TOP 5 best exercise machines for the home that really work

Table of contents
  1. A little bit about everything, from general to specific
  2. Exercise bikes
  3. Elliptical trainer
  4. Treadmill
  5. Rowing machine
  6. TRX

Sports prolong your life and energize you with cheerfulness and positivity. To maintain good shape, it is not necessary to constantly visit the gym. Why not buy a personal exercise machine for self-study? Let's take a look at the most popular options: an exercise bike, an ellipsoid, a treadmill, and a rowing machine.

A little bit about everything, from general to specific

To begin with, a few general rules. All of these types belong to cardio machines; that is, they not only train different muscle groups and help you lose weight, they also strengthen the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Each of these groups of simulators has mechanical, magnetic (inertial), and electromagnetic models. The first ones are manually regulated; the second ones can be manually controlled and electric; and the third ones work only from the mains. Manual mechanical models are easy to operate and low-cost, but they do not give you a choice in the load, require effort, and work too noisily. Magnetic simulators are more comfortable to use, but they wear out quickly and cannot offer invariance in training. The most convenient, advanced, and quiet devices in operation are magnetic or electric ones. There are no limits to perfection here.

So, let's talk more about each of them.

Exercise bikes

A classic choice for home fitness is an imitation of a bicycle. There are compact models without a steering wheel that fold. By type, they are divided into vertical and horizontal models, as well as reclining classes. But it is worth knowing that the latter take up too much space and have a lower load. The beauty of exercise bikes, especially electric ones, is that they are suitable for people with even the weakest physical fitness and a lot of weight.


Of the mechanical ones, the most budget-friendly and simple are belt simulators. Their display is powered by finger batteries. Pedals rotate the flywheel with a strong belt. As an adjustment, the switch on the hand rest is used. The higher the load, the closer the belt contacts the flywheel.

Exercise bikes with a magnetic load are powered by a flywheel that rotates between two magnets. By the way, they provide the desired level of training by approaching or moving away from it. Such simulators have several modes of operation and are able to control the pulse rate. However, you should not expect them to be particularly accurate in their measurements.

The most advanced ones relate to the electromagnetic loading system. They are distinguished by their accuracy in calculating cardio load, the ability to measure heart rate, calories burned, and other indicators. In addition to the price, there are practically no disadvantages to exercise bikes from this series. The most intelligent bike simulator in this series is the veloergometer. It is able to control the speed, calculate an accurate cardio load, create its own programs, and analyze the state of the body. However, such a miracle takes up too much space and is very expensive.


When buying any model, please check whether there is a seat adjustment not only in height but also in distance from the steering wheel. If not, check in practice how comfortable you are sitting. Well, focus on the weight of the heaviest user when choosing.

Average prices for exercise bikes: belt ones — from $80 and above; magnetic ones — from $170 and above; electromagnetic ones—from $420 and up to infinity.

Elliptical trainer

An elliptical trainer is a hybrid of a treadmill, exercise bike, and stepper. It is safe and does not put a shock load on the joints and spine. It engages all the main muscles, helps you quickly get in shape, and it is much easier to practice on it than on a treadmill. This is especially valuable for older and physically challenged users, including heavyweights.


However, at the first stage, the movements will be unusual because the legs describe the trajectory of an ellipse. But such gentle movements gently load the back and joints. The ellipse is powered by a heavy flywheel. By the way, the optimal weight for a home simulator is 10–20 kg. The larger the metal disc, the smoother the pitch.

On rear-wheel-drive models, the flywheel is positioned behind the user. Such ellipsoids are stable and compact. A great option for people of short and slightly above-average height. When practicing, you will have to lean slightly forward. For tall athletes, front-wheel-drive simulators are preferable. They have a more natural pedal stroke and no additional stress on the joints. There are also folding ellipses, but you shouldn't expect much from them.

Mechanical belt simulators are cheap, they usually have a program controller located on the front rack or not, and the choice of loads is minimal. They don't need a network. You should not expect a smooth and quiet ride from them, either. Magnetic ellipsoids on manual control are equipped with a softer ride and an improved braking system but can not offer more than 6–10 base loads. Often equipped with a battery-powered display.