Which elliptical trainer is better: elliptical trainer or exercise bike – which one to choose?

Which elliptical trainer is better: elliptical trainer or exercise bike – which one to choose?

Elliptical trainer or exercise bike – which one to choose?

If you want to get leaner, strengthen muscles and improve your well-being, use a simple and effective recipe: switch to a healthy diet and start exercising. Moreover, if you decide to train at home, you will probably have to choose between buying a bicycle and an elliptical trainer. In order not to be disappointed in your purchase later, carefully study the advantages and disadvantages of each option and decide which of them are most meaningful to you.

Features of exercise bikes

An exercise bike is a traditional option that is most often chosen by both those who want to lose weight and those who dream of strengthening muscles and developing endurance. Training on such devices has a beneficial effect on the state of the cardiovascular system. The assortment of exercise bikes is huge, and thanks to this, each buyer can choose a model that suits him in terms of price, design, size, set of functions. By the way, about the cost: there are both very effective expensive and simple budget models at your service. Compare, for example, Winner / Oxygen Spring and Matrix H7XE VA, and you will understand the difference.

So, what are exercise bikes good for?

  • Such devices are safer than many other exercise equipment, as well as bicycles;
  • They hardly make any noise;
  • You can easily choose a compact machine that will fit even in a small room;
  • You will be able to lose weight, moreover, especially quickly, excess weight will go away from the buttocks and thighs.

Finally, exercise bikes are ideal for those who love to pedal or prefer to combine workouts with other activities, such as reading books.

Features of elliptical trainers

Elliptical trainers resemble the principle of work and steppers, treadmills, and rowing machines. Exercising on them, you use different muscle groups, strengthen the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, and improve endurance. At the same time, obritreki are completely safe, easy to use, and suitable for both overweight people and those who have recently suffered a serious illness and want to quickly restore good physical shape.

Why choose an elliptical trainer? There are a number of reasons for this:

  • It will help you to get rid of excess weight quickly and easily;
  • Even short regular workouts on it will be enough to achieve the desired result;
  • Such a device allows you to remove the fat layer even from the arms and back;
  • The trainer is ideal for preparing for more intense workouts and can be used as a “warm-up” tool;
  • Elliptical trainers run almost silently.

The cost of such devices is relatively high, but this does not mean that they are available to few buyers. For example, you can give preference to the CARBON E100 model: it is inexpensive and very functional, although it is inferior in terms of a set of options to more expensive products.

Which is better, an exercise bike or an elliptical trainer?

So, having studied the characteristics and features of the two types of simulators, we can compare them and decide which one is worth buying in this or that case. Of course, the choice is yours, so think about which criteria are most relevant to you.

Why is an exercise bike better than an elliptical bike:

  • It is generally more compact and easier to store;
  • The range of such products is greater due to their popularity;
  • Exercise bike workouts are more varied and interesting, moreover, they allow you to do extraneous things while pumping muscles;
  • Training on it is very simple, and therefore they can be carried out even by people who have not been involved in sports for a long time and cannot boast of strong muscles.
  • The cost of such a device is low, which makes it affordable for a wide range of buyers.

However, does this mean that preference should be given to this type of model? Do not jump to conclusions, but rather first evaluate the advantages of an orbit track over an exercise bike:

  • It allows you to work out different muscle groups and even get rid of fat on the back and arms, significantly increasing the effectiveness of training;
  • Such a device teaches you to move smoothly and gracefully;
  • Since the user is standing and not sitting, the load on the legs increases, and this allows you to quickly achieve the desired results;
  • The orbitrek helps not only to get rid of excess weight but also to strengthen the whole body, including shoulders, abs, and back;
  • If your goal is to burn calories, just keep in mind that on an orbit track you will burn about 780 calories in an hour of intense workout, and an exercise bike will save you 440 calories in the same period, provided that you pedal quickly.

As you can see, the choice of a suitable device directly depends on what results in you want to achieve. If you dream of losing weight easily and naturally – buy an exercise bike. If you want to have a strong, slender body and carry out intense training – choose an elliptical trainer. Don’t forget to consider the other benefits of these machines, as listed above.

