Best Cardio Machines for Glutes

Are you ready to tone and tighten those glutes?

In this article I’m going to share with you the most proven machines on the market along with their results.

Let’s dig in….

Here are a couple key components to keep in mind as we cover the top cardio machines for glutes in the fitness industry.

  • Each set of exercises and piece of equipment is generally designed to focus on particular areas of your body (1).
  • The best cardio machines for glutes are those that will help to lift and tighten the muscles in your buttocks by keeping your lower body fully engaged.

Which Body Type Does A Glute Workout Benefit?

The simple truth is that virtually everyone can benefit from a good cardio workout program designed to work those glutes.

It doesn’t matter if you are thin and have a small tush you want to add figure too, or you are a larger woman with a big booty that you want to tone down.

The muscles will get worked regardless of the body type that you have.

Do You Need A Gym Membership?

(Already have a Gym Membership? Check Out The Cardio Machine List)

One of the biggest problems facing people who want to tone up their bodies is that they seem to think the only way to do so, is to join a gym and hire a trainer.

Sure, a lot of the larger gyms will offer multiple machines, but what if you just want to get your exercise done at home?

If you feel self conscious at the gym, then maybe a home machine will be a better fit for you.

Most are affordable and can be used for a variety of workouts to help build your glutes and strengthen and tone other areas of your body.

Types Of Cardio Machines To Help Firm Up Glutes

There are four different types of exercise equipment that can be used to focus on your glutes.

Each of them can help you to reach your goal.

You could use only one of them such as a treadmill but you can also buy a couple of them to vary up your exercise routine.

In 2007, a team of researchers at the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital located in Lincoln, NB conducted tests involving four of the most commonly used exercise machines (2).

The goal of this research study was to find out which of them were most effective at engaging the glutes.

The study found the following:

Type of Machine/ActivityPercentage of Glute Muscles Engaged
Ø  Treadmill – joggingØ  48.9%
Ø  Elliptical machineØ  3.26%
Ø  Treadmill – walkingØ  24.3%
Ø  StairmasterØ  24.0%
Ø  Recumbent BikeØ  6.0%

As you can easily see, the results of this study clearly indicate that the treadmill is the best choice if you are looking to improve condition and looks, followed by the elliptical machine.

No matter which of these machines you decide to use, there are a few things you can do to maximize their effectiveness in your workout routine (3).

Four Hot Tips For Glutes

  • When you are walking on the treadmill, try cranking the incline up to the highest setting you can handle for a full 30 minutes.
  • When you are working out on an elliptical machine try drawing your hips back a little bit making your posterior stick out a bit while working out.
  • If you are working out on a Stairmaster, make your strides longer by skipping every other step.
  • Whether you are walking or running on the treadmill or out on the sidewalks or trails, try to push off with your heel instead of your toes. This helps to contract a larger number of the muscles in your glutes and give them a more thorough workout.

Let’s Take a Quick Look at Each of the Four Types of Cardio Machines.

The Treadmill

This is perhaps the most common form of home exercise equipment found in millions of homes across the country.

One thing you can count on is that the top runners in the world do not have weak glutes.

A treadmill is a perfect way for you to replicate a good jogging or walking workout and exercise your glutes, cardiovascular system, leg muscles, and more.

Be sure to vary up your workout by keeping the belt speed steady and varying the angle of incline from around 3 percent up to 12 percent several times.

The Elliptical Machine

Working out on an elliptical machine for as little as half an hour can help you burn up to 400 calories.

You can use the handles to make the workout movements flow more smoothly, at least until you get comfortable with this machine.

If you are trying to get the most out of an elliptical machine for your glutes, you need to turn up the resistance level.

You can also use your arms to help with balance instead of the handles as this will make your lower body muscles, including your glutes, work that much harder.

The Stairmaster

Stair climbers like the Stairmaster have become very popular and provide you with a very challenging alternative to hitting the treadmill or streets jogging.

Not only this, but using a stair climber can give you all the benefits of jogging without the stress on your joints.

If you go for the Stairmaster, choose the type that makes use of a set of revolving steps rather than pedals as they tend to be far more effective.

Standing upright and avoiding the use of the handles will give you a more effective workout.

Recumbent Bikes

Recumbent bikes are more for those who are trying to build leg muscles, and enjoy a good cardio workout without impacting the back and back muscles.

As you can see by the results of the test completed at Madonna, they are not the most effective form of exercise if you are trying to build up your glutes, but they still do make a difference.


Here are our top picks from each category.

Top-Rated Treadmill

If you plan to invest in a treadmill, look for one that has a heavy-duty (preferably commercial rated) motor and a cushioned belt for added comfort. Many of the top-rated models have multiple speed and incline settings, computerized workouts, and connections for an iPod or mp3 player. Some even have built-in WiFi that lets you connect to new workout programs and online workout storage sites.

ProForm ZT6 Treadmill

Scores a solid 4.8 out of 5 stars

ProForm has long been considered one of the top-rated treadmill manufacturers for home use. Their treadmills offer an amazing array of features. This one comes with a 2.5 CHP commercial grade electric motor, a 20-inch wide belt that is 55 inches in diameter. The belt rides on ProShox cushioning and has a 300 Lb. capacity. It does come with an iPod® interface so you can listen to your favorite workout tunes.  Belt speed is adjustable up to 10 mph and the Quick Incline® maxes out at 10%. There are 18 pre-programmed workout apps.

