Elliptical vs. Stationary Bike: A Look At The Different Advantages

One of the indisputable facts is that we are leaving in exciting times. For example, there are now so many devices in our homes that contemporary life is more convenient than it was in the past. Such devices robotic vacuum cleaners, toasters, and dishwashers are all making it easy.

As a result, more people are leading sedentary lifestyles than in the past.

Exercise bikes are some of the most functional devices that can easily complement your busy schedule. Specifically, they make it possible to exercise whenever it is possible.

Choosing between elliptical and stationary bike is not an easy feat. So, which between the two is better for rehabilitation or reducing weight?

In the following few paragraphs, we compare elliptical and stationary bikes to help you determine which among them is right for you.



The design of the elliptical bike is entirely different from that of the stationary bike. It is not hard to miss. For example, the elliptical bike has this design that allows you to work out when standing. The elliptical bike works out the legs as well as the arms while enhancing the cardio.

In contrast, the features of a stationary bike trainer mimic the standard bike that we use outdoors. It has pedals, handlebars, and a seat like the one you find in traditional outdoor bikes. The only difference is that it does not go anywhere.

Considering the design, the elliptical bike works out both the legs and the arms. However, the stationary bike only focuses on the lower part of the body. The pulling and pushing action associated with elliptical bike synchronizers with the movement of the footrests.

Also, with the elliptical bike, you can choose to focus on the legs or the arms. The stationary bike is entirely different, and you will not find the option to work out the hands. In some cases, some stationary bikes may come with hand pedals to allow hand workouts.

However, the hand pedals are not usually as useful as those in elliptical bikes when it comes to working out.

The design of the elliptical bike allows focus targeting of different muscle groups. For example, you can squat or bend when exercising. You don’t have this option with the stationary bikes.

Exercise Programs

The benefit of modern exercise machines is that they come with exercise programs that you can choose from. You only need to press a button or make a selection of the exercise program that suits you best. Both the elliptical and stationary bikes have this option.

Elliptical exercise bike benefits include particular options that target muscle groups and heart rate. Options that focus on heart rate are mostly the best when it comes to burning calories. With the elliptical bike, you can adjust the resistance according to the terrain that you love.

In other words, you can choose a program that feels like climbing hills or walking across the country.

Similarly, stationary bikes have different programs that mimic the different terrains you may encounter when riding outdoors. For example, you can increase the resistance when you choose the option of riding in hills.

The Different Options

The elliptical bike only comes in one design. On the other hand, stationary bikes come in a selection of 3. The first option that you can choose from is the indoor bikes.

The braking system and a flywheel of the indoor bike is quite similar to that of their conventional outdoor counterparts. Therefore, you are free to stand when riding an outdoor bike. The same way you would on the road bike.

And in the same way that you would adjust the handlebars in road bikes to accommodate your height, you can do the same way with the indoor bikes. You can also choose to lean forward in crouched position to enhance the movement.

Furthermore, the indoor bike has options to change the resistance just the same way that you would change the gears in the traditional bikes.

The second variety of indoor exercise bikes is the upright bikes. And while they look similar to the regular bikes, upright bikes use magnetic resistance to work out different muscles.

And similar to elliptical bikes, the upright exercise bikes most often come with pre-programmed exercise routines. All you need to do is choose the one that is according to your fitness level. The option also allows you to target different fitness goals.

Furthermore, upright bikes come with more comfortable chairs that you can find in indoor exercise bikes. Therefore, you are more comfortable in upright bikes than you would with other indoor bikes.

It is also important to note that upright bikes may be suitable for people that want a workout machine that allows them to be in a resting position. You would not be resting when using the elliptical exercise bikes. You have to work out when standing.

Recumbent exercise bikes come with a more comfortable chair that offers back support in a way that other types of upright bikes cannot. The recumbent exercise bike is also best if you have back problems or even when you are recuperating from an illness.

On the other hand, elliptical bikes may not be the best if you are recovering from a back injury or your energy level is much lower. The recumbent exercise bike will do much better in that regard.

Toning your Muscles

As mentioned earlier, the elliptical bike targets different muscle groups from the stationary bike. However, both types of machines are cardio exercise machines. They will help you burn calories and tone your muscles.

You should not expect them to build your muscles.

The upright stationary bikes mainly target the thighs and calves. The biceps and triceps get worked out on upright stationary bikes when trying to maintain balance. You use your arms when trying to keep an upright posture.

You can also work out the abs using upright stationary bikes by tightening the handlebars and contracting the abdomen muscles. You should do this as your cycle intensively.

Increasing the resistance and standing on the pedals targets the gluts.

However, elliptical bikes target most of the muscles in your body. That is almost 80% of the muscles that you possess.

In other words, the elliptical bikes target your back muscles, abdominal muscles, your arms, and the buttocks. Also, you can always change the movement from going forward to backward. That way, you will target more muscles.

Convenience and Space Saving

While both the elliptical bikes and upright exercise bikes are quite convenient and space-saving, one of them is better. Specifically, the upright exercise bikes are more space saving than the elliptical bikes.

Even better, some of the upright exercise bikes are affordable. They are therefore easier to transport and store.


Can you lose belly fat on a stationary bike?

It is possible to lose belly fat by using a stationary bike. All you need to do is contract the muscles on your abdomen as you pedal. However, you may not need to do anything as churning your legs on the pedals burns the visceral fat that makes up belly fat.

To burn fat in your belly on a stationary bike, you will need to pedal for more than 30 minutes. Keep the heart rate between 50 and 70.

Is spinning or elliptical better?

The choice between the spinning and elliptical bikes may be a matter of preference and the amount of space that you have. Spinning bikes are compact and do not need a lot of space. That is not the case with the elliptical bikes.

Furthermore, it may also depend on workout goals. Some people may prefer a machine that works out different muscle groups. In that regard, the elliptical is much better than the spinning. The elliptical bike works out your back, abs, chest, arms, and legs.

And if you are after a machine that is going to help you with the rehabilitation after an accident or an injury, then the upright bike is more appropriate. More specifically, the recumbent exercise bike is better.

Is an elliptical as good as a treadmill?

The elliptical vs. bike vs. treadmill debate never seems to go away. However, it is important to note that all these machines provide a convenient way to work out. In the majority of cases, the difference between them is a matter of preference and the muscles you need to work out.

An elliptical bike is a device that conveniently provides you with a way to exercise indoors. However, it has the same advantages as the treadmill. The only difference is that an elliptical allows you to work out the upper body.

On the other hand, the treadmill only works out your legs. You may burn an extra fat on the upper body when using the treadmill, but the elliptical bike is more focused.

Winter comes to the question of calories burnt; the elliptical is similar to the treadmill. However, the elliptical trainers are easier to use, and they feel more natural than the treadmill.

Wrapping up

Both the elliptical trainers and upright bikes will help you burn body fat. However, you may need to look elsewhere if your goal is to build muscles. In the choice between elliptical trainers and upright bikes, the elliptical trainers may be better.

Regarding stationary bike vs. elliptical for knees, both machines may be too intense. The stationary bike may be gentler than the elliptical.

Elliptical trainers work out a variety of body muscles, unlike the upright bikes. However, if you are looking for a machine to help you recover from an injury, then the indoor bikes are better. Elliptical trainers may be too intense.





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