The Ultimate Guide To Finding The Perfect Cardio Machine

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Don't buy any cardio machine anywhere without reading this. Though we do reviews we also want to keep you informed so you can get the best workout machine for your goal

Ultimate guide to finding the perfect cardio machine for your needs

The Ultimate Guide To Finding The Perfect Cardio Machine

People everywhere, irrespective of their age or gender are becoming conscious about their health and fitness. The best solution to staying healthy and fit is to go to the gym. However, attending a gym is a costly affair and not possible for everyone all the time given the busy schedule. So, how about bringing the gym home? You can buy different cardio machines to work-out at home whenever you want.

But, it often becomes very confusing to buy the cardio machines since it is very difficult to understand which one will be the ideal one for you. There are several factors which decide on the suitable equipment, such as the price, space occupied, effectiveness, the amount of workout required and the duration of workout.

 

Table of Contents

I. Types Of Cardio Machines

II. Which Cardio Machine Is Best For You?

III. Cardio Machine Safety Considerations & You

IV. Essential Care Guide For Cardio Machines

V. Cardio Machines Approved Recommended List

 

 

 

I. Types Of Cardio Machines 

Let us have a look at the different cardio machines available today:

  • The Tread Mill:- This is one of the most popularly used cardio machines. It can be used in the manner in which a person normally walks or runs, unlike the other cardio machines where you have to force your body to move in a different way. It just makes you run at a fast speed and does not require you to perform any activity which is demanding.
    • You can easily adjust your running speed by using the control keys. This is important since everyone does not have the vigor and vitality to run at the same speed so you should set a speed according to your capability. Some treadmills also have built in speakers which is a good way to stay motivated and help run along with the tempo.
    • The tread mill is a very apt equipment to use at home. There is no need a trainer nor do you have to go anywhere else for a walk or a run. It increases leg strength apart from enhancing the cardio-vascular endurance. The only drawback is that you cannot enjoy any scenery or fresh air unlike the actual running experience. And after you use you can fold it and store it effortlessly.

 

  • Stair Master/Stepper Machines: Stair masters are stepper machines which gives you the feeling of climbing up a flight of stairs. It is a good equipment to stay fit and lose weight. The weight loss depends on the speed and duration of the workout.
    • The constant stepping motion helps in building endurance. It strengthens the thighs and legs and also increases the heart rate within no time. You can watch TV or listen to music while working out on it.  Depending on the type of stepping machine you’re looking for, these come in two categories. Basic home steppers/climbers and commercial stair master machines. View these pages to see which one you prefer for your home.

 

  • Elliptical Trainer: Elliptical trainer or cross trainer is an exercise equipment which provides a workout equivalent to step climbing, running or walking. The circular motion of the legs is easier to implement since it needs lesser effort than running on a treadmill or running outside.
    • You can easily control the speeds by moving your legs slowly or fast. These elliptical trainers provide a workout for not only your legs but your arms and upper back as well. The display keeps track of all data related to the workout such as time, speed, pounds lost. This equipment requires electricity to function. So, in case of a power outage they can’t work on this.

 

  • Exercise Bike: These are stationary cycles and the entire workout revolves around paddling it. Exercise bikes are the safest workout option for people suffering from joint stress or joint aches. Even if you have an injury on the upper part of your body, working out on an exercise bike is easy.
    • Some bikes give you the option to lay back for comfort or lean in to mimic an actual bicycle.  Carefully decide which is right for you as the option to lean over to the handles might cause discomfort if you currently have any back pain or stresses.

 

  • Rowing Machines:- Rowing machines are used to build muscles, tone the body and increase cardio-vascular endurance. It helps in enhancing the cardio-vascular strength and stamina and also helps in losing weight. The negative thing about it is that it needs a lot of space and produces a lot of sound.

 

  • Complete Total Gym:– These machines consists of all the exercise equipments required for strengthening, stretching and doing Pilates training. It involves the different muscles in a body to perform different exercises along the levels of an inclined plane.

