Cardio

Which Cardio Machine Burns the Most Calories?

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Are you on a quest to find out which cardio machine burns the most calories? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the world of popular cardio machines, their calorie-burning potential, and the factors to consider when choosing the right one for your fitness goals. 

Get ready to discover the perfect cardio machine to help you achieve your weight loss goals and elevate your overall fitness level.

(We may earn a commission from products mentioned in this article at no additional cost to you.)


ARTICLE CONTENTS

The Calorie-Burning Secrets of Cardio Machines

Aerobic vs. Anaerobic Exercise

Cardio machines primarily utilize aerobic exercise, involving sustained physical activity that increases heart rate and oxygen consumption. This type of exercise is excellent for burning calories and promoting weight loss. On the other hand, anaerobic exercise, such as weightlifting or sprinting, focuses on short bursts of high-intensity activity, which can also burn calories but is more geared towards muscle growth and strength.

Heart Rate: Unlocking the Calorie-Burning Potential

The number of calories burned during a cardio workout is directly related to your heart rate. As your heart rate increases, so does the number of calories burned per hour. Most cardio machines come equipped with heart rate monitors, allowing you to track your intensity and optimize your calorie burn during each session.


Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cardio Machine

When selecting a cardio machine, it’s essential to consider the following factors:

  1. Personal fitness goals: What are your primary fitness goals? Weight loss, endurance, or muscle toning? Choose a machine that aligns with these goals.
  2. Current fitness level: Consider your current fitness level and any physical limitations when selecting a machine.
  3. Workout preferences: Think about the type of workout you enjoy and will be more likely to stick with long-term.
  4. Space requirements: Some machines, like treadmills or rowing machines, require more space than others, such as stationary bikes or under-desk exerciser machines.
  5. Budget: Cardio machines are available at various price points, so consider your budget when making a decision.

Cardio Machine Calorie Burning Variables

While your choice of cardio machine is important, other factors also influence calorie burn during workouts:

  1. Workout Intensity: High-intensity workouts generally burn more calories per minute than lower-intensity exercises.
  2. Workout Duration: Longer workouts lead to higher overall calorie expenditure, but balance is key to avoiding overtraining.
  3. Individual Fitness Level: As you become more fit, you’ll need to challenge your body by varying workouts, increasing intensity, or incorporating new exercises.
  4. Body Composition: Heavier individuals and those with more muscle mass typically burn more calories during exercise.

Understanding these factors alongside your cardio machine choice will help you optimize your workouts for maximum calorie burn.


Treadmills: The Classic Calorie Conqueror

Treadmills are one of the most popular cardio machines, providing a simple yet effective workout that can burn up to 600-1200 calories per hour, depending on the user’s weight and intensity of the workout. They allow users to walk, jog, or run indoors, regardless of weather conditions or time of day, making them a convenient choice for many.

Treadmill Pros and Cons

Pros:
  • Mimics natural movement patterns, making it easy for most users to adapt
  • Adjustable incline and speed settings allow for a customized workout
  • Can be used for various forms of training, including steady-state, interval, and hill workouts
Cons:
  • Can be high-impact on joints, particularly for those with existing joint issues or injuries
  • Occupies a significant amount of space and can be challenging to store
  • Treadmill calorie burn can be overestimated if the user holds onto the handrails, leading to inaccurate tracking

How Treadmill Types Affect Calorie Burn

Treadmills come in various types to accommodate different fitness needs and preferences, each impacting cardio burn in distinct ways. Their impact on cardio burn depends on factors such as features, incline settings, and available workout programs. Here’s a closer look at these treadmill types and their effects on cardio burn:

Manual Treadmills

These treadmills are powered by the user’s efforts, making workouts more challenging and potentially increasing calorie burn. However, maintaining a consistent pace can be difficult, and the absence of a motor might limit maximum speed. Manual treadmills often lack advanced features and incline options, which may reduce their impact on cardio burn compared to other types.

Motorized Treadmills

Equipped with an electric motor, motorized treadmills offer a smooth and consistent workout experience. They usually have multiple speed settings and incline options, allowing users to adjust workout intensity and simulate uphill running or walking to increase cardio burn. Many motorized treadmills also feature pre-programmed workouts for targeting specific goals such as interval training, weight loss, or improving cardiovascular endurance.

