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Fitness Bikes vs. Treadmills - Which Offers a Better Workout?

25 April 2024

Treadmills and fitness bikes are some of the most common cardio machines out there. Both are a great way to improve your cardio health and fitness, all the while staying within your home.

But indoor spaces do have one major limitation: space. There is only so much room when you're inside, and you can't have every machine you want, even if it'd be nice to have them.

So when it comes to fitness bikes vs. treadmills, which offers a better workout? If you had to pick between them, which of these would provide you with greater benefits? Let's take a look.

Treadmills vs Fitness Bikes

Running and biking are both popular methods of exercise, especially since they provide such a good workout. Unfortunately, not everyone has time to go out running or biking - but the good news is that there are indoor options!

Treadmills allow you to walk, jog or even run indoors, and have extra benefits like being able to record the distance you ran, your average speed, your heart rate, burnt calories, and other such things. You can also adjust the incline and speed of a treadmill to get a stronger workout. While they still cannot replace the benefits you get from running outdoors, they can do a pretty good job as a substitute.

Exercise bikes are similar to treadmills, except that they work as an indoor replacement for biking. One thing about exercise bikes is that they allow you to mimic the experience of biking on different terrains, which you probably wouldn't be able to do with an actual bike.



Which is Better: The treadmill or Fitness Bike?

Since exercise bikes and treadmills are different methods of exercise, it's difficult to really compare them to each other. What we can do is to compare the effect they have on us and what kind of benefits they can provide.

For this, we can compare the difficulty of the workout, the intensity, and perhaps also how versatile the machines themselves are.

Difficulty of Workout

It's difficult to compare treadmills and fitness bikes together in terms of how difficult the workout is - or really, even two treadmills together or two fitness bikes - because ultimately how intense your workout is will depend very much on what kind of settings you use.

As an example, it'd understandably be harder to do an HIIT workout on a fitness bike with the resistance at max, than to take a leisurely walk on a treadmill at a low speed.

Fitness bikes also come in different types. Some bikes, like spin or indoor bikes, have a lot more demanding workout options than simple stationary bikes, and this can affect the intensity and difficulty. However, in general, treadmills are able to provide a workout that is a lot more intense than fitness bikes - particularly if the bike in question is a simple, stationary one.

Cycling in general is also just a lower-body workout and is not a weight-bearing exercise, which means that your heart rate would not get as high as it could if you were to put in the same amount of effort on a treadmill. The walking and running you do on a treadmill also engages all muscle groups of the body, which gives you a more thorough workout.

Versatility

Versatility in terms of exercise machines would come down to what kind of exercises you can do on them. In the case of treadmills and fitness machines, treadmills easily win this race because they provide a lot more range and variety.

While the actual workout will still involve running or walking, you can structure the amount of effort you put in depending on what kind of workout you want. For example, you could have an endurance training workout by keeping a steady pace for a long stretch of time, or you can have an HIIT workout with short bursts of intense effort, or any other way you want to pace your exercising.

Not only does this keep the actual workout from getting boring, but also helps you get different things depending on what you need to focus on at that specific point in time. The variation in the sort of exercise you get also helps you address different muscle groups for overall fitness.

On the other hand, fitness bikes can only allow you to increase or decrease the intensity of the workout but don't allow for much range besides that.

Muscle Groups Targeted

Fitness bikes, as mentioned earlier, allow for a largely lower-body workout. This means that they can work the quads, calves, hamstrings, and sometimes the glutes. Depending on the type of fitness bike, some will also provide a workout for your back, core, and shoulders, though this is to a limited degree. While some fitness bikes allow you to stand and pedal, thus converting it into a full-body workout, very few bikes have this option.

On the flip side, walking and running will allow for a full-body workout, with all the major muscle groups in the body being engaged in the process. Running involves all the muscles in the lower body, and depending on whether you hold the handlebars or not, you can also work out your core and arm muscles.

By changing the inclination of the treadmill you can also involve your glutes, calves, and other muscles. Overall, because almost every treadmill comes with the features needed to get a full-body workout, treadmills are a lot better than fitness bikes in terms of the muscle groups targeted.

Adjustments

Treadmills will often allow you to make adjustments in terms of speed and inclination, but some basic ones don't come with an incline function, which means that you can adjust the speed only.

Fitness bikes will allow for a lot more customized workout experience since you can adjust the seat height, the handlebar height, and even the resistance. Some bikes also have more options, like the fore and aft position.

While it seems that treadmills are winning the race on this one, treadmills aren't always able to provide as much benefit as it may seem. For one thing, it's pretty difficult to get any work done while you're running, so you'd have to dedicate time aside for you to get your running done, and then more time aside for your work.

Fitness bikes, while also needing some dedication, can still provide you with an excellent workout when you're sitting, and sitting means that you can do all sorts of work while also pedaling that you can't do on a treadmill.



FlexiSpot Deskcise Pro

The FlexiSpot Deskcise Pro, for example, is an all-in-one desk bike and workstation, that allows you to get your work done and get in some well-needed exercise without ever moving away from your workspace.

The desk bike helps you stay productive by allowing you to keep your legs moving and active while you work, instead of giving in to the stationary, static positions that can easily cause problems with muscle pain, back pain, and even poor circulation. With this desk bike, you can get some exercise even while you're performing tasks that would otherwise be considered sedentary.

This desk bike also comes with an adjustment lever that can allow you to easily adjust your seat to your preferred height. This is useful not only so you get the right kind of workout, but also so that you can adjust your sitting and working position at your desk. After all, you don't want to sprain your wrists while you work your legs, do you?

The desk bike also comes with an integrated digital display that shows you the readouts for the time you spent working out, how many calories you burned, and what speed you were pedaling at. This helps you understand your body's requirements and how well you managed to work out in the time you spent working. This will also help you plan your workouts for the future.

The bike comes with 8 resistance levels, so you can easily adjust your workout from intense to light and vice versa with only the turn of a dial.

The seat itself is quite comfortable, so you don't end up struggling with pain in your butt from sitting too long. The bike also has lockable casters so it doesn't end up sliding away when you're working out, but also allows you to move it around when you need to. The desktop it comes with is also very spacious and allows you to do your work efficiently and with ease, all the while building some muscle and toning your legs.

Sedentary lifestyles can be dangerous, particularly because of how much time we spend sitting every day. But with a desk bike, this problem is resolved, and you don't have to worry about your health and safety.