Recumbent bikes and treadmills are both valuable pieces of equipment for exercise. Still, many people, especially fitness rookies, can doubt when it comes to choosing the right exercise equipment for them.
The key to finding the right exercise equipment depends on your exercise goals and comfort. Whether you want to sit down and have a comfortable workout on a recumbent bike or do consistent running on a treadmill to maintain fitness depends on what outcome you expect from your body.
Therefore, we will discuss the pros and cons of both types of equipment that might help you to realize your personal needs and workout goals leading towards a suitable selection.
A recumbent bike favors a comfortable workout due to its unique design, which is wholly ergonomic and safe to exercise. The name “recumbent” itself suggests lying down, pointing towards the reclining feature of the backrest present in the recumbent bike.
These bikes are available in various configurations and provide low-impact cardiovascular exercise.
A treadmill provides fitness enthusiasts with a movable platform for indoor walking, running, or climbing while staying in the same place. Treadmills consist of a conveyor belt that motions through an electric motor or a flywheel.
The user is supposed to match the speed of the belt through his/her walking and running. Treadmills offer various workout routines like casual walks, light jogging, hill hiking, and running at different speed levels.
1. Problems that a Recumbent Bike Can Solve
Recumbent bikes are known for providing flexible workouts to people who want to invest in low-impact exercise.
i) Offers No Saddle Sores Or Pressure On Knees:
A recumbent bike will protect you from saddle sores and knee strain as it has an ergonomic bike frame and features. A recumbent exercise bike comprises a large plush seat and a comfortable backrest with different reclining angles to provide the user with full support and safety.
Moreover, the pedals on a recumbent bike are placed in front of the body for low-impact pedaling. This type of positioning is ideal for strain-free exercising. Hence, it causes no pressure on the lower back, knee joints, and buttocks.
ii) Ideal Solution For Thigh Or Hip Fat Loss:
A recumbent bike is ideal to use for losing thigh and hip fat. The main reason for this fat loss lies in the pedaling. The overall movement of the lower body helps in losing all body weight, especially thigh and hip fat.
Moreover, the recumbent exercise bikes usually come with different resistance levels that determine the force exerted by the user to push through the pedals. The various workout levels allow the user to put in some intense effort and lose extra pounds quickly.
iii) Offers Fully Supported Operating Positions And Cardiovascular Workout:
Recumbent bikes offer fully supported operating positions and low-impact cardiovascular workouts. The recumbent exercise bikes with movable arms provide full-fledged exercise of the body. As the user pedals on the bike, while reclining comfortably, his/her whole body moves to result in weight loss and improved blood circulation.
A recumbent bike is the best option for cardiovascular workouts for older adults as it doesn’t strain any muscles and joints while revitalizing vital organs.
iv) Delicate On the Joints- Ideal For Arthritis:
People recovering from spinal surgeries or other lower back and joint injuries can also find recumbent bikes to be remarkably beneficial for rehabilitation. A recumbent exercise bike is quite delicate on the joints, and people with arthritis can also find relief through exercising on this bike. It also activates the joints making them more responsive and functional.
2. Problems a Treadmill Can Solve
Treadmills are top-rated when it comes to instant weight loss and intense cardio workouts. It is best for people who prefer walking or running as a workout routine.
i) Helps In Fast Weight Loss:
A treadmill helps in losing weight very quickly. It can burn a massive amount of calories in just 30 minutes of workout, but the user’s speed adjustment plays a vital role in the workout session. For example, 150 pounds can burn 83% calories at 2mph (30 minutes per mile).
The amount of burned calories will increase as you raise the speed. Moreover, walking or running engages the whole body and proves to be challenging when covering a certain distance compared to a bike. Therefore, it burns calories rapidly.
ii) Offers Preloaded Workout Programs:
The treadmill offers preloaded workout programs to make your workout more exciting and challenging. A variety of programs broadens the user’s options and creates volatility in the workout session. From a casual walk to running sprints and climbing to performing intervals, there are multiple programs that a treadmill can offer for easy and quick workouts at a push of a button.
iii) A Cheaper Option than a Gym:
A gym subscription can be a lot to pay every month compared to paying for a treadmill upfront just for once to use whenever you like at your convenience. People who take their workout routine seriously would find a great deal in buying a treadmill for their home than to go to a gym once or twice a week by clearing up busy schedules and not even being able to use their full potential either.
