To get the most effective workout on a Stairmaster, use an interval program. As with most cardio exercises on machines, the interval programs will allow you to burn the most calories a shorter amount of time.
The stationary bike might not seem as physically intensive as the other cardio exercise machines. Even at the highest resistance settings, the rate of calories you're burning per hour are typically fewer when exerting the same amount of effort on another cardio machine. However, the stationary bike is easy on the joints and is perfect for those looking for a low-impact workout.
The classic treadmill is probably the most well-known cardio exercise machine on the market. The purpose of a treadmill is to mimic running on a track or open road, while remaining in a stationary location. Most treadmills include various settings to increase or decrease the pace of your movement from a slow walk to a fast sprint. Treadmills also feature an incline setting to mimic elevated roads, like running up a hill.
An elliptical machine offers a full-body, cardio workout. The inclusion of moveable handle bars offers a full-body workout unlike most other cardio exercise machines. The easiest way to explain how an elliptical works is to imagine yourself performing a standing foot pedal, with two long handle bars attached to the foot pedals that can assist you with pedaling by pulling and pushing the handles back and forth. The handlebars are almost like a skier's poles, and the pedals are the skis. The pedaling motion, in conjunction with the pushing and pulling of the handle bars offer an upper and lower body workout.