The 9 Best Tried and Tested Treadmill Alternatives of 2024

The home gym is an escape, a safe place to build a better you with free weights and the best cardio machines. No matter where you look, you’ll find treadmills leading the pack as one of the most popular exercise machines. But what do you do when you’re all treadmill-ed out? We want to broaden your horizons with a simple introduction to the best treadmill alternatives on the market.

Ellipticals, rowers, and exercise bikes are just a handful of the treadmill alternatives on this list, but before diving in, ask yourself why you’re over the treadmill scene. Are you looking for a lower-impact workout to support your joints? Are you hoping to find something that’s more engaging than just running in one direction? Maybe you’re keen on finding equipment with technology to help you track and progress in your workout. We kept these inklings in mind as we tried and tested over 140 of the top cardio machines. Here are our picks for the top 9 treadmill alternatives. 

The 9 Best Treadmill Alternatives

Best Elliptical: Sole E25

Best Exercise Bike: NordicTrack S22i

Best Air Bike: Assault AirBike Classic

Best Rowing Machine: Hydrow Rower

Best Vertical Climber: CLMBR Connected 02

Best Smart Home Gym: Tonal

Best Stair Climber: ProForm Pro HIIT H14

Best Connected Boxing: FightCamp 

Best Slide Boards: Brrrn

About Our Expert

This article has been reviewed by Kate Meier, NASM-CPT, USAW-L1, CF-L1, a certified personal trainer and member of BarBend’s editorial staff. She reviewed the research we cite to help ensure we’re providing advice that’s safe and sound. However, before you start a new fitness routine, it’s best to consult your doctor.

How We Tested the Best Treadmill Alternatives

When you’re fed up with your treadmill, it’s time to upgrade your routine and find whatever it is that’ll fit your workout needs. But where do you even begin? From full-body workouts to equipment that can aid with weight loss, we’re here to help you identify your options and find the perfect replacement. 

The BarBend team is filled with certified personal trainers, cyclists, marathon racers, and fitness fanatics who have tried and tested more than 140 pieces of the most popular cardio equipment on the market to bring you our top picks. During testing, we scored each option from 1 (no thanks) to 5 (we love it) in the following categories:

Footprint and portability

Delivery and setup



Adjustability and ergonomics

Workout experience

Tech capabilities


Dynamic programming

Customer reviews


Warranty, financing, and returns

Customer service

Any cardio machine can burn some calories, increase your cardiovascular health, and aid with weight management, but finding the right option for your training takes some soul searching. (1) Figuring out exactly what’s out there, how much you’re willing to spend, and what you’ll enjoy doing will help you narrow down your options. Bringing the best cardio machines into your home can be a stressful undertaking, but we’ll do our best to highlight what we think users of various leanings might find useful.

Our team has ridden exercise bikes, they’ve tried the best compact ellipticals, climbed on vertical climbers, dabbled with smart gyms, and rowed on rowers until they couldn’t row no mo’. Along the way, we took notes on how reliable the equipment was, how difficult or seamless the setup proved to be, and what sort of user we thought would benefit from each product.

Whether you want to stair climb with connected programming, or you’re looking for a way to get your upper body involved in your cardio, you can’t go wrong with a choice off of this list. 

Best Elliptical: Sole E25


Sole E25 Elliptical

Sole E25 Elliptical

The E25 is a high-quality, no-frills elliptical. It features a budget-friendly price tag, a 350-pound weight limit, and a 20-pound flywheel. 

Shop Sole


Price: $1,099.99

Weight: 209lbs

Dimensions: 70” H x 70” L x 24” W

Weight Capacity: 350lbs


Elliptical machines like the Sole E25 offer a lower-impact cardio workout when compared to pounding on a treadmill.

20 levels of resistance and 20 levels of incline give you the ability to train hard.

The 350-pound weight capacity is on the high end of what you’ll find on most ellipticals. 


This machine is heavy at 209 pounds, and moving it around may require two people.

Assembly instructions are confusing, and setup was a pain for our tester.

The Sole E25 is one of the best ellipticals we’ve tried. It has a 20-inch stride length, 20-pound flywheel, 20 levels of resistance, and 20 levels of incline to provide a low-impact cardio workout with reduced stress to muscles and joints when compared to running. (1) You also have moving and stationary handles, depending on how much of an arm workout you want along with your cardio.

Our tester riding the Sole E25 Elliptical

This Sole E25 scored a 5 out of 5 in value and conveniences, and a 4.5 out of 5 for durability, customizations, adjustability, and warranty. 

