An elliptical trainer or cross-trainer (also called an X-trainer) is a stationary exercise machine used to simulate stair climbing, walking, or running without causing excessive pressure to the joints, hence decreasing the risk of impact injuries. For this reason, people with some injuries can use an elliptical to stay fit, as the low impact affects them little. Elliptical trainers offer a non-impact cardiovascular workout that can vary from light to high intensity based on the speed of the exercise and the resistance preference set by the user.
An elliptical cross trainer is comparable to a treadmill in its exertion of leg muscles and the heart. Ellipticals produce an intermediate range of leg motion between that of stationary bikes and treadmills. Since users do not take their feet off the pedals, there is no footfall noise in contrast with other fitness trainers such as treadmills.