As clichéd as it may be, the start of the New Year can be a great time to purchase fitness equipment. Manufacturers know that many New Year's resolutions center on health as they time their promotions and product releases accordingly. Even if exercise is already part of your daily routine, you can still benefit from the uptick in fitness fanaticism that emerges each January.
To help you navigate the market, we have compiled a list of our favorite new workout machines, from entry-level basics to professional-quality rigs.
ProForm Tour De France 5.0
The newest version of the Official Training Bike of Le Tour de France combines professional-grade machinery with motivational technology.
This stationary bike has 30 gears, a range from -20 percent decline to 20 percent incline, toe cage pedals, and silent magnetic resistance - all features that contribute to a realistic, challenging indoor cycling experience.
The iFit and Google Maps-integrated console represents a big improvement compared to programmed workouts of the past. You can map your own course anywhere in the world, and the bike will automatically simulate the terrain. You can even recreate the 2015 Tour de France, complete with cheering spectators and scenic views.
Buy the ProForm Tour De France 5.0 now
Nordic Track X9i Incline Trainer
This treadmill reaches a 40 percent incline, higher than any other machine on the market. This steep slope remedies two major problems of treadmill use: boredom and lack of muscle engagement.
The huge range of belt positions provide endless variation, especially when used in conjunction with the treadmill's built-in iFit functionality. Through the console's full-color screen, iFit can lead you through hundreds of different workouts, offering motivation and tracking metrics all the while.
Of course, walking or running uphill engages more muscle groups and torches more calories than doing so on a flat surface. For performance-minded runners, adjusting the treadmill's incline is also essential for replicating the resistance of race conditions.
Buy the Nordic Track X9i Incline Trainer now
LifeSpan E2i Elliptical Cross Trainer
This all-new elliptical from reputable manufacturer LifeSpan offers a variety of cardiovascular workouts that emphasize lower body toning.
In addition to being a solidly constructed commercial-grade piece of equipment, it synchronizes to many popular fitness-tracking applications and is quiet and streamlined enough for home gyms.
Part of elliptical machines' appeal is that they offer full body workouts without putting undue stress on the joints. This model goes a step further in injury prevention: its integrated core balance technology gives real-time readouts of the amounts of pressure exerted by the left and right sides of your body. This helps correct your imbalances for thorough, even results.
Buy the LifeSpan E2i Elliptical Cross Trainer now
Marpo Kinetics VLT Functional Rope Trainer
This novel machine should stimulate even the most seasoned of gym veterans.
Rope trainers are emergent pieces of fitness equipment that replicate the experience of climbing a rope. Thanks to adjustable resistance, they lend themselves to a huge variety of assisted bodyweight workouts.
While this one seems expensive compared to other types of machines, it is actually an entry-level option. Its compact size is ideal for facilities with space limitations. In terms of a power source, it requires only three AA batteries. Impressive, considering that it can be used for beginner cardio workouts, intense strength training sessions, and everything in-between.
Buy the Marpo Kinetics VLT Functional Rope Trainer now
Sunny Healthy & Fitness Rowing Machine with Full-Motion Arms
If you're looking to try out a new type of equipment, rowing machines are a strong option.
Although often overlooked, they provide strength and cardiovascular benefits without exacerbating many common joint problems.
This one is small, lightweight, sturdy, portable, and quiet, so you can use it in front of the TV and stow it away between uses. It is affordable enough for trial use. You don't need to make a huge investment to discover whether rowing is right for you.
Buy the Sunny Healthy & Fitness Rowing Machine with Full-Motion Arms now
Bladez Fitness Fusion GS II Indoor Cycle
Similarly, trying a spin-style bike at home doesn't have to break the bank.
This newly improved model is our pick for an introductory indoor cycle. It is designed to give you a workout sans bells and whistles.
It's a solid machine with a welded metal frame, floor-leveling feet, ergonomic adjustable seat, repositionable handlebars with a recently redesigned post and stem, caged pedals, and a 40-pound flywheel. Its basic LCD console displays time, speed, distance, and calories burned.
Buy the Bladez Fitness Fusion GS II Indoor Cycle now
StrongBoard Balance Board
Despite its unassuming appearance, this compression spring-based balance board leaves muscles sore and hearts pounding.
Simply trying to stand on it provides a full-body workout that strengthens all the stabilizing muscles in the body, especially those in the core.
Fitness enthusiasts enjoy the departure from traditional floor-based core work. Athletes often find that balancing exercises increase their agility and performance. Still, individuals recovering from musculoskeletal injuries may benefit most of all, since re-learning to balance has rehabilitative effects.
Buy the StrongBoard Balance Board now
This machine emulates the sensation of Nordic skiing, but resist the urge to compare it to ancient wooden Nordic Tracks. This minimalist wall-mounted machine gives a fierce upper body-focused cardiovascular workout without excessive moving parts.
It can be used double-poling style (pulling with both arms at once) or with an alternating arm motion, so it appeals to all types of skiers. It's also great for anyone seeking an alternative to lower body-based aerobic workouts.
Resistance is adjusted by changing airflow to the flywheel. It can also be used with a floor stand (sold separately) in home gyms that lack wall space.
Buy the Concept2 SkiErg now
Total Gym XLS Plus Universal Home Gym
Free weights are often lauded as the best way to strength train, but this bulky equipment requires plenty of storage space, especially as you get stronger.
This multifunctional strength trainer works head-to-toe muscle groups with adjustable resistance - no barbells necessary.
It includes a leg pull, squat stand, wing attachments, an abdominal crunch bench, and a comprehensive exercise chart showing how to use them. If space is tight, it readily folds for easy storage.
Buy the Total Gym XLS Plus Universal Home Gym now
While many exercise machines emulate an outdoor activity inside, ellipticals have followed the opposite trajectory.
Originally developed as a stationary cardio machine, they have now been re-imagined as heart-pumping outdoor transportation.
The ElliptiGO Arc provides the same low-impact, high-intensity workout for which ellipticals are well loved - and it will take you places, too. If you enjoy elliptical machines, but are tired of overhead lighting, stale air, and TV screens, then try an ElliptiGO. It looks like a stand-up version of a bicycle. It can be used in most places that road bikes can go. Just be sure to follow applicable traffic and safety rules.
Buy the ElliptiGO Arc now
-- Written by Michael Franco