Teeter Freestep LT 3 Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical
While these machines are often marketed as recovery machines (which they certainly are), they are also a great way to shed calories while keeping your joints nice and happy.
After a brutal powerlifting training week, I like to hop on a recumbent elliptical to fit in a nice and sweaty workout while giving my tired joints a bit of a break.
For nice and easy workouts at the end of the week, the Teeter Freestep LT 3 hits all of the marks on what I want out of a recumbent elliptical machine.
This design is surprisingly small and compact, runs virtually silently, and is incredibly comfortable!
Great for recovery workouts
Rotating handles work various muscles in your upper body
Comfortable adjustable seat
Grippy rubber handles and pedals
Commercial-grade steel ball bearings run smoothly and quietly
Includes a large media shelf and water bottle holder
Cheap display screen
So, who benefits most from a recumbent elliptical? Overall, these machines are built for recovery days when you need to give your joints a bit of a break, but you don’t want to spend that time decomposing on the sofa.
It doesn’t provide a high-intensity workout like a standing elliptical, but it’s a great way to elevate your heart rate and get moving without doing any real harm to your knees and lower back.
Even when compared to going for a nice walk around the block, this machine is still a better choice to protect your hips and joints.
While it’s a great recovery machine, this option is also a great choice for those that want to fit in a bit of strength training as well. It hosts resistance features that allow you to dial up the intensity to help build strength as well.
When I hear the words ‘recumbent elliptical’, it conjures images of big and bulky machines that demand quite a bit of valuable floor space. While that may be true in many instances, it’s not the case with the Teeter Freestep LT 3.
This machine is surprisingly small and compact and won’t take up that much room in your home gym.
Once assembled, this machine measures to be just 54-inches long and 38-inches wide. When compared to any other cardio machine such as a treadmill or even a recumbent bike, this machine is incredibly small and compact.
It’s also important to note that this machine boasts a slightly higher weight capacity than other options out there on the market. It offers a max weight capacity of up to 300 pounds. It also weighs in at around 110 pounds, which may make it difficult to move.
It offers a pair of transport wheels along the base that makes it a little bit easier to move as needed, but your best bet is to find the perfect spot in your home gym for it to live permanently.
In a world with high-tech full-color touch screens, the display on the Teeter Freestep LT 3 is a bit of a disappointment. The built-in display harkens back to the 1990s of battery-powered displays with numbers that fade when placed in direct sunlight. While the screen is functional, it lacks high-end functionality often seen in modern machines.
This screen details your time, distance, and calories burned by toggling through the menu using the single button mounted at the base. It doesn’t provide Bluetooth compatibility, and there is no place to plug in a smartphone. This display works, but it doesn’t bring much to the table.
The good news, however, is that this screen also hosts a tablet or smartphone media shelf to place your device.
Unlike other media shelves out there on the market, this design will not block the central display screen. With your smartphone mounted on this machine, you can binge Netflix, listen to a podcast or audiobook as you train.
With no Bluetooth features, it also means that you cannot use this device with apps such as iFit or MyFitnessPal. To keep tabs on your progress, I suggest investing in a FitBit or smartwatch!
One of the very best features of the Teeter Freestep LT 3 is the super comfortable seat! While it isn’t padded like similar recumbent machines, it also means that the padding won’t break down over time.
To keep you comfortable while you train, this seat offers an ergonomic design that cradles your body in place throughout your workout. Users have the option of adjusting not only the placement of the seat itself but the angle of the backrest as well.
By raising or lowering the backrest, this seat helps to activate different muscle groups in your body. For instance, when you angle it back it helps to activate more muscle in your core.
This machine hosts a myriad of adjustable features in the design of the machine as well as the resistance offered. Users have the ability to adjust the seat up and down to accommodate their body type. Simply pull out the pin, move the seat up and down the track and then lock it in place.
You can also adjust the pitch of the backrest, as well as the length of the handlebars. These small adjustments make this machine perfect for shorter or taller users, and these small tweaks are super fast to make.
What I also love about the adjustable features of this machine is that the pitch of the handlebars can also be changed. By simply swiveling the handlebars outwards or inwards, you can target different muscle groups in your arms.
With a more narrow, grip, this machine target your triceps and biceps. By swiveling them outwards, it targets your pecs and lats.
Even though you are sitting down, this machine still delivers a full-body workout with moving handles. These handles are coated with a layer of high-grade rubber the provides a surefire grip even when your palms start to get a little sweaty.
They are also able to be rotated at various angles that will allow you to target various muscle groups. Angle it in to hit the triceps, and angle it out to hit shoulders and lats.
When seated, users don’t need to be as concerned with their feet slipping off the pedals. However, these oversized pedals are the perfect size for most users, and they are coated with a thick layer of rubber for a comfortable ride.
This grippy rubber surface also helps keep your feet locked in place as you train, even when working out at higher intensities.
While the features offered on this recumbent elliptical are a little anemic, this machine really shines in its overall performance.
It boasts a patented technology in the construction of the flywheel that offers a great range of motion that runs smoothly and feels natural. It is made with Commercial-grade steel ball bearings that reduce the risk of snagging points so that the pedals move incredibly smoothly.
Plus, many users found that this machine runs virtually silently even at higher resistance levels. If you love to fit in a morning workout, this machine is a great choice that won’t wake up the entire household!
Overall, the price tag of this bike runs about in the middle of the pack. There are very few dedicated recumbent ellipticals out there on the market, and it is hard to find this very specific machine in the budget-friendly category.
Brands such as PhysioStep are designed specifically for recovery and lead the pack in recovery machines but they often come at a really expensive price point.
The Teeter Freestep LT 3 provides users with all of the advanced performance features found in the high-end brands but at a much more affordable price point.
This recumbent elliptical helps to build muscle and shed calories without putting a lick of stain on your ankles, knees, hips, or even your lower back.
For users that need a cardio machine that works their entire body without irritating their tired joints, this is a great choice. Plus, the surprisingly compact frame will not take up that much room in your home gym.
What I also love about this low-impact cardio machine is that is also perfect for those that are recovering from an injury.
As a powerlifter, I am no stranger to tweaked muscles. One day, I will master the perfect deadlift form, but until that day comes, I will need to keep my recovery game on point. If you tweaked a muscle, keeping active is one of the best ways to get through your rough patch, as long as you keep your workouts low-impact.
This machine is a great way to keep your muscles engaged and your body active as you move through the slow (and often frustrating!) recovery process!
As always, if you have suffered an injury while training, be sure that you hit up your physical therapist or doctor before you try and fix it yourself.
Pulled muscles are a fact of life (especially when weight training or powerlifting) and it’s important that you talk to your doctor before engaging in any activities that may take a minor injury and turn it into a major injury.