Incline Treadmills

Designed to provide a wide range of incline settings, incline treadmills simulate uphill running or walking, significantly impacting cardio burn by increasing workout intensity and engaging more lower-body muscle groups. They can help improve overall cardiovascular endurance and strengthen muscles used in uphill running, such as quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.

Curved Treadmills

These treadmills have a unique curved running surface that reduces joint impact and promotes a more natural running form. Typically self-powered, curved treadmills increase cardio burn by engaging more muscles during workouts, as users must maintain proper running form to propel the belt. The intensity can be adjusted by running faster or slower, making it versatile for interval training and high-intensity workouts.

Treadmill Desks

Designed for walking or jogging at a slow pace while performing tasks like working on a computer or reading, treadmill desks may not offer the same intensity as other treadmills but can contribute to increased cardio burn if used for extended periods. Their primary purpose is to encourage a more active lifestyle, but they may lack the same range of features or incline options as other treadmill types.

Top All-Around Treadmill Pick

NordicTrack T 8.5 S Treadmill

The NordicTrack T 8.5 S Treadmill is a versatile and high-tech cardio machine that offers easy assembly and a variety of advanced features to provide both beginners and experienced users with a comprehensive home workout. With a 30-Day iFIT membership included, you can stream live and on-demand workouts directly on your treadmill, while elite trainers adjust your equipment to optimize your training sessions.

Key Features and Benefits:
  • Simple assembly with a user-friendly design and easy storage options
  • 30-Day iFIT Membership included, offering global workouts, studio classes, and auto-adjusted treadmill settings by elite trainers
  • 10″ HD interactive touchscreen display streams on-demand iFit workouts for immersive training experiences
  • 0-12% Digital Quick Incline control and 0-12 MPH Digital QuickSpeed control for personalized workouts
  • Innovative SpaceSaver design with EasyLift Assist for compact storage after use
  • Large 20″ x 60″ tread belt with FlexSelect cushioning to reduce joint impact
  • Sturdy construction supporting up to 300 pounds and measuring 59.4″ H x 35.5″ W x 78.9″ L

Enjoy the perfect balance of advanced technology and user-friendly design with the NordicTrack T 8.5 S Treadmill, making your home workouts more efficient and enjoyable.



Elliptical Machines: The Low-Impact, Full-Body Burner

Elliptical machines offer a low-impact, full-body workout that can burn around 400-800 calories per hour, depending on the user’s weight and workout intensity. They simulate a smooth, gliding motion that engages both the upper and lower body muscles, making them an excellent choice for users looking for a joint-friendly cardio option.

Elliptical Machine Pros and Cons

Pros:
  • Provides a low-impact workout, reducing stress on joints
  • Full-body engagement can lead to increased calorie burn
  • Adjustable resistance levels allow for a customized workout experience
Cons:
  • The gliding motion may feel unnatural for some users, particularly during the initial adjustment period
  • Can be large and cumbersome, taking up significant space
  • May not provide as high of a calorie burn as other cardio machines, depending on intensity and user effort

How Elliptical Machine Types Affect Calorie Burn

Elliptical machines come in several types, including standard ellipticals, cross-trainers, compact ellipticals, folding ellipticals, adaptive motion trainers (AMTs), and more. Their impact on cardio burn depends on factors such as features, workout programs, and resistance levels. Here’s a closer look at these elliptical types and their effects on cardio burn:

Standard Ellipticals

Standard ellipticals are the most common type and provide a smooth, low-impact workout that mimics walking, running, or stair climbing. They usually have adjustable resistance levels and pre-programmed workout options, allowing users to tailor their workout intensity to increase cardio burn. Some models also offer incline adjustments for targeting specific muscle groups.

Cross-Trainers

Cross-trainers are designed to provide a full-body workout by incorporating both upper and lower-body movements. These machines have movable handlebars that synchronize with the leg motion, engaging the arms, shoulders, and back muscles in addition to the lower body. This full-body engagement can lead to a higher calorie burn and increased cardiovascular benefits compared to other options.

Compact Ellipticals

These ellipticals are designed for smaller spaces, featuring a more compact design and smaller footprint. While they offer similar low-impact cardio workouts as standard ellipticals, compact models may have fewer features, resistance levels, and workout programs. This can affect the overall cardio burn, although the impact on individual workouts may still be substantial depending on workout intensity and duration.

