Best Home Fitness Equipment for Weight Loss

What Home Gym / Fitness Equipment is Best for Losing Weight?

I’m going to be a little controversial for this page. I know that readers will think that they came here looking for which type of equipment burns the most calories per minute / hour.

That’s fine in one way.

The thing is it will not help many people to lose weight for long.

The reason is simple, after that initial burst of enthusiasm has worn off (1 to 2 weeks on average), you won’t be able to face another workout on that fitness machine you never liked in the first place!

There is more!

You need to think about tone as well as finding some equipment that you are happy to use. Losing weight is a longer term goal (again, after the initial enthusiastic spurt). What really helps is that you tone up certain areas (thighs, abs, butt) and see the results.

Here is my simple yet effective formula for making a smart choice of fitness equipment for weight loss.

Long Term Use (a machine you like!) + A Little Tone (for visible fast results) + Easy to Store / Use = A Good Chance of Losing Weight

That last part is important too. Those days when your motivation flags (we all have them). The difference between a workout skipped and calories burned can be how easy it is to get your equipment out of storage and ready to use.

How this page is organised: Firstly below you will find the estimated calorie burn rates of the popular forms of fitness equipment. After that I have gone through the common types, adding pros / cons based on the burn / tone / easy to use criteria above – along with a mention of the ‘boredom factor’ of each one. Finally, some additional bits and pieces of equipment which will help with toning you up (showing yourself some quick results) for a low price are covered.

There is no right or wrong choice here, the key is to be honest with yourself, focus on mid-term goals and find something you enjoy working out on!

Best Fitness Equipment for Weight Loss - Rowing?

Fitness Equipment for Weight Loss – Calorie Burn Rates

Remember that some equipment is very difficult to do longer workouts on. The figures below are for hourly workouts.

Treadmill – Light 500 – Intensive 1100

Cross Trainer (Elliptical) – Light 500 – Intensive 800

Exercise Bike – Light 300 – Intensive 500

Rowing Machine – Light 400 – Intensive 600

Stepper – Light 400 – Intensive 650

Best Weight Loss Home Gym Equipment – Pros and Cons

This part of the page goes through the different types of equipment one by one, notes the main pros and cons when it comes to weight loss.

Treadmills for Weight Loss

With a solid calorie burn rate and the suitability for most people (you can walk to start, and work up from there!), treadmills are the single most popular choice. Some people find them boring, and they are noisier than many alternatives – at least until you get to the mid-range and above with sturdy build and cushioned surfaces as standard. You can listen to music (or a radio show) while running, which can alleviate the boredom.

Treadmills - Good for Weight Loss?Price Range:

Budget: £60 to £150

Mid-Range: £151 to £400

Higher-End £401+

Calories / Hour = 500 to 1100


PROS:
  • Flexible, you can start with a gentle walk and work up to intensive interval training
  • Usually App / MP3 Compatible (above the budget level)

CONS:
  • Can be noisy and cumbersome (folding / cushioned models help)
  • Unless you enjoy running, this type of exercise gets dull fast


Recommended Treadmill Models

For more details on the different options available at each price range, plus recommendations tailored to different kinds of users. Check out my main Home Treadmill Reviews page.

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Elliptical Cross Trainers for Weight Loss

Known as Ellipticals or simply Cross Trainers, these machines work both the arms and legs in a circular motion. Due to similarities in the setup, you will find many elliptical trainers also include exercise bike capability. I have covered these in a lot of detail in my Elliptical Trainer Reviews main page. The main benefit here is the intensity. Most equipment works out either your legs or upper body, while a cross trainer does both. They burn calories fast, though most people will not sustain exercise for as long as with treadmills or bikes (make sure you keep this in mind for your weight loss calculations, as a full hour on an Elliptical is harder than an hour on a bike or a treadmill).

Best Fitness Equipment for Weight Loss - EllipticalsPrice Ranges:

Budget: < £100

Mid-Range: £101 to £250

Higher-End $250+

Calories / Hour = Up to 800

 


PROS:
  • Quick Fat / Calorie Burn
  • Will Tone Thighs and Butt

CONS:
  • More Intensive Workout (hard to do slow and steady)
  • Harder to Use Entertainment (screens more difficult)


 

Recommended Elliptical Trainers 2017 – 3 Price Points

Best Budget Cross Trainer - VFit MCCT1

Budget Pick - vFit Cross Trainer + Bike

Best of both worlds with this stylish cross trainer which can also be used as an exercise bike - good discount (at the time of writing!) too.

Product Page Read Review
Best Mid-Range Cross Trainer - BodyMax E60

Mid-Range Pick - BodyMax E60 Elliptical

This is as smooth and robust as many upper-end ellipticals, with a mid-range price tag making it excellent value. Check out the user feedback for this model!

Product Page Read Review
Upper End Cross Trainer - xTerra Free Style

Upper-End Pick - Xterra Free Style Cross Trainer

An amazing machine which would not be out of place in a commercial gym, app integration, one touch resistance changes and fanastic good looks.

