The Best Strider Exercise Equipment

man and woman with elliptical cross trainer at gym

Although often confused with elliptical trainers, striders are their own distinct type of exercise machine. Instead of moving through the elliptical trainer's trademark oval path, a strider's pedals swing in a back-and-forth arcing motion like a pair of pendulums. Of all the small, light and inexpensive striders marketed for in-home use, just one has stuck around long enough to earn the title of "best": The Tony Little Gazelle.

Meet the Gazelle

Although the Gazelle has been marketed in a number of versions over the years, its basic structure remains the same: A simple, lightweight, folding A-frame with the pendulum pedals suspended side-by-side in the middle. Its short handlebars are simply extensions of the poles from which the pedals hang.

It's the Gazelle's longevity and the addition of piston-based resistance on higher-end models that make it such a standout in this field. The piston-based resistance allows intermediate exercisers to get a good workout from the Gazelle, whereas other models are only appropriate for beginners.

A Commercial Version

Some gyms offer "elliptical gliders" or "arc trainers" -- basically commercial-quality striders. However, a commercial glider's size, weight and price keep them from being a best choice for home exercisers; they're just too large, heavy and expensive.