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How to Choose the Best Home Cardio Machine for You

    You have decided to invest in a cardio machine for home to burn fat and get better health. You are looking around at Amazon or other online fitness stores, and you cannot decide which one to buy since there are thousands of machines to choose from.

    You have not bought such a thing before, so how you know which is the most suitable for you? What if you buy a cardio machine that makes more trouble than good and you spent your hard-earned money?

    There are many important decisions you have to make before. I have used and bought many exercise machines in my life, so I may be able to help you a bit. Here are some steps that aid your decision.

    What are the best cardio workout machines?

    • treadmills;
    • rowing machines;
    • exercise bikes;
    • ellipticals;
    • stair climbers.

    1. Do you want to use it for low impact or high impact cardio workout?

    high impact vs low impact aerobic exercises

    Low impact training is recommended for people with limited mobility or seniors. Walking is such an activity. It is a mild way to exercise that does not put pressure on joints and tendons.

    High impact workouts put more stress on the body but boost your endurance and cardio.

    The intensity is a different thing. A low impact workout can be intensive, as well. A good example is brisk walking.

    For low impact exercises, a treadmill, an indoor rowing machine, or an indoor bike are the best low impact cardio machines.

    • On a treadmill, you can walk, plus since the running area (belt) comes with shock absorption features, it even protects your knees.
    • Rowing, if it is done correctly, is a full body exercise that does not put too much stress on particular joints.
    • Indoor cycles are also safe to use. Although, the upright bike is a bit more uncomfortable to sit on than a recumbent exercise bike.
    • Also, each of these types of cardio machines can be set into various resistance so that you can find the one for your fitness level and maximize weight loss.

    Note: A mini cycle, stepper or elliptical machine is affordable pieces of cardio exercise equipment for moderate workouts.

    For high impact workout, all the exercise machines above are suitable. But, treadmills, rowers, spin bikes, and stair climbers are the top.

    • Treadmills come with a lot of inbuilt programs, such as high interval training ones. Incline treadmills give such an environment as if you were running uphill. So, the possibilities are endless for high-level training.
    • Rowing machines provide a full-body workout (it works the upper body as well), and we can set them into tough resistances.
    • A stair stepper gives the hardest training. Just think about climbing stairs.
    • A spin bike is a unique exercise and provides tough resistance if you want.

    Why is it important to know what type of workout you want?

    Because a person who wants to do high-level training needs to invest in a machine that is robust, reliable, and provides many opportunities to exercise. And with that, such a unit costs more.

    For not so serious training, there is no need to invest in such a professional machine. For example, if you do not want to run or sprint, it is enough to buy a walking treadmill that costs less.

    2. The dimensions – Do you have enough space at home?

    Another critical factor is how much space do you need for the item to use it comfortably. If you have a dedicated room, then no matter what you pick.

    But what if you have a small space?

    Luckily, there are folding treadmills and rowers. Hence, you can store them easily. Stationary bikes are rather compact, while climbers and elliptical are pretty big and not folding.

    Note: Recently, vertical climbers become very popular because of total body cardio workout and small design.

    When you plan the placement of the cardio machine, do not forget to add a few feet around it. Such clearance is required for safe and comfortable use. Finally, these home cardio gym equipment are rather massive, so regular relocation is not an option.

    On the other hand, you can find small cardio equipment with a compact design. These items have an acceptable footprint and usually folding as well. Good examples are the compact rowers.

    3. The versatility – How many types of exercises can you do with it?

    In one feature, each of the mentioned cardiovascular machines is common, that is, they are versatile in resistance. We can choose from different levels. However, we can do only one type of activity with it.

    Maybe the only exception is the treadmill since we can use it for walking, jogging, and even sprinting. So, if you do want to get bored, a treadmill is the best choice for you.

    4. Maximum capacity – Will it stand your weight?

    Each fitness equipment has a weight limit given by the manufacturer. It is vital to check out if you are not heavier than that limit. Although, in most of the cases, it is 200-300 lb, so most of the people are within this range.

