Best Treadmill Alternatives: Top 6 Low-Impact Options

Last Updated on May 27, 2020 by Sam Corbin

the best low impact alternatives to the treadmill

When it comes to getting a great indoor cardio workout, the treadmill is one of the most popular options on the planet. They’re a great way to get your heart pumping, burn a lot of calories, and staying in excellent cardio shape. You can even adjust the incline to add to the intensity, or slow things down and use them for a brisk walk.

That said, the treadmill isn’t always the best the workout machine for everyone.

The reasons people look for something different can vary, but can include the need for finding something more low-impact to those who want more of a full body workout.

Whatever your reason for looking for an alternative to the treadmill may be, you should be able to find something that works for you with the machines we’re going to detail below.

So, if you’re hoping to find a great workout machine, that ISN’T the treadmill, keep reading to see some great options.

Our Top 6 Alternatives to the Treadmill

  1. Echelon Smart Connect Spin Bike
  2. Bowflex TreadClimber
  3. Bowflex Max Trainer
  4. Elliptical
  5. LateralX
  6. Rowing Machine

1. Echelon Smart Connect

the new EX-5s with HD flatscreen

I recently got an Echelon Smart Connect spin bike (see my review here), and I can honestly say this is the most fun workout machine I have owned. This was my first introduction to spin classes, or a bike for that matter, and the experience has been awesome so far!

Riding a spin bike is a great low-impact alternative to the treadmill, but it’s also a great way to burn calories, get your heart pumping, and have a lot of fun while doing it.

If you’re not familiar with the Echelon yet, it’s a spin bike that allows you to stream live workout classes, or access a huge library of pre-recorded rides. This is a great way to participate in live spin classes, stay motivated, to keep things fun and interesting.

Here are some of the features of the Echelon:


  • Stream Live Classes or Access Pre-Recorded Catalog
  • Compete Against Other Riders
  • Smooth Magnetic Resistance
  • Use with iPad, Tablet, or Buy Their Bike with Built-in Flat Screen
  • Small Footprint, Space-Saving Design
  • Huge Variety of Workout Options: Perfect for Beginners or Advanced Riders
  • Great Low-Impact Alternative to the Treadmill
  • Lots of Colors and Features to Pick From
  • Financing Available

Learn More

I have been really happy with my Echelon Spin Bike, and it’s now my go-to cardio workout. You can even get in a great arm workout on the bike, if you want.

If the Echelon sounds like a good fit, you can learn more below:

See All Echelon Bike Models and Check Current Prices Here

2. TreadClimber

PRICE: Check Latest Prices on

the treadclimber tc100 and tc200 side by side

If you’re looking for a machine that provides an alternative to the constant pounding of the treadmill, then we’d like to introduce you to the Bowflex TreadClimber.

The TreadClimber is one of the best low-impact workouts around (read our review about it here), and on top of that, it’s been shown to burn more calories than the standard treadmill when used at the same speed. That means you can get better results in much less time.

Here are just a few of the features that make the TreadClimber our first choice when it comes to picking a different and better machine than the treadmill.


  • Just Walk – No Running Needed Here
  • 3 in 1 Walking Workout Machine
  • 5 Different Workout Programs
  • Syncs with Free TreadClimber App
  • Bluetooth Ready
  • LCD Display
  • Built-in Heart-Rate Monitor
  • USB Charging Port
  • Water Bottle Holder
  • Media Shelf
  • .5 to 4.5 MPH Speed Range

How it Works

So how can the TreadClimber burn 2.5x the calories when compared to the standard treadmill or stair-stepper?

It’s because they’ve combined the best of the treadmill, stair-stepper, and even the elliptical, for one power-packed, yet low-impact walking workout.

Here’s a quick video, showing it in action:

Who Should Pick the TreadClimber Over the Treadmill?

You can see a more complete breakdown of the TreadClimber vs the treadmill here, but basically you should consider the TreadClimber if:

  • You Want a Better Low-Impact Option
  • You Only Want to Walk
  • You Want a Machine That’s Slightly Smaller Than Most Treadmills
  • You Want to Burn More Calories in Less Time

Where to Buy the TreadClimber

Think the TreadClimber may be the best machine for you?

They’re currently offering some great deals!

If you want to learn more, see the latest pricing, and learn about financing options, head here to visit the official Bowflex website. 

3. Max Trainer

Price: See Latest Pricing Options at

max trainer models side by side

If you want to kick things up a notch, and are looking for something a bit more intense than the TreadClimber or the treadmill, then the Max Trainer may be the best machine for you (read our Max Trainer review here).

While it brings a bit more of an intense workout than the TreadClimber, in our opinion, it’s still very low-impact and all designed to help you burn more calories in a shorter amount of time.

That’s because it’s a unique combination of an elliptical and stair climber, and when you use it with the built-in Max Trainer HIIT workout, you should be able to see some pretty awesome results.

Plus with their new Max Intelligence App, you can use it for as little as 4 minutes per day when starting out, which will help you ease back into shape, while still burning a few calories as well.

Here’s what the Max Trainer Brings to the table:


  • Takes up Very Little Space – I keep mine in my office.
  • Looks Great
  • Up to 20 Levels of Resistance
  • Bluetooth Heart Rate Compatible
  • USB Charging Port
  • Large Display Console
  • Burn Rate Display Monitor
  • Multi-Grip Handles
  • Built-in Heart Rate Monitor Grips
  • Syncs with Max Intelligence App
  • Three Models to Pick from
  • Affordable
  • Financing Available 

Who Should Consider a Max Trainer?

If you’re looking for smaller, sleeker, and more low-impact machine than a treadmill, then the Max Trainer may be the perfect fit. While it’s more low-impact than the treadmill, it’s unique design allows you burn more calories quicker.