At $1,099.99, this elliptical is roughly $1,000 less than the average higher-end model we’ve tested. Value scored a perfect 5 out of 5 with our expert product tester and BarBend editorial member Kate Meier. “You have great built-in workouts… and the fan and Bluetooth speakers are amazing,” they said. The Bluetooth speakers can sync with your devices so you can easily stream music or fitness programming while getting in a HIIT workout. 

The 350-pound weight capacity, which is on the high end of the average 250- to 350-pound weight capacity for ellipticals, accommodates a multitude of users and allows for a (mostly) steady ride. “There was a little bit of movement from side to side when I was working out,” Meier said, “and there aren’t any floor stabilizers to dial that in.” For this, its durability received a minor ding, but still came in with a 4.5 out of 5.

Deck and rollers on a Sole E25.

Our biggest gripe came with the portability and setup, scoring a 3.5 and a 3 out of 5, respectively. “This elliptical is a heavy 209 pounds, and if you wanted to move it around you may need another pair of hands,” said Meier, “but it does have transport wheels and a handle to make that process easier.” 

It also took Meier about two hours to set up. “The instructions weren’t great,” they said. “Be prepared with a screwdriver with a magnetic tip and a socket wrench! Or opt for professional assembly if possible.

Read our full Sole E25 Elliptical Review.

Best Exercise Bike: NordicTrack S22i


NordicTrack Commercial S22i

NordicTrack Commercial S22i

The NordicTrack Commercial S22i is high-tech and high quality, featuring both advancements like a 22” touchscreen display, and solid specs like 24 levels of quiet magnetic resistance.

Shop NordicTrack


Price: $1,999

Weight: 205lbs

Dimensions: 58” H x 61” L x 22” W 

Weight Capacity: 350lbs


Exercise bikes like the NordicTrack S22i offer a lower-impact workout than treadmills.

The S22i has a sturdy steel frame, multiple adjustability options, and seamless iFIT app integration. 

It has a 20 percent incline and -10 percent decline, which is rare for an exercise bike.

The 22-inch HD touchscreen swivels 360 degrees so you can take classes on and off your bike.


We feel iFIT, which costs $39 a month following your free trial, is what brings out the bike’s full potential.

A strong Wi-Fi connection is needed to reduce buffering during classes. 

Moving it can be tough due to its 205-pound weight, large screen, and lack of a handle. 

If you’re looking for the best exercise bike to replace your treadmill, look no further than the NordicTrack S22i. With a 22-inch display that can rotate 360 degrees, you can stream iFIT programming on the bike or rotate the screen and take a yoga class off to the side. You’ll also have incline and decline capabilities that can evoke the hills and valleys of outdoor terrain. Customizations, tech capabilities, and dynamic programming all scored a 5 out of 5 with our team.

Kate riding a NordicTrack S22i

iFIT gives you access to thousands of on-demand classes, with scenic rides you can take on your bike and a variety of classes that span strength training to HIIT to yoga. One of the neatest iFIT features is the SmartAdjust setting, which can automatically adjust your resistance, incline, and decline depending on the class you’re taking. Our tester, BarBend editorial team member and certified personal trainer Kate Meier, said, “We don’t see this often, but this bike has incline and decline training capabilities.” That, along with its 24 levels of resistance, is why we scored its customizations and tech capabilities a 5 out of 5. 

Push-to-Stop knob on a NordicTrack S22i

While iFIT provides what one tester said “is an experience that makes this a true competitor to Peloton,” you’ll need to be prepared for the $39 monthly subscription fee. Without this, you won’t have access to classes, scenic rides, or the SmartAdjust feature. 

Our team scored iFIT’s dynamic programming a 5 out of 5, though you’ll also want to be sure you have a strong Wi-Fi connection. “That’s because of how many workouts are loaded onto the monitor… sometimes it can take a while to load and buffer,” said Jake Herod, our expert product tester and a certified nutrition coach, in his video review of the S22i. 

At 205 pounds, this bike is between 45 and 85 pounds heavier than many of the bikes we’ve tested, which can make it difficult to transport. “You’ll have to be careful not to smack the big 22-inch screen into things when you move it,” said Meier, rating its portability a 3.5 out of 5.

This is an awesome bike if you’re looking for an interactive cycling experience to replace your treadmill workout. “The screen is top-notch, the incline/decline features are unique, and it’s priced in the same ballpark as Peloton. However, without the iFit subscription, the bike isn’t very impressive,” said Meier. 

Read our full NordicTrack S22i Exercise Bike Review.

