Elliptical Trainer vs. Treadmill: How to Choose

If you are looking for a piece of exercise equipment that will give you a good cardiovascular workout, the elliptical trainer and the treadmill can help you get the results you are looking for. Which one is the best choice? There are advantages to choosing each piece of equipment, and the best one for you depends on your particular needs and goals.

Both pieces of equipment are popular choices for people who want to set up a home gym. Working out at home means that you can do so on your schedule, without having to factor in travel time to get to a health club or gym.

Having a home gym outfitted with an elliptical trainer or a treadmill means that your exercise schedule is not dependent on the weather. You have the freedom to work out during cold or wet weather if you wish; exceptionally hot weather doesn’t need to stop you from getting the exercise you need if your home is air conditioned.

Advantages of an Elliptical Trainer

An elliptical trainer provides a complete workout, since it works the upper and lower body simultaneously. The person using the machine can control the intensity of the exercise very easily by speeding up or slowing down his or her leg movements.

Grasping the handlebars on the unit and moving the arms and shoulders in tandem with the leg movements means you will burn more calories. If your goal is to lose weight, the elliptical trainer will probably be the better choice. It also makes sense if you have a limited amount of time to exercise and you want to get the maximum benefit from each session.

Advantages of a Treadmill

Choosing a treadmill for your home gym workout means that you can set a particular program to follow during your exercise session. Depending on the intensity you want, you can set the machine to give you an experience on a flat surface or going up hills for a more challenging one.

The treadmill allows you to avoid getting bored with your workout by exercising while watching television. Walking or running while checking out your favorite show can make the time spent exercising pass quickly.

If tracking your progress when working out is important to you, the treadmill’s console can help you keep track of how long you have been working out, as well as how many miles you have walked or run. The unit should also be able to track your heart rate so that you will know whether you are in your target zone for fat burning.

When you are considering an elliptical trainer vs. a treadmill for home use, you also need to factor in cost. A treadmill will probably be less expensive to purchase than an elliptical trainer, but the elliptical trainer will give you a better overall workout. Your final choice will depend on what criteria are most important to you.

Exercise Equipment: the Exercise Bike

An exercise bike can be a great choice for people who want to stay active. A person can buy one to be part of his or her home gym equipment, or they are readily available at most health clubs or at the gym.

A program of regular exercise provides a number of health benefits, including lowering the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Getting physical can also help to regulate blood sugar for patients diagnosed with Type II diabetes. Before starting any exercise program, do see your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough to work out and that the level of activity you have in mind is not too strenuous.

Choosing to use an exercise bike for a workout means that the participant has a similar experience to being out on the road, without having to worry about keeping his or her balance on uneven terrain or dealing with inclement weather. An exercise bike also provides the rider more flexibility in his or her workout because the settings can be adjusted to make the ride as easy or as challenging as the rider needs.

Types of Exercise Bikes

There are four basic types of exercise bikes:

Wind Bikes are the lowest-priced models on the market, which makes them a very popular choice among consumers. As the rider pedals, the movement causes a fan to turn. This is the motion that creates resistance, and it also means that the wind bike can be a noisy choice for a workout.

Magnet bikes use one or more magnets to create resistance when in use. This bike has the advantage of not being as noisy to operate as a wind bike. This type of equipment is also more expensive to buy than a wind bike.

The third type of exercise bike is a fluid-based training bike. This is a good choice for people preparing for a bike race who want to be able to practice indoors. The bike uses hydraulics to create resistance during use. The harder the rider pedals, the more resistance is created.

The most expensive type of exercise bike is the turbo trainer. This is the type used by professionals and it provides an experience that is very similar to taking a bike out on the road. The operator can set the bike to the level of resistance he or she wants to get a better workout. Most turbo exercise bikes have a display screen where a rider can see his or her heart rate, as well as the bike’s speed and the length of the workout.

Before you choose an exercise bike for home use, take the time to try different models to see which one feels right for you. You may want to consider renting or buying used exercise equipment to keep the cost of getting fit down to a budget-friendly level.

How to Save Your Home Exercise Equipment Costs

If you are in the market for home exercise equipment to help prevent stroke and heart attack, you want to avoid paying more than you have to for it. To keep costs down, you will need to be a bit creative.

Before you start looking at different models of exercise equipment, first take the time to consider your goals. Are you interested in focusing on a cardio workout or is your goal to build lean muscle?

You also want to be very honest with yourself about your commitment to a home workout. Many people start this process feeling very committed to exercising regularly and then lose their focus after a relatively short time and stop using the equipment. A treadmill, stair stepper or rowing machine then turns into a very expensive clothes rack, and that was not your intention when you bought the item.

Tips for Saving on Home Exercise Equipment

1. Educate Yourself About Your Options

Your goal should be to find the best value in home exercise equipment. Go online to learn about the different brands on the market and the features that make the higher priced models top of the line. That way, you have a sense of what you are getting when you choose a piece of equipment at a particular price point.