 

 

II. Now, The Question Is – Which Cardio Machine Is Best For You?

The choice depends upon multiple factors for both the machine and yourself. As for the machine, the size, noise and workout intensity level would be good things to consider. Let’s discuss a few features of some of these machines:

Size:- The size of a treadmill is 500m x 1500 m approximately in terms of the running space. The dimensions of the average stair master, is 117 cm x 74 cm x 185 cm. An exercise bike is 40.16 inches in length, 20.87 inches in width and 44.5 inches in height.

Noise:- A treadmill may create different sounds such as whining, screeching and squeaking when it needs to be repaired or serviced . A stair master creates loud and chunking sound. An elliptical machine might start making a “clanking” noise when you give the stroke with your legs. An exercise bike also might produce sound due to resistance mechanism, misuse or improper mechanical use. Rowing machines produce the minimum noise.

The Work out Intensity:- It is expressed as the percentage of the max heart rate. Max heart rate is the number of times your heart can beat in one minute. It can be obtained by subtracting your age from 220.

  • The starting workout duration on a tread mill is 20 minutes ideally. If you run at a speed of 6mph for this duration, you can lose up to 229 calories. A person weighing about 160-lb can also lose 360 calories in 30 minutes on a stair master.
  • As for a rowing machine, a man weighing 130lb and working for one hour can lose up to 708 calories. Rowing for 5 minutes will allow you to lose some calories, but that is too less compared to that lost in one hour. It exhausts you too early. So, it is better to take breaks in between so that your overall intensity remains high.
  • You can use exercise bikes for ten to twenty minutes a day at the beginning and then slowly increase it to an hour per day. You can do it for three to five days in a week on an average.

As for the person:- this depends entirely on what your goals are and what you’re trying to accomplish with your fitness equipment.

  • If you want to burn the maximum number of calories possible, go for a treadmill. The tread mill is the best option for all skill levels alike and has workout options to cater to your needs.
  • Your selection also varies according to the particular area of the body whose flexibility or muscle building is targeted. For example, if you are keen on building leg muscle, the exercise bike or stair masters will be the ideal pick.
  • If you’re looking to build extreme muscles all over then the complete total gym would be for you.
  • Injured knee joints but still want a workout?  The rowing machine will be your best bet
  • Want less stress on your legs but still prefer a cardio machine with leg exercises? Then an Ellipticals would be ideal as they are less stressful on your legs than a treadmill.

 

With treadmills the best seller is here as it offers the most versatile and quick to operate settings with built in workout programs.

For Ellipticals, the best seller is here. This model allows you to exercise both sitting and standing and has a lot of handy functions.

 

 

III. Cardio Machines Safety Considerations & You

Safety Measures:- There are a few safety measures that you can adopt while using the different cardio machines to avoid accidents and injuries.

Safety measures for a treadmill:

  1. Don’t rest on the handrails since it will force you to lean forward and your neck and elbows will start aching after a certain period of time.
  2. Don’t look below, look forward: People who are newly working on treadmills often have a tendency to look below instead of looking forward but this may cause you to lose balance and fall. You don’t have to become fully focused on looking straight as people tend to relax and watch TV while exercising but just be careful not to get distracted and lose your footing.
  3. Choose a speed that’s comfortable for you.  For newbies who are looking to increase their endurance and running speed, be sure to start slow and build yourself up. Running and trying to reduce the speed as you’re fatigued can cause you to lose your balance and slip.

Safety measures for an elliptical machine:

  1. In an elliptical trainer, you need to adjust your body mechanics with the machine’s fixed stride. So, a test ride of a few minutes is a must in an elliptical trainer since it helps you to understand whether it is the correct one for you.
  2. There will be moving parts once you start operating the elliptical.  Be sure to clear the path from the machine to avoid knocking into anything and preventing harm to both yourself and the machine.

