Exercise Bike vs Elliptical vs Treadmill – The Better Workout

Elliptical trainers, treadmills and exercise bikes are some of the most common fitness equipment used for cardiovascular exercises. They help you burn calories and improve your stamina or aerobic capacity as well. If you are new to this, it can be a bit confusing to choose one fitness equipment that can cater to all your needs.

When it comes to fitness equipment, there is one simple rule you should follow – Get something according to your current fitness levels and your future fitness goals. Now each of these has some advantages and disadvantages which are given below.


treadmill vs elliptical


Pros –

  1. More flexible and versatile workouts
  2. Resembles natural body movement of walking, running or jogging.
  3. Higher intensity workouts which means that you burn more calories
  4. Walking and running actually helps to make your bones and muscles stronger
  5. One of the oldest, common and most effective fitness equipment you can find


Cons –

  1. One of the biggest problems with these machines is that they are a bit tough when it comes to your joints and bones because of the impact of running.
  2. You have to be in the right posture and use the proper technique for maximum benefit. Most people do not know how to use the handle bars or maintain a good stance while working out.
  3. Running does not come easy and comfortable to most people as they find it hard which makes these machines uncomfortable for a lot of people


Treadmills are available in almost every budget and price range. You can have cheaper ones below 500$ and you can have premium ones ranging upto 2000-3000$. Modern machines give you many nice features and additions along with a smooth workout. So you have a good range of products here from which you can easily choose something for your requirements.


Elliptical Trainers

I posted some of the benefits of elliptical machines in an earlier post but here is the summary again.

Pros –

  1. They provide you with non impact workouts as your feet never leave the pedals.
  2. You also get full body workouts because of the added upper body movements with handlebars
  3. You can adjust the intensity of your workouts by features like reverse stride
  4. Workouts on elliptical trainers are not as hard as treadmill

Cons –

  1. Treadmills are much more flexible when it comes to the intensity of workouts, you can adjust the speed and incline of a treadmill.
  2. Running gives you a more weight bearing capability when it comes to your bones and joints. Elliptical workouts are easy on bones and joints which does nt give you these benefits.

Exercise bikes

Now this is one of the oldest forms of fitness equipment you will find. Everyone knows about exercise bikes. Some people just love cycling. Exercise bikes are available in two main forms – recumbent and upright ones.  Bikes are a good option for beginners who are starting up with their exercises. Generally, they provide a less intense workout as compared to other two machines but then you can have a longer session.

Some studies have shown that elliptical trainers and treadmills provide a greater muscle activity as compared to walking or stationary bikes.

Now your choice of fitness equipment is also dependent on your fitness goals as well as your fitness levels. If you need a low impact exercise machine like in the case of arthritis or pregnancy then an elliptical trainer is a very good choice. If you are comfortable with walking, jogging or running, you can opt in for a treadmill. A treadmill can be far more comfortable on your knees and joints when you compare it to running on a pavement or a hard surface. Most of them have shock absorbing capabilities which help in a better workout.

There are many good models which are made for home use and you can get some really efficient machines for your home. I will post buying guides and reviews for some of them here so that you can choose amongst the best ones.

Calories burnt on these workouts

Every person is different and have different levels of fitness. Some people may find treadmill more comfortable as compared to elliptical machines and the opposite may also be true. Studies have shown that the amount of calories burned on both machines is almost the same with only a marginal difference.  A full body workout on a n elliptical trainer can help you a bit more with your calorie burnout.

Essentials of a Workout

One of the most important things which most of the people underestimate is a good warm up before getting in to your exercise session. Some stretching and warm up conditions your body for exercise.

Proper technique of exercise is as important as choosing the right machine so that you can get some good results from your efforts. Add in a combination of a healthy diet and you can reach your fitness goals in no time at all.

No matter which fitness equipment you choose, if you want results, commitment and consistency is what you need.

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  1. Excellent post!!! This is a growing topic as everyone is searching for the best and fastest fat burn for their buck. This article covers all pros and cons of the best trainers on the market. Me personally I get my best total body burn on the elliptical trainer and my sprint intervals on the treadmill. I also really enjoy my stationary spin bike. So I guess I like all 3 🙂

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