The Top 5 Cardio Machines That Are Good For Weight Loss


Top 5 Cardio Machines That Are Good For Weight Loss.jpg

Want to burn more calories to help with your weight loss? Which cardio machines are actually the best ones to give you maximum results? Well, we’ve listed the top 5 machines that you can find in most gyms that’ll give you a heart-pumping, sweat-inducing workout.

The top 5 cardio machines that are good for weight loss are:

  1. Rowing machine

  2. Assault bike

  3. Treadmill

  4. Stair climber machine

  5. Elliptical

Not only will these machines help you burn more calories to lose weight, but they also work on your cardiovascular endurance and stamina. There are also low-impact options, which we’ll discuss below.


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Losing Weight With Cardio Machines


Losing Weight With Cardio Machines.jpg

First, let’s briefly take a look at how to lose weight.

Losing weight depends on your calorie expenditure. That refers to how many calories you consume versus how many calories you burn. To lose weight, you need to be in a caloric deficit, that is, burning more calories than you take in. One way to help you create and maintain a caloric deficit is by exercising and doing cardio.

But what cardio machines work best?

There are some cardio machines that will have you burning more calories than others, so if you want more bang for your buck, then keep reading to find out what the top 5 cardio machines are that you should head straight for in the gym.

1. ROWING MACHINE


Rowing machine.jpg

Great for: weight loss, full-body workout

Low impact? Yes

Muscles Used: calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, abs, obliques, pecs, biceps, triceps, deltoids, upper back, and lats

The rowing machine is one of the best cardio machines that are good for weight loss. It works the entire body and also ensures that you can get a full range of motion. While your legs contribute 60% of the power per stroke, many other muscles come into play so you know you’re getting a full-body, all-round workout.

The rowing machine comes with a sliding seat, a handle that you can grab with booths hands, footrests, flywheel and an adjustable damper attached to a fan cage. The entire workout is done seated with your feet on the footrests in front of you. You pull on the handle, attached to the flywheel and damper by a chain, and you move backwards as you seat slides back. That’s one stroke or row.

It also comes with a monitor display that tells you how many kilometers or miles you’ve rowed, the time you’ve spent on the machine, and how many seconds it takes to row one metre, alongside other valuable data.

To get the best results from the rowing machine, you need to set the damper at the right setting. The rowing machine will have the option of setting it at 1-10. However, this is not to be mistaken for intensity levels. The damper is what establishes how much air is allowed through the cage while you’re rowing. It’s similar to how bicycle gears work. To put it simply, higher damper (10) means a more air is allowed through the fan cage. Subsequently, it requires more effort to get the wheel to spin. It also means that on the recovery stroke, it’ll slow down more, meaning it’s harder to accelerate the wheel on the next row. On the other hand, a damper set on a lower level means that it’ll be easier to spin the flywheel.

Just like setting gears on a bicycle is up to your own personal preference, so is the damper setting on the rowing machine. A good rule of thumb is to set it between 3 and 5:

  • 3 being better suited for longer workouts

  • 5 being an ideal setting for shorter ones.

However, play around with the setting so that you can see which one works best for you. Customizing this will mean you’ll be able to generate a more optimized workout and better results for weight loss.

Estimated Calories Burned: 

According to Havard Health Publishing, stationary moderate rowing burned 210, 260, 311 calories in 30-minutes for a person weighing 125, 155 and 185 pounds respectively. In comparison, vigorous rowing on the machine for the same amount of time saw them burning 255, 316 and 377 calories.

Benefits:

Apart from the typical cardio benefits like improved physical and mental health, the rowing machine is great because it places minimal stress on the body due to your seated position. In fact, it’s a great low-impact cardio workout that is easy on the joints while still being effective and challenging. It’s also a really good option for those who want to use their entire body in a workout as it targets more muscles than just the lower body.

Related Article: How To Lose 5lbs In A Month (The Healthy Way)

2. ASSAULT BIKE


Assault Bike.jpg

Great for: weight loss, full-body workout, low-impact

Low impact? Yes

Muscles used: calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, core, back, glutes

The assault bike takes the typical stationary exercise bike to a whole other level. Instead of just giving you a lower-body workout, with the assault bike that comes with long handles, you can include upper body movements in there so you get an all-round session that’ll work your entire body and burn off some calories to help you with your weight loss.

This bike uses a fan to function. When you pedal, it creates wind that acts as resistance. The harder you pedal, well, the more wind resistance is generated and the harder it will be, hence you’re in for one sweat-inducing, heart-pumping workout. There is no limit to the assault bike.

The best way to approach an assault bike workout is in short, intense spurts. Think intervals like 40 seconds on pedalling as fast and as hard as you can, 20 seconds off. In between, you can also incorporate other movements like air squats or push ups or you can take the time to rest. You’ll definitely be feeling the burn either way.

Estimated Calories Burned: 

The average person can burn between 20 and 30 calories per minute.

Benefits: 

Similarly, to the rowing machine, the assault bike is a low-impact cardio machine. This makes it perfect for those who want to take it easy on their joints but still needs something that’s still challenging and effective. In addition, it’s definitely a safer option than outdoor cycling. If you want to bicycle without having to worry about weather elements or other hazards like cars, pedestrians and the sorts, then this is a really good choice.

