Cardio is and will always be my favorite. It’s what I started with, what I go back to, it’s what I train for and basically, cardio is life. I can’t say the same for everyone else, but it’s something that I truly enjoy.
Cardio workouts can improve your performance when you incorporate them into your strength training. You can opt for high-level cardio machines if you want to push the pace and the fact that cardio promotes overall health makes it all the more appealing.
Investing in a cardio machine will allow you to enjoy another form of cardio— one that is inside your home or garage. Without further ado, here are the best cardio machines for home use:
Best Cardio Machines For Home Use Compared and Reviewed
#1 - Assault Fitness Air Runner
The brand has been around for 20 years now and it’s first gold mine was their invention of the Airbike— one of the sturdiest stationary fan bikes known to man. You would think that with 20 years under their belt they’d have a hefty line of equipment on the market. Think again.
Assault Fitness only came up with 3 items: a rowing machine, the Airbike and the Air Runner.
The Air Runner comes with really great features for a cardio machine at home, as it entirely redefines the manual treadmill, has dependable stability, offers a superior steel construction, and no-limits of functionality when it comes to streamlined, energy-efficient design.
Expect a different experience with this motorless treadmill. The only thing powering the belt on this is you and your effort alone. Now, that may sound appealing or appalling.
This machine will be well-loved by those who are looking to reduce their carbon footprints as you don’t need to plug this in. That also comes with downsides such as not being able to adjust the speed and incline.
It comes with a reliable LCD monitor powered by batteries that has heart rate monitoring, and workout programs. You won’t worry about this taking too much space as it is quite compact.
#2 - Nordictrack RW500 Rower
First, it comes with live resistance controls that can easily help to keep you from plateauing during your exercise routine. This for me is what sets it apart from other machines with the same concept.
It is also tuned in to thousands of classes on-demand from iFit. The subscription is free for the first year, but there’s a monthly subscription fee thereafter. Throughout the entire class, the rowing machine can automatically increase the resistance, so no need for you to manually operate it.
It has a nice built-in touchscreen display, an ergonomic molded seat, a steel seat rail, a row bar, foot straps, and adjustable pivoting pedals. It also comes with front-mounted wheels, making it simpler and easier to move around your home.
#3 - StairMaster SM3 StepMill
The StairMaster SM3 StepMill is designed not for beginners. It is an excellent cardio machine that can help you to build your stamina and provides a high-impact workout. It can pose as a real challenge on the legs, more than any cross trainer or treadmill.
At first, you’ll notice that it looks like a small staircase that’s only about 4-6 inches, and I have to say it looks very underwhelming. However, as soon as you get on it, it truly becomes a monstrous contraption. It has a reaching speed of around 26 – 162 steps/ minute, which will be fast even to a professional athlete.
It comes with 10 workout programs intended for different target areas, a backlit LCD display that shows your progress throughout the entire workout, and a polar-compatible heart rate monitoring which shows data and lets you inform. It can carry users of up to 275lb in weight.
#4 - Schwinn 470
The Schwinn 470 is another great cardio home machine designed for low-impact exercise. Schwinn has been manufacturing bikes since 1898, and has since then ventured on other fitness equipment including this elliptical.
The first 470 was released last 2013 and the only major improvement that was done on its second release was to add Bluetooth for data sharing.
Initially, this one seems like a great bargain. It comes with 26 resistance levels that have digital controls, a 20″ stride length, and a motorized incline with a maximum setting of 10°.
When it comes to programming, the console of the machine is able to support four user-profiles and can even keep 29 preset workout programs. Plus, the exercise data of the users are indicated on a large backlit LCD.
However, it’s the after-sales that’s the main issue for me. Reviews rave that serious problems occur in the first six months after purchase. And that fact that Schwinn will only cover labor costs for the first 90 days is, well, a big turnoff.
#5 - Keiser M3i Indoor Bike
This machine is designed to work with different-sized users. Height is adjustable from 4-foot-10 to 7-foot and has a weight capacity of up to 350 pounds.
The best feature for me? It feels like a real bike when you ride it without the noise. It’s built with magnetic resistance. You can be in the same room with someone watching the TV and no one will get annoyed. That’s a plus.
One of the unique things about this cardio machine is that the flywheel is located at the back of the bike. This may look odd but it’s been placed there to keep sweat from ruining the flywheel. You’ll notice that all of the important parts of the bike are placed behind its rider, making it safe from the sweat area, including the drivetrain.
Assembly is a breeze and guaranteed you’ll get a spin class experience at the comfort of your home.
My Number One Pick
What To Look Out For When Buying Cardio Machines For Home Use
Below is a list of things to consider, and what to look out for when you’re looking to invest in a cardio machine for home use.
What are your fitness needs?
The first thing to do is to determine your fitness goals and interests. Before you even start to look for gym equipment, decide on what you want to focus on. Weight loss? Strength building? Combination of the two?
Regardless of what you decide, research is key. The equipment you’ll purchase should be able to add value to your life. It should be something you enjoy and use on a daily or weekly basis.
As the most basic cardio equipment on the list, you might want to start with something simple such as the Air Runner.
