The Best Home Exercise Machine: Buying Guide
The idea of buying the best home exercise machine is visited by many, and this is understandable. Even if such equipment does not help gain muscle mass, it is quite capable of keeping muscles in good shape and losing weight at home.
The price of a cardio simulator, especially a high-quality one, is not low, but membership in a fitness center is not free as well. And, besides, such equipment is a real way to save a lot of time.
It would seem that there are some advantages, but not everything is so simple. Here you’ll see what you need to know when deciding to buy a home exercise machine, how dangerous they can be, and how to do cardio correctly.
Choosing The Best Home Exercise Machine
The assortment of any store of exercise equipment boasts hundreds of positions. But since we are talking about training at home, it makes sense to talk only about the equipment that is the simplest, most functional, and most affordable. The list of the best home exercise machines looks like this:
The stepper is an imitation of physical activity that a person experiences when climbing stairs. The simplest, cheapest, and, some time ago, the most common home cardio machine. Buying a home stepper was once very popular and even fashionable.
But, most of the steppers acquired on the wave of the imaginary simplicity of home weight loss are gathering dust in the closets. The main reason is the low intensity of the load on the muscles and the meager consumption of calories. Losing weight at home using such a simulator is very difficult.
- ease of maintenance
- low price compared to other cardio equipment
- poor stability
- high stress on the knee and ankle joints
- stepper training is very boring
NOTE: the kid-stepper has older brothers: a stepper ladder and a stepper orbit track. But their price starts at $10,000. Therefore, it is difficult to call them simulators for the home, although the return on their work is very high. Not even every fitness center decides to buy such equipment.
The stepper home exercise machine is an outsider to our rating. It is simple, cheap, but ineffective and rather dangerous.
They are also called bicycle ergometers. Such home exercise machines are present in every sports club, and at first glance, it seems that buying an exercise bike for your home is a great idea. But it has a significant drawback: since the exercise is performed in a sitting position, the upper body is excluded from work.
NOTE: Exercise bikes with pedals located directly under the seat are hazardous to men. The weight of the whole body is concentrated on the small seat of the simulator, while the prostate gland is under significant stress. Having decided to buy an exercise bike for your home, you need to choose a model with a wide seat and forward-facing pedals (a horizontal exercise bike).
When choosing an exercise bike for the home, you should pay attention to the following points:
- The presence of an automatic resistance system. This feature increases the calorie burn and efficiency of the cycle ergometer;
- The breadth of functionality: heart rate monitor, calorie consumption counter, load monitoring. This makes it easier to monitor your progress;
- The presence of built-in ready-made programs. Depending on the goal (warm-up, weight loss, endurance improving), the bicycle ergometer computer will select the most suitable load algorithm.
- comparative compactness
- average calorie consumption (200-250 kcal/hour)
- affordable price
- only the muscles of the lower body are involved in the work
- the need for regular maintenance
- rapid wear of mechanical parts
The exercise bike is much more functional and safer than a stepper (subject to a conscious choice of a model), it is possible to lose weight at home; however, not very quickly.
The bestseller among all home sports equipment. The treadmill simulates walking and running – the easiest and most natural types of physical activity for every one of us. Thanks to the possibility of adjusting the angle of inclination of the best home exercise machine (raising or lowering), the rate of calorie consumption can be significantly increased.
The effectiveness of the home weight loss treadmill is to increase the amount of oxygen entering the body. Thanks to this, the process of lipolysis (oxidation of fat cells) is stable and is held with high efficiency. Buying a treadmill is the easiest way to strengthen your cardiovascular system in the comfort of your home.
However, someone can argue: “Why to buy a treadmill while running outside is free?” That’s 100% true, but besides the financial part of the question, we also have our health (harm for joints), and goals (weight loss). See this article to find out what is actually better: Treadmill vs Running Outside – Comparison.
- large muscle mass is involved in the work
- high (up to 300-400 kcal / hour) energy consumption
- wide variability of the load
- affordable price
- large size
- significant stress on the knee joints (especially when moving at an angle)
Among other things, jogging is not recommended for people with serious spinal diseases. The treadmill must be regularly looked after (lubricate, tighten the running belt, check the alignment of the shafts).
When deciding to buy a treadmill, you need to pay attention to the following:
- Computer functionality. The wider it is, the more effective and exciting you can make the process of home weight loss;
- The width and quality of the running belt. The better the level of its shock absorption, the less stress will be placed on the joints;
- Speed. If the treadmill is purchased exclusively for walking, a speed of 10 km / h will be sufficient. If running sessions are planned, the track speed should not be less than 14-16 km / h.
NOTE: No matter how high the cushioning level of the belt is, remember to walk and run on the treadmill only in special running shoes with thick soles.
The main disadvantage of the treadmill is the high load on the knee joints. Pros: affordable price and high efficiency for losing weight at home.
