Best Cardio Machines for Home Gym in 2021 [Reviews & Buying Guide]

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Anyone who has ever stepped foot in the gym, or knows someone who goes to a gym, is bound to have heard about the ‘cardio’ exercises. These are among the best kind of exercises for beginners and they help you with multiple things, but primarily with getting your heartbeat up, as well as with losing weight. In a gym, Cardio exercises are typically done on ‘cardio machines’ which tend to be of different shapes, sizes and functionalities. This is a list of some of the best cardio machines for home gyms! 

‘Cardio’ exercises are short for ‘Cardiovascular’ exercises. These are basically aerobic exercises which help you burn fat and calories. Practically anything that gets you to move around and makes your heart pump blood with ease can qualify as a cardio exercise. Basic activities such as walking, running and swimming are by themselves a ‘cardio’ exercise. 

Since not everyone has access to a swimming pool or a safe space to walk or run on at all times, getting a cardio machine for your home gym is a great way to get going. These machines are usually basic gymming equipment such as treadmills, cycles and rowing machines among others. 

Passionate gym-goers usually consider the cardio machine as a warmup, after which they go on with the heavy lifting stuff. However, cardio in itself has a larger number of benefits than what its common perception is. While it does help you to lose weight and to get the heart rate up, it has many other benefits too. Here’s a closer look at some of the best cardio machines you can buy for your home gym right away from Amazon! 

10 Best Cardio Machines for your Home Gym in 2021

Here are some of the best cardio machines that you can buy off Amazon today and use them for your home gym. Getting any of these will be a great addition for your home gym! 

1. NordicTrack T Series Treadmill

  • 10-inch touch screen for tracking data
  • Measures 67.5 x 36 x 73 inches
  • 10-year warranty on frame

A treadmill is one of the best ways in which you can get your cardio workouts going. While they used to be something that you’d only see in gyms, treadmills in homes have become much more common these days. The NordicTrack T-Series treadmill is one of the finest such cardio machines out there and is great fit for your home gym.

This treadmill allows you to run at speeds up to 10 miles per hour, and allows adjusting the incline ranging from 0% to 10%, making sure you get just the right combination of the cardio workout that you want. There’s a 55” deck on this treadmill, which gives you enough space to run too. However, when it comes to occupying space, you don’t have to worry too much because it can be folded after your work is done. There’s plenty of elbow space as well. 

There’s a 10-inch touchscreen display on the front panel, which shows you not only all your workout statistics, but it also provides you with on-demand studio workouts with professional trainers. There are different workout packages on the treadmill based on different terrains and it could provide a unique experience every time you begin to run on it! It is like having your very own personal cardio coach. 

Talking about the machine itself, there’s a FlexSelect cushioning on the actual surface, which makes sure that the impact of your feet on the treadmill is not too harsh on your ankles. Besides that, this treadmill makes use of a high-quality 2.6CHP DurX Commercial Plus Motor, which can last you for a really long time!  

All said and done, this treadmill is just the perfect addition for those looking forward to buying sophisticated and the best cardio machines for home gyms! 

Pros

  • Offers a large number of training videos
  • 0% to 10% incline
  • Supports speeds upto 10mph
  • Space-saver when not in use

Cons

  • Expensive

2. Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle Bundle

  • Adjustable for people 4’10” to 7’ tall 
  • Supports up to 350lbs of weight   
  • Measures 45 x 25.98 x 48.98 inches 

Cycling is great for your health! It is one of the best cardio exercises out there. Of late, indoor cycles which help you burn some calories without having to go out are getting wildly popular among home gym owners. While this used to be a staple at all gyms in the past, we are increasingly seeing these in people’s houses too. If you want a high-quality indoor cycle and are willing to splurge, the Keiser M3i is just the best such option for you. 

What really strikes us at first impression is the fact that it doesn’t have the traditional layout that you would expect from a workout cycle. Instead, it has a V-shaped frame, where seats and handle-bars can be adjusted for people of all heights ranging from about 4’10” going all the way up to 7’ tall. 

There’s also a Keiser M series mobile app, which can pair with the cycle using Bluetooth. You get to see power graphs, heart rate, distance travelled, and other such details using this. Besides that, you can also adjust to different kinds of workouts using the mobile app. 

The company claims that the M3i is extremely durable and long-lasting, and requires minimal to no maintenance at all, which is a huge plus point. This is a product which is manufactured wholly in the US and features only the best quality parts. The bike can support a maximum weight of up to 350 pounds. 

When you buy this cycle, you get not only the bike, but also a tray to hold your phone/tablet, a pair of stretch pads, a floor mat, as well as a Polar heart rate monitor. All said and done, a great addition to any home gym!