    5. The manufacturer & warranty

    There are trusted manufacturers who are in the market for long years, even decades, such as Life Fitness, StairMaster. Businesses that continuously develop their machines and provide spare parts. They are more reliable.

    The warranty is a sign of quality and well-built. The cardio machines are under heavy usage, so the extended warranty is essential. In most of the cases for the frame, we get long years of warranty and for other parts less. I would never pay for a machine which comes with a one year warranty for the frame. That is a terrible sign.

    Recently I bumped into home cardio equipment that is replicas and of course, made in China. Such units are not always bad, but I only buy them if the warranty is extended.

    6. Assembly – Can you put it together?

    Just like almost everything these days, almost always, you have to assemble the product you buy. It is not a big deal in most of the cases since the manufacturers try to make assembly as easy as possible. But, if you have no tools, or clumsy like me, it is not an easy task. Although, for an extra cost, you can get a professional assembly at your home.

    Always read the customer reviews to know what they think about the assembly.

    7. Price – Can you afford it?

    Well, you can get a machine from a hundred to thousands of dollars. How much you are willing to pay is your choice. Of course, cheap devices provide fewer functions and may not as durable as higher-priced items.

    • Quality treadmill for running starts from 1000 bucks, but for walking, you can get one for under 500 if you are on a budget.
    • A compact rowing machine with hydraulic resistance is affordable. But, the best user experience is given by such models as Concept 2 Model D indoor rowing machine with air resistance, which is the best-rated unit out there.
    • Starting level indoor exercise bikes are not that expensive, you can get a good one for home about 200 dollars. However, pro machines with a lot of programs and extras, particularly a recumbent bike, are more expensive.
    • A professional stair climber costs thousands of dollars. But as I mentioned before, some vertical climbers cost a bit more than 100 bucks, so they are rather budget-friendly.

    8. Performance monitor

    performance monitor

    Each of the modern machines come with an LCD display that shows and store information about the workout. Although they are not always accurate, they still provide some data that is close to reality. A performance monitor shows you various data such as distance, time, heart rate, calories burned, speed, etc. I like this feature since it motivates me to keep going.

    Questions to ask yourself before buying a cardio machine for home gym

    1. What kind of cardio workout do I want to do?
    2. Will the machine be under serious usage?
    3. Do I need many inbuilt programs?
    4. Will I have enough space?
    5. Does the desired machine stand my weight?
    6. Is the warranty acceptable?
    7. Does the machine get many positive reviews?
    8. Will I be able to put it together alone?
    9. Is the price within my budget?

    What is the best overall cardio exercise machine for the money?

    Well, it is hard to tell, but from my personal experience, the treadmill or the rower is the best cardio machine for home. Both workout equipment provides total body training working for all the major muscle groups. They also have inbuilt programs for versatile cardio workouts. Also, they may have a space-saving design. Perfect for fat burning workouts and keeping the cardiovascular system healthy.

    If you cannot decide, I recommend you to get into a commercial gym and try them for a month.


    Which machine burns the most belly fat?

    Burning belly fat mainly depends on your daily calorie intake. Simply, you have to consume less so your body needs to burn fat. That leads to body fat loss.

    Of course, with the help of a cardio machine, you can speed up the processes.

    What is the best exercise machine to lose weight?

    Machines that engage the big leg muscles burn the most calories. But, the amount depends on your fitness level, weight, age, the intensity of the training, etc.

    • Stationary bike: 500-1000 calories/hour
    • Rower: 700-1100/hour
    • Treadmill: 600-1200/hour

    What is the quietest cardio machine?

    Upright bikes and magnetic rowing machines. They do not make much noise.

    I hope with the help of this guide, and by answering the questions, you can find the best home cardio machine for you that will help to reach your fitness goals. No matter which you pick, use it with dedication. If you have any questions, feel free to ask below.

    Topic: Cardio Machines


    James Wright

    James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

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