Treadmill or elliptical trainer

Ease of use
Neither ellipsoid training nor treadmill workouts require super training or special skills. An absolute beginner can buy any of these machines, put them at home and gradually improve their body.

Trajectory and mechanics of motion
Elliptical trainers have a more gentle and natural trajectory, as well as movement mechanics. The load on the muscles is distributed smoothly. Compared with the load while running, the “ski” movement eliminates the tension of the ligaments, tendons, and knee joints.

It can be concluded that elliptical trainers are safer for the musculoskeletal system.

What muscle groups are being worked on?
The elliptical trainer allows you to train the muscles of the whole body (back, legs, arms), while the treadmill mainly works out the legs.

During training on an elliptical trainer, the muscles of the shoulder girdle receive a load that is absent during running when pushing/pulling.

Machine Type Elliptical Trainer Treadmill
loaded muscles biceps, triceps, back muscles, buttocks, calves, quadriceps (legs), chest, front deltas (shoulders) muscles of the arms, back, thighs, calves, abs
burning calories per hour 450-930 260-850
Conclusion: The elliptical trainer allows you to use more body muscles. At the same time, both the treadmill and the ellipsoid are equally good in the fight against excess weight. It all depends only on the regularity and intensity of training on them.

When is an elliptical trainer best considered?

Need a comprehensive muscle workout
Training on the elliptical trainer perfectly works the muscles of the arms, chest, shoulders, back, and legs. The reverse movement additionally works the muscles of the back of the thigh, and in another way uses the quadriceps of the leg. In short, almost every cell of the body is involved in the ellipsoid!

There is no way to put a treadmill

In some cases, the treadmill will fail for several reasons:

  1. They make noise. Minus for apartment buildings.
  2. Requires floor mounting to avoid vibration while running. This is not always convenient.

Ellipsoids are practically noiseless in this respect. Conflict with neighbors does not threaten. And, in principle, the elliptical trainer is devoid of the above disadvantages.

Joint problems
If shock loads on the spine or leg joints are contraindicated for you, the purchase of a treadmill is no longer necessary. In this situation, the ellipsoid is the perfect cardio trainer for you.

Electricity supply
Treadmills with good functionality are often volatile. They require a lot of nutrition. If we consider mechanical treadmills, then they are very limited in functionality and convenience: the incline angle does not change, and you cannot set a constant speed.

Modern models of elliptical trainers generally do not require a power supply. All built-in functions work thanks to the built-in generator.

To summarize, if you want to save on electricity, I definitely recommend buying an electromagnetic elliptical trainer rather than a mechanical treadmill. 100% hit the target.

When is a treadmill better than an ellipsoid?
You enjoy running.
Each person has their own preferences for the type of load. Therefore, weigh the pros and cons, plus my advice, and make a choice in favor of a type of load that is comfortable and pleasant for you.

You have healthy joints and no flat feet
When you run, your spine and knee joints are subject to a constant shock load. If you are healthy, run with any intensity without any problems. If there are problems, it is better to consider machines with smoother movements (exercise bikes or ellipsoids).

The simulator will not interfere with the neighbors below
The treadmill is noisy. The noise level depends on the model. But there are no perfectly silent tracks. Therefore, consider this fact in the selection process.

Ample room to position the treadmill
It is not only the maximum space that is important but also the flatness of the surface. Otherwise, the treadmill will vibrate strongly, and very quickly the device will partially or completely fail.

Which is better, a rowing machine or an elliptical machine?

In this article, we will compare rowing and elliptical trainers for the most important characteristics. This will help you make a decision when choosing a simulator based on your goals and conditions of use.

A small note – here we are talking only about high-quality exercise machines of well-known brands. We do not consider cheap models, since there is no point, they are a priori much worse in all respects.

Here are our expectations for using a piece of cardio equipment. Warm-up and cool-down are time. Cardiovascular training is two. Getting in shape and losing weight are three. And fourth, something else that would be a nice bonus.

