Exercise Bike vs Elliptical: Which Is Best For Cardio Workouts?
Category: Exercise Bike Reviews
Two of the most popular types of home exercise equipment are the exercise bike vs elliptical machine, so it seems only natural that when you are looking for a good piece of exercise equipment then you are going to want to consider the exercise bike vs elliptical in order to determine which type of equipment will best meet your fitness needs.
In order to decide between the exercise bike vs elliptical it is best to take a more in depth look at both of these machines.
Should You Get An Exercise Bike?
Various Types of Exercise Bikes
In the battle of Exercise bike vs elliptical you need to know which type of exercise bike you are comparing the elliptical machine to. So here is a look at the different types of exercise bikes.
- Upright Bike
An upright bike most resembles a normal bike. The pedals of these bikes line up under the feet and the seat of the bike supports the majority of the users weight. Upright bikes are great for cardio workouts and working muscles in the lower body. Some upright bikes have moving handlebars that also allows you to work out your core muscles and upper body.
- Recumbent Bikes
Recumbent bikes are bikes that recline with a seat more like a chair than a bicycle seat which takes a lot of pressure off the buttocks and back. The pedals of these bikes are more to the front of the feet requiring you to stretch your legs further forward when pedaling. The handlebars are more to the side of rider’s side than the front. This bike engages fewer of the users muscles.
- Spin Bike
Spin bikes are also called Indoor cycles and there are entire classes offered using these types of bikes. Spin bikes sit upright, but their handlebars are some distance from the seat making it possible to workout on these bikes either sitting down or standing up. Spin bikes allow you to work a larger variety of muscles and promotes more of a calorie burn.
- Fan/Air Bike
A fan or air bike using wind resistance to give you a better workout. The faster and harder you pedal the more resistance you build up. Air bikes have movable arms so you can work out your upper and lower body separately or both at one time.
- Under Desk Bike
Under desk bikes are designed for people who spend long hours working at a desk and have little time to get in exercise on a regular basis. Under desk bikes a little more than a pair of pedals that allows you to work out your lower body. An under the desk bike won’t give you a serious workout, but at least it allows you to get a little workout in while you’re working or even watching television.
What Muscles Do Exercise Bikes Work on?
In the battle of exercise bike vs elliptical you want to make a decision on which machine is right for you based on what muscles they work on as well as what other health benefits you can gain from the each machine. Here is a look at the muscles exercise bikes work.
For starters most exercise bikes work your back and spinal muscles without putting undue strain on these muscles. Most bikes, regardless of which type of bike you choose work both the front and back of the thigh muscles, as well as your hip, backside and leg muscles.
Recumbent bikes are great for working your abdominal muscles tightening your tummy and helping you to maintain good posture.
Bike with movable handlebars works your shoulder and chest muscles as well as your upper arms.
All exercise bikes also give you a good cardio workout and helps you to burn calories.
Advantages of Exercise Bikes
In order to fully determine whether an exercise bike or elliptical machine is the best fit for your fitness goals you need to know the advantages and disadvantages of the exercise bikes.
Here is a look at what’s good and what’s not so good about these bikes.
Exercise bike benefits:
- An exercise bike does not take up a lot of space in your home
- Great for those just beginning a fitness routine
- Can use regardless of the weather
- Low impact
- Improves balance
- Great for toning legs
- Aids in weight loss
- Good cardio workout
- Doesn’t require a power outlet
Exercise bike demerits:
- Most exercise back are concerned with mainly working out your lower body
- Can cause sore buttocks and back
- Upright bikes can actually lead to back issues
- Can be hard on the knees of people with knee joint problems
- Can get very boring
Should You Get An Elliptical Machine?
Different Types of Elliptical Machines
Just as the case for exercise bikes, when comparing an exercise bike vs elliptical machine you need to understand the different types of elliptical machines.
Here is a look at those types of elliptical machines:
- Elliptical Glider
An elliptical glider has stationary handlebars and you operate the machine by extending your hips and knees. The foot platform does not move, but the pedals move up and down at a backward angle. This machine can allow you to move the pedals both forwards and backwards.
- Elliptical Trainer
Like the elliptical glider the elliptical trainer works out the lower body. The handlebars are stationary and stand you on the foot pedals and you push on the pedals in a circular motion that is a lot like the motion of climbing stairs.
- Elliptical Cross Trainer
Elliptical cross trainer givers you a more complete body workout since both the pedal platform and the arms of the machine moves. These machines work your hips, buttocks, cakes, elbows and shoulders
- Under Desk Elliptical Machine
Under desk elliptical machines are little more than the elliptical pedals. These machines are designed to fit under a table or desk or sit in front of chair so you can get some exercise while you are watching television, reading or working. Under the desk ellipticals are good for toning muscles, but aren’t suitable for those dedicated to really working out.
What Muscles Exercised by Elliptical Machines?
In the battle of exercise bikes vs elliptical machines you are going to need what muscles the elliptical machines tend to strengthen and workout.
All elliptical machines work out the lower body including the hamstrings at the back of the legs, your glutes, thigh muscles or quads and your calf muscles. Strengthening these muscles can help to strengthen your lower back and may help to prevent lower back pain.
Elliptical Cross trainers will also work out your arm, shoulder and chest muscles as well as your back and core muscles giving you a more full body workout that will help you tone your entire body.