Folding Ellipticals

Folding ellipticals are designed for easy storage and portability. They usually have similar features as standard ellipticals, but with the added convenience of folding up when not in use. The impact on cardio burn will be comparable to that of standard ellipticals, as long as the folding elliptical provides similar resistance levels and workout programs.

Adaptive Motion Trainers (AMTs)

AMTs are advanced elliptical machines that allow users to change their stride length, motion, and intensity on-the-fly, providing a highly customizable and dynamic workout experience. They engage multiple muscle groups and can simulate various activities, such as walking, running, stepping, or climbing. The versatility and adaptability of AMTs can lead to increased cardio burn, as users can easily switch between different exercises and intensities during their workout.

Top All-Around Elliptical Machine Pick

Bowflex M8 Max Trainer

The Bowflex M8 Max Trainer is a versatile and innovative cardio machine that offers easy assembly and personalized coaching technology to cater to users of various fitness levels. With Bowflex JRNY integration, you’ll receive daily custom workouts that automatically adjust time and intensity based on your fitness improvements. (JRNY App subscription required.)

Key Features and Benefits:
  • Personalized coaching with Bowflex JRNY, creating custom workouts that adapt to your fitness progress
  • Efficient workouts with time and intensity adjustments to suit your schedule, from 4 minutes to 30 minutes
  • Full-body, low-impact motion of an elliptical combined with the calorie-burning power of a stepper
  • Space-saving design that fits easily into any corner of your home
  • Interactive full-color backlit display and magnetic media rack for tablet or smartphone
  • Bluetooth heart rate compatibility and integrated contact grips for accurate tracking
  • Access to 50+ global routes that auto-adjust in real time with Explore the World video (JRNY Membership required)
  • Multi-grip, dynamic handles for various workout options

Elevate your home workout experience with the Bowflex M8 Max Trainer, designed to provide personalized and efficient training sessions while saving space in your home.


Stationary Bikes: Pedal Your Way to Calorie Annihilation

Stationary bikes offer an effective lower-body workout that can burn between 400-1000 calories per hour, depending on the user’s weight, workout intensity, and bike type (upright or recumbent). They provide a cycling experience that closely mimics outdoor cycling, making them an excellent choice for users who enjoy biking or are looking for a lower-body-focused cardio workout.

Stationary Bike Pros and Cons

Pros:
  • Lower impact compared to running, reducing stress on joints
  • Can be used for various types of training, including steady-state, interval, and hill workouts
  • Available in different styles (upright, recumbent, and air bike) to suit individual preferences
Cons:
  • Primarily targets the lower body, potentially neglecting upper body muscle groups
  • Calorie burn can be lower compared to other cardio machines if the user is not pushing themselves
  • Some users may find the bike seat uncomfortable during long workouts

How Stationary Bike Types Affect Calorie Burn

Stationary bikes come in various types, including upright bikes, recumbent bikes, indoor cycles/spin bikes, dual-action bikes, air bikes/fan bikes, and more. Their impact on cardio burn depends on factors such as features, resistance levels, and available workout programs. Here’s an overview of these stationary bike types and their effects on cardio burn:

Upright Bikes

Upright bikes are the most common type and resemble traditional bicycles in terms of seating position and overall design. These bikes usually offer adjustable resistance levels and pre-programmed workout options, allowing users to tailor their workout intensity and increase cardio burn. Some models may also include heart rate monitors to help users stay within their target heart rate zones.

Recumbent Bikes

Recumbent bikes feature a reclined seating position, which provides additional support for the lower back and reduces pressure on the joints. This design makes recumbent bikes an excellent choice for individuals with mobility or balance issues. These bikes typically offer similar resistance levels and workout programs as upright bikes, but the impact on cardio burn may be slightly lower due to the more relaxed seating position.

Indoor Cycles/Spin Bikes

Indoor cycles, also known as spin bikes, are designed to mimic the feel of outdoor road cycling. These bikes usually have a heavier flywheel, providing a more realistic and challenging riding experience. Spin bikes often come with adjustable resistance levels, and users can stand on the pedals to simulate hill climbs, which can increase cardio burn. Many indoor cycles are compatible with group cycling classes or online workout platforms, adding variety and motivation to the workout.

Dual-Action Bikes

Dual-action bikes incorporate both upper and lower body movements for a full-body workout. These bikes have movable handlebars that synchronize with the pedaling motion, engaging the arms, shoulders, and back muscles in addition to the lower body. This full-body engagement can lead to higher calorie burn and increased cardiovascular benefits compared to other stationary bike types.

