6 Worst and Best Cardio Machines

Ever wondered what cardio machines actually work? There are tons..

6 Worst and Best Cardio Machines

Ever wondered what cardio machines actually work?

There are tons of cardio machines out there but have you ever stopped searched the internet to see if any of the machines actually work?

Well i hope in this article i will cover the 6 most popular cardio machines out there…

Guidelines: We will be showing you how many calories are burned within 30 of working out and a little bit of information about each machine…

So lets get to it.

Rowing Machine

Cardio Benefits

Weight Loss

Rowing burns calories rapidly, making it a suitable addition to your workout regimen if weight loss is your chief priority. A vigorous workout on a rowing machine can burn about 377 calories in 30 minutes for an individual who weighs 185 pounds. Frequent rowing can help you work toward the calorie deficit that is integral to weight loss.

Cardiovascular Benefits

Using a rowing machine is an endurance exercise that increases heart function and uses carbohydrates to provide the energy required to exercise. Keeping the rowing machine tension at a low level allows you to maintain a high rate of speed with little resistance in order to reach and maintain an aerobic state. Aerobic exercise improves lung, heart and circulation systems and is the cornerstone of an effective exercise routine.

Muscle Toning

Rowing uses virtually every major muscle group in your body. With little pressure on the joints, due to the activity’s low-impact nature, rowers work their legs, hips and buttocks with each stroke. They also use upper-body muscles, strengthening the back, shoulders and arms. The trunk and core are engaged in the exercise as the rower performs each stroke. You can adjust most rowing machines to create a tighter resistance to increase the rate at which you build muscle.


Cardio Benefits

To Burn More Calories
  • Do intervals: Running at a consistent pace is great for longer training runs, but during shorter workouts, increase the intensity by including speed intervals. By alternating between running a few minutes at a moderate pace and throwing in bursts at a quicker pace (or even sprinting), you’ll burn more calories, build endurance, and become a faster, stronger runner. Not to mention, intervals have also been proven to fight belly fat. Here’s a 30-minute treadmill interval workoutfor you to try.
  • Gradually increase your speed throughout your workout: Running faster burns more calories, and since you don’t want to start your run at a seven mile per hour (mph) pace, start out with a brisk walk (four mph) and every two to five minutes, give your speed a little push until you’re running at a five to eight mph pace.
  • Run longer: It’s good to mix up the type of running workouts you do, so on days that you’re not running intervals or building up speed, do a longer run at a consistent pace. If you run for 30 minutes (at a pace of 10 minutes per mile) you’ll burn 270 calories. Forty-five minutes burns 405 calories, and an hourlong run burns 540 calories.
To Strengthen Your Muscles
  • Raise the incline: Hills help to target your thighs, calves, and booty, so pump up the incline and you’ll notice a little extra power in your lower body. Doing hill work will also help prevent shin splints.
  • Incorporate walking lunges: Slow down the speed, take wider steps, and do walking lunges to tone your tush and legs.
  • Let go of the handles and pump your arms: Using your upper body while running not only tones your biceps, triceps, and shoulders, but since you’re balancing without holding on, you’ll also tone your core.
To Increase Your Speed
  • Incorporate tempo runs: If you want to run faster, you must practice running at a faster pace. Tempo work involves running slightly faster than your normal, comfortable pace for a steady period of time. After warming up, set your desired pace on the treadmill and run. The treadmill is like a metronome forcing you to keep tempo.
  • Practice negative splits: This technique involves running the second half of a run at a faster pace than the first half. It seems like it might make your total time slower, but conserving your energy in the beginning and allowing your muscles to warm up will actually help you comfortably increase your pace on the second half of your workout, so you end up with a faster time. Find more about the benefit of training with negative splits here.
  • Include intervals with incline: Throughout your workout, periodically raise the incline for a few minutes to represent the hills you’d find on a trail run. Then when you lower the slope to a flat position, you’ll feel stronger and be able to run much faster.

