No matter the type of exercise bike you are looking to use, you will face some dilemma about which one to choose. Cardio, comfort and safety are few of the things you have to consider for both elliptical and stationary bikes. You may not know what each machine really brings to the table and how they differ from each other. Would an elliptical bike help you to lose weight faster and more effectively than its counterpart? Will a stationary bike allow you to stay in a better shape? How do we know which amongst these two can be used for rehabilitation and for muscle toning, as they are very different activities. We have focused on this debate in this article here by comparing the products in much detail so that you can make the best choice for you.
What is an Elliptical Bike?
An elliptical machine uses a design that will “shadow” the movements we use when we walk and run, but does not put much stress on your joints. Both the tension and elevation of the machine can be adjusted so that you can challenge yourself on workout sessions that will effectively allow you to strengthen the muscles in the arms. Initially the machine may take some to get adjusted to. However, during this time period, you may have to engage a greater amount of energy to use this equipment. Additionally, an elliptical bike is able to concentrate more on muscles like the muscles found on your external hip, your glutes and your quadriceps. The triceps, shoulder muscles and muscles that are found on the front of your upper arm are worked on by elliptical bikes that involve arm motion. Since an elliptical bike involves low impact exercise sessions, you may not be able to burn the same amount of calories as some other exercise bikes. However, this should not throw you off. You can keep on adjusting the resistance and elevation of these bikes to get effective results. An advantage of using an elliptical bike is that you will not have to exercise vigorously to get rid of calories, as the bike is engaging more muscles in your body. Your body will adjust to the exercise routines on this bike and in turn improve its efficiency by performing the same work by utilizing fewer calories.
What are the advantages of using an elliptical bike?
1. Muscle Toning
More than ¾ th of the body muscles found in the upper and lower region of the body are engaged by elliptical. These are the muscles on your back, chest, biceps, abdominal muscles and of course the triceps when we are considering your upper body. When we look at the lower region, we see the hamstrings, calf muscles, and the muscles on your behind being used too. As elliptical bikes allow bi-directional pedaling, you can use this feature to concentrate on other muscles as well.
➥ Are you interested in building excellent body muscle? Then you can check out our article on Elliptical Cross Trainer Combo
The design of an elliptical machine is facilitating motions used when we are walking or running, but with the intensity level toned down. You will also be able to work out your arms on machines that support such exercise, usually by means of arms / handles that can be moved.
When you are looking to engage in a more intense workout session, all you have to do is modify the incline and level of resistance. An elliptical bike can also allow you to carry out workout sessions that will focus on your cardio health. Typically, at a low resistance level, an elliptical bike allows workout that mimics skiing in the countryside. The medium resistance setting may give the impression of working out on a stationary bike; for the top setting, the experience will be similar to climbing stairs.
Elliptical bikes are usually equipped with consoles that have programs pre-installed on the machine. The console will also allow you to monitor your progress and encourage you to go the extra mile.
5. Weight loss
When you are spending more than 60 minutes on this bike, you will burn a minimum of 455 kcal. This number tops the number of calories burnt on a stationary bike, for the same time interval, by 15%.
➥ If your target is to shed some pounds, then we suggest, you look at our selection of ellipticals for losing weight.
What are the disadvantages of an elliptical bike?
The weight of an elliptical bike is typically more than that of a stationary bike, although you may be able to find some models that do not weigh so much. This extra burden of weight is more focused on the wheelsets.
If you are looking to engage in a session of HIIT in an elliptical machine, this may not be a good option. You will not be able to vary the resistance levels on an elliptical bike with the relevant ease of a stationary bike. The latter uses a rotating knob only to vary the resistance, while the process is much more complicated in an elliptical bike.
3. Low impact for muscles
As the intensity of exercise on an elliptical bike is not on the higher end, you may not be able to build up your muscles, unlike machines that allow exercise that involve weight-bearing.
4. Ease of use
The movement you will have to adapt to when using an elliptical bike is somewhat awkward, and you may experience numbness in your feet when you finish a session. This is certainly not comfortable.
➥ To have more insight, have a look at the benefits of using an elliptical trainer.
What is a Stationary Bike?
