Cardio is a unique area in the world of fitness. While some love it, many hate it, but even those who aren’t fans will usually understand it serves a vital purpose. Meanwhile, those who do enjoy it will usually have their own preferred activity that they tend to stick to.
When it comes to the most common excuses you hear for people skipping cardio, it usually comes back to the same few things. These are things like, “it hurts my joints”, “it isn’t comfortable”, “it only works my lower body”, “it doesn’t build muscle”, or “I just don’t like it”.
Now, while the last of those statements is an issue that you will need to change from within, what if I told you there was a type of cardio machine that could solve all of the other issues all at once? Well, with the Teeter FreeStep, that may very well be the case.
Unfortunately, despite the benefits it offers, it isn’t a piece of equipment that has become popular in gyms just yet. So, what is the Teeter FreeStep and why exactly is it so good? Let’s take a look together and you can see for yourself.
Who Are Teeter?
Teeter is a fitness company started in 1981 by Roger Teeter, an innovator and graduate engineer from the University Of Wisconsin. After personally suffering from debilitating back pain for years, he decided to put his expertise to good use and begin creating products for people with similar issues.
Since that day, they have specialised in creating products to help ease and eliminate back pain, such as gravity boots, inversion tables, impact-free cardio machines and resistance training equipment, and physiotherapy tools, such as foam rollers, mats, massagers, stretchers, and muscle creams.
They pride themselves on what they call “The Teeter Difference”. This is the belief that by using their proven, patented, highly certified equipment, people will be able to rid themselves of back pain and live happy, healthy lives, in a way that can’t be achieved with most traditional fitness equipment.
What Is The Teeter FreeStep / What Are The Benefits Of The Teeter FreeStep?
The Teeter FreeStep is a recumbent cross trainer or elliptical bike, a piece of cardio equipment that combines a recumbent bike with a cross trainer / elliptical machine. This makes it perfect for low-impact workouts that activate the upper body as well as the lower body.
Boasting commercial-grade linear step technology, it is able to burn at least 17% more calories than a basic recumbent bike, while the adjustable resistance settings enable it to be used for strength-based workouts, making it an incredibly versatile piece of equipment.
The ergonomic design, sitting position, and comfortable seat and pedals make the Teeter FreeStep a machine that is enjoyable to use both often and for extended periods. This is furthered by its extremely smooth gliding motion.
Being nearly silent to use, due to using magnetic resistance, means you can use it without disturbing others or as you perform other activities, such as watching TV. The easy-to-adjust seat and resistance also make it a pleasure for everyone to use, even if multiple people share the same machine.
This all makes the Teeter FreeStep one of the best cardio machines on the market. Causing almost zero impact means you won’t damage your bones or joints, while using both your arms and legs will allow you to tone and build the muscles throughout your entire body.
What Models Of The Teeter FreeStep Are Available?
There are currently two models of the Teeter FreeStep in production, the LT1, and the LT3. We will now take a closer look at both models, along with their selling points and any drawbacks they may have, to help you decide which would be the preferable option based on your own wants and needs.
Teeter FreeStep LT1 Review
The Teeter FreeStep LT1 is designed using Teeter’s patented Zero-Impact Stride Technology, and features a large grip surface with edge guards, to allow users to enjoy a safe and comfortable full-body workout that is easy on the bones and joints throughout the duration of their sessions.
This is furthered by handles with foam grips and 8 different position settings, soft, easily adjustable pedals, and a reclining seat with significant cushioning, which can be set to multiple heights and positions, to ensure the experience is tailor-made for you.
The use of silent, magnetic resistance allows for an operation that is as quiet as a whisper and ensures your FreeStep can be used at any time of day or night or while you are performing any other activity. The resistance being able to be adjusted simply by turning a dial makes it equally easy to use as well.
Able to be used by people standing between 4 ft 11 in and 6 feet 6 in (150 cm and 198 cm) tall and weighing up to 300 pounds (136 kgs), it is suitable for the vast majority of people.
The included TeeterMove app with free training also offers a world of training opportunities, whether you are a beginner needing advice or an experienced trainer seeking new ideas, regardless of whether you are training for strength or improving your cardiovascular endurance.
