Cardiovascular training is very important to maintain a healthy heart and protect yourself from serious ailments (e.g., coronary artery disease, blood hypertension).
However, and since many people can’t go to the gym on a regular basis, manufacturers designed several machines to help people get fit at home.
Choosing the best cardio machine can be extremely overwhelming for everyone, especially those who recently joined the world of fitness.
Each company advertises its machine by promising endless health benefits and cardiovascular stimulation while claiming that their machine does not have any cons.
Since investing in a cardio machine requires a decent amount of money, we wanted to help you choose the best cardio machine to get a full-body workout and make every penny count.
In this article, we will list the best cardio machines that challenge your body in the most efficient manner.
The benefits of cardiovascular training
In one study, researchers analyzed the effects of several weight loss workouts to conclude the most effective one.
The primary exercise forms that burnt the most calories were cardiovascular and resistance training.
The study also concluded that cardio training was more effective at reducing body fat and the risk of numerous conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and blood hypertension.
Although most people think that strength is exclusive to resistance training, cardiovascular training also helps increase your physical strength by improving endurance, regulating metabolism, and increasing VO2 max.
Additionally, cardio training drastically improves flexibility, which contributes to more physical strength.
Contrary to popular belief, cardio exercise can also lead to muscle hypertrophy and increase lean muscle mass, which was backed up by multiple clinical studies.
Obviously, the effect is less announced relative to strength training, but it is there nonetheless.
Bone mineral density
In a 2014 study, researchers analyzed the connection between cardio training and bone mineral density.
The study included 65 participants between the age of 30-60 from both genders. Before the study begins, researchers took blood samples from all participants to measure the amounts of bone formation markers (e.g., osteocalcin), bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP), and bone resorption marker deoxypyridinoline (DPD). In addition to these markers, serum calcium levels were measured as well.
Subjects participated in cardio training three times a week for a 12-week period, and at the end of the study, researchers collected blood samples and measured the bone formation markers again.
The results showed a significant increase in bone formation markers after 12 weeks of moderate cardio training in 65 participants.
Any sleep disorder is a major risk factor for several debilitating diseases such as blood hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease).
Fortunately, cardio training induces the production of melatonin, which is the hormone responsible for the regulation of the circadian rhythm and sleep. By exercising frequently, your sleep will automatically be regulated and organized.
Now that we covered the most important health benefits of aerobic training, let’s see the best machines for cardio:
The best cardio machines (best exercise machines)
Spinning bikes give people similar sensation they would expect from a road bike.
This bike offers several training positions, which boosts fat burning and muscle endurance. Additionally, you can choose whether to stand up and pedal on.
When you stand, you will recruit most of the core muscles, promoting the use of more calories and allowing users to strengthen various muscle groups.
Furthermore, the various positions that spinning bike offers will decrease the risk of getting bored since every training session will be different.
Another upside to using the spinning bike is the stability it provides, which is important to keep the display console (if available) in one position.
Spinning bikes also endure heavyweights, permitting obese individuals to start their weight-loss journeys.
Unlike spinning bikes, you cannot stand on an upright bike due to the absence of any reinforcement on the pedals.
The padded seats, however, make the experience more enjoyable even after hours of exercise. What these bikes lack in mobility, they compensate for with other amenities, such as high-quality display consoles, water bottle holders, and custom commodities.
These bikes are less expensive, which makes them a favorite for newbies who want to improve their fitness, but they’re on a budget.
Overall, these bikes are a perfect choice for beginners and regular people who want to stay fit and improve their cardiovascular health.
However, they are not recommended for professional athletes since they don’t provide the endurance and cardiac challenges relative to spinning bikes.
The muscles that get recruited for both bikes are very similar unless you decide to stand while cycling on a spinning bike.
Here is a list of the muscles that you will be recruiting:
- Gluteal muscles
- Core muscles (e.g., abdominal muscles)
Once you switching to a standing position on the spinning bike, the vast majority of your muscles will get to work. As a result, you will get a full-body workout, which is definitely an extra point for spin bikes.
Which bike burns more calories?
As you probably guessed, the spinning bike requires more calories to operate, especially if you cycle while standing.
The reason behind this is the number of muscles recruited and the strain they have to endure. Furthermore, the spinning bike’s flywheel tends to be heavier, which calls for more muscular strength to perform each round.
However, the difference between the energy requirements of both bikes is not that significant, and therefore, you shouldn’t base your decision solely on this parameter.
For professional athletes, the spinning bike might be the better choice.
The treadmill is one of the best machines to optimize your cardiovascular health and improve endurance for future competitions (e.g., marathons).
This device is highly adjustable, which allows you to increase the speed, as well as the incline to make every training session more challenging.
