Cross Trainers Or Exercise Bikes – Which Are More Effective?

Two of the most popular machines used at gyms around the world, cross trainers and exercise bikes are used by millions of people every day. They are a staple at almost every single gym and you’ll always find someone using them.

But deciding between the two isn’t always an easy decision. Both have their own benefits and they’re different in lots of ways. Is one better for weight loss? Is one better for your joints? To help you decide, follow our guide to help you make the choice which is right for you. 

What are cross trainers and exercise bikes?

Cross trainers have a unique design. It has your legs moving in an oval motion while your arms move the handles back and forth for a full body workout. This is great for cardio and a total workout. Exercise bikes differ in their design. They are like a traditional bike, but stationary. They allow you to have all the benefits of riding a normal bicycle but with more features.

Both the cross trainer and the exercise bike give you a really good cardio workout. Let’s have a look at the benefits of each machine and see how they compare and differ.

What are the benefits of cross trainers?

 

Weight loss – Using a cross trainer for weight loss has been a big hit with people who are trying to lose fat. Studies have shown that cross trainers performed better over other exercise machines. By going on calories burnt, the cross trainer was on the same level as a treadmill. The good thing is that using a cross trainer can feel a lot easier than using a treadmill. You’re still using the same muscle groups as both the arms and legs are going when you pedal on the cross trainer.

Joint protection – Not just good for weight loss, cross trainers are a fantastic way to protect your joints and making it easier on your body. Usually, when using a cross trainer you would be doing a low impact workout, the opposite of an exercise bike which would usually consist of a high impact workout.

With the workout being low impact, it makes it fantastic for people who experience joint pain and want a workout which is easier on the body. The design of cross trainers makes it great for reducing the amount of pressure on the muscles and joints. The most common joint problems are the knee and hips, which makes the cross trainer great for these people.

Full body workout – One of the most popular pieces of gym equipment, the cross trainer will give your body a full workout which increases the number of calories burnt. With holding on the handles (optional) and pushing and pulling as you pedal with your feet, you are giving your whole body a good workout.

Adjustable – You can also increase and decrease the resistance of the cross trainer depending on your level or workout preference. This makes it a really adaptable machine which can fit around your workout needs. Most modern cross trainers also have built-in heart rate monitors which can track your pulse to show how hard you’re working. Also, some have built-in monitors so you can watch the TV while you pedal away, making the workout more enjoyable.

What are the benefits of exercise bikes?

Professional use – Cycling is a very popular sport and a fantastic way of exercising. However, maintaining a bike can be expensive, plus with the weather, it is not always possible to get outdoors to cycle. Exercise bikes are a great alternative and are much more convenient.

Top cyclists and professional athletes use exercise bikes all the time. They are very versatile and can give you a fantastic cardio workout for your body. Also, they are becoming a lot less expensive and technology is only increasing.

Lower body specifics – Cycling target specifically the muscles in your lower body, your thighs, hamstrings, and glutes. Not only does it specify these muscles, but it also gives you a great cardiovascular workout which is brilliant for your overall health and fitness, but also weight loss.

Cycling is a really effective way to strengthen the legs as they are put under a lot of tension and stress as you pedal. Even more so if you ramp up the resistance making the workout even harder and more difficult.

High intensity workout – Exercise bikes are fantastic for high-intensity interval training or HIIT. This is short bursts of your maximum effort which has been shown to accelerate fat loss and increase calories burnt. A very common gym class is spinning. It is a gruelling but fun exercise class where you perform HIIT workouts under the guidance of the coach. You can perform this at home and within weeks you can start to see the difference.

Injury prevention – With exercise bikes also, they are great for injuries. Top athletes start to use exercise bikes before they start running. The isn’t much impact on the total body, so is a great way to avoid injuries, plus with a normal road bike, you are less likely to get in an accident.

Which is more effective?

Both are fantastic pieces of gym equipment and both have their differences and benefits. Cross trainers are a little bit more expensive as they have more moving parts and are a bigger piece of equipment. However, they are more suited to individuals who prefer low impact, steady state cardio which is long periods of time pedalling at a steady pace. They would also be more beneficial to people who are susceptible to poor joints and would still like to exercise.

Exercise bikes are more for people who prefer a high-intensity workout. HIIT training and spinning classes are fantastic for people who want to rapidly burn a lot of calories and perform the exercise to their maximum.

So it all depends on your preference, I’d say to go to a gym and try out the equipment for yourself and see which you prefer. They are both amazing for their desired audience and both will help to improve your overall fitness.

 

Best Home Cross Trainers – Reviews 2018 – 2019

What is a cross trainer?

