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Exercise Bike vs Elliptical: Which is Better?

by Ameli
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When it comes to exercise equipment, the amount of options can be overwhelming when deciding where to start at the gym. If you’re planning to purchase a piece of exercise equipment for the home, it can be even more stressful. Gym equipment is expensive and a big investment. It’s something you will be using all of the time, so you want to get the best exercise bike, or other equipment possible. 

Two of the most common exercise machines are the elliptical and the exercise bike. So, which one is better? Well, it depends on preference and needs in a work out, but the exercise bike typically comes out on top. If you’re wondering why that is, keep reading below and let’s look at exercise bikes vs ellipticals. 

Elliptical 

To start, the elliptical is a common piece of exercise equipment. This machine is good for cardio workouts and burning calories. It has two foot spaces attached to bars that move, and handle bars that move with every step you take. It is designed to be a low-impact workout machine and user friendly. They are commonly found in gyms, and users can hop on for a casual workout. 

Ellipticals have many health benefits. They’re great for cardio and increasing lung and heart strength. The machine is also good for building up stamina and burning off unwanted calories. The design puts less stress on joints, so it is a popular option among those with arthritis and other joint problems. With the moving handlebars, it also provides an upper body workout along with the legs. There are, however, quite a few issues with the elliptical. 

The problem with the elliptical is that it doesn’t provide users with a natural range of motion. It can feel awkward if you’re not used to it, and potentially cause injury. The motion you use on an elliptical is not something that translates into everyday life. You don’t move that way when you walk or run, so it’s not a great machine for improving your jogging speed. 

If you’re training for something like a marathon, you’ll also probably want to stay away from the elliptical. You’ll get exercise, but you won’t be practicing for running so it will not help with that type of endurance. 

Another thing to note about the elliptical is that it can be boring. If you plan to do a leisurely workout while staring at the TV, they can be a great option. Users have been known to zone out while using these machines because there isn’t much room to make adjustments to the workout. There are no options to create resistance to make it more challenging, which some gym users may dislike.

If you are looking for a piece of equipment for your home gym, elliptical are very expensive. Purchasing one can cost at least $1,000. They are also cumbersome and take up a lot of room. If you do not have a special room to put it in, you might consider an exercise bike instead. While there are health benefits, this is a bulky piece of machinery. 

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Exercise Bikes 

 An exercise bike is a stationary bike that can be used indoors. Even though the elliptical is a low-impact machine, it can still hurt your joints because you are still placing pressure on them on the foot pads. With an exercise bike, you eliminate pressure on the joints because you aren’t stepping your feet on the ground. This is because the seat supports your weight while you’re using it. You can, of course, stand up for a more intense workout, but you don’t have to. 

So, if you have concerns about your joints a bike is going to be the best option for you. You can make adjustments to the indoor cycling exercise bike such as adding resistance, or on some models an incline. There are different models that have different styles of resistance, so you can find the best exercise bike for you. 

The elliptical is low-impact, but if you have joint problems it can still be bothersome to your knees. Think about how when you run on the ground, you can feel the impact. An elliptical can have a similar feeling if you have sensitive joints. When you use an exercise bike, you make adjustments to it and can alleviate any joint pressure for your workout. 

If you are planning to purchase in-home gym equipment, an Relife exercise bike is going to take up much less room than an elliptical. An elliptical may be good for someone who has an entire separate at home gym, but you can put an exercise bike pretty much anywhere. They are compact, and you can move them easily since they aren’t typically heavy. 

There are plenty of options for the best exercise bike for you. With the increase in people working from home, you can even purchase just the pedal portion for under your desk. The elliptical has limitations, and cannot be used as hands free as an exercise bike can. 

Conclusion

The bottom line is that when you compare the two, the exercise bike comes out on top. Ellipticals are fine at the gym, but as far as home equipment goes, an exercise bike is more compact and can be easily placed in small spaces like apartments.

Both machines provide excellent cardio benefits and can be a great workout, but the elliptical can be monotonous and doesn’t provide a natural range of motion. Going with an exercise bike gives you more freedom to adjust settings and challenge yourself. 

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