Compare, elliptical Vs exercise bike

The world is changing, and progress does not stand still. Until recently, home exercise bikes had no tangible competitors in the market, but that all changed when elliptical trainers were introduced to the world.

 Now exercise enthusiasts have a dilemma of which exercise bike or elliptical trainer is better. 

Well, if you are one of those who cannot be identified in any way, you have come to the right place. Now we will tell you which is the best, what to choose and why.

Exercise bike and elliptical: common features

In terms of the effect on the athlete’s body, the shells are similar:

  1. Both cardiovascular machines are suitable for sports activities and keeping fit. They exercise the cardiovascular system (mainly the heart and blood vessels, which are responsible for blood circulation) and can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes.
  2. Both improve endurance, that is, the ability to withstand stress over a long period of time (one of the three main virtues of Socrates).
  3. Elliptical and stationary bike workouts are joint-safe. In this regard, they are more recommended than running, which can cause injury, hip, knee or ankle pain.
  4. For seniors looking to stay fit, both are suitable
  5. The elliptical and exercise bike are cardio machines, not strength machines! They will help to tone your legs and buttocks, but will not build muscle mass. These cardio machines are not meant for bodybuilding!
  6. Both the elliptical trainer and the exercise bike allow you to effectively lose weight.

What is the use

First, let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of each of the models under consideration. This knowledge will help determine which is the best elliptical or exercise bike.

Exercise bike

Let’s start with the classic version that everyone has heard of.

Exercise bikes are firmly established in every fitness club. Many people prefer them for private use. And it’s clear why.

Exercises on a stationary bike give noticeable results for those who want to lose weight, increase endurance, strengthen the cardiovascular system and, of course, the body as a whole.

The main advantages of these simulators are :

  • A large number of calories burned. In one hour of training, you can lose up to 600 kcal.
  • Reasonable costmakes these devices very popular and affordable for ordinary buyers. Here are some price tags.


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  • In the process of training , various types of groups are involved, which has a beneficial effect on the general condition of the body.
  • Exercising on a stationary bike accelerates metabolism. An intense supply of oxygen accelerates the heartbeat and blood movement in the body, which in turn increases metabolism.
  • Small restrictions on use. It will be a suitable option for those who are contraindicated in excessive physical activity.

These devices are not without drawbacks . However, they are not significant and pale when compared to the benefits. For example:

  • The muscles located above the waist are practically not involved. This means that for the full development of the muscles, you need to engage in additional exercises.
  • Possible problems with the joints, namely the knees, which bear most of the load.
  • Monotonous activities. If you have problems with motivation or a lack of interest in training, this can play a cruel joke on you.

Elliptical Trainer

Now let’s talk about the competitor of the classics, elliptical type simulators.

And although you hardly surprise anyone with these simulators, they have a relatively small history and some do not know about the principles of training on such devices, not to mention the benefits.

If you know little about elliptical trainers, it is worth reading our article –  Elliptical trainers, what they are . For now, let’s focus on the main advantages of ellipticals:

  • Other things being equal, it helps burn more caloriesthan an exercise bike – 700 versus 600.
  • Even minor, but regular, exercises have an effect: metabolism increases and the cardiovascular system strengthens.
  • The devices are truly versatile and will suit not only you but also your family. Or friends.
  • Exercising on ellipticals is much more funthan on stationary bikes, which only adds to the benefits of this training system.

Ellipticals are also not without their drawbacks, but, unlike an exercise bike, they look more weighty:

  • High cost of equipment. One of the main talking factors is not in favor of elliptical trainers.
  • The presence of many moving elements makes the device to be serviced more carefully .

The owners of elliptical machines will say that they are worth their money and will be right, but this can still play a decisive role in choosing a machine. Below, for acquaintance, several models with prices, but about the benefits of the elliptical, read here .



Contraindications will become an important criterion when choosing a particular type of simulator. Each of the simulators has specific ones and it is better to know them in order to make the best decision.

Exercise bike

As such, there are no contraindications for an exercise bike. On the contrary, in the initial stages of diseases, such as arthritis and arthrosis of 1-2 degrees or varicose veins, exercise on exercise bikes is even useful.

The main contraindications for exercise on a stationary bike are late stages of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and the respiratory system.


