Top 10 Cardio Machines That Do and Don’t Work Well

We have shortlisted 10 cardio machines in order from best to worst. From this list, we hope that you can find some most suitable pieces of cardio equipment for your own needs. The ranking is based on three categories: effectiveness (the number of calories burned in the shortest amount of time and improved aerobic fitness); functionality (how well it crosses over to everyday activities), and availability (possibility of its existence in your local gym).

Every product is made with different uses and benefits. So is every cardio machine

Every product is made with different uses and benefits. So is every cardio machine.

Every product is made with different uses and benefits. So is every cardio machine. Better alternatives of your usual elliptical machine can help to burn much more calories as long as you have to be smart about cardio machines to make a right decision which one to choose.

1. Treadmill

Treadmill

Treadmill

  • Effectiveness: A
  • Functionality: A+
  • Availability: A+

The treadmill is an irreplaceable training piece of equipment in every gym. It can burn your calories fast and possibly allow you to move comfortably the way your body is supposed to move. It is highly versatile and incredibly easy to use – just press start and your body begins doing some work. It couldn’t be more perfect if you wear headphones to enjoy your favorite music while exercising.

2. Stair Mill

Stair Mill

Stair Mill

  • Effectiveness: A
  • Functionality: A-
  • Availability: A-

All you need to do is just walking up a never-ending flight of stairs. Intervals are required for the best workout. But you should not hold onto the handles for support too much; it makes your workout much less intense and ineffective in burning calories.

3. Rowing Machine

Rowing Machine

Rowing Machine

  • Effectiveness: A+
  • Functionality: B+
  • Availability: B

Unlike treadmill, not every gym is equipped with a rowing machine, it is an effective way to do cardio, we think. This machine can help to burn bunch of calories in 10-minute intervals. However, if you’re a beginner, this is just hard for you because of its full body, wide range-of-motion movement. The biggest disadvantage is its technique can limit its effectiveness. Your posture of pulling the handle above your head might be awkward to onlookers.

4. Airdyne

Schwinn Airdyne Pro

Schwinn Airdyne Pro

  • Effectiveness: A+
  • Functionality: B
  • Availability: B

You’re required to move a lot and more intensely than your average 30-minute jog on a treadmill. While a treadmill can help to burn calories fast, airdyne doesn’t provide you an immediate reduction of calories. To be honest, this conventional cardio machine with F for appearance is not a really good choice. However, we give it an A+ for its kicking-ass and you can use it to build your resistance.

5. Spin Bike

Spin Bike

Spin Bike

  • Effectiveness: A
  • Functionality: B
  • Availability: A

Another choice for your cardio, you can do a long-distance session or go to a spin class. But you should notice that sitting in an uncomfortable saddle for an extensive period of time can cause your bottom to ache.

6. Jacob’s Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder

  • Effectiveness: B+
  • Functionality: B-
  • Availability: C-

Well, the biggest challenge of a workout on Jacob’s ladder is feeling awkward on the machine. This ladder is also rarely available to most commercial gyms. But it provides you with a full-body workout to help you burn an enormous amount of calories and fat, increase your metabolism.

7. Skierg

Skierg

Skierg

  • Effectiveness: B+
  • Functionality: C
  • Availability: D

Skierg provides you with an arduous workout for your upper body. In terms of getting your lower body involved, get yourself in partial-squat position. The movement of this exercise is somehow strange to you in real life. You are NOT trying to earn a place for the 2018 Winter Olympics, right?

8. ARC Trainer

ARC Trainer

ARC Trainer

  • Effectiveness: C
  • Functionality: D
  • Availability: B

If by any chance you do a workout on this machine, you can understand how bad it is. The machine makes you move your body in an unnatural and awkward pattern and, therefore, doesn’t fit tall or short people.

9. Elliptical

Elliptical

Elliptical

  • Effectiveness: D
  • Functionality: F
  • Availability: A

Elliptical is another common piece of equipment in any gym. But that doesn’t mean it is really good. The problem of elliptical is similar to Arc trainer. It’s unnatural and ineffective. The good side of elliptical is that it provides low-impact workout. If you have an injury, however, we think the bike or swimming is a better option.

10. Recumbent Bike

horizon-comfort-408-recumbent-bike-cycling-whilst-seated

Recumbent Bike

  • Effectiveness: D
  • Functionality: F
  • Availability: B

If you are looking for a unique chair to read a book or relax but still want to do some light exercises, recumbent bike is recommended. You sit still and only your legs are moving.

Scientific Proofs!

We think a few scientific evidences can support you to make right decisions about which one to choose. It’s fair to do so!

A study conducted by the Journal of America Medical Association compared some indoor exercise machines (including airdyne, cross-country-skiing simulator, cycle ergometer, rowing ergometer, stair stepper and treadmill) and concluded that workout done on a treadmill could have the most extreme energy expenditure and aerobic demands compared to the others.

In addition, energy expenditure was found to be 40 percent greater for treadmill walking and running in comparison of cycling. Moreover, the treadmill and rowing ergometer were the ones elicited V02-max values that met guidelines for enhancing cardiorespiratory fitness.

Researchers of Dublin City University found that in terms of energy expenditure, again, the treadmill, ski simulator and rowing ergometer is better than cycle ergometer and health rider.

Get Your Cardio On! Now it’s your turn! Try these machines to see which one is most effective to you.

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