Cardio Training

What is The Best Home Exercise Equipment for Cardio?

Here you will learn how to lose weight and increase your performance with the top rated, and most popular cardio exercise equipment for the home. You can use this equipment for light as well as heavy cardio. If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below! 🙂

Weight Loss

For weight loss goals you will need to do lighter cardio workouts about 3-4 Fat burning zonestimes a week, and heavy cardio at least once a week. It is BEST to work in the correct heart rate zones! Working in zones 1 and 2 help improve fat burn, and working in zones 4 and 5 improve your breathing (VO2). In the picture to the right I have provided my heart rate zones. The lightly shaded area is where I am burning fat, and the rest is where I am burning carbs/sugar.

Below I have written what each zone feels like, because everyone’s heart rate is different at different zones.

Zone 1: Feels really easy or just easy and you burn most of your fat here.

Zone 2: Feels moderate or challenging, and working in this zone will promote fat burning.

Zone 3: Feels hard, and improves your anaerobic threshold (where you start to breathe heavy).

Zone 4: Feels really hard and you are improving your VO2 (Volume of Oxygen) here.

Zone 5: Feels like you are about to die, and you are burning all carbs/sugar here (but still improving your VO2).

Start by finding your Target Heart Rate by doing this formula. Your Target Heart Rate is equivalent to zones 1 and 2, where you burn the most fat.

220 – (your age) – (your resting heart rate) x (.6) + (your resting heart rate) = Your Target Heart Rate

Here is an example of my Target Heart Rate. 220 – 28 – 70 x .6 + 70 = 143.2. So I need to workout in the heart rate range of 143-153 to be the most efficient.

Strength and Performance

For improving strength and performance you will need to start with about 2 days a week of light cardio (zones 1-2) and about 2-3 days a week of heavy cardio (zones 4-5).

Cardio does not always have to be running or riding a bike. You can also do some Plyometrics for cardio, which is basically a lot of jumping and body weight exercises. You can jump rope, do jumping squats, push ups with a clap, or do all three in a circuit. It will definitely get your heart rate up.

Interval Training

The best and most effective way to improve your cardio, heart rate efficiency, and your VO2 (breathing) is to train in cardio intervals.

A light cardio interval workout would look something like this:

Zone 1: 4 minutes (walking, jogging lightly, or just going a steady pace on any machine)

Zone 2: 2 minutes (taking it just a little faster and harder)

Repeat 8-10 times

A heavy cardio interval workout would look something like this:

Zone 4: 1 minute (run/jog as hard as you can)

Zone 1: 1 minute (stop and rest)

Repeat 7-8 times

Just run, swim, ride a bike, jump rope, row, or do the elliptical hard for a minute, then stop and rest for a minute. It gives your heart a chance slow down after it has risen, which will improve your recovery time as well. Meaning the more you do it, the less time it will take for your heart to slow down and you won’t be out of breath so long.

Cardio Equipment

There are many types of cardio equipment. The best thing that works for me is the Row Machine, I just love it. But there is also the Treadmill, Elliptical, Bike, and Stair Stepper.

All of the below equipment is separated into categories, and are in order form least expensive to most expensive in those categories. There is exercise equipment for beginners as well as professionals. It is the best home exercise equipment for weight loss and strength/performance. If you have any questions please leave a comment below! 🙂

What is the best home exercise equipment? Well you can use any of these machines for easy workouts to do at home, and they are very affordable and dependable.

 All In One

Purchase the Bowflex TreadClimber TC200 – Midrange 3-in-1 cardio machine that combines the best attributes of treadmill, stair climber, and elliptical. The low-impact workout is easy on the joints. It also has an easy-to-read display that tracks speed, time, distance, and calories.

See my review here of all the different kinds of TreadClimbers.

Buy the Max Trainer M7 –  You can get  total body workout with the Max Trainer. All you need is 14 minutes! There is Computer-controlled resistance, Bluetooth smart technology, premium grips, target-zone monitoring and it has a compact design to fit anywhere!

Purchase the Octane Fitness Zero Runner – With this machine you will get a great cardio workout, AND do resistance training for your total body because it comes with resistance bands that you can hook to it. This is the best piece of cardio equipment you can buy for your home because it provides you with ZERO impact on your joints while you are using it. If you have bad knees, ankles, feet, hips, back etc., then this is the machine for you. Here is my full review of it here!


Purchase the Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill – This treadmill is great for simple walking, jogging, running, and it can be folded up to fit under the bed or in the closet. It has the basic functions and records distance, time, speed, etc.

See my review here


Buy the ProForm 905 CST Treadmill – This treadmill has all the bells and whistles, and it is the best bang for your buck! It has everything I like to see on treadmills when I am training. Here is a breakdown of the features.

  • 20 x 60 walking belt
  • Proshox cushioning
  • 5″ backlit iFit display
  • Integrated tablet holder
  • iPod compatible audio (2 -2″ speakers)
  • Digital quick speed control 0-12 MPH
  • Digital quick incline control 0-12%
  • 30 preset workout apps
  • EKG grip pulse of your heart rate
  • Workout fan
  • iFit Bluetooth Smart chest strap included, 350 lb. User capacity



Buy the Exerpeutic 1000Xl Heavy Duty Magnetic Ellipticals with Pulse – This is a great elliptical. Anytime you workout you want to monitor your heart rate. This one does that, and it can fit in a small space. Here is a Elliptical with Pulsebreakdown of the features.

  • Doesn’t have any bouncy movement when you are using it, and it is quiet.
  • Resistance goes up to level 8 for a more challenging workout.
  • Has a large an easy to read display that is lit, and it shows distance, calories burned, time, speed, scan and target zone heart rate monitoring.


