Friday, 19 April 2024

Exercise Bikes, Treadmills

Treadmill vs Stationary Exercise Bike – Which One is Best?

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Treadmill vs Stationary Exercise Bike

There has always been a debate between different exercise methods. People always want to know which one is best. One part of that is people who believe that their chosen training method is superior, while the other part of it is people who want to figure out which is best so that they can attain their fitness goals in the best possible method.

The truth is, there are differences, but choices will always come down to personal preferences.

During any kind of aerobic exercise, an oxygen supply is crucial to fulfill the body’s energy requirements. In fact, the meaning of the word “aerobic” is “requiring oxygen”.

Aerobic exercise has many advantages to your health including reducing the risk of heart disease, improving overall cardiovascular health, reducing blood pressure, regulating blood sugar levels, improving lung capacity, regulating hormones, burning belly fat, overall weight loss, and much more.

A dynamic and enjoyable aerobic workout can be achieved by using either one of two very popular pieces of fitness equipment: the treadmill and the stationary bike. The big question now arises, which one of these two pieces of exercise equipment is best?

Follow along as we discover which of these you must have in your home gym as we answer the question of which is best, treadmill or exercise bike. Our goal is to help you make an informed decision on which machine is the right choice for your fitness routine.

Treadmill vs Bike Health Benefits

Treadmill vs Bike Health Benefits

We have already mentioned a few of the many health benefits that come with any kind of aerobic exercise. Along with the general health benefits, each of these popular gym equipment pieces has its own sets of benefits which could make one of them the best option for you.

It must be said that both treadmills and recumbent bikes are a great option to go with, which is why they are always available in all commercial gyms. Let’s take a more specific look at the health benefits that you can expect from indoor cycling and indoor running.

Heart Rate

We already know that using either of these exercise machines can give you an intense cardiovascular workout. To compare them side by side, one definitive aspect that we can look at is heart rate. The heart rate during training is directly related to cardiovascular fitness.

One study found that participants who used a treadmill over an exercise bike, for a given period of time, achieved a higher heart rate. However, there are plenty of conflicting results from other studies. For example, other results show that there are no significant heart-rate dynamic differences between using treadmills or stationary exercise bikes.

The consensus is that workout time and workout intensity is the determining factor. If people were to use an exercise bike long enough, they could also bring their heart rate up to the same level. Treadmills simply provide a faster physiological response.

Muscle Activation

Another good method of comparison is to look at which muscle groups are affected by the respective pieces of equipment.

Muscle activation variations are mainly due to the position of the body. When using a treadmill, the body is in an upright position. As a result, the whole body is engaged compared to when you’re riding an exercise bike where it is mostly the lower body muscles.

Furthermore, when using a treadmill, you’re activating your core muscles, the muscles in your back, and some of the muscles in your arms. Overall, the treadmill is a better option to use all your body weight to get a full-body workout.

Moreover, the muscles in your lower body, like the calf, glute, and leg muscles, were found to be stimulated more than when on a stationary bike.

Nonetheless, if you were to engage in interval training and stand up on a stationary bike, you could have a similar muscle response. While you’re balancing in the stand-up position, your core, glute, and leg activation is much stronger. You could also use dumbbells with your exercise bike to get an upper body workout.


Calories treadmills

The next biggest factor to take into consideration is the number of calories that each machine burns. Not only how many calories it burns, but also how effective it is at burning a lot of calories. Burning calories is the best method for weight loss.

Performing a weight-bearing exercise burns more calories than a non-weight-bearing exercise. In 2004, Harvard Health published statistics on the amount of calories lost by an individual while performing various activities.

Since you’re sitting on an exercise bike, there are fewer muscles activated and in turn, fewer calories are burned. And, because you’re bearing more weight on a treadmill, you’re putting more stress and pressure on your bones, and thereby burning more calories while also doing effective strength training. This fact also contributes to increasing your bone density and strengthening your bones.

