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Recumbent Exercise Bike vs. Elliptical Trainer

recumbent vs ellipticalWhen it comes to low impact training equipment, there are none more prominent than the elliptical and the recumbent bike. Both can be found in about every gym and many people even have their own at home for easier access. While both machines train basically the same muscle groups, there are some key differences that can be found, especially when it comes to burning calories. The elliptical and the recumbent bike both train your hamstrings, your calf muscles, core, glutes and quadriceps. They are also a great way to warm up before weight exercises, as they can get your pulse up quickly.

Upsