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Top 5 Cardio Machines

Cleaning dishes, visiting in-laws, and doing cardio.


What do these three things have in common?


We dread doing them from time to time, but they all have to be done.


Since we’re in the business of helping you get your best body ever, let’s just focus on increasing your enjoyment when it comes to cardio.


Rather than spend yet another 30-60 minutes slugging it out on the treadmill, why not inject some fun and spice into your fitness program and give one of these top 5 cardio machines a try next time you’re at the gym.


Who knows, after switching your typical cardio routine to one of these machines you might actually start to enjoy your weekly cardio sessions!


5 Best Machines to Do Cardio


Rowing Machine


There was a time when rowing machines weren’t all that common in gyms. Thanks to the increasing popularity of CrossFIt and group-training classes, rowing machines can now be found in just about any gym you happen to find yourself...even Planet Fitness!


Rowing machines provide a great total body warm-up before your workouts, as it helps increase blood flow to the muscles, joints, and connective tissue of the upper and lower body. It can also be used as a tool for performing metabolic finishers at the end of your workout when you want to burn up just a few more calories.


Perhaps best of all, rowing machines off a great low-impact option for those who can’t stand the stress imposed on their joints by running.


Stepmill (Stair Stepper)


Have you ever entered a big office building (or maybe even your own apartment building) only to find that the elevator is out of service?


If you did, then you got to experience what it’s like to climb stairs over and over and over again. And you also got to experience just how taxing mentally, cardiovascularly, and muscularly, it is to climbs hundreds of stairs.


That’s exactly what you get with the stepmill, an endless set of revolving stairs. Stepmills, stair steppers, stair climbers, whatever you want to call them, help train the many muscles of the lower body (particularly the glutes), the core, and the cardiovascular system, making it one of the best cardio machines there are, period.


Airdyne or Assault Bike


There’s no shortage of stationary bicycles to perform cardio on in the gym, but the Airdyne and Assault Bike get our nod as the top options in the class.


What is so special about these two brands of stationary bike?


These two upright exercise bikes rely on air resistance to provide the challenge. The harder your pedal, the more resistance builds, and the harder you have to work. Both options offer smooth, effective workouts with variable levels of resistance based on how hard and fast you pedal.


Newer versions of the bikes also come with displays to track RPM, distance, calories burned, and a variety of other workout metrics.


You can also decide to work just your upper body by placing your feet on the stationary pedals at the front of the bike should you need to give your legs a break or increase the amount of upper body training you do.




When it comes to a total body workout, few machines can offer what the VersaClimber can.


The VersaClimber combines upper & lower body vertical climbing motions that help your body torch calories, even more than what you’d burn spending a similar amount of time on treadmills, ellipticals, steppers or bikes!


VersaClimbers offer a large range of motion for the arms and legs, which helps simulate an actual climbing experience. Beware that there is a bit of a learning curve with the VersaClimber though as the self-directed, independent movement requires a good bit of coordination. But, your patience and effort will be rewarded as this kinetic inefficiency will lead to greater gains in coordination, conditioning and change as you become more apt with the VersaClimber.


The one negative to the VersaClimber is that finding one may be a bit tricky as it isn’t as popular or widely available as some of the options on this list. But, if you do find (or purchase one), you’re in for one of the best total body cardio workouts of all time!


The Human Body


Technology continues to advance, but no machine can ever compare to the power of the human body.


Simply put, it is the most advanced machine ever created and provides everything you need to have a phenomenal cardio workout anytime, anywhere.


How do you perform cardio with your body?


Bodyweight circuits.


Select 3 or 4 bodyweight exercises and perform each for a set number of reps or prescribed amount of time before moving to the next one. When you’ve completed one full round of exercises, rest for 30-60 seconds before starting another round.


Bodyweight cardio workouts can be adapted to beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels depending on your training experience, fitness level, and injury history.


Bodyweight circuits also allow for greater functional training, in that they use movements that translate to everyday life as opposed to traditional cardio machines that keep you locked into one plane of motion for the entirety of your training session.


Best of all, bodyweight workouts allow you to get in your cardio even if all the cardio machines are occupied or if you don’t feel like driving to the gym to get in your cardio for the day.


Fuel Cardio Workouts with Sport Amino!


1UP Nutrition Sport Amino is the ultimate cardio training fuel that helps you to push harder in your workouts to burn more calories and get the body you’ve always wanted.


Each serving of Sport Amino supplies proven performance-enhancing nutrients like caffeine, PeakO2, and electrolytes along with 5g of BCAAs and 500mg of HICA to preserve and protect lean muscle tissue.


Click here to learn more about Sport Amino and how it can help you last longer and train harder.


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