Its $849.99 price is by no means cheap yet is still reasonable when compared to similar products. It is quite a large heavy item with assembled dimensions of 55.25 (L) x 38.0 (W) x 52.5 in (H)(140.3 x 96.5 x 133.4 cm) and a weight of 106.9 lb (48.5 kg), which may be an issue for those with limited space.
A 60-day trial period means you can make sure the Teeter FreeStep LT1 is right for you without any risk, while a 1-year warranty will give you peace of mind that you are covered in the event that something were to go wrong. This is particularly enticing if you are shopping on a budget.
ZERO-IMPACT EXERCISE: Ideal for all fitness levels. The naturally-reclined seated position eliminates stress on the joints and back and reduces body fatigue while delivering a total body, fat-burning cardio workout. A great exercise option for those with Arthritis, Parkinson's or MS.
- Track progress with the easy-to-read, battery-powered digital console
- Friction-free linkage system means long-lasting use
- Can be moved without too much of a problem
- Reasonably priced when compared to similar products
- Making little to no noise means it can be used at any time
- Linear peddling motion makes it ideal for those with issues like arthritis
- Ergonomic handles and padded, adjustable seat and pedals make it extremely comfortable
- Height and weight limits make it usable for the majority of people
- Great for injury recovery
- Includes access to the TeeterMove app
- Comes with a 60-day free trial and a 1-year warranty
- Quite large and doesn’t fold for storage, so isn’t ideal for those with limited free space
- Can’t be used by people under 4 ft 11 in or over 6 ft 6 in and 300 pounds
- Hard to assemble on your own if you aren’t technically minded
- Can be too heavy to move on your own if you are a senior
- You need to keep the large box for returns during the trial period
- The pedals won’t go backward like they can on normal bikes or ellipticals
- No workout programs included on the machine
- Reviews say customer support is poor
Teeter FreeStep LT3 Review
The Teeter FreeStep LT3 has the same core design as the LT1, with its silent magnetic resistance, easy adjustment dial, and zero impact stride technology. It also offers an identical 60-day trial period for people to test the machine for themselves and access free training on the TeeterMove app.
The height and weight restrictions of the two products are also identical, as are their assembled dimensions, while the LT3 is only 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg) heavier. The LT3 has a 2-year warranty, as opposed to the LT1’s 1 year, but the main differences between the LT3 and LT1 lie in the finer details.
The LT3 uses UltraGlide steel ball bearings for even quieter operation, while the SoftStep pedals with rubber tread and SureGrip rubber handles are more comfortable, as is its ComfortSelect seat, which is thicker, has a larger surface area, 2 mounting positions, and reclining and height adjustability.
The Teeter FreeStep LT3 does the same job as the LT1 and produces essentially identical results, but it does so in a much quieter, more comfortable manner. This makes it best suited to those who are happy to pay the extra $150 required for its $999.99 price for a longer warranty and premium feel.
LT3 PREMIUM FEATURES:
- Upgraded UltraGlide Bearings promise long-lasting frictionless motion for fluid start-up and stride transitions;
- SoftStep Pedals with durable grip surface for added traction and control;
- Larger ComfortSelect Seat with more positioning options;
- SureGrip handles with a high-grade polyurethane coating for unmatched durability.
- All of the pros listed for the LT1
- Made with materials that offer a premium feel
- Better cuhsioning on the pedals and seat
- Improved grip and comfort on the handle
- Has a smoother glide than LT1
- Boasts a larger area on the seat
- Doesn’t fold away for storage so isn’t ideal for users with limited free space
- Not ideal for very short or especially tall people
- Hard to assemble on your own
- Can be too heavy to move on your own if you aren’t very strong or are a senior
- You need to keep the box for returns
- Can’t pedal backwards like on bikes or ellipticals
- No workout programs included
- Reviews say customer support is poor
Alternative To The Teeter FreeStep
The Teeter FreeStep machines are some of the best cardio options on the market, but they won’t be right for everyone, for one reason or another. With that in mind, we will now look at one of the best Teeter FreeStep alternatives, to hopefully ensure everyone can find a product that is right for them.