Air Bikes/Fan Bikes

Air bikes, also known as fan bikes, are a type of dual-action bike that uses air resistance generated by a large fan to provide a smooth and challenging workout. The resistance increases as the user pedals and moves the handlebars more vigorously, making it an excellent option for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and increasing cardio burn. Air bikes typically do not have pre-programmed workouts, but their versatility allows users to create their own custom workouts.

Top All-Around Stationary Bike Pick

Peloton Indoor Exercise Bike

The Peloton Bike is a revolutionary cardio machine that offers easy assembly and an immersive workout experience that goes beyond traditional cycling. Stay motivated with engaging classes, sing and dance along, and climb the Leaderboard with other Peloton members.

Key Features and Benefits:
  • Comprehensive workout experience with the Peloton All-Access Membership (purchased separately) for unlimited access to the entire library of content on the Bike and Peloton App
  • Small-space friendly with a compact 4′ x 2′ footprint, adjustable seat, handlebar, and tilting screen to accommodate various heights
  • Delta-compatible pedals, manual resistance control, and a 2-channel rear-facing stereo speaker system with 16 watts of total power
  • 10-point multitouch touchscreen, USB microport, 3.5 mm headphone jack, Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, 5-megapixel front-facing camera, built-in microphone, and volume controls
  • 24″ clearance required on all four sides, with a minimum 8′ ceiling height for comfortable riding; dimensions: 51″ L x 51.25″ H x 24″ W; screen: 22″ diagonal; weight: 135 lbs
  • Easy assembly with step-by-step instructions and included components: bike frame, stabilizers, handlebars, water bottle holders, pedals, weight holders, touchscreen, and toolkit
  • Access to thousands of classes across 10+ disciplines, including strength, yoga, meditation, outdoor classes, boxing, and Peloton Lanebreak (All-Access Membership required)

Transform your home workout experience with the Peloton Bike, designed to provide engaging and interactive cardio sessions for users of all fitness levels.



Rowing Machines: The Full-Body Calorie Crusader

Rowing machines provide a full-body, low-impact workout that engages multiple muscle groups and can burn around 600-1000 calories per hour, depending on the user’s weight and workout intensity. The rowing motion targets the arms, legs, and core muscles, making it an excellent choice for users looking for a challenging and efficient calorie-burning workout.

Rowing Machine Pros and Cons

Pros:
  • Offers a full-body workout, engaging a wide range of muscle groups
  • Low-impact, reducing stress on joints
  • Can help improve cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance
Cons:
  • Can be challenging for beginners or those unfamiliar with the rowing motion
  • Requires proper form to avoid potential injury or strain
  • Can be less engaging than other cardio machines for some users

How Rowing Machine Types Affect Calorie Burn

Rowing machines come in various types, including air resistance rowers, magnetic resistance rowers, water resistance rowers, hydraulic resistance rowers, electromagnetic rowers, and more. Their impact on cardio burn depends on factors such as resistance levels, workout duration, and available workout programs. Here’s an overview of these rowing machine types and their effects on cardio burn:

Air Resistance Rowers

Air resistance rowers use a flywheel with fan blades to create resistance as the user pulls on the handle. The resistance increases with the intensity of the rowing motion, providing a smooth and natural rowing experience. Air resistance rowers are popular for their ability to simulate the feel of outdoor rowing and offer an effective workout for increasing cardio burn, particularly when incorporating interval training or longer rowing sessions.

Magnetic Resistance Rowers

Magnetic resistance rowers use a magnetic braking system to create resistance, offering a quiet and smooth rowing motion. These machines typically have adjustable resistance levels, allowing users to tailor their workout intensity and increase cardio burn. Magnetic rowers may not provide the same realistic feel as air or water resistance rowers, but they are popular for their low noise levels and ease of maintenance.

Water Resistance Rowers

Water resistance rowers use a water-filled flywheel to create resistance, closely mimicking the feel of rowing on water. The resistance increases as the user rows harder, providing a natural and fluid rowing experience. Water resistance rowers are known for their soothing sound and realistic rowing feel, making them an enjoyable option for increasing cardio burn through challenging workouts.