Few decide to buy a home rowing machine. And not because it does not give any return. On the contrary, a rowing machine is the best equipment for losing weight at home. But because it is hard to be set up, more comfortable equipment is preferred.
The effectiveness of the rowing machine is based on the active involvement of the muscles of the whole body. It immediately provides strength and cardio workouts. Fat burns, while increasing the strength and endurance of the body. The muscles of the core (abs, extensors of the back, gluteus maximus), as well as the legs and arms, are especially hard hit.
High calorie consumption (8-10 kcal/minute) makes the rowing machine a real leader among home equipment in terms of fat burning. It is no coincidence that th best home exercise machine for weight loss is preferred by Jason Statham.
He decided to buy an exercise machine for his home because Jason chooses a cross-fit training system to maintain physical shape, and without strong core muscles, there is simply nothing to do in this sport.
- smooth, shock-free type of load that does not require changing the position of the legs and, accordingly, a high level of safety for the joints
- due to the high calorie expenditure, the duration of the cardio session can be short
- takes up a lot of space
- it must be placed exclusively on a flat surface
- requires special knowledge of how to perform exercises
- whimsical in maintenance
What to look for when choosing a rowing machine:
- Free space in the house. It is not recommended to install the simulator at a distance of fewer than 0.5 m from the walls
- Adjustable seat and footrests
- Presence of a computer for recording individual training programs
The rowing machine is the most effective weight loss equipment at home. But since work on it requires high energy costs, it is not particularly popular as a simulator for the home.
Elliptical Trainer/Bike/Machine – the Best Home Exercise Machine
An elliptical trainer is also called an orbit track or ellipsoid. Working on it is like skiing, riding a stationary bike, and climbing stairs like a stepper at the same time. To buy an ellipsoid for home means owning them all at once.
If there were no rowing machines, the orbit track would be the best cardio equipment for home workouts. It loads the whole body, trains the cardiovascular system, is safe for joints, and is easy to operate. Thanks to the hand levers, the muscles of the arms and the shoulder girdle are subjected to a tangible load.
NOTE: The rate of weight loss at home using the orbit track can be increased by performing the movement in a semi-squat. This style of execution is reminiscent of the exercise used by skaters – “goose gait.” The muscles of the legs just “burn” after it, and sweat pours out in a stream.
- the load is uniform and smooth, without pauses and jerks
- you can move forward and backward. This allows you to load both the front and back surfaces of the leg
- a high-quality machine takes up a lot of space and is expensive
- it needs regular professional maintenance
Having decided to buy an elliptical bike, you need to pay attention to the following points:
- Smooth running. There should be no extraneous noise and malfunctions in the movement of the ellipsoid pedals;
- Stride length and distance between pedals. These parameters are selected individually, depending on the height. But, in any case, walking on the orbit track should be comfortable;
- Maximum allowable weight. Home orbit tracks are designed for a load of up to 100 kg. If a person’s weight exceeds this mark, you need to choose a professional simulator. They allow people weighing up to 150 kg to train;
- Floor uneven compensators. Height adjusters to help you achieve a perfectly level orbit track. Working on a crooked ellipsoid quickly wears out the mechanism and can cause muscle strain;
- A computer with a wide range of functions. The more there are, the more effective each session can be made.
The orbit track is the best choice for those who want to lose weight comfortably. Simplicity and safety of work make it the leader of our rating.
How to Do Cardio on the Best Home Exercise Machine Correctly
Even having bought an exercise machine for the home, you cannot be sure that the process of losing weight will now go on by itself. However, as well as purchasing a fitness center membership is not a guarantee of gaining relief abs and powerful biceps. In order for work on an ellipsoid, bicycle ergometer, or treadmill to give tangible results and not cause damage to health, you need to train according to the following rules:
RULE 1. Oxidation of fat molecules occurs in the presence of oxygen. It makes no sense to stomp, gasping on the treadmill, or pedal the exercise bike until you faint. You need to breathe deeply and measuredly. Excessive sweating is the first sign that fat burning is going well.
RULE 2. Fat begins to oxidize 25-30 minutes after the start of cardio. Until this moment, the body loses only water, getting energy from the food eaten. This means that gentle cardio sessions are useless for weight loss. A cardio workout to burn fat should last 45 minutes or more. (more about it: What Is Fat Burning Zone? How to Find It?)
RULE 3. The body adapts to work on any cardio simulator in 10-14 days, then the effectiveness of such a load decreases. The way out will be interval training (changing fast, slow and medium speed modes). For example, like this: 30 seconds at an average pace + 10 seconds at a fast pace + 10 seconds at a slow pace. Such a “ragged” training algorithm is better for losing weight.
RULE 4. During exercise on home exercise machines, be sure to drink water. This speeds up fat burning and replenishes the loss of trace elements removed with sweat.
RULE 5. Cardio should not be carried out on an empty stomach. First, it leads to loss of muscle, not fat, since protein molecules are easier for the body to break down. And secondly, fasting cardio can provoke a heart attack and cause varicose veins.
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