Best exercise machine for weight loss 2022: Our top picks for home gyms

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If you're looking for the best exercise machines for weight loss, you've come to the right place.

We've compiled a list of our top picks 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.

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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 or powerlifting may help this as protein has been linked to reducing appetite by suppressing the hunger hormone ghrelin. So, when your 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, whether you're looking for one of the best treadmills, like this Echelon Stride, to add running into your routine, or you're after something a little cheaper, like this MaxiClimber Classic, then we've got you covered right here.

Best exercise machine for weight loss

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Best exercise machine for weight loss - NordicTrack RW900

Best exercise machine for weight loss NordicTrack product image of a grey and black rowing machine with a large HD display.
Credit: NordicTrack
Brand: NordicTrack | Dimensions: 47.24” x 22” x 87.02” | 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.

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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.

Best high-intensity exercise machine for weight loss - Schwinn Fitness AD 7 Airdyne

Best exercise machine for weight loss Schwinn Fitness product image of a black fan-driven bike.
Credit: Schwinn Fitness
Brand: Schwinn Fitness | Dimensions: 54.5" x 34" x 15" | Max. Weight: 350lbs

Similar to a rowing machine, owning one of the best air bikes, like this Schwinn Fitness AD 7 Airdyne, can be 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.

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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.

Best low-impact exercise machine for weight loss - Bowflex M8

Best exercise machine for weight loss Bowflex product image of a black and red elliptical.
Credit: Bowflex
Brand: Bowflex | Dimensions: 47.83" x 30.79" x 65.2" | 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.

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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.

Best beginners exercise machine for weight loss - Echelon Stride

Best exercise machine for weight loss Echelon product image of a black folding treadmill with white Stride branding along the sides.
Credit: Echelon
Brand: Echelon | Dimensions: 69.3" x 31" 49.2" | 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.

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With an Echelon Premier Membership too, you gain access to more than 3,000 live and on-demand connected fitness classes to help you figure out running routines that best suit your goal of losing weight.

Running on a treadmill can also be extremely effective for burning calories provided you're coming at it with the right intensity. In fact, research by Zeni et al. found more energy was used by participants using a treadmill compared to when they used a skiing simulator, rowing ergometer, and stair stepper.

As a result, we feel a treadmill is a particularly great exercise machine for weight loss, especially if you're a complete beginner to cardio.

Best budget exercise machine for weight loss - MaxiClimber Classic

Best exercise machine for weight loss MaxiClimber product image of a grey vertical climber machine with black and red details.
Credit: MaxiClimber
Brand: MaxiClimber | Dimensions: 28.3" x 35.82" | Max. Weight: 240lbs

Finding a good exercise machine that can help you burn calories for less can be tough. However, we feel this MaxiClimber Classic is definitely an option to consider.

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Generally speaking, a vertical climber is a relatively low-impact form of cardio, meaning your joints shouldn't be put under as much strain as they would whilst running, for example. This makes it a slightly more long-term cardio solution that should minimise your risk of injury further down the line.

Vertical climbers are also incredibly compact, with this particular machine taking up just under 36" of floor space on either side. In turn, you could fill this extra space with a top multi-gym, for instance, to ensure you're incorporating some form of weight training into your routine as well.

You may not necessarily burn as many calories on average using this device; however, as far as relatively inexpensive cardio machines go, we feel it's hard to beat this MaxiClimber Classic.

Frequently asked questions about exercise machines for weight loss

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.

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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.

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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 around, for instance, as part of a weightlifting programme which, in turn, should aid weight loss.

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But perhaps the greatest benefit of weight training, specifically for weight loss, is that it 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.

Read More: Best rowing machine under 500 - Our top picks