Best Air Bike: Assault AirBike Classic


Assault AirBike

Assault AirBike

The Assault AirBike is a moderately priced bike with a solid build that features a powder-coated steel frame. It’s an upright indoor bike with moving arms that’s designed to burn calories and integrate seamlessly into cross-training and interval workouts.

Shop Assault


Price: $699

Weight: 96lbs

Dimensions: 50” H x 50.95” L x 23.34” W

Weight Capacity: 300lbs


The Assault Airbike has moving arms that give your upper body a workout while you ride.

The LCD display offers you 7 onboard programs, like endurance training or Tabata.

A heavy-duty steel frame, industrial powder coating, and 20 sealed cartridge bearings in every pivot contribute to its durability.


There aren’t any Bluetooth capabilities or speakers to stream music or programming. 

This bike is louder than the average exercise bike due to its chain drive and fan-generated rush of air.

This is a low-tech bike, so you won’t find a touchscreen with streaming capabilities.

Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery to reignite the cardio fire in your belly. When switching from a treadmill to one of the best air bikes, you’ll be able to fold some upper-body work into your low-impact training. The Assault AirBike Classic is a reasonably-priced machine at $699, which is between $200 and $800 cheaper than many of the air bikes we’ve come across. 

This is a bike you often see used in CrossFit gyms — since the resistance increases with your effort, it’s a useful tool for practicing high-intensity intervals that work the upper and lower body. Also, its heavy-duty steel frame and powder coating will help this bike stick around for the long haul, so long as you take proper care of it.

Our tester resting his feet on the Assault AirBike pegs.

Our tester, a CrossFit coach noted, “Most Crossfit gyms with Assault Bikes don’t take care of them or perform regular chain maintenance. However, they still last forever in those environments and that’s with loads of use. In a home gym, this bike can last decades with proper maintenance.” Durability scored a 4 out of 5.

You won’t find a touchscreen or Bluetooth speakers on this straightforward machine. “Assault Fitness is known for keeping their gear solid and simple, however, there is the ability to connect to a heart rate monitor,” said our tester, giving tech capabilities a score of 3 out 5. The bike is also louder than the average spin bike, due to the fan-generated rush of air.

As we noted, resistance increases with your effort on air bikes. “You’re going to burn calories here,” says Jake Herod, BarBend’s expert product tester and a certified nutrition coach, in the below video. “You can even take your legs out of the equation completely and just focus on your upper body.” Pegs on the front of the bike allow you a place to rest your feet should you want to only use your upper body.

Herod has been using this bike for a while. He notes in his video review, “The treadmill tends to be a little bit boring for me, but this [bike] is well worth the money. It tends to kick my butt every single time.” We rated its overall value a score of 4.5 out of 5.

Read our full Assault Air Bike Review.

Best Rowing Machine: Hydrow Rower

Hydrow Rower

Hydrow Rower

The Hydrow is a high-tech rower with a library full of live and on-demand workouts, a smooth drive and electromagnetic resistance. It’s a quiet machine and provides a great full-body workout for both beginning and advanced rowers.

Shop Hydrow


Price: $1,995

Weight: 145lbs

Dimensions: 47” H x 86” L x 25” W

Weight Capacity: 375lbs


Hydrow membership offers immersive training where you can follow along with trainers while they row in scenic locations.

The coaching is top level with a roster of olympians, D1 athletes, and competitive racers to help educate and motivate your workout.

Hydrow has a patented electromagnetic drag system that makes it feel as if you’re actually rowing on water, and the harder you row the more resistance you’ll face.


For access to Hydrow’s library of workouts you’ll need to pay for a $44 monthly membership.

This rower has a large footprint, so if you’re looking to save space, about 6 inches in length and width, you may want to consider the Hydrow Wave Rower that’s $450 less.

Variety is the spice of life, so why not trade in your running shoes for a trip down river? The Hydrow Rower offers connected, interactive rowing where you can follow along with trainers who are rowing on scenic lakes and rivers. The Hydrow Rower scored a 5 out of 5 for tech capabilities and dynamic programming, some of the highest ratings we gave compared to 18 of the best rowing machines we’ve tried.

With an electromagnetic drag system, your resistance increases as you pull harder, so it’ll feel similar to actually rowing on water. “The instructors are fabulous and I love the on-water rowing,” said our tester. “It’s great having your metrics right onscreen for you to see. Plus, making your way onto the leaderboard is also really motivating.” Our tester scored tech capabilities a 5 out of 5. 

