Scratch’s Guide to Cardio Exercise Equipment

Free WeightsWhile this here caveman loves the gym, it’s not for everyone. If you’re thinking of creating a home gym, be prepared for some hard decisions on exercise equipment. Whatever you’re lookin’ for, good ol’ Scratch has got ya covered!

Best Equipment for Cardio: Treadmill
Treadmills are for for the most basic impact exercise walking, jogging and running. If goin’ out for a jog outside isn’t really your thing for whatever reason (maybe you feel uncomfortable exercising in public, perhaps your neighborhood ain’t exactly somewhere you’d want to be alone at night, could be you just think it’s too dang hot out there today), then the Treadmill is your cardio solution, allowin’ you to more effectively target your muscle groups. Every quality treadmill has the ability to change the speed and incline (level of hill). Treadmills usually have safety features such as an auto stop switch and side handles to make sure you don’t kill yourself.

Exercise Tip: If you do not like running walking on the treadmill can be just as effective for burning calories, fat and cardiovascular effect. The key is to set the treadmill at a significant incline. Working against gravity will increase difficulty and caloric expenditure. Just do not pull on the handles when you have an incline.. If you grab the handles it completely defeats the purpose of the incline. The calories burned meter on the machine will not be accurate also. If you have to hold on the for dear life you should probably slow down the machine.

Best for Equipment for Weight Loss: Elliptical

If you’ve ever been on one of these babies, you know that Elliptical machines are the best machines for cardio workouts if you’re looking to lose weight. Unlike treadmills, this machine works out your entire body. The low-impact nature of Ellipticals means that it’s relatively easy for anyone to use – even if you’ve suffered a recent injury. There are 2 main varieties of elliptical machines. One variety has handles which allow upper and lower body concurrent push-pull movement. The intensity is increased by adding resistance. The other variety does not have handles and usually allows the incline level of the foot rests to be adjusted as well as resistance. The best way to lose weight is to do intervals on the elliptical machine where you increase and decrease the resistance over the course of your workout. Just make sure that you are giving it your all or you won’t see the results you want.

Best Equipment You’ve Never Of: Rowing Machine

The Rowing Machine is the most underrated cardio machine in the gym. Most people do not understand the correct way to use rowing machines. Rowing machines are not meant to be a resistance exercise. When people improperly use them they are usually pull very hard with their arms and have bad form. The difference between rowing machines and all other cardio machines is you completely control how intense your session will be. The faster you go, the more intense your cardio workout will be. This is why rowing machines are not the most popular cardio machine, you must have motivation to get the full benefit from rowing machines.

Exercise Tips: To get full cardio benefit of the rowing machine you should use one of the programs which is built on the little screen. These programs will show you intervals which allow you to pace yourself so you don’t get burned out too quickly.


So there you have it – Scratch’s very own guide to smart fitness equipment shopping! Got your very own piece of equipment to add to the best buy list? Leave your suggestions in the comment section!

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