Full-body Workout

Although both treadmills vs exercise bikes are good ways to get a calorie burn, there are some differences as we mentioned. If you are looking for the most effective way, then it is more about the level of our cardio workout. Either machine would be a good option.

Exercise Bike vs Treadmill Versatility

Exercise Bike vs Treadmill Versatility

As exercise equipment machines are constantly being developed, they’re becoming more sophisticated and more versatile by the day. The features, settings, and technology in these machines are nearly endless. With both the exercise bike and treadmill, the versatility in physical activity is immense.

Be that as it may, because treadmills can incline, they can provide an uphill cardiovascular workout. Some stationary bikes can incline and you can, of course, create resistance by adjusting the tension. Some bikes can even lean to the sides which gives you an added level of immersion to your indoor training.

But, there are more muscles challenged when exercising fully upright and on an incline. Treadmills, however, just provide multiple more settings and training options.

Treadmill vs Bike Injuries

Treadmill vs Bike Injuries

The Consumer Product Safety Commission released data from 2016 regarding fitness equipment-related emergency visits. Stationary bikes were the cause of only 10% of these emergency visits while treadmills caused a staggering 36% of them.

From that, it is clear that treadmills have a much higher risk of injury. This again could be related to the fact that while using a treadmill, you’re in an upright position while supporting your own body weight. If you’re sitting on an exercise bike, you’re less likely to fall over, trip, or lose your balance.

Another factor for injuries is the impact that the machines have on your body. Treadmills are high-impact machines because when you’re running or jogging, both feet often leave the surface at the same time. In contrast, stationary bikes offer a low-impact workout.

This is because your feet are in contact with the surface at all times. High-impact exercises can be hard on your joints, knees, and back. This can cause joint pain, and knee pain, and increase overall injury risk.

So, if you’re older or have underlying bone conditions or injuries, a stationary bike with its low impact might be the better choice for you.

Treadmill vs Bike Size

Treadmill vs Bike Size

In general, treadmills take up much more space than an exercise bike. However, many treadmills and exercise bikes are now compact to fit perfectly in your home. Some of them even fold away for convenience. Be advised that if they’re smaller in size or a folding type of equipment, they’re usually much cheaper. They’re light and are sometimes made with poorer-quality materials.

If you are looking for the one that takes less space, the spin bikes are the way to go.

We recommend double-checking the dimensions (folded and unfolded), weight, weight capacity, and materials of the products. You’ll need to know if the treadmill or bike is sturdy, durable, and strong enough to support you during strenuous workouts.

Exercise Bike vs Treadmill Cost

Since treadmills are much bigger than stationary bikes, they tend to be more expensive too. Plus, treadmills increase in price with all of their extras. The same goes for exercise bikes. Again, compact treadmills, folding treadmills, and compact bikes can be budget-friendly. But, if you’re investing in home gym equipment, it should be of high quality as well.

Spin Bikes vs Treadmill Workouts & Exercises

Spin Bikes

Both spin bikes and treadmills have a fairly limited amount of workouts and exercises that you can do on them. They were both designed for the two respective exercises – treadmills for running, and spin bikes for cycling. That being said, there are lots of workout routines available online.

These workouts will take you through different intensities and different intervals. This is a great way to train at different heart rate levels which will have different benefits to your body. Shorter and more intense intervals are also highly effective at building muscle. Lower intensities for expended intervals are again better for burning body fat.

Final Thoughts

After much research, deciding between buying a treadmill and a stationary bike should be based on your age, fitness level, fitness goals, overall health, and lifestyle. If you prefer a variety of challenging workouts and are completely void of chronic injuries, then go with a treadmill.

If you are looking for something with less impact because you have bad joints or are older, then go with the stationary exercise bike. Remember, the information we’ve gathered demonstrated opposing results. The treadmill and the stationary bike are both valuable pieces of exercise equipment in their own way.

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