When deciding on what home gym equipment you should buy or use, you might find yourself stuck between the decision of going for a cross trainer or an exercise bike.
Both of these exercise machines are very beneficial to people who are looking for a low-impact form of cardio because unlike treadmills, they are much easier on your joints.
In terms of which machine gives a better workout, this depends on your goals and what you are trying to achieve. A cross trainer however is argued to give a more intense workout as it works your full body, not just your lower body and also can burn up to 15% more calories than an exercise bike.
So as you can decide which exercise machine is the best for you and your workouts, we have compared the two of them below and discussed which one might give a better workout for you.
Before we can get comparing between an exercise bike and a cross trainer, let's understand what they are and how they work.
A cross trainer is also known as an elliptical and operates as a bike would with a circular motion as you pedal forward, but without the seat. This machine has handlebars that you push for an arm workout and allows you to burn calories and build up endurance as many come with variable incline and resistance settings.
Cross trainers are popular with people who dislike high impact exercise on their joints.
An exercise bike on the other hand allows you to sit and pedal like a real-life bike, except it is stationary, these bikes also have different resistance options so as you can have full control over the intensity of your workout.
These machines are good at providing a low impact lower body workout but come in a few different types.
Cross trainers are widely popular in home gyms and commercial gyms due to the large range of benefits that they come with.
We have listed some of these benefits out below.
Exercise bikes also have some great advantages to consider if you are after a low impact exercise machine to workout on.
Now we have looked at the pros and cons of each exercise machine and how they work, lets compare there differences and similarities so as we can see which type of workout can be more effective for your health and body.
Cross trainer and exercise bikes are both great choices for getting cardio in and improving your overall fitness level as well as building endurance. They are additionally both low impact and kind on your joints in comparison to running and fairly easy to use if you are a beginner to fitness.
The differences between cross trainers and exercise bikes is that cross trainers are effective for a full-body workout and exercise bikes are only good for the lower body. You can also pedal backwards on a cross-trainer to tone your glutes and the overall machine tends to be more demanding than an exercise bike as you have to maintain a balance.
People who have back issues or the elderly might be more suited to an exercise bike than a cross-trainer because of the core work and posture required on the machine.
There is no complete answer as to which machine provides a better workout because this depends on your goals and aims for the workout you want to have on the machine. We have categorised general aims for working out below so as you can see which type of exercise could be more effective for your personal goals.
Both an exercise bike and cross trainer can improve your fitness and lower the chance of cardiovascular diseases, cross-trainers tend to be a little bit more demanding, so may be better for building fitness. But, saying this, you can always raise the resistance on an exercise bike to provide a more demanding workout.
You should ideally be exercising on these machines for 30 minutes each day to see a difference in your body.
A cross trainer is said to help your burn up to 15% more calories than an exercise bike which means it might be the best option if you want to lose weight. However, there is not a huge difference between the two in terms of calorific burn and you can achieve an even greater burn on your bike if you stand up in the saddle for example.
For the goal of muscle toning, go for a cross-trainer as this will be the more effective option as it uses 80% of your muscles, unlike an exercise bike. To make a cross-trainer more effective in toning your arm muscles too, you should raise the resistance.
If you want to just focus on muscle toning your glutes and thighs then you could opt for an exercise bike also, but you won't have any toning on your upper body like a cross-trainer.
Overall, we can confidently say that both exercise machines can give you an effective workout, whether you are looking to lose weight, tone up or just build up a good fitness regime. Which one you choose comes down to personal preference and the intensity of the workout you desire.
Losing weight on an exercise bike or a cross trainer is simple, but there are some tips and tricks you can implement to speed up the process and help you have a greater fat burn.
We have listed our top tips out below.
If you really can't decide between buying a cross trainer or an exercise bike then why not consider a 2 in 1 model that can give you the best of both worlds (yes, they exist).
These pieces of exercise equipment come with a saddle and allow you to use the machine as a cross-trainer upright with handlebars and as an exercise bike too due to the seat and pedals, allowing you to have a low-impact cardio session for your lower body and even your arms when using the cross trainer part of the machine.
How much does an exercise bike cost in comparison to a cross-trainer?
This depends on the model, brand and type of exercise bike you buy, but they typically start at a base price of around £250, cross trainers on the other hand tend to cost a little bit more in a range of £300-£500.
Which is harder to use, a cross trainer or an exercise bike?
Cross trainers are said to be a little harder to use as they engage your full body rather than just your lower half, allowing you to have more intense work.
Are exercise bikes good for beginners?
Yes, exercise bikes are a great option if you are looking to get back into fitness as they offer a low impact way of exercising with great control over the resistance, meaning you can start low as a beginner then work your way up to higher resistance.
Why is a treadmill high impact on joints?
A treadmill is a higher impact on joints as you are running and your legs are not supported, on the flat deck of a treadmill this can become quite taxing with serious implications over time.
To conclude, a cross trainer and exercise bike can both give an effective workout and help you get fit, lose weight or tone up depending on your goal. Which one you choose comes down to if you want to work your lower body only or work your upper body, as a cross-trainer will give you a more intense full-body workout with both options.