Get the Finder app 🥳

Track your credit score, free


Cardio equipment at the gym: What are the options?

Thinking about using a cardio machine at the gym but not sure whether it will benefit you? We take a look at what cardio equipment can do for your fitness.


Fact checked

A cardio workout has a lot of health benefits and can take quite a few different forms. If you want to take a break from some of the more traditional forms of cardio, you may want to use a cardio machine in the gym instead. If you’ve never used one before or you aren’t sure whether it will work well for you, here is an overview of different cardio machines and their fitness benefits.

Gym equipment with cardio benefits

In the average gym, you’ll typically find cardio equipment such as treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical machines, rowing machines and stair mills. These can have their own plus and minus points, depending on what you’re hoping to achieve from them.

What are the benefits of cardio machines?

  • Treadmills - You can burn a fair amount of calories on a treadmill and running on one can also help to strengthen your bones and joints. Since you can easily adjust the settings to change the pace and intensity of your workout, treadmills are a great way to bring new elements into your fitness regime.
  • Elliptical machines - The movements you make on an elliptical machine can help to train different muscle groups. For example, you can perform reverse strides on a lot of elliptical machines. It’s also a way to simulate the action of running or jogging without putting too much stress on your joints.

  • Stationary bikes - Cycling on a stationary bike is a great way to burn calories without putting as much stress on your joints.
  • Rowing machines - Using a rowing machine gives you a full-body workout as it uses quite a few muscle groups.
  • Stair mills - Using a stair machine gives your lower body a good workout and helps to tone your glutes, hamstrings and quads. If you keep your upper body tight and upright, it can also work your upper body more than you might think. It might tire your legs out but it’s a low impact exercise as far as your joints are concerned.

Which ones are a good fit for you?

If you want to tone up your lower body, there are a few options that can work well for you. The treadmill, stationary bike and stair machine are all good choices and you can alternate between them to work different muscles.

If an all-round workout is your aim, go for the rowing machine or elliptical machine.

If you’re concerned about the potential impact on your joints, elliptical machines and stair mills are low impact cardio options. Treadmills are a fairly high impact choice and can put a lot of stress on your joints.

What to consider before using cardio machines

You might be concerned about using cardio machines if you have a heart problem or have had a heart attack in the past. It’s best to check with your doctor before you go ahead and use them, just to be on the safe side.

You can still use cardio equipment if you have arthritis (or some other condition that affects your joints). You just need to be a bit smarter with the machines that you choose to use.

If you’re pregnant, you can use cardio machines but you’ll need to take things at a slower pace. You’ll also need to make sure that you support your baby bump throughout your exercise session.

If you’re not already a member of the gym or you’re in the market for a different one, a free gym trial can help you to decide whether you’re going to get good value for money from your membership.

Their range of cardio equipment will obviously be important if you’re planning to use cardio machines, but it’s not the only thing to bear in mind when you’re choosing the right gym. A free gym trial gives you the chance to test out other important factors such as opening hours, facilities and classes.

Related articles

  • The ultimate gym comparison: Read article
  • Are you new to running? Follow these simple steps to help you get your jog on this running season: Read article
  • Here are the best places to buy gym clothing and activewear online for your next run or gym session: Read article
  • Does your health insurance cover your gym membership?: Read article

If you're after a bargain, use one of our discount codes:

Kogan Kogan

Up to 77% off: Big Warehouse Sale

Save up to 77% on tech, home, apparel, sports and outdoor, and more at Kogan. Limited time only. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

adidas adidas

Up to 50% off outlet

Get up to 50% off selected footwear, apparel and more at adidas. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Nike Nike

Up to 50% off Nike shoes, clothing and more

Shop for Nike products on sale and enjoy up to 50% off selected styles. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Sportitude Sportitude

15% off Spring Clean collection

Enjoy 15% off Spring Clean collection at Sportitude. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

rebel rebel

Up to 50% off sale

Save up to 50% on selected styles from Nike, Under Armour, Asics and more at rebel Sport. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

rebel rebel

Up to 50% off: Footwear Sale

Get your kicks with massive savings on big brands including Nike, ASICS, Under Armour and more at rebel Sport. Selected styles. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

The North Face The North Face

Up to 40% off: Winter Sale

Save up to 40% on The North Face winter collection with select styles across equipment, snowsports, insulation and footwear. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Amazon Amazon

Over 30% off everything: Outlet Store

Score over 30% off the best-selling beauty, clothing, electronics and more at Amazon. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

SurfStitch SurfStitch

Up to 80% off all outlet styles

Enjoy up to 80% off selected styles from Swell, Hurley, Rusty and more at Surfstitch. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

JD Sports JD Sports

Up to 50% off adidas shoes

Valid on selected styles and for a limited time only at JD Sports. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Popular Sport & Fitness coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
28 Sep 2020 20% off your fave brands PLE****
20 Mar 2020 Extra 10% off all orders over $50 AFF****
18 Nov 2019 $15 off with orders over $100 WWE****
18 Nov 2019 $25 off with orders over $150 WWE****
11 Dec 2017 40% off Super Greens Double Pack + FREE Aussie Post SUP****

Latest news

Related Posts

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Go to site