Shifting weight is often easier said than done, but equipping your home gym with one of the best exercise machines for weight loss is one way to ensure you've got the right tools for the job.
We've compiled a list of some top home gym equipment based on price, reviews, and how effective these machines are said to be for burning calories so you can pick out the right cardio equipment for your fitness goals.
Burning calories is just one piece of the puzzle though as the key to weight loss is your diet. More specifically, you need to be in a calorie deficit, i.e. burning more calories than you consume, in order to lose weight.
Consuming some of the best foods for protein may help this as protein has been linked to reducing appetite by suppressing the hunger hormone ghrelin. So, when you're trying to lower your daily intake, adding more protein into your diet might be something to consider.
However, while being in a calorie deficit is essential, performing some form of exercise can definitely help. In fact, Havard Health Publishing recommends at least 30 minutes of physical activity and reducing your daily calorie intake by at least 500 calories as an optimal combination for losing weight.
With this in mind, and to help get you started, adding a treadmill, like this Echelon Stride, for instance, should seriously help get you started on your weight loss journey. So, without further delay, here's a list of our top
Best exercise machines for weight loss
- NordicTrack RW900 - best for cardio and building muscle
- Schwinn Fitness AD 7 Airdyne - a great choice for high-intensity sessions
- Bowflex M8 - an excellent option to protect your joints
- Echelon Stride - best pick for beginners
- MaxiClimber Classic - a great budget alternative
1. NordicTrack RW900
Best exercise machine for weight loss overall
Max. Weight: 250lbs
We kick off our list with this NordicTrack RW900 rowing machine as rowing tends to be up there as one of the most efficient forms of cardio for burning calories.
According to Havard Health Publishing, a person can burn up to 377 calories whilst vigorously rowing for 30-minutes, which is helped by the fact the movement incorporates your entire body. As a result, owning a rowing machine should definitely be a great tool for weight loss.
In terms of what this particular NordicTrack machine has to offer, well it boasts 26 levels of silent magnetic resistance, allowing you to work your way through each level so you continually make progress.
Its standout feature though is its rotating 22" HD touchscreen, giving you the option of streaming Studio Classes or Global Workouts from iFIT or your favourite TV shows for a more relaxed, laid-back cardio session. The options are almost endless with this smart rowing machine.
- Read More: Best fitness deals
2. Schwinn Fitness AD 7 Airdyne
Best high-intensity exercise machine for weight loss
Max. Weight: 350lbs
Like a rowing machine, owning a top air bike is a great way of incorporating your whole body into one cardio session.
A number hasn't really been established for how many calories you can burn on an air bike (although it's estimated around 80 per minute), but by incorporating both your legs and upper body, we feel you'd struggle to find many low-impact exercises that could burn more than when riding an air bike.
What we like about this Schwinn machine, in particular, is that it comes with a 26-blade fan to create resistance plus a console display featuring a tachometer to visually signal how hard you're exercising alongside the usual pace, distance, and calories burnt workout metrics.
It's relatively compact too, making this air bike an ideal option to consider if you're limited to space but want to fill the room you do have with a great exercise machine for weight loss.
- Read More: Best exercise bikes
3. Bowflex M8
Best low-impact exercise machine for weight loss
Max. Weight: 300lbs
If it's something low-impact and compact you're after though, then this Bowflex M8 elliptical might be the machine for you.
Havard Health Publishing states you can burn up to 378 calories using an elliptical for just 30 minutes depending on your weight, putting it around a similar level to a rowing machine whilst also incorporating your entire body.
This Bowflex M8 looks to stand out as one of the best ellipticals though as it comes with seven guided workout programmes. So, when you're stuck and don't quite have the motivation for a session, a pre-made class might be exactly the solution you need to get you moving.
It also comes with a 'Max' setting designed to deliver dynamic coaching that adjusts to ensure even the shortest of sessions count. So, if you struggle to fit cardio into your busy lifestyle, then this Bowflex elliptical might be your answer.
- Read More: Best ellipticals under 500
4. Echelon Stride
Best beginner's exercise machine for weight loss
Max. Weight: 300lbs
Running is one of the simplest forms of cardio to pick up. Therefore, opting for something like this Echelon Stride treadmill is, in our opinion, an ideal choice if you're just starting your fitness journey.
By getting an Echelon Premier Membership, you'll have access to over 3,000 live and on-demand connected fitness classes. These classes can help you find the running routines that align with your weight loss goals.
Running on a treadmill can also be highly efficient for burning calories, especially when approached with the right intensity. In a study conducted by Zeni et al., participants using a treadmill burned more energy compared to those using a skiing simulator, rowing ergometer, and stair stepper.
