elliptical vs glider vs max trainer

You are perfectly in the clear for thinking that the elliptical, the max trainer, and the glider, are similar-looking space-age machines doubling up as workout aids. For anyone new to fitness and fitness equipment, these areas alike like three peas in a pod.

You will learn the difference between Elliptical Vs Max Trainer and Elliptical Vs Glider, which help you choose which machine to bring home first. However, if you look closely, there are distinctive differences between the three. And, if you wish to utilize these training aids to achieve your workout goals, you must look closely. The good news is; all the help you need in distinguishing between the three is here.

Furthermore, this comprehensive write-up aims to help you compare these training aids with the other. As such, you can have one space-age-looking machine, or use a combination of all three, to meet your training goals.

Glider Elliptical Max Trainer
Range of Motion Forwards and Reverse Walking Motions with Significant Stride Forwards and Reverse Walking and Running Motions Forwards and Reverse, Walking, Climbing/Stepping, and Running Motions
Workout Offered Cardio Vascular Low Impact Workout Cardio Vascular Low Impact Workout Cardio Vascular Low Impact Workout With High-Intensity Interval Training
Muscles Worked On Arms, Back, Thighs, Glutes, and Calves Glutes, Hamstrings, Triceps, Core Muscles, Chest, Back, Biceps, and Quads Arms, Chest, Back, Shoulders, Core, Thighs, Butt, and Calves
Impacts and Benefits Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Reduction, Heart Rate Stability, Blood Glucose Control Less Stress on Joints, Calorie burn, Cardiovascular Health, Lower and Upper Workout Endurance, Muscle Strength, Cardiovascular Health, High-Calorie Burn
Calories Burned N/A 2.16 Calories/Per Pound Body Weight 200-350 Calories/ Per 14-Minute Standard Workout
Cost $100 to $500 $1000 and Above $999 and Above

A Definitive Guide to Ellipticals, Max Trainers, and Gliders

Your introduction to any training equipment is best defined by a definitive understanding of what each training aid is. This includes the mechanical principles each piece of equipment works on towards achieving fitness goals and the cause and effect of using each training aid.

Your Introduction to an Elliptical

Going right into it, the elliptical trainer or cross-trainer is an exercise aid, simulating motions such as walking, and running. The motion simulated by the machine is determined by the user based on speed and intensity preferences. The primary offering of an elliptical machine is a low to high-intensity, no-impact cardiovascular workout.

Invented by Precor and introduced to the market in the 1990s, the elliptical trainer offers a lower and upper-body workout. Widely considered a low-impact training aid, there is a component of weight impacts of working out on an elliptical trainer.

Nowadays best 2 in 1 elliptical and bike are also available that give two advantages in the one price.

Get to Know the Max Trainer

The Max Trainer is a hybrid of the elliptical that has been a permanent fixture in gyms since its invention in the ’90s. The first question to ask yourself when distinguishing between the elliptical and Max Trainer is; what’s different between these two similar-looking training aids?

Superficially, there isn’t much difference between the elliptical and Max Trainer. However, the Max Trainer adds stepping and climbing motions to the standard simulated running and walking workout that the elliptical is well known for.

As is common knowledge, different motions carried out against resistance offers have very different impacts on different muscles in the body. Like the elliptical, the Max trainer does facilitate a lower and upper body workout, with both similar and different impacts. We can look into these impacts as we move ahead.

What you Need to Know About Air Walkers?

What you notice right away is that Gliders or Air Walkers, as they are also commonly referred to, are not electrically powered. These manually operated training aids simulate the motion of walking, which impacts weight loss and muscle training when applied against the machine’s resistance.

The body’s weight and range of motion largely define the intensity of working out on an air walker. As such, your stride (faster, harder, and higher) largely sets the intensity levels of your workout. The glider is best known for its aerobic and weight-bearing workout.

Elliptical Vs Max Trainer Vs Glider — Let's Figure Our Difference

Instead of looking separately into elliptical vs Glider and Elliptical vs Glider, we make a complete comparison to these three useful machines, which can be very useful in your home gym.

1 Range of Motion

The range of motion offered by ellipticals, Max Trainers, and gliders only slightly vary. However, the impacts of working out on any of these machines can be vastly different based on workout intensity, weight-bearing factors. Most importantly, the range of motion offered counts for the impact and effect of utilizing any of these three training aids.

