The Best Home Exercise Equipment for Weight Loss: How to Select the Right Machine

The Best Home Exercise Equipment for Weight Loss: How to Select the Right Machine

We’ve recently wrapped up many of our exercise equipment buyer’s guides which you’re more than welcome to skip directly to using the “Buyer’s Guides” navigation button up above, but in this article (The Best Home Exercise Equipment for Weight Loss) we’re going to go through all the pros and cons of each piece of gear so you can make a more informed decision.

As always, if you have any questions at all, please feel free to use our Contact Form Here so we can directly help you make a more personalised decision or at least help answer any questions you might have. We’re always happy to help out.


There really are only a few key pieces of exercise equipment available for home cardio and weight loss, and we’d like to discuss each one with you today. What we’ll be talking about are the pros, cons, features, price-ranges and other things to keep in mind when choosing a specific type of equipment

There are pretty much really only 5 or 6 pieces of cardio equipment for your home (at least mainstream pieces of equipment) which are:

  • Treadmills Suitable for Brisk Walking and Light Jogging
  • Treadmills Suitable for Running
  • Exercise Bikes
  • Recumbent Exercise Bikes (with backrests)
  • Ellipticals
  • Rowing Machines

Each one of these pieces of equipment challenges your body in a different way and you’ll find out exactly which you will prefer by the end of this article.

Let’s get started!

Part I: Treadmills Made for Brisk Walking, Light Jogging and Full Out Running


When it comes to home cardio gear, one of the most popular choices would definitely be a treadmill. Anyone with a home exercise studio would likely have one there as their go-to source of cardiovascular activity during inclement weather conditions.

However, not all treadmills are created equal, and owning a treadmill does not necessarily mean that it is safe enough to run on it. There are two main reasons for this:

  1. The motor might not be powerful enough to withstand running for a long time without failing
  2. The actual size of your running surface might be too small to safely move your legs very fast (as in running)

Motor Strength

If you’ve had a chance to peruse any of our Treadmill Buyer’s Guides, you are probably familiar with the fact that you should aim to get at least a 3 CHP (Continuous Duty) motor for your treadmill if you wish to run on it. However, if your goal is merely some brisk walking and jogging, you don’t really need to worry about that too much as any cheaper option will suffice.

We recommend the more powerful motor for running because a weaker motor will just not be able to withstand that continued running load.

Imaging powering an automobile with a blender motor – it could only get you so far before it overheats and just overexerts itself to complete failure. Treadmill manufacturers generally don’t want you to know this information so this is why we’ve included this in here for you.

Running Surface Dimensions

Imagine running full speed on a tightrope – how far do you think you could run before you fell off of it? Exactly. Now, it isn’t this exaggerated with a treadmill but it’s still safe to say that the larger the actual treadbelt is, the larger your running surface is, therefore, making it much safer for running as your feet will have more room to maneuver around.

There really isn’t more to say here other than the fact that cheaper treadmills will have generally a weaker motor and a smaller treadbelt which make them generally unsuitable for running.

Related: If you want to lose weight fast, try strength training

Features, Programs, and Warranties

Obviously, as you go up in price, more features will become available to you such as wireless Bluetooth heart rate monitoring, more programs, device connectivity compatibility, and options to connect to your favorite workout apps.

However, you may not need all of the features available so make sure to read to the end of this section to find links to learn more about each option.

Treadmills are a Great Way to Get Up and Move Around At Home

Other than that, whether your plan is walking, jogging or running, treadmills provide a fantastic way to get up and move around all in the comfort of your own home.

Some models even have connectivity options for your favorite devices such as mp3 players, iPods, and Tablets making them perfect for you if you also want to stay on top of all your favorite movies and shows while you exercise.

Part II: Exercise Bikes and Recumbent Exercise Bikes (With Backrest)


Exercise bikes have a bit of a different technical approach than treadmills and aren’t really as clear-cut as treadmills are. There are a couple of features to look out for which we’ll describe below.

Any bike will suffice when it comes to actually riding it as fast as you can, but not all bikes are created equal and some of them will only be able to offer so much resistance before it just cannot provide any more for you to really advance much.