Considering this research, a treadmill is an exceptional exercise machine for weight loss, particularly if you're new to cardio workouts. As a result, we'd say this Echelon Stride is definitely worth checking out.
- Read More: Best treadmills under 500
5. MaxiClimber Classic
Best budget exercise machine for weight loss
Max. Weight: 240lbs
The MaxiClimber Classic is a great exercise machine for burning calories at a low cost. As a vertical climber, it provides a low-impact form of cardio that is less likely to cause joint strain. This makes it a great long-term cardio solution with minimal injury risk.
In addition, the machine is very compact, taking up only 36" of floor space, thus leaving room for other equipment. It's perfect for combining with weight training, such as a squat rack or power cage, to create a more well-rounded workout routine.
While the MaxiClimber may not burn as many calories as some other machines, it's an excellent choice for a relatively inexpensive cardio option. Overall, it's hard to beat the combination of value for money, compactness, and low-impact cardio that the MaxiClimber Classic provides.
- Read More: Best cross trainers
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Choosing the right form of cardio to help you lose weight can be tricky at times. Don't worry though because we've answered some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding exercise machines to help you figure out exactly what it is you're looking for.
What should you look for from an exercise machine for weight loss?
Choosing the right exercise machine for weight loss isn't as straightforward as you might think with there being so many factors you need to take into consideration.
For instance, depending on your available room, you might be more inclined to go with something compact like a vertical climber that will typically save on floor space. However, it may not be the most efficient exercise for burning calories.
By contrast, a treadmill may be a great option calorie-wise; however, running is a fairly high-impact movement. So, to improve your cardio long-term, you might find a low-impact elliptical machine to be more beneficial in helping you avoid injury whilst losing weight.
Ultimately, what you should be looking for is something that adheres to your personal needs and fitness goals. For example, you might want something low-impact and foldable to suit longer sessions and that can be put away after use.
One common feature we'd recommend looking out for though is something to track your workout metrics such as your heart rate and your calories burned alongside your time, pace, and distance covered.
This is because the key to improving and working toward your fitness goals is to make progress. By tracking your workout statistics each session, you can determine whether what you're doing is working for your cardio.
Our list of the best Fitbits can help you keep track of your statistics if the exercise machine you want doesn't have the necessary features.
How much should you spend on an exercise machine for weight loss?
There's no true answer to this question as it will all depend on your available budget and how much you're looking to invest to pick up a top machine for fitness.
We've covered a vast array of budget fitness equipment before (check out our list of the best exercise bikes under 500 as an example) and have often said you don't necessarily have to spend loads to pick up a great bit of kit.
However, if you do spend a little more, then you'll likely gain access to more advanced features such as HD displays, allowing you to watch TV whilst exercising, or more resistance levels to help you continually make progress.
The choice will ultimately come down to you though. Our only suggestion would be to make sure you're purchasing something you can afford that suits your fitness and weight loss goals.
Can you lose weight by weightlifting?
Generally speaking, you'll burn more calories per session doing cardio than you would during a comparable weightlifting workout.
However, that doesn't mean weightlifting can't help you achieve your weight-loss goals. You'll of course still burn calories performing some of the best back exercises, for instance, as part of a weightlifting programme, you're just unlikely to burn as many compared to a committed cardio session.
However, weight training does have a rather specific benefit in relation to weight loss. Lifting weights has been linked to increasing your resting metabolism, i.e. how many calories you burn at rest.
A study by Lemmer et al. supports this as they found weight training led to a 9% increase in resting metabolism in men over a 24-week training period. You may find adding bitter orange supplements into your diet can help here as they contain a similar compound to ephedrine which has been linked to weight loss due to increasing an individual's metabolic rate.
Therefore, weight training may help you reach your calorie deficit a little easier whilst also helping you build muscle at the same time.
What other factors, besides using exercise machines, should be considered for weight loss?
Besides using exercise machines, there are several other factors that should be considered for weight loss, perhaps the most important of which is your diet. It's important to focus on a balanced and nutritious diet that is calorie-controlled and, crucially, under the calories you burn on a daily basis. Focus on whole foods, plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats primarily, and make sure you consume the likes of processed foods and sugary beverages in moderation.
Drinking plenty of water is essential for weight loss as well. It helps keep you hydrated, supports digestion, and can help control appetite. Aim to drink enough water throughout the day, but focus on drinking in and around exercise as you'll likely lose a ton of water while being active.
Other notable factors that may contribute to weight loss include sleep, with a lack of rest often leading to a disruption of your hormone levels, an increase in cravings for unhealthy foods, and hinder recovery, and stress management.
Remember to keep track of your progress, whether it's through measurements, body weight, or how your clothes fit. It can provide motivation and help you assess what works best for you.