If you are looking to build up your body muscles, improve the condition of your lungs and heart, and get rid of body fat by burning a lot of calories – you should quickly get on a stationary bike. You will be allowed to enjoy a comfortable workout session that will not stress your joints. As you vary the workout intensity on a stationary bike, an hour of vigorous exercise will allow you to burn quite an adequate number of calories. Typically, this number will vary in the range of 600 to 735 kcal. Keeping this in mind, you should not be surprised that many users are using this bike as a means of getting fit more efficiently. You will be able to engage in low intensity exercises that will involve movements to build up your joints and bones, instead of stressing them. Therefore, if you have issues with your joints or have injured them – a stationary bike will work miracles as they will be placing their feet on the pedals at all times during a workout session.
What are the advantages of using a stationary bike?
1. Exercise & Fitness
When you are exercising on a stationary bike, you are moving a considerable region of your lower body and your feet, thighs and legs. These muscles are highly engaged and thus will be in top class shape. You can also use a stationary bike while standing on the pedals.
2. Intensity of Workout
The intensity of workout on a stationary bike can be customised to resemble climbing up yough hills at the highest setting, which can be quite a challenge and act as an incentive for many users to use this bike.
➥ You can also have a look at Resistance Spin Bikes that will encourage you to have an ideal workout.
3. Efficient weight loss
A typical stationary bike will allow you to regularly use sprint training so that you are able to quickly get rid of any extra body weight. Thus we can conclude that it is more efficient and effective.
4. Ease of storage
You can store away a stationary bike with ease after you have finished your workout session. As they do not need much space, some stationary bikes can even be stored horizontally. So, even if you are cramping for space, this should not stop you from getting a stationary bike to use at home.
➥ Also, if you’re on the lookout for saving up some space, then, have a look at our selection of the Foldable Exercise Bike
5. Interval training
Interval training allows you to alternate between short bursts of intense exercise with longer intervals of less intense exercise. Essentially, more calories can be burned faster in this bike – which is further facilitated by the adjustable resistance levels. You will be able to carry out a high, medium or low intensity workout – ideal for a session of interval training.
6. Mechanism of the flywheel
Stationary bikes may be equipped with flywheels that weigh more than 9 kg. These heavy flywheels will not put much pressure on your joints, but help you to get rid of more calories by pedaling harder. Typically, 7 kg flywheels are used on stationary bikes.
What are the disadvantages of a stationary bike?
1. Limited Impact
Despite the obvious benefits for your legs that are offered by a stationary bike, you will be neglecting the core and upper body. The latter will be deprived of the typical workouts that are essential to build up strength, and improve flexibility.
2. Absence of console
You will need to make an estimation as you are adjusting the tension and speed in a stationary bike, as they do not come with consoles generally.
3. Comfort & Maintenance
A backrest is an essential feature on the seat of a stationary bike for comfort. However, this is missing on a typical stationary bike. You will also be using a knob to adjust the resistance level on a stationary bike, that may not be preferred by everyone.
We have put forward a small comparison table below to provide a short summary of the details we have gone through in this article. This will help you to identify how an elliptical bike and a stationary bike differ from each other.
|Features||Elliptical Bikes||Stationary Bikes|
|Cycling Position||Users have to stand||You may have to hunch over as the handlebars are placed at a lower level than the seat|
|Seat Style||No seats||Compact; but do not feature any padding|
|Pedal Position||Separate foot pedals below the handlebar||Pedals can be found beneath the saddle|
|Can it be used for weight loss?||Yes||Yes|
Both these machines are very effective, but the level of effectiveness is dependent on what you are looking to achieve. They can allow you to get ready for any workout session by means of a warm-up session that will challenge you more. However, an elliptical bike has a slight advantage here as the bike will engage a greater number of muscles in your body. On the other hand, older people with arthritis or with injured legs find that a stationary bike is safer for them to use. We recognize that both these equipment will allow you to engage in cardio workout. Although a stationary bike will hold an upper hand here as the intensity of workout will be more on it. The best solution, however, will be to get on a real bike and ride as you find suitable; or you can get your hands on a pair of dumbbells to be used while walking or jogging. We thank you for staying with us throughout this article and wish you luck on your fitness journey!
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