Center Drive Elliptical Trainers

Quite contradictory to the traditional front drive and rear drive ellipticals, these types of elliptical trainers have the flywheel on either side of the machine. However, it is not uncommon for some models to have dual drive mechanisms. Center drive ellipticals are relatively new on the market as they were introduced in 1995 by Precor, a renowned name in the field of ellipticals.

Center Drive Elliptical Trainers

Despite the fact that they did not follow the usual design, they were loved by consumers, and this has driven up the demand. The primary reason was that it was suitable for everyone, from beginners and experts. It was effortless to use, and the unit itself is extremely compact.

In this post, we discuss the characteristics of the center drive ellipticals and what makes them such a hit in the fitness industry.


Most ellipticals come with a wide gamut of electronic features and other fancy features. These can add to the overall price of the machine. Therefore it is good to consider which features can benefit you and what you need. Is a tablet holder really necessary for you? What is the point in doing cardio when half of your concentration is on the tablet in front of you?

Unique design

As opposed to the conventional rectangular shape of the ellipticals, center drive ellipticals have a pronounced square shape. This allows them to be used in spaces that are not the widest, which is a feature that many users appreciate. They can be used seamlessly at homes for personal use as well as in the gyms.

Smooth and quiet

Center drive ellipticals redefine smoothness in a piece of equipment. They are effortless to use without compromising the quality of your workouts. This smooth operation also reduces the strain on the back, joints as well as the hips.

This makes the machine a great choice for those in the senior category or those who have problematic hips, knees and backs.

They are also among the quietest pieces of equipment among the three categories of ellipticals.

Exceptional comfort

One of the most outstanding features of the center drive ellipticals is the level of comfort while using it. It is mainly because the weight of the user’s body is focused on the center.

This mimics the natural motion of jogging; walking or running without the rather stiff posture that is required on the other types of ellipticals. This centered posture is also known to burn more calories which is a huge bonus.

Another advantage to this is that it is easy for the users to maintain the correct posture while on the machine. This is crucial as incorrect posture can cause injury and also aggravate certain conditions on the user’s body.

Being comfortable on the machine also gives you the opportunity to work out longer, which in turn burns more calories.

How to pick the best center drive ellipticals?

Many experts agree that finding the right elliptical trainer can be tricky. It is especially true when it comes to center drive ellipticals as there is not much known about them in terms of maintenance and longevity.

However, before you buy one and regret later, here are a few guidelines you can follow.

Materials used in the construction

If you are considering buying a center drive elliptical, you should consider the materials used to build the machine. Those models that are made of tubular steel are a good choice.

The company or the brand

Brand’s name is not a determining fact when you want to buy many other products. However, when it comes to elliptical trainers, the brand and the company of the machine plays a major role.

Before you buy a center drive elliptical, consider the ones from Precor. Not only did they invent this particular type of ellipticals, but they are also the leading manufacturer of exceptional machines. Brands such as NordicTrack are also a good choice.

Not only will these brands have the best offering, but they also provide the best warranty on a machine. All Precor’s center drive ellipticals come with a ten-year warranty. Since center drive ellipticals are quite pricey, you can work out and use the equipment with a peaceful mind knowing that it is protected.

Are there any disadvantages of center drive ellipticals?

One of the design features that you will notice that is missing in a center drive elliptical is the ramp. Although this is one of the reasons why people love to use a center drive elliptical, this is also a huge bummer for those who love some inclination while working out on these types of machines.

However, this is not so much as an advantage if you love the feel of working out in a piece of similar equipment like a treadmill but with pedals.

Another deterrent is the expensive price tag on these types of ellipticals. Center drive elliptical trainers costs thousands of dollars. This is a mammoth difference considering that some affordable one in traditional design can be purchased below $200.

Of course, these machines also come equipped with the latest elliptical technology, which allows enhanced user experience. However, they are not accessible for the majority of the folks.

Final Thoughts


A center drive elliptical is a great piece of equipment that you can add to a home gym. They can also be used effortlessly in gyms as they are made with commercial-grade quality.

With a compact and innovative design, they are an excellent alternative to the traditional ellipticals. It is even thought that working out with a center drive elliptical burns more calories as you don’t use the handrails for support which causes the body to lean forward. Of course, this is debatable.

If the hefty price tag is not an issue, and you want to have an exclusive gym experience in the comfort of your home, a center drive elliptical is a great option to consider.

There isn’t much information about the longevity neither of a center drive elliptical or about its maintenance. However, if you choose equipment from a prestigious company, there is not much to worry about.

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