Hydraulic Resistance Rowers

Hydraulic resistance rowers use hydraulic pistons or cylinders to create resistance. These rowers are usually compact and more affordable than other types, making them suitable for smaller spaces or budget-conscious users. However, hydraulic rowers may not provide the same smooth rowing motion as other resistance types, and the resistance levels may be more limited, potentially impacting the overall cardio burn.

Electro-Magnetic Rowers

Electro-magnetic rowers combine magnetic resistance with electronic control, allowing users to easily adjust resistance levels through a digital console. These rowers offer a smooth and quiet rowing experience, with precise resistance adjustments for tailored workouts. The ability to customize resistance levels and use pre-programmed workouts can help users increase cardio burn and achieve their fitness goals.

Top All-Around Rowing Machine Pick

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

The Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine is a versatile and user-friendly piece of fitness equipment that offers easy assembly and a low-impact workout that engages all major muscle groups. Experience a smooth, high-calorie-burning motion as you work your legs, core, and arms while tracking your progress with real-time, reliable data.

Key Features and Benefits:
  • Low-impact workout engaging all major muscle groups for a comprehensive fitness experience
  • Performance Monitor 5 (PM5) included for self-calibrating, reliable data tracking; wireless connectivity to heart rate belts and apps (not included)
  • Designed for most users with a 14-inch seat height, adjustable footrests, and ergonomic handle
  • Easy assembly with only eight screws; separates into two pieces for storage with caster wheels for mobility
  • Space recommendations for use: 9 x 4 feet; 500-pound user capacity; 5-year frame warranty included
  • Included components: Concept2 Model D Rower, PM5 computer, smartphone cradle, user manual, PM5 quick start guide, tools, and illustrated assembly instructions

Upgrade your home workout with the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine, designed for users of all fitness levels seeking a low-impact, full-body workout that delivers results.


Stair Climber Machines: Conquering Calories One Step at a Time

Stair climber machines simulate the motion of climbing stairs and can burn between 600-1000 calories per hour, depending on the user’s weight and workout intensity. They provide a challenging lower-body workout, targeting the glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps while also engaging the core muscles.

Stair Climber Pros and Cons

Pros:
  • Provides an intense lower-body workout, targeting key muscle groups
  • Can help improve cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, and power
  • Takes up less space than many other cardio machines
Cons:
  • Primarily targets the lower body, potentially neglecting upper body muscle groups
  • Can be high-impact on joints, particularly for those with existing joint issues or injuries
  • May be less engaging or monotonous for some users

How Stair Climber Types Affect Calorie Burn

Stair climber machines come in various types, including stair steppers, mini steppers, step mills, stair climber ellipticals, vertical climbers, and more. Their impact on cardio burn depends on factors such as resistance levels, workout duration, and available workout programs. Here’s an overview of these stair climber machine types and their effects on cardio burn:

Stair Steppers

Stair steppers, also known as stair climbers, simulate the motion of climbing stairs and provide a relatively low-impact cardio workout that targets the lower body. These machines typically have adjustable resistance levels, allowing users to tailor their workout intensity and increase cardio burn. Some models may also include handlebars for additional balance and support during the workout.

Mini Steppers

Mini steppers are compact versions of stair steppers, featuring a smaller footprint and often lacking handlebars. These machines provide a similar stepping motion to full-size stair steppers, making them suitable for smaller spaces or those on a budget. While mini steppers offer a convenient way to engage in cardiovascular exercise, they may have fewer features and resistance levels, which could impact overall cardio burn.

Step Mills

Step mills, also known as stair mills or rotating staircases, feature a continuous revolving staircase that simulates the act of climbing real stairs. These machines provide a more realistic and challenging stair-climbing experience, potentially increasing cardio burn. Step mills usually offer adjustable speed settings, allowing users to tailor their workout intensity and duration.

Stair Climber Ellipticals

Stair climber ellipticals combine the features of a stair stepper and an elliptical machine, providing a hybrid workout experience that targets both the upper and lower body. These machines offer a smooth, low-impact stepping motion with the added benefit of movable handlebars for upper-body engagement. The full-body workout provided by stair climber ellipticals can lead to higher calorie burn and increased cardiovascular benefits compared to other stair climber machines.

Vertical Climbers

Vertical climbers simulate the motion of climbing a wall or rope, engaging both the upper and lower-body muscles for a full-body workout. These machines require users to maintain a standing position while moving their arms and legs in a synchronized motion. Vertical climbers offer a challenging workout that can increase cardio burn, particularly when incorporating interval training or longer climbing sessions.

