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Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical Review

The Teeter FreeStep Elliptical is a new take on the elliptical, letting you perform the same arm and leg movements from a seated position.

If you’re concerned about putting stress on your knees during exercise, this device will put even less impact on your knees and hips than a traditional elliptical.

Plus, it recruits more muscles than a stationary bike.


Overall Elliptical Rating: 4.5/5

Pros:

  • Operates quietly, with link-free magnetic technology
  • Features patented technology designed by physical therapists to minimize impact on joints
  • Sturdy, stable and built to last
  • Teeter has a good customer service reputation

Cons:

  • Seat may start causing discomfort during longer workouts
  • Leg motion is more of an up and down as opposed to the long forward and backward stride of an elliptical

Teeter Video Overview

Key Features:

  • Magnetic resistance makes it less noisy than other ellipticals
  • Cushioned seat with adjustable recline
  • Media shelf for holding your device
  • Mimics natural stepping motion without putting stress or impact on your knees, ankles or hips

Teeter FreeStep Review

Let’s look at how this device measures up across a few important criteria:

Price: 5/5

This model gives you a ton of value at a great price. At $750, it’s cheaper than most ellipticals in its caliber of quality.

Despite the price, Teeter doesn’t compromise on quality or features. Whereas cheap ellipticals often lack the intensity you need, this device offers sufficient resistance for a challenging workout.

Although recumbent bikes tend to be cheaper, third-party research has shown that the Teeter FreeStep burns 17.4% more calories than a recumbent bike.

Plus, it tones your arms. As you move the handlebars back and forth, your shoulders and back do the lifting. When you hold the handlebars down by the seat, you engage your triceps.

Also, you can adjust the seat back to lean back for engaging your abdominal muscles. Since the FreeStep exercises more muscles, comparable to an elliptical, it’s justified for costing more than a recumbent bike.

Considering the FreeStep is well-built and made to last, it’s truly a great value for the price. As another bonus, the company ships you the product free of charge. For all these reasons, we give it a 5/5 for pricing.

Reliability & Warranty: 3/5

The Teeter FreeStep comes with a free 1-year warranty on the machine’s frame and a free 90-day warranty on the base and moving parts. After that, you have to pay $49.99 a year for coverage.

This includes full coverage for any repair needed, as well as device replacement if required. That considered, investing in the warranty is a good value.

Many other home elliptical brands include free warranty coverage for 3 to 5 years, so Teeter doesn’t excel in the warranty department. However, the company’s customer service reputation is solid.

The device has received customer reviews largely from users who have had no issues using it over the long-term. Those who have had issues have been able to get solutions and repairs from helpful representatives.

While we’d hoped there would be a longer free warranty on this device, it’s quality-made from a reliable brand using researched, patented technology.

Despite its short warranty, we still give the FreeStep a 3/5 for its durability and the product’s history of being reliable.

Stability & Quality: 5/5

The Teeter FreeStep has a wide rectangular standing base just above ground level, with four short legs, enabling it to be sturdy and stable.

Geared for older individuals with exercise limitations, Teeter built this machine with safety in mind. There are handlebars you can grip right at the seat for stability when you’re getting on and off the machine.

The handlebars are adjustable for the length of your arm, and they have safety locks to ensure they don’t move when the device is in use.

Teeter’s FreeStep machine has a UL safety certification and we consider it the safest fitness equipment if you have weak or injury-prone knees.

Plus, the company has a 38-year reputation for creating reliable devices, including an FDA-approved inversion table.

According to Teeter, the FreeStep has been tested to perform for over 2.3 million cycles, making it guaranteed to last.

We give it a 5/5 for safety and the quality of technology and material used, which make this device perfect for long-term home use.

Size & Comfort: 4/5

The Teeter FreeStep is designed for home use, which is why it’s in a compact form. It takes up 54 inches in length and 38 inches in width, or about a 4 ½ by 3 foot area footprint. It can easily be placed in the corner of a small room or in the open space of a large room.

