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If you’re looking for an affordable piece of home cardio equipment to support low-impact workouts, you’ll likely want to take note of the Teeter FreeStep LT3.
This recumbent elliptical cross trainer is near silent, ergonomically designed, and offers a practical solution for those looking to stay active without putting unwanted pressure on joints such as the knees, hips and ankles.
An upgrade from the FreeStep LT1, the LT3 boasts a whole host of new and exciting features.
But how does it stack up against other similar products and is it ultimately worth the price?
In this Teeter FreeStep LT3 review, we outline everything you need to know, including what we like, don’t like and who we think the product is best suited to.
In a hurry? Check the latest FreeStep LT3 price below. At the time of writing, it’s currently got $100 off so you can grab yourself a bargain! 👇
Teeter FreeStep LT3 Overview
- Burns 17% more calories than a basic recumbent bike.
- Activates the upper body as well as the lower body.
- Perfect for low impact workouts.
- Adjustable resistance enables strength-based workouts.
- Ergonomic design and comfortable seat/pedals.
- Near silence due to magnetic resistance.
- Very smooth gliding motion.
- Easy to adjust the seat and resistance.
- Commercial grade linear step technology.
- Max weight limit of 300 lbs is ok, but we’d love to see this increased further to support more users.
- Very easy to move but doesn’t fold, so storage is something to consider.
Would We Recommend The FreeStep LT3?
If you’re looking for a recumbent bike, we would definitely recommend considering the FreeStep LT3. The inclusion of the elliptical style handles and adjustable resistance means your workouts are going to be more effective and complete. With an average customer rating of 4.6/5, it’s clear the majority of customers are very happy with their purchase.
What We Like About the FreeStep LT3 Recumbent Cross Trainer
Low Impact Cardio Exercise
Recumbent bikes have long been associated with low impact workouts. The upright sitting position allows you to get your legs moving via the pedals, without any unwanted pressure on your joints. Consequently, recumbent bikes have become increasingly popular, especially with over 50’s or those with chronic pain or injuries.
However… this primarily targets the lower body, as it’s only your legs doing any sort of movement. You’ll often just hold a static handle as you pedal.
The FreeStep LT3 fixes this by including handles similar to what you’d find on an elliptical cross trainer, allowing you to get your upper body moving too.
At first glance, this appears to be quite a simple addition to a recumbent bike, but the difference this makes is substantial. It means your arms, chest and back are all engaged during your workout, helping to burn additional calories and keep the upper body activated.
When you up the resistance, you can also use the machine to help build upper body strength too.
Due to the ability to adjust so much of the LT3, whether that’s the level of resistance or the positioning of the seat, it means there is so much workout variation.
For example, with the seat reclined back and the handles low, you could opt for a very gentle workout to keep active while you watch TV. In contrast, with the seat upright, handles higher and the resistance increased, you could opt for a workout focused on building strength and burning calories.
Ultimately, this ability to adjust the machine so much means you can get more out of it.
There are 13 levels of resistance, but it should be clear, even the highest level isn’t going to compete against traditional strength equipment in terms of building muscle, but it’s definitely enough to benefit from. With good technique, you’d definitely activate your muscles on the higher resistance levels.
In terms of adjusting the setting, it’s very straight-forward… you just have to twist a knob.
One feature we really like, which we haven’t seen on other recumbent cross trainers is the ability to adjust the handles. This sounds like a subtle change, which it is, but the result is the ability to target the arms and back differently, depending on how the handles are set up.
This helps open up even more exercise combinations, to keep your workouts effective and dynamic. With the resistance set high, you could pull the handles to genuinely activate the biceps and triceps, for example… something that simply isn’t possible with the average recumbent bike.
Great for Injury Recovery
The Teeter FreeStep LT3 is great for physiotherapy and injury recovery… in fact, we’d say this is probably what it is designed for. The low impact nature of the machine means you can engage and activate muscles without needing to put pressure on joints.
Using a treadmill, bike or even an elliptical to some degree, will require a certain level of mobility to actually use the equipment, but the FreeStep LT3 allows you to gently get back into exercise and movement.