Top All-Around Stair Climber Machine Pick

YOSUDA Pro Cardio Climber

Transform your home workout experience with the innovative YOSUDA Pro Cardio Climber, a 3-in-1 home gym marvel that fuses the gentle impact of an elliptical, the stamina boost of a stepper, and the calorie-torching capability of a treadmill. This machine is engineered to deliver a comprehensive, body-engaging workout, pushing your fitness limits while ensuring a smooth and enjoyable exercise routine.

Key Features and Benefits:
  • Combines the functions of an elliptical, stepper, and treadmill for a full-body workout.
  • Features an 18LB flywheel with 16 resistance levels and a 45° climbing stride.
  • A 15mm thickened frame tube supports up to 300lbs, ensuring stability and durability for users of all sizes.
  • Utilizes the latest magnetic system for a nearly silent operation, making it ideal for shared spaces.
  • Advanced monitor tracks CALORIES, TIME, SPEED, DISTANCE, ODOMETER, and PULSE with high precision.
  • Its compact footprint (38x21x62 inches) makes it perfect for any home, apartment, or fitness room..

The YOSUDA Pro Cardio Climber not only elevates your physical fitness but also fits seamlessly into your home, ensuring you get the most out of every workout session. Whether you’re a beginner or a fitness enthusiast, this machine is designed to meet you where you are and take you where you want to be.


Cross-Trainer Machines: Double the Benefits, Double the Fun

Dual-action cardio machines offer a full-body workout by combining the benefits of multiple cardio machines into one, burning around 500-900 calories per hour, depending on the user’s weight and workout intensity. They engage both the upper and lower body muscle groups, providing an efficient, high-intensity workout that maximizes calorie burn.

Cross-Trainer Machine Pros and Cons

Pros:
  • Full-body workout, engaging a wide range of muscle groups
  • High-calorie burn potential due to upper and lower-body engagement
  • Efficient and time-saving, combining multiple workout types into one machine
Cons:
  • Can be more expensive compared to single-function cardio machines
  • May require a larger space to accommodate the machine
  • The dual-action motion may feel unnatural or challenging for some users

How Cross-Trainer Machine Types Affect Calorie Burn

Cross-trainer machines come in several types, including elliptical cross-trainers, recumbent cross-trainers, fan cross-trainers, hybrid cross-trainers, and more. Their impact on cardio burn depends on factors such as features, workout programs, and resistance levels. Here’s a closer look at these cross-trainer types and their effects on cardio burn:

Elliptical Cross-Trainers

Elliptical cross-trainers combine lower-body elliptical motion with upper-body handlebars that move in sync with the pedals. This design engages both upper and lower-body muscle groups, providing a full-body workout and increased calorie burn. Elliptical cross-trainers typically offer adjustable resistance levels and pre-programmed workout options, allowing users to tailor their workout intensity and target specific fitness goals.

Recumbent Cross-Trainers

Recumbent cross-trainers feature a reclined seating position, similar to recumbent bikes, and provide a full-body workout through a combination of lower-body pedaling and upper-body pushing and pulling movements. The reclined position offers additional support for the lower back and reduces joint stress, making these machines suitable for individuals with mobility or balance issues. Recumbent cross-trainers usually have adjustable resistance levels and workout programs, allowing users to customize their workouts and increase cardio burn.

Fan Cross-Trainers

Fan cross-trainers, also known as air cross-trainers, use air resistance generated by a large fan to provide a smooth and challenging workout. The resistance increases as the user pedals and moves the handlebars more vigorously, making it an excellent option for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and increasing cardio burn. Fan cross-trainers typically do not have pre-programmed workouts but offer versatility for users to create custom workouts.

Top All-Around Cross-Trainer Machine Pick

Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical

Experience a full-body, fat-burning cardio workout that is gentle on your joints with the Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical. Ideal for users of all fitness levels, this machine offers a naturally-reclined seated position and a smooth, linear striding motion to reduce stress on joints and back, making it perfect for those with arthritis, Parkinson’s, or MS.

