People purchase home exercise machines for many reasons, but mostly to lose weight and stay fit. Well, trimming that pesky abdominal fat is an integral part of those goals.
And if you’re here, it’s among your top objectives.
So, let’s get straight to it and see which exercise machine is best for losing belly fat.
Warning: You won’t like the answer, but keep reading below as we analyze seven popular exercise machines for home use.
Treadmills are one of the best exercise machines to lose belly fat because you’re doing cardio on them. Of course, you can choose your punishment according to your likes and fitness level:
- Walking at a fast pace: 170 calories/ 30 minutes
- Jogging (5 mph): 272 calories/ 30 minutes
- Running (8 mph): 459 calories/30 minutes
- Climbing: 272 calories/30 minutes
These exercises have significant calorie expenditures (the values above are calculated for a 150-pound person). If you want to increase the burn, consider:
- Running/walking at an incline. This strategy also engages your core more because your abs will have to contract to keep you in this tilted position. As such, you will gain more muscles in the core area.
- Doing HIIT. Science shows that HIIT routines decrease your body fat stores, including your abdominal area.
2. Elliptical Trainers
Elliptical trainers are also among the best workout machines to lose belly fat because they engage your entire body. That means you can burn more calories and thus diminish your fat stores more.
That’s a point in favor of the elliptical.
Moderate exercise on this machine that feels as easy as walking brings you a calorie expenditure of 302 calories/30 minutes.
Note: This value is also calculated for a 150-pound person; we’ll stick to this reference value throughout the article for ease of comparison.
That said, heavier people will burn more calories and lose belly fat faster on the elliptical.
Besides, if you have knee or ankle pain, running on the treadmill is a big no-no. That’s why fitness experts advise people with joint problems and overweight BMIs to work out on ellipticals rather than treadmills.
Also, consider these advantages:
- Ellipticals target your midsection better than treadmills because of the slight twisting motion you execute each time you pedal. As such, you can sculpt your abs better on an elliptical.
- The perceived effort is smaller on an elliptical because you’re working your entire body simultaneously. Thus, you’ll enter your heart’s fat-burning zone seamlessly. Once your heart rate increases that much, your body will start using your fat cells for fuel.
- Remember: Perceived effort is essential to keep you motivated. For instance, just 14% of people running on treadmills are highly motivated to keep up with their workouts – and that’s problematic in the long run.
- You can increase the resistance. As a result, your muscle mass will increase because you have to push against a higher force. And having more lean muscle mass in your body helps you burn more body fat even while you’re resting.
3. Spin Bikes
Your spin bike is a fat-burning machine that will help trim your entire body without pressure on your ankles and knees.
Spinning helps you lose belly fat because:
- It burns up to 300 calories/hour. That’s comparable to what jogging on the treadmill and moderate intensity on the elliptical can do.
- It’s fun. Fun workouts increase your motivation compared to the boring ones, so you keep coming back for more. Also, stressful exercises increase your cortisol levels. And experts show that excess cortisol in your system makes your body store more fat.
- Pro tip: If you want to feel empowered and motivated, choose a spinning bike with app connectivity and VR.
- It changes your body composition. Research demonstrates that spinning three times/week for six weeks helps you lose weight and body fat.
- You can do both HIIT and strength training. These exercises are shown to accelerate your resting metabolic rate so that your body cuts through your fat stores even when you’re resting.
- Pro tip: Not all spin bikes are created equal. Choose one with higher resistance for strength training if you don’t like to feel your heart racing through the roof. That way, you can still burn belly fat without getting excessively winded.
4. Rowing Machines
A rowing machine is one of the best exercise machines to burn belly fat at home for people who don’t want to work too hard. So, here’s rowing’s main advantage:
It makes you use 86% of your body’s muscles.
- You’ll burn calories fast, without a tremendous perceived effort. Thirty minutes of rowing burns around 239 calories if you weigh 150 pounds.
- Your harmful cholesterol levels decrease quickly.
- Your muscle mass increases, thus speeding up your metabolic rate.