A cross trainer is a piece of cardio gym equipment, popular around gyms across the world. They have a unique design unlike no other type of equipment that gives you a full body workout. It has your legs moving in an oval motion while your arms move the handles back and forth for a full body workout.

Mainly used for a low impact impact workout, cross trainers are a brilliant tool to help with weight loss. The amazing benefit of using a cross trainer is the ability to train without putting a large amount of pressure on your joints.

Knee and hip injuries are very common problems, but with a cross trainer, you are eliminating the pressure on your joints. This makes it a very useful piece of equipment to allow you to exercise without stressing your body.

What should you look for in a cross trainer?

If you are looking to purchase a cross trainer, there are a lot of points to consider before making the decision. There are hundreds of cross trainers on the market right now, so make sure you acquire the right one by checking our list of things to look out for:

  • Was features does it have? – When choosing your cross trainer, checking what features it includes can be the difference between buying one over another. The more features the better! Tracking distance, heart rate and time are great ways to make sure you are on track to meeting your goals. If you love to track your workouts or like to monitor them using your smartphone then look below. We have listed some cross trainers which might be ideal for you.
  • How can I store the cross trainer and what is the size? – Storage is key because cross trainers aren’t small. Depending on where you will put your cross trainer will depend on how you look at this. If you don’t have much space, some cross trainers can fold up to allow for more room.
  • Does it have resistance levels? – If you want to vary your workouts, then choosing a cross trainer with different resistance levels is a good idea. Having a low resistance makes the workout easier, but putting the resistance up makes it a lot harder. The more levels, the more control you have.
    Being able to change the resistance quickly can really improve your workouts. The more resistance levels available, the more subtle you can make changes to the difficulty.
  • What extras are included? – Some cross trainers have offers which include free items such as heart rate belts. Check to see if there are any cool extras added to save yourself some money! Some of the cross trainers listed below have cool little additions which add to the product.
  • Is it battery powered? –  Depending on where you will store the cross trainer, you mightn’t have access to a plug. Some of these cross trainers are actually battery powered which means you can put the cross trainer wherever you like, allowing for more control over where you workout!
  • How long is the warranty? – Getting a longer warranty obviously saves you if the machine breaks. Always be wary and check to see if you are covered. Picking a cross trainer depends on your goals and needs. Below, we’ve selected a few based on the current market and based on different features. Check them out and decide which one is best for you:

    The best cross trainer for bigger budgets:

    JTX Tri-Fit: Extendable Long Stride and Incline Cross Trainer

    If you have a big budget, then this is the cross trainer for you. There are a lot of great options on the market, but if you’re looking for the best of the best then we believe this is the one for you.

    Pros:

  • Variable stride length, so you can adjust for different users. If you have multiple people using the cross trainer, then you can change the stride length each time. Perfect for families who vary in height.
  • You can increase the incline to change the focus of the workout on your stomach and glutes. Not only this, but you can reduce the incline which will then focus the workout on your legs and increase cardio fitness.
  • It has an advanced technology which allows connectivity via Bluetooth to a free iConsole app on your phone or tablet to create motivating visual training tools. It is compatible with both Apple and Android phones and tablets.
  • With its patented space saving design and bio-mechanic multi-grip handlebars, you won’t get a better cross trainer on the market.
  • There are 19 workout programs and custom program feature which is tailored to your goals and needs. You can monitor your programs based on your heart rate, adjusting resistance for a more efficient workout.


Cons:

  • Cost.

If you want a cross trainer with all the features and programs you’ll ever need, then look no further. The reviews speak for themselves and after our research, this is our number one choice. It may come at a premium price, but for the best in the business, we believe it is worth it.

https://amzn.to/2BnGvea

The best cross trainer for smartphone users:

Sportstech CX625 Cross Trainer

For a good price, this cross trainer has an outstanding amount of features, especially compatible with smartphone technology. Lots of modern features for the new age of cross trainer.

Pros:

  • There is a cross-trainer’s fitness app. The app interface has 22 training programs makes your training special and unique to you. You can now keep everything in sight including your smartphone or tablet with a holder for your device.
  • You can train with a heart rate belt and one of the 5 pre-installed HRC programs for even more accurate results. Basing exercise on your heart rate is an efficient way to meet your goals.
  • For a more quiet machine, this is the one. It has a silent grooved belt drive and its computer-controlled brake system.
  • It is very practical too. It has really useful transport wheels which allow easy storage of your cross trainer, allowing for more space when you need it.

Cons:

  • Have to pay extra for assembly.