Safety measures for an exercise bike:

  1. Since this equipment too has several moving parts, an exercise bike can also lead to hazards. So, it is better to lock it and keep it out of reach of the children.
  2. Adjust the seat accordingly and make sure your back is in a comfortable position as you will be stationary for the duration of the workout.

Safety measure for a stair master/stepping machine:

  1. Stair masters will be constantly moving the moment you begin your exercise.  Be aware of when the stair begins to rotate inwards so you don’t accidentally fall off and injure yourself.
  2. Adjust the speed accordingly and clear the path behind you so when you are finished you will have a safe & clear exit without anything in your way.

Safety measures for a rowing machine:

  1. While using a rowing machine, your arms should not twist and turn. Keep them straight.
  2. Also you need to use both your hands.
  3. If the hands get sweaty, rub them and then continue the exercise.
  4. Be careful not to hit your arms against anything as you are rowing.

Safety measures for a home total gym:

  1. Depending on the type of home gym you purchase, it’s imperative to learn how to operate the exercises correctly and as intended. 
  2. Do not attempt to do an excise that the machine was not designed for!
  3. If you are a beginner then be sure to adjust the weight accordingly at a safe pace.  Start slow and work your way up.
  4. Unless you’re working with a partner then there’s no spotter. Listen to your body and remember that you’re working with weights.

So, before you select and buy a cardio machine, be careful of the safety measures.

 

 

IV. Essential Care Guide For Cardio Machines

Even after you buy a cardio machine, your job is not over. You need to take proper care of it so that it remains in a proper working condition and produces the best workout results. Let us have a look at the maintenance of the different cardio machines:

Treadmill:-

  • The conveyor belt of a treadmill should not collect dust or debris to ensure smooth running. Also check the conveyor belt from time to time to make sure it’s function properly and doesn’t have any damages. Inspect it if it starts to make weird noises as anything that gets stuck in the mechanism may damage the machine.
  • If the console becomes unresponsive then you may have a hardware issue. Check the manual to see if there’s an option to manually reset or call the manufacturer.
  • This cardio machine should also be lubricated from time to time to ensure proper health.

Stair Master:

  • As long as there are chains on any of your stair master/stepper machines, you need to clean them and oil the chain regularly.

Elliptical Trainer:

  • Clean and lubricate the flywheel at least once a week.

Exercise Bike:

  • Be sure to check the bike from time to time for any wear and tear that may become an issue.  Upon discovery of any frayed cable or damaged straps, be sure not to use the equipment until all damaged parts are properly replaced and restored.

Rowing Machine:

  • This cardio machine needs time for checkup and testing. Also, check out whether the screws and wires are in proper order.

Complete Home Gym:

  • Check out regularly for wear and tear, cracked welds and any hardware part that might be missing or damaged.

Setting up cardio machines at home lets you work-out conveniently and saves you a lot of money and time. The whole family can use these cardio machines to stay healthy and fit. Buy cardio machines from reputed brands and take good care of them so that you can use them for a longer period.

 

 

V. Cardio Machines Approved Recommended List

If you’ve deciding to purchase a cardio machine then there’s no other place I’d recommend than Amazons highest rated.  Here are a few of our recommendations that you can look into.

 

Beginner Grade Equipment

For someone starting out or someone who just wants a cardio machine to work out with at home.

Type
Name
Rating
Description
Weslo
Cadence G 5.9

Treadmill

4.0 Stars

Click To View Product
2,117 Customer Reviews
*Best Seller
- Space saver design. This treadmill can fold up.
- Six personal trainer workouts.
- Two-position incline.
- Comfortable cushioning.
ProForm
Hybrid Trainer

Elliptical

4.0 Stars

Click To View Product
726 Customer Reviews
- Large LCD window, soft grips upper-body workout arms
- Silent magnetic resistance, 16 digital resistance levels
- 15 inch stride, oversized adjustable pedals, Inertia-Enhanced flywheel
- Transport wheels, EKG grip Pulse, water bottle holder
- 350 lb. Weight capacity
- 5 Year warranty
Maxi Climber
Vertical Climber