With Olympians and competitive athletes as your coaches, you’re getting some dialed-in training from rowers who know. Outside of the gorgeous scenery, “the programming is outstanding,” said our tester who rated its dynamic programming a 5 out of 5. Hydrow can also provide you with a database of your workout history and progress, plus access to the Hydrow community so you can connect with others.

To access this programming, however, you will have to pay a monthly $44 membership. The subscription cost is on the high side of what we’ve seen for monthly streaming subscriptions. It’s the same cost as Peloton, $4 more expensive than Echelon Premier, $5 more than iFIT, and $24 more than JRNY. 

Value scored a 3.5 out of 5 purely based on the necessity to have a membership to get the most out of this rower. “When you take into account the fact that you’ll have to pay a subscription fee to access the trainers, it really starts to feel expensive,” said our tester. “It’s pretty similar to Peloton in that sense. But even so, I have to recommend it. Especially if you need a little extra motivation. It really is that good.

Jake using the Hydrow Wave Rower

Lastly, this rower is large at 145 pounds, 86 inches long, and 25 inches wide. So, if you’d like to save about 6 inches in length and width, consider checking out the Hydrow Wave Rower, a smaller and less expensive rower with similar tech capabilities and dynamic programming.

Read our full Hydrow Rower Review

Best Vertical Climber: CLMBR Connected 02 

CLMBR Connected 02

CLMBR Connected 02

The CLMBR Connected 02 features adjustable handles for alternating grip positions, as well as a sturdy frame capable of holding up to 350 pounds. Additionally, there’s plenty of tech strewn across the profile, including an integrated app delivering on-demand classes, challenges, guides, and more.



Price: $3,995

Weight: 180lbs

Dimensions: 88” H x 32” L x 35” W

Weight Capacity: 350lbs


This machine combines cardio and strength training, targeting muscle groups like your arms, shoulders, back, legs, and glutes.

The integrated app offers access to on-demand classes with great music and instructors.

There are 11 levels of magnetic resistance, making it easier to find the right challenge for you.


At nearly $4,000, it’s more expensive than most cardio equipment by $2,000 to $3,000.

Assembly was a nightmare for our team due to confusing instructions. 

The pedals may not be large enough for users with a men’s shoe size of 12 or larger.

If you’re tired of the continual forward motion of running on a treadmill, why not take your cardio training vertical? Vertical climbing combines strength and cardio and can push your heart rate to new limits, which may lead to an increased VO2 max and a higher calorie burn than what you’d get running on a treadmill. (2) The CLMBR Connected 02 is a premium splurge, with a library of workout programs, trackable stats, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 21.4 inch HD touchscreen, the largest screen offered for vertical climbers we’ve come across.

Tech capabilities and dynamic programming scored a 5 out of 5. “The coaches reminded me of Peloton coaches, and they obviously paid more to have access to great music,” said our tester, a CrossFit coach. “There are lots of cool classes to take, and a powerful built-in sound system.” 

Our tester working out with the CLMBR Connected 02

You’ll also get 11 levels of magnetic resistance and a 350-pound weight capacity. However, the foot pedals might be less accommodating if you’ve got a men’s size 12 shoe or larger. “One of our testers who’s 6’4” and wears a size 15 shoe wasn’t sure it was suited for someone of his height. His feet also dwarfed the pedals,” said our tester. Because of this, adjustability and ergonomics scored a 4 out of 5.

This machine is expensive at about $4,000, and that price keeps climbing with the $39 premium monthly subscription to continue accessing classes. All together, value scored a 3.75 out of 5.

However, there is also a lower tier membership called Metrics+ that’s $9.99. You won’t have access to classes, but your workout history and stats will be recorded. This is something many people who use Tonal, a smart home gym with a $59 monthly membership, have been begging for, so we appreciate this inclusion. 

Lastly, this thing is huge and moving it around is a pain in the keister. “I’d definitely recommend having a garage or a spare room where you could keep this machine. It’s not that it’s heavy, it’s just that the 88-inch height isn’t meant for small spaces,” said our tester. “Putting this thing together was also a beast. You have to have at least two people to do it.” Footprint and portability scored a 3 out of 5, and setup scored a low 2 out of 5.

Best Smart Home Gym: Tonal



The Tonal is an interactive home gym that delivers up to 200 lbs of total electromagnetic resistance with the use of two maneuverable pulleys. What’s most impressive is that it adapts as you progresses, which means you’ll always be pushing closer to your fitness goals. 