ProForm Hybrid Trainer XT Recumbent Bike & Elliptical
The ProForm Hybrid Trainer XT Recumbent Bike & Elliptical takes a similar approach to the Teeter FreeStep yet is less of a hybrid and more like 2 pieces of equipment that have been liked together.
This makes it better suited for anyone who wants to use either a bike or elliptical separately while saving space, as opposed to using the 2 at the same time. Its other benefits include a higher weight capacity, which goes up to 350 pounds (159 kg), a much lower price of $519, and a 5-year warranty.
The LCD screen also offers more information, the 16 levels of resistance are more diverse, and there are also more luxury features, like speakers and a free 30-day iFit membership. It is definitely not as comfortable as the FreeStep though, and it lacks the ability to use the bike and elliptical together.
- Start Your Complimentary 30-Day iFIT Membership;
- Stream live & on-demand workouts on your equipment with Global Workouts & Studio Classes;
- Elite trainers adjust your equipment ($15 value).
- Includes a free 30 day membership to iFit
- Bike and elliptical can be used independently
- Detailed LCD screen provides information like calories burned
- Comes with a much more affordable price tag
- Speakers allow you to play music while you train
- Offers 16 different levels of resistance
- Comes with a 5-year warranty
- Bike and elliptical features can’t be used together
- Not as comfortable as the FreeStep
Teeter FreeStep Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Before we end our guide to the Teeter Freestep range of machines, I want to quickly answer some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQS) people have on them. This will ensure no one is left with any lingering questions and can pick the machine that is best for them and their needs and goals.
Is The Teeter FreeStep A Good Machine?
The Teeter FreeStep is a cardio machine that is able to provide a full body workout, which makes it an extremely effective item. However, it is also specifically designed for those who have back or joint pains or problems, which makes it a more comfortable option suitable for a wider range of people.
Is The Teeter FreeStep Good For Weight Loss?
Weight loss primarily revolves around burning more calories than you consume, so largely depends on your diet. That said, as the Teeter FreeStep burns more calories than either a recumbent bike or an elliptical, it is still a more effective tool for weight loss than either of those as it boosts the deficit.
What Muscles Does The Teeter FreeStep Work?
One of the main selling points of the Teeter FreeStep is that it works all of the major muscle groups. You can work everything together or choose to focus on legs only, arms only, or target your biceps, triceps, chest, or back individually, giving you complete control over your training and development.
What Is The Difference Between The Teeter FreeStep LT1 & LT3?
The materials used on the LT3 are of a higher grade. This makes it quieter and more comfortable and gentler on hands, back, butt, and feet. However, it also makes it more expensive. Essentially, both do the same job but the LT3 is a more premium item aimed at those who prioritise maximum comfort.
How Do I Choose Between The Teeter FreeStep LT1 & LT3?
The LT1 and LT3 both do an identical job, yet the LT3 is much more comfortable and expensive. If you are solely worried about seeing results, the LT1 is the better option. However, if you prioritise comfort and a premium feel, you would be better off choosing the LT3.
Final Thoughts: Is The Teeter FreeStep Worth It?
The Teeter FreeStep is a great piece of fitness equipment for those who want to train their entire body when they do cardio but want to do so in the most comfortable way possible. While neither option is cheap, they are comparably priced to similar products, so both are definitely worth it.
Those who prioritize comfort and a premium feel will enjoy the LT3, while those who simply want to achieve results will more than get their money’s worth from the LT1. Hopefully, you will now have a good idea of which machine is better suited to you and your own personal needs.
Even if you have decided a Teeter FreeStep isn’t for you, the ProForm Hybrid Trainer XT Recumbent Bike & Elliptical is a more than suitable replacement. That means everyone will hopefully now know which elliptical bike is the one to give them the comfortable, effective workout they are looking for.
Steve is a retired professional wrestler with over 10 years of experience in the personal fitness industry. He is a certified personal trainer working with a wide variety of athletes as well as a fitness writer.