Related Article: 6 Best Cardio Machines To Tone Legs (Plus, Sample Workout)

3. TREADMILL


Treadmill.jpg

Great for: weight loss, cardiovascular endurance

Low impact? No

Muscles used: quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes, abdominals

The treadmill is the all-time classic cardio machine for a reason. You move on a conveyor belt attached to a monitor display with an adjustable speed level and incline level. Most treadmills also come with different types of workouts so that you can choose which one will suit your workout for the session such as hill and intervals. Not only that, but some treadmills also have virtual scenery exercise options so that you can go running through some stimulated trails.

The treadmill is typically used to walk, jog or run forwards. However, if you want to mix it up a little bit, then you can also do side steps, or if you’re coordinated enough, even walk or jog backwards. Be careful if you do this though and use the handles as necessary!

Estimated Calories Burned: 

On average, a 130lb person running at a speed of 5 miles per hour can burn up to 537 calories in an hour while a 180lb individual can burn 744.

Benefits:

Similarly to the assault bike, the treadmill is great for those who want to go for a run without having to battle outdoor elements. It’s an easy way to get your heart rate pumping in the comfort of your gym or home. You can adjust the treadmill incline to your ability to make it harder or easier for you. For those who want to mimic the energy spent on outdoor running (as treadmill running is slightly easier), put your treadmill on 1 per cent incline. However it’s not recommended to keep your treadmill on higher inclines for long periods of time. Your body is not meant to be running uphill for long so stay weary of that.

Related Article: Can You Lose Weight Without Sweating? (Yes, Here’s How)

4. STAIR CLIMBER


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Great for: weight loss, those who want lower body focus

Low impact? Yes

Muscles Used: quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and core

The stair climber is a great cardio machine that emulates walking up the stairs. And if you’ve walked up a few flights of stairs, then you’ll know that it can make your lower body burn.

With the stair climber, you don’t need to find a tall building with multiple flights of stairs to get the same feeling, you can do so in the one spot as the steps are part of a moving belt that rotates. It also comes with a monitor display so you can see how many flights of stairs or floors you’ve climbed, your speed, how long you’ve been exercising for, your heart rate and other information. You have the option to change the levels so that it’s suited to your fitness level. Most machines have a 1-10 or 1-20 option.

The stair climber has handles that you can hold onto in front or on either side of you. This will make it easier because you can lean your weight on your upper body, mitigating the work your lower body has to do. However, if you really want to push yourself, then try to minimize the amount of weight you distribute to your upper body so you can really optmize your cardio session. If you need to hold onto something for balance, keep your grip light so you’re not completely bearing your weight on the handles.

Estimated Calories Burned: 

Harvard Health Publishing shows that a 125lb person burned 180 calories in a 30-minute workout on the step machine. For a 155lb person, this resulted in 223 calories being worked off and 266 calories for an individual weighing 185lbs.

Benefits:

The stair climber is a simple machine but you can add so much versatility to your workouts to get a great cardio workout in for weight loss. To make it even more challenging, you can even take two stairs at a time, climb the stairs sideways or even add a squat or frog jump in-between steps to feel a bigger burn in your quads and glutes. Some people also love to put a resistance band around their legs and add in some kickbacks as they’re stepping. This makes it not only a workout that increases your cardiovascular endurance but can also work on your muscle strengthening as well.

Related Article: 17 Dumbbell Exercises For Weight Loss (That Actually Work)

5. ELLIPTICAL


Elliptical.jpg

Great for: weight loss, balance and coordination

Low impact? Yes

Muscles worked: glutes, hamstrings, quads, chest, back, biceps, triceps, and core

The elliptical machine is a common one seen in gyms in the cardio section, and with good reason. It has two separate foot pedals, long handles, a flywheel and console that tells you all the data you want to know. It doesn’t work your upper body as much as the other cardio machines can but it does give you a good workout for your cardiovascular endurance and lower body.

This is particularly good for those who need to ease back into exercise after injury or surgery.

Estimated Calories Burned: 

A general study of the elliptical saw a 125, 155 and 185-pound person burn 270, 335 and 400 calories respectively, in a 30-minute session.

Benefits: 

The elliptical machine is a great weight loss cardio machine that is also low-impact and places less stress onto your joints. According to this study, the elliptical machine is a really good choice for those who need are dipping their toes back into exercise following injury or procedures, so if you’re in the rehabilitation phase of your fitness journey, then try giving it a go.

It’s also really beneficial for those who want to work on their balance. You can let go of the handles and engage your core to work on your coordination and abdominal muscles.

Related Article: 10 Types of Cardio Workouts For Fat Loss (That Actually Work)


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Final Notes

So there you go, the top 5 cardio machines that are good for weight loss. It covers a range of different types such as those who are better for lower body or the ones that give you a full-body workout. It also has options for individuals who need low-impact machines.

On a final note though, it’s important to remember that the estimated calories burned is just that—an estimate. Use it as a guideline but remember that everyone is different and your activity and fitness level, age, and weight will all come into play on how much you actually burn. Though, the bottom line is, cardio machines will help you get that much closer to being in a calorie deficit so that you can continue with your weight loss. If you would like more exercise options, then check out the FitBod app for more ideas.


About The Author


Emily Trinh

Emily Trinh

As a health and fitness writer, Emily combines her two passions—powerlifting and writing. With a creative writing degree under her belt, she spends her mornings lifting weights, her nights putting pen to paper, and eating too many snacks in between.