Key Features and Benefits:
  • LT3 Premium Features: Upgraded UltraGlide bearings for fluid start-up and stride transitions; SoftStep pedals with durable grip surface; larger ComfortSelect seat with more positioning options; SureGrip handles with high-grade polyurethane coating for unmatched durability
  • Zero-impact exercise suitable for all fitness levels and ideal for those with joint or back concerns
  • Whisper-quiet, fluid stride with a natural, linear path to protect knees and joints
  • 13 levels of smooth magnetic resistance for easy workout customization from zero to intense
  • Total body workout with dual power motion, engaging all major muscle groups for strength-building and calorie-burning
  • Commercial-grade engineering with a friction-free linkage system for long-lasting use
  • Compact, low-profile design with a 54″ x 38″ footprint

Upgrade your fitness routine with the Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical, a versatile and low-impact exercise solution that delivers a total body workout while prioritizing comfort and joint protection.


Upper-Body Ergometer Machines: Give Your Upper Body a Heart-Pumping Workout

Arm cycle machines primarily target the upper body muscles, providing an effective and challenging workout that can burn around 200-400 calories per hour, depending on the user’s weight and workout intensity. They engage the upper body in a continuous, repetitive motion, resulting in an effective aerobic workout and calorie burn.

Upper-Body Ergometer Machine Pros and Cons

Pros:
  • Targets upper body muscle groups, providing a focused workout
  • Great for users with lower-body limitations or for rehabilitation purposes
  • Can be used to supplement other cardio workouts for a balanced fitness routine
Cons:
  • Lower calorie burn compared to full-body cardio machines
  • May not be as engaging or enjoyable as other cardio machines
  • Can require more time to achieve a significant calorie burn compared to other machines

How Upper-Body Ergometer Types Affect Calorie Burn

Upper-body ergometers (UBE) are beneficial for individuals with limited lower-body mobility, athletes focused on upper-body conditioning, or those looking to diversify their workout routine. Their impact on cardio burn depends on factors such as resistance levels, workout duration, and available workout programs. Here’s an overview of these upper body ergometer types and their effects on cardio burn:

Standard Upper-Body Ergometers

Standard upper body ergometers feature a crank system with handles that users rotate in a circular motion, providing a low-impact cardio workout targeting the arms, shoulders, and back muscles. These machines typically offer adjustable resistance levels, allowing users to tailor their workout intensity and increase cardio burn. Some models may also include pre-programmed workouts or heart rate monitoring for more focused training.

Wheelchair-Accessible Ergometers

Wheelchair-accessible ergometers are designed to accommodate users with limited mobility or those using a wheelchair. These machines have features such as removable seats and adjustable height settings, allowing users to position themselves comfortably and safely. Wheelchair-accessible ergometers typically offer adjustable resistance levels and workout options similar to standard upper-body ergometers, providing an effective upper-body workout that can increase cardio burn.

Variable Resistance Ergometers

Variable resistance ergometers allow users to adjust the resistance levels throughout their workout, providing a more dynamic and challenging exercise experience. These machines may use different resistance systems, such as magnetic, air, or hydraulic resistance. The ability to vary resistance levels can help users increase cardio burn by incorporating interval training or progressive resistance techniques into their workouts.

Combination Ergometers

Combination ergometers combine the features of an upper-body ergometer with another cardio machine, such as a recumbent bike or a lower-body ergometer. These machines offer a full-body workout experience, allowing users to engage both upper and lower body muscles simultaneously or switch between upper and lower-body workouts. The versatility of combination ergometers can lead to increased cardio burn and overall conditioning benefits.

Top All-Around Upper-Body Ergometer Pick

YOSUDA Arm and Leg Exerciser

Elevate your daily routine with the YOSUDA Arm and Leg Exerciser, designed for those who wish to stay active without leaving their desk or living room. This compact and efficient pedal exerciser ensures you can work out while you work, read, or relax, without any noise or disruption.

Key Features and Benefits:
  • Utilizes a high-quality samarium cobalt magnet for a silent, distraction-free pedaling experience.
  • Ideal for office workers, the elderly, and those in rehabilitation, offering a joint-friendly exercise option.
  • 8 levels of resistance to tailor your workout intensity, suitable for any fitness level.
  • Measures just 21.2612.2814.37 inches, with a built-in handle for easy transportation and storage.
  • Tracks time, distance, speed, and calories, helping you stay informed of your progress.

Embrace a healthier lifestyle with the YOSUDA Arm and Leg Exerciser, your solution to integrating exercise into your daily activities. With seamless operation, adjustable resistance, and a design that fits under any desk, staying active has never been more convenient or accessible.