This cross trainer ticks all the boxes and more! It has fantastic features and it was very hard to find anything to go against this fantastic product. With all it has included, it is hard to find a product on the market that offers the same for this price range.

https://amzn.to/2Bl3GpA

The best cross trainer for heart rate technology:

JTX Strider-X7 MAGNETIC CROSS TRAINER

With its built-in screen and plenty of programs included, this is a very high spec cross trainer. It has a five year warranty and comes in cheaper than the more premium options. It also has a higher weight limit than the more expensive options.

Pros:

  • Built in is a large colour touch screen console. Most cross trainers don’t have a colour screen so this is a massive benefit.
  • It has 21 programs including heart rate control, hill, interval or fat burning. This allows you to pick and choose depending on your goals
  • Features a 12.5kg flywheel for a quiet, smooth and stable movement. No one wants a loud machine, this is a great addition.
  • It comes with a Polar compatible wireless chest strap.
  • There are 16 levels of magnetic resistance allowing you to control your own workout.
  • It has the ability to save up to 4 of your own workout programmes which are fantastic for people who want to stick to a plan.

Cons:

  • No smartphone connection.
  • No bottle holder.

If you want to incorporate your heart rate into your training, then after our research, we believe this is the one for you. Using your heart rate to base training is a great idea. Your heart rate can be an indicator of what type of exercise you are doing.

Whether that is fat loss or cardiovascular training, you can choose your workout by aiming to reach a certain heart rate and sticking to it.

https://amzn.to/2UL8k7J

The best cross trainer for dual exercise:

Viavito Setry 2-in-1 Elliptical Trainer and Exercise Bike

This 2 in 1 is a brilliant way to get the best of both worlds. If you’re looking to buy both an exercise bike and a cross trainer, but lack space, then look no further. This is a machine that combines both together to allow you to vary your workouts using just one machine.

Pros:

  • With its oversized footplates, this allows for more comfort and control for all different users.
  • Horizontally and vertically, you can adjust the seat for ultimate comfort for not just you, but any other users of the machine. 
  • You can measure your heart rate with its hand pulse sensors. It has a wireless receiver which also allows you to connect a heart rate monitor if you have one.
  • There are 32 levels of computer controlled magnetic resistance. This is a lot of different resistances which you can pick and choose from for different workouts and base them on your goals.
  • You can add 4 user profiles, for families, this is a great idea as you can adjust your own profile, rather than always using just one.
  • It takes up far less space than having both an exercise bike and cross trainer. It is very easy to store also.

Cons:

  • No smartphone technology.
  • Not the quietest machine.
  • No bottle holder.

Out of all the cross trainers listed, this one stands out for its dual feature. Not many products on the market can offer what this cross trainer does. To be able to use it as a cross trainer, and an exercise bike is quite revolutionary and unique.

If you are looking to bulk up your gym and add some new equipment at a low cost, then you don’t have to look anywhere else because this should be the first piece of gym equipment on your list.

https://amzn.to/2WKiN4R

The best cross trainer for lower budgets:

Marcy Azure EL1016 Elliptical Cross Trainer

Finally, we have an item which the cheapest of the five. However, that doesn’t mean it is lacking in any way. This is filled with features and gives you a lot for a smaller price.

Pros:

  • For its price, having eight resistance levels is really good.
  • This cross trainer is battery powered, meaning you can workout wherever you want and don’t need to be near a mains outlet. no mains needed. Perfect if you want to workout in a place that isn’t close to an outlet or if you want to move the machine around.
  • The display shows speed, distance, calories, and pulse. This gives you a small overview of your workout, but it is all the key features you need for a basic cross trainer.
  • Ergonomic design makes it easy to get on and off the machine. It also has thick safety compliant steel, making it more durable and last longer. It has safety and comfort in mind with big oversized foot holder and grips for your hands.

Cons:

  • No programs built in.
  • Not foldable.
  • No smartphone features.

For our lowest priced option, you are still getting a lot of features. For a beginner, I would suggest that you purchase this cross trainer. It has all the features for a really good price. It may not boast the features the more expensive cross trainers have but has everything you need for a good workout.

https://amzn.to/2SgOuEE

 

So, as you can see above we have listed five cross trainers based on different needs and features. Depending on your goals and budget, you can see that there are lots of different cross trainers on the market right now which vary in their own ways.

Check out the ones listed above and find out more about the cross trainers. There are hundreds on the market right now. The ones we have mentioned have been researched and selected. They are great value for money and have received rave reviews.

So, if you’re a beginner, bargain hunter or simply looking to upgrade your gym, we have selected the top five cross trainers based on different needs. Check them out and best of luck with your new equipment!