What type of gym equipment do you need?
Do not purchase gym equipment that you don’t have a clue or any idea how to utilize. Ensure you assess and understand your fitness needs prior to making a choice.
Numerous individuals purchase fitness equipment from sports stores without knowing how such gear is utilized. Luckily, all items from my list above come with some sort of manual: be it a booklet like in the Air Runner or embedded into a computerized system like on the StairMaster SM3.
Ensure you definitely know the equipment and that it is something that you have just tried to use in the gym. You can start by purchasing small sets of equipment that coordinate your fitness level and interest in the workout.
Check any after-sales cost
Try not to get tricked that you will get more fulfillment from equipment since you paid for premium costs. Remember that paying over the market cost doesn’t imply that the equipment is of higher quality.
A specific example would be the Schwinn 470: the product seems great at the onset but repair on parts and labor will cost you a hefty sum.
Before spending any single penny you have, make sure to check the quality of equipment you’re about to purchase. You can always choose the available less expensive options. Nonetheless, you ought not to sacrifice the equipment quality just for the thought of saving a few bucks.
Have you ever seen a home gym that is cluttered and disorganized? This is probably because the owner purchased fitness equipment without checking the available space. You need to analyze your floor space prior to deciding the kind of fitness equipment you will have in your home.
Sports stores can give you the exact measurements of different gym equipment, and you can always compare that and the accessible space you have. Purchase what fits into your home and leave enough room or space for movement.
You can always plan and make sure that the equipment can be brought into your home without causing issues. The Keiser M3i indoor bike consumes less floor space from the list; it can even be assembled and placed in your bedroom.
Consider purchasing from reputable stores
In each shopper industry, you will come across stores that have a better reputation over others. It likewise applies to most of the sports stores selling fitness equipment and this is for good reason. Purchasing your personal fitness equipment from trustworthy and reputable stores ensures high quality for cash.
Repair and Maintenance Costs
Given that you have just paid a hefty sum to get that fitness equipment in your home, make sure you are informed about maintenance and upkeep costs. The Keiser M3i has a 10-year warranty and that is a big factor to consider.
Pricing versus Budget
Always consider the amount you are willing to pay for Additionally, make sure to ask yourself as to whether it is worth it to such an extent. Just because a piece of equipment is costly it doesn’t mean the quality is great as well. Continuously check the quality before you purchase your own fitness equipment.
You can always opt for picking less expensive options, but don’t ever compromise the quality for minimal cost.
Benefits Of Cardio Workouts
Cardio is calorie in, calorie out. It is one of the simplest ways to lose weight and a great starting point. Needless to say, combine this with some strength training and you’ll be on your way to a faster and more effective weight loss program.
Heart and Cell Health
Cardio, from ‘cardiovascular’, directly relates to your heart and cell. When you run on the Air Runner or up the StairMaster, your heart rate accelerates and your blood is pumping more through your system. This allows more oxygen to your heart and body.
Most of my friends and colleagues complain about having a hard time breathing during our cardio days. This actually helps strengthen your lungs. Cardio helps push your lung capacity to its limits which train it to be stronger.
Promotes Mental Health Benefits
Exercise releases endorphins in your body and cardio are no exception. In fact, studies have linked cardio as a great way to battle mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, and stress.
The phenomenon of a runner’s high is actually your body pumped with endorphins, leaving you feeling elated. Pushing past this will give you a great sense of accomplishment.
Helps with better sleeping patterns
A lot of people battle with getting a good night’s sleep. There’s just too much going on in our lives that we find it hard to stop and just rest. A good run will give you just that.
You’ll be so tired by night that you’ll fall asleep like it’s nothing. Incorporating cardio in your daily routine will help you regulate your system.
Frequently Asked Questions On Cardio Machines For Home Use
Q. How long does it take to finally get your muscles toned from cardio?
A. Usually, it takes around 4-8 weeks to notice the results from your cardio exercises. Each day, you have to target a specific muscle group in your body because, in reality, you cannot work on toning your entire body together. Always make sure to correct your form and increase your repetitions.
Q. What is the specific goal of cardio exercise?
A. Losing weight is definitely one of the goals why you’re doing the cardio exercises. It helps you to get your blood pressure pumping and heart beating faster than in the long run it burns more calories in your body.
Q. How much cardio exercise should I do to finally lose weight?
A. If you want to see a substantial change in your workout, you should get at least 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or at least 75-150 minutes per week for vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
These days, there are so many home cardio machines that are sold on the market. People are now getting into a healthier lifestyle with the advent of Corona and it is still very fluid among us.
Cardio exercises are a great way to jump-start fitness into your life, I know it did with mine. There are more than enough reasons to do cardio, from weight loss to strength building— it is endless.
I hope this somehow convinced you to start looking for cardio equipment. Make sure you remember all the things you need to consider before getting one. And when you, drop a comment down below and let me know which one you choose.
Get out there, and stay strong!
Marko Rakic is a trail runner and fitness enthusiast from Sydney, Australia. He is the lead writer for The Ultimate Primate and believes the best way to live a happy life is through constantly challenging yourself.