Walking into a gym is an understandably daunting experience for many and it’s easy to find yourself making a bee line for the same piece of equipment each time you work out. Here at CardioKit we wanted to create a helpful beginners guide to cardio equipment; we want you to feel confident in choosing the right machine whether it’s at the gym or making a purchase for your home.
First things first: the treadmill. The treadmill is the most popular piece of cardio workout equipment. It’s great because it caters for any level of gym-goer, from someone who just stepped foot in the gym for the first time to an experienced athlete. This diverse piece of equipment is one you should get to know. You have control of speed and incline which can generate a whole host of workouts depending on your fitness goals. For more info on treadmill workouts check out our previous blog here.
There are two types of exercise bike, recumbent and upright. They have different uses but both make for excellent Cardio machines. If you are looking to for a low impact cardio workout that is easy on your joints, either of these is a great option.
The recumbent bike looks a little different than you may expect – it’s lower to the ground and has a seat with a back. We would recommend this bike to anyone that suffers from back problems due to its added support that will help you maintain a good posture whilst still getting the same workout you would from an upright bike. If you are a beginner try a 20 to 30 minute workout. See how far you can go, being careful to not over exert yourself and then try to beat that mileage on your next workout again by a margin that still feels comfortable.
With the upright bike the obvious difference is that there is no back support, similar to your average spin bike. This allows you to incorporate different elements in your workout like ‘jumps’ which is when you move from a seated position to a standing position over the tip of the seat – a popular feature of spin classes. We would recommend this bike if you are looking for an exercise routine that mimics more of what a road bike feels like.
Ever wondered why you see people walking up never-ending stairs at the gym? The stair climber provides a great low-impact cardio workout, but actually builds pretty much every muscle in your legs and bum. Although not as obvious – there are many different ways you can mix up your routine on a stair climber. For example, you could alternate between sets of climbing one step at a time to climbing two or try incorporating squats – this is a workout you’ll be sure to feel the next day!
Elliptical Cross Trainers
The elliptical cross trainer is a stationary piece of equipment comprising of two long handles and foot pedals. On this piece of kit, you can mimic the movement patterns experienced when walking, running and climbing stairs, to provide a full body workout that’s also easy on your joints. A lot of people use the elliptical in place of the treadmill because it has all the cardio benefits but has a low impact. Again, there are a multitude of workouts you can try including high intensity interval training.
Rowing is a fantastic calorie burner – a workout on this machine can burn up to 600-800 calories per hour and again, unlike running, it’s a low impact piece of kit making it an ideal cross-training workout. It’s also really simple to tailor your workout to your fitness level. Compared to other forms of cardio, rowing provides a greater range of muscle work; it hits just about everything in the upper body and lower body, as well as the core. Few other machines can boast those full body benefits.
All of the above equipment makes for an ideal home gym – check out our range here. If you would like more advice please give us a call – we are happy to help!