Elliptical machines and stationary bikes both are the most popular exercise equipment these days. But the question is, which one is truly made for you, and to select between elliptical vs stationary bike for your homemade gym? You always should pick things specially gym equipment according to your physics, body condition etc.
In this article, we will discuss the benefits of these cardio equipment machines, their pros and cons, their effectiveness for weight loss, and the ultimate guide to select the best one for buying. So, after finishing reading the whole article you will certainly be sure which one to pick that suits you the best.
Let's face it and explore things you should know.
Importance of Exercise
Exercise or physical activity can improve your health, helps to lose weight, and reduce the risk of some diseases like cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes (type 2), cholesterol, colon cancer, breast cancer, anxiety, and depression. Exercise can raise testosterone that is a very important hormone for both males and females. Testosterone is responsible for muscle building, control of weight, bone health, fertility, and sex drive.
Benefits of Exercise Equipment
Equipment is an essential element for doing exercise. It encourages you to do exercise in various ways and that is very effective for health. Though treadmills, elliptical and stationary bikes are almost the same activities equipment, they have some core differences.
The treadmill is mainly used for walking, running, or climbing. Whereas the stationary bike is mainly for lower body muscles and the elliptical for cardio exercise works both your upper and lower body.
Now dig into the deeper and discuss in detail these cardio equipment with pros and cons and compare among elliptical vs treadmill vs stationary bike.
Benefits of Elliptical Machine
1. The elliptical machine allows you to perform both high-intensity interval training and steady-state cardio workouts. With an elliptical, you can do a good aerobic workout that can strengthen your heart, lungs, muscles and help to build your stamina & endurance.
2. An elliptical can improve your balance by standing up straight without using the handles.
3. An elliptical machine offers a variety of options like hill climbing, interval training, and other customizable choices.
Mechanism of Elliptical Bike
Generally, an elliptical machine uses magnetic resistance, where a spinning flywheel spins within a strong magnetic field. You can target different muscles in your upper and lower body by changing both the resistance and incline of the foot pedals on an elliptical. (Wikipedia)
Elliptical for Bad Knees
Elliptical machines offer a low-impact type of cardio workout that puts less stress on your knees, ankles, hips, and other joints. By using it correctly, it can’t cause knee pain with achy joints and overuse injuries. There is an option for foot pedals to go in reverse, and you can target different muscles in your lower body especially hamstrings and gluts. Resource Arthritis Foundation
Elliptical for Weight Loss
An elliptical machine can help you to burn high calories and lose body fat & weight. 378 calories burned on elliptical in 30-minute activities for a 185-pound person.
Resource Harvard Medical School
60 seconds of high-intensity work, followed by 30 seconds of recovery (2:1 ratio) is a standard workout for fat burning. The more your intensity of the workout will increase, the maximum fat will be burning.
1. Elliptical offer low-impact cardio exercise that put less stress on your joints and bones.
2. An elliptical exercise can be a great way to build or maintain your fitness while you are injured and can’t participate in your regular physical activities.
3. The learning of exercise with an elliptical machine is as easy as using the foot pedals with the handles.
4. When used correctly, the elliptical can target both an upper & lower body workout and impacts on your gluts, hamstrings, quads, chest, back, biceps, triceps, and core muscles.
5. You can manually set your elliptical and work more leg muscles & improve your balance.
1. It can take some time to adapt with the elliptical because our legs & feet are in a motion on elliptical that’s different from typical use when we’re walking.
2. Some elliptical machine’s width & stride of the footrests are fixed in a position and that might be uncomfortable for someone.
Benefits of a Stationary Bike
1. Stationary bike is a piece of conventional exercise equipment mainly used for older people who are willing to stay fit or for reeducation.
2. Cycling is an excellent way to improve heart function used by a stationary exercise bike.
3. Riding a stationary bike can be helpful for your lower body muscles, especially legs.
4. Stationary bike workout can be helpful for better sleep and improve memory & brain functioning.
5. Moderately rowing on, 294 calories burned on stationary bike in 30-minute activities for a 185-pound person.
Mechanism of Stationary Bike
Most stationary bikes mechanism is the same for applying resistance to the pedals which increases the intensity of the exercise. Magnetic fields, fans, and friction mechanisms are used to produce resistance. A stationary bike can have either digitally adjustable magnetic resistance or manually adjustable magnetic resistance.
Stationary Bike for Arthritis
“The continuous motion that’s part of cycling is very helpful for arthritic joints,” -Joseph Garry (Associate Professor at University of Minnesota).
