The desk elliptical you need in your life while working from home

The detachable handlebar is a game-changer.
Daniel Boan/TODAY
By Daniel Boan

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The gym is the worst place in the entire world. OK, maybe that's just my terrible memories of P.E. class talking, but I can never motivate myself to go to the gym. Going before work is an absolute pipe dream for a night owl like me, and I typically just want to relax when I clock out for the day.

Fortunately, I still am somewhat active since I live in New York City and walk almost everywhere. However, that has taken a turn in the last few weeks as — like most of us — I've started working from home and practicing social distancing.

I had been eyeing a desk elliptical for some time now, so I decided it was finally time to take the plunge in an effort to get some sort of exercise into my routine. I went for the Stamina In Motion Compact Strider Pro since it has an attachable handlebar that essentially turns it into a mini standing elliptical.

Stamina In Motion Compact Strider Pro

If you're looking for something just to use while sitting down without a handlebar, Stamina also makes a less expensive option with positive reviews.

Stamina In Motion Compact Strider

When my unit arrived, it suddenly hit me that I would have to put it together. I've never used a drill in my life, and I don't know who Phillip is or why a screwdriver is named after him, so panic immediately set it. Thankfully, the box includes everything you need, and the instructions are helpful and detailed.

After about 30 minutes of setup, I stepped on and half expected it to fall into a million pieces. To my surprise, it felt very sturdy and the motion was super smooth thanks to the wheels that keep the pedals in motion.

Daniel Boan/TODAY

The stride is shorter than I expected, so it sometimes feels more like a stair stepper than a true elliptical, but I got used to it fairly quickly. The unit features an adjustable tension knob to control the intensity, as well as a timer that tracks distance and calories burned.

After about 30 minutes on the machine at various speeds, I had worked up quite a good sweat and the time seemed to fly by much faster than when I'm at the gym. According to the built-in timer, I had burned a total of 300 calories. Not bad!

The best part? I'm able to watch Netflix while working out rather than try to figure out how to work the TVs at the gym. Watching "Tiger King" while getting a workout in is a 10 out of 10 experience.

Daniel Boan/TODAY

Once I'm done, I simply detach the handlebar and store it under my bed until I'm ready for another at-home workout. I've also used it a few times while working from my couch, and it's a great way to get yourself moving throughout the day. I've never really worked up a sweat or felt like I got an amazing workout when using it this way, but it certainly feels better than just sitting still.

Daniel Boan/TODAY

I can confidently say that I've already used the Stamina In Motion Compact Strider Pro more than I've used my gym membership in the past year, so this little splurge has basically paid for itself.

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