Top 4 Best Exercise Machine To Help You Lose Weight?

There are so many different options for exercise machines to aid in weight loss.  These are my favorite machines below:

  1. Treadmill
  2. Stationary Bike
  3. Rower
  4. Elliptical

In the following sections, I’m going to cover the most effective exercise machines for weight loss.  Each machine is best suited for certain individuals, but they all provide a good workout and a great calorie burn.

1. Treadmill

If you picture cardio at the gym, you will no doubt think about the treadmill.  Treadmills are incredibly common and offer one of the best returns on calories burned for a set period of time.

Most treadmills in gyms are electric, but manual ones can be considered as well.  Not only are manual treadmills cheaper to acquire for a home gym but they reduce the risk of injury since the belt doesn’t begin to move until you start walking or running.

Related: Check out my picks of best treadmills for weight loss (my other website)

Pros and cons

Some people may ask why you would buy a machine to run on when you can run outside for free, but treadmills offer many perks for this very reason.  If it is too cold or rainy or hot outside, your treadmill will be there waiting for you.  In addition, if you reach your wall, you don’t have to walk all the way back.  A treadmill is already at your house or gym.  If you reach your physical wall, you can just stop for the day and come back tomorrow.

Treadmills come with unique settings that allow you to keep track of calories burned and speed.  If you need to make a certain time, you can know you are meeting it based on setting the speed of the treadmill.  It also calculates calories burned relatively well, so you can have a ballpark idea of how many calories you worked off per workout.

Many treadmills are now fitted with TVs, where you can watch a show while you exercise.  If TV isn’t your thing, they often also have connections to play music from your phone as well.

The major con for treadmills is that they can put stress on your knees if you are running or jogging.  In this event, an elliptical will provide a similar workout without the stress on your knees.  Walking on a treadmill does not place as much stress on your knees, though.

Related: Are treadmills physically harmful to you?

Related: 9 treadmill workouts to perform when you can’t run outside.

Potential workouts

Almost all treadmills come with pre-programmed workouts that you can do:  cross country, interval training, fat burning, and many others.  Treadmills are particularly nice for sprints.  You can watch the clock or set a Tabata or HIIT timer.  You would all-out sprint for 20 to 30 seconds, followed by a 10 to 15-second break.  Some treadmills have buttons that correspond to speeds which makes this type of Tabata workout far easier.  Alternately, you can jump up on the sides for your break period.

2. Stationary Bike

Following closely behind the treadmill is the stationary bike.  Thinking about cardio in a gym and you will likely think about the exercise bike.  Instead of risking injuries on the roadside or in bad weather, you can take advantage of stationary bikes in order to get your cycling on.

Pros and cons

A huge pro to stationary bikes is that they are far more gentle on your knees than running.  The less stress placed on your joints makes the stationary bike a solid choice in your quest for weight loss.

Like the treadmill, the stationary bike offers a great set of preset workouts.  In addition, there are bikes that connect via the internet to show you courses from around the world, such as riding through the French countryside or the busy streets of Brazil.  These programs also allow you to compete with other people in real life.

A major issue with serious cyclers and stationary bikes is that they are not real-world training.  It will not prepare you for courses if you ride competitively.  The effects of gravity and terrain cannot wholly be experienced indoors.

Related: Check out my picks of best stationary bikes for weight loss

Potential workouts

Pyramid climbing is a simple workout that you can do on a stationary bike.  Start out at a low resistance, then increase every minute or two.  Finally, start coming back down during the middle of your workout.  This is a predictable workout that lets you know the hardest part is over midway.

Are you looking for answers to commonly asked weight lifting questions? Get your questions answered by a certified personal trainer – Weight Lifting 101 (certified personal trainer approved)!

3. Rower

While it provides a similar workout to the treadmill, no one can argue against the rower being the total-body workout.  During CrossFit-type workouts, a few minutes on the rower between exercises is a useful idea.  If used properly, this machine provides an amazing upper and lower body workout, which easily translates to bodyweight loss.

Looking for a rower: Check out my top 5 picks for rowing machines (on my other website)

Pros and cons

Patrons of different sizes can use rowers, with many models rated for people up to 500 pounds.  Similar to the stationary bike, rowers alleviate pressure on joints, so may be a good choice if you are suffering from knee and ankle pain when running.  In comparison to the treadmill and stationary bike, the rower is more of a total body workout, burning calories effectively and quickly.

While the rower relieves pressure on your knee and ankle joints, it can place strain on your lower back.  So you should be mindful before starting a routine with a rower and monitor your body on how you feel to reduce the risk of overuse or injury.

Due to the nature of the machine, you cannot change up the routine overly much.  You may be able to add more tension or work harder, but you can’t really change the exercise that much if you get bored easily.

Potential workouts

A simple workout for the rower is to row as quickly as you can for 1 minute and then take a 15-second break.  The machine will tell you the rotations per minute and you can race against yourself to see how many rotations you can get and keep.

Related: Best cross-training exercises for runners!

4. Elliptical

Ellipticals are cardio buffs’ favorites because they provide the benefits of running with far less stress on your joints.  The smooth movement of this machine quickly makes it a gymgoer’s favorite.

Pros and cons

While arguably as effective as the treadmill and stationary bike when it comes to lower body cardio, the elliptical provides more of an upper-body workout as well.  This machine is one of the few ones that can work forward and backward easily, allowing you to change how these muscles are worked.

Related: Does Vibration Training Help You Lose Weight? 

Potential workouts

A simple workout for the rower is to row as quickly as you can for 1 minute and then take a 15-second break.  The machine will tell you the rotations per minute and you can race against yourself to see how many rotations you can get and keep.

Compared to the treadmill, a major con for the elliptical is its lack of incline ability.  Increasing inclines help your cardiovascular exercise and you may not get as good of a workout with an elliptical.

Related: Can I train for a half marathon on a treadmill?

Final Thoughts

By having read this article, you now know what options are the best for calorie-burning and, thus, weight loss.  Some machines are better for your joints, while others are better for a full-body, more thorough workout.  You also have a starting point for effective workouts on each of these machines.

Related: Have you tried out aqua jogging? It is a great way to lose weight in the summer with low impact when it’s too hot to run outside. Check it out!

Help support me and subscribe to my YouTube channel.

YouTube video - 30 ways to make your runs less painful!

Coach Scott's Credentials:
  • Published Author
  • RRCA Certified Running Coach (Level 2)
  • RRCA Certified Youth Running Coach
  • NASM CPT (Certified Personal Trainer).
  • NASM CNC (Certified Nutrition Coach)
  • NASM WLS (Weight Loss Specialist)
  • ACE SFC (Stretching and Flexibility Coach)
  • ACE GFI (Group Fitness Instructor)
He has published over 20 books including, Beginner's Guide to Half Marathons: A Simple Step-By-Step Solution to Get You to the Finish Line in 12 Weeks! (Beginner To Finisher Book 3), which has become an Amazon International #1 bestseller. Scott specializes in helping new runners become injury-free race finishers. He recently completed his 22nd half marathon race. 

 To sign up for a FREE half marathon training schedule, log sheet, and pace predictor CLICK HERE.

Recommended Running Gear

Recommended gear for runners

 Connect with me:



Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.