Which Exercise Machine is Best for Losing Belly Fat?

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Last updated on August 22, 2023

When it comes to losing belly fat, the number of exercise machine choices are nothing short of dizzying; you’ve got treadmills, elliptical trainers, stair climbers, rowing machines, and stationary bikes, to name just a few. This can make it very confusing when trying to find the exercise equipment that will allow you to burn the most calories per minute in the shortest amount of time – and that, of course, is they key to losing belly fat.

In this article, we take a close look at the different exercise machine options to discover which one comes out on tops as best for losing belly fat.

It’s All About the Calories

If your goal is to lose belly fat, then you need to be focusing on exercises that burn calories rather than those that target your abdominal muscles. That is because you cannot spot reduce body fat. Your body will lose fat from all over its body, not one specific area. That is why spending your time on the exercise machine that will churn through the maximum number of calories is always your smartest choice.

While the type of exercise that you choose is important, it is not the only factor that determines your rate of caloric burn. After all, doing a high intensity workout on a machine that burns fewer calories per hour will work off more belly fat than doing a steady state low intensity workout on the other machine. Here are the factors that combine to determine the number of calories you burn on an exercise machine:

  • Type of exercise machine
  • Exercise intensity
  • Length of workout
  • The persons height and weight

For the purposes of comparison, we are going to assume that the exercise being done is what is called steady state cardio (imagine walking on a treadmill at a moderate pace).

The 7 Best Exercise Machines for Losing Belly Fat

  • Treadmill
  • Elliptical
  • Stair Climber
  • Exercise bike
  • SKI machine
  • Rowing machine
  • ARC trainer

Let’s now consider each of these exercise machines one at a time. We’ll provide the average calories burn and discuss any other issues involved.


While considering which exercise machine is best for losing belly fat, the treadmill remains the most popular form of cardio equipment on the planet. It is a form of exercise that is familiar and that does not have a steep learning curve. However, people with ankle or knee problems may find that the treadmill is too stressful for their joints.

In an hour of steady state exercise, a person who weighs 180 pounds will burn around 964 calories per hour. If you were to increase the intensity of the workout, you would increase the calorie burn to around 1200 in an hour.

Elliptical Trainers

The Elliptical machine has become a very popular cardio choice in home and commercial gyms around the world in the last few years. One of the reasons for its popularity is that it does not place as much stress on the joints as exercise machines such as the treadmill. It also allows you to move your lower body in a unique elliptical motion that works the glutes and hamstrings more effectively than the treadmill.

One hour of steady state training on an elliptical trainer will allow a 180-pound guy to burn 800 calories per hour. That’s about 160 calories fewer than the treadmill.

Stair Climbers

The Stair Climber is more than a cardio machine. It also provides a very effective muscular workout to the core, the lower back, the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings and calves. Just like the elliptical trainer, it is a low impact exercise, so it is better for people with joint problems than the treadmill.

A sixty-minute workout on a stair climber will allow a 180-pound person to burn an average of 793 calories per hour. That is pretty comparable with the elliptical, as the actual movement is quite similar (apart from the foot path).

Exercise Bikes

The exercise bike ranks as the second most popular cardio exercise machine on the planet. A big reason for this is that it does not place any strain on your knees. An exercise bike, especially one that has a recumbent design, is also much better for people who have lower back issues. A lot of people also find the exercise bike to be a more enjoyable type of cardio exercise. That’s important because the more you enjoy an exercise type, the more likely you will be to do it!

A sixty-minute steady state workout on an exercycle will churn through 617 calories for a 180-pound person.

SKI Machines

You don’t see SKI machines as frequently as you do treadmills and exercycles. That is probably due to the fact that there is quite a steep learning curve involved in using this machine. When you do get the hang of it, however, you will be working virtually every muscle of your body. This includes the muscles of the upper body which are often neglected when you do cardio workouts.

A one-hour steady state session on the SKI machine will burn off an average of 620 calories for a 180-pound individual.

Rowing Machines

The rowing machine is a fantastic form of cardio exercise that, like the SKI machine, also provides you with a great upper body workout (especially through the lats, trapezius and shoulders). It also gives you a good leg workout. Many people also find that rowing allows for a flowing, meditative experience that benefits them mentally.

Spending 60 minutes doing steady state cardio on a rowing machine will allow a 180 person to burn around 620 calories, making it comparable to the SKI machine.

ARC Trainers

An ARC Trainer is a popular exercise machine that engages the lower and upper body to provide an effective cardio workout. The exercise replicates the natural movement of the body and is gentle on the joints.

An individual weighing 170 lbs doing a moderately intense workout can expect to burn 600 calories an hour.

So Which Exercise Machine is Best for Belly Fat ?

From our analysis on which exercise machine is best for losing belly fat, we have seen that the treadmill is the best exercise machine to lose belly fat. That’s because it burns the most calories for the time spent and then you can then move to muscle toning.

However, if you have joint problems, you will be better using the low impact elliptical machine.

At the end of the day, however, the best exercise machine to lose body fat fast is the one that you will stick at – which will generally be the one you enjoy doing the most.

Once you achieved the fat reduction around your belly you can use the exercise machines for stomach toning to get great abs. Through exercise you are burning fat and building muscles, that is why higher burning rates will help reducing belly fat faster.

Steve Theunissen has qualified from the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) and is a certified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist. He has over 30 years experience in fitness and nutrition and currently working with famous fitness professionals. He is currently living in New Zealand with is wife and daughter.

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