This means you can be active sooner and build up strength and mobility in a way that simply isn’t possible with other home fitness equipment. Even going for a long walk might cause pain, so the effectiveness of being able to exercise in such a low impact way can be monumental for some users.
When you look at the wider Teeter FreeStep LT3 reviews online, you’ll notice many praising the machine as the only solution they’ll found for exercising with certain injuries or chronic conditions.
We’ve reviewed our fair share of exercise equipment designed for the home, yet things like noise and size seem an after-thought in so many product specifications. Luckily for those who opt for the LT3, the machine is very quiet… which your family will definitely thank you for!
This is due to the use of magnetic resistance.
You could watch TV or have a conversation with someone whilst using it, which is great for use in the home.
Our recent guide on the best compact home rowing machines illustrated similar outcomes with magnetic resistance coming out top for reduced noise. (Magnetic resistance also requires no maintenance which makes it great for home use too).
The movement of the handles and pedals are incredibly smooth. It feels very natural which helps to reduce unwanted strain on joints or muscles.
To maintain this ultra smooth glide, you’ll want to adjust the machine to best suit your height. There are instructions on how to set up the LT3 when you make your purchase.
Teeter is a family business that has been at the forefront of innovation for over 40 years. Their inversion tables are the best on the market and they’ve expanded to offer the same quality and expertise in new product ranges, such as this recumbent elliptical cross trainer.
There are cheaper alternatives but the quality of the build is usually just not something that is comparable to a brand like Teeter.
The machine is solid, sturdy and designed for frequent use.
One of the differences between the LT1 and LT3 are the pedals. The LT3 has really nice cushioning on the pedals as well as better grip. This helps make your workouts more comfortable, which is likely going to encourage you to workout for longer.
Especially for home use, when you might just want to use the LT3 for a few minutes, being able to use it wearing socks instead of trainers is also very practical.
Free Teeter Move App
When you buy the FreeStep LT3, you’ll get free access to the Teeter Move app.
This means you can enjoy workouts designed specifically for Teeter equipment, led by a professional personal trainer, as part of your purchase.
60 Day Free Trial
Teeter currently offer an impressive 60 day trial of the LT3. This is better than the industry standard and means you can really try it out and ensure you get value from it before committing to it.
FreeStep LT1 Vs LT3
The FreeStep LT3 is an upgrade from the LT1 (which is also a very impressive recumbent elliptical in itself). Most of the core features are the same, but the LT3 comes with an extended 2 year warranty, better pedals (SoftStep), better seat (ComfortSelect), better handles (SureGrip), and the use of UltraGlide bearings for a smoother glide.
For the price difference, we think the extra features mean the LT3 is the better choice for most people. The LT1 is a little bit cheaper than the LT3 (currently $150), and is still a very good recumbent, so if you do want to save a bit of cash, the LT1 certainly is also a great choice.
You can learn more about the LT1 here.
Things to Consider
Weight and Height Capacity
The weight capacity is 300 lbs and the height limit is 6’6″.
With the weight capacity, you probably could use the machine if you were over 300 lbs, but the sturdiness would be compromised and it may not feel as smooth to use. If you’re technically under 300 lbs, but not by much, you may also find the machine is less sturdy than for someone who is 200 lbs, for example.
This weight and height limit is better than many models and machines, especially cheaper ones, however, we’ve noticed many ellipticals offering weight limits into the 350+ lbs range.
If you’re looking for a very high max weight limit, our review of the LIT Method, a low impact strength rowing machine, has a weight capacity of 500 lbs, so that’s a potential alternative if you want something really durable. This is quite a different machine, but the extra weight limit might mean it’s a better choice for some.
When assembled it’s 55.25 x 38.0 x 52.5 in.
Although the footprint is actually quite small for a recumbent bike or elliptical cross trainer, these machines do need quite a bit of space, especially when you get them set up in your living room. This is mainly due to the fact you’ll want some space around the machine to make it easy to get on and off, as well as recline backwards. So the actual footprint of the machine isn’t reflective of the space you need.
It is quite easy to move though, so if you’ve got space to store it, you can just wheel it out when you need to use it.
The LT3 comes with a ledge to hold a device, such as a phone or tablet. This means you can follow along to the free workouts from the Teeter app, or stream other workouts. Similarly, you could just watch TV from the device too.
