When it comes to getting to the gym in the mornings, when I make it there I’m usually a broken record – I’ll run on the track or use the elliptical before rotating through a few weight stations. It works, but it’s far from thrilling.

I know I usually never cast a glance towards the other cardio equipment, but this Fitsugar article convinced me that I should give these lonely pieces of equipment a second chance.

All this equipment blasts calories and mixes intense strength training with all the heart-healthy benefits of cardio, which means you can knock out boredom at the same time that you turbo-load your workout.

If you’re neglecting the following equipment, you might want to think again:

1. Rowing machine
2. Arc trainers (like a stair-stepper, elliptical, and treadmill all in one…my gym doesn’t have one or I think I would have given it a try! Who doesn’t love exercise machines that mimic that hamster-in-the-wheel feel?)
3. Stationary bikes
4. The Stairmaster or “StairMill”/endless staircase
5. VersaClimber (another one my gym doesn’t have – this machine mimics the effort required to mount a vertical incline.)

As an added bonus, most of these machines have all the benefits of running but are much more gentle on the joints. Thanks for the reminder that we can shake up our workouts even without taking classes, Fitsugar!

What piece of gym equipment – traditional or not – is your favorite to work out on?

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