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12 Best Machines for Cardio at Home – Ask Our Trainers!

When it comes to home workouts, we always want to get the best out of a training session, and you definitely don’t need to head to the gym to do that! 

If you’re creating your own home gym, it’s likely you’ll be considering which are the best machines for cardio at home. Well, we’ve reviewed some of the top products out there to ensure you’re getting the best, most challenging workout! 

Believe us, having the right cardio machine in your home gym can do wonders no only for your fitness, but for your motivation to get out there and get working too. 

Our top picks have been reviewed and tested by our personal trainers, Natalie and Tom, so you can rest assured our recommendations come from the experts. 

12 Best Machines for Cardio at Home

LIT Method Rowing Machine

Lit Method best machine for cardio at home

  • Trainer Reviewed and Approved
  • Versatile machine with more than 500 movements available
  • Suitable for Home Gyms – easy to store and move

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Why our PTs love it: Rowing is a total body workout. It pulls in just about everything and really starts to challenge your cardiovascular system too. And, if you’re thinking about calories, because it recruits so many different areas, you can rest assured you’ll be burning through calories in no time. 

Plus, the LIT method offers just a little bit more for a home workout. It also comes with the functionality to let you do pilates, strength training and more than 500 movements in total. Our PT’s found it a great cardio machine, that will bring a butt load of variety to your home gym workouts. 

What makes it one of the best machines for cardio at home: As our PTs mentioned above, this rowing machine offers a little extra in terms of strength training etc. On top of that, we found it super easy to fold up and store away. So, if space is at a premium in your home gym, you can make the most of it with the LIT Method Rowing Machine. 

Rogue Echo AirBike

Rogue Echo Air Bike full body machine for cardio at home

  • Trainer Reviewed and Approved
  • One of the best cardio machines for a full body workout
  • Suitable for Home Gyms – easy to move with wheels

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Why our PTs love it: When it comes to getting a great cardio workout in, one of the key things is thinking about that full body burn and that’s where the AirBike comes in. There’s a reason they’re the staple of the most intense CrossFit workouts!

Our top tip is to try this with some HIIT style intervals. Try to get to 10 cals as fast as you can with 1 minute break between each set. You’ll be surprised at how effectively this works as a cardio machine. 

What makes it one of the best machines for cardio at home: The Rogue Echo Airbike comes with wheels fixed to the front, so you can maneuver it around your home gym with ease. So, whether you need to store it away overnight or pull it out for a workout, it’s quite easy to move about. Although it is quite heavy, we found the wheels were a real life saver.

The Stairway

The Staircase for best machien for cardio workout at home

  • Trainer Reviewed and Approved
  • Great cardio workout, coupled with leg strengthening too
  • Suitable for Home Gyms – no plug needed and specifically designed for at home

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Why our PTs love it: It feels so simple, but the process of stepping up is oldie but a goodie. If the lift has broken on your apartment block, and you’ve had to climb the stairs to get home, you’ll know how effective it is in getting your heart and lungs working. 

The stairway is a super effective way to achieve that kind of intensity at home (without running up and down your stairs!) and it works those legs and glutes too. So, you should see longer last toning, strength and definition in your lower body too. 

What makes it one of the best machines for cardio at home: We found this piece of kit to be a powerful cardio machine. As this machine uses your movement to move it rather than electricity, you can position this anywhere, and the minimum ceiling requirement is only 8.5 feet, which is much lower than other commercial steppers. It’s also been designed at 30.5 inches wide so it can move through doorways relatively easily. 

Concept 2 Ski Erg

Concept 2 ski erg for best machines for cardio at home review

  • Trainer Reviewed and Approved
  • Fantastic challenging cardio machine, with low impact for joints
  • Suitable for Home Gyms – takes up little space in a home gym

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Why our PTs love it: One of the most demanding cardio vascular movements you can do is cross country skiing, and the Concept 2 Ski Erg replicates that. Not only does it require power from your upper and lower body along with your back, it also puts a lot of the demand on your cardiovascular system too. 

This is another great piece of kit for intervals. Or, why not aim for 500m as fast as you can, you’ll feel it pretty quickly! 

