What Type of Indoor Cardio Equipment Should I Buy?

Congrats! You’ve conveniently moved the gym to your home. You’re probably thinking of the type of cardio equipment to buy for your fitness goals.

So, what type of indoor cardio equipment should you buy? Vertical climbers, exercise bikes, mini trampolines, exercise mats, punching bag, stair mill, SkiErg skiing machine, ARC trainer, ellipticals, and rowers make good purchasing choices.

In this article, we’ll be considering the type of indoor cardio equipment to purchase, features to consider, and why you need indoor cardio equipment. 

Why Do You Need Indoor Cardio Equipment?

Indoor cardio equipment help maximizes performance, burn calories, improve strength training and cardiovascular fitness.

What Type of Indoor Cardio Equipment Should You Buy?

If you looking for the best type of indoor cardio equipment to add to your home gym, we’ve got you covered! Below are the types of indoor cardio equipment to buy. You also get a rundown of features to consider before making a purchase.

©Liza Johnson Fitness

1. Vertical Climbers

If you’re looking for a complete workout that targets all muscles and increases heart rate, vertical climbing is your go-to exercise. Mimicking mountain climbing, vertical climbing is a combination of strength training and cardio activity. Do you want to be fit as a fiddle? A vertical climber might be a good option. It burns three times more calories than other cardio machines like treadmills. Over time, VersaClimber and MaxiClimber have been proven to be effective vertical climbers. If you love running or enjoy climbing stairs, you’ll like to work out with vertical climbers.

Features to Look Out for When Purchasing Vertical Climbers

In choosing a vertical climber, there are some features you should put into consideration. Below are some of them:

Weight Capacity

A good vertical climber has a sturdy metal frame that can stand the test of time. Metallic materials make for good quality since they’re more durable than other materials. An ideal sturdy frame should weigh about 220 pounds, though some may weigh up to 330 pounds.

Adjustability Options

From machine height to handlebars, resistance level, bottom pedals, and stroke length, vertical climbers are equipped with adjustable features that suit every body type. Handlebars and bottom pedals can be modified to fit individuals with short or long limbs.

Resistance Level

The resistance level is primarily the most important element of vertical climbers as it allows users to adjust resistance levels according to their preferential needs and fitness goals. A resistance mechanism allows upward and downward movement of pedals.

Foot Pedals and Grips

Foot pedals should be large enough to place your feet on while providing traction to prevent slips and injuries. Vertical climbers used at homes are usually 2-3 feet wide and 3-4 feet long. Grips should be made from rubber or foam with cushioning for firm handling. While static handles support movement, the mobile ones boost full-body workouts. Choose vertical climbers with wide pedals and good handles.

Display Function

Many models have LCD screens that show stats of calories burned, height climbed, the average speed attained, and the time of climbing. Some vertical climbers come with a built-in fitness app to monitor your workout progress. Make sure you invest in a good climber that has a display and tracking features.

Portability

If you don’t have enough space in your home, you can go for a foldable climber since it’s space-efficient. A foldable climber can be easily stored for future use.

2. Exercise Bikes

Regardless of your fitness level, an exercise bike is a huge investment you can make towards your weight loss and cardiovascular health. From reducing the risk of heart disease to lowering mortality rate and strengthening the lungs and heart, cycling has lots of benefits. Exercise bikes vary in types and models, from NordicTracks to Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycling Bike.

Features to Look Out for When Buying Exercise Bikes

It’s expedient you consider the features of these cycling bikes before making your purchase, as these features determine the functionality and user experience of each bike. Some bikes have interactive features like workout programs, Bluetooth technology, cooling fans, among others. If a huge difference exists between two similar bike models, there’s a likelihood that the one with fewer features might be of a higher quality than the other.

Resistance Mechanism

Bikes are powered by resistance, and this resistance might result from magnetic force, air, or water. In mechanical resistance, there’s a close connection between the flywheel and pedal, leading to friction. This frictional force may be increased or reduced by a control knob. Some bikes work by magnetic resistance, which can be regulated by pressing the console buttons. Heart rate monitor and workout programs are also powered by magnetic resistance. Exercise Bikes with friction-based designs are more affordable than magnetic-powered ones.

Convenience (non-slip feet, saddle, and pedal)

Convenience should be the major feature you should consider before making a buying choice. Ensure the seat is easily adjusted and can support your weight and height. If comfort is an utmost priority to you, you can decide to get an extra padded seat cover. Pedals on bikes may come bare, with straps, or work by a clip-in mechanism to prevent slip when cycling. Ensure your exercise bike has a wide base that securely holds your feet so you don’t slip while working out.

Foldable Design

You might want to consider the aesthetic value of exercise bikes before purchase. These bikes come in various models from which you can choose from. If you like to ride your bike everywhere in your home, a foldable bike will be ideal for you—the foldable design suits compact spaces.

Console

The console is a display screen for viewing your stats during workouts—it shows workout programs, speed, heart rate, and estimated calorie burn. This feature helps you monitor your workout performance. Some low-priced models may be equipped with simple consoles, and other high-quality bikes can boast digital touchscreens. Choose bikes based on your preference and needs.

Warranty

Warranties back most exercise bikes. These warranties vary from 1-5 years and usually cover bike frames, parts, and labor.

mini-trampolines

3. Mini Trampolines

Mini trampolines double as play and exercise equipment. Trampoline exercises focus on the lower back, muscles, and core. Also called rebounders, mini trampolines rank among the best fitness essentials that improve cardiovascular health, and boost coordination and balance. They help regulate glucose levels, build strong bones and relieve stress. CLORIS Foldable Mini Trampoline will be a great addition to any home workout regimen.

