Best Cardio Machines to Build Muscle


best cardio machines to build muscleIf you want to build muscle, you should not only focus on lifting weights. You will also want to utilize cardio exercise.

It’s something that many people want to escape from, but that’s the reality.

A little cardio exercise can do wonders for you aside from burning calories.

Cardio workouts can ramp up your metabolism, which is perfect if you aim to speed up the fat-burning and muscle-building processes within your body.

This could even be the missing piece, the key that will make your fitness regimen complete.

The heart, together with its cardiovascular components, are the things that come to mind when people think or hear about cardio. However, cardio also involves the muscular and respiratory systems.

That said, the fitness routine of any individual has to incorporate cardio as a way of connecting the dots between the cardiovascular, muscular, and respiratory systems. This is essential since the delivery of oxygen and other nutrients throughout the body needs to be efficient.

Add to it the fact that the burning of excess calories can improve through cardio exercises, thus giving you the best chance to burn fat and build muscles, too.

Cardio might not sound appealing to some people, and it’s understandable since it was not a fun workout in the past. Things have already changed these days, though, since there are now more intriguing yet efficient ways to practice cardio exercises and enjoy its effects.

You now have more options on how to incorporate cardio into your fitness routine. As a bonus, these new ways don’t require a person to spend half an hour doing steady-state work anymore.

Yes, you heard it right—six minutes of workout is enough for you to stimulate your lungs and achieve the fat-burning and muscle-building rate you genuinely need as long as you’re going to work through the right sessions.

However, you may struggle if spinning the wheels on one stationary bike or running on a treadmill are the only forms of cardio exercise you know. After a while, things can get really boring.

That said, it would be best to consider other options. Keep in mind that the best cardio machines are those that can make you feel the fat-burning and muscle-building processes a whole lot less.

What Are The Best Cardio Machines To Build Muscle?

So, what are the best cardio machines to help build muscles? Discover them below…

Arc Trainer

This easy-to-use machine is undoubtedly something that people who tend to sit all day will love. This machine keeps muscles engaged by blasting both the upper and the lower body, burning more calories in the process, too, making it a perfect body-building partner.

It mimics hiking like the StairMill, so expect your glutes and quads to get the workout they deserve.

The best way to use an Arc Trainer is to maintain a steady pace within 20 to 30 minutes after turning the resistance up to 25 to 35, and the incline to 15 percent.

Focus on using your arms and stop moving your legs if you feel like working on your upper body more. Of course, do the opposite if it’s the bottom body that you want to experience more of the burn.

Bring the incline to 20 percent if you want a level up. Then, for 20 to 30 minutes, go for the resistance of 30 and 80, alternating between a minute each.

Rowing Machine

If you’re serious about burning calories, indoor rowing is a perfect choice. It’s a total-body workout, so rowing your way to a winning shape is highly possible.

It emphasizes work on the backside of your body, but also touches on all parts from head to toe when done right.

Many experts consider a rowing machine as the deadlift among cardio machines since it requires you to drive off your legs, supporting the body with your core while gripping and pulling.

If it’s your first time using a rowing machine, it would be best to head to YouTube and watch some tutorials since the correct form is essential when performing the exercise. You can start with a slow 1,000- to 2,000-meter row or doing it 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off.

You can have the option to go for 10 sets of 500-meter rows if you want a level up. Make sure, though, to have at least a minute of rest in between intervals.

Do you want to purchase your own rowing machine for home use? One of our favorite rowers is the Concept 2 Rower, if you’re interested in a quality and fully featured option. They’ve been around for quite awhile (founded in 1976) and make quality machines.


Use the SkiErg for some grueling cardio to work your upper body out. Professional skiers love this machine, using it to hone their skills of exploding down the slope for more power.

Your hips, shoulder, arms, and abs have to be ready since you’re going to use them in driving the handles down in the direction of your body.

There’s no doubt that this machine will make you sweat and jack your heart up, especially with the strength, speed, and power that it requires for each rep.

You can also change the position of your legs up if you want to make the workout more challenging. Narrow the base of support for your lower body by holding an inline lunge or a deep lunge for more extreme blasting. If you do it as your arms keep on moving up and down, your core has to work harder for you to stay upright.


You don’t have a choice but to work your body once you start to strap your feet on the VersaClimber while holding its handles.

The machine focuses on your legs and core, but still works the whole body, and it’s the reason why trainers trust it despite looking a bit Machiavellian.

You can start using the machine for 10 power but short intervals at 20 seconds each. Make sure to have a 20- to 30-second rest in between. Then, jump back in the VersaClimber for another 8 to 10 intervals after a quick two-minute rest.

Increase the resistance if you’re looking for a level up and want to amp up the difficulty of your workout for more burn.


An airbike workout can make you heave, so don’t ever think that it’s another “that was easy” cardio machine for you.

The airbike is so tough that the harder you go in pumping your arms and pedaling your legs, the higher the machine’s resistance becomes.

Unlike other stationary bikes out there, this machine doesn’t have a motor and only relies on a fan, located in its front wheel, for resistance. It’s the reason why the airbike is capable of providing one of the most intense aerobic workouts you can have.

You can pump up your regular workout using this machine by sprinting for 15 seconds, then resting for another 15. Do this six times.

You can also do 3 miles in your fastest sprint possible if you’d like to test your endurance.

Spin Bike

A spin bike can give your hamstrings, calves, glutes, and quads a winning workout. It’s one of the best ways to get your heart pumping and condition your body.

Aim for a 30-minute workout as a start and build from there.

You also have the option to join group classes if you think that working out with other individuals can be an extra push for you. Keep in mind that the workout becomes longer and more intense as you level up.

Jacob’s Ladder

How do you like the sound of climbing a ladder that keeps on going up? That’s what Jacob’s Ladder Step Machine can give you exactly—a monstrous workout.

The machine requires you to climb upward while putting you on a 40-degree angle endlessly. Such a position engages the core muscles of your body more while taking the stress off its lower back. This makes Jacob’s Ladder a whole new experience, making your cardio gym workout more fun.

Aside from burning a lot of calories, the machine also hits big muscles such as your lats, shoulders, glutes, and quads because of its climbing action.

Indoor Cycling Bike

If it’s endurance training that you’re after to help in the building and strengthening of muscles in the body, use an indoor cycling bike for extremely long durations.

This machine is also perfect for those who want to prepare for an upcoming marathon or triathlon event.

Keep the exact pace for 10 miles or 30 minutes for a start. Don’t forget to pedal faster if the resistance is low, and slower if the resistance is high. Being consistent and steady should be your ultimate goal for a lower intensity indoor cycling workout.

Do 5 sets of 8-minute climbs for 40 to 50 minutes, while only taking a 2-minute rest interval in between for a more intense experience. When heading for the hills, though, don’t forget to try to stay above 180-200+ watts.

Your power output is indicated by the watts, so monitoring it while on a ride makes sense if you want to get faster, as well as measure your progress.


Upper Chest – The Clavicular HeadAll of the machines that this post has mentioned will work wonders if you’re trying to burn calories, level up your endurance, and build your muscles.

When selecting a machine to use from the ones above, consider your personal preferences, and make sure that you end up with one that you can be consistent with to avoid a fitness burnout.

It doesn’t matter what your muscle-building goal is, as long as the intensity is there and you’re going to put in some serious work—the machines above can help!

About Shannon Clark

Shannon holds a degree in Exercise Science and is a certified personal trainer and fitness writer with over 10 years of industry experience.

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