Comfort is where the Teeter excels. Because it operates so smoothly and quietly, it’s not jerky or loud.

Its patented stride technology is made to protect your knees with a linear, ergonomically correct path that doesn’t put stress on them. The pedals are large and cushioned, so you can find a comfortable footing no matter your foot size.

The handlebars have grips that make them softer on your hands. With the option to recline your seat to 3 different levels, you can customize the feel or change it up during your workout.

Whether you recline the seat back or not, being able to sit instead of stand the way you would using an elliptical, makes exercising easier.

While you burn more calories than on a stationary bike, the FreeStep has a larger, wider seat that’s more comfortable to sit on.

We love the Teeter FreeStep because it makes working out more comfortable for achy joints.

However, we can’t give it 5 out of 5 for comfort, because many users have complained the seat gets uncomfortable after a while of use.

Some say that the back of the seat reclining isn’t comfortable because the seat itself doesn’t move with it for ergonomic alignment.

Resistance: 5/5

The Teeter FreeStep is designed with a patented stride motion for your feet that’s more linear, like a stair stepping motion, versus a circular or elliptical motion.

There are 8 different resistance levels on the FreeStep, and they’re made for everyday people who want a light to medium intensity cardio workout.

The resistance output of the highest resistance level isn’t very strong relative to the standard elliptical, but users say they’re able to get a challenging cardio workout while toning muscle.

When you rotate the handlebars or change their length, you can target different muscles in your arms and back, giving you more versatility for strengthening different muscle groups.

We give the FreeStep a 5 out of 5 for resistance because it provides enough resistance for the people this equipment is designed for.

Many users are recovering from injury, in rehab or coping with a chronic disease like arthritis or muscular dystrophy.

People who want a greater athletic challenge can try a traditional elliptical machine, such as one with as many as 25 resistance levels. This ensures you get the workout you need, and it’s still a low-impact activity.

Most ellipticals allow you to switch up the resistance level with the push of a button. On the FreeStep you have to manually change your resistance level.

The FreeStep has magnetic brakes that get closer or farther to the flywheel to lower or increase the resistance levels, and there’s a dial on the right grip of the seat you need to turn in order to make the change.

Many users report this is actually easier than reaching out to the console.

Noise: 5/5

The FreeStep is designed to be quiet for use in the home that won’t disturb neighbours or others in your home.

The friction-free linkage system between the handlebars and foot pedals is smooth, so you get no dragging or popping motions creating loud noises.

Several users who left reviews report there’s virtually no noise when using the device, which makes it easy to listen to a show or your music.

Without the noise competition over your stereo speakers, you won’t need headphones to get pumped up with your favourite songs.

Features: 4/5

The FreeStep features a digital console that displays your workout time, distance, speed and calories burned.

There is no Bluetooth feature for syncing with fitness apps. Other features it lacks are automatic workout programs and any sort of storage for workout history to track your progress over time.

High-tech features like these typically come with a trainer machine that costs you over $1,000. 

The FreeStep does feature a sturdy media device shelf for your tablet or phone, enabling you to watch a show or keep your device within reach for changing the music you’re streaming on your headphones or speakers.

There’s also an easy-to-reach water bottle holder for convenience so you can stay hydrated.

If you pay an extra $50, you get a thick heavy-duty mat you can place the device on. This helps protect your floor.

When you need to move or store away your FreeStep, it has wheels on the legs you can unlock and use to transport it more easily.


Should You Buy the Teeter FreeStep?

If you’re limited in your ability to exercise but want to still get the best workout possible, the Teeter FreeStep Elliptical is the best cardio workout you’ll find for a zero-impact cardio workout.

With its patented zero-impact stride technology, it’s a safer option for your knees compared to ellipticals or stationary bikes.

Nonetheless, you can get the same level of cardiovascular intensity and tone up your arms, legs, back and core at the same time.

Considering the science that’s gone into this product, we definitely recommend it for anyone who wants a home workout that has no impact on the hips, knees, ankles or back.