For a basic rider with basic needs and someone who just wants to get a little movement at home, any bike will be great. You don’t really have to spend much at all if that’s your goal, and there really isn’t anything special to consider.

However, things change when you need a little bit more power. If you’re an advanced cyclist with the requirement for a pretty intense workout, buying the el cheapo spin bike just won’t suffice – and spending a little bit more will be required.

Altogether we must admit that exercise bikes along with their recumbent exercise bike counterparts are excellent methods of exercising at home especially since they provide a no-impact experience to your joints and knees. This makes them exceptionally useful for anyone needing something much more gentle than a treadmill.

To learn more about the various options we recommend when choosing an exercise bike, feel free to peruse our two exercise bike buyer’s guides – one for regular upright bikes and one about recumbent bikes (bikes with a backrest).

See our post on the benefits and drawbacks of spinning with exercise bikes to determine if this equipment suits you.

Related Post: Home exercises for men and women to keep  you in shape

Part III: Ellipticals or Elliptical Machines


Ellipticals are probably one of the most popular exercise machines because they essentially take up the least amount of room out of all exercise machines made for your home.

Although they stand pretty tall and take up quite a bit of vertical room, they don’t take up very much horizontal space such as a rowing machine.

As well as the smaller footprint, the expectations from an elliptical machine aren’t exactly the same as exercise bikes and definitely not like treadmills. You’ll be getting a slightly lower quality machine the less you pay, but ultimately you will be getting a pretty decent workout no matter what price range.

In our elliptical buyer’s guide for this year, we offer elliptical machines across a few different price ranges, and the lowest price range is still fully capable of offering up an impressive workout for the money. You can’t spend any less than around $700 for a quality machine because you just won’t be getting the reliability or durability for that amount of cash.

As well as providing a good workout and having a small footprint, these machines are fantastic at getting you a very low impact workout to keep your joints safe and to keep you free of aches and pain. Treadmills are known to cause knee and joint issues because your feet slam into the ground while running which just isn’t an issue on elliptical machines.

For all of the above reasons, we think you’ll love owning an elliptical machine and if you want to learn more about the various options, please feel free to check out our elliptical machine buyer’s guide for this year down below.

Related: The benefits of a standing desk for weight loss

Part IV: Last But Not Least – Rowing Machines


In addition to ellipticals and exercise bikes, rowing machines also offer a great low-impact exercise experience, however, they do take up probably the most room in your house when considering their overall length.

Generally equipped to accommodate rowers of up to 7 feet tall, rowing machines can take up considerable horizontal real estate in your home. Something else to consider when thinking of looking at rowing machines is their unnatural and sometimes uncomfortable position to get in and out of and their unnatural position if you have a painful lower back.

In some instances, rowing machines can help alleviate lower back pain but we would not recommend using a rowing machine if you have a fragile back, hips or other joints. This is just a safety precaution to consider when thinking of making a purchase for a piece of exercise equipment.

Rowing machines provide a great exercise for your home that are both challenging and pretty well silent, and it would be a piece of equipment you could happily use for years.

To learn more about the various features and options available to you when considering a rowing machine, feel free to check out our rowing machine buyer’s guide down below. We’ve outline several rowing machines across varying price ranges and you’re sure to find some useful information in there!

Related: Shoulder Impingement injuries and exercises to help out

Conclusion and Final Thoughts


  • When considering an exercise device for your home, make sure to select a device that fits in your home in terms of the size of the unit.
  • Some devices such as rowing machines, exercise bikes and ellipticals provide a no-impact workout experience to keep your body healthy and your joints safe.
  • Treadmills have the most impact on your joints especially when running on them vigorously.
  • Different price tiers cater to different skill levels, and you may not always require the most expensive piece. Alternatively, you may not be getting the best bang for your buck if you choose the least expensive device.

Thanks so much for stopping by today and make sure to leave us a comment with your favorite exercise device! 

Also, if you have any questions, feel free to leave them below or you can also use our Contact Form Here

For personalised equipment selection services, you can also use our contact form and we’ll be more than happy to help you out!

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