What makes it one of the best machines for cardio at home: Compared to other options for the best machines for cardio at home, this is a very slimline and lightweight piece of kit. It’s easy to store away, doesn’t take up loads of space and can be moved easily. We found it a great addition to a home gym. 

[Related Article: Best Resistance Bands for Home Workouts

Concept 2 Rower

Concept 2 Best machine for cardio at home

  • Trainer Reviewed and Approved
  • Extremely reliable, one of the best rowers available
  • Suitable for Home Gyms – Can be stored on it’s end, takes up little space

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Why our PTs love it: It’s a staple of any good CrossFit Box because it offers up a full body cardio workout. Whether it’s a long stamina row, or intense interval training, a rowing machine will always do you right. 

What’s more, the Concept 2 has been one of the best in the area for years. They can always be spotted at the games or in most good commercial gyms because they deliver on a smooth row with great functionality.  

What makes it one of the best machines for cardio at home: The Concept 2 Rower has the functionality to be stored on its end, so when you need it, you can easily bring it out and put it aside again when you’re done with your workout. Furthermore, they’re a lightweight piece of kit, so we found them to be quite easy to move around a home gym. 

NordicTrack T Series

Treadmill for best machines for cardio at home

  • Trainer Reviewed and Approved
  • Intelligent training with interactive interface and smart screen
  • Suitable for Home Gyms – easy to store away with folding functionality

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Why our PTs love it: You might be surprised to see we’re getting to a treadmill so late in our review of the best machines for cardio at home, but it turns out there’s plenty of different types of machine to choose from! 

We all know how a running machine works and this one is a good choice for an at home gym. The interface gives you a range of workouts to choose from, and it caters to different inclines and speeds – you can’t beat running for a good cardio workout!

What makes it one of the best machines for cardio at home: This model folds away, making it a good option if you need something that provides a little extra space after your running workouts finished. Also bear in mind that you don’t need a running machine to get out and run! So make sure it’s definitely something you think you need before spending your cash! 

[Related Article: 3 Super Effective HIIT Sprint Workouts

Concept 2 Bike Erg

 

Concept 2 Bike Erg

  • Trainer Reviewed and Approved
  • Excellent low impact endurance cardio machine
  • Suitable for Home Gyms – No plugs needed and can be rolled

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Why our PTs love it: Cycling is a great way to get a good cardio workout in, and work your legs at the same time. Furthermore it’s a low impact alternative to the likes of running which will help you get a good workout in, even if you occasionally experience sore joints. 

The Concept 2 is an extremely reliable and challenging piece of kit, that adapts and responds to the way you’re cycling to ensure it’s always going to push you.

What makes it one of the best machines for cardio at home: When it comes to storage, the Concept 2 Bike Erg can be rolled easily with wheels attached to the front of the bike. With a width of just 61cm it can be stored up against a wheel with relative ease. 

TrueForm Runner

TrueForm runner

  • Trainer Reviewed and Approved
  • Better than average treadmill for form and posture
  • Suitable for Home Gyms – no need to plug it in

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Why our PTs love it: Running is one of the most popular cardio exercises out there, because it’s simple, accessible and almost anyone can get out and start. However, if you want the nearest experience to road running in your own home gym, we always choose a TrueForm Runner. 

As this machine is entirely powered by the user, it perfectly matches your pace and gives back what you put into it. And, the way it’s designed helps to support a good form and posture, which is key as many injuries can occur from running if it’s not done properly. 

What makes it one of the best machines for cardio at home: Compared to other running machines, the TrueForm doesn’t require any electricity, as it’s entirely powered by you, the athlete. This means you can fit it just about anywhere like in your home. 

[Related Article: Cardio on Leg Day – Should You do it?]

Jacobs Ladder 2

Jacobs Ladder Best machine for cardio at home

  • Trainer Reviewed and Approved
  • Low impact and science says ‘superior’ to treadmill
  • Suitable for Home Gyms – Lightest and smallest model available

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Why our PTs love it: This probably isn’t something you’ll have seen in a commercial gym, but it’s a cardio machine that we absolutely love. As far as impact goes, it keeps it low. Despite it being similar to a stepper, the forward lean takes the pressure off your lower back, hips and knees, while still getting in an incredible cardio workout. 