Under-Desk Exercisers: Boost Your Calorie Burn While You Work

Under-desk exercisers, including under-desk bikes and ellipticals, offer a convenient and low-impact workout option for those looking to burn calories while at work or in a seated position. They can burn between 100-300 calories per hour, depending on the user’s weight and workout intensity. These compact machines fit under most desks or tables, making it easy to incorporate physical activity into a busy lifestyle.

Under-Desk Exerciser Pros and Cons

Pros:
  • Ideal for multitasking and incorporating movement during work hours
  • Low-impact, reducing stress on joints
  • Compact and portable, fitting under most desks and tables
Cons:
  • Lower calorie burn compared to full-size cardio machines
  • Limited to lower body workouts, neglecting upper body muscle groups
  • May be less engaging or enjoyable compared to traditional cardio machines

How Under-Desk Exerciser Types Affect Calorie Burn

Under-desk exercisers come in various types, including under-desk pedal exercisers, under-desk elliptical trainers, balance board exercisers, under-desk leg swings, and more. Their impact on cardio burn depends on factors such as resistance levels, workout duration, and intensity. Here’s an overview of these under-desk exerciser types and their effects on cardio burn:

Under-Desk Pedal Exercisers

Under-desk pedal exercisers are compact devices featuring pedals similar to those on a stationary bike. These exercisers allow users to pedal while seated, providing a low-impact cardio workout that targets the lower body. Most models offer adjustable resistance levels, allowing users to tailor their workout intensity and increase cardio burn. Some advanced models may also include electronic displays to track workout metrics.

Under-Desk Elliptical Trainers

Under-desk elliptical trainers are small elliptical machines designed for use while seated, offering a smooth and low-impact lower-body workout. These devices typically have adjustable resistance levels and may include features such as built-in workout programs or electronic displays for tracking progress. Under-desk elliptical trainers provide a convenient and effective way to increase cardio burn during sedentary activities.

Balance Board Exercisers

Balance board exercisers, also known as wobble boards, are designed to improve balance, coordination, and core strength while seated. Users place their feet on the balance board and perform controlled movements to engage their core muscles and maintain stability. Although balance board exercisers may not provide a high cardio burn, they can help users stay active and engaged during sedentary tasks, promoting overall fitness and well-being.

Under-Desk Leg Swings

Under-desk leg swings are simple devices that attach to the underside of a desk, allowing users to swing their legs back and forth while seated. These exercisers promote movement, circulation, and gentle lower body engagement during sedentary activities. While under-desk leg swings may not offer a significant cardio burn, they can help users stay active and reduce the negative effects of prolonged sitting.

Top All-Around Under Desk Exerciser Pick

DeskCycle Under-Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser

Stay active and improve your fitness with the DeskCycle Under-Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser. This patented under-desk bike offers premium magnetic resistance for a smooth and quiet pedal motion, perfect for use at home or in the office.

Key Features and Benefits:
  • Smooth and silent operation with premium magnetic resistance, ensuring minimal disturbance to others around you
  • Low-profile and adjustable design, compatible with desks as low as 27″ for users 5’10” and under
  • Wide resistance range with 8 settings, suitable for a variety of fitness levels and physical therapy needs
  • User-friendly 5-function LCD display to track speed, distance, and other metrics, with an included display stand for easy viewing
  • Ideal gift option for grandparents, busy professionals, and anyone looking to incorporate more activity into their daily routine

Experience a convenient and effective workout with the DeskCycle Under Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser, a versatile and user-friendly exercise solution that fits seamlessly into your busy lifestyle.



Which Cardio Machine Is Right for You?

Now that we’ve talked about which cardio machine burns the most calories, and discussed the pros and cons for each category, you have all the information you need to find the perfect cardio machine to help you achieve your fitness goals. 

For a full-body, low-impact workout, elliptical machines, and rowing machines are excellent choices. If you prefer high-intensity cardio that targets the lower body, stair climbers and spin bikes will help you achieve your goals. And for a versatile, all-around workout, you can’t go wrong with the classic treadmill.

Remember, the most effective cardio machine is the one you’ll use consistently and enjoy. So, choose the machine that suits your needs, and start crushing those calories!

I’m a writer and fitness enthusiast, and I love sharing my insights with others. My goal is to empower readers to take control of their well-being so they can live healthy, happy lives. When I’m not writing, I’m probably hanging out with my kids or working out in my own home gym.

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