Cycling increases the joints movement through its full range of motion and thus helpful for synovial fluid secretion. Synovial fluid is a special type of lubricant that eases the joint and keeps your joints moving smoothly.
Cycling on a stationary bike can be a great way to exercise for Arthritis and safer than road cycling. With outdoor cycling, there are some certain hazards while it’s more safe in indoor cycling using a stationary bike. By using a stationary bike, you can workout at a comfortable temperature without being concerned about traffic, road signals, accidents or other hazardous elements.
Recourse Arthritis Foundation
Stationary for Lose Fats
Excess fat isn’t good for your health rather it tends to some chronic diseases like asthma, dementia, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
Resource Harvard Medical School
Moreover, belly fat looks like ugly for both male and females.
Riding on a stationary bike can reduce your body fats and lose your weight. While cycling on a stationary bike, all abdominal muscles work and that helps to reduce your belly fats and give you a smart look.
Pros and cons of Stationary Bike
1. Stationary bikes are a great tool for fat & calorie burning especially in belly fats.
2. Some stationary bikes offered 3 seating styles like upright, recumbent, & indoor
3. Stationary biking can strengthen your legs and build your lower body muscles especially calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps.
1. Effects on only the lower body or legs. Fewer effects on the upper body are the great disadvantage of a stationary bike.
2. Workouts on a stationary bike can be a cause of low-back pain issues.
3. A stationary bike is conventional equipment and repetitive use over time can be boring for you.
Resource Women’s Health
Benefits of Treadmill
The treadmill is a popular piece of exercise equipment for aerobic exercise like running or walking. It’ll help you lose your fat and weight.
The treadmill has handrails for safety and has a monitor in front that offers you a TV show while you exercise.
Walking on the treadmill can burn 294 calories in 30 minutes for a 185-pound person at a speed of 4.5 mph.
Pros and Cons of Treadmill
Treadmills are operated by a motor typically between a 1.5 to 3 horsepower that turns the belt.
This motor allows for the belt to rotate as you walk, or run.
Pros: Treadmill belt is smooth and flat that reason running on a treadmill is easier for your joints and can prevent injuries. Other pros of the treadmill are that it trains you better for races and marathons by simulating race environments.
Cons: The major disadvantage of a treadmill is that it’s not responsible for all Muscles.
Most people feel bored when running on a treadmill. It can be injured if you lose your running rhythm with the treadmill speed.
If you want to reduce stress on your lower body and avoid knee issues, a treadmill with the best shock absorption features is the most suitable option. Only a few treadmills, however, feature stress absorption mechanisms.
Elliptical Vs Stationary Bike
Though the elliptical and the stationary bike provide almost the same benefits, there are few differences between them.
An elliptical machine can be an alternative to a stationary bike for joint pain due to injury or arthritis. An elliptical helps strengthen both your upper and lower body by engaging more muscle groups where stationary bike effects on lower sites of your body.
Stationary bike is more easy and comfortable for use than an elliptical and especially effective for old people.
A moderate level of effort on the stationary bike will probably burn less calories than an elliptical workout. According to Harvard health publishing, a 185-pound person can burn 378 calories in 30-minute using an elliptical machine where a stationary can burn 294.
The elliptical movement’s shape mimics the natural path that can give you the natural motion of walking, while a stationary bike can’t give you that. (Heydaydo.com)
Debate and My Opinion
It’s easily assumed that the elliptical is more preferable to a treadmill or stationary bike in the above circumstances. Because of their mechanism, effects on the body, calories burning, elliptical has more advantage than the two others.
If your target is only for the lower body’s muscles and you’re unable to balance on elliptical riding, a stationary bike is preferable for you.
But an elliptical has more advantages than a stationary bike if you want for both the upper and lower of your body. An elliptical exercise can give you a special rhythm and harmony in your body with up and down paddling.
So, in that case I repeat again that you should choose between stationary bike vs elliptical for knees or other purposes according to your body condition. But in general context elliptical is the winner between elliptical bike vs stationary bike for me and other experts.
Suggestions from Orthopedics
An orthopedic surgeon typically suggests elliptical because the elliptical puts less stress on your joints and affects your body. Though an injured person or arthritis patient has no permission for heavy exercise by using equipment like a treadmill or stationary bike, it’s to use an elliptical machine to do mild exercise to stay fit and healthy. So it’s preferable for suggestions of buying an elliptical rather than treadmill or stationary bike. Resource Orthopedic Institute
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