Pros

  • Doesn’t occupy too much space
  • Comes with a great mobile app
  • Adjustable for people of different heights
  • Very long-lasting and durable 

Cons

  • Vert expensive

3. Assault AirBike Classic, Black

  • Supports weights up to 350 pounds
  • Digital display on the front panel
  • Measures 59.95 x 23.34 x 50 inches

Cycling, as we have already established, is great for your cardio. It gets the blood pumping while also putting your lower muscles into action. This one is also great to get your upper body moving as it comes with two arms that you can move around while you pedal away. 

This cycle comes with twenty sealed ball bearings and has a large number of movable and adjustable parts so that you can customize your exercises just the way you want them. This isn’t just a regular cardio machine, this is a crossfit machine which can help you work out in multiple different ways and on multiple different parts of your body. 

There’s a small display on the front panel which the manufacturer calls the “computer”. It shows you various statistics such as heart rate, distance travelled, etc. You can also set time-based, distance-based or calorie-based goals using this computer on the cardio machine. There are seven pre-programmed modes which allow you to work out on different intensities based on your mood. 

The seat is quite soft and comfortable too, and even after long hours of workout you won’t feel any problems relating to the seat. The pedals are also pretty sturdy and durable. The bike comes to you all dismantled but setting it up is quite easy. It provides you with all the tools you need to assemble it, as well as with a detailed instruction video showcasing how to do it. You could also avail expert assembly services by paying an extra amount.

For anyone who loves to work out on a cycle, and wants to get their arms as well as feet moving, the Assault AirBike is just the right fit for you! This is a brand known all around the world and is a prominent presence in gyms. This is just the right time to get it for your home gym as well! 

Pros

  • Supports goal-based workouts 
  • Great seat for long-term usage
  • Easy to assemble with the instruction video 
  • Pedals are quite sturdy

Cons

  • Height isn’t adjustable by a lot

4. Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

  • Comes with different workout modes programmed
  • Supports up to 500lbs of weight
  • Measures 56 x 22 x 15 inches

Apart from running on treadmills and cycling away on an indoor bike, you might also want to take a closer look at a third kind of cardio machines – indoor rowing machines. These get your blood pumping all across your body and allow you a much more intense workout for all major muscle groups. While treadmills and bikes focus largely on the lower body, rowing machines help you get a more complete workout experience. 

First up, one of the biggest advantages of using a rowing machine over any other form of a cardio machine is that they save a lot of space. Given that they are not too wide, rowing machines are great for a home gym. This one occupies an indoor footprint of about 8 ft x 2 ft when kept fully assembled and about 9ft x 4ft while you are using it. When you want to store it, you can snap it into two different pieces, which helps save even more space. 

The machine allows you to work on your legs, core body, and arms. There’s a performance monitoring display on the front panel, which shows all the data that you need while you are using the machine. If you have heart rate belts, it can connect with them too. There are different workout options that are available to you when you use this rowing machine, and all of them can be selected and configured using this display. 

The seat height here is 14 inches, but it can be adjusted based on the needs of the users. This has been designed keeping ergonomics in mind and is very comfortable to use. Another great thing about this rowing machine is that unlike other cardio devices which usually support about 300-350 pounds of weight, this supports up to 500 pounds. 

You also get a smartphone cradle here, where you can keep your phone and enjoy your audio/videos while you work out. There’s a quick smart guide and all the tools you’ll need to assemble the machine that are also packaged along with it. The rowing machine has a 5-year warranty period. 

Pros

  • Occupies very little space 
  • 14-inch seat, adjustable based on your needs
  • Supports 500 pounds of weight 
  • Easy to assemble, disassemble and store

Cons

  • Expensive

5. Bowflex Max Trainer Series

  • Cardio machine for the upper body, lower body, and core body workout
  • Gives you customized training programs
  • Great for long workouts

So we are going to say it up front. This is an expensive device. However, when it comes to getting yourself in the best shape of your life, this is perhaps the ultimate cardio machine. If you are ok with the splurge, you must get hold of this Bowflex Max Trainer cardio machine. It will really get your heart pumping!

Owning this cardio machine is like having your own personal trainer at your home gym. The machine can create daily, custom workout plans for you using the JRNY application. It is great for training your upper body, lower body, core, and to simply get your cardiovascular system quite the rush. 

The trainer has a large number of different workout options customized specifically for you. No matter how much time you have on hand, there’s always something that it has for you. It is a really smart fitness device. When you read about it, you would assume that since there’s so much workout involved, this must be a machine that takes up a lot of space. Now that’s where you are wrong. This is the ultimate space-saving machine, occupying very little space. 

