Treadmill Vs Elliptical Vs Bike

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Elliptical Vs Bike: Which Is Best For Weight Loss

Treadmill vs Stationary Bike | Want to Lose Weight? Which one is Better?

If you’re going to spend the time and effort it takes to complete a cardio workout, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of a stationary bike vs. an elliptical, particularly if you’re trying to lose weight.

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While it mostly comes down to access, personal preference and which one you’ll stick with consistently, an elliptical works both arms and legs, while the stationary bike works your legs and core. Both machines are ideal options for low-impact cardio workouts.

Stationary Bike vs. Elliptical

260 to 391 in 30 minutes


Requires balance and coordination

Exercise Bike Vs Elliptical: Which Should You Buy

Which cardio machine will take your home gym set up to the next level?

If you’re looking for some cardio equipment, you’re probably asking yourself ‘should I buy an exercise bike or an elliptical?’

Much like when deciding between a stationary bike and a treadmill, if you’re struggling to pick between the two don’t worry, we’re here to guide you through some of the key similarities and differences in price, ergonomics, and storage to help you come to an informed decision.

Let’s begin…

Elliptical Vs Bike: Joints

Both the elliptical and exercise bike are great for joints because they are low-impact cardio exercise machines.

Since the feet absorb 2-3 times one’s body weight during exercise, pain in the hips, knees, or ankles can be avoided by using any of these two. However, ellipticals are more weight-bearing, and the stationary bike is better recommended by specialists for people with severe joint pain. The recumbent bike is better for joint and back pain because it takes pressure off the back and hips.

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Whats The Best Workout Time With An Elliptical Or Treadmill

According to a study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 30 minutes of exercise for five days per week over six weeks can result in noticeable improvements if you use an electric elliptical.

Duke University conducted another study that found that an elliptical machine can be used for as little as 30 minutes.

What Type Of Gym Equipment Is Best For Losing Belly Fat

treadmill vs elliptical vs bike  Life Top Style

For those who are looking to lose belly fat, a treadmill or elliptical is the best option.

As opposed to a treadmill, an elliptical cross trainer is more efficient at burning calories in every workout. However, some people might find it easier to get started with the treadmill because they can choose their speed and incline.

One of the main differences between an elliptical trainer and a treadmill is that an elliptical machine has moving arm pedals instead of fixed ones like on a treadmill.

Since it has moving arm pedals, youre able to go up and down for individual workouts, and its also easier on your joints than biking on a stationary bike.

If youre thinking of going to the gym or fitness center, there are several aspects that you should know. Many people mistake choosing a gym based on how the equipment looks and how many free weights are available.

Being able to lift heavy isnt essential, but instead what kind of workout youll get from it. The elliptical machine is best for burning fat, but you still have to push yourself.

There are several ways on how to burn belly fat with an elliptical machine. You can start your workout at a moderate pace and then gradually increase the intensity, use an incline or even try alternating your arms and legs. It works perfectly well if youre looking to burn fat quickly.

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How Do You Choose The Right Kind Of Exercise Bike

Start by trying different seats or saddles to find one that is most comfortable and whose seat height is adjustable. You also need to take note of its dimensions so that it fits your home gym or flat. If you have back issues, choose a bike with a backrest.

If the handlebars are adjustable, this is a considerable bonus because it will minimize the strain on your wrists. Moreover, one whose resistance is adjustable allows you to work out both when you are strong and fit and when you are feeling rather weak without straining.

What Are The Benefits Of A Stationary Bike

Similar to an elliptical machine, a stationary bike can help improve cardiovascular fitness and strengthen your legs, all while being easy on your joints. By changing your speed and/or resistance, you can also increase or decrease the intensity of your workout. Stationary bikes allow you to change your speed relatively fast because they dont need to wind up like other cardio machines or use momentum like riding a bike on the road, which means you can use them for high-intensity interval training and other short bursts of energy, says Becker.

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+ What Is Better For Knees Exercise Bike Or Elliptical

Both the elliptical trainer and the stationary exercise bike are good for strengthening the knees because keeping them mobile and active will prevent further damage.

However, the exercise bike wins for people looking for a cardio machine less strenuous on the knees.

It is more comfortable to use and requires less force to drive the machine, unlike the elliptical where you must support your entire weight while you stand. You can always reduce the strain on the knees while using a bike by adjusting its seat far from the pedals. Because you exercise while standing on an elliptical, your motion can exacerbate existing knee problems. Research organizations like and the NCBI recommend a recumbent bike for people with knee issues or recovering from knee surgery.

Elliptical Vs Exercise Bike: Adjustability

Elliptical Vs Treadmill Vs Stationary Bike: Which is Better?

Elliptical machines may have different adjustment capabilities. Higher-end machines typically have an incline ramp and various resistance levels to make the workout harder. The user can also stride faster to increase the difficulty. However, most elliptical machines offer little to no size or height adjustments. Theres often one set of stride length and handle height, so if youre quite tall or quite short, the machine may not fit you well.

