This is a tricky question to answer. After all, the best exercise machine depends on what your fitness goal is, and what you want to achieve. It really is all down to personal preference. Often, what one user rates, others don’t.

There is great debate around the usage of cardio machines. Some people argue that exercise is better done outdoors than on an exercise machine - for example, using the treadmill when you can run outside, and this is true to an extent.

However, one of the advantages that exercise machines have is that you can increase the incline and resistance, taking your workout to the next level. This is an effective way to challenge your body and fitness ability. HIIT training on cardio machines is a highly effective workout and you can benefit more from a 20-minute interval training session than an hour of steady jogging.

We think exercise machines are great and they should be included in your workout. It’s entirely up to you, but we recommend splitting your workout between weighted and non-weight exercises, and cardio.

Your workout could look something similar to this:

Exercise Type Time
Cardio Machine Warm-Up 5 minutes
Weight/ Non-Weight 20 minutes
Cardio Machine 5 minutes
Weight/ Non-Weight 20 minutes
Cardio Machine Warm-Down 5 minutes

Don’t forget to stretch either!

Or you could just focus on a 20 minute HIIT workout on a cardio machine.

Here are a few of our favourite exercise machines.

Elliptical Cross Trainer

The cross trainer works your full body. They’re great for weight loss and strengthening the muscles and are a popular choice of exercise machine for those with a home gym.

The cross trainer uses larger muscle groups and although the workout can feel easier compared to the treadmill or rowing machine, increasing the resistance will definitely work your muscles and burn a few extra calories along the way. If you’re someone who experiences joint issues, the cross trainer is a great exercise machine to use as it’s an impact-free workout.

Rowing Machines

As far as cardio machines go, the rowing machine is arguably the best. It enables you to do a full body workout as it uses a range of muscles. Interval training on the rowing machine is effective and will definitely test your endurance, whilst burning calories!

Rowing machines contribute to a range of fitness goals such as weight loss, endurance and strengthening. If you’re looking for a low-impact workout, it doesn’t put as much stress on your joints as other cardio machines will such as the treadmill.


Although people are in two minds about the treadmill, it is still one of the most popular and effective cardio machines. You can freely run or walk on it without worrying about technique and increase the incline and speed to really test your fitness ability and challenge yourself. Plus, it’s great for interval training.

It’s a great way to burn fat and calories faster, especially if you do interval training on it. They’re also an effective cardiovascular workout, meaning every time you workout on the treadmill, it's improving the health of your heart.

Exercise Bikes

As far as exercise bikes go, the spin bike is the closest to an outdoor bike and has several great benefits when working out. You can opt for a long-distance cycling workout or do HIIT training on it.

If you’re looking to burn calories and fat, whilst improving your stamina and strength, we highly recommend a spin bike. Our Exercise Bike Buying Guide has more information on the benefits of indoor bikes.

All exercise machines have their own unique benefits, helping you reach your ultimate health and fitness goal.

person on a seated exercise bike

As mentioned, exercise machines are all down to personal preference and what your health and fitness goal is. Some people prefer to do cardio outside; some prefer to do it inside. Owning an exercise machine means you have the choice of both and you can set yourself challenges on them. General Banner

Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.