There’s a magnetic rack to hold your smartphone or your tablet while you train. Besides that, the trainer itself has a colorful backlit display on it, from where you can customize your training programs. There are 20 levels of resistance that you can choose from, and make your workouts harder or easier based on your preferences.

The machine has also been elegantly designed, and the handles on it feature a great texture, ensuring you never lose your grip from them. Then there’s the sports-grade pedals which are going to last you for a really long time too. The contact grips also have a Bluetooth integrated heart-rate monitor in them, and you can view your real-time heart rate statistics on the screen. 

Summing it up, this is the ultimate cardio machine, but it comes at a price. However, once you pay for it, you can be assured that for the next several years, your cardiovascular system is going to be really, really happy! 

Pros

  • Shows real-time heart rate statistics 
  • Great grip on the handles
  • Sports-quality pedals
  • Occupies very little space

Cons

  • Very expensive

6. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer

  • Offers 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Measures 28 L x 17 W x 57 H
  • Tracks details related to time, distance, calories, pulse, and more

Now before you ask us if our list has a cardio machine that won’t straight-up burn a hole in your pocket, here’s a cross-trainer from Sunny Health & Fitness. This is one of the best cardio machines for home gyms, and it comes in at a very affordable price point too! 

This is a cross-trainer that helps you work on your lower as well as upper body. There are two handles that move your arms around while there are two pedals on the bottom which are great for the lower half. On the front panel, there is a digital monitor which gives you basic information related to your workout – the time, speed, and distance, as well as calories and pulse-related data. 

There are eight different levels of resistance that you could set up and adjust for your workouts. This ensures that you can tweak it based on how hard or easy you want the workouts to be. The handlebars and pedals have been designed in a way that they remain anti-slip and you do not end up falling off the machine while you work out.

To give you an even better workout experience, this cardio machine comes with on-board stabilizers where you can make all the adjustments that you want so that your bike remains firm on the ground. At about 28” x 17”, this is one of the most compact cross trainers that you can find and it hardly occupies any space! 

Assembling it is much simpler in comparison to many other cardio machines on our list. However, what is really great about this cross-trainer is the price at which it comes in at. At just about $150, you get a great cardio machine for your home gym that can last you for years and you won’t even have to pay too much for it. 

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • It can track your pulse while you work out
  • Occupies very little space
  • Doesn’t cost too much

Cons

  • Weight capacity only 220 pounds

7. Maxi Climber The Original Patented Vertical Climber

  • Great for upper body, lower body, core and back exercises 
  • Supports up to 240lbs of weight 
  • Measures 57 x 10 x 6 inches

The first thing that you need to know is that the manufacturer claims that using the MaxiClimber could help you with burning double the amount of calories in the same amount of time! This is quite an innovative cardio machine and is a great fit for your home gym. 

We often see cardio to be all about running and cycling. However, climbing is also a cardio exercise and that’s exactly what this cardio machine focuses on! It helps you exercise your lower body, upper body, core as well as back, and helps you burn calories while you do that. Not only does it allow you to burn calories, but it also ensures that you are toning your body while you do it. 

While there’s a lot that can be done using this cardio machine, it has been designed in a way to not cause too much stress on your ankles and your knees. Assembling this MaxiClimber is also very easy. There are only a few parts that need to be attached to it, and it comes 90% pre-assembled anyway. 

The riveted bars provide a great grip and make sure you do not fall off the machine while exercising, keeping your safety in mind. There’s also a small digital display on the front, which will make sure that you can see your progress while you use the climber.

This cardio machine supports people up to 240lbs of weight. You also have a fitness companion app which can give you all the relevant statistics and data related to your workout. The app is feature-rich and also provides various fitness challenges and even has meal plans which will help you work on your weight in a better manner. 

Pros

  • It Burns twice as many calories as a treadmill
  • Doesn’t occupy too much space
  • App provides great meal plans 
  • The Digital panel shows all relevant stats

Cons

  • Lightweight, risk of toppling over

8. Schwinn Recumbent Bike Series

  • Heart rate tracking via handlebars
  • Supports 300lbs of weight
  • Measures 64 x 27.7 x 49.9 inches

Another great option for those who want a cycle-based cardio machine for their home gym, this comes from Schwinn, which is a reputed name when it comes to making such machines. This is a luxury biking equipment for your home gym and requires quite a bit of space. However, it provides great results!

The first thing that you are bound to notice about this indoor cycle is the fact that it comes with a very elegant, minimalist and futuristic sort of a design on it. The large covered front wheel gives it a completely different vibe than any other similar machine that we have seen in the past. 