Purchase the Nautilus E614 Elliptical Trainer – This is a more advanced elliptical. It has pulse and lots of other features listed below that I love.Elliptical

  • 2 LCD windows display the status up to 13 workout details.
  • Charging USB port and data export to or
  • 20-Inch stride length, 22 programs, 20 levels of resistance, and 2 user profiles can be saved.
  • Acoustic chambered speakers for big sound.
  • Grip heart rate for your pulse.


Buy the Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine – This is the BEST elliptical you can buy. It has everything you need to get the most out of your workout. Here are the features below.High Quality and Best Elliptical

  • Backlit 7.5-inch display that helps you track essential training data
  • Adjustable 15-inch pedals, console, and power adjustable stride and incline; 20-to-22-inch maximum stride length; six standard programs, two custom programs, and two heart rate programs
  • Pulse grip and chest strap heart rate monitoring; front drive system with built-in fan; includes sound system and water bottle holder
  • 230-pound weight and 375-pound weight limit



Buy the Stamina 15-0125 InStride Folding Cycle – This is great to use if you do not have any room in your home for big bulky machines. You can sit on the floor or in a chair to use it, or you can stand on it and use a table or counter for support. You can also have it under your desk at work to sneak a little extra activity.


 Folding Exercise Bike

Buy the Dorothy Hamill Sit N Cycle Deluxe XL Low Resistance Exercise Bike – This is an amazing cycle that you can use hands free! Which means you can do other things while you are cycling like read, sew, play a video game, or just hold weights to increase intensity.

 sitNcycle easy cycle

Purchase the Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycle Trainer  – For the more experienced cyclists, this is the best bike for you when you are inside. Here are the features below.

  • Fully adjustable seat and handlebar
  • Heavy duty steel frame with a 49lbs flywheel
  • Belt drive mechanism for smooth and quiet workouts
  • Adjustable resistance with a press down brake system
  • Transportation wheels for easy portability


Stair Climber’s

Purchase the Stamina SpaceMate Folding Stepper – You can fold this stepper so it can be stored under your bed or in a closet.


Folding Stair Climber

Buy the Avari Programmable Stepper – This stair climber is the best. It can count the amount of floors you have climbed, calories, etc. Features below.Best Stair Climber


  • Handrails with sensors to monitor heart rate
  • Motorized tension control provides smooth motion
  • InTouch monitor includes 20 different programs including 4 individual user programs for personalized training
  • Transport wheels for easy moving when not in use



Buy the Stamina Air Rower (Black, Chrome) – This rower is small so it can fit in small places, and it is a step up from the rower above.Rower Machine

  • Wind-resistance rowing machine with multi-function performance monitor
  • Monitor displays speed, distance, time, and calories burned
  • Padded, upholstered seat; large footplates for any size user; over-sized, angled seat rail for smooth sliding
  • Folds for storage; built-in wheels for portability; floor protectors prevent skidding


Purchase the Marcy Turbine NS-6050RE Magnetic Rowing Machine – This rower is the best! Features below.

  • 8 resistance settings
  • Computer display panel that displays speed, distance, time, calories burned, and RPM.
  • Durable mount-injected seat
  • Adjustable foot straps
  • Made with solid steel to last for years



Jump Ropes

You can also buy Jump Rope’s for cardio! Jump for 30 second or up to 5 minutes, then rest for a minute or 2, and then repeat. The jump rope on the left is the best that I have found.

This article has 12 Comments

  1. Cardio is on of the hardest and most tedious things to do when exercising this is some great information on all the ways to get cardio to fit into your workout routine. I tend to do a lot of high intensity cardio to burn more fat, What is your cardio routine that you use to stay in shape?

    1. I like to do high intensity intervals the best. I sprint for 1-2 min then rest for 1 min and repeat for about 30 min.

      I need to do more low intensity cardio for at least an hour so I’ve started to do that a little more, but I still love my sprints!

  2. Hi Karissa your site certainly offers many ways that one can do exercises to lose weight. My problem is I do not have any motivation to do a regular workout. The only thing I do now on a regular basis is take my dog out for a walk. We do have a weight machine so I just might give it a go after looking at your site.

    1. Hello Maureen,

      I am so glad you take your dog for walks. They love it and it is good for you as well.

      I want you to try to get at least 10,000 steps each day, and that can be your first goal. You can get a VivoFit to track it. Sometimes you can get an app on your phone to count the steps, but you would have to carry it with you all the time and it isn’t as accurate as this device.

      I also want you to start doing 50 squats (just sit down and stand back up) and 50 wall push ups (lean against a wall and push) each day. You can do it before you go to bed or right when you wake up to get ready for the day. It wont take long at all.

      What helps with motivation is mostly support from friends and family. Your dog also offers great support because of the walks. Getting started is the hardest part, but once you push past it you will be a changed person.

      Just make yourself do these things each day for the first week, and then get back to me. I can help you with support as well!

  3. Great post! I loved all the information about various equipment choices. I was especially interested in the indoor cycling equipment. I run site about cycling and recently did a post about how to make indoor training a little less horrible. I’d love to see a post about the pros and cons of different kinds of cycling trainers.

  4. Hey Karissa

    great post on Cardio Equipment. You have put together a very useful website here.

    We have just bout an indoor cycling machine and are in the market for a treadmill now.

    I especially like the Bowflex TreadClimber TC10

    I am not always keen on taking what amazon has to say about the equipment they list to heart though, as it is pretty default for the most part.

    Can we expect some reviews and your opinions on the items you have listed here?

    Many thanks

    Marc Parsons

  5. with exercising becoming more interesting and important on my case i would prefer cardio training as my training method to use always because i can see it as an easy and affordable training method ever. i am planning to use this types of training to keep myself fit .


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