Spin Bike

Cardio Benefits

Burn Calories

A spinning workout of 45 minutes may allow you to burn around 500 calories, which is a huge amount when compared to other types of workout. However, the amount of calories you burn will depend on the intensity of the workout. Adjust your bike according to the intensity you desire.

Build Muscle Tone

The spinning workout may help you build some muscle tone. The workout will focus on the core muscles, as well as the buttocks and thighs. You can increase and decrease the tension of the bike; this is similar to riding up and down a hill. While you pedal, you will work your thighs and calves. If you maintain the correct position on the bike, you will also work on your abdominal muscles. When you pedal faster, you are likely to burn fat. When you pedal slower and have a higher tension, you will work your muscles.

Increased Cardio Endurance

If you opt for regular spinning classes, you will build increased cardio endurance. This is beneficial, especially if you feel weaker and start panting even after an insignificant effort, such as climbing a flight of stairs.

Low Impact Exercise

A spinning workout is a low impact exercise. This means that it won’t put pressure on knees and joints, as other aerobic or running exercises do. The workout is also recommended for people that suffer from arthritis.

Relieve Stress

Any type of exercise is known to relieve stress. However, a spinning class can be a more efficient stress reliever than most types of exercise. This is due to the fact that the workout is intensive and it is a class where you can meet people and socialize.

Spinning classes are held by an instructor that will motivate you throughout the workout. In addition, there will be music, which will make the class more entertaining.

Reduced Risks of Injury

While running and jogging may present a high risk of injury, a spinning class is less likely to cause any injuries. However, it’s recommended to stretch prior to the class, so that you don’t pull any muscles.

Adjustable Tempo

The stationary bike will have adjustable tensions, which you can change during the class. Your trainer can indicate when to change the tension, or you can adjust it according to your abilities and fitness goals.

Track Your Progress

Most stationary bikes will have some devices which will track the amount of calories you burn, your mileage and even your pulse. This means that you can track your progress, which is also a motivating factor.


Cardio Benefits

Increase Aerobic Capacity

Aerobic capacity is a very important aspect of fitness. If it is high, then you will be able to perform activities for long periods of time without getting out of breath. One of the benefits of an elliptical is that it helps increase your aerobic capacity by increasing your heart rate and making you break a sweat. Just 20 to 30 minutes three or more days a week is enough to increase your aerobic fitness.

Non-Impact Exercise

There are a lot of people who suffer from bone and joint conditions, such as ligament tears, osteoporosis and arthritis. Those suffering from such ailments can benefit from elliptical training because it does not place a lot of impact on joints. Being that your feet stay still on the gliding platforms, there is no impact, which makes the elliptical a safer exercise option for a variety of people, including those who are elderly, rehabbing from knee surgery, have varicose veins or are obese.

Total Body Workout

When you are running either outside or on a treadmill, you burn calories and get a lot of leg muscle recruitment. However, when you use the elliptical, you can work the upper and lower body at the same time. Elliptical machines work the legs, chest, shoulders, back and arms. With this machine, you can complete a full-body workout in as little as 20 minutes.

Lower-Body Exercise

Elliptical trainers use a lot of muscles in the legs, which is an area a lot of people want to target. For an effective leg workout, place your hands on the center handrail, and just use your legs to move the pedals. To add a little variation to this, you can reverse the direction of the pedals, which will work your legs more intensely.

Calories Burned

You can burn up to 400 calories in just 30 minutes exercising on an elliptical machine, depending on your weight. The heavier you are, the more weight you’ll burn in this time frame. The intensity of your workout also impacts the amount of calories you burn, so increase the machine’s resistance or interval train on the machine to increase the amount of energy you expend during workout sessions.