There’s a display panel on the front which allows you to control the bike by setting the difficulty levels, choosing the programs, and starting and stopping the bike. It also shows you a lot of stats related to the exercise that you have been doing on the machine. The seat has a backrest and is actually quite comfortable to use. It is also ventilated. You can adjust the height of the seat up or down the machine based on your height and the distance you are at with the pedals. 

There are 20 resistance levels and 22 different training programs to choose from, to customize your biking experience. The bike can support people who weigh up to 300 pounds, which is pretty decent. You can even set your individual exercise goals if you don’t want to go with a pre-programmed setting. 

The handlebars on this cycle provide a heart-rate tracking system too, where you can see the real-time data on the screen. While it is a little costly, this is a product that can last you for years and is going to help you with the best possible cardio exercises that can be done inside your home! 

Pros

  • Dual display for better tracking
  • 20 resistance levels based on your capacity
  • 22 different training programs
  • Very comfortable seat

Cons

  • Expensive

9. Nautilus Elliptical Series

  • 10-year warranty on frame 
  • Two digital displays on the front panel 
  • 29 pre-programmed workouts 

One of the best cross trainers that money can buy! The Nautilus E616 comes with some of the best features, safety measures and offers great comfort while exercising. If you happen to be looking for a great cardio machine for your home gym, this is a serious contender for that! 

A major benefit of using a cross-trainer is that it could get you working on various muscles of your body while you do your cardio. There are dual display screens on the front panel of the trainer, which allow you to do a lot of things, such as selecting the intensity level, setting and tracking your goals, setting the resistance, etc. 

There are 29 programs on this cross trainer, which include 12 different profiles, 9 custom heart rate setups, various fitness tests and one program for quick start, which will just get you going! You can adjust up to 25 different resistance levels to make the workouts tougher or easier based on your preference. 

The handlebars on this cardio machine are placed in a way that using them wouldn’t wear you out and it would be a comfortable workout experience. The pedals are safe to use and are designed in a way that you don’t slip out of them. The handlebars have a great grip on them, where the heart rate sensors are also located. 

This cross trainer also supports bluetooth connectivity which allows you to pair your fitness apps with it and keep all the data synced and updated. This features a largely steel construction which makes it durable and also allows it to bear quite a bit of weight on it too. The covered front wheel gives it a very modern look and feel. All in all, a great addition to any home gym! 

Pros

  • Bluetooth connectivity with fitness apps  
  • 29 pre-programmed workouts
  • 25 resistance modes 
  • Durable

Cons

  • Expensive

10. Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical

  • Low strain on joints 
  • Designed for a silent operation   
  • Measures 54 x 29 x 52.5 inches

Last but not the least, this is the LT1 cross trainer from Teeter. If you are looking for a great cardio machine for your home gym that doesn’t stress you out too much and allows you to sit and exercise, this is what you should totally go for. 

The LT1 cross trainer has been designed to give you the maximum possible exercise with the minimum possible strain on your joints. Not only is this a great option for people who want to get fitter and workout, but is also suitable for keeping people who have arthritis, parkinsons or MS active. 

Another great thing about this cross trainer is the fact that it works really smoothly and does not make any sort of a noise. It is not quite a clunky device. It works on magnetic resistance and makes sure you set just the right resistance levels for all your needs. Besides, this cardio machine is great for a full-body workout and helps you get all your major muscle groups to warm up. 

You can also isolate either your arms or your legs and work out on just them if you don’t wish to do both at once. This cross trainer is also good when it comes to working on biceps, triceps and back exercises. The seat has also been designed quite well and is perfect to sit through long workouts. 

There’s a digital console in the front panel which gives you all the usage related statistics. The company also claims that using this cross trainer would help you burn about 17.4% more calories than compared to a recumbent bike. There are a lot of adjustable parts and practically everything can be moved around to make this more personalized for you.

To sum up, not as expensive as some other machines here, but still a big investment  – however, one that will last you for many years and will be an ideal addition to your home gym!

