There are so many exercise machines available out there that a first time buyer cannot be blamed if he or she ends up not buying anything because of sheer confusion. In a way this is smart: do not buy an exercise machine on impulse—it is best to do some research first and know which exercise machine is the best match for you.
The exercise machine that you should buy should match what you actually need. Different machines are meant to address different fitness needs so it is important to identify your own unique need first before you start looking into buying machines. Are you aiming for a cardio workout? Or are you aiming for strength conditioning? Do you have particular problems with your knees and ankles?
Cardiovascular machines are those that aim to make your heart beat faster and in turn make your lungs work harder too. These machines will make you sweat when you use them, and will also help you burn more fat. Some of the most popular cardio machines include:
- Treadmills that are used for running—these can be set on level or on incline and you could set the pace depending on what speed you prefer. These are perfect for people who do not feel like running outdoors, or who would rather watch TV while running.
- Stationary bikes—these work like bicycles but you’re not moving. Resistance can be set depending on your preference. Again, this is perfect for people who do not want to run outdoors, or those who prefer biking in level or inclined surfaces but their neighborhoods don’t allow this.
- Elliptical trainers simulate the action of walking, running or stair climbing, but without causing too much pressure on the joints, thereby avoiding impact injuries. This is better for people who have weak spots in their feet, ankles or knees.
Strength conditioning machines are those that focus on specific muscle groups, improving muscle strength. By strengthening the muscles, individuals are able to perform exercises more easily, they are able to increase their endurance and stamina, they are able to improve their coordination and balance and therefore they are less likely to suffer from exercise related injuries. Some of the most common types of strength conditioning machines include:
- Weight machines – these work in the same way as free weights, but they are more specific in their range of motion which also specifically targets muscle groups. Weights are attached at the back of the weight machines and the user pulls them up by a pulley.
- Weight lifting bench—weight lifting benches are simple padded benches that you can use for sit-ups. This provides you with a safe place to work your core muscles, and you can change the incline depending on the amount of resistance you prefer.