On top of that, you can push it however hard you want, so you can still get things moving at a very brisk pace.

The Max Trainer takes up much less space than your average treadmill, so if space is an issue, or you just don’t want a huge piece of fitness equipment, then the Max Trainer may also be the better fit. It’s small enough, that mine fits comfortably in the corner of my small office.

The Max Trainer starts at just $999, so it’s also quite a bit cheaper than most high-quality treadmills.

Where Can You Get the Best Deal?

Right now, the official Bowflex site is going to be the best place to buy your new Max Trainer. They can connect you with everything you need to get started, you can compare all three models side-by-side, learn about the new Max Intelligence App, and get access to their generous financing package.

CLICK HERE to Learn More and Lock in BEST Max Trainer Deals.

4. Elliptical

PRICE: Depends on Brand and Model – Check Bowflex’s Prices here

a side by side shot of bowflex's ellipticals

The elliptical has been a crowd favorite for decades now (see our favorites here), and it’s often the first machine a person thinks of when trying to find an alternative to the treadmill.

That’s because they’re one of the most common machines you’ll find at the gym or online, so most folks are very familiar with the elliptical by now.

The elliptical machine is a nice, low-impact alternative to the treadmill, so if that’s something you’re looking for, and don’t think the TreadClimber or Max Trainer are the machines for you, then maybe the elliptical is the better fit.

Recommended Features

There are a bunch of different elliptical brands and models out there, and while some are going to be a lot better than others, these are a few of things your elliptical should have:

  • Multiple Resistance Levels
  • Pre-Programmed Workouts
  • High Speed Drive System
  • Weighted Flywheel for Smoother Workouts
  • Can Sync with Fitness Apps
  • Cushioned Stride System
  • High-Quality Foot Treads
  • Media Deck
  • Built-in Speakers
  • User-Friendly Interface
  • Warranty Available
  • Should be Affordable

Who Should Consider an Elliptical?

If you’ve tried an elliptical before, and preferred it to the treadmill, then it obviously may be the machine you want to consider. It’s also more low-impact than the treadmill, which is another factor that may push it to the top of your list.

The standard elliptical is a bit larger than some of the other machines on our list, but if space isn’t an issue for you, then maybe the elliptical will work out for you.

Where Can You Get the Best Deal?

There are a lot of ellipticals out there, so you may want to shop around a bit and find the one that fits your budget, while also meets your fitness needs.

Amazon has a nice selection that you can see here, or Bowflex also has two highly-rated elliptical models – see them here.

5. LateralX

Price: Check Latest Prices on

the lateralx models

This is one of the coolest, and all-around best machines on our list, in my opinion. This is also one of the newest machines from Bowflex, and it’s already making waves for its unique design, and ability to get your body moving in several different ways.

The LateralX is all about improving the way you move (read more about it here), while also giving you an amazing full-body, low-impact workout.

If you’re looking for a much more complete workout machine than the treadmill, that is still low-impact, then this may be the perfect fit!

Through a unique combination of Push & Pull, Stand & Squat, and Side-to-Side movements, the LateralX can help you stay loose and limber, while also burning calories and getting your heart pumping.

Here it is in action:


  • Adjustable Lateral Range – You’re in Full Control of the Intensity and Comfort Levels
  • 10 Workout Programs
  • 10 Resistance Levels
  • Large Backlit LCD Display Console
  • Four Dynamic Hand Grips
  • Performance Suspension Pedals
  • Heart Rate Monitor
  • Media Shelf
  • Bluetooth Ready
  • Syncs with Bowflex LateralX App
  • Library of 30 Full-Length Workout Videos
  • Built-in Speakers
  • 2 Models and Pricing Points to Pick From
  • Financing Available

Who Should Consider the LateralX?

If you’re looking for a low-impact alternative to the treadmill, that gets your body moving in all directions, provides a full-body workout, and still gets your heart pumping and calories burning, then definitely check out the LateralX.

It’s a super cool machine, that makes your workouts fun!

On top of that, it keeps you moving in the same ways you need to use your body in everyday life.

Where Can You Get the Best Deal?

Head to if you’re ready to learn more about the LateralX. From there, you can learn about the two models they currently have available, and can also check out some of the other machines on our list.

CLICK HERE to Lock in BEST LateralX deals.

6. Rowing Machine

Price: Depends on Brand and Model

Rounding out our top-5 list, is a machine that brings a very different workout than the treadmill, so if you’re looking for something totally different, then the rowing machine may be a nice alternative.

There’s a lot more arms with this one, but you still build leg strength, get your heart pumping, and burn a serious sweat with the rowing machine.

On top of all that, it’s also another low-impact option, that usually takes up much less space than the average treadmill.

Recommended Features

There are a lot of different rowing machines out there, but here are some of the features we prefer when it comes to finding a high-quality rower:

  • Performance Tracking
  • Nice Display Monitor
  • Easy Storage Options
  • Comfortable Seat
  • Syncs with Heart Rate Belts or Monitors
  • Air-Resistance Flywheel
  • Ability to Control Damper Level
  • Bluetooth Ready
  • Minimal Noise
  • Affordable

Who Should Consider a Rower?

The rowing machine is the perfect fit for the person who wants to use their arms more, while also getting in a bit of a leg workout as well.

You also are seated during the workout, so it doesn’t bring the constant pounding that a treadmill can.

Where Can You Get the Best Deal?

As we mentioned, there are lots of different brands of models of rowing machines out there. Our favorite rower?

The Echleon Smart Rowerlearn more and see best price.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are some really solid options out there, if you’re looking for something different than your standard treadmill workout.

All of the machines on our list, offer a much different workout than the treadmill, are low-impact, and some have even been found to burn more calories!

Either way, find the machine that works best for you and your fitness needs, and get started on your fitness journey today!