5 Best Cardio Machines for Fitness Enthusiasts

 Do you stand and pedal whilst watching TV? Hop on a treadmill for a quick run? Jog with your dog? Your options to get your cardio in are endless. However, with so many choices out there, it can be confusing to find the best one. 

There are treadmills, ellipticals, rowing machines, bicycles, and even stair masters -- just to name a few. 
Whether you're looking to lose weight or increase muscle tone and stamina, we've rounded up our top picks for cardiovascular machines and their uses, that will help you meet your goals:

The 5 Best Cardio Machines for Fitness Enthusiasts are:
  1. Elliptical machines 
  2. Treadmill
  3.  Rowing machine 
  4. Stair master 
  5. Stationary bike
Cardio exercises can be conducted at any gym but these exercise machines help conduct them faster. They provide a very smooth and steady motion which helps increase stamina.

 How do cardio machines attribute to cardio anyway?

Cardio machines can be used for a variety of cardiovascular activities, such as jogging, walking, stair climbing, rowing, and biking. 
They target aerobic exercises, which improve cardiorespiratory fitness, which is important for general health and well-being. 

Exercises that support cardiovascular health include walking, running, cycling, swimming, stair climbing, rowing, and cross-country skiing and this is exactly where cardio machines come in.

Cardiovascular exercise has the greatest impact on cardiovascular health and weight control, and cardio machines are the most frequently used type of cardio equipment. 
Cardio machines are also used for strength training thus improve overall muscle tone and definition. 

They can be part of a workout or standalone workout machine.
For fitness enthusiasts, we want something that's going to push us and ensure we are working hard. So are you looking for that cardiovascular machine?
 keep reading :

NOTE: These average calorie burn rates are based on short, 20-minute sessions. Longer sessions will lower the calorie burn rate.
Averages. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides average calorie burn rates for each type of cardio machine.

Elliptical Machine

elliptical machine

FITNESS GOALS: balance, weight loss

Budget:      $250 and $600, depending on the model and retailer

Calories burned:      381 calories per hour

Target areas;  both upper and lower body muscles, shoulders, back, and arms,

Fat Burn:    19.7 percent 

Muscle burn:    78.6 percent

Elliptical is good for weight loss, cardiovascular conditioning, strength training,


An elliptical machine provides a smooth, low-impact workout. 
Exercising on an elliptical machine burns more calories than running or walking.  

The machine mimics the motion of running, but you don't put pressure on your legs. You use the machine like a treadmill, but your feet never leave the pedals, so the machine doesn't impact your joints.

  •  gets you in shape because it provides a complete aerobic and strength-training workout.
  •  difficult to learn to use
  •   ideal if you are recovering from a running injury and want an easier, less impact-intensive way 
  •  relatively expensive
  •   promotes weight loss as they avail a good burn
  •  Not suitable for everyone
  • they're great for ab workouts, work out your entire body, the best cardio machine for fat loss

  •  not really designed for high-impact exercise. If you're going to be doing intense running or jumping, an elliptical machine isn't going to be enough.



Budget:      $250 and $600, depending on the model and retailer

Fitness Goals: cardio, strength, balance, and coordination

Average Calories burned:      188 calories per hour

Target areas;  legs and glutes

The stair master is meant to give you an intense workout.

A stair master, or step machine, is a manual exercising machine that works the leg muscles by simulating climbing stairs. 
These machines are very popular - people want to work out with them because they are easy to use and don't require much floor space. 

Many people find them to be quite challenging, so they are also effective at helping you achieve your fitness goals. There are two main types of stair master - the ones that have the steps attached to a rail system, and those where the stairs move up and down independently.

  •  A Stairmaster is built to optimize posture. The seat is comfortable, and the pedals are easy to adjust.
  •  They’re expensive.
  •  great for sculpting your legs and glutes, plus you'll
  •   Stairmaster is heavier than your average treadmill, so you need a sturdy floor. 
  •  display that shows users how far they've climbed and how many calories they've burned, pulse, and workout statistics.

  •   Stair masters can be noisy

  • no equipment maintenance is required.
  •  You'll also need a power outlet near your Stairmaster.
  •  The stair master has multiple preset workout programs. These programs help users target specific muscle groups.