With the first two points, both the rowing machine and the elliptical are excellent. There are no questions here.

Questions arise at point number 3, about weight loss. The process of losing weight, in an exaggerated way, is essentially the burning of calories. And, thank God, that we can talk about this more or less objectively, there are numbers. On a rowing machine, a practicing athlete burns up to 1000 kilocalories per hour, on an elliptical machine up to 300-400. Theoretically, you can burn a thousand on an ellipse, but you need to spend more time on this and train more intensely, which not everyone can do.

This rowing effect is achieved due to the fact that during the training the whole body works, and the whole body is under load. On an elliptical trainer, the upper body, although it participates in the work, does it only in a supportive mode.

The rowing machine allows you to carry out not only cardio training but also strength training, for all muscle groups (for this you just need to increase the resistance of the simulator). The elliptical trainer allows for strength training of the leg muscles. This is when it comes to pleasant bonuses.

Safety in the use of simulators is considered from two sides. The first is safety for joints and ligaments. The second is general safety, the risk of injury from a fall or misuse of the simulator.

Both types of these simulators are very good in terms of safety. Joints and ligaments are not subject to unnatural stress. The only note is that not every person feels comfortable on moving platforms (in an unstable position) on an elliptical trainer.

Ease of use
Elliptical machines are much heavier than rowing machines. This makes it difficult to transport and move them. Note that rowing machines of some manufacturers (First Degree Fitness) have such a truly unique function – they can be placed vertically after training, put in a corner, and thus completely solve the problem with free space. This makes them very convenient for home use.

Elliptical trainers require an electrical connection, which is not always possible.

The quality is not directly affected by which machine it is – rowing or elliptical. You need to look at the warranty periods offered by the manufacturer, this is the most objective of the available indicators.

The best conditions are offered by the Australian company First Degree Fitness – the warranty for some models reaches 10 years! At the same time, as for the rest of the indicators, they are also at the highest level. Efficiency, safety, usability, design.

Summarizing the above, we can conclude that rowing machines have an advantage over elliptical machines in all their characteristics. They are more compact and convenient to use, they have wider functionality. At the same time, if we compare quality and premium models, rowing machines have a lower price.

Among rowing machines, the best choice is water resistance rowing machines. Why? Read here. Among rowing machines on water resistance, preference should be given to machines with the ability to change the resistance.

Сhoosing an elliptical trainer for home

The elliptical is one of the most popular home gym cardio machines, and for good reason. When training on the ellipsoid, all muscle groups are involved, and it is great for both losing weight and for maintaining tone or warming up before strength training.

Why is an elliptical trainer useful?

– it affects almost the entire body, thanks to the moving handles: during the exercises, the calf, and gluteal muscles, thigh muscles, and the muscles of the arms are involved.

– the load on the joints and the risk of injury are much lower than with a regular run, due to the complete absence of shock on the legs.

– exercises on an ellipsoid strengthen the heart muscle, increase tone and make it possible to quickly get rid of excess weight.

– the elliptical trainer is suitable for both strength and cardio training – it is enough to change the load or the position of the arms.

– such a simulator can be used at home even when recovering from injuries (after consulting your doctor).

So how do you choose an elliptical trainer?

For an ellipsoid to serve you for a long time and provide high-quality and safe training, it must have several mandatory characteristics:

1. Safety
First of all, the simulator must comply with the principles of biomechanics. During training, movements should be as natural as possible – this will avoid injury and exercise more effectively. And this is especially important when you study at home on your own, without a coach.

2. Comfort
Life Fitness’s WhisperStride ™ technology provides exceptionally quiet operation, so you are guaranteed not to disturb anyone at home. This clever design makes it possible to create some of the quietest home cross-trainers in the world. The padded pedal cover creates the best foot condition for your feet, while the comfortable, well-positioned handlebars allow you to concentrate on your workout.

