The 10 Best Cardio Machines At The Gym, According To Certified Trainers
Surprise, surprise! The Ski-Row features the TOP TWO cardio machines according to a recent article featured in Women’s Health Magazine. Check out the excerpt.
Hear the word “cardio” and immediately groan? TBH, same. And that’s because I can’t seem to break up with the image of college-aged me counting the remaining milliseconds while wildly running (á la Phoebe Buffay) on the treadmill. Sure, it might take me years of therapy to conquer my cardio-related challenges, but knowledge, as they say, is power. Knowing how key cardio truly is for overall wellbeing is enough to kick my tush into gear. Still not sold? Take it from the pros.
“When people think of ‘cardio,’ they usually only think of the heart and the cardiovascular components of it. However, it also strengthens the respiratory and muscular systems,” says Lauren Kanski, a NASM-certified personal trainer based in New York City. “So, we have to fit cardio into our fitness routines to connect the dots between all three systems to deliver oxygen and other critical nutrients efficiently throughout the body.” Plus, cardio excels at burning excess calories and, thus, fat.
You should generally aim to do a cardio workout three to four times at week, each time for 30 minutes to an hour, says Kanski. “Our bodies are extremely adaptive and can lose progress very quickly, so it’s important to stay consistent. The more we are over time, the better the results and improved endurance.”
Easier said than done, especially if your only form of cardio at the gym is running on the treadmill or spinning your wheels on a stationary bike—both of which can get boring AF after a while. So, consider opting for new cardio machines that make feeling the burn a whole lot less, well, blah. These are the best cardio machines at the gym to start adding into your mix, stat.
#1: Rowing Machine
Why trainers love it: You don’t have to be a Winklevoss twin to row your way to winning shape—something that’s nearly guaranteed if you keep up with indoor rowing. That’s because it’s a true total-body workout that, in Kanski’s words, “torches cals.”
“When done right, you are working everything from head to toe, with an emphasis on your back side,” says Renee Peel, NSCA-certified personal trainer based in New York City. “Essentially, it is the deadlift of cardio machines, because you drive off your legs, support with your core and grip and pull.”
Where to start: Form is especially essential when it comes to using the indoor rower so head to YouTube to watch some tutorials. Then, Kanski recommends starting with 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off; or a slow 1,000 to 2,000-meter row.
If you want to level up: Go for 10 sets of 500-meter rows with a one-minute rest interval between each, per Kanski who’s “sending prayers now!”
Why trainers love it: “Like the rower, you can’t cheat,” Kanski says. “On ellipticals, arc trainers, spin bikes, etc., you can let go of the handles and the machine will still go with your legs. That’s not the case here.”
What is the case? A heart-pounding workout that not only calls upon your legs but also the upper body and core, both of which really feel the burn with this machine. And unlike your tried-and-true treadmill (read: running), this cardio machine is light on your joints.
Where to start: For newbies (*raises hand*), begin by learning form, so you can use the correct breathing techniques to keep up with with the movement mechanics of each rep, Kanski says. Then go for 20 to 30 minutes of 250 to 500-meter at light intensity with two- to three-minute rest intervals.
If you want to level up: For a total of 20 to 30 minutes, alternate between three minutes all out, one minute off. “Time yourself and try to beat the distance covered in three minutes every time,” Kanski recommends.
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Good News! The Ski-Row Features Both!
The SKI-ROW AIR by ENERGYFIT is a first of its kind dual-function High Intensity Interval Training machine. Its flexibility, space-saving design, and mobility are ideal for all types of fitness facilities.
The SKI-ROW can be used for rowing-only or skiing-only workouts, but its true value is revealed by enabling mixed-erg workouts and alternative exercise modalities. A simple foot-lever press enables the switch from rower to ski-erg and back in less than 5 seconds.
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