Stationary Bike vs. Treadmill: Which Will Deliver Best for You?

If you have just begun with your workout program, it is highly likely that you are still getting a feel of the pieces of cardio exercise equipment available for use at the gym.

There is actually no right or wrong exercise machine. It just certainly depends on the person using it.

Thus, fitness experts highly recommend that you choose the exercise machine that you feel helps reach your physical needs, wellness and fitness goals, and workout preferences.

Among the well-loved cardio equipment at the gym and are often compared are the stationary bike vs. treadmill.

They both offer excellent and functional aerobic exercises that promote fitness and facilitate the achievement of personal weight-loss targets.

Both cardio exercise machines have their advantages and disadvantages.

If you understand these specific aspects when looking at the stationary bike vs. treadmill, you are more likely to achieve your fitness goals the correct and timely way.

But before we take a look at their differences, let us first talk about the six criteria that we will use as the basis for our comparison.

6 Factors to Consider When Comparing the Bike and the Treadmill

When looking at the disparities between the advantages and the disadvantages associated with using the stationary bike vs. treadmill, you may ask yourself the following questions.

They relate to the significant factors to consider when comparing the two exercise machines.

  1. Calories Burned – Does the exercise machine help in burning substantial amounts of calories fast, thus, aiding in a user’s weight-loss target?
  1. Injury Rate – How high is the probability that you will get hurt when you regularly use the fitness equipment?
  1. Workout Variability and Progression – Which between the stationary bike vs. treadmill offers variability, keeping the person interested and responsive to the workouts and which could positively lead to his continual progression on his exercises?
  1. Ease of Use – Which among these two exercise machines are user-friendly? Which one is challenging to use? Which between the stationary bike vs. treadmill is ideal for a novice workout enthusiast? And which one do fitness gurus recommend for advanced fitness aficionados?
  1. Durability of the Fitness Equipment – Which between the two of them is more likely to malfunction more frequently?
  1. Floor Space Requirement – Which between the stationary bike vs. treadmill takes up less room in your gym or your home gym, making it the better option under this criterion?

Now that the criteria which we will use to compare the stationary bike vs. treadmill are clear, let us now discuss the salient disparities between these two exercise machines.

You may also like to read about: Recumbent vs. Upright Exercise Bike: Step by Step Comparison

Benefits and Drawbacks of Using the Treadmill

So, what makes the treadmill an ideal piece of cardio exercise equipment? Here are the upsides:

  1. Calories Burnt: The treadmill facilitates the burning of considerable amounts of calories, especially when walking or running on a steep incline and when engaging in high-intensity interval training. For instance, if you are walking or jogging at a high incline and with a brisk speed, you can, then, burn a total of 600 to 700 calories per hour.Moreover, running on the treadmill plays a vital role in managing a person’s blood sugar level. This physical exercise diminishes the risks of suffering from hypertension and diabetes. This exercise machine offers intense, full-body workouts, not just for toning the legs, and it helps develop arm, back, and abdominal muscles.
  2. Ease of use: Although it takes a user some time to get used to the forward-moving treadmill belt, walking or running on this fitness equipment is comfortable that most people like it.
  3. Workout Variability and Progression: Variety is within reach through the treadmill, especially in terms of speed and incline variations and increasing them. The user can go from jogging or walking on the flat ground towards doing these exercises on a hill-like moving surface.

Nevertheless, not everything about the treadmill is impeccable. Let us have a look at the shortcomings of this exercise equipment:

  1. Injury: When you use the treadmill for running or jogging, the fitness machine exposes you to the severe and unavoidable risk of injuries like sprained ankles, knee pains, and backaches. The treadmill exposes its users to the hazards of loss of balance and falling. Because it offers high-impact or high-intensity physical exercises, the treadmill puts a lot of pressure on the joints. The treadmill can negatively facilitate “cheating”, with users making their exercises easier by holding onto the handrails.
  2. Durability: The motor, belt, and incline function of this exercise machine tend to malfunction frequently, undermining a user’s workout session.
  3. Floor Space Requirement: The treadmill, particularly the standard, non-foldable one, can take up much floor space at the gym or a home-based exercise facility.

Using the treadmill has its positive and negative facets. Now, let us continue our stationary bike vs. treadmill analysis by turning our attention to the stationary bike this time.

Advantages and Downsides of Using the Stationary Bike

Do you like using the stationary bike at the gym or in your home gym?

Are you curious about the positive benefits which your body can obtain from using this exercise machine on your workouts?

Let us take a look at these advantages of using the stationary bike:

  1. Injury: Unlike when using the treadmill, using the stationary bike involves lower risks of getting injuries. You will experience manageable discomforts like aching buttocks, knee pains due to the constant circular rotations of your legs, and shoulder and back aches for being hunched for several minutes. Using the stationary bike consists of non-impact exercises which are the opposite of what the treadmill offers.
  2. Ease of use: As a mere hop-and-go kind of fitness equipment, the stationary bike is effortless to use.
  3. Intensity of workout: The stationary bike is well-known for making the muscles of the lower body robust. If you incorporate resistance that is of a high level, using this fitness machine will highly likely build your body’s strength.
  4. Durability of the equipment: Stationary bikes rarely ever malfunction so it is uncommon for it to require repairs.
  5. Floor Space Requirement: This exercise equipment does not take up much floor space at a gym or a home-based gym.
  6. Workout Variability and Progression: The stationary bike offers workout variability equally as the treadmill does through increasing the speed the user rides at and the total amount of resistance he uses.

Therefore, when comparing the stationary bike vs. treadmill, we can say that both are terrific ways to boost your workout plan’s intensity and give you your desired outcomes.

Through the descriptors above, using the stationary bike appears to be a feel-good activity.

However, just like the treadmill, using this cardio exercise machine also has its downsides. Let us have a look at them:

  1. CALORIES BURNED: The stationary bike is not capable of burning as many calories as the treadmill. If you can burn approximately 600 to 700 calories on a high incline with the treadmill, using the stationary bike at an intense rate may only help you burn a total of 400 to 500 calories.
  1. Using this exercise machine only benefits the lower body. It does not develop the upper portion of your body which makes it not a comprehensive piece of fitness equipment.
  1. You may experience aching buttocks because of prolonged sitting on the stationary bike.

As you can see when you compare the stationary bike vs. treadmill, both exercise equipment possesses perks and pitfalls.

Wrap up

Let us now go back to our query of the day: Which is better for you to use between the stationary bike vs. treadmill?

Answering this question depends on your priorities and preferences.

If your priority is to lose considerable weight at a short time, then, the treadmill is the suggested exercise equipment that is right for you.

Just be sure to be extra-careful to keep injuries at bay. On the other hand, if you want to avoid getting hurt completely, then, the stationary bike is suitable for you.

You can also relish the effortlessness of using it as well as the peace of mind that you will enjoy because this fitness machine is more durable than the treadmill.

You can make the best and informed choice by taking the time to weigh the benefits and the limitations of the stationary bike vs. treadmill.

Have a happy day at the gym!

About Gaurav Dhir

Gaurav Dhir, B. Tech, PGDCM is an engineer and MBA by training. A fitness aficionado, Gaurav follows a strict diet and exercise regimen to keep himself vigorously active. He loves playing sports and being outdoors. Gaurav is responsible for the health and wellness of 4 generations including his son, elderly parents and very elderly grandparents.