Exercise bikes have seat height adjustments, handlebar height adjustments, and resistance adjustments. Some indoor cycles also offer additional adjustments like fore/aft adjustments of the seat and handlebars, and a greater number of resistance levels. The rider can also increase the difficulty of an exercise bike by pedaling at a faster cadence .

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In Conclusion Treadmill Vs Elliptical Vs Bike: Which Should You Choose

After reading the similarities and differences between these machines, one fact becomes clear: you can choose the right equipment for your needs.

For example, even if treadmills arent that great for muscle shaping, you can always wear a weighted vest or use resistance bands. Alternatively, you can find a treadmill with included weights and upper-body programs.

So all you have to do is evaluate your goals according to your current conditions and choose the right product.

Heres a quick summary, though:

Treadmills are best for cardio, fast weight loss, and increased bone density:

  • At higher speeds, they burn the most calories.
  • They will strengthen your bones.
  • You can gain more muscle strength with a higher incline and additional weights.
  • Although theyre high-impact, you can choose a model with shock-absorbing technology.

Ellipticals are best for low-impact fat-burning and shaping your body.

  • Theyre the safest alternative for chronic pain and joint problems.
  • They exercise your entire body.
  • They bring your heart rate into the fat-burning zone without feeling it.
  • They accelerate your resting metabolic rate.

Stationary bikes are the best low-impact alternative for lower-body sculpting and calorie burn.

  • Exercise bikes protect your joints.
  • From upright to recumbent, spin, and usual indoor models you can find the right ones for your needs.

Treadmill Vs Rowing Machine

Treadmill workouts are high impact. They have the potential to be more intense and burn more calories than rowing workouts. Treadmill running focuses on strengthening your legs and increasing core stability.

Rowing Machines work your whole body, without putting strain on your joints. If youre looking for a low impact cardio and strength workout, a rowing machine is a smart choice.

Heres how a treadmill vs rowing machine compares in impact, endurance, calorie burn and target areas:

Impact On Your Joints: Rowing Machine Wins

Running on a treadmill is a high impact activity. Your bones are jolted as your feet strike the treadmill belt between strides.

The high impact nature of treadmill running can help strengthen your bones over time. But if you have a condition that affects your joints, like arthritis, high impact activities can cause you pain.

High impact activities can also cause joint pain for people who are overweight or obese. Low impact activities may be more comfortable.

Rowing is a smooth motion that puts little pressure on your joints. As a result you can get a vigorous workout with low risk of injury.

Muscle Building: Rowing Machine Wins

If you want to target your lower body and core, treadmill running is the obvious choice. But if its a full body workout youre after, opt for a rowing machine.

Intensity & Endurance: Evenly Matched

Calorie Burn & Weight Loss: Treadmill Wins

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What Kinds Of Elliptical Exercise Machines Exist

Three types of elliptical machines exist, and they are categorized by the location of the motor location. The earliest is the rear-drive type, the second-earliest type is the front-drive type, and the most recent elliptical model is the center-drive machine.

Some machines allow the user to adjust the slant of the inclined roller-ramps underneath the lever links to create unique pedal movements. Changing the angle of this path also affects the elliptical path angle that influences the stride length and hip actuation. Changing these aspects of the elliptical allows you to alter your workout and work different lower body muscle groups.

Todays elliptical comes with pre-set programs to change the incline, resistance, and stride of the machine to change the intensity and muscle groups you work. Others can be driven in either the forward or backward direction.

The following is a look on exercise bikes in the elliptical vs. bike discussion:

The Disadvantage Of Rowing Machine

Recumbent Bike vs Treadmill A Comparison to Choose Right Exercise Machine
  • Has a steep learning curve
  • You need to get hold of each action before starting your workout full-fledged
  • Occupies larger space than the exercise bike
  • Unless you are accustomed to rowing movements are all new and requires a lot of practice
  • Easily causes back injury if not used with proper movement
  • Not suitable for recovery from an upper-body injury
  • Rowers are large and require good clearance on at least three sides of the machine
  • Inappropriate posture does not allow you to gain complete benefits of a rower

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Rowing Machine Vselliptical Trainer

Both machines offer a whole-body workout with low impact, so the elliptical have many benefits similar to rowing machines. The main differences appear in posture and practicality.For the rowing machine, youll remain in a seated position. The movements come directly from a real-life scenario, modeled after the functional activity of manually driving a boat through water.In contrast, with an elliptical, you stride while being erect. The movements used on this machine are unlike those you are likely to experience in a practical setting, though beneficial nonetheless.

Final Verdict: Treadmill Vsbike Vselliptical Vsrowing Machine

The four prominent exercise machines being checked here have various strengths and drawbacks. You need to understand that no one machine can be suggested as right for an individual as their needs are different.

