Pros and Cons of Ellipticals, Stationary Bikes & Treadmills 


APRIL, 2021

There are many types of cardio machines available on the market. If you are at a loss about which fitness equipment to purchase for your home or gym, then this article is for you. Elliptical machines are well known for their low-impact benefit on the body, especially the knees.

Machines like the treadmill and the stationary bike may provide positive results but they cannot be compared with the elliptical. With treadmills, you have to keep up with the machine instead of the machine adapting to your speed like the elliptical. Stationary bikes on the other hand are only known to work out your lower body muscles, unlike the full body workout possible with the elliptical.

In this post, we will compare the elliptical with the stationary bike and the treadmill, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of each piece of equipment.

elliptical fitness machine

Pros of the Elliptical

Exercising on an elliptical is comparable to climbing stairs or cross-country skiing. Ellipticals help you exercise your legs and arms (with the handlebars). The incline of the machine and the resistance can easily be increased for a more difficult workout.

The elliptical does not only give you a full-body workout but it is a great machine for cardiovascular fitness. Cardio is well known to lower risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes type II.

Patients suffering from arthritis, knee or hip injuries can greatly benefit from the elliptical due to the low impact of the machine. Long-distance runners and cross-trainers can gain remarkable results from the elliptical as well, as the shear stress on the knees is avoided while the cardio component of the exercise is closely mimicked.

Cons of the Elliptical

The circular or pedalling motion of the elliptical has a learning curve and may not be suitable for people that struggle with balance.

stationary bike

Pros of the Stationary Bike

Stationary bikes are another fitness machine that help you achieve a great cardiovascular workout. They are less complicated and are more accessible for beginners. Like the elliptical, they are a low impact exercise machine that can be used to burn calories and improve cardiovascular health.

Cons of the Stationary Bike

1. The bike seat can become very uncomfortable after sitting for a long time. This is due to the forward posture that needs to be maintained when riding.

2. You cannot get a full-body workout on a stationary bike. It is designed to work only your lower body leaving out your upper body and core.


Pros of the Treadmill

Treadmills are good for people who love to run but are restricted by adverse weather or pollution conditions outdoors. Treadmills allow a wide range of walking and running regimes, some models even even offering the incline of the machine to be adjusted, allowing for incline running.

Cons of the Treadmill

1. Exercising on a treadmill is considered a high-impact workout. You may feel joint pains and shin splints after running on a treadmill.

2. The treadmill does not have the functionality of providing a full-body workout since it only works your lower body muscles.

3. Treadmills are momentum driven, so the amount of calories you burn is far less than traditional running.

Written by Vic

Melbourne-based Personal Trainer, Calisthenics Athlete and the Founder of Street Workout St Kilda. Super passionate about bodyweight training and the art of movement.
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