If you’re looking for a low-impact cardio workout, the stationary bike is your best option. However, if you want to build muscle in your legs and cardiovascular endurance simultaneously, it’s tough to beat the treadmill. So which is better for home gyms?
Let’s compare stationary bike vs treadmill
The answer largely comes down to personal preference. Some people prefer using a stationary bike because they can watch TV while exercising (it also doesn’t take up as much space). Others like running on a treadmill because they feel like they’re getting their daily jog in or are interested in watching what their heart rate does throughout their workout session; this information might be helpful for weight loss goals or other health concerns.
In general, treadmills offer more benefits than stationary bikes. Here’s what you need to know:
What is a Treadmill?
A treadmill is a motorized, moving track with an electronic display of time, speed, distance, and calories burned. The user stands on the track; in most cases, it has padding to protect their feet from sliding off during your workout.
Treadmills are available as stand-up or sit-down models. At the same time, which one you choose should be largely determined by preference (some people like running on a treadmill so much they don’t want to spend their workouts sitting down), there are also some health benefits associated with each type.
Running on a stand-up machine offers more resistance than walking at the same speed because you’re leaning against gravity and the treadmill; this helps you build more muscle and improve your fitness level faster.
A sit-down machine allows you to walk at a higher speed than a stand-up model but offers less resistance since you’re not leaning against gravity. It’s also important to consider how much space each piece of equipment takes up in your home gym.
It is not advisable for overweight or have the cardiovascular disease to start out walking on a treadmill because they may tire too easily. Treadmills should only be used with proper supervision and instruction from your physician if you’ve had heart trouble in the past (you can ask them about using treadmills under their recommendation).
How a Stationary Bike Works
There are two main types of stationary bikes: the recumbent bike and the upright or spin cycle. The design of a recumbent stationary bike is like an elliptical machine, except that it moves back and forth on a horizontal plane instead of up and down as an elliptical machine would.
The term “cycle” refers to the circular flywheel found in all non-motorized exercise bikes (also known as freewheelers). To use an upright stationary bike, you must pedal the bicycle by moving your feet forward and backward.
The main benefit to using a stationary bicycle is that you have total control over your pace. Hence, most people find this type of workout mentally easier than running on a treadmill because they can choose a comfortable speed.
It also offers less impact than running on the road; for people who have problems with their knees, hips, or ankles, it can be a good alternative to running outdoors so they can stay fit while not aggravating any existing injuries.
Stationary bikes are also great if you want to give your legs and body some extra exercise during your workout session without going outside (you don’t have to worry about sweating in public).
The downside of using the upright bicycle is that most models do not allow you to see how fast you’re moving or how long you’ve been working out. This can make keeping track of your progress more difficult which may lead to boredom or burnout because there’s no way for you to change your workout routine to keep yourself interested.
What Kind of Machine Should You Use?
As mentioned, the main difference between using a treadmill and an upright stationary bike is that you have total control over your pace on a bicycle. For instance, let’s say that you want to work out for 15 minutes at whatever speed you feel comfortable with; by simply changing the resistance level or adjusting the seat height as needed, you can do so in just seconds because there are no preset programs on this type of equipment (you have 100% control).
If you’re very overweight or haven’t exercised in quite some time, it might be best for you to start with using a recumbent machine since doing so will help relieve pressure off your joints if they aren’t accustomed to being active.
The recumbent machine is gentler on your joints because of the way your body weight is distributed compared to using an upright stationary bike which may make it easier for people who haven’t exercised in a while to ease back into their workout routine.
Some beginners also prefer using a stationary bike over other types of cardio equipment such as treadmills or elliptical machines, especially if they plan on using it for more than 30 minutes at a time (the average duration for most workouts).
Trying to stay seated and pedaling continuously can be exhausting, which can lead you to lose interest; this isn’t the case with stationary bikes since they allow you to get up and walk around periodically during long sessions rather than forcing you to continue pedaling.
Whenever you choose to use a stationary bike, make sure that you are seated in the saddle properly at all times (a good way to ensure this is by using a towel or special gel seat cover under your bottom) and keep your back straight so that it doesn’t arch inward.
You also want to engage your abdominal muscles as much as possible while keeping your arms relaxed at all times; avoid leaning forward excessively when you’re pedaling because doing so can cause back pain over time.
Which Burn More Calories Stationary Bike or Treadmill?
So which is better for someone who wants to lose weight: a treadmill or an upright stationary bike?
There’s really no easy way to answer that question because everyone will burn different amounts of calories per minute based on their body type.
The stationary bike offers less impact, but it’s also a more difficult machine to use and may not be ideal if you’re out of shape. Hence it burns more calories than the treadmill.
The treadmill certainly offers the same comfort and convenience as using an upright stationary bike, however, so it might make sense for someone overweight or who has had previous joint problems.
If possible, try both machines and see which one feels better for your body type; some are even able to simulate the feel of running on the pavement so that you don’t miss out on all of the benefits you’d normally receive from being outdoors.
When choosing between a recumbent bike and an upright stationary bike, most people will choose to purchase an upright model simply because they can get a full-body workout without having to adjust the amount of tension they feel on their legs at any given time.
Additionally, upright stationary bikes are useful for weight loss since they work your glutes and quadriceps in a way that’s similar to walking or running.
Since these muscles are used when cycling, using an upright bike is one of the best workouts for burning calories around your waistline.
Injury Rate stair climber vs treadmill
Injury risk is another reason to stay away. How likely are you either of these two machines to injure you? The treadmill will, unfortunately, win out here (or lose maybe a better way).
Not only is a treadmill high-impact, but people could fall off of the machine or injure themselves while on the machine because they are trying to avoid slipping.
There are three primary injury risks when riding an exercise bike:
- First, the pain experienced after sitting on a hard seat for an extended period of time, which can be alleviated by wearing padded underwear.
- Knee pain from constant rotations with the legs
- Prolonged periods of time spent hunched over can often lead to back or neck pain.
All in all, this list is very manageable with a little forethought. By taking at least one day off per week and biking with good posture–plus visiting the masseuse for neck and shoulder massage–you should be able to minimize pain and discomfort while you are commuting by bike.
Many people are concerned that the injuries on a treadmill could be more serious and less avoidable, so you may choose to prioritize using a bike instead.
So which machine offers the best variability, Stationary Bike or Treadmill?
Can’t decide between a stationary bike and a treadmill? Fortunately, they both offer an array of programs to keep you interested. However, if you want to change it up from time to time, look for the type that allows you to set your own workout length or the number of calories burned.
This way, you can avoid getting bored with your workout regimen.
One of the best things about a treadmill is that you can choose how fast or slow it goes, whereas, on a bike, you are limited to how fast the pedals spin. If running for a long period of time isn’t your style, but uphill and downhill runs are, then maybe pick a treadmill over an exercise bike.
Stationary Bike vs Treadmill Which is Suitable for Apartment?
Either of these two machines can easily be stored when not in use. Stationary bikes will take up less space, but they may be louder depending on the model you choose (you don’t want to annoy your neighbors).
Some treadmills fold up so that you can lean them up against a wall when they’re not being used. This is convenient if you live in a small space and don’t want to devote an entire room to exercise equipment.
There are many benefits of using a stationary bike over the treadmill. The first benefit is that it has less impact on your joints and bones than running does. Second, you can still get an aerobic workout with a stationary bike instead of just walking or jogging, which will not provide any cardio fitness benefits.
Thirdly, you don’t need much space for a bicycle compared to how big and bulky treadmills tend to be. Finally, bicycling offers more flexibility in speed options, while treadmills offer only one general pace option (unless they’re programmed).