The Cable Machine
"The cable machine is one of the most overlooked pieces of equipment at the gym because exercisers often don't know how to use it," says Derek "All they need to learn is how to set the cables and they can do a full-body workout using this machine alone. If you want to build great abs and burn off love handles, use this machine to do wood-chop exercises."
In addition to wood chops, you can do chest presses, lat pull downs, rows, squats, military presses and deadlifts using cables. Not sure how to get started? Ask a trainer at your gym to show you the ropes.
If you've ever spent an afternoon gliding through a snow-covered forest, you already know that cross-country skiing is an excellent fat-burner. But you don't have to wait for winter to score the benefits. Also known as skiers or cross-country skiers, ski machines can burn between 400 to 600 calories an hour, depending on your level of exertion.
"These machines work both the upper and lower body, while keeping your body properly aligned for maximum results. It's a great cardio workout," says Elisabeth Halfpapp, fitness instructor and star of the Exhale Core Fusion: 30 Day Sculpt DVD.
There's a good reason why walking up a few flights of stairs can leave you breathless—it's a killer workout. Especially if those stairs never seem to end, as they do on the StepMill, a cardio machine that has a short, revolving staircase that mimics climbing real flights.
"It really works the butt and gets your heart rate soaring, plus it's easy on your joints," says Freytag, noting you can burn somewhere between 500 and 700-plus calories an hour.
Sixty minutes of stair climbing sounds impossible? Start with 20 to 30 minutes, broken up into 5- or 10-minute intervals. No StepMill? A stepper/StairMaster—or even a basic fitness step—works, too.
This old-school exercise tool is still a top contender for a serious heart-thumping sweat fest. "For the fit individual, nothing beats jumping rope," says Wayne Westcott, PhD, Prevention advisory board member and director of fitness research at Quincy College in Quincy, Massachusetts. "It's basic, brief, but intense."
How intense? A 150-pound person torches about 340 calories in 30 minutes.More: Your Perfect Week of Cardio Workouts
Stay in shape in a fitness class.