We often refer to it for rehab workouts and one study by the LSU School of Kinesiology stated the Jacobs Ladder was a “scientifically superior workout” to a treadmill workout. So, if you want an amazing workout and perhaps you have an injury, then we would always go for a Jacobs Ladder. 

What makes it one of the best machines for cardio at home: We’ve reviewed the Jacobs Ladder 2, which is a more compact version of the original, making it a more friendly home gym version. It’s still big, which is worth bearing in mind, but if you have the space then it would be a good cardio machine addition to your home gym. 

Peloton Bike

Peloton bike for best machine for cardio at home

  • Trainer Reviewed and Approved
  • Versatile selection of workouts included in subscription
  • Suitable for Home Gyms – a relatively small piece of kit

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Why our PTs love it: Pretty much everyone has heard of Peloton by now surely?! This subscription service has made it one of the most popular machines for cardio at home. 

When you look at other, similar bikes like the concept 2 above, it’s pretty standard in functionality. But it’s the interactive workouts on the screen that make this something a little bit different. For a home workout, the guided, step-by-step workouts actually make this a great choice. 

What makes it one of the best machines for cardio at home: Similar to any erg bike, the peloton is a reasonably small machine, making it easy to store in a home gym or spare bedroom. However, it doesn’t have wheels on it and needs to be plugged in, so you may be slightly limited as to where you use it.

Elliptical 

Elliptical

  • Trainer Reviewed and Approved
  • Low impact, full body cardio workout for those with sore joints
  • Suitable for Home Gyms – Smaller than other similar products

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Why our PTs love it: Most of us know a elliptical pretty well from the gym. It’s a good full body, low impact cardio workout that will help to develop muscle and cardio fitness. So, if you’re struggling with an injury or have joint pain, we’d recommend an elliptical over a running machine to help you build up strength and your cardio fitness. 

What makes it one of the best machines for cardio at home: As time has gone on, these cardio machines have reduced in size and price. You can now get a well-designed elliptical for under $300, which makes it much more friendly on a home gym budget! 

Vertical climber

vertical climber for best cardio machines for home gym

  • Trainer Reviewed and Approved
  • Low impact training, with a full body burn
  • Suitable for Home Gyms – light and easy to store and move

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Why our PTs love it: These are a great choice for a home gym, they get your heart pumping and they’re a low impact option too. As they lean forward slightly, you’ll feel less pressure on the back and hips, whilst still being able to achieve a full body burn. 

What makes it one of the best machines for cardio at home: These cardio machine are lightweight and, as they’re vertical, they don’t take up much floor space either. Furthermore, since they don’t need plugging in, we found it to be a great choice for almost any room. 

 

How we reviewed out Best Machines for Cardio at Home 

It’s all about what our Personal Trainers think! We asked them to find and review the very best machines for cardio at home, so our readers have the most expert opinion out there. 

We had two main focuses in our review. Why our PT’s picked them as one of the best machines for cardio, and what it was about them that made them a good product for an at home workout. 

With these two elements in mind, we found that we could find cardio machines that would challenge you, whilst still being suitable for an at home environment where space is likely to be at a premium. 

Ask the Trainers! 

When it comes to choosing the best fitness machines, it’s always best to get an experts opinion! Which is why we asked Natalie and Tom to help us out with this one! Check out their profiles below: 

Natalie – Natalie is a Level 3 qualified personal trainer and a qualified CrossFit Coach with seven years of experience in 1-1 sessions and group training classes. She’s worked in a range of gyms across the UK and has a degree in sports science and rehabilitation, a masters in dietetics and sports nutrition too! 

Tom – Tom is a Level 4 Strength and Conditioning Coach with 10 years experience of strength training, and 9 years of Personal Training under his belt too! 

Between the two of them, there’s almost two decades of experience in working with people, injuries and a range of different fitness goals. So, when we were reviewing the best cardio machines for home gyms, we knew we had to consult the people who know best.  

gymgirlfit

gymgirlfit was created by health and fitness enthusiasts, with backgrounds in powerlifting and writing. We've written for a number of well-known fitness publishing companies.

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