Joining a new gym can be intimidating with all of the new faces and pieces of equipment you are both unfamiliar with.
Even if you aren’t a journeyman when it comes to fitness, arguably the least enjoyable part of everyone’s routine is the cardio aspect.
Cardio usually consumes the most time out of your routine, and is the most boring and dull part of your routine as well. Make the best out of this situation by getting the most out of your time and using the best machines available at the gym.
Some machines are just better than others and are worth your time as opposed to those other machines that are just slowing you down.
Most gyms are loaded with treadmills because they are a very popular machine, and for good reason. When it comes to mimicking the feeling you get from running outside, nothing comes as close as the treadmill.
The treadmill is great because it doesn’t put you in a fixed path like other machines which allows you more versatility when concerning how your body naturally moves.
Another benefit to the treadmill is that it is a full body workout, you are obviously using your legs to propel yourself, but you are also using your core and back for stabilization and your arms for balance.
Treadmills are great tools for any person of any type of fitness level as well. If you’re new to cardiovascular exercise, take it slow starting off by walking at a low resistance. If you’re more of an expert, crank up that resistance and increase the angle of the incline to really give yourself a challenge.
There is only one negative when it comes to the treadmill, and that is the potential for joint damage as a result of the impact from the exercise. Other than that reason, the treadmill is arguably the best cardio machine in the entire gym.
The rowing machine is one of those easily forgotten machines but is absolutely fantastic when it comes to cardiovascular endurance.
Like with the treadmill, using the rowing machine is a full body exercise that incorporates not just your legs, but your core, back and upper body as well. An additional benefit is that you have a huge range of motion here which can help you modify the exercise to make it more difficult or easy depending on your fitness levels.
The rowing machine brings a ton of benefits to the table but has two major drawbacks.
First, this machine isn’t exactly the most common one you’ll see at the gym so it might be hard to find one available all the time.
Second because many people are unfamiliar with the machine and how to row in general, it is easy to have poor technique when rowing. Keep the handle at your midsection and not above your head to maintain proper form.
The stair mill is hands down the best cardio machine if you’re looking to focus on your glutes, hamstrings and calves. The idea behind this machine lies in its name, as it is supposed to mirror the movement you make when you ascend a staircase.
The biggest negatives to the stair mill is that it really focuses heavily on the lower body and especially the back side while not engaging the upper body at much if at all.
The Airdyne bike is very similar to that of a stationary bike with the main exception being that the Airdyne has a fan for a front wheel.
The airdyne bike differs from your traditional resistance indoor cycling bike in that the resistance comes from a fan as opposed to a belt.
The advantages here are that you can adjust the resistances simply by peddling harder, and since the bike is essentially its own HVAC system, it is great in small spaces with little ventilation.
Airdyne bikes are great tools to use when you are doing interval training, or pushing as hard as you can for short periods of time followed by less strenuous longer periods of exercise.
Airdyne bikes aren’t going to win any awards when it comes to fashionable design, but it is more than adequate when it comes to getting the job done.