Exercise Bike or Elliptical: we help you to choose

Posted on 23 March 2022

After spending 45 hours comparing 56 fitness machines in our editorial office, here are our tips to find out which type of trainer (exercise bike or elliptical) is best suited to your needs.

 

The exercise bike, ideal for the articulations

GOOD POINTS
  • Small format
  • Gentle on the articulations
  • Suitable for beginners
NEGATIVE POINTS
  • Exercises less the upper body

Exercise bikes are good for your heart and blood circulation, as well as improving your cardio and endurance. Unlike running, it does not attack the articulations, as it eliminates the pressure exerted on them with each step. In fact, this is one of the reasons why it is widely used for rehabilitation and by the elderly.

This machine mainly works the lower extremities of the body, mainly thighs, calves and buttocks. The movements performed are comparable to those of a cyclist. In 30 minutes of activity, you can burn between 200-400 Kcal (depending on the intensity).

Their big advantage compared to elliptical trainers is their size. Being smaller, they are ideal for flats or for training at home.

 

The elliptical trainer, for a more complete workout

GOOD POINTS
  • Activates more muscles
  • Significant calorie loss
  • Backpedalling
NEGATIVE POINTS
  • Slightly more aggressive on the articulations

Just like the exercise bike, the elliptical trainer has a favourable effect on the cardiovascular system. It is not harmful to the joints, but compared to its competitor, it only reduces the pressure exerted rather than totally suppressing it.

However, the physical work is not limited to the legs, as it will make you move 80% of your muscles.

Although the buttocks, thighs and calves are the ones that are exercised the most, it also allows the dorsal, abdominals, arms, shoulders and pectorals to be developed in medium doses.

In short, it combines the movements of running, Nordic walking and cross-country skiing. Back pedalling, on the other hand, is a not inconsiderable advantage rarely offered by the exercise bike. In 30 minutes of training, you will lose between 250-450 kcal, slightly more than on a stationary bike.

 

In conclusion

The exercise bike and the elliptical trainer are mainly distinguished by the pedalling motion, as one activates a greater number of muscles and the other is not as aggressive on the joints.

Although the exercise bike allows a more focused workout and is more accessible for beginners, it should be complemented by other physical activity. As for the elliptical trainer, it is particularly recommended for weight loss, but should be used with more care.

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