These three factors explain why rowing can eliminate belly fat.
Science proves it too. One experiment shows that rowing for six weeks decreased participants’ fat mass from 31.14% to 29.74%. Each subject lost about 1 kg (aka 2.25 pounds) of fat during this training period.
- Choose a rowing machine with a heavier flywheel to create more resistance that builds your lean muscle mass. The result is 30 minutes of training have a significant afterburn effect that diminishes your belly fat throughout the day.
- Use your rowing machine for planks or sit-ups. Just ten minutes of core-targeted exercise after your rowing workout will sculpt your abs better.
5. Stair Climbers
A stair climber is a home fitness machine that looks like rolling stairs. The main difference between a stair climber and an incline treadmill is bending your knees.
That movement may not seem like much, but it’s essential.
Each time you bend your knees, your lower abs contract a little bit more. When you extend your legs backward, your glutes engage too.
Thus, a stair climber targets your lower abs and lower back more than an incline treadmill.
Calorie-wise, it depends on your speed and time.
Thirty minutes on the stair climber generates a calorie expenditure of 180 to 260 calories. That’s less than an incline walking session on the treadmill, but as we said, the advantage is building leaner core muscles.
6. Captain’s Chairs
This device is specifically constructed to target your abs. However, you can’t use it for more than 20 minutes/session three times per week. More than that increases your risk of injury because your body doesn’t have enough time to recover.
You’ve probably seen Captain’s Chairs at your gym, but few buy them for home use.
These machines look like tall chairs, with armrests and backrests but no seats. You support your arms on those armrests and then lift your legs to activate your abs.
These exercises activate your rectus abdominis and your obliques. As you increase your abdominal muscle mass, your fat stores in the area decrease.
On the downside, Captain’s Chairs don’t burn too many calories.
7. Vibration Plates
Studies show that vibration plates can help you lose weight – and keep it off in the long run – plus lose visceral fat. Visceral fat is that deep-tissue fat that you get on your belly.
In this study, participants used various forms of exercise combined with a calorie-restrictive diet. The 61 people underwent a 6-month experiment, after which they were told to continue their diet and exercise for another six months.
Here are the results:
- The diet-only group lost 6% body weight but couldn’t maintain it after the experiment. These subjects lost 24.3 cm2 of visceral body fat during the first six months. After the other six months, this number climbed back to a 7.5 cm2 loss.
- The diet + conventional fitness group lost 7% of their body weight and kept it off after the experiment. Their body fat shrank by 17.6 cm2 during the first six months, then climbed back to 16 cm2 until the year’s end.
- The diet + vibration group lost 11% body weight and maintained a 10.5% loss at the end of the year. These participants also lost 47.8 cm2 of visceral body fat within six months and remained at 47.7 cm2 loss after the second six months.
Although these results are very encouraging, experts advise you not to cut aerobic exercises altogether from your lifestyle. Vibration plates can effectively work your muscles and assist in weight loss, but cardio routines have many other essential health benefits.
So, what gym equipment burns the most belly fat? We told you that you wouldn’t like the answer:
It’s the machine you’re most likely to use.
For example, treadmills offer excellent results, but running isn’t everyone’s piece of cake. The same goes for spinning.
Vibration plates are proven to reduce deep-tissue fat drastically, but you also need some cardio training along with these machines. On the other hand, Captain’s Chairs can build the leanest muscle mass, but they don’t help you lose considerable weight.
As you can see, it all depends on your fitness goals, needs, and likes.
- Treadmill: You want to lose the most weight, trim belly fat, and have no joint problems
- Elliptical: You need total body workouts and have some joint problems
- Spin bike: Best for full body weight loss, fat loss, and motivation
- Rowing machine: Burns belly fat by increasing your total muscle mass
- Stair climber: Activates your lower core and has a significant calorie deficit
- Captain’s Chair: Best for creating lean abs muscles, but without cardio
- Vibration plate: Burns deep-tissue belly fat, but you need to incorporate an aerobic routine too