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.