found only in club gyms. The new center drive models with a balance drive on either side of the pedals is a good compromise and excellent for small spaces because the base is lower and the length of the frame is short.
Looking for an elliptical if you’re short? We’ve got you covered there as well!
Not sure about what to look for when shopping for an elliptical machine? We have a good buyer’s guide for you. But for a detailed look at the best ellipticals with 20 inch stride or more, read our reviews below.
- 1 Quick Comparison for Best Elliptical for a Tall Person
- 2 Best Under $1000
- 3 Best Over $1000
Quick Comparison for Best Elliptical for a Tall Person
|Product||Rating (out of 5)||Ramp incline||Stride length||Resistance levels||Programs||User profiles||Size||Max. User Capacity||Price|
|Schwinn 470||3.8||0 - 10° Motorized||20"||25||29||4||70.1"L x 28.2"W x 63.2"H||300 lbs||$|
|Sole Fitness E35||4.3||0 – 20° Motorized||20"-22”||20||10||1||83"L x 27"W x 58"H||375 lbs||$$$$|
|ProForm Pro 16.9||3.9||0 – 20° Motorized||up to 20"||26||35||1||79.75"L x 25.75"W x 66.25"H||375 lbs||$$$|
|Body Solid E300 Endurance||4.8||none||21"||20||7||2||50"L x 31"W x 66"H||300 lbs||$$$$|
|NordicTrack A.C.T. Commercial 10||4.5||none||18"-22"||24||35||1||54.0"L x 31.5"W x 64.25"H||350 lbs||$$$|
Best Under $1000
Schwinn 470 Elliptical Machine
And Schwinn MY17 470 Elliptical
With a fixed 20” stride length, this Schwinn elliptical is a good choice for moderately tall people but those over 6 feet may want to look elsewhere. The reason we include it in our top picks is because this is probably the only elliptical you’ll get with this stride length that’s under $1000. Take a look at these recommendations for more in this price bracket but with a shorter stride length. The stride length is accurate and consistent. It also has extra large cushioned footplates and can handle a user of up to 300 pounds. The frame is very solid and stable thanks to a strong center frame support and added oversized crossbar tubing. It comes with 29 preset programs, including a few fitness tests and several heart rate programs.
It is telemetry heart rate enabled but the chest strap is not included. The handlebars do have an ergonomically positioned spot for grip heart rate reading, although very tall users will probably have to bend to use it. Also, tall users may need to place it in a room with a standard 8′ ceiling rather than a low 7′ ceiling typical in basements, attics and garages.
The console is a little busy but it is pretty user-friendly. Two LCD screens let you keep an eye on up to 13 metrics, including time, pulse, speed, and RPM. Quick keys let you change incline and resistance levels easily. There are 25 levels of resistance and a 10-degree motorized range for incline. Because of the high-speed high-inertia perimeter weighted flywheel drive system, the operation is both smooth and quiet, from low speeds to high. A nice feature of this Schwinn elliptical is the ability to export your data. You can connect it to the SchwinnConnect website or to apps like My Fitness Pal. The same USB port you use to connect and retrieve your data can also be used to charge your phone or other devices. This is a nice option if you want to listen to music or watch something on your phone or tablet through the integrated speakers while working out.
Transport wheels make it easy to move this elliptical around but it doesn’t fold up and has a pretty large size. Assembly takes a few hours but it’s pretty easy to do and the instructions are clear. Coming in at a lower price point for this level of quality, the Schwinn 470 offers a lot of value as long as you’re not too tall. If you can stretch your budget, choose one of the other machines on this list.
Check out the Schwinn 470.
Best Over $1000
Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine
The Sole Fitness E35 elliptical has a power adjustable stride with a 20-to-22-inch maximum stride length. That stride length plus the 375-pound weight limit make it perfect for the big and tall crowd. It also has extra large adjustable foot pedals that are comfortable and ergonomically designed to take pressure off the ankles and knees. There are a pair of moving handlebars with multi-position hand grips for upper body workouts, as well as stationary handlebars for when you want to rest your arms and just balance while you move your legs.
The front drive system uses a heavy, 29-pound flywheel and high gear ratio, resulting in a nice fluid motion and quiet operation. The front drive design can make it feel a little bit unstable but that is balanced by the heavy duty real rails with 4 wheels.
The E35 has six standard programs, two custom programs, and two heart rate programs. You can also just manually adjust the 20 resistance levels and 30 degrees of power incline. A chest strap is included for heart rate monitoring and there are also pulse grip sensors on the stationary handlebars. The console features a nice large LCD display for monitoring data like time, distance, and heart rate. There are also built-in speakers to play audio from a smartphone or other device. It takes a few hours to assemble but it’s not too difficult. This machine is very heavy and not easy to move. It also doesn’t fold up so it’s important that you have plenty of room for this large machine.
Note that the new 2017 model of the Sole E35 does not have an adjustable stride like this older model. The new one has it fixed at 20 inches, which may not be suitable for the very tall.
Check out the Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine.
