Stamina Inmotion Compact Strider Review

Gaming & Exercise

Staying Active While Sitting Around: The Struggle

Whether you love video games, work in an office, or are just a fan of sitting, you probably know that you should be getting more exercise. Unfortunately, since most of us don’t have a rowing machine parked in our living rooms, it’s easy to neglect exercise, especially after sitting at work all day, when all you want to do is get back home and either turn on Netflix or pick up a controller and get back into whatever game currently has you in its thrall. Yet, without exercise, our muscles will atrophy, leaving us with bad backs, incapable of sitting through huge chunks of sweet, sweet gaming. What to do?

With this in mind, we decided to test some products that will help us combine our love of gaming with the chore of exercise, and to that end, we’ve been testing the InMotion Compact Strider, an elliptical style machine that, while not aimed at cultivating ripped abs or drastically altering your entire appearance, is quiet, convenient, easy to use, and perhaps most importantly, we’re still using it over a month after receiving it.

Putting The Pieces Together

Putting the Strider together out of the box is simple and easy to do in about ten minutes. There's an included Allen wrench, and everything is laid out in an understandable way (see the picture below). The unit itself is heavier than anticipated but that's a positive; the machine feels solidly constructed, and it pedals smoothly and quietly. An adjustable tension knob lets you ramp up the resistance for more of a workout and is easily controlled with a twist of your wrist. There’s also an included DVD, although it’s hardly necessary; the machine’s use is very self-explanatory.

The Test

The feature we appreciated the most about this bad boy is that you can use it sitting down or standing up. While recently replaying Dark Souls 2, I found that sitting and pedaling while I was exploring was fine, and once I got into a rhythm, it's easy to almost forget I was even pedaling; the smooth elliptical motion isn't really distracting at all. However, once it was time for a boss battle, I’d generally prefer to stand. Flipping the Strider around accomplished this quickly (one way is for sitting, one is for standing), and it got to where whenever I’d see a fog door, I’d automatically flip the Strider around, increase the resistance and stand up to pedal. As an added bonus, I found that the more intense the battle, the faster I’d go. If you’re watching television instead of gaming, you can also stand up and use the included removable resistance bands for a light upper body workout that I actually felt in my muscles after a while. You can do bicep curls, forearm work or even hit your shoulders, which is a nice perk.

Another fun feature comes with the digital readout. If you pay attention to the Strider's digital display while playing a videogame, it can often feel like you're playing two games in one. As I was paying attention to my online score, I’d also be clocking the total calories burned on the Strider. It’s oddly satisfying to see my avatar's digital progress in addition to having my own physical progress counting up as well and it’s actually strangely addicting. The digital readout measures calories burned, strides per minute, total number of strides and exercise time, which are all personal "scores" that are fun to try and top. I also loved the feeling that I wasn’t just “sitting around gaming” as I was kind of working out at the same time.



The Strider's combination of nearly passive exercise (depending on how you set the tension), solid construction, versatility and ease of use make it an ideal choice for gamers or people with office jobs who need to add some motion to their routine. Perfect for those sedentary chunks in your day, whether it's a 9-5 grind or a gaming marathon. Highly recommended.

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