When it comes to the benefits of treadmill training, you can expect to improve cardiovascular health, muscular tonicity, and movement coordination.
Obviously, this machine is a furnace for calories as it engages the vast majority of the muscles to ensure the constant motion of your upper and lower body.
Over time, you will witness a significant reduction in body fat percentage, which decreases your risk of type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, and neurological conditions (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease.
Overall, the treadmill is the best cardio machine for weight loss.
The most important benefit of rowing is the optimization of cardiovascular health, as it pushes your heart to pump the blood to all the active muscles (86% of all the muscles). This will eventually reduce the risk of atheromatous plaque formation and heart attacks.
While it might seem like the rowing machine only requires your arms to operate, this couldn’t be farther away from the truth. According to the American Fitness Professionals Association (AFPA), with every stroke you perform during rowing, 65-75% of your leg muscles and 25-35% of your upper body contract.
The specific muscles involved in this exercise include the upper back, pectoralis, core muscles, and obliques. Additionally, the quadriceps, calves, and glutes will also benefit from this exercise.
Here’s how the rowing machine promotes your health:
Rowing drastically boosts your body’s physical abilities. This explains the substantial number of athletes who use this machine to restore their endurance, fitness agility, and VO2 max after a long injury.
However, the rowing machine is also a good fit for non-athletes as the intensity of the workout is entirely dependent on your performance.
Note that experts advocate for the use of this machine in people with visual problems since it’s considered relatively safe, making it one of the best in home cardio machines.
The elliptical machine is an excellent choice for individuals with joint problems since it provides a low-impact exercise that doesn’t place excessive tension on the tendons and ligaments of the joint capsule.
In addition to articulation problems, people with chronic low-back pain, knee pain, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis can all safely use the elliptical machine.
Over time, the elliptical trainer leads to the following benefits:
- Higher lean muscle mass
- Lower body fat percentage
- Increased muscular tonicity and physical strength
- Improved cardiovascular health
These features make the elliptical machine quite attractive for individuals who want to accelerate their recovery without exacerbating their injury or triggering a new one.
While you might find the low-impact nature of this machine to be unappealing, you must keep in mind that researchers concluded that the elliptical machine can lead to a similar increase in burned calories, VO2 max, and heart rate.
If you want to get the best cardio machine for home training (e.g., upper body, lower body), the elliptical trainer is the right choice for you.
The stair climber is a mini escalator with revolving stairs and handrails to maintain your stability. As the stairs start moving, you can follow the movement to simulate the action of climbing an infinite flight of stairs. This can help you reap the benefits associated with climbing stairs without actually having to deal with the nuisance of doing it on real stairs.
Similar to the other machines we listed above, the stair climber provides a fantastic cardio workout that doesn’t put too much strain on the joints and promotes muscle endurance and hypertrophy of the entire lower body.
Additionally, the repetitive nature of this exercise will help tone the muscles of the buttocks, hips, and calves.
Due to the ascending movement of both legs, you will also engage the core muscles, which helps your balance, strength, and spinal alignment.
Whenever you become too comfortable with a certain intensity, you can increase it to challenge your body even further.
This could range from low-intensity steady stage cardio to high-intensity interval training (HIIT). In both scenarios, you will gain several benefits, including endurance and stamina improvement.
Before you start body workout, you must stretch the muscles and joints to prevent unnecessary strains and sprains, as well as maintain optimal physical performance.
The following stretching routine is simple and only requires a simple resistance band.
Stretching is a crucial part of every workout routine since it warms up the muscles and stimulates the circulation of the synovial fluid (the fluid found in your joints) to optimize your performance and reduce the risk of injury.
One of the best ways to stretch is by using a resistance band, which is the primary tool that many athletes use to prepare for professional competitions and recover after injury or surgery.
Here’s how you do it:
Upper back stretch
- Sit down on a mat with your legs extended forward.
- Circle the resistance band around your feet and grab each end with one hand.
- Keep moving forward and backward to stretch the muscles of your back.
- Sit down with your legs crossed together.
- Hold the resistance band with two hands and open up your arms.
- Perform this movement for 10 repetitions.
Lying hip stretch
- Lie down on your back with your legs extended forward.
- Lift your right leg and place the band on the right foot while holding it with both hands.
- Slowly swing your right leg to the left side.
- Repeat this process for the opposite leg.
Stretching should take around 10 minutes.
After finishing this simple stretching routine, it’s time to jump on one of the cardio machines we listed above to get a full-body workout.
Deciding the best cardio equipment to purchase can be quite overwhelming, especially with the endless information available online.
Hopefully, this article managed to clear out the image for you, so you can take the best workout machine that fits your physical characteristics and goals.
For any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comment section below.