Whether you’re training on an exercise bike, rowing machine, treadmill or elliptical, you can get a good cardio workout. But if you’re in the market for a home fitness device, which one should you choose? It all depends on your goals, your preferences, and, of course, the space available in your home. Let’s take a closer look.
Cardio workout: offering multiple benefits
The goal of a cardio workout is to improve your cardiovascular functions by strengthening your heart and increasing your breathing capacity, which in turn improves your stamina.
A regular cardio workout also has many other health benefits, as well as positive effects on your physique. Common goals include:
- Rehabilitation after an injury: start working your muscles and build back up your stamina, opt for a “soft” cardio training session.
- Weight loss: more intense cardio sessions can burn fat and lead to weight loss.
- Preparing for an event: train for a marathon, a ski holiday or sports competition by strengthening your muscles and increasing your endurance. You’ll need to conduct frequent, intensive cardio training, prioritizing the muscles that will be most used for the specific event.
You just need to choose the equipment that works best for you.
Treadmills: complete and balanced
A treadmill provides a truly full body workout to strengthen all your muscle groups – including the abs – and to help you lose weight.
But the small, repeated shocks incurred with each step you take can make it an unsuitable choice in some cases. If you’re rehabilitating an injury, for example, or if you have fragile joints, or suffer from knee or back pain, this probably isn’t the best option for you.
Exercise bikes: preparing for a bike race… or minimising back pain
You’ll burn calories quickly and intensely with an exercise bike. If you have a weak back, an exercise bike – especially a recumbent bike – is a good option. Recumbent bikes are particularly comfortable, and suitable when training for long competitions such as more performance-oriented cycling races.
Ellipticals: training up and down
When you use the mobile handles, you can get a complete workout from an elliptical – both upper and lower body. Use the fixed handlebars for stability when concentrating on your lower body. With an elliptical, you make long, smooth strides that are easy on your joints. If you’re using an elliptical to rehabilitate an injury, you’ll be able to do so with a lot less strain than with other devices.
Rowing machines: built for athletes
A rowing machine gives an intense workout to all your muscles, except abs and pecs. However, be careful to use the machine properly; otherwise it can cause pain or injury. That’s why usually only seasoned athletes use rowing machines. If in doubt, ask a workout partner for help in determining whether you’re doing it the right way. In a pinch, review a video on your smartphone to make sure you’re using the right position.
Incline trainers: taking a treadmill up a mountain!
The NordicTrack Incline Trainer series are a range of treadmills that can reach a 40% incline. Result: a more intense workout and faster results, concentrating on your lower torso and your cardio. The incline trainer offers diverse workout possibilities, from brisk walking to hill running as you strengthen your muscles. It’s a particularly versatile device that offers a real variety of training sessions – essential for your overall progress and pleasure!
The Fusion CST: the ultimate cross training machine
Among the most complete home training devices, the Fusion CST runs the gamut of training options, from easy sessions to high-intensity workouts, offering both interval training and fast cross training. It’s a real all-in-one machine, satisfying the most discerning and demanding athletes.
Get an overview, and choose wisely
Most of the devices detailed above are relatively versatile. Some features, however, can’t be modified:
- Device dimensions: make sure it’s going to fit before you bring it home
- Price: stick to your original budget, unless a must-have device makes you change your mind
But above all, choose a device in line with your tastes, one that will feed your desire to work out as regularly as possible. Now, go and compare NordicTrack’s wide variety of products and find the one that suits you best. And remember: each training session should positively impact your wellbeing!