HCI Fitness PhysioStep MDX

A Medical-Grade Recumbent Elliptical

The PhysioStep MDX from Health Care International (HCI) is a seated recumbent elliptical with upper and lower body workout options. People in a wide range of fitness levels can exercise the whole body with healthy low-impact motion, but this model is especially designed for those with troubled knees or more severely impaired mobility. For example, it’s low to the ground and features an oversized seat that swivels for mounting and dismounting. It also has a special console for people with not-so-perfect vision.

The HCI PhysioStep MDX has an MSRP of $2999. It’s the priciest HCI product in the recumbent elliptical series. The two more basic options are the PhysioStep RXT, which is also suitable for rehab centers but lacks the swivel seat, and the LTD, which is generally best for private homes.

Elliptical Hits of the PhysioStep MDX Recumbent Elliptical Stepper

  • Workout types – Patients can get a lower body workout, an upper body workout with multiple positions, or a full body workout all at once with this unit. The recumbent design and well-designed stride mean that virtually no negative impact is made on a trainee’s ankle, knee and hip joints.
  • Program variety – The PhysioStep MDX has nine preset workouts plus manual mode and space for two user-defined programs. The presets are named: Rolling Hills, Peak, Plateau, Mountain Climb, Hill Interval, Strength Interval, Fat Burn HRC and Cardio HRC. Sixteen intensity levels are available.
  • Low-vision console – The display screen on this medical-grade elliptical bike is oversized to allow for larger numerical readouts. Also, console buttons are color-coded. A brickyard graphic indicates overall progress.
  • Heart rate system – Contact pulse sensors can keep patients aware of their exertion levels during exercise. A Polar wireless-compatible system is also included, but the wireless chest strap is sold separately. The strap typically costs around $99.
  • Adjustable swivel seat – The highly adjustable can be locked into 15 positions for exercise. It can also swivel to let patients on and off. The seat is designed with optimum lumbar support in mind.
  • Sturdy frame – The MDX weighs 209 pounds and has a maximum user weight capacity of 350 pounds.
  • Anti-slip pedals – The pedals are textured with a diamond pattern to help grip shoe soles and reduce the chance of slipping. Foot straps are included too.
  • Great warranty – Commercial customers get a lifetime warranty for the frame, three years for mechanical and electronic parts, and one year for labor.

Overall Rating for the HCI PhysioStep MDX Elliptical

The HCI PhysioStep MDX makes an excellent addition to commercial rehabilitation settings, and it’s just right for home gyms of people with limited motion. In addition to featuring a low-vision console, a swivel seat, anti-skid pedals and a low height, it has medical-grade ergonomics throughout and a good variety of preset workouts. What’s not to like? This recumbent is highly recommended for medical settings and for gyms catering to people with sports injuries, physical disabilities and other needs for physical rehabilitation.

HCI Fitness PhysioStep LTD

A High-Quality Recumbent Elliptical

The HCI PhysioStep LTD has a recumbent (seated) design that lets trainees exercise the upper and lower body together or individually. It’s well-regarded for use in rehabilitation centers and private homes alike. The seated position is ideal for many elderly exercisers and for those who have trouble with balance or their joints. With the PhysioStep, the whole body can be exercised with low-impact motion and at a wide variety of intensity levels.

The HCI PhysioStep LTD has a suggested retail price of $2499. It’s the most inexpensive HCI product in this series. The two more advanced options, the PhysioStep RXT and the MDX, have medical-grade consoles for people with compromised vision. Also, the RXT operates without need for plug-in power. All three models are approved by the International Council of Aging.

Elliptical Hits of the PhysioStep LTD Recumbent Elliptical Stepper

  • Workout variety – Trainees can choose from three major exercise styles: a total body workout, a lower body workout or an upper body workout.
  • Program variety – The PhysioStep LTD has many preset workouts, manual mode, space for user-defined programs, and 16 resistance or intensity levels. The presets include: six standard workouts, a body fat program, heart rate control programs, a watts control program and a pulse recovery program.
  • Crisp console — The high resolution console is backlit with a soft blue light. It shows time, speed, distance, calories, heart rate and resistance.
  • Heart rate system – Contact pulse sensors let the user monitor heart rate throughout the workout. A Polar wireless-compatible system is also included, though the wireless chest strap is sold separately.
  • Adjustable seat – The seat is well-designed to provide lumbar support and is highly adjustable. It can be used by people with a wide range of physical challenges. Adjusting the seat can also lengthen the required stride.
  • Sturdy frame – The PhysioStep weighs 185 pounds and can support a user weighing up to 325 pounds.
  • Great warranty – Commercial customers get a lifetime warranty for the frame, three years for mechanical and electronic parts, and one year for labor.

Overall Rating for the HCI PhysioStep LTD Elliptical

The HCI PhysioStep LTD is a great elliptical training alternative for people who prefer to not use an upright machine. In customer reviews it’s nearly as efficient a calorie-burner as a traditional elliptical. It has medical-grade ergonomics from the lower leg motion through to the comfy handlebar grips. It also features ample programming and a strong warranty for home use and for light rehabilitation.

