I had a torn meniscus and as part of my rehabilitation, I looked into elliptical machines. The Bowflex made a very attractive package in both the size that it takes up is relatively small, and the promises that it makes of being gentle on your body, especially those with knee and hip and back problems. Unfortunately, in three years of ownership, I've only been able to use it a couple of days every few months or so because my knees hurt with what feels like terrible arthritic pain and I'm in my early forties. I actually have a 4-flight walk up from the street to my front door and then an additional 2 flights from the downstairs to the upstairs of my home, and I make these trips so many times per day that my Fitbit says that I do approximately 60 flights of stairs between work and home, and just inclined walking in general. With the Bowflex, however, it is just taking up space in my room as it hurts my knees within 1 minute of use.
It looks pretty, but if you start out overweight with any joint pain, it is going to be hell on you. I used to play field sports and was an avid cyclist, so I have stamina, but this is dreadful.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend
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