  • have a limited weight capacity 
  •  They’re also engineered with ergonomics in mind. 

  •  hard to assemble  
Stationary Bikes

FITNESS GOALS: strengthen leg muscles, tone buttocks

Budget:      $250 and $600, depending on the model and retailer

Calories burned:      446 calories per hour

Fat Burn: 16.1 percent fat, 
Muscle burn:   81.9 percent

Target areas;    tight hamstrings and hip flexors

A stationary bike, also known as an exercise bike, exercise cycle, or exercycle, is a device used for indoor cycling and exercise that provides a workout while remaining in one place.
 Stationary bikes can be found in fitness centers and in homes and offices, and there are also models that fold up and can be taken away on vacations.


  •  improve your posture, because it engages your core abdominal muscles and forces you to maintain good posture throughout your workout.

  • Stationary bikes aren't as challenging as other types of cardio equipment. 
  •  improve your overall cardiovascular health, and can even improve your flexibility.

  •   They don't offer the same calorie burn as treadmills or elliptical trainers.
  • Stationary bikes take up less space in your home, making them ideal for smaller spaces.

  •  Stationary bikes aren't for everyone. Some people find them boring 
  •  Improved balance. A stationary bike is a convenient alternative to a treadmill for people who have trouble staying balanced on a moving surface.
  •  there's less variety in stationary bike workouts than there is with other cardio equipment.
  •  Stationary bikes are affordable.

  •  Stationary bikes are easy to learn and master. It's easy to get up to speed on them.



Fitness Goals: shape up, toning, HIIT

  • around $100  with 3 to 10 pounds of resistance  
  • 250 with 10 to 40 pounds of resistance
  • $1000 with 50 to 100  pounds of resistance

Calories burned226 calories per hour.


Target areas;   upper body by engaging your triceps, shoulders, chest, back, abs, and glutes.

Rowing machines accomplish more than just building strength; they also target specific muscle groups and uses no impact, so they're ideal for those who want to 
want something gentler, rowing machines are an ideal choice.

  • A rowing machine gives you more variety in your workout than a flat treadmill or elliptical machine. You can row one way, or, in some cases, you can go backward.
  • Rowing machines can be jarring. 
  •   gives you a more aerobic workout if you’re using lighter weights, and it will help tone your legs if you’re using heavier weights.

  •   They’re also noisy
  •  Rowing machines work on both the upper and lower body, so they’re great for improving overall shape and toning.

  •  more expensive than spin bikes and other cardio machines 
  •  Rowing machines improve strength and endurance. 
  •   require a bit more space than other fitness equipment 
  • a low-impact workout toning and strengthening to high-intensity interval training. 
  • used by people with injuries, because you don’t need a lot of strength to use one.


treadmillFitness Goals:   weightloss, endurance

Budget:     less than $300 to more than $2,000, depending on whether you're looking for a basic model or one with premium features.

Calories burned:  322 calories per hour

Target areas;  lower body, legs, and arms

 Fat  Burn:  18.6 percent fat, 
Muscle Burn77.7 percent

Treadmills are one of the most popular cardio machines at the gym, but what exactly is it? Treadmills come in all shapes and sizes, but they all do the same thing - mimic walking or running.
The basic function is simple but it comes with a lot of nifty extra features that can improve or harm your run.

  •  Treadmills are perfectly suited to running. They allow you to simulate a running environment with consistent ground contact

  •  more expensive than other types of cardio machines, including elliptical trainers and stationary bikes.

  •  it allows you to run at a lower intensity, which protects your joints over a longer period of time.

  •    they're hard on joints 
  • more convenient because you can exercise at a time and place that works best for your schedule.
  • require greater effort to maintain the same pace outside.
  •  Treadmills let you exercise in a climate-controlled environment, which can be beneficial for people with asthma or allergies. 
  •  requires more maintenance, including cleaning and lubrication, and more frequent checkups.

  •  Treadmills have features that simulate outdoor running, such as hills, loops, and simulated terrain.
  • Treadmills require a significant amount of space. They take up more floor space than elliptical machines or stationary bikes.

  •   if your goal is to tone your muscles, a treadmill is a good tool.


  • Treadmills can also be less comfortable because they are stationary and lack the rocking motion of elliptical machines. 

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