Climber

4.2 Stars

Click To View Product
929 Customer Reviews
- Ergonomically designed for all body types, features adjustable height
- Isometric non-stick grips
- Personal workout timer starts and stops when you do
- Compact folding design allows for easy storage
Stamina
Body Trac Glider 1050

Rowing Machine

4.0 Stars

Click To View Product
1,850 Customer Reviews
- Home rowing machine with compact footprint. 23.5 x 46 inches
- Adjustable gas-shock resistance
- Monitor shows time, stroke count, and calories burned
- Sturdy, steel frame construction
- Folds for easy storage
Exerpeutic
900XL Recumbent Bike with Pulse

Exercise Bike

4.3 Stars

Click To View Product
1,790 Customer Reviews
- Recumbent stationary bike offers challenging workout
- Minimizes stress on your joints and back
- 8 Level magnetic tension control system
- Large. easy to read LCD screen
- 300 Lbs maximum user weight
Bowflex
PR1000

Home Gym

4.5 Stars

Click To View Product
520 Customer Reviews
- Get a total body strength workout with affordable home gym
- Includes rowing machine rail
- Provides as little as five or as many as 210-Pounds of resistance
- Over 30 strength exercises
- Includes horizontal bench press and lat pull down
- 300-Pound maximum user weight

 

Professional Grade Equipment

For serious athletes who are looking for something more than the casual fitness machine.

Type
Name
Rating
Description
LifeSpan Fitness
TR1200i Folding Treadmill

Treadmill

4.1 Stars

Click To View Product
433 Customer Reviews
- 2.5-horsepower folding treadmill
- Biomechanically suspension system supports up to 300 lbs
- Multicolored LCD console tracks time, calories, distance, speed, and more
- Offers weight loss, healthy living, sports training, and heart rate programs
Schwinn
430 Elliptical Machine

Elliptical Machine

4.2 Stars

Click To View Product
514 Customer Reviews
- Dual track two LCD allows you to monitor up to 13 different display feedbacks
- Goal tracking and data export keep you up to date on reaching your fitness goals
- 22 programs, 2 user settings and goal tracking
- 20 levels of resistance aligned with a high speed high inertia flywheel
- Charging USB port and data exchange
StairMaster
SM3 StepMill

Stair Master

4.2 Stars

Click To View Product
13 Customer Reviews
- The stepper is one of the most efficient and effective cardio and strength workouts
- Step range of 26 to 162 steps per minute
- 10 total workout programs, including fat burner, calorie burner, intervals and more
- Easy-to-read large backlit LCD display; Polar-compatible heart rate monitoring
Concept2
Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

Rowing Machine

4.9 Stars

Click To View Product
874 Customer Reviews
- Indoor rowing is an effective full-body, low-impact workout
- Flywheel design minimizes noise while maximizing a smooth feel
- 14-inch seat height, nickel-plated chain, adjustable footrests and ergonomic handle
- Easily separates into two pieces for storage
- 500 Lbs weight capacity
Schwinn
230 Recumbent Bike

Exercise Bike

4.2 Stars

Click To View Product
588 Customer Reviews
- Dual track LCD allows easy tracking up to 13 displays
- Goal tracking to keep up with fitness goals
- Includes 22 programs and 2 user settings
- 20 levels of resistance aligned with a high speed high inertia flywheel
- Charging USB port and data exchange
Marcy
Diamond Elite Smith Cage with Linear Bearings

Home Gym

4.2 Stars

Click To View Product
132 Customer Reviews
- Off the floor base frame design provides increased stability
- Dual action leg developer with 6 oversized roller pads and row/curl bar
- Adjustable bar catches and safety stoppers
- Diamond plated non-slip foot brace for seated row exercises
- Warranty: 2 years limited on parts