Pros

  • Great for people with muscular ailments who wish to keep active 
  • Helps exercise arms, legs, biceps, triceps and back
  • Digital display tracks all your workout info 
  • Helps burn more calories than a recumbent bike

Cons

  • Customer service is quite slow

How to Choose the Right Cardio Machine for Home Gym

You need to consider a large number of factors while choosing the right kind of a cardio machine for your home gym. However, most of these are basic things:

  • First up, you need to check the amount of space that the machine occupies vs the amount of free space that you have vs the amount of space that you can actually dedicate to the machine. It is based on this that you must select it. 
  • Next, you need to see the kind of exercises that it offers. Most cardio machines allow you multiple kinds of exercises on the same machine. You must know them all well before you make the purchase. 
  • You must also see if the cardio machine that you are buying shows you stats related to your heart rate, distance travelled, etc. These are very important because if you see an abnormal spike in the heart rate you know it is time that you must slow down or stop. 
  • The machine must also be safe to use. Your safety is of key importance and you must make sure that the machine is stable enough and does not topple over, as well as is one which won’t throw you off or cause any similar mishaps. 
  • Ease of setup is another important factor. Since many of these machines will need to be assembled and set up by you, make sure they are easy to screw together. Some of them might also provide you professional assistance in the form of someone coming over to fix up the machine for you.
  • Durability is another key factor. Since these cardio machines often tend to be a heavy investment, you must make sure that they last you for a long time. Get only the ones which are the most durable, sturdy and strong of them all.
  • Cost, warranty, and after-sales support are the last three things that you must consider before you buy the ideal cardio machine for your home gym. 

Pros and Cons of Cardio Machines

Here’s a closer look at some advantages and disadvantages of having a cardio machine in your home gym:

Pros

  • Helps you get exercise at the comfort of your home
  • Great for those planning on losing weight
  • Helps boost overall morale and well being
  • Helps reduce stress and anxiety levels
  • Highly beneficial during the pandemic 

Cons

  • Often occupy a lot of space
  • Can be quite expensive at times

What are the Health Benefits of Using a Cardio Machine?

Using a cardio machine has a large number of health benefits. Let us first look at two of the most common and popular ones.

  • First up, using these machines helps you get your heart rates up. This is important because heart rates need to be an optimal level in order for your body to be able to burn the calories in the best possible way. Given our sedentary lifestyles, this is really important before you start with the more intensive exercises. 
  • Up next, cardio is also known to be a great way to burn some fat and calories. It is of prime importance for people who are looking forward to losing some weight. 

Besides these two, there are a number of other health benefits of using a cardio machine too: 

  • Another major health benefit of cardio machines is the fact that they help you improve your lung capacity. For those wondering, the term lung capacity basically means the amount of air that your lungs can hold in at any given point in time. The more ‘cardio’ you do, the better it gets. 
  • Certain forms of cardio exercises, where weight is involved, are also great for people who are looking forward to improving their bone density. This could also be achieved from regular tasks such as climbing stairs or hiking. 
  • Regular cardio exercises also help you reduce your risks of having high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart attack. Furthermore, it also helps your heart get stronger as it will not have to work too hard to pump blood. 
  • Lastly, cardio exercises are also great for reducing your overall stress, depression and anxiety levels. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Cardio Machines

We get a lot of questions from our readers related to cardio machines for home gyms. For your benefit, we have collated all these questions and put them together here in the form of a list which will help you gain a three-sixty degree perspective on these machines:

1. How long should my cardio workout go on for?

About 150 minutes of cardio per week is considered an essential by most health authorities around the world. However, if you are looking forward to doing more than just the causal work out and are looking forward to losing weight seriously, you’ll need to do at least 300 minutes a week. Split it up into equal parts over seven days and you’ll be good to go. 

2. Are there any negative effects of doing cardio?

While exercising is good for you and getting your cardio done is going to help you feel better, you must make sure you don’t do too much of it. An excessive amount of cardio done might be counterproductive as it can lead to a physical burnout, cause stress to your knees, and leave you breathless. Doing an excessive amount of cardio can also have a negative impact and stress on the heart too.

3. Should men do more cardio than women?

Your gender does have an influence on the amount of cardio you can do. In comparison, women generally tend to have 25% lesser cardio capacity than men. This is based on the fact that men and women have lungs with different air capacities. 

4. Can cardio exercises really help me lose weight?

Yes, cardio is a great tool to burn some fat and calories, which is a great way to lose weight when done over a long term.

5. Is there a way to do a cardio exercise without a machine? 

Yes, cardio exercises can easily be performed even without a machine. Running, cycling, walking or swimming are all considered cardio exercises. However, getting a machine ensures that you are doing it at the comfort of your home gym and with a single focus in mind. 

Conclusion

Cardio is among the most important and the most basic forms of exercises that you must do. Even if you are not someone who wants to go to a professional gym to improve your muscles or to get those six-pack abs, light cardio is always something that will benefit you. Given how slow and homebound our lifestyle has become in 2021, these exercises are a great way to help get some blood pumping and to feel better. We hope that our list of the best cardio machines for home gyms has helped you select the best equipment of your choice. Feel free to send us a mail or let us know in the comments below if you have any more questions. Till then…

…Happy Exercising! 🙂

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