Speeds up to 10 mph.Only rated for up to 300 lbs.
2.5 C commercial grade motorBelt assembly is very heavy
Fold-up Space Saver designCan be challenging to assemble

Top-Rated Elliptical Machine

Unlike treadmills that typically cost under $1,000, a good quality elliptical machine is going to set you back a pretty penny. In fact, you can easily expect to pay $1,500 to $2,000 for a top-rated model. Look for models with adjustable pedals, stride, incline, and console.

Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine

Over 200 people rated this one at 4.4 stars

This is an excellent elliptical machine that has everything you could ever want. It features a full suite of adjustable features, including stride, pedals, power adjustable incline and console. The LCD screen is backlit and measures 7.5 inches. The front-drive system features a built-in fan and a pair of 15-inch pedals to fit larger feet. Maximum capacity is 375 lbs. The E35 comes with 6 standard programs and the ability to add 2 more custom programs.

Maximum Capacity 375 lbs.Challenging to assemble
Power adjustable incline and consolePlastic covers break easily
Built-in sound system and water bottle holderMachine is unstable

StairMaster Steppers

There are those who think you can get the same type of exercise simply walking up and down the stairs. This just not the case. A good stair stepping machine should feature adjustable drag on the steps to enhance your workout. While there are many manual steppers on the market, most buyers opt for a powered model that offers a smoother workout. These machines typically feature some form of computerized readout that displays several important work out details. The information displayed may include:

  • calories burned
  • number of steps climbed
  • distance traveled
  • heart rate
  • time

Top-Rated Powered Stair Stepper

StairMaster 7000 PT Stepmill

Truly the cream of the crop when it comes to powered stair steppers

StairMaster has long been at the top of the pile when it comes to powered stepmills. This unit features a rotating staircase with 8-inch steps that simply mimic the action of walking up a real flight of stairs.  You can adjust the step rate from 24 to 162 steps per minute. There are also 20 resistance levels and 6 pre-installed programs for you to choose from. You will need a room that features a ten -foot ceiling to safely use this machine.

Revolving staircase with 8-inch stepsExtremely expensive
Adjustable step speedMust have a room with a 10-foot ceiling
Adjustable resistanceCan be challenging to assemble as some parts are heavy

The Manual Stair Stepper

Not everyone wants or has the space for an expensive motorized stepmill. The good news is that you can buy a manually operated stepmill for a fraction of the cost of a StairMaster. Manual stair steppers typically use either resistance bands or use hydraulic cylinders to add resistance to the steps. They should have some form of handrail to help with stability and many can be folded up for ease of storage.

Top-Rated Manual Stepmill

Sunny Folding Climbing Stepper

Simple, easy to use, folds up for storage and over 349 people rate it at 4.3 stars

While this stepper is listed as being the perfect trainer for climbers, it also offers a fantastic low-impact workout for your glutes and more. The built-in display shows a timer, step counter, and calories burned. It features a matched pair of resistance adjustable hydraulic cylinders that provide you with a super-smooth stepping action. It folds up for easy storage and is perfect for beginners and experts alike.

Cost is under $100Handle design causes poor posture
Easy to useCylinder oil heats up and causes loss of resistance
Folds up so you can store it out of the wayProblems with cylinders leaking

The Recumbent Exercise Bike

While studies show that a recumbent bike is not the best choice for working on your glutes, we are going to take a quick look at what you should be looking for if you decide to add one to your home gym. Any recumbent exercise bike you buy should have a very quiet magnetic resistance system that is fully adjustable. You need a large seat, preferably with a backrest, and a console that provides you with certain basic information. You can expect to spend from a few hundred dollars for one all the way up to $2000 or more.

Top-Rated Recumbent Exercise Bike

Exerpeutic 1000 High Capacity Magnetic Recumbent Bike W/ Pulse Wider Seat Extended

Under $200 and rated 4.6 stars by 125 satisfied buyers

This “bike” features a “step-thru” design that makes it much easier to get on and off of. It has a weight capacity of up to 300 lbs. It also comes with leg extenders to ensure maximum stability.  The 8-level magnetic tension controls let you set the amount of resistance which is nice. The “Smooth-Torque” cranking system provides you with a smooth and consistent pedal feeling. The entire system is so quiet you can easily watch TV while you are working out. It also features an extra-large well-padded seat cushion for added comfort.

Step-Thru design makes getting on/off easyWill not comfortably fit anyone over 6″3″
Whisper quietDisplay can be hard to read in dimly lit room
Smooth-Torque system for a smooth pedal motionSeat is difficult to adjust

Before You Go

Buying any type of exercise equipment can be very challenging.

You may find that trying to accomplish everything in your plans to get fit will require more than one piece of equipment.

The most versatile of those listed above and our favorite is some form of treadmill.

Those made by Proform seem to be built to the right standards, including commercial grade motors that should provide you with years of faithful service.

No matter what type of equipment you decide to buy, you should always include some form of manual exercise in your program if you want to achieve the best possible results.

Dee is a health conscious mom, and wife who loves to write when she isn't at the gym.
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