Elliptical Machine Vs Exercise Bike

Elliptical Machine Vs Exercise Bike?

Both the Elliptical and Stationary bikes are popular and brilliant options of cardio machines for doing fruitful pedalling at home or gym. However, some wonder if these machines are equal or not and if there are any core differences between these two. This article can be a good read to get your answers.

These two workout machines are the same in some ways as you can set and adjust the cadence and speed in both. When you have to keep up with the pace of a treadmill, these bikes will adapt your effort and energy level which will allow you to do pedalling according to your requirements.

Moreover, you can adjust the resistance and intensity of your pedalling on both the stationary and elliptical machines to increase the difficulty level as you want.

Though you will not get the same benefits from elliptical and stationary bikes you should choose your workout machine according to your goal and preferences. The type, effectiveness and fruitfulness of your workout will mostly depend on your fitness requirements, health state, body components, etc.

An overall concept on the stationary and elliptical machine in terms of cardio workout is as follows:

Elliptical Machine


The workout on an elliptical machine will give you a mixed experience of climbing the stairs and skiing cross-country. This remix feeling will give you a great vibe and make your workout more enjoyable and less monotonous. Besides, cycling is a low-impact workout that puts less stress on your body being easy on the joints.

Exercising on an elliptical machine can be a full-body workout if you hold on to the moving handles and engage your full body with every stroke of the pedal. You can improve your whole body along with your lower portion while exercising on the elliptical machine.

Elliptical machine affects some specific parts of your body the most which are the hamstrings, glutes, triceps, quads and deltoids which is the top of the shoulders and arms.

Elliptical machines are good at burning calories as well. You can burn 270-400 calories in 30 minutes on an elliptical machine. The Harvard Medical School found these estimates by calculating the average of a 185-pound, 155-pound and 125-pound person.


Elliptical machines may be fun to ride but it is not much functional which means the movement of the fitness machine will not replicate the real cycling. This bike is not ideal for any specific training according to the experts.

Using an elliptical machine will not make you a better runner or increase your running or jogging ability drastically over time. So it is better to use a treadmill if you want to make your running skills better or want to have training for a 5K.

Some of the professionals don’t go for elliptical machines for cardio workouts and some may like it. The elliptical machine will give you a break from the busy world and will help you to have enjoyable cycling. However, this workout machine is not ideal for improving lung and heart health also improving fitness notably.

Stationary Bike


A stationary bike is also a low-impact and joint-friendly workout like the elliptical machine for doing an effective cardio workout. This bike puts greater emphasis on the lower body like quads, glutes, calves and hamstrings but you can also work on your upper body. If you engage your core by getting up from the saddle working out on this bike can affect your whole body.

A person with 125 pounds of weight can burn 210 calories with 30 minutes of moderate-intensity and a person with 185 pounds of weight will burn 311 calories for the same. If the same weighted people do workout at a vigorous intensity they can burn 315 calories and 466 calories respectively.


A stationary bike also comes with some specific discomforts and difficulties like elliptical machines. Some people find the bike, mainly the seat uncomfortable and difficult to adjust. The professionals say their clients who are beginners often find the seat uncomfortable of a stationary bike.

However, there is a solution for the uncomfortable seat as you can choose a bike with a padded seat with an extra cushion. The gym experts say that people experience the comfort and improved factor definitely after a specific time of workout on the stationary bike.

Summary of the Debate

The experts say that both the stationary and elliptical machines will build and tone your muscles also boss your cardio endurance in the same way if you put in equal effort. The factor that affects your endurance and fitness the most is the resistance, intensity and frequency but not the bike you are pedalling on.

However, the elliptical machines have some slight benefits in terms of engaging the upper body but this will not be a deal-breaker while choosing your exercise bike. You will not experience a much effective upper-body workout from the elliptical machine.

In the meantime the stationary bike will keep your upper body engaged and riding in a standing position out of the saddle will be helpful also. However, it will not be an excellent upper-body workout with the stationary bike.

In the end, the things which matter the most is your effort that defines your calorie burns, weight loss and overall cardio endurance and fitness. Whichever you choose between the elliptical or stationary bike your effort and regularity will determine the outcome of your workout. Also, setting the accurate resistance and incline is important.

The preference of the users plays a vital role too. Some users find the stationary bike more effective while some think the elliptical will be more operative. You should certainly choose the one you like because it will make your workout less stressful for both your body and mind also you can reap your outcomes sooner.

Moreover, the recommendation of your doctor and physical training instructor will also matter if you have any health issues or injuries.

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