Since users carry out exercises on elliptical trainers while standing, a significant load falls on the joints of the legs and vessels of the lower extremities.

Based on this, an obvious conclusion can be drawn – it is better to avoid training on an elliptical if you have problems with these areas.

However, not everything is so simple. Elliptical trainers were originally designed for rehabilitation procedures. That is, the equipment, by its own idea, is aimed at moderate loads for a weakened organism. So it turns out that the restrictions apply only to long exhausting workouts. In all other cases, with moderate loads, the device can be used.

Be that as it may, before starting classes on one or another simulator, you should consult with a specialist who will tell you the option that suits you.

Be sure to read what contraindications apply when exercising on elliptical trainers .

The main differences in training

The most obvious difference between machines is which muscle groups are used when exercising. If, when exercising on a stationary bike, the load falls mostly on the legs. Exercise bikes provide intense aerobic activity, and in the process you can easily watch a movie or read a couple of chapters of your favorite book.

The elliptical trainer programs are more varied and include modes from smooth walking to running intensity. In addition, on the elliptical, it is possible to choose a different direction of movement: straight ahead, backwards and even at an angle.

Comparison of simulators

What muscles work on the elliptical

The elliptical uses 80% of the muscles, as it makes the whole body work. The calf, quadriceps, gluteal, oblique muscles are actively tense and exercised during classes. Muscles of the arms, lower back and back, shoulder girdle, chest and abdomen.

An elliptical machine uses a variety of muscles in the legs. They work depending on the forward or backward movement of the pedals.

The hamstrings, which are located at the back of the legs, are involved in flexion. They play an important role in aerobic elliptical exercise.

Some elliptical trainers have a special mechanism that allows you to increase the incline, simulating a hill climb. This leads to an increase in the load when bending the legs, allowing more active use of the hamstring muscles.

Elliptical machines use the quadriceps muscles of the thigh to straighten the legs. Unlike a stationary bike, which mainly uses the quads.

Research by the American Society of Biomechanics has shown that the calf muscles are activated during elliptical training. To work them out, you need to focus on pressing your foot down on the machine’s pedal. An effective workout should include forward and reverse elliptical pedaling. We recommend that you look at the article which muscles swing on an elliptical trainer .

Which muscle groups work on an exercise bike

A stationary bike develops your hips, calves and buttocks more. The quads and hamstrings (muscles in the front and back of the thigh) are constantly working while the person is pedaling. The muscles of the arms (biceps and triceps) are trained, as they help maintain a straight posture on the stationary bike and hold the handlebars.

To pump up your glutes, you need to increase the resistance of the stationary bike, step on the pedals and get out of the saddle! The muscles of the back and lower back support body position.

An exercise bike is best for people looking to complement other fitness routines that provide them with a complete body workout. It is also ideal for those with physical therapy or limited movement.

If you need to work out the muscles of the thigh, lower leg and strengthen the buttocks, then both the elliptical and the stationary bike are equally suitable. However, if it is necessary to develop the upper body as well, then it is better to opt for the orbit track.

Burning calories

To feel the effect of exercise, you need to do it regularly and at the same time observe the diet. In this case, the results will not be long in coming.

Dry numbers indicate that the elliptical is more efficient than the exercise bike.

The number of calories lost per hour of exercise is noticeably higher than the same figure on an exercise bike. This is explained by the fact that on the elliptical, a greater number of muscle groups are involved, and therefore the amplitude of movement is greater than on an exercise bike.

Training intensity

Stationary bikes allow for varying levels of resistance, so you can exercise at low, medium or high intensity. This makes them ideal for interval training.

To strengthen the muscles in your legs, hips and buttocks, you can train on a stationary bike 2 times a week for 30-45 minutes. It is necessary to alternate phases of high intensity of training and recovery phases. It is possible to train 3 to 5 times a week for 20-30 minutes with an increase in the speed of rotation of the pedals of the exercise bike.

The elliptical effect is related to the effort of the athlete. For intense exercise, 3 sessions per week of 30 minutes are sufficient. For weight loss, it is advisable to work hard at least 5-6 times a week.

Ideal workouts are on an elliptical and stationary bike for 30 to 45 minutes, 2 to 4 times a week. This will maximize body shaping and health benefits. For warm-up purposes, at least 10 minutes a day is sufficient. To burn fat, your workout should be at least 60 minutes long.