Shop Tonal


Price: $4,490

Weight: 150lbs

Dimensions: 50.9” H x 5.25” L x 21.50” W

Weight Capacity: NA


This home gym machine’s AI learns what you’re capable of, and will increase your weight when it thinks you’re ready for more.

The Tonal is wall-mounted, helping to save space in your gym. 

Your subscription gives you access to thousands of on-demand workouts and strength programming.


If you opt out of the $59.95 monthly membership, you lose AI capabilities, history tracking, and streaming content.

There seems to be a general confusion about how Tonal will assist users with product issues once their device’s warranty has expired.

You’ll have to pay a $300-500+ relocation fee if you want to move your Tonal. If you attempt to move the Tonal yourself, you may void your warranty.

I used to think running would give me the cut physique I so desperately wanted. However, I’ve been using Tonal, a smart magnetic cable machine, consistently for the last 3 years and realized strength training was my ticket to the strong core, shaped gams, and boulder shoulders I’d been lusting after.

There’s a lot to touch on, especially since I’m a Tonal simp, so let’s start with the good. If you’re someone who’s bad at tracking their fitness, jotting down reps and weight so that you can up the intensity, Tonal is for you. Tonal track your workouts, upping your weight to give you the benefits of progressive overload without you even having to think about it. Tech capabilities scored a 5 out of 5. 

You’re getting 200 pounds of magnetic resistance, which means you can’t use momentum to help you. Because of this, the weight feels heavier than free weights. For example, I can curl 25 pound free weights, and can only curl 15 pounds on Tonal. 

Adjusting the weight on a Tonal smart gym

Tonal is wall-mounted, which saves you space. However, you will want around 7 square feet of floor space for when you work out. Tonal also recommends a ceiling height of 7 feet and 10 inches. Footprint scored a 5 out of 5.

I love my Tonal, but it’s 100 percent the most expensive thing I’ve ever owned. I sold my last car for half as much as what this machine costs. Plus, the monthly subscription is basically necessary, or else you lose all of the AI capabilities, dynamic weight modes, and library of classes. This subscription will run you $59.95 a month, which is nearly $20 more than the average monthly subscription for connected fitness equipment. 

With your subscription, though, you have access to thousands of on-demand classes for strength, hypertrophy, cardio, yoga, meditation, and more, as well as about 3 daily live classes. Due to the total cost, value scored a 3 out of 5.

If you ever want to move your Tonal, a relocation fee will cost you $300 to $500. If you move it yourself, you may void your warranty. The warranty on Tonal isn’t great. You get 2 years for parts and labor. Many customers have complained about their machines breaking after their warranty has ended and not being able to figure out how to fix their equipment. For warranty I give a 2 out of 5.

Read our full Tonal Review.

Best Stair Climber: ProForm Pro HIIT H14

ProForm Pro HIIT H14

ProForm Pro HIIT H14

This unique profile combines a stair stepper and elliptical for a space-saving, high-performance training experience. The Pro HIIT H14 is also integrated with the iFit online workout program, giving you access to over 17,000 live and on-demand fitness classes.

Shop ProForm


Price: $1,799

Weight: 215lbs

Dimensions: 66” H x 52” L x 29” W

Weight Capacity: 325lbs


You get the benefits of both a stair stepper and an elliptical with this machine’s vertical and horizontal foot paths and moving handles.

iFIT integration gives you access to thousands of on-demand fitness classes. 

The Silent Magnetic Resistance system provides you with a super quiet training experience.


There’s no handlebar, which can make moving this 215-pound machine difficult.

To get the most out of this stair climber, you’ll want an iFIT subscription, which will cost $34.99 a month.

The 14-inch touchscreen only allows you to stream iFIT, so you can’t watch shows or other programming.

Mix up your cardio routine and work in some posterior chain muscle confusion by trading in your treadmill for one of the best stair climbers. The ProForm Pro HIIT H14 is like a centaur out of Greek mythology, with a bottom half that resembles a stair climber and an upper half with moving handles like you’d find on an elliptical. We scored its tech capabilities, durability, and dynamic programming a 5 out of 5.

We’re iFIT fans here at BarBend, and this stair climber comes compatible. For a monthly subscription fee of $39, you have access to thousands of scenic and studio on-demand classes. You’ll also be able to take classes off of your stair climber, such as yoga, strength training, and high-intensity interval training. 

Our tester tipping the ProForm Pro HIIT H14

iFIT is awesome, but if you opt not to get a membership, you won’t be able to stream other content on this stair climber’s 14-inch touchscreen,” noted our tester, a CrossFit coach. For this reason, we recommend the iFIT programming, which we scored a 5 out of 5.

