According to experts, treadmills burn more calories than any other cardiovascular machine (at heart rates 65%, 75%, and 85% of age-adjusted maximum). No wonder treadmills are the busiest equipment in most fitness centres.
In addition, walking, jogging, and running, being very basic movements, encourage exercisers to hop on the treadmill without being intimidated. The simplicity of the machine allows its users to concentrate on their workout rather than on getting comfortable with it.
Good treadmills (just like most modern-day aerobic machines) normally have pre-set programs that provide for enough workout variety and enjoyment, and are equipped with heart rate monitoring devices that are conducive to an efficient and effective exercise session.
The stationary bike is another popular cardiovascular machine in the gym. Orthopedic limitations to weight-bearing exercise make the bike a better, if not a logical, alternative. It ranks high in terms of convenience and safety.
There are two types of stationary bikes the upright and the recumbent version. Better clubs usually carry both versions, the upright bike being the granddaddy and the most common piece in the gym.
Recumbent bikes, on the other hand, offer greater comfort. It is suited to those with orthopedic limitations (particularly back problems), and who wish to reduce lower leg weight-bearing
The rowing machine's unique feature versus the treadmill is the involvement of upper and/or lower body. It gives a good overall muscular endurance benefit as it works the muscles of the legs, back, shoulders, and arms.
The machine is non-weight-bearing and low-impact (especially in the lower body). However, it produces compression in the lower back and is, therefore, not advisable to individuals with low-back discomfort.
As the name implies, the motion involves elliptical-shaped strides while standing. The non-impact feature of the machine allows for a less fatiguing workout compared to other popular aerobic equipment while providing comparable cardiovascular benefits.
In addition, it allows for a cross-training effect by adjusting incline using forward/reverse motion and varying body position. The optimal and variable range of motion elliptical trainers offer make them not only good conditioning machines, and also rehabilitative machines.
The truth is, when it comes to cardiovascular machines, it is not a question of which is best, which will burn the most calories, which is the most comfortable, which gives a good overall workout, which simulates real activity, or which is less fatiguing. What matters is finding the perfect match for each unique exercising individual, finding the perfect fit that would promote adherence. Have a good workout!