One thing to consider, however, is the ledge is lower than the seat, so you’ll likely end up looking down at the screen. We find this isn’t ideal for correct posture whilst exercising.
As a result, we tend to find syncing any workouts or entertainment onto a TV is probably going to be better. This means you can enjoy a larger screen, and keep your head in a more upright position.
In terms of alternatives, you’ve got some factors to consider. Standard recumbent bikes are more common and although range in price depending on brand and model, are probably going to be cheaper on average than a recumbent cross trainer.
Elliptical cross trainers also range in price a lot, and are perhaps going to be more similar to recumbent cross trainers like the Teeter LT3 when it comes to price… but are larger and will require better mobility to use than a recumbent cross trainer.
Interestingly, there really aren’t that many quality recumbent cross trainers, so if the ones listed below don’t interested you, the other option is to look at standard recumbent bikes (but these don’t bring with them all the same benefits as the cross trainer hybrids).
The LT3 probably comes out on top over these alternatives, when you factor in the benefits of the machine and cost.
XTERRA Fitness RSX1500 Seated Stepper
The Xterra RSX1500 is pretty much the same price as the LT3, so it’s a good comparison.
It leverages more tech and has a monitor placed higher than the LT3, so it is easy to see during a workout, which we like. It’s got a really nice mesh ergonomic back rest which helps avoid getting a sweaty back.
Overall, the reviews for the RSX1500 are very positive (average rating of 4.8/5), so it’s clearly another popular recumbent cross trainer.
The pedals are much smaller though, similar to what you’d find on a bike… so this is very different from the pedals on the LT3 which opt for a large cushioned surface.
The recommend height is only up to 6’2″, which is surprisingly low for a quality machine… and something to consider if you’re tall.
As already discussed in this review, the LT1 is pretty similar to the LT3 and if you’re looking to save a bit of money, might be worth considering.
For us, the extra features on the LT3 are worth the slight increase in price, but if budget is tight, this machine does come with all the core features of the FreeStep LT3.
ProForm Hybrid Trainer XT Recumbent Bike and Elliptical
ProFrom have approached a recumbent cross trainer differently from Teeter and Xterra by literally combining a recumbent bike and elliptical.
Essentially, it’s two pieces of equipment merged into one, as opposed to a new hybrid style machine.
This means you use the recumbent bike as you would with any other recumbent bike and then stand up and use the elliptical cross trainer like you would a standard elliptical.
Ultimately, this creates a very different experience from the Teeter FreeStep LT3 and is probably less suited for those looking for a very low impact, easy to use machine. Instead, this is better for anyone who would basically like to own both a recumbent bike and an elliptical.
ProForm is a solid brand, and the XT has good reviews, so it’s worth considering if you like the ideal of using a more traditional elliptical during your home workouts.
FreeStep LT3 Reviews
The overall reviews for the Teeter LT3 are largely very positive, with an average customer rating of 4.6/5. Lots of customers talk about how much they enjoy having equipment everyone in the family can use. Similarly, another popular trend amongst the online reviews is the quality of both the product and customer service. Should any issues arise, the US based support team are there to help.
A handful of less positive reviews usually talked about struggle using the machine with their chronic pain… which might suggest that although this is one of the best low impact machines out there, if you do have very limited mobility, even this might be a push too far(you’ve still got to be able to actually get on the machine). In these instances, it’s worth talking to a healthcare professional, such as a Physical Therapist, who may be able to help offer personal recommendations.
The Teeter FreeStep LT3 is an effective peice of home exercise equipment to offer a variety of low impact workouts. The ability to engage the upper body for strength-based movements as well as doing recumbent cardio workouts is why we think the Teeter LT3 is undoubtedly one of the best machines for those wanting to keep fit at home.
Coming in at under $1,000, you get a lot for your money compared to other equipment. Nevertheless, this is still a substantial investment for most, so you want to consider your own personal requirements and circumstances to decide if it’s right for you.
We think if you’re unable to do high impact workouts, using something like the LT3 is going to help ensure you stay active, so the value this will provide is substantial for your overall health, and consequently a good investment to make.
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