This stair climber is a very sturdy machine with a 30-pound flywheel — we tend to see 16- to 20-pound flywheels on the average stair climber— and 10-inch vertical and 5-inch horizontal stride lengths. “The 325-pound max user capacity is 50 pounds more than the industry standard of 275 pounds,” said our tester. They rated its durability a perfect 5 out of 5.

Our tester working out with the ProForm HIIT H14

The transport wheels on this are better than any other stair climber I’ve tried,” said our tester. “The only problem is it doesn’t have any sort of handlebar on the front or back to move it around.” Portability scored a 3.5 out of 5.

You’re getting 26 levels of resistance, which our testernotes is “more than double the industry standard of 12 levels,” said our tester. And this comes in the form of Silent Magnetic Resistance, where each level of resistance is smooth, frictionless, and near-silent. Our tester agreed, “The machine is definitely quiet.

Best Connected Boxing: FightCamp



Get in the ring from the comfort of your own home with FightCamp’s heavy bag, streaming workouts, and fitness trackers that’ll count your punches and power throughout your workout.

Shop FightCamp


Price: Options from $79, $399, $799, to $1349 

Weight: You fill with 250lbs of water or 350lbs of sand

Dimensions 67” H x 24” L x 24” W

Weight Capacity: N/A


Tracking tech slips into your boxing gloves to track your punch count and power.

FightCamp offers detailed cues for those inexperienced at boxing, with clear instruction on how to land your punches.

Trainers walk you through workouts, which can incorporate boxing, kickboxing, strength and conditioning, core work, and more.


You’ll have to pay a monthly $39 membership fee to have access to the library of content and classes.

We recommend it more for beginners than experienced boxers who aren’t looking for form and technique cues.

Filling the heavy bag can be annoying since there’s a small hole that the sand or water has to filter into.

I love BoxHaus and BoxUnion, which are studio boxing experiences where you wrap up, learn some combos, and then start punching away as popular music fuels your jabs. What I don’t love about the studio boxing experience is how I often need to wear ear plugs because of how loud the music and instruction is. FightCamp gives you the studio boxing experience from the comfort of your own home — you’re in control of your environment. Our tester gave it an overall rating of 4.1 out of 5.

With a $799 purchase of “The Works” bundle, you’ll get a heavy bag, quick wraps, boxing gloves, fitness trackers, and a cable to stream your workouts onto your TV. But if you already have boxing gloves, or a heavy bag, there are options that just include the fitness trackers that slide into your boxing gloves.

For $39 a month, you’ll get access to the app, which comes with thousands of HIIT-style workouts led by professional boxers and kickboxers. With the glove fitness trackers, the app will also show you your punch count and your power. However, our tester noted, “The main problem is going to be whether or not users find this subscription worth the cost. But I will admit, boxing may very well be the most fun conditioning work I’ve ever done.” These smart features scored a 3.5 out of 5.

FightCamp’s value is dependent on what level of boxing experience you have. Because of FightCamp’s trainer cues for form and technique, we recommend this for beginners or those at an intermediate level. However, some customer reviews have mentioned an annoyance with the long-winded coaching, so this might not be suitable for more experienced boxers. Our tester gave a value score of 1.75 out of 5, one of the lowest value scores we’ve given for connected fitness.

I really loved FightCamp, and I’d recommend it for those who are tired of their treadmill and looking to change up their conditioning,” said our tester. You’ll get a great workout, with options to take classes focused on boxing, kickboxing, strength and conditioning, and more. And although it’s annoying having to fill up the heavy bag with 250 to 350 pounds of sand and water (you are here because you wanted a workout, aren’t you?), once filled, the bag is incredibly sturdy. Durability scored a 4 out of 5.

Best Slide Boards: Brrrn

Brrrn Board

Brrrn Board

Slip on your booties and get after the cardio and core benefits of the Brrrn Board.  Non-slip foam pads are attached to the bottom of the polymer blend board so that you can use this slide board on most household surfaces. 

Shop Brrrn


Price: $349

Weight: 31lbs

Dimensions: 2.25” H x 72” L x 19.75” W

Weight Capacity: 400lbs


Slide boards are fun, and if you’re bored with your home treadmill cardio, sliding back and forth like a hockey player might be perfect for you.

Unlike slide boards we’ve seen elsewhere, this one is made out of a polymer deck that won’t warp.

A $7.99 monthly subscription to stream workouts is $20 to $44 cheaper than the average app we’ve come across. 


