7 Gym Cardio Machines Ideal For Weight Loss

…and how to maximise their effectiveness.

Ever wondered how to lose weight using cardio machines in the gym? Cardio is a great way to lose weight and get your heart pumping; essential for a holistic, healthy body/healthy mind approach to life. Getting a good cardio workout is crucial to losing weight in the gym; though lifting weights and getting stacked may of course bring benefits, particularly aesthetically, it’s aerobic exercise which really improves your over health and in many cases, a better quality of life

The good news? With ultra modern, state-of-the-art gym equipment, calorie burning has never been easier, providing structured workouts that let you control difficulty level, resistance and so much more. With that in mind, here are 7 gym cardio machines IDEAL for weight loss, and how to maximise their effectiveness.

Stair Climber

Though a stair climber may be a good way to shift a few calories, it’s not as intense as some of the other machines you’ll find at the gym. Rather, stair climbers are best for strengthening the knees and legs, in effect priming your body for better cardio later down the line. People with bad knees, however, will find it difficult to manoeuvre a stair climber using the proper form because it puts pressure on the joints.

To maximise burning calories aboard a stair climber, you should incorporate some core strengthening activities in tandem with the steps, such as lifting dumbbells and kettlebells. Have an active recovery phase and lift weights to enhance the pressure on your core muscles, accordingly. 


If you want a really tough challenge, the treadmill is one of the top cardio machines in the gym.

According to experts, it has the potential to burn 1200 calories in an hour, making it the most effective cardio workout when done right.

A treadmill is especially efficient because it’s able to mimic the road conditions outside (the best approximation to outdoor running in a treadmill is raising it at 1-2% incline) with regard to elevation and inclines. It also provides the necessary extra challenge which keeps the user motivated by having features such as speed and even race mode. 

Choose a speed two minutes faster than your normal pace and increase the incline every two minutes. This will challenge your muscles and provide strength training for your lower body. Once you’ve reached the ten minute mark, you can lower the incline for every two minutes of running to start to relax the muscles and cool down. And catch your breath, too, perhaps!

Rowing Machine

Rowing machines, an ever-present in gyms, are some of the best cardio machines available, and bring superb form and core strength, torching fats and burning calories. Since they work the legs, arms, core, and back, they can be classified as giving an all-body workout. The key here is in achieving the correct form.

If you begin, row and finish in the wrong position with each rep, you may suffer from aches and pains post workout. Perhaps more importantly, all the effort you exert will be largely redundant as you’ll not be targeting the right muscles. Rowing machines are essentially like deadlifting because you support your body using your legs and core as you move the weight with your arms and back muscles. Focus on getting that rowing form correct, and you’ll reap the benefits.

Cross Trainer

Perhaps the gymgoer’s most beloved cardio machine, and certainly the one which seems to get the sweat going. Unlike a stair master, a cross trainer (referred to as an elliptical by some) is kind to your joints and offers the necessary support to guide muscle action. Used at a moderate pace, a they can burn you 500 to 600 calories per hour.

These machines are more versatile than meets the eye, and by adjusting features such as incline, intensity, resistance and speed, you can change up your workout sufficiently, with steeper inclines particularly effective at targeting your glutes. If you go for a lower incline, you’ll be exercising your quads instead. Either way, the cross trainer is one of the best tools available in hitting your fitness goals.


Different to a stair climber in the sense that they have a collapsing staircase as opposed to the former’s two pedals, stepmills are great if you want to work up a sweat. These simulated staircases get your heart rate up – fast – and target various areas of your leg muscles, including your quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and core. Step mills also challenge the muscles used in the core while walking and running.

If you’re a beginner, go for an achievable target of fewer floors. Once you’ve built up your strength, stamina, and endurance, you can add more floors until you hit a hundred or more. 

Indoor Cycling

Spin classes have soared in popularity in recent years, in part due to the success of Peloton and other community based cycling apps. Although using a bike outdoors lets you enjoy a little scenery and fresh air, there’s actually an upside to indoor cycling.

An indoor cycling bike can give you the features of an outdoor bike by providing resistance and difficulty levels, but you can also control your pace with an indoor bike, allowing you to alternate from high to low-intensity level workouts. Switching between intensities allows the body to use up oxygen which burns calories even after a workout is finished


A skillmill is basically a motorless treadmill, most likely found gathering dust in hotel room gyms in far flung destinations but actually a surprisingly good workout when done right. With the skillmill, there’s no electric-powered machinery guiding your movements. As such, it’s all about using your balance and power to get results, with glutes, quads, and calves the primary benefactors.

What’s more, a skillmill enables you to target the core or abdominal area because of the unique movement required. If you’re new to this type of machine, it’s first important you get familiar with the movements and motions required and get the necessary guidance from fitness trainers. Try walking first, and if you have gotten comfortable with it, try running or jogging. To increase your calorie-burning session, try to sprint on the skill mill. Sprint for 15 to 30 minutes with several seconds of rest on each interval.

Perhaps you’d rather not leave the house to burn those calories? Fortunately, it’s still possible to work up a sweat at home. Check out our tips on turning your garage into a home gym for more.

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