That’s why choosing a treadmill would be cheaper and wiser in terms of getting fruitful results and adequate workouts daily at your convenience.
iv) High And Low Impact Cardio Exercise:
Treadmills provide high and low-impact cardio exercises. However, walking at an average speed of light and jogging might be the only options that would stand out as low-impact exercises on a treadmill. In contrast, all the others especially running, would be considered high impact due to the considerable stress the joints of a person might feel after striking the treadmill surface.
People choose exercise programs and speed levels according to their preferences and body conditions. People who cannot tolerate much stress on the joints could go for low-impact exercise, whereas those who do not feel any strain on their joints and want to lose weight quickly could go for high-impact exercises.
3. Comparison Between a Recumbent Bike And a Treadmill
A recumbent bike and a treadmill both have their pros and cons. Therefore, weighing both pieces of equipment together might give people a clearer picture of which one’s better for them.
i) Fat Loss:
A treadmill might burn calories faster than a recumbent exercise bike and provide quick fat loss in less time. However, recumbent bikes provide a comfortable workout that allows people to exercise for longer hours that helps in losing the same amount of weight as a treadmill.
Studies also show that a person who loses weight gradually rather than quickly remains more fit and in shape for a longer time. So, a recumbent bike can compete with a treadmill in weight loss quickly.
There are two types of treadmills. One comprises a motor, and the other one is a manual treadmill. The manual treadmill is relatively cheap as compared to the motorized one. To buy a good treadmill with many exercise options could cost a lot because a good recumbent bike for the home could be available at the same price as manual treadmills.
In a nutshell, a high-quality recumbent bike with great features could be available at the same price as a manual treadmill which makes recumbent bikes cheaper than costly motorized treadmills.
iii) Muscle Toning:
When it comes to muscle toning, both recumbent exercise bike and treadmill tone the lower body muscles, the legs, thighs, and buttocks become slimmer. However, the recumbent exercise bike with movable arms allows the muscle toning of the whole body. It shapes the shoulders, arms, lower abdomen, and stomach along with the lower body.
A treadmill takes considerable effort to tone the buttocks and thighs, whereas recumbent bikes tone all body muscles without much effort due to comfortable seating and pedaling. People can always push through the different resistance levels to work extra hard to tone their muscles on a recumbent bike in a short amount of time.
iv) Age Group:
Treadmills are the best for youngsters because they provide high-impact cardiovascular exercises, which young people happily do as they feel more thrill and spontaneity during intense workouts.
Recumbent exercise bikes are the best for middle-aged to older adults merely because of the comfort and ease in exercising experience. Young people or anyone, in general, can also use a recumbent bike to recover from injuries.
4. When Not to Use a Recumbent Exercise Bike?
- A pregnant woman who is past her 3 to 4 months of pregnancy shouldn’t use a recumbent bike.
- People who receive spinal or other joint surgery shouldn’t use a recumbent bike until their doctor tells them to use it for rehab purposes.
- People with nausea and insomnia shouldn’t use a recumbent exercise bike until they recover from both of these problems.
5. When Not to Use a Treadmill?
- Older people with back pain and joint aches shouldn’t use a treadmill.
- People with arthritis or injuries shouldn’t use a treadmill.
- Pregnant women shouldn’t use a treadmill because it can be hazardous for them, especially after the 2nd month.
In a nutshell, treadmills are great for losing quick body fat and engaging high-impact cardio exercises, whereas recumbent bikes are great for pursuing comfortable workouts. The one benefit upon which a recumbent exercise bike wins over a treadmill is the wide range of people it accommodates, ranging from young to old and fit to unfit people.
The second thing where a recumbent bike stands out is the toning of muscles that it provides with ease. Moreover, recumbent bikes are also cheaper than treadmills. People can now easily judge and decide which exercise equipment would suit their needs through this comparison.