Let’s face it. Using a treadmill every single day can begin to feel very mundane and even cause us to lose sight of our fitness goals as we try to incorporate one cardio session after the next, week after week. While using a treadmill is certainly effective at boosting our metabolism and keeping us in shape (especially when doing HIIT), it’s not always the most practical cardio solution to be using every single day.
Working with as many different cardio machines that we have access to, not only works out different body parts, but allows us to incorporate different types of cardio that we’ll keep us on track of our goals in the long-run. Some cardio machines are even believed to be more effective than the treadmill itself in areas relating to better strength, flexibility, and range of motion.
Some also not only incorporate cardio, but even allow us to work both our upper and lower body muscles together, which can keep our metabolism going all day long. Imagine being able to get in your cardio and strength training all in a single cardio workout session.
Here’s a quick look at a few of these cardio machines that will most-certainly help you stay on track of your fitness goals and allow you to incorporate a healthy variety of cardio in your everyday life.
#1. Rowing Machine
You should’ve guessed that the rowing machine was going to be at the top of our list. This is by far my favorite way of doing cardio, more-so than any other machine or activity. I think the reason for that is just the overall motion feels more refreshing and enjoyable. While it certainly does raise the intensity up a notch, I find rowing to be quite effective for toning overall muscle strength. It also does a highly exceptional job in improving the cardiovascular system.
There are other advantages to the rowing machine as well, such as allowing for a very low impact exercise on the knees and joints, which I know would be very important to people who’ve faced knee problems in the past. The rowing machine can also improve and allow for a greater range of motion and even helping posture, by improving the muscles in our upper and lower back. Next time, you’re at the gym, keep an eye out for one of these. You can also check out our rowing machine home gym guide here.
#2. Stair Stepper
We all know how much stamina and endurance it takes to run-up a never-ending mountain of stairs, which is why the stair mill is an ingenious cardio tool for dripping in endless amounts of sweat. While you might not feel your respiratory system as hard at work as on the treadmill, you’ll feel the burn all right, especially in your lower body. When using the stair stepper, everything from your calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes, will be worked to the max.
For the best heart rate soaring, lower body workout machine, make sure to workout using the stair mill next time you’re at the gym. Whether you want to work on increasing speed or work on higher resistance with each step, the stair mill allows us to do just that, and makes it a perfect contender for incorporating various HIIT training exercises.
#3. Spin Bike
Here at The Lifevest, we love the spin bike for several reasons and find it to be an absolute essential for mixing up our cardio. If you’ve ever been in a cycling class, then you know exactly how rigorous of a workout those can be. Sometimes, I have no idea how they’re so capable of spinning with such intensity. The spin bike is a great, low-risk form and impact exercise that can be enjoyed no matter who you are.
There are reasons why people purposely take their bikes to work or commute to class, besides travel cost savings. It’s not only a huge calorie burner, but is highly effective at building up our stamina. Having our body adapt to different forms of exercising such as the spin bike is beneficial to gradually building upon our levels of endurance, which is great for building up a healthy state of mind. Cycling is great for strengthening the entire body as a whole and highly recommended way of mixing up your daily treadmill routine.
The Skiergs outside appearance might not look like our everyday typical run of the mill cardio machine, but it truly delivers one heck of an aerobic and whole body strengthening experience. It’s an intense one, without a doubt. But one that will deliver the best kind of strength and workout to your entire body and core. While most cardio tools primary focus on use of the lower body, the Skierg does the exact opposite. In fact you’re feet remain in the same position the entire time.
One thing that stands about the Skierg is how it imitates the motion of cross-country skiing requiring the use of all the major muscles in your upper body to properly pull down the handles. It burns calories, engages more muscles than most other cardio equipment, and is a perfect way to mix up your treadmill routine. I guess the only problem is that the Skierg is relatively new and isn’t exactly the most popular piece of gym equipment around. If you’re looking for another great piece of home gym cardio equipment, we recommend the Concept2 model of the Skierg.
Check out this awesome video to see how both rowing machines and the Skierg can be used and applied to everyday life!
#5. Elliptical Trainer
The last item on our list, which we honestly believe to be overrated to an extent is the elliptical trainer. While it can be great a way to incorporate newer forms of cardio, it isn’t exactly the most versatile piece of equipment. The movement isn’t all that natural and isn’t an effective way of torching up calories. Since its introduction to the world of fitness in only 1995, ellipticals remain to be a growing popular choice among many fitness enthusiasts.
The reason for that is likely due to its ease of use and low impact stress on the body as a whole. That doesn’t mean that it’s your most effective choice however. Most of your bodyweight becomes too easily supported by the handlebars and motion of the foot pedals, making it less effective and giving a very unnatural feel to it. All in all, we’d much prefer using the treadmill over the elliptical any day of the week.
What’s your favorite cardio machine and would you ever trade the treadmill to work out with something different? Please leave your thoughts and comments down below! 🙂