2. Consider Your Level of Fitness

If you are just starting to work out regularly, you may want to choose an exercise machine that is geared towards newbies. Models designed for high-level athletes may have more bells and whistles on them, but you will also be looking at paying more for these features.

Rather than looking for a piece of equipment that has a lot of options on it, think about what you need right now and what makes sense for the next level of fitness you plan to achieve. Consider models that fall into this category. When you get to the point when your exercise equipment is not giving you the level of challenge that you need, you can always upgrade.

3. Look at Used, Floor Models and Refurbished Equipment

Some retailers will offer you a better price on home exercise equipment that has minor cosmetic flaws. Inspect used exercise equipment carefully before making a decision. You will want to try it out before you buy it to make sure that it is in good working order. It’s worthwhile to ask the retailer whether the model comes with a manufacturer’s warranty and what its terms are. You can also consider used home exercise equipment that is in good condition.

Planning is the key to finding the right type of home exercise equipment for your needs. By starting with considering your current level of fitness and goals, you will be able to choose something that will benefit you now. You can always upgrade when you need something that is more advanced.

Which Rowing Machine Type is Right for You?

If you are looking for home gym equipment that can provide you with a total body workout, consider investing in a rowing machine. Not only can they provide you with an excellent cardio workout to help lower the risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke, but they also help you build muscle strength as well.

This is a good choice for people who enjoy rowing or kayaking as a fitness activity and who want to keep fit in the off season or those who want to build lean muscle without necessarily having to lift or pull a weight upward to do so. Being able to sit down while performing the activity may be more comfortable for some people and be more enjoyable than standard strength training.

Before you can decide which rowing machine is the best choice for your home gym, you will need to consider the different styles available carefully. Your evaluation should include considering each one for ease of use, how they generate resistance and cost.

Hydraulic Rowing Machine

This model is the least expensive style available on the market. It uses two hydraulic pins to create resistance when the user pulls on the machine’s handles. With this type of model, it can be very difficult to create a fluid motion with the machine. Some people find it very uncomfortable to use, and these individuals would be better off considering a different model for their home gym equipment needs. Pricing for this type of rowing machine starts at approximately $150.

Air Rowing Machines

The air rowing machine is the type of equipment that you are most likely to find in a gym or health club. The tension is created by the flywheel located at the front of the machine. The person using the machine pulls back on a chain. When this action occurs, the flywheel takes in air and creates resistance. The faster the user rows, the more resistance the user feels while using the machine. Price ranges for this type of machine can vary from $400-$1,600, depending on the model.

Water Rowing Machines

A water rowing machine is the most sophisticated model available. The design incorporates a steel paddle in a circular tank, which helps to create an experience that is similar to rowing on water. Resistance is created by the drag the water creates as it moves in the tank. As the water movement increases in speed, the user experiences a higher level of resistance when rowing. You can expect to spend between $900-$2,500 for a water rowing machine, depending on the type of specific model and the type of wood used.

Home Exercise Equipment: Ab Machines

Ab machines are a popular piece of home exercise equipment. You are probably familiar with the television commercials for these products that promise rock-hard abs in just a few minutes a day. The idea of achieving those kinds of results with a minimal effort is certainly an attractive one.

Unfortunately, it’s not realistic to think that targeting your workout to a specific area of your body is going to help you lose fat. What an ab machine can do for you is tone your muscles and help to strengthen them.

People who gain weight in their abdominal region are at risk for heart attack, stroke and diabetes. An abundance of abdominal fat can cause high blood pressure (See: How High Blood Pressure Affects the Body), as well as elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. If you want to get rid of belly fat, you will want to eat a balanced diet and make sure you are getting some aerobic exercise regularly.

Why Choose Ab Machine for Home Exercise Equipment

If you are generally happy with your weight but you want to strengthen and tone your abs, you can do so without buying or renting home exercise equipment. Performing sit-ups or crunches can give you good results, but this strategy can be difficult to stick with.

If you are a person who prefers working out with a machine or you believe that you can get better results using this method, there are a number of choices available to you. Before you decide to buy an ab machine, make a point of doing your homework first.

If you want to get the skinny on different workout machines, the Internet can be a valuable resource. Start by gathering information about different options available. There are machines that are targeted towards newbies and those that are better suited to more experienced users. Some models are not good choices for people who are significantly overweight and if this is true in your case, you will want to find one that you can use comfortably.

Checking out customer reviews online can provide you with more information about home exercise equipment, including ab machines. Keep in mind that they are subjective and simply because a particular model does not have an abundance of good reviews, it doesn’t mean that the machine cannot help you get the results you are looking for. Dissatisfied consumers are more likely to express their opinion about a product than those who were happy with their purchase.

The best way to determine which ab machine will work best for you is to visit a retailer who carries this type of home exercise equipment and try different models to see which one you feel comfortable using.