Potential customers should note that this machine, like other seated ellipticals, has a shorter stride than most upright elliptical trainers. It’s meant more for rehabilitation and cardiovascular strength than for incredible body sculpting, but it can certainly be the center point of a physical fitness program even for people who are already in shape.

Some similar products from other brands in our reviews include the Stridewell 8320 recumbent elliptical, which also has a 12” stride, and the Octane XR6, which has a 17.5” stride.

HCI Fitness PhysioCycle RXT-900 with UBE

The unique PhysioCycle RXT-900 Recumbent Elliptical/Stepper with UBE features three workout modes: recumbent elliptical, recumbent stepper, and UBE (upper body ergometer). It has an adjustable seat and is a comfortable, virtually no-impact way to get full-body cardiovascular exercise. It sells for as low as $1799 online. It’s especially intended for use in rehabilitation centers, but it’s popular for home use.

Elliptical Hits of the PhysioCycle RXT-900 Recumbent Elliptical Stepper

  • Variety – Users can choose from an elliptical stride, a short stair-stepping motion, or a stationary bicycling motion.
  • Easy to use — The simple console shows time, speed, distance, calories, heart rate, and resistance.
  • Heart rate system – Pulse sensors next to the seat let the user monitor their pulse throughout the workout.
  • Sturdy frame – The PhysioCycle weighs 170 pounds and can support a user weighing up to 300 pounds.
  • Great warranty – Customers get a lifetime warranty for the frame, three years for mechanical parts and electronic parts, and one year for labor.

Elliptical Misses of the PhysioCycle RXT-900

  • Few programs – The PhysioCycle RXT-900 has only seven programs and eight levels of resistance. That’s fine for a clinic, but it could quickly become dull for a home user. The RXT-1000 has additional programming.
  • Short stride – The maximum 14” stride might not let trainees use a full range of motion. The Octane XR6, another recumbent elliptical, has a longer stride.

Overall Rating for the HCI PhysioCycle RXT-900 Elliptical

The PhysioCycle RXT-900 is a good training alternative for people who prefer not to use traditional upright ellipticals. It’s sturdy and is sold with a great warranty. Since it’s low on programs,

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you might want to exercise with a good book or park this machine in front of the TV.

HCI Fitness PhysioStep RXT 1000 Recumbent Elliptical

The PhysioStep RXT-1000 Recumbent Elliptical/Stepper is a very well-regarded fitness machine for use in rehabilitation centers and private homes. It has an adjustable seat and is a comfortable, virtually no-impact way to exercise the upper body, lower body, or full body. The RXT-1000 has an MSRP of $2495 but sells for as low as $2195 online.

Elliptical Hits of the PhysioCycle RXT-1000 Recumbent Elliptical Stepper

  • Workout variety – Users can choose from three exercise styles: a total body workout; a dedicated lower body workout; or an upper body workout with “UBE” or “Upper Body Ergometer.”
  • Easy to use — The simple console shows time, speed, distance, calories, heart rate, and resistance.
  • Heart rate system – Pulse sensors next to the seat let the user monitor their pulse throughout the workout. A Polar wireless-compatible system is also included.
  • Adjustable seat – The seat can be micro-adjusted and is ergonomically designed to provide lumbar support.
  • Sturdy frame – The PhysioStep weighs 209 pounds and can support a user weighing up to 350 pounds.
  • Great warranty – Customers get a lifetime warranty for the frame, three years for mechanical parts and electronic parts, and one year for labor.
  • Program variety – The PhysioStep RXT-1000 has 12 built-in workouts and 16 resistance levels.

Elliptical Miss

This seated elliptical has a short 12” stride. That might be fine for certain rehab programs, but it’s shorter than most elliptical strides.

Overall Rating for the HCI PhysioStep RXT-1000 Elliptical

The PhysioStepRXT-1000 is a good training alternative for people who prefer not to use traditional upright ellipticals. It has great ergonomics, good program variety, and a strong warranty. Potential customers should be aware that this machine, like other seated ellipticals, has a shorter stride than most upright elliptical trainers.

Some other options include the Stridewell 8320 recumbent elliptical, which also has a 12” stride, and the Octane XR6, which has a 17.5” stride.

HCI Fitness Ellipticals

HCI Fitness is a division of HealthCare International, Inc. The company produces and distributes high quality recumbent (seated) ellipticals and other fitness equipment for use in rehab centers and private homes. HCI is also distinguished by its commitment to a clean natural environment: its products are certified carbon-free through the company’s offset program.

HCI elliptical prices range from about $1799 to $2195.

Brand Features of HCI Fitness Ellipticals

Overall Rating for HCI Fitness Ellipticals

HCI seated ellipticals are good cardio training alternatives for people with back trouble. They have great ergonomics and strong warranties.

Potential customers should be aware that these machines, like most other seated ellipticals, have shorter strides than most upright ellipticals.