Features to Look Out for When Buying a Mini Trampoline

Base and Assembly Process

The base supports the framework of a trampoline. A weak base can cause the rebounder to break, leading to accidents. Steel materials offer more support than the plastic option. Besides the base, also look at the assembly process. While some rebounders are built with screw-in legs, others are held together by Snap-on legs. Since screw-in legs are prone to wear out, snap-in legs are a preferable choice.

Material

The durability of the mat is as necessary as the efficiency of springs. Mats made of canvas, plastic, and nylon can easily reach their elastic limit and affect the support system. Ensure your mats are made of quality materials and can withstand stretching.

Springs

This is probably the most important feature to look out for when making your choice. Rebounders made of tube springs and bungee cords limit movement and do not support exercising. They can get weak and lead to ankle injuries. In search of an ideal rebounder? Opt for the one with tapered steel springs as these last long and support various body weights.

Additional Extras

Trampolines are liable to undergo breaks; hence it’s necessary to choose an option with extra parts.

Size and Portability

Though mini trampolines are mostly small, they’re of different sizes. Their small size makes for easy storage and transport.

4. Exercise Mats

A workout mat forms the basis of your fitness routine. Whether you’re doing yoga or pilates, an exercise mat provides you with cushioning as you work out. Consider the thickness of the mat, material, texture, and price before choosing a product.

5. Punching Bags

Boxing is a great indoor cardio exercise that does wonders for your overall well-being. Is your home workout becoming boring? Revamp it by introducing boxing to your routine. As a stress reliever, boxing promotes agility and builds strength. A major piece of equipment needed in kickboxing is a punching bag. A rule of thumb in buying a punching bag is that any option you choose should be equivalent to your body weight. There are many punching bags on the market. Some of them are:

  • Aoneky Muay Thai Unfilled Heavy Bag
  • Inflatable Punching Bag
  • CUTE STONE Punching Bag with Boxing Gloves
Stair Mill

6. Stair Mill

Though stair climbing has been in existence for years, it’s been modified today hence the introduction of the stair mill. Stair climbing builds healthy bones, tone hamstrings, and quadriceps.

Also referred to as a stepmill, a stair mill is effective cardio workout equipment that helps burn calories, lower blood pressure and strengthen muscles. Compared to an elliptical and treadmill, stepmills burn a significant amount of calories at a fast rate.

Features to Look Out for When Buying Stair Mills

There are several stepmills available online. To pick the right one, you should look out for features like the warranty, add-ons, and material.

Material

It’s believed that the heavier a product is, the more quality it offers. This isn’t entirely true. Check for stepmills that are made from high-grade materials regardless of their weight capacity.

Extra Features

Choose stair mills that have add-on features like display screen, tracker, workout programs, and the likes. Additional features enhance user functionality and interactivity.

Warranty

Being a costly piece of equipment, consider the warranty before buying a stairmill. Ensure you check the warranty policy before buying as the policy may cover only certain body parts.

7. SkiErg Skiing Machine

Similar to the Nordic skiing machine, SkiErg is another cardio equipment that improves aerobic activity and endurance. The low-impact exercise gear works the back, glutes, calves, and abs. To switch things up during workouts, you can decide to incorporate the butterfly stroke into your routine. SkiErg can be combined with other workouts like burpees, squat jumps, mountain climbs, jumping jacks. 

8. ARC Trainer

Combining the elements of skier, climber, and elliptical, ARC trainer is an all-round cardio equipment. It utilizes the cycling process and works in the upper and lower body region. To target the upper region:

  • Adjust the resistance to 25 or 30.
  • Change the incline to 15.
  • Use more of your arms instead of your legs.

9. Elliptical Trainers

Suitable for athletes, elliptical trainers help build leg muscles and increase stamina. If used correctly, the low-impact machine targets the whole body while distributing resistance around the body. Elliptical trainers require less maintenance compared to treadmills.

Features to Look Out for When Buying Ellipticals

Stride Length

Stride length is an important criterion you should consider when choosing ellipticals. Stride aids bike pedaling. Ellipticals with long stride lengths work well with tall people. While some machines have fixed stride length, others are easily adjusted. Height is a determinant factor when choosing an elliptical trainer. Typically, 40cm is the ideal stride length recommended. For a person with a height of more than 1.90m, a stride length above 50cm would be ideal.

Console

The console shows the preset programs, additional features like built-in apps, a heart rate monitoring system, and information on your workout sessions. Consoles vary from elliptical to elliptical. Advanced models have better consoles with more interactive features.

Front-wheel or back wheel option

Another feature which you’ll need to reflect on is the model of elliptical to choose. Although there are two types of cross trainers, front-wheel drive and back wheel drive; they’re both of the same quality. Front-wheel drive is smaller and low-priced than rear-wheel drive. The rear-wheel-drive is quite larger and costlier. An example of a cross-trainer with the back wheel model is DKN XC-140i.

NordicTrack's RW900 Rower

10. Rowers

If you want to rev up your indoor cardio, a rowing machine might be a good idea. Ideal for individuals with different fitness goals, rowers offer an overall body workout. Due to their quiet mechanism, they work well with apartments. Rowers come with features that monitor performance and calculate the distance traveled.

Wrapping Up

Now you know the type of indoor equipment to buy for your fitness goals. If you want steady built-in workouts, you may opt for a treadmill or exercise bike. You can incorporate cardio exercises in your fitness routine by making use of high-intensity machines. Cardio equipment is an investment you can make towards your overall well-being. Invest right! Ensure you read the product specifications and features before you choose.