There’s no tracking or tech features involved with this slideboard. 

If you’re unsure if slide boards are right for you, you may want to try a cheaper roll-up version that’ll save you $150 to $250.

Being on a slippery surface, shooting from side to side, is inherently risky.

The Brrrn Board is a slide board, a tool often used in prehab and rehab practices. You skate from side to side on a slippery plank, moving laterally by pushing off with your glutes and legs, increasing stabilization in your knees and hips as you fight for balance. (3)  It reminds me of when the swim team at my college threw a party where they melted butter on the floor and everyone slid around all night. 

You get a pair of booties with your purchase and a polymer board that’s 72 inches long, 20 inches wide, and compact enough to fit under beds and couches. Unlike many consumer slide boards, this one is made with a durable wood and polymer that doesn’t roll up. 

We haven’t gotten our hands on the Brrrn Board yet (once we do we’ll be sure to update this review accordingly), however, our expert tester and BarBend editorial staff member Lauren Keary did take in-person Brrrn studio classes. “I didn’t fall over, but I was a cautious little slider,” they said. “I would just do baby slides until I got the hang of it. Then I was able to start increasing my momentum.” The inherent nature of a slide board is slippery, so users who are concerned about falling should start off slow or avoid this altogether.

Keary noted, “I’d say my glutes definitely felt the burn — you use muscles you don’t normally activate to propel you in this kind of workout.” They scored their workout experience a 4 out of 5. “I’d start the class in long sleeves and about halfway through I’d be sweating and warmed up enough to take my top layer off.”

The cost of a Brrrn Board will run you $349 for the board, booties, and a spray bottle of polish to keep things sliding. Although this is $150 to $250 more than some options we’ve come across online, this board provides a more durable construction that should last you longer than flimsy roll-up options. You’ll also have access to some free workouts on YouTube and an app loaded with hundreds of workouts, though the app does have a $7.99 monthly subscription fee. 

How We Chose the Best Treadmill Alternatives

Since cardio machines come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and workout modalities, we had to be sure to measure them with testing that applied across the board. Here are a few of the points of consideration we wrestled with while choosing our top picks.


What are the ingredients of a quality cardio machine? Sturdy construction, built with materials that will hold up overtime. There are always options when you’re on a budget, but the trade-off for these lower-priced products often comes at the expense of the longevity of the item. Machines with high-tech options and sturdy builds will often cost more, but their features will provide you with the entertainment and tracking capabilities that can help keep you dedicated to your fitness goals.


We made sure to highlight the cost of each option, measuring it against the features and conveniences that came with that price. When you’re paying a large amount of money, you want better tech features, smart tracking and adjustments, a larger range of resistance, quality programming, Bluetooth connectivity, and streaming capabilities.

Our tester adjusts the controls on a ProForm HIIT H14

Not all of the options on this list come packed to the brim with these amenities, but when they were missing, the price more often than not reflected that.


In the words of Donna and Tom from Parks and Rec, “treat yo’ self.We made our selections with the best options in each category, placing products with impressive features at the top of our list. Top-level programming, integrated apps, ergonomic fits, and impressive adjustments for incline and resistance helped solidify our selections. We know not everyone’s looking for the same thing, so we made sure to highlight features we thought users of varying levels and abilities might find intriguing. 

Benefits of the Best Treadmill Alternatives

Cardio is good. We know this. We’ve studied this. We’ve forced children to run around fields and called it “physical education” because of this. Exercise has been shown to benefit cardiovascular health, improve bone density, lower body fat, and improve mental health. (4) The benefits of the cardio equipment on this list goes beyond.


Advances in technology have made reaching your goals that much easier. Of course, you still have to do the work, but with tech capabilities like digital tracking, auto-adjust features, and AI learning, you’re better prepared to get where you’re trying to go. This smart technology makes working out more dialed in, providing you the type of workout you’re capable of and pushing you when you can be pushed.


You came here because you’re looking to switch up your training, and we’ve looked high and low to find an option on our list for whatever you might be looking for.

Moving the NordicTrack S22i

The training variety we’ve curated can help kickstart muscle building, awaken your core, strengthen your knees, and bring back some joy to your cardio if it was missing.

Easier on the Joints

The repeated pounding of running can take a toll on your joints. The majority of our picks offer lower-impact workouts than what you’d experience on a treadmill, making them more accessible for older adults or those recovering from injuries.