Variety of activities

While exercising on a stationary bike, you can watch movies, listen to music, read books or learn foreign languages more effectively than on an elliptical.

Horizontal shells can be used for people with spinal diseases.

However, on an upright stationary bike, monotonous loads. The muscles of the arms, shoulders, chest, and back are little involved. Classes will have to be supplemented with dumbbells or fitness.

When training on an orbit track, the whole body develops harmoniously under various loads. Here the movement can be forward, reverse, leaning forward or backward.

Different postures involve different muscle groups:

  • in the main position, all muscle groups are involved;
  • the reverse movement puts stress on the buttocks and hamstrings;
  • when bending forward, the hips and calves are involved;
  • leaning back, you can carefully work out the buttocks.

Cost and footprint

The great thing about an exercise bike is that it is inexpensive and takes up relatively little space. It will not be possible to hide it under the bed, since the projectile does not fold. On average, it is 1 m long, 50 cm wide and 1 m 30 cm. height.

When choosing an exercise bike, you need to pay attention first of all to its functionality: resistance adjustment, load monitoring, heart rate monitor, counting calories burned – all this will make the exercise bike more expensive, but it will be much more convenient and efficient to train on it.

The price of an average exercise bike ranges from 10,000 to 150,000 rubles, and professional ones are even higher.

An elliptical trainer is usually within 1.50m long, 60cm wide and 1m 60cm. height.

For the price – as well as the cost of an exercise bike from 10,000 to 150,000 rubles.

Obviously, a stationary bike wins in terms of size and price.

When to choose an elliptical trainer

An elliptical device is best suited for those who already have sufficient physical fitness and want to further improve their body. For those for whom sport is not just a hobby, but an important part of life. It is fair to say that the elliptical trainer is an advanced solution for experienced users.

This does not mean that newbies will not master this device. The simulator is also suitable for beginners who are ready for serious physical activity and changes.

When to choose an exercise bike

This option is best chosen if you have a limited budget and sports in your life to maintain tone, and not for serious, focused activities. The exercise bike is also worth paying attention to for children and adolescents, the elderly and women in position.

What is more effective for losing weight?

An exercise bike and an exercise bike will effectively lose weight. The number of calories burned, both on an elliptical and on a stationary bike, significantly depends on the intensity of the exercise and the duration of the workout.

Which one allows you to burn more calories?

Lesson hour

Calories burned

Exercise bike

400 to 750 kcal

Elliptical Trainer

455 to 830 kcal

An elliptical trainer burns 15% more calories than an exercise bike. A person constantly trains the whole body on an elliptical, while remaining seated on a stationary bike. Much depends on the intensity of the exercise. The more energetic a person is, the more calories he burns. If you train regularly and intensively, both machines will help you lose weight.

comparison table

To summarize the information received about the exercise bike and the elliptical, a comparative table will help us, in which we will give the main parameters. They are quite enough for an ordinary user to determine the best personal trainer for the home.

Technical specifications

Exercise bike

Elliptical Trainer (Elliptical)


The installation requires a relatively small space in the room. There are folding models.

Models available in more than exercise bikes. There are folding models. Professional options are more noticeable.

On-board computer

Availability and capabilities are determined by device model

Similar to exercise bikes

Noise from the device

The amount of noise is determined by the simulator model. Almost all modern types of exercise bikes are practically silent

All models presented are characterized by extremely low noise levels


Effectiveness is achieved with a properly designed training program

Both premium models and simple ones are effective.


The great stability of the device makes them very safe. The risk of injury is minimal.

The range of motion is greater, but the body remains in one position. The likelihood of injury is minimal.


Late stages of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory system

The device is aimed at reducing the load on the body. Dosed use for recovery is allowed


from 1 thousand to 900 thousand rubles

from 7 thousand to 1.5 million rubles

It is impossible to say with complete certainty which is better, an exercise bike or an elliptical trainer and which of the simulators will suit you personally. The purpose of this article is not to convince you of the correctness of one solution. Our task is to tell you about these devices to help you make the right choice. In any case, you should first of all go to a specialist who will tell you about the current shape of your body, and only then start choosing a simulator.

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