In addition, elliptical machines help your to burn calories and improve your cardio health.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Elliptical Machines
In order to make an informed decision as to which piece of exercise equipment is best in the continuous battle between exercise bikes vs elliptical machines, you need to know the advantages and disadvantage of the elliptical machine.
Elliptical machine benefits:
- Low impact form of exercise that protects your joints
- Good for burning calories, which can aid in weight loss
- Since this machine can be used indoors you can exercise in any weather
- Older people can exercise in this machine
- Whole body workout
- Can help increase stamina
- Can help to build a stronger body
- Good machine for beginner (not first time users)
- Doesn’t take up too much room.
- Doesn’t require a power outlet
Elliptical machine demerits:
- This machine is not good for those into advanced fitness
- Can be extremely difficult for first time users
- It doesn’t do the best for toning all muscle groups
- Some users experience numb feet
- Can be extremely boring
- Can be pretty expensive, putting one these machines beyond many peoples budgets
Exercise Bike vs Elliptical: Which is Better
When it comes to choosing between an exercise bike and elliptical for the one piece of exercise equipment to use in your home there are several things to consider. First, you will notice that both of these machines offer many of the same benefits so if your main goal is too burn calories, and tone your leg muscles either machine will help you accomplish that goal.
However, many people with knee joint problems find elliptical machines easier to use and also find that the elliptical will build more muscle and do a better job at helping you improve muscle.
On the other hand one of the benefits of exercise bikes is they are easy to use for people who have balance problems. An exercise bike, particularly a recumbent bike may be better for those people who have back problems and still want to get in some exercise.
However, in most cases it is the cost of the elliptical, which makes many people decide an exercise bike is a better choice, but in the end you are the only one that can determine which is the better for your specific needs.
Recommended posts & articles:
Elliptical machines and treadmills have a range of pros and cons. It really does come down to personal choice, and what you want to achieve.
Everybody is different and finding the right can often be a chore. Some machinery doesn’t accommodate people with sensitive joints while others can be too expensive to maintain. That’s why ellipticals are here to stay. They can be useful tools…
One of the most frequent questions I have been asked has been, “how long should you run on an elliptical to lose weight?”. After some thinking I figured I could not keep on ignoring this question…
Speed training is an important part of any sport and it can also be beneficial to anyone who is trying to improve their overall fitness. Speed training not only helps you to run faster, but can help you improve the…
Are you optimizing your daily schedule to its fullest potential? If you are someone who works out on a daily basis, you probably understand the importance of having a set schedule daily workout routine. However, in today’s…
Are you tired of not seeing results from your current weekly exercise plan? Whether you are trying to lose or gain weight, your workout routine demands a dose of variety. In today’s society, it is so…
Most fitness experts will tell you that bodyweight ab workout exercises by themselves are not likely to give you those washboard abs you are seeking. Neither will they help you burn that excess body fat or improve your overall health. If…
If you are using an elliptical to workout and lose weight, am sure you are asking yourself: how accurate are elliptical calorie counters? Sometimes people can get preoccupied with how many calories their ellipticals say they’re burning. Burning calories means weight loss,…
Elliptical machine doesn’t specifically target the stomach and abdominal muscles, burning calories generally reduces the waistline to some degree anyway
Sometimes going to the gym can feel embarrassing because the idea of people watching you while you exercise is mortifying. You want to be dedicated to being healthier but simply can’t get yourself through the…
Before you decide on the best elliptical to buy, there are some general and personal considerations you should keep in mind. This will help you check all the right boxes and make sure you end up…
What muscles does the elliptical machine work? Let’s explore the various muscles that the elliptical machine targets in particular.
How would you track your daily calories intake and how many calories you burned while exercising? It all comes down to picking the right and best fitness activity tracker. So this article will help and provide you with best…
Here you will find the steps you need to take as a beginner using an elliptical machine, and how to use it. Read on to learn more.
Are you looking for a treadmill for home use? This treadmill buying guide is will give you some handy tips in choosing the best treadmill to suit both your budgetary and exercise goals. You might be one of those…
Are you considering buying an under desk bike or for a home gym or exercising while at the office? If so, you may want to read this article before you proceed and spend your hard earned money. Getting your…
So you have decided to finally get off the couch and get back into your fitness routine and back on track for get your weight loss goals but are wondering what the best home exercise equipment for weight loss…
So you are you are interested in finding, picking and buying an indoor cycling bike. With the overwhelming types and choices out there where do you start? How do you choose not only best exercise bike…
Upper body workout and strength is extremely important since your upper body controls many of your daily activities including, reaching, pulling, pushing and lifting. In addition, having a strong upper body helps to improve your overall flexibility, mobility…
For years fitness watches were to be used by men and fitness watches for women were practically unheard of – forcing women who wanted a watch to track their fitness to wear fitness watches designed and made for…
There are two basic types of exercise bikes, the upright bike and the stationary recumbent bike and many people simply don’t know which bike is right for them. In this article “Upright vs Stationary Recumbent Bike: Which One Is Right…
It does not matter whether you live in a rural area, a small town or a large city, you can enjoy the many health and other benefits of jogging as an exercise. You can jog as a part of…
Ellipticals have a variety of benefits, such as: Causing less impact on your joints Providing a full body workout Being a suitable form of exercise for people who are ill, elderly or pregnant Improving your cardiovascular system On…
If you are having difficulty deciding which one is better for you then this article on treadmill vs bike will give the information you need to decide which one of these two pieces of exercise equipment will best meet your needs…