3. Load system
Elliptical trainers are of 3 types: mechanical, magnetic, and electromagnetic. The latter is considered the smoothest, quietest, and most comfortable. Electric ellipsoids are convenient, they are often equipped with a multifunctional console that allows you to measure physical parameters during training and create your own exercise program or use ready-made ones. In the future, we will talk about this type of simulator.

Now that we have figured out the main parameters, we can get down to the details:

4. User weight
Be sure to pay attention to the maximum weight the simulator can withstand: it must be at least 10-15 kg more than yours. The maximum user weight that Life Fitness equipment is rated for is 118 kg and up.

5. Sustainability
A wobbly machine can be not only uncomfortable but also dangerous. Therefore, when choosing a model, it is imperative to ask a consultant how this problem is being solved. For example, all Life Fitness machines use ball bearings to provide a smooth, quiet ride and smooth out minor horizontal deflections. In addition, the presence of 4 adjustable support points allows the machine to be perfectly aligned during installation.

6. Step length
The typical stride length for an adult is from 50-60 cm, but for children, it is, of course, shorter. If you plan to train with the whole family, look for a model where the stride length can be adjusted to suit each user.

Why is it important? “This metric provides joint safety and allows you to customize your home machine so that each user feels a smooth and natural movement during training (which happens when the machine accurately simulates the movement of the human body). One of the unique models with an adjustable range from 46-61cm is the Life Fitness E5 Track Connect. You don’t have to leave the machine to change it (the range is adjustable on the built-in console).

7. Location and coverage of pedals
The lower the pedals are, the more comfortable it will be for you to get on and off the machine. The distance between the pedals should be small so as not to increase the load on the back. The foot on the pedal should be level and secure without slipping. Select Life Fitness models are made with FlexFoam cushioning on the pedals for smoother movement. This is what allows you to comfortably and safely perform reverse movements, thereby changing the load areas during training.

8. Sticks
Another important point. You should be comfortable holding on to them and your hands should not slip. The presence of both stationary and moving handles greatly expands the training options.

On the Life Fitness Platinum Club Discover SE3 HD elliptical cross-trainer for home, the resistance level control buttons are located on the handles so you can change settings without interrupting your workout and without distraction.

9. Variety of workouts.

Monotonous workouts get boring pretty quickly, and the goal of the workout changes with your level and achievements. The optional CoachZone ™ panel in the E3 Track Connect allows you to target the area of ​​your body that needs attention (ArmToner ™ / GluteToner ™) and signals this with a light indication.

The optional Activity Zone panel in the E5 Track Connect allows you to connect a Leg Sculptor during any workout that will change stride length in the simulator every 2 minutes, gradually loading all leg muscles.

10. Console

Since there will not be a coach at home next to you who could develop a training program, you need to choose a simulator that will take over this function. Therefore, it is better to purchase a simulator equipped with a “smart” console. The console is your personal trainer, and the effectiveness of your training will largely depend on the breadth of its functionality.

Standard Console Capabilities (Example: Life Fitness E5 Track Connect)

The latest home fitness equipment, such as the Life Fitness Platinum Club Discover SE3 HD series, have even more features that will captivate even the most sophisticated user:

11. Price

A quality and reliable home cross trainer cannot be cheap. Even considering such a purchase as a long-term investment in our health, we understand that not everyone is ready to spend a large amount on sports equipment.

Before making a purchase, you need to analyze: what functions in a home simulator do you definitely need, and which ones are not as important as it seems at first glance?

If you’re looking for a family model that’s biomechanically designed without being overwhelmed with tech, take a look at the Life Fitness E5 Track Connect. This is a trainer in the middle price segment, which is easy to adjust for each member of the family (change in stride length), and besides, it does not take up much space.

If it is important for you that your workout is a fun and exciting adventure – take a look at the Life Fitness Platinum Club Discover SE3 HD model. It includes all the functions that we have listed in the article today and can make classes truly effective and interesting.

Summing up

We understand that choosing a home exercise machine is a tricky business, and it may seem like there are too many details to consider when choosing. Therefore, we have prepared a checklist for you, with which the process of choosing a simulator will become simple and understandable.

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