ProForm Pro 16.9 Elliptical Trainer
The ProForm Pro 16.9 Elliptical Trainer offers one of the best console screens you’ll find. The 10-inch display is full color and features touch screen capabilities. The screen has 35 integrated workout apps to really help you get the most of out of your training. You get access to an almost unlimited number of workouts designed by certified personal trainers. You can even browse and watch YouTube videos right on the console screen. If you have an iFit subscription, you can connect with Google Maps and “hike” through the Swiss Alps or “stroll” through the streets of a favorite city. There are also easy buttons for adjusting the 0 to 20-degree incline ramp and 26 digital resistance levels.
The construction of this elliptical is very sturdy, using commercial-grade steel. One huge advantage of this machine is that it comes almost fully assembled. It only takes minutes to get it set up and ready to go. If you like to track your heart rate and adjust your workout accordingly, this elliptical has you covered with both grip pulse sensors and an included wireless chest strap. The moving arms with resistance come with multiple grip positions to give your arms, chest and shoulders as much of a workout as your lower body.
The ProForm Pro 16.9 is a variable stride elliptical that is power adjustable but maxes out at 20 inches. The oversized pedals are adjustable and cushioned. There is a weight limit of 375 pounds. The front drive design and heavy 32 Lb. effective flywheel makes for a smooth and steady stride. However, a front drive design tends to make it a little more challenging to balance. ProForm’s patented SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance means this elliptical is one of the quietest ones on the market. This is a heavy piece of equipment, but front-mounted transport wheels make it pretty easy to move around. It doesn’t fold up but it does offer a relatively small footprint compared to similar professional-level ellipticals.
While everyone in the family can use it due to the variable stride adjustment feature, the maximum length of 20″ may not be enough for very tall users. There is also no provision for saving multiple user profiles.
Check out the ProForm Pro 16.9 Elliptical Trainer.
Body Solid E300 Endurance Elliptical Trainer
A problem you’ll see on a lot of ellipticals is rocking, especially at higher speeds and when the user is heavier. This elliptical from Body Solid eliminates the chance of rocking with a balanced frame and a low center of gravity. It has a fixed 21″ stride and can handle a maximum weight of 300 pounds. This elliptical is one of the rare ones that uses a center drive design. A center drive makes it quiet and smooth while also making for a more compact overall size. In addition to using space efficiently, there are transport handles to help you move it around. It is pretty heavy, though, and it doesn’t have wheels. It only takes about an hour or two to put together and the instructions are pretty easy to follow.
The touchscreen console lets you monitor real-time workout data and select from available workout programs. The seven pre-set programs include Interval and Mountain. You can set up and save profiles for two different people. You can also navigate to your desired level of resistance, with 20 levels to choose from. This elliptical is grip pulse heart rate enabled but it will not work with a chest strap. The operation is pretty quiet, certainly low enough to be able to easily listen to music or television while working out. This elliptical has a few big advantages (a smooth natural stride, compact size, and a really stable frame) but it is definitely priced quite high when compared to other models that offer similar features as well as adjustable stride length and incline.
Check out the Body Solid E300 Endurance Elliptical Trainer.
NordicTrack ACT Commercial 10
This commercial-level elliptical from NordicTrack brings the professional quality of the gym into your home. The center drive system makes this machine quite compact and easy to fit into most spaces, including those with low ceilings. In fact, it has about half the length of many other ellipticals. This possibly makes it the best elliptical for tall people who don’t have space for a large machine. Despite the smaller size, this elliptical trainer is extremely stable thanks to reinforced supports along the sides of the pedals. The oversized pedals are cushioned and adjustable. A weight limit of 350 pounds and an adjustable 18″ — 22″ stride makes this ideal for many taller users. Unfortunately, you have to adjust the stride manually by turning a knob for each pedal, but you can adjust it by quarter inch increments.
With 24 levels of SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance and 35 built-in workout apps, your workout will never get stale. One disadvantage, though, is the lack of incline. You can challenge yourself with programs based on calorie burn, intensity, or performance. One touch controls will also let you change your resistance level instantly. The 10-inch web-enabled color touchscreen lets you view your workout stats but it also lets you browse social media or watch YouTube videos. You can bring your own tablet to workout as well, as it has a tablet holder too. It is also iFit-enabled, so you can workout out “in” cool locations around the world if you’re willing to purchase a subscription. You can track your heart rate and plan your workout based on it using either the pulse grip sensors or the included wireless chest strap.
The 25 lb. effective flywheel means that your workout will be incredibly smooth, even at high speeds and high resistance levels. The operation is also unbelievably quiet. With its smaller footprint, it’s not as heavy as some other models and it does come with transport wheels to help move it around. You cannot have multiple user profiles stored.
Although this is a good machine for tall users, the lack of incline is a negative. However, this can be offset by using a range of the preset programs that adapt to heart rate, calories to be burned, etc. It is also a good pick for people who need entertainment while working out.
Check out the NordicTrack A.C.T. Commercial 10.