Which Cardio Machines Burn the Most Calories Per Hour?

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Choosing what type of cardio to do can be overwhelming: Treadmills, Rowing Machines, Stair Climbers, Stationary Bikes: There are so many different options. And while each can help you burn calories. 

Which are actually the most effective cardio machines that burn the most calories per hour? 

Which exercise machine burns the most calories per hour?

To help you make a decision, I’ve answered this question by making a list of the top 7 cardio equipment. I’ve highlighted how many calories you can expect to burn per hour. At a moderate intensity.        

But before I get into the list, I want to stress why cardio is so important for weight loss and your general health. And why it should always be a part of your fitness routine.

Why cardio is important for weight loss

 Many fitness influencers recommend you don’t do any cardio at all: You should lose weight through your weightlifting routine and diet alone. While, in theory, this is possible. Because you lose weight by burning more calories than you consume. Here’s why, in practice, it’s a bad idea. Especially if your main goal is to lose weight:

The benefits of cardio:

  • More calories burned per hour: Building muscle through weightlifting can increase your metabolic rate. But you burn more calories per hour doing cardio.
  • Your body recovers faster: Your body recovers more quickly from cardio than from weightlifting. That’s why you can do it more frequently. 
  • It improves cardiovascular health: Heart diseases is the leading cause of deaths worldwide. And the worst part is, in a lot of causes, these deaths can be prevented by living a more active and healthier lifestyle.
  • It improves your mental health: You don’t just do cardio to burn calories. Cardio is also a great way to decrease stress and anxiety. And to keep your mental health in check. This will help you stay on track with your goals. But also train with more intensity. 
  •  It improves your physical health: Regardless of if you’re trying to lose weight. Cardio should be done for many other health reasons:A sedentary lifestyle has many risks like anxiety, cardiovascular disease, migraines, breast cancer, depression, diabetes. And the list goes on and on. 

Factors that influence how many calories you burn

Regardless of the type of exercise you do. There are some factors that will always influence how many calories you burn per hour:

  • Duration of the exercise
  • Pace
  • Intensity
  • Weight and height

The list focuses on Steady State Cardio (SSC) with moderate effort: At moderate effort, your heart rate is at about 50 -70% of your maximum heart rate: The amount of times your heart beats per hour. 

How did I calculate calories burned?

I calculated calories burned using a table of established mets (or Metabolic Equivalents) per activity to find energy expenditure for each exercise.

What is a MET?

A MET is the ratio of the work metabolic rate to the resting metabolic rate. One MET is defined as 1 kcal/kg/hour and is roughly equivalent to the energy cost of sitting still. A MET also is defined as oxygen uptake in ml/kg/min with one MET equal to the oxygen cost of sitting quietly, equivalent to 3.5 ml/kg/min.

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Top 7 exercise machine that burns the most belly fat!

With that being said, here are the top 7 cardio exercises for weight loss:

1. Running on the treadmill

Treadmills are a staple of gyms worldwide: There’s a good chance you’ll find more treadmills in your gym than any other type of cardio equipment. And this is not without good reason: Running on the treadmill burns the highest amount of calories per hour.

 Calories burned per hour:

· +/- 652 calories if you weigh around 125 lbs 

· +/- 808 calories if you weigh around 155 lbs 

· +/- 964 calories if you weigh around 185 lbs

· +/- 1129 calories if you weigh around 215 lbs

· +/- 1294 calories if you weigh around 245 lbs

2. Elliptical machine

Best belly fat reducing machine

While the Elliptical machine burns less than calories than running, it’s still a very popular choice. Especially among the baby boomer generation. This is because the motion doesn’t put as much strain on the body. And it burns a high amount of calories per hour.

Calories burned per hour:

· +/- 540 if you weigh around 125 lbs

· +/- 670 if you weigh around 155 lbs

· +/- 800 if you weigh around 185 lbs

· +/- 930 if you weigh around 215 lbs

· +/- 1060 if you weigh around 245 lbs

 3. Stair Climber

Many people hate climbing stairs. But it’s very beneficial. It’s a fantastic way to strengthen your glutes, thighs, hips, and abdominals without straining your joints. And, because it burns a high amount of calories per hour, it’s a very effective way to lose weight. 

 Calories burned per hour:

· +/- 536 if you weigh around 125 lbs

· +/- 664 if you weigh around 155 lbs

· +/- 793 if you weigh around 185 lbs

· +/- 922 if you weigh around 215 lbs

· +/- 1050 if you weigh around 245 lbs

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4. The Stationary bike

Next to treadmills, most gyms will have plenty of stationary bikes. While cycling doesn’t burn as much calories as running. Lots of people enjoy it more. And it has a big advantage over running: It doesn’t put any strain on your knees.

 Calories burned per hour

· +/- 417 if you weigh around 125 lbs

· +/- 517 if you weigh around 155 lbs

· +/- 617 if you weigh around 185 lbs

· +/- 717 if you weigh around 215 lbs

· +/- 818 if you weigh around 245 lbs

5. Ski machine

Ski machines might look a bit silly. But what’s great about them is that, unlike some of the other cardio equipment, it targets the full body: Your glutes, hamstrings, lats, triceps, shoulders: Everything gets worked.

Calories burned per hour

· +/- 417 if you weigh around 125 lbs

· +/- 517 if you weigh around 155 lbs

· +/- 617 if you weigh around 185 lbs

· +/- 717 if you weigh around 215 lbs

· +/- 818 if you weigh around 245 lb

6. Rowing machine

The rowing machine is one of my personal favorites. Why? Because it also gives a great upper body workout: It targets your shoulders, the trapezii in your upper back, and the lats in your lower back. And it can even help to improve back pain. Rowing burns around the same amount of calories per hour as skiing and the stationary bike. 

Calories burned per hour

· +/- 417 if you weigh around 125 lbs

· +/- 517 if you weigh around 155 lbs

· +/- 617 if you weigh around 185 lbs

· +/- 717 if you weigh around 215 lbs

· +/- 818 if you weigh around 245 lbs

7. Arc Trainer

The arc trainer aims to combine a cross-trainer, a bike, a stair-climber, and a treadmill all into one machine. But it’s one of the lesser-used cardio machines. And a lot of news outlets have exaggerated the amount of calories it can help you burn per hour. Here’s a better estimation:

Calories burned per hour

· +/- 340 if you weigh around 125 lbs

· +/- 456 if you weigh around 155 lbs

· +/- 662 if you weigh around 185 lbs

· +/- 778 if you weigh around 215 lbs

· +/- 894 if you weigh around 245 lbs

The verdict

The cardio that’s best for weight loss is the type you will stick to. Because if you hate a type of cardio, you won’t stay consistent. 

So, don’t torture yourself by forcing yourself to do it anyway. Instead, choose what you enjoy. Anything that gets your heart rate up is good. And the number of calories you burn will largely depend on the intensity of your exercise anyway.

But with that being said: If you don’t have any joint issues. And you want to get the most results in the least amount of time: Running is probably your best option. 

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