Product Page Read Review

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Exercise Bikes for Weight Loss

One of the biggest advantages of exercise bikes is that you can lose weight in front of the TV! I’m deadly serious, the workout may not be as intensive as some other types of equipment – but the ability to do it quietly in an evening while enjoying your favourite show is a huge plus. For some people, this makes the difference between sustaining their weight loss exercises and giving up. Bikes are also cheap – you can get a budget model for around £60 and a nicely featured one for just £150.

Home Exercise Bike ReviewsPrice Range:

Budget £70 to £100

Mid-Range: £101 to £150

Higher-End £200+

Calories Burned Per Hour = 300 to 500


PROS:
  • Easy to sustain longer workouts compared to other equipment type
  • Quiet

CONS:
  • Not as intensive a workout as some other equipment
  • Focus on legs means no tone capabilities for abs / upper body<


Recommended Models:

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Rowing Machines for Weight Loss

Rowing machines are enjoying a comeback, and you can now buy some very impressive (and stylish) rowers (check out these Water Rowers for example!). This is a great workout, and is lower impact than many formats – at the same time as having a decent calorie burn rate. One thing to keep in mind is that rowing machines do take up quite a lot of space. Unless you get a folding one, then you’ll really need to have some dedicated floor space for this.

Rowing Machine ReviewsTypical Price Ranges

  • Budget: Under £200
  • Mid-Range: £201 to $500
  • Higher-End: £501+

Calorie Burn Rate = 400 to 600


PROS:
Smooth and low impact workout

  • Smooth / Low Impact Workout
  • Upper and Lower Body Covered

CONS:
  • You’ll Need Some Space
  • Entertainment More Difficult (head moving)

Best Home Rowing Machine - Budget  - BC1700

Budget Rec - JLL R200 Home Rowing Machine

Hugely popular model, with an equally huge amazon.co.uk discount bringing it from mid-range to budget - recommended!

Product Page Read Review
Best Home Rowing Machine - Mid-Range  - BC1700

Mid-Range Rec - York 310 Excel Rowing Machine

Foldable, versatile and rated highly by current owners. The York 310 hits the sweet spot (and looks great too).

Product Page Read Review
Best Home Rowing Machine - Budget  - BC1700

Upper End Rec - BodyMax Infiniti B100 Rower

Touch button resistance, amazing console and super-smooth. This is gym-spec kit for your home, big discount (at the time of writing) too!

Product Page Read Review

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Stepping Machines for Weight Loss

All of the machines covered so far require storage of some kind – though steppers start from just 30cms high! Sure, a higher end stepping machine will need space, though until you are really committed to this tougher exercise format I suggest starting with something a lot smaller. If you put the work in with a stepping machine, then toned legs and butts come as an extra benefit.

ultrasport-swing-stepperPrice Ranges for Steppers:

Budget (Mini-Steppers) – £30+

Mid(Frame Included) – £60+

High (Stairmills) – £1000+

Calorie Burn = 400 to 650


PROS:
Smooth and low impact workout

  • Small, Very Easy to Store
  • Vigorous Workout, Great for Tone

CONS:
  • Harder to Sustain for Long Sessions
  • No Upper Body (Some Have Elastic Ropes)

Best Home Rowing Machine - Budget  - BC1700

Budget Rec - JLL R200 Home Rowing Machine

Hugely popular model, with an equally huge amazon.co.uk discount bringing it from mid-range to budget - recommended!

Product Page Read Review
Best Home Rowing Machine - Mid-Range  - BC1700

Mid-Range Rec - York 310 Excel Rowing Machine

Foldable, versatile and rated highly by current owners. The York 310 hits the sweet spot (and looks great too).

Product Page Read Review
Best Home Rowing Machine - Budget  - BC1700

Upper End Rec - BodyMax Infiniti B100 Rower

Touch button resistance, amazing console and super-smooth. This is gym-spec kit for your home, big discount (at the time of writing) too!

Product Page Read Review

Recommended Models:

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Summing Up – You Now Have The Options – Which is Best?

Most people I speak to have a type of equipment in mind already, and want to confirm that this will work for losing weight. It will. So long as you keep at it, and exercise in conjunction with a healthy diet and lifestyle, all of the types of home fitness equipment above will help you to reach your goals.

If you still need some help narrowing the list, here are my guidelines:

Less Fit Users: If you are just starting out on the road to fitness, or just want to ease yourself into this gently, then exercise bikes and rowing machines are the best option. Bikes let you watch TV while you exercise, while rowers have the advantage of an upper and lower body workout at the same time.

Fitter Users: If you are already active, and want to burn off a few pounds extra then elliptical trainers are my top choice. These are more vigorous, and give you a solid aerobic workout. Steppers are a good alternative, especially for those who are shorter on space.

I recommend you pick the type of equipment that you are more likely to use for the longer term – this will make a bigger difference than the calories per hour alone does.

 

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