What to Consider Before Buying a Treadmill Alternative

First, you’ll want to figure out what type of workout you’d like to do instead of running on a treadmill. Once you’ve done that, you can start to learn what to look for within the category that you’re most interested in. If you want to spin, you’ll want to figure out what to look for when buying an indoor cycle. If you want to use a stair climber, you’ll need to figure out how much head space you have available in your home gym. Here are a few other considerations. 


Calculating how much you’re willing to spend is a great place to start on your quest for the best treadmill alternatives. Many of the choices on our list include subscription fees, and we made sure to mention if we thought these were necessary or merely optional. You’ll want to calculate the cost of what the subscription will run you and add that to the cost of the equipment to figure out what you’ll end up spending. Subscription fees tend to range from $20 to $60 per month, and equipment prices often land between $350 and $4,500.


The equipment you’re eyeing will need to fit your space. If space is limited, consider equipment that can fold up or tuck away, like smart home gym equipment or exercise bikes with transport wheels. We made sure to mention the dimensions of each pick, so you can measure out your available space to see if it’ll work.

Workout Modality

It’s an exciting time for at-home cardio fitness. From heavy bags to ellipticals and stair climbers, there’s a choice out there that’s right for you. Depending on what kind of workout you’re looking for, and what your level of ability is, there are choices on this list that’ll fuel your fire and lift your heart rate. 

Once you’ve figured out what it is you’d like to do, check out our top choice for that option. We’ve selected a pick for the best elliptical, exercise bike, air bike, rowing machine, vertical climber, smart home gym, stair climber, connected boxing, and slide board, though there’s other cardio options — including many bodyweight exercises — you can also look into. 

Final Word

Cardio comes in many shapes and sizes, and if running on a treadmill isn’t bringing you joy or closer to your goals, it’s time to make a swap. The machines on this list impressed us with their quality, features, tech capabilities, and programming. Many of the choices on this list have large footprints, so it’ll be important to measure out your space and make sure to check our notes for portability.  

Most importantly, you’ll have to figure out what it is you want to do. Our team of testers had fun switching things up while trying out all of the available features, and hopefully one of these features will stand out to you. Whether you’re looking to add some strength to your upper body with an air bike, vertical climber, or smart home gym, or you want to work in some low-intensity cardio (LISS cardio) training with an exercise bike or elliptical, we’ve got a choice that’s right for you and your goals.


What is the best treadmill alternative?

It truly depends on what you want to do. The best exercise equipment is the exercise equipment you’ll actually use. We’ve got a choice for exercise bikes, ellipticals, slide boards, boxing, stair climbers, smart home gyms, and more. If we had to choose our absolute favorite out of them all, the Sole E25 elliptical would be our choice. In addition to its reasonable price tag, you’re getting low impact cardio with 20 levels of resistance and 20 levels of incline.

What can I do if I don’t have a treadmill?

The world is your playground and opportunities for cardio are behind every corner. When you don’t have a treadmill, you can run outside, climb stairs, ride a bike, go for a swim, the list goes on and on. Or get creative: carry your groceries and do some bicep curls, or squat down and pick up your cats and repeat. If you don’t have a treadmill, perhaps you have the space for another piece of equipment, which is where our list of treadmill alternatives may help you.

What equipment is better than a treadmill?

When looking for equipment that’s better than a treadmill, it’s good to know exactly what problems you have with the treadmill. Are you bored when you’re running? Is the speed of the treadmill not challenging enough? Knowing what you don’t like will help narrow your search to find something that you’ll love, and our list has a choice for a variety of options once you know what you might want to consider.


Santa-Clara, H., Fernhall, B., & Baptista, F., Mendes, M., & Sardinha, B.B. (2003). Effect of a one-year combined exercise training program on body composition in men with coronary artery disease. Metabolism, 52(11),1413-1417.

Brahler, C. J., & Blank, S. E. (1995). VersaClimbing elicits higher VO2max than does treadmill running or rowing ergometry. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 27(2), 249–254.

Demir, C., & Harput, G. (2023). Weight-Bearing Exercises on Slideboard Increase Quadriceps and Hamstring Activation Levels and Improve Hip- and Knee-Flexion Angles in Physically Active Individuals. Journal of sport rehabilitation, 32(6), 674–686.

Brellenthin, A. G., Lanningham-Foster, L. M., Kohut, M. L., Li, Y., Church, T. S., Blair, S. N., & Lee, D. C. (2019). Comparison of the Cardiovascular Benefits of Resistance, Aerobic, and Combined Exercise (CardioRACE): Rationale, design, and methods. American heart journal, 217, 101–111.

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