Elliptical vs. Stationary Bike: Which Workout Is Better?

Elliptical vs. Stationary Bike: Which Workout Is Better?

The decision of which cardio machine to get is a difficult one. Obviously, there are so many options available. So, it’s difficult to understand their differences and choose what each will offer you in your workout routine. Will an elliptical bike help you more than a stationary bike? What type of exercise should I do for muscle toning or rehabilitation? All these questions can be answered by checking out our advice below on some basic benefits and misconceptions when using various types!

It’s never easy making decisions like this but luckily there are lots of machines available nowadays that make things easier! An important question would first always have been “What am I looking for as my goal from training?”  You could then decide whether getting into a particular physical activity is right for you or not.

It can be difficult to find the right workout for your body, especially if you have injuries or limitations that make certain exercises impossible. However, with some research and thoughtfulness about what is best for each person’s needs, there are many great exercises available- one of which could just be an elliptical machine versus a bike!

An elliptical works both arms and legs while stationary bikes work only on your leg muscles (plus core). If you want cardio workouts without stressing any joints then either machine will do the trick but keep in mind they’re not interchangeable so choose wisely according to individual fitness goals as well as personal strengths and weaknesses.


The Pros Of An Elliptical

The elliptical can be a great way to get that gliding through space vibe, and if you’re looking for something more than just another workout routine it’s perfect.

Plus, since it’s low-impact (your feet never leave the pedals), you’ll be able to ease into fitness with this machine. The elliptical offers an amazing opportunity to get a full-body workout. And if you hold onto those moving handles and really pump your arms and engage your core as you glide, the muscles that feel the burn will be in all parts of our body from glutes, hamstrings, quads triceps, and deltoids (top of arm).

All in all, the elliptical is a great way to burn calories. With Harvard Medical School’s estimates, you can expect to have burned 270-400 after 30 minutes of using the machine!

The Cons Of An Elliptical

If you want to support your running goals, the elliptical may not be ideal. The movement pattern is different from what we do in real life and it doesn’t translate for any specific event, says Jenna Almonte of Expert Personal Training NYC. 

Though the elliptical is great for toning your butt and thighs, it’s not going to make you a better runner. If that’s what you’re looking for in training then stick with running on a treadmill because of how different their movements are.

When Almonte was asked why she does not use the elliptical for cardio, her response is something many exercise enthusiasts will understand: it’s easy to zone out on an elliptical. This may be ideal if you need a break from your world but not so great if you are looking to improve your fitness or heart and lung health.

Stationary Bike

The Pros Of A Stationary Bike

Exciting words can motivate you to get up and go do something. There are many ways for a person that is looking for an exercise routine, but not sure what will work best with their schedule or physical limitations. The stationary bike may be the perfect answer because it has a low impact on your joints which makes this type of workout great if you have any knee, hip, or ankle concerns. It targets those areas where we tend to carry most weight like our glutes and quads but also engages other muscles such as hamstrings in calves leaving nothing untouched!

The stationary bike is an excellent, low-impact way to get your cardio in. It places more emphasis on the lower body but can also work out other areas too if you stand up and engage core muscles from time to time.

As Harvard Medical School points out, a 125-pound person can burn 210 calories in 30 minutes of moderate exercise on the bike while a 185-pound person burns 311 and 466 respectively. Cranking up the intensity to the vigorous effort will make burning more than 300 or 500 calories possible for average-weight people with only 60 minutes of biking!

The Cons Of A Stationary Bike

The stationary bike is good for those who want to work out but may have some restrictions such as injuries and disabilities. The seat can be difficult to get used to on the bike, which many people find a downside of this type of exercise. However, it’s worth trying out because there are many benefits that outweigh any negatives associated with sitting on one for an hour or so.

One solution? You can opt for padded bike shorts to help you ride a little more comfortably. However, Almonte says that she found that the time and good form helped with comfort on her thighs; in particular, when trying out riding positions such as sitting or standing up while pedaling.

What Burns More Calories – Elliptical Or Bike?

1h of training Calories burned
Exercise bike, low or moderate to vigorous 400 to 750 kcal
Elliptical bike, low or moderate to vigorous 455 to 830 kcal

Bottom Line: Elliptical vs. Bike

The elliptical is a device that can help you lose weight, build muscles in your upper and lower body. But the stationary bike burns more calories than it does compare to when used at high-intensity levels. 

The elliptical machine and the stationary bike offer a wide range of benefits for those with osteoarthritis as well as cross-trainers. The weight-bearing that occurs on an elliptical can improve bone health, but if you have knee or hip pain, then maybe it’s better to go easy on your joints by choosing a stationary bike.

If you find yourself stuck between the elliptical and bike, don’t worry! You can also use both machines to get a great full-body workout. Plus, this is an easy way to keep your routine fresh. Also, when you get bored with your workout routine, use a combo of the elliptical and bike to amp up calories burned. For example, do short sprints on the bikes for 10 minutes followed by steady pedaling in between each set of sprints.

Cardio is a great way to stay in shape, but it can also be the best mood booster when you’re feeling down. For those looking for an intense workout that will leave them enjoying their time on the stationary bike or elliptical machine more than ever before, Almonte has some advice for all of our readers: “You’ll always get more out of your cardio if you opt for what’s the most fun.” So, choose wisely. We hope that we helped you in making a decision of whether to buy a bike or an elliptical for your next fitness spree! 

Michael Holding

Michael is an outdoor adventurer and a kayaking enthusiast who loves to share his experiences with others. He is the Chief Editor at XgearHub.

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