Recumbent Bike

Cardio Benefits

When deciding on the right stationary bike for your workout, you will find that there are two main categories of bikes to choose from: upright bikes and recumbent bikes. While both styles can help you lose weight and improve cardio, there are a few benefits that recumbent bikes have to offer that make them the better choice for many people. Here is a look at biggest benefits of using a recumbent bike instead of an upright bike.

In 30 minutes, a moderate workout on the stationary recumbent bike burns about 260 calories for a 155-pound person.

Targeting More Muscles

Whether you are using an upright bike or a recumbent bike, cycling helps you build muscles in your thighs, lower legs and buttocks. Cycling also helps you build more lean body mass. Since the recumbent bike places your legs in a different position than with an upright bike, however, they target these muscles in a slightly different way. Therefore, the recumbent bicycle allows you to target different muscles and, according to some research, more muscles than an upright bike. Using a stationary recumbent bike in combination with an upright bike when pedaling outdoors is a great way to ensure you are targeting all of the muscles in your legs.

Staying Safe

Recumbent bikes are considered to be a far safer option than upright bikes. For this reason, recumbent bikes are typically used in rehab facilities. This is because recumbent bikes offer back support as well as a larger seat. Recumbent bikes are also lower to the ground, making it easier for rehab patients and the elderly to get on and off.

Enjoying More Comfort

The back rest, larger seat and semi-reclining position of the recumbent bike also  makes it a more comfortable option than the upright bike. Some people experience pain in the buttocks due to the smaller seats that are found on upright bikes. Similarly, their backs may become strained or tired due to the lack of back support. The recumbent bike eliminates these issues. Some research has also found that the recumbent bike places less strain on the hip and knees than the upright bike, making it a better option for those with arthritis or other similar problems.

Extending Your Workout

Since the recumbent bike is more comfortable and generally easier to use than the upright bike, you are more likely to stick to your workout routine when you use a recumbent bike. You are also more likely to workout for a longer period of time. After all, if you are experiencing pain in your  back and butt, you are not likely to continue pedaling. You are also less likely to jump on the bike again the next day or later in the week. By keeping your body comfortable and pain-free, you are far more likely to push yourself and to stick with your new exercise routine.

Stair Master or Stair Mill

Cardio Benefits

Strength Benefits

The lower body most benefits in strength gain from stairstepping. The Stepmill has adjustable speed and resistance. Using it requires simple balance, but significant strength. Calves, hamstrings, quadriceps and gluteal muscles are trained by lots of repetitions, which is known for building lean muscle and burning fat. Additionally, increasing the resistance of each stepping motion adds challenge. Core muscles are engaged by keeping your balance, which is more challenging on the Stepmill than other similar equipment.

Cardiovascular Benefits

The Stepmill is great for cardiovascular exercise due to its ability to raise your heart rate almost immediately. The level you set dictates workout intensity, but even at the lowest levels the heart is definitely getting a workout. Oneshot Fitness, a commercial fitness equipment provider, calls Stairmasters “one of the toughest cardiovascular machines on the globe.”

Total caloric expenditure on the StairMaster depends on how long you work out. For example, a 160-lb. person burns about 360 calories in 30 minutes and 980 calories in 90 minutes.

Physiologic Benefits

The Stepmill makes the user work hard without being hard on the user. The stepping motion incurs less impact than a treadmill, but with higher cardiovascular results. The thoughtfully designed handrails provide a safe grip should a misstep occur, but don’t allow you to cheat by leaning on them. The actual stepping motion forces the foot to remain mostly flat while climbing, versus the pedal format, which does not require the foot to leave the pedal. The stepping motion uses nearly every leg muscle.

Advanced Options

Though the concept of stair climbing itself is basic to most of us, the Stepmill offers significantly more advanced options. The user can reap additional balance benefits by performing climbing backwards or laterally. Elite athletes have been known to add further challenge by stepping with weights strapped to their backs. Endurance is improved by consistently increasing the levels of speed and resistance on the Stepmill.

Daniel Messer, RNutr, CPT

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