As mentioned prior, the elliptical simulates walking and running motions carried out against the resistance offered by the electrically powered elliptical. To the mix of walking and running, the Max Trainer adds on simulated stepping and climbing motions. This improves the overall range of motions to facilitate an even more versatile workout.

The Glider or Air Walker is manually powered by your body’s weight and your stride and offers brisk walking motions applied against the resistance offered up by the self-powered Air Walker. While there are similarities between the elliptical, Max Trainer, and Glider, the difference becomes very apparent at the get-go as soon as you step on one of these.

2. Workout Offered

The elliptical offers a cardio/aerobic workout for the lower and upper body. The weight-bearing component of the elliptical cannot be ignored as it goes a long way in strengthening and training the lower body. It is a low-impact workout that has substantial impacts on the enhancement of stamina and endurance levels.

The Max Trainer, which simulates stair climbing and elliptical motions, offers a low impact yet high-intensity workout, well-known for facilitating High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) in the gym environment. This trainer is known for its high intensity, full-body, cardiovascular, weight-bearing workout.

The glider similarly offers a low impact, full-body, cardio/aerobic workout with muscle toning and calorie burning impacts. Self-powered, the intensity of your Glider workout is largely determined by you.

3. Muscles Worked On

With guidance from a trainer and proper use, the elliptical effectively work on your glutes, hamstrings, triceps, core muscles, chest, back, biceps and quads. This is a full-body workout facilitated by the resistance offered up by the machine and the weight-bearing impact.

The impact of the Max Trainer is widespread with a full-body workout, including the muscles in the arms, chest, back, shoulders, core, thighs, butt, and calves. This is a low-impact full-body workout with varying levels of intensity. The Max Trainer is the perfect aid for High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) at the gym.

The glider is yet another low-impact cardio/aerobic trainer who works out the muscles in the arms, back, thighs, glutes, and calves. It is a full-body workout on self-powered training aid.

4. Impact and Benefits

The elliptical delivers benefits such as stress reduction on joints, stamina and cardio-capacity boost, and significant calorie burn. It is well incorporated into the post-injury fitness regime with significant benefits. It strengthens important leg muscles and improves balance. Overall, it is an effective upper and lower body workout.

While effectively facilitating multiple workouts on a single machine, the Max Trainer is known for enhancing endurance and muscle strength. Workouts on the Max Trainer aid cardiovascular health and fast calorie burning.

A regular, 30-minute regimen on an Air Walker or Glider can deliver health benefits such as blood pressure reduction and heart rate stability. The same regimen can also reduce cholesterol and control blood glucose levels, with a low-impact workout with minimal injury potential.

5. Calories Burned

The Harvard Medical School asserts that a 30-minute workout on the elliptical burns 2.16 calories on the pound bodyweight count. To put that into perspective, a man weighing 160 pounds could burn up to 345 calories with a 30-minute workout on the elliptical.

The Max Trainer 14-minute standard workout can deliver a calorie burn ranging between 200 and 350 calories.

Unfortunately, a general approximate figure of calories burned on a standard glider could not be found. However, the glider is known to have significant calorie-burning impacts.

6. Cost

The glider tops the list as the most pocket-friendly purchase and is easily acquired for anything between $100 and $500. This manual self-powered training aid is environment-friendly and makes for an effective workout.

The cost of an elliptical starts at $1000 for a quality product and goes even higher, while the Max Trainer price tag ranges between $999 and $2599.

Pros and Cons

While in the gym, or even while purchasing your workout setup, it helps to have a general overview of any training aid. The infographic below summarizes the pros and cons of the elliptical, Max Trainer, and Glider.

Pros Cons
Elliptical Low Impact, Calorie Burning, Upper and Lower Body Workout, Muscle Building, Can Track Workout Progress on App or Monitor Takes up Significant Space
Max Trainer Low Impact, Calorie Burning, Upper and Lower Body Workout, Muscle Building, Can Track Workout Progress on App or Monitor, Effective for High-Intensity Interval Training Takes up Significant Space
Glider Self-Powered, Environment-Friendly, Upper and Lower Body Workout, Calorie Burning, Toning, Low Impact Cannot Track Workout Progress


With so many factors to keep in mind, it could be tough to decide between these three fitness machines. Regardless, you must select the one that fits your health and fitness needs along with the budget.

Elliptical vs bike vs treadmill and elliptical vs Stairmaster is our recent comparisons that will help you decide about your first home gym equipment.

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