Comparison of cardio equipment

There are several cardio training devices. Each of them has advantages and disadvantages. Knowing them allows you to make the best possible choice, according to your needs and your budget.

All cardio training devices allow you to work on cardio (yes, logical…) and to benefit from its benefits (cardiovascular improvement, reduction in blood pressure, weight loss thanks to the calories burned…). Here we will detail the different advantages and disadvantages of the stepper , exercise bike, elliptical trainer, treadmill and rower.

Table of contents show
The stepper: advantages and disadvantages
Stepper advantages
The stepper is distinguished by its great practicality: being relatively small and light (less than 10kg in general), this allows you to move it where you want and to do it where you want.
It is an ideal device for daily or very regular use.
The stepper mainly muscles the legs and buttocks
The stepper is the cheapest cardio training device among the exercise bike, elliptical trainer, treadmill and rower: you can get more high-end devices for a very reasonable budget (between 100 € and 150 €)

Disadvantages stepper:
The stepper has the major drawback of being a little less fun than other cardio training devices. But this follows directly from its advantages: it is precisely because the stepper is affordable, light, practical, that the “fun” is less present. The remedy for this? A good series or a good film during your sessions 🙂
The stepper mainly muscles the lower limbs, from the calves to the buttocks. If your goal is to build muscle in other parts of the body, it may be helpful to diversify your exercises.
Exercise bike: advantages and disadvantages
Exercise bike advantages:
The exercise bike is safe for the joints, especially the knees and ankles. It is therefore rather suitable for overweight people, who have less risk of hurting their back, knees and ankles.
Mid-range exercise bikes (and more) often have varied training programs, perfect for diversifying your sessions.
The price of an exercise bike is quite low. Count around 200 € – 300 € for a mid-range exercise bike, which provides acceptable comfort. For very small budgets, you can even find exercise bikes for less than 100 € (but I do not recommend it, the comfort – especially the saddle – is not there.
Disadvantages of exercise bike:
An exercise bike takes up more space than a mini stepper: it is therefore less easy to move it during each session. However, most bikes can fold up to take up a little less space and store it a little more discreetly.
Like the stepper, the exercise bike primarily strengthens the lower limbs.
Elliptical trainer: advantages and disadvantages
Benefits of elliptical trainer:
The elliptical trainer works more muscles than the stepper and the exercise bike: not only the lower limbs (but also arms, shoulders…). It is therefore a little more complete at this level, making it possible to refine the silhouette a little more.
This cardio training machine is a little more fun than the exercise bike for example.
Disadvantages of elliptical trainer:
The elliptical trainer is quite “unique”: you are guided in your movements. Your proprioception is not improved. So, even if you train at high enough intensity and regularly, you may not find an equivalent level when running, because your joints, ankles, knees are not used to impact with the ground.
This type of device is more expensive than a stationary bike: between € 250 and € 400 for mid-range devices.
Treadmill: advantages and disadvantages
Advantages of treadmills:
For those used to running, being able (almost) to reproduce the same movements without leaving home is very appreciable (bad weather, extreme cold, night…). Note that a treadmill is not exactly the same as “real” running: there is no propulsion, muscle work is not the same.
The treadmill is excellent for working out aerobics and endurance.
Unlike running, the joints are less strained because the treadmill absorbs shocks.
Disadvantages of treadmill:
The shocks caused by running do not allow the use of the treadmill in some homes. In an apartment, it is not recommended to do so if you do not live on the ground floor. In which case, you are likely to see your downstairs neighbors ringing at your door …
Like the elliptical trainer, the treadmill tends to alter proprioception: the treadmill does not reproduce the same sensations as running, since the surface is flat, without any relief.
Then again, the budget climbs quickly if you want a comfortable treadmill that absorbs shock effectively. Count easily 400 € to 700 € for a mid-range quality treadmill.
The treadmill takes up space! Fortunately, most models allow it to be folded vertically for efficient storage.
Rowing machine: advantages and disadvantages
Rowing machine advantages:
The rowing machine is a very complete cardio training device, which works a lot of muscles. More than 80% of the muscles are used. The rower is considered to be close to swimming. It tones the whole body!
The sitting position is more suitable for overweight people, such as the exercise bike.
Disadvantages rower:
Like the treadmill, the rower takes up a lot of space and needs to be able to move without being hampered. Fortunately, many models fold up, for easier storage.
The learning time of the rower is slightly longer. It is important to take the time to learn the movements, to avoid any injury or pain.
Count 300 € to 400 € for a good quality rower.

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