Not all cardio machines are the same. We made a rating of the best – and worst – simulators for cardio workouts!
Authors: Casey Smith and Crissy Kendall, Ph.D.
Frankly, cardio training is catching up. Pleasure from them is received only by fanatical admirers of run, and the others hardly overcome 30 long minutes of aerobic load.
The truth is that you can spend less time and burn a lot more calories, if you go to the choice of a cardiovascular training device with the mind. So, instead of jumping on a regular elliptical trainer, study the list of more worthy alternatives that we have prepared for you.
We arranged the chosen simulators in descending order, from best to worst, based on their effectiveness (maximum calorie consumption in the shortest time, the growth of aerobic endurance), functionality (as the load intersects with daily activities) and accessibility (the probability of being in your gym).
The old good running track will always be the best choice. Unlike other simulators for cardio, it allows you to move as intended by nature. And it's very easy to use – just press the "start" button and click on the arrows to adjust the speed and gradient! Even walking on an inclined plane can be a serious test.
To use the time as efficiently as possible, disconnect the headphones, leave the handrails alone and do the real work!
Gluteal muscles like a simulator that simulates walking on the stairs. What can be more functional than climbing an endless flight of stairs? For maximum efficiency, we recommend using interval training. Just try not to actively help yourself with your hands, clutching at the "railing". You may think that you are doing real work, but your training will become much less intense and you will burn fewer calories.
Not every gym has a rowing machine, but we consider it to be one of the most effective types of cardio. Exercise for the whole body with a large range of motion can be hellishly heavy. In total, 10 minutes of interval training will burn a colossal amount of calories. Only if you are not a veteran rowing, your body will have a very hard time.
The biggest drawback of this simulator is that bad technique can limit its effectiveness. If you pull up the arms at the level of the head, you will not achieve anything other than the entertainment of the audience.
4. Vertical bike exercise airdyne
If you spent at least a little time on the Airdyne bike, you know how hard it is. Although this bike looks like an outsider from the eighties, and for the appearance gets a solid unit, we put him five with a plus for efficiency. The faster you pedal, the higher the air resistance becomes.
We suggest you try 30 seconds intervals at maximum speed with rest for a minute. Get a bonus point, if after that you can keep lunch in the stomach.
Exercise bike Spinbike is a little inferior to Airdyne, but it will still be an excellent choice for cardio. Race for long distances, use high intensity intervals or short sprints. Beginners on the note – a long sitting in a not very comfortable saddle can lead to the appearance of painful bruises the very next morning.
The biggest difficulty of training in the simulator Jacob's ladder is that you will feel uncomfortable. However, by understanding the patterns of movement, you will receive an exciting workout for the whole body. The drawback of this never ending ladder is that it is not in most commercial gyms.
It's time for the NordicTrack simulator to move – a new skier has appeared in the city. SkiErg, which is somewhat like a vertical rowing machine, gives the upper body a grueling load. To get more impact from the lower body, try standing in the partial squat position. If you can find SkiErg, you will have a chance to conduct an effective training, during which the pulse will jump in no time.
However, in this exercise, a very specific movement is used, which practically does not occur in ordinary life – unless you are preparing to join the team for the Winter Olympics 2018. We heard there was one vacancy left.
8. Elliptical Trainer Arc Trainer
We believe that Arc Trainer raises too many questions. The simulator causes your body to move in an unnatural manner and is not too suitable for people of high and low stature. If your knees are so bad that you can not run or walk, better swim or ride a bike.
We placed the ellipsoid below the Arc Trainer trainer, because the latter offers more options. Nevertheless, we are faced with the same problems in a conventional ellipsoid simulator; movements are unnatural and ineffective. In addition, by setting resistance at any level below 10, you will burn calories with the same efficiency as sitting on the couch.
The only plus of the ellipsoid is a low load on the joints. Nevertheless, we believe that biking or swimming is much more effective if you are restrained by a knee injury.
Your hands, trunk and even your buttocks can safely enjoy your rest. A recumbent exercise bike does not require anything, it just asks you to work a little with your feet. If you are looking for a comfortable chair to read or see the episode of your favorite series, get acquainted with the exercise bike.
Being resolute opponents of all kinds of evidence, we think it's enough to refer to the information that helped us make a choice.
The experiment of the Journal of the American Medical Association compared various simulators for training in the gym (Airdyne, a cross-country ski simulator, a bicycle ergometer, a rowing ergometer, a stepper and a running track). It turned out that walking or running on a treadmill gives the maximum energy consumption and is most demanding in terms of aerobic endurance compared to other simulators.
Curiously, scientists found that energy consumption during running or walking on a treadmill is 40% higher than when riding a bike. Moreover, only the treadmill and the rower ergometer gave figures of maximum oxygen consumption, which corresponded to the level necessary to enhance functional fitness.
In support of previous discoveries, scientists from the University of Dublin (Dublin, Ireland) conducted a similar study and concluded that a treadmill, a ski simulator and a rowing machine give the maximum energy consumption compared to a bicycle ergometer and elliptical simulators.
Now that you all have information, you can go to the gym and make the best choice for cardio training! We encourage everyone to put this list on a real test. Spend a week or so doing cardio on each of these simulators, and see what you find most effective. When you find something special, you will find out about it.