Elliptical trainers

My physio tells me that an elliptical cross trainer would be great for my general rehab/fitness, losing weight, improving balance and more. Does anyone have any advice? I’m thinking of hiring rather than buying so that if it doesn’t work out I can return it, I’ve tried one at the gym and whilst initially hard, I soon got the hang of it. It’s my left side that’s affected and I’m impressed that I can work both my arm and leg at the same time while also getting a cardio workout. I would welcome hearing members experiences- good and bad and any tips, even makes and models would be most welcome.


I use it all the time at the gym. I do find it helps with my walk and my foot drop, helps put a spring in my step so to speak :laughing: So I always finish off my gym sessions with 10mins on the cross trainer. But what I also do is use it to improve my balance, that was the main reason I started using it. Because there are safety bars on either side I tend to go hands free, I don’t hold on to the handles and just use the side bars to steady myself if I have a wobble :smile:

1 Like

I did some physio sessions on the cross trainer but I really didn’t get the hang of it. Brain couldn’t cope with hands and legs doing different things. It seems like a hood way of strengthening arms & legs though.

Are you able to use the one at the hospital gym? Ours was by the physio department & i think people were able to use it if their physio ok’d it.


Hi I use an old Rebok elliptical cross trainer ( electronic resistance model) its uncomplicated and does the job, you can dial in the required resistance or choose a ‘program’ or simply dont have any resistance at all.
I used this pre-stroke as well, its my go-to exercise machine 15-20mins daily.


eBay seems to have elliptical trainers for between 100£ & two grand new (and from 40 second hand…)

There must be quite a difference between one for 100 and one for 2,000!

Ps discourse says that the above was your first post
We normally say welcome on a first post but I think I was astute enough to recognise your second post as a hello :slight_smile: an achievement for a strokey brain like mine :astonished:

I spoke to my physio today about what piece of kit is most useful.

She said a cross trainer is helpful for a cardiac workout but for walking, she said treadmill every time. The ability to recreate rhythm and use in any conditions.

She also mentioned the old swinging arms when walking, something I don’t do much. She has recommended a slightly exaggerated military march. If you concentrate if one arm swinging with your opposite leg, the other arm sort of takes care of itself.


I just couldn’t swing the arms whilst walking when I first started strength & balance. That’s about 2yrs ago now.
I just couldnt get the rhythm and coordination of the two and tripped a time or two, could only do one or the other.
Its fine now, I walk proficiently swinging my arms. And it helps not having foot drop anymore :smile:

1 Like

That’s good to hear regarding the elliptical trainer but please be careful with the treadmill if you have drop foot or similar. If you miss step in the slightest, it will trip you up. I speak from experience as my physio also recommended a treadmill, when I told her what had happened she said ‘oh yes, I should’ve warned you about that.’

She’s now my ex physio! I have the elliptical now and find it a better all round workout, but there’s no denying walking is brilliant.


I found the gym treadmills were good for keeping me safe as they all have safety rails to hold onto. So I didnt have a problem really with my foot drop.

So if you’re going to buy one for home use, I’d suggest getting one with good deep safety handrails to the sides to hold onto.


One other bit she mentioned is there may be some offers via them to use a gym. They seem to be a non profit agency fully funded by the nhs.

Thought one gym session might be good just to see how I get on with the machines.

Take the point re foot drop. I think this has been bought on by needing to spend more time in bed. Even the weight of just the duvet over a few mins is enough to push it down unless I fight against it. I am going to get an AFO just to help prevent this. I haven’t had this issue post stroke until fairly recently. An orthotics appointment down the line will follow.

Another item mentioned was warm water hydrotherapy. Maybe only a few sessions. Thought that sounded nice. A cold swimming pool doesn’t sound at all good.


The warm water hydrotherapy is good. Ive used it in the past prior to hip replacement and it did help.

And if you do have the opportunity to try a gym I highly recommend it. I’ve found them excellent because many of the machines are seated. Great for building up muscle particularly in the legs where you need it for balance for walking :slightly_smiling_face: