Elliptical machines have been a mainstay of the commercial gym cardio scene for decades. With the improved quality and lowered price of home use cardio equipment, they are also fast becoming a home gym favorite. In this article, we get up close and personal with one of the most popular home use ellipticals on the market, the Sunny SF-E905.
Why an Elliptical?
One of the great advantages of elliptical machines in comparison to treadmills and other cardio options is that they are extremely low impact. That’s a major plus for people who are prone to ankle, knee or low back problems.
A workout on an elliptical machine is a great way to target the butt muscles (glutes). This is an area that many people are keen to tighten and shape. It is also directly targets the quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.
Ellipticals allow for both forward and backward motion. In the forward action, the focus is on the quads, while backward motion targets the hamstrings. But ellipticals don’t just work the lower body. The best ones also have movable arms so that you can work your arms and shoulders. On top of the specific muscle action, an elliptical workout gives you an effective calorie burn.
Your workout options on an elliptical are quite varied. You can perform a traditional timed cardio workout with individual machines providing you with all sorts of built-in programs to keep you motivated and challenged. You can also perform HIIT workouts on the elliptical.
The Sunny SF-E905
Sunny Health & Fitness is a well-established player in the home fitness market. With factories in California and China, Sunny have established a well-deserved reputation for providing excellent quality low priced home cardio equipment, backed up by excellent after sales service.
Sunny’s ability to source their products directly through a wide range of manufacturer’s allows them to provide their high-quality home fitness products at extremely attractive price points.
The SF-E905 is Sunny’s most popular budget elliptical. It is a low-cost model that is intended for beginners to home cardio exercise. As such, it is not suitable for intensity training.
User Friendly Display
The LCD display monitor on the SF-E905 is easy to read with large, clear digits. It provides readouts of your important training stats including:
The scan mode on the monitor allows you to get a running readout of your stats. You also get a pulse monitor which is built into the handlebars to provide you with a readout of your training heart rate. However, this is not overly accurate.
The SF-E905 features double handlebars. There is a pair of handlebars which are fixed in place to provide you with a secure, stable hold if you want to focus on working out your lower body. In addition, there is a set of fully movable handles which allow you to exercise your upper body while you’re also sculpting your legs and butt.
The hand grips on this elliptical provides you with a secure grip. This ensures that you are not having to deal with sweat slippage half way through your workout.
Oversize Foot Pedals
The textured non-slip foot pads are large enough to provide a safe and secure foot placement.
Smooth Magnetic Resistance
The Sunny SF-E905 provides magnetic resistance to deliver a smooth, quiet, jerk free motion. You get 8 levels of magnetic resistance.
Magnetic Brake System
The magnetic brake system gives you a smooth way to control the flywheel. It has brake pads which are connected to the control knob by a wire.
The steel crank arms on this machine are very robust and it has a decent sized flywheel. The flywheel belt is very solid and reliable.
Adjustable Leg Stabilizers
This elliptical provides you with leg stabilizers to enable you to get just the right sort of balance while you’re working out. This is especially beneficial when working out on carpet.
The SF-E905 comes with transportation wheels to make it easy for you to wheel it away when your workout is over.
With dimensions of just 35.5 X 15.2 X 18 inches, the SF-E905 is compact enough for even the most restricted of living spaces. The entire unit weighs just 61 pounds, making it easy to move the unit around and to store it when not in use.
What’s Not So Good
Limited Stride Length
The biggest problem with the SF-E905 is the limited stride length. This is just 11 inches which makes it impossible for tall people to get a full stride length. If you are taller than 5’ 10 you will struggle to get full activation with this machine.
Limited User Weight
The maximum user weight on the Sunny SF-E905 is just 220 pounds. This means that it is not an option for the larger person.
SF-E905 Price Point
The Sunny SF-E905 comes in at a very attractive price point. It is very good value for money, providing you with features that you normally won’t find under $200, such as dual handles, pulse monitor and forward / backward motion.
The Sunny SF-E905 is a great entry level compact elliptical machine for home use. It provides you with a level of robust construction, digital monitor experience and extra features you won’t find in other models in its price range. You need to be aware, however, that this elliptical cardio machine is intended for beginning exercisers. It does not have the capacity to be used for heavy training, such as that done with HIIT style workouts. Furthermore, its small stride width of just 11 inches will be too limiting for many people.