If you’re not necessarily looking for a treadmill, you may have come across this rather strange-looking machine called the Nordictrack Freestride Trainer.
You may have wondered – “What IS that thing?”
The Nordictrack Freestride Trainer – also called the Freestrider or the Freestride elliptical – came onto the market around 8 years ago. It quickly skyrocketed in popularity.
It was a new, different kind of elliptical trainer. Nordictrack designed it to overcome the limits of a traditional elliptical machine.
What exactly are the limits of a traditional elliptical? Let’s talk about that first:
Limits of a Traditional Elliptical Trainer
#1 Problem: Fixed Stride
A traditional elliptical usually gives you a fixed stride. (Stride is the longest length between the two pedals of the elliptical trainer when the pedals are at the farthest point from each other.)
Elliptical stride lengths vary from 14 inches up to 22 inches. Depending on your height, you’ll find that a certain stride feels more natural for you than other stride lengths.
In general, if you’re taller or have longer legs, you need at least an 18 inch- 20 stride or above. If you’re shorter however you’ll probably feel most comfortable with a 16-18 inch stride.
So that brings up the first problem: what if you don’t know which stride is best for you?
And what if there are different users in your home?
What’s comfortable for you may not be comfortable for another family member.
The Nordictrack Freestride Trainer gets around this by giving you a completely adjustable stride.
You set the stride by how hard and in which direction you push down on the pedals. In fact you can get from 0 up to a 32-inch stride!
This means that you – and everyone in your home – can find a stride length that feels most comfortable for them.
#2 Problem: Repetitive Motion
Another downfall of the traditional elliptical is that while you can pedal forward and backwards, you generally have one set forward pedalling motion.
And your body can adapt to this pretty quickly. This means that you end up burning less calories over time as your body gets more efficient.
But with the Freestrider elliptical because the stride is adjustable, you can constantly vary the motion to keep your body from adapting.
You can always add new ways to challenge yourself with these machines.
You can choose to do short, up and down strides like a stair climber, longer jogging strides like an elliptical or even longer running strides like a treadmill.
This constantly challenging of your lower body can help you burn more calories in less time than a traditional elliptical – so you’ll see results faster.
#3 Prolem: Space Limitations
A traditional elliptical is either a front-drive or a rear-drive (depending on where the flywheel is placed on the machine). This can make for an extra long machine that takes up a lot of room in your home.
However the Freestride Trainer is what’s known as a center-drive elliptical. This means there are 2 smaller flywheels placed on either side of the footpedals.
This basically turns a long rectangle footprint into a shorter, more compact square footprint.
So it can save you a bit of space vs a traditional elliptical.
That’s good for condos, apartments or smaller home gym areas.
So those are a few ways that the Freestrider gets around the limits of a traditional elliptical. So what options do you have with the Nordictrack Freestrider?
Well, Nordictrack makes 2 different models as of this writing: the FS10i and the FS14i.
Here’s the FS10i Freestride Trainer:
And here’s the FS14i Freestrider:
As you can see, they both give you the same basic Freestride Trainer design and adjustable stride length.
The main difference?
The FS10i model gives you a 10-inch, full-color, touch-screen console:
And the FS14i gives you a 14-inch, full-color, touch-screen console:
Both are pretty impressive, especially since both machines connect with iFit where you can run trails all over the world and even take fitness classes from your machine.
Still – some people may prefer the larger screen of the FS14i (kind of like having a bigger tv screen).
The other difference is that the FS14i has a few more resistance levels than the FS10i machine – so you have a bit more room to grow as your fitness level improves.
But regardless of which one you prefer, they’re both pretty impressive machines.
So if you’re not sure you want a treadmill – or a traditional elliptical – you may find that the Nordictrack Freestride trainer is just what you’re looking for!
Want to learn more?
Check out the links below to get an iFit trial included with either the Nordictrack FS10i or FS14i Freestrider: