The Best Cardio Machines For Weight Loss - Consumer Help Guide
Best Cardio Machines for Weight Loss

The Best Cardio Machines for Weight Loss

If you want to watch the numbers on your weighing scale go down, then cardio is the way to go.


The main purpose of cardio is to get your heart rate up and to improve the circulation of blood around your body.

So, not only are you losing weight, you are also improving the overall health of your heart and lungs.

Now, if you are going to be perfectly honest with yourself, going to the gym really isn’t the greatest option.

Due to a hectic schedule, lack of motivation, or an unwillingness to let others see you in workout clothes, the gym may be an off-putting place.

But you know what?

Luckily for you, you don’t really need to leave your house to get a cardio workout.

There are numerous home cardio machines that let you experience many of the same benefits as the machines in the gym.

If you are interested in figuring which ones are the best for your weight loss goal, then you have come to the right place.

Find out more here:

What Makes a Good Cardio Machine?

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One of the first things that you should be able to do is to accurately identify whether a particular machine offers up a good cardio workout.

These types of machines are a dime a dozen so you need to be able to determine whether a machine will be effective for you or not.

Here are the factors that you should look out for:

Number of Calories Burned

Almost all modern cardio machines have digital displays.

Amid all of the other information displayed there, you will notice that there is a section that keeps track of the number of calories that you burn in a particular session.

As you can imagine, a machine that helps you burn the greatest amount of calories is what will be most useful to your daily exercise regime.

At the top of the list, you will find the stationary bike, treadmill, elliptical trainer, rowing machine, and stair climber.

Hold up.

There is one small caveat to grading a cardio machine this way – the numbers displayed aren’t all that accurate.

In fact, the margin of error for the number of calories burned can be between 12 and 42 percent!

There are a few reasons for this:

First, each person burns calories at a different rate but the cardio machines typically only use your weight, age, and maybe your height.

However, you need to take your gender, fitness level, body fat percentage, metabolism, and more into consideration.

Since these are typically factors that are ignored, the machine can’t accurately predict the calories that you have burned.

Not to mention, many manufacturers actually manipulate the numbers on these machines.

Since they want to advertise their machines as being more effective, the machines may cause you to believe that you are losing more weight than you actually are.

The Impact on Your Body

Different cardio machines offer either low impact or high impact exercises, although some offer both.

To decide which one is right for you, you first need to examine what type of cardio is best suited for your goals.

For instance, if you are a beginner athlete or have certain medical concerns, a low impact machine such as an elliptical machine will prove to be best.

These produce minimal stress to your joints and are easier to work on as well. Fitter individuals without any health concerns may find that high impact cardio is actually better.

Here, running on a treadmill will help you to get your heart rate up to your desired number.

Compound vs. Isolated Movements

Compound movements refer to the exercising of a group of muscles when you use a machine.

These forms of activity tend to be preferred by those who want to build muscles and tone up.

Isolated movements, on the other hand, are when you just use one muscle. While this, too, has its place in your workout plan, it tends to be less relevant.

Of course, in the end, it is entirely up to you and the results that you hope to achieve.

Most cardio machines can be utilized so that they offer up isolated movements as well as compound movements.

However, when choosing a machine, you should narrow down the type of exercise that you want.


Since each person is different, and has varying athletic abilities, unique metabolisms, and other distinctive elements, you can’t really take a one size fits all approach to cardio machines.

Now, of course, you can’t really transform one machine into something else.

However, you should be able to have a good selection when it comes to modes, difficulty levels, speeds, and more.

This way, you will be able to program your machine to better suit your capabilities, fitness level, and weight loss goal.

So, you should look for a machine that has a multitude of options for you.

The Weight and Size of the Machine

Unless you are living in a mansion, the size of the machine is definitely going to matter.

Even if you have a dedicated workout room, you don’t want a machine that takes up too much of space.

Typically, a more compact machine is better for medium sized households. The weight of the machine comes into play when you want to move the machine around.

This is quite common in smaller homes when you want to pull out the machine to exercise but then put it away afterward.

So how do you do this?

Well, the machine should be light so that you don’t have to make too much of effort.

If your home is really small, you should invest in a foldable option so that it is easier to store.

Fun Factor

One of the main reasons that people give up on the gym and their exercise routine is because it can get boring and monotonous quite quickly.

The more fun that a machine is, the more likely you are to stick with it. Of course, what is fun depends on you.

For instance, do you like machines that let you switch up your workouts, challenge you, or allow you to watch TV while you work?

The Best Types of Machines for Weight Loss

Now that you know how to evaluate each machine, let’s take a look at the machines that are best for your weight loss journey.

Here are tried and true cardio machines that actually work:


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The treadmill remains one of the most widely used cardio machines at the gym and at home.

One of the reasons that it is so popular is because it is easy to use – no instructions needed.

It also gives you an all-over body workout (upper body and lower body) and makes it easier to burn calories.

But hey, guess what?

Since you can either walk or run on this machine, you can alternate between low impact and high impact exercises!

The treadmill also allows you to choose the speed, incline, and intensity with which you want to walk or run.

While the treadmill isn’t necessarily the most fun machine to use, you can always just watch TV or listen to music while working out.

There are foldable machines that can be compressed and stored in smaller spaces.

Calories Burned Per Hour (On Average)

So check this out:

You can burn an estimated 600 – 1200 calories an hour on the treadmill. This is dependent on how you use the machine, of course.

Walking on a horizontal treadmill will burn the least amount of calories while alternating bursts of sprints on an incline will burn the greatest number.

For something in between, you should speed walk on an incline or jog at a challenging pace.

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An elliptical machine can be found in many homes, again due to its ability to provide you with a full body workout.

If the elliptical machine has handles that allow for arm motions, then you get to engage in compound movements.

These machines don’t have too much of variability when it comes to programs and modes.

However, you can take command of the tension, resistance, and the speed which does let you tailor your workouts more.

While elliptical machines can seem large and space consuming, there are several compact and foldable models to choose from.

The movement created by the elliptical machine can become a little monotonous and boring but it does offer low impact exercise.

Calories Burned Per Hour (On Average)

There is actually a great deal of variation in how many calories you can burn on an elliptical machine. It can often change from machine to machine.

Still, it is calculated that you can burn anywhere from 600 to 800 calories each hour that you are on the machine.

The most number of calories can be burned when the machine is programmed to a higher resistance and when your arms are in motion as well.

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Stationary Bike

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The stationary bike has shot up in popularity over the last few years. This is largely because of all the muscle groups that this exercise works.

The quadriceps, glutes, hips, leg muscles, and even stomach muscles are toned during this process.

Also, although it is technically a low impact machine, it does not lack in intensity or the amount of energy that you burn.

There are some customization options available with this type of machine.

This includes resistance level choices and constructing your own workout routines.

While these machines may appear to be quite bulky, there are some options that are foldable, so that you don’t need a designated space for the machine.

The best part of a stationary bike is that you get to switch up positions to increase the intensity level which can make it more challenging and fun.

Calories Burned Per Hour (On Average)

The stationary bike can help you burn an impressive number of calories.

You can expect to burn between 500 and 1000 calories in one workout hour.

To lose as much as you can, you should aim for around 85 rotations per minute and make sure that the resistance is high.

Stair Climber

Much like the name suggests, the stair climbing basically involves a climbing motion. There are two kinds a stair stepper and a stair mill.

The mill tends to be the most effective at burning calories and providing an allover body workout.

Because of the motion that is involved, you are pretty much working out most of the muscle groups in your lower body.

That's not all.

In the same vein, it is also a low to high impact exercise, depending on how much effort you are making.

There are often not too many features available and usually, it is more about adjusting the speed and power with which the stairs move.

While the stair stepper can be moved around a little more easily, this is not the case with the stair mill. That machine is best kept in one place.

Due to the intensity of the workout, this is certainly not a boring machine.

Calories Burned Per Hour (On Average)

You can burn between 800 and 1400 calories using the stair climber. This is, however, depending on how you use it.

For a more balanced workout, you should not hold out onto the railing. This will help to maximize your calorie burning.

Ski Machine

Resembling the sport that is named after, the ski machine provides you with a full body workout. This is because it works both the torso and the lower body, all at once.

Still, it manages to be a low impact machine and will not harm joints or other tender body parts.

While you can vary the intensity of your workouts, there aren’t too many customization features available with this type of machine.

One of the perks of the ski machine is that you will not be losing interest anytime soon.

This machine requires a considerable amount of coordination and this will often keep you on your toes and focused at all times.

Many of the ski machines can be folded up and stored away.

Calories Burned Per Hour (On Average)

You should be able to burn around 400 to 600 calories with each hour that you are on the machine.

A moderate intensity will burn fewer calories than a higher intensity workout for that same period of time.

Rowing Machine

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Rowing machines are currently the favorites among personal fitness trainers everywhere.

The unfortunate thing, however, is that they aren’t always available at gyms which is why it can help to get one for yourself.

So, what’s so great about this machine?

Well, conditional to how you use it, you can actually get an upper and lower body workout in one, working numerous muscle groups at once.

While you do get a low impact workout, there is a lot of intensity behind the movements.

You can manage the pace and resistance with this machine which is really, all that you need.

Many of the rowers meant for home use these days can be converted into a more compact size and stored.

Calories Burned Per Hour (On Average)

While you need to build up your fitness level before you can reap all of the benefits associated with the rowing machine, there are significant gains to be made.

For instance, you can burn between 700 and 1100 calories on this machine each hour. To burn the greatest number, try increasing the resistance and the pace of the machine.

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Ladder (Jacob’s Ladder)

The Jacob’s Ladder is a fan favorite even among professional athletes. This is hardly surprising considering that you get a full body workout on this – both arms and legs.

This is somewhat of a high-intensity workout although your knees and back aren’t affected at all.

Instead, this machine offers to increase your heart rate much more quickly than many other cardio machines.

Speed is pretty much the only factor that you get to control with this machine. However, this is not something that you will feel bored with.

While the workout is intense, it requires you to focus and to get a hang of the movements involved.

This isn’t really a piece of machinery that you can move around without some serious help.

Calories Burned Per Hour (On Average)

Well, here's a bit of a quandary.

There isn’t actually an agreed upon number of calories that you can burn with the Jacob’s Ladder.

Since there are so many factors at play, it can be difficult to narrow down a range.

Even the original manufacturer is coy about speaking just how many calories can be lost with their machine.

Still, there is no doubt that it burns significantly more calories than the average cardio machine.

Keeping Track of Progress

If you are making an effort to work out on a regular basis and eat right, then it is important to keep track of your progress.

This will help you figure out whether your current exercise and diet plan is working and will also act as motivation for you to keep going.

Here we discuss the most popular ways to track your journey:

Using a Scale

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Now, this is probably the most common way of knowing whether or not you have lost weight within a period of time.

While using a bathroom scale may feel intuitive, there are a few things to keep in mind:

First, it is a good idea to weigh yourself soon after you wake up in the morning. This should be done before you have eaten or drunk anything else.

This will provide you with the most accurate reading. The other thing to keep in mind is how many times you should weigh yourself within a period of time.

It is important to remember that weight loss doesn’t happen overnight, no matter how hard you are working.

Therefore, it is a good idea to limit the weigh-ins to about once every two weeks or even once a month.

Just make sure to make this a consistent interval so you can calculate how much you are losing each month.

It should be noted that the scale rarely tells the whole story about your health journey. This is mostly because it doesn’t paint an accurate picture of your health.

For instance, what you should really be looking at is your overall body fat composition as it tells you whether you are burning fat instead of muscle.

It doesn't stop there.

The other issue is that the scale often weighs everything and is not discriminate about your body’s makeup.

Now, muscle actually weighs quite a lot so even though you may look and feel slimmer, the scale may be telling you a different story.

The bottom line is to always take the readings with a grain of salt.

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Use a Fitness Tracker

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Now, weight is not the only thing that matters. Many people workout to improve their fitness level too.

In this case, knowing how many pounds you are losing isn’t really going to help.

Instead, you need to track the distance you have walked, stairs you have climbed, heart rate, calories burned, sleep cycle and more.

The actual features are subject to the particular fitness tracker that you choose. Most of these trackers can be worn as watches and are impervious to moisture and the elements.

This ensures that every moment of your day is tracked and relayed back to you.

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Take Progress Photos

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This is something that is quite popular actually, particularly due to platforms such as Instagram.

Of course, you don’t have to share your progress with anyone and can simply take pictures for your own benefit.

Most people are quite visual and so respond to pictures better.

This is especially true in the age of the selfie.

However, progress pictures can also be incredibly empowering. They show you actual proof how far you have come since you started.

It can also be helpful if you are quite self-conscious about the way that you look and want to transform your body.

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What Camera Should I Buy

So there you have it – everything you need to know about the cardio machines that can get you on track to your best self.

There is now no excuse for you to not work out anymore.

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