A cardio machine is an excellent addition to a home gym, as it provides a way to get much needed cardio exercise without having to go outside. With so many different kinds of machines available, it can be a challenge deciding which one to run with. While we’ve recently looked at the benefits of treadmills in a previous post, ellipticals and stationary bikes are also viable options to be considered. Here is an evaluation on how each of these cardio machines stack up.
- Treadmills offer plenty of options for users to customize their workouts, such as incline, speed, and specific training programs.
- Replicate a natural form of running, so they have little to no learning curve.
- Promote the most calorie burn compared to other cardio machines.
- The high impact nature of a treadmill helps in promoting bone strength.
- Since a treadmill is high-impact, it can be potentially harmful on those with weak joints and ligaments.
- Treadmills require little involvement from the upper body, so these muscle groups aren’t engaged.
- Usually bulky and difficult to fit into tighter spaces
- Treadmills usually cost more, and this goes up with their various additional features.
- Involve the upper body in its movement, so these muscle groups are active alongside the lower body.
- Low impact, making it desirable for those with weaker joints.
- Can be run in reverse, allowing it to target more lower body muscles than other machines.
- Users often perceive that they are not working too hard, but in reality their bodies are working harder than they think they are.
- Not quite as beginner friendly as other machines, as the upper and lower body motions in unison might be a little tricky at first.
- With less impact, it also means bones aren’t as strengthened as other machines.
- The motion ellipticals require is not typically used in everyday life.
- The spacing of elliptical steps might not fit well with a shorter or taller person’s stride.
- Takes up less room than other machines, so it can be more easily placed in areas with less space.
- Usually regarded as the most comfortable, with different seating options depending on the model.
- Users control how fast the bike works, which makes it a safer option than other machines.
- Zero impact exercise, so they can be good choice for those recovering from injuries as many models offer support designed to help parts like the back and ankles
- Bikes usually offer the least amount of calorie burn, partly due to no involvement from the upper body
- Bikes force the majority of their stress on the knee, which is a common area for troublesome joints
- Being in a seated position for a while can wind up making your rear end sore.
- Improper form can actually harm user ability to use bikes effectively.
In the end, these are just a few of the factors to considering when picking out the ideal cardio machine, and the best cardio machine is the one that you like using the most and will thus encourage you to use it to improve your cardio. If you have any questions, our team is more than happy to answer any questions you might have!