Elliptical vs. Stationary Bike: Which One Should You Use?
A good cardio face-off is between an elliptical and stationary bike. Both of them are low-impact exercise equipment that help you trim fat and build muscles, but still, they have their key differences.
In this article, we’ll quickly delve into these equipment’s pros and cons and give you our conclusion. We hope that this guide will help you decide which one to use to achieve your fitness goals!
The Pros of an Elliptical
An elliptical is a fun exercise machine that sort of mimics the movements of stair climbing and skiing. With it, you can work the upper or lower part of your body or both.
By pumping your arms as you hold the handle and gliding with your feet through the air, you can shed off a lot of calories in 30 minutes to an hour.
And you also get a full-body workout (it particularly targets the glutes, hamstrings, quads, arms, and shoulders) without making it hard on your knees unlike running.
According to Healthline, engaging in 30 minutes of elliptical training can burn between 270 and 378 calories based on the person’s weight. People that weigh more will burn more calories.
The Cons of an Elliptical
While the elliptical is easy and exciting to exercise on, it doesn’t precisely hone your abilities for running, skiing, climbing stairs, or other sport.
You may get increased stamina and a nimbler body, for instance, but experts say you’re still better off running on the road or on a treadmill or going on a military obstacle course for maximum athletic benefits.
By the way, an elliptical is a good workout in between the days you do more strenuous training like running, swimming, or basketball. So you still get to rest the muscles whilst still working off some sweat.
The Pros of a Stationary Bike
A stationary bike takes up little space compared to an elliptical. Since it also doesn’t impact the joints much, many people use it for cross-training and injury rehabilitation.
It mainly works out the lower body such as the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves. However, like a real bike, you can push your body up with the handle and pedal hard within the time limit, thus giving resistance to your core and arms and making them stronger.
Furthermore, indoor cycling is an incredible calorie burner. You can burn over 600 calories in one hour depending on the intensity level and your body weight, as per Healthline.
Besides that, you can also readily customise the settings to fit your workout routine. You can change the time, distance, and pedal resistance as desired.
The Cons of a Stationary Bike
First, it doesn’t teach you the balance of riding on a real bike because its weight is centred on the ground.
Second, in terms of using it, the seats can be uncomfortable for first-timers and regular gym-goers. But this can be resolved by maintaining good form and simply getting used to it.
Or you can just buy padded bike shorts to reduce the discomfort while you’re cycling to improve your cardiovascular health.
Looking to build endurance and tone your muscles? Well, the elliptical and stationary bike are perfect for that without stressing your joints.
Not one of these exercise machines is better than the other. In a nutshell, it depends on what kind of workout you’re going for, what you enjoy better, and which of them can give you the most benefits.
If you want to have a balanced upper and lower body workout, go for the elliptical. Though you can also stand up and pedal to work your core muscles and arms and feet at the same time with the bike, the elliptical targets these parts more.
The number of calories you burn will greatly depend on the workout intensity. Nicely, both the bike and elliptical lets you adjust this as you prefer, helping you get more out of the workout every time by raising the incline or resistance.
As to which to pick between them, it’s very important to choose the type of workout that you enjoy doing and can stay consistent in. If you do the exercise you don’t enjoy, you may become de-motivated and maybe easily get tired as you go on week after week—and as a result, you’ll quit.