However, if you are keen on a single-line summary of each of them, here it is. Rowers Offer full-body workouts in a short span but require a good understanding of the process. Stationary bikes are less expensive, occupy less space but take more time to burn calories, and work only legs.

Ellipticals offer lower and upper body exercise but have fewer challenges to offer. Treadmills offer the least calorie burn unless you work on an incline and occupy a lot of space, but they are safer, easy to use, and allow multi-tasking.

Home workout offers you the benefits of working on your own time and in private. When you can have the machines that you can truly enjoy working on, only then can you keep working consistently. So, you must select what is workable than what is best.

Also, your goals do matter. You might need to lose weight, rehabilitate or maintain a healthy weight. Even these requirements determine which is the best exercise machine suitable for you among a rower, elliptical, bike, and treadmill.

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Get An Upper And Lower Body Workout

Some elliptical machines have arm handles. You can push these back and forth at the same time as you move your legs. The resistance of the handles helps to work the muscles in your shoulders, chest, and back.

At the same time, the machine can help you strengthen the muscles in your lower body, including your glutes, hip flexors, and quadriceps.

What Is A Treadmill

Treadmill vs Elliptical Cross Trainer | Want to Lose Weight? Which one is Better?

A treadmill is a piece of equipment that allows you to walk or run indoors. It does so by feeding a short belt across the top of the device, providing a moving platform. You can manually adjust the speed.

Treadmills generally have handles on both sides of the belt platform. Some types allow you to incline the entire platform for a more challenging workout that resembles running uphill.

While most treadmills are motorized, nonmotorized options are becoming popular. Nonmotorized versions typically feature a slightly curved running surface and require you to move the belt yourself to reach the desired speed.

Research suggests that you get a harder cardio workout by running on a nonmotorized treadmill compared with keeping up with the same speed on a motorized one (

Both motorized and nonmotorized treadmills allow you to train the gait patterns of walking and running.

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Treadmill Vs Bike: Which Offers The Best Cardio Workout

When it comes to cardiovascular exercise equipment, the treadmill and stationary exercise bike are hands down the most popular and common.

Ubiquitous in commercial gyms, fitness studios, and home workout spaces alike, both the treadmill and exercise bike offer an excellent way to get your aerobic training indoors. This makes them advantageous when you prefer not to exercise outdoors.

Depending on your goals, fitness level, and lifestyle, one of these pieces of equipment may suit you better than the other.

This article breaks down everything you need to know about treadmills and exercise bikes so you can decide which piece of cardio equipment to prioritize in your fitness routine.

Though theyre both a type of cardio equipment, many factors set treadmills and exercise bikes apart.

Elliptical Vs Exercise Bike: Enjoyment

Although it might be a stretch to strive to love your workout, exercise always feels easier if you enjoy what you do. Fortunately, you can now find both ellipticals and exercise bikes with smart technology and integrated tablets for streaming immersive workouts or entertainment. Some people are also drawn to exercise bikes as a way to train for outdoor cycling or triathlons, which provides greater investment in workouts. However, the elliptical machine is a rather unique movement pattern that does not translate directly to any sport. Ultimately, however, enjoyment is a matter of personal preference, so try both and see which fitness machine you prefer.

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Elliptical Vs Stationary Bike: Which Is The Better Workout

Briana Bain, DPT, PT, is a physical therapist based in Virginia Beach. She works as a Physical Therapist at Adler Therapy Group and a BodyPump Instructor at OneLife Fitness

Weve all been thereyoure at the gym, you want to get your heart rate up, and have to decide whether to head to the elliptical machine or the stationary bike. Or, if youre thinking of building up your home gym but dont have room for multiple machines, you also have to face the difficult choice of which equipment to invest your time and money in.

Both elliptical machines and stationary bikes can give you a great cardio workout and are ultimately easier on your joints than, say, running outside, but the way each moves your body and the benefits that follow are different. Part of that has to do with the fact that youre standing on one and sitting on the other, but the muscle groups they target also vary. But is one necessarily better than the other? We talked to three fitness experts to break down what you need to know about using elliptical machines vs. stationary bikes, and how they can each fit into your fitness routine.

Meet the Expert

Which Is The Best For Workouts: The Bike Elliptical Or Treadmill

Treadmill Versus Elliptical Vs. Bike

Choosing the best equipment from the three is down to individual goals and preferences. All three machines offer excellent workouts. The quantity of calories you wish to burn per hour is one factor that dictates the choice of equipment suitable for you. For instance, the elliptical offer you an opportunity to burn more calories compared to exercise bikes and treadmills. On the other hand, if you have joint problems or injuries, opt for an elliptical or exercise bike since they offer low-impact exercise.

In this article, we have discussed the primary functions of each machine, done a deep analysis to understand the differences between them, and examined the pros and cons of each piece of equipment. If you desire to determine the best equipment to serve you better in your workout exercise, keep reading for a better understanding.

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