Which cardio machine will burn the most calories?
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MAJOR FITNESS BLOG

Which cardio machine will burn the most calories?



Don Stevens, MillerCoors Fitness cener
Which cardio exercise machine will burn the most calories?  If I had a dollar for every time I hear this question from a client, I'd have a pretty fat wallet! In today’s article, I'll compare the calorie-burning effects of some popular cardio machines that you’ll find at the gym, and give you a FIT TIP for each.

Upright vs Recumbent Bicycles
Since the pedaling motion incorporates the big and powerful muscles of the legs.
Depending on your intensity, bicycling can burn 500-1000 calories per hour, which ranks it among the highest calorie burners, so long as you use it correctly.

Upright vs. recumbent bicycles (the type that you sit in)? Though the back rest on a recumbent bicycle can relieve stress on the lower back, neck, elbow and wrist, this type of bicycle should be used only if you have pain in these joints when you’re seated on an upright bicycle. That is because you don’t make any of those calorie-burning core muscles work when you’re on a recumbent bike.

FIT TIP:  Want to burn more calories on the upright and the recumbent bike choose a resistance that is high enough to really stimulate those calorie burning leg muscles, and that makes you breathe hard in order to achieve 90 RPM, or revolutions per minute; most indoor stationary bicycles show this number on the computer display.

TREADMILL vs ELLIPTICAL
Running is a full body workout that burns 600-1200 calories per hour. As a matter of fact, running up an incline on the treadmill is the best way to boost your metabolism for hours after you’ve finished that workout. Walking on the treadmill burns far less calories--about 300-400 per hour.

FIT TIP for the treadmill: If you’re using a treadmill, then either jog or use an incline, but avoid the common mistake of choosing a ridiculously high incline, then holding on to the handrails to keep up. You may look like a champion Everest ascender, but the fact is, the rails should only be used if you have extreme balance difficulties, or must stabilize yourself to change a setting. Remember to pump your arms.

ELLIPTICAL
Unfortunately, the computers on most elliptical trainers overestimate the actual amount of calories burned, especially in individuals who lean against the railing for support. You can generally burn about 600 calories per hour on the elliptical that don’t include arm movement, and slightly more on the ones that do. Using the elliptical burns fewer calories than running because once you get the parts on an elliptical moving, they’re pretty easy to keep moving, and so you expend less energy.

When it comes to calorie burning, the two most common mistakes made on the elliptical trainer are:



  1. excessive leaning against the rails on the trainer (on those ellipticals that don’t have arm movement);
  2. inadequate resistance (similar to the same problem on the bike).



So to get the most benefit, try to use the rails as little as possible, and challenge yourself with the resistance settings. Shoot for a cadence or stride rate of 120-140.

FIT TIP
: for the elliptical: Choose a resistance that is actually high enough so that the machine isn’t doing all the work for you. If you don’t feel your muscles contracting during the forward and back stroke of the elliptical, they probably aren’t! 

There are many additional forms of cardio; but for maximum calorie burning benefit no matter which form you choose, be sure to incorporate a form of cardio that is inefficient or unfamiliar to your body. So if you always walk, try switching to cycling or using the elliptical; or if you always run, try the rowing machine. Keep throwing those cardio curve balls at the body, and you’ll burn more calories and lose that weight. Of course, most importantly, have fun when you’re exercising. And clean the sweat off that machine when you’re done.

18 Comments to Which cardio machine will burn the most calories? :

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Bobby on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 8:45 PM
I like to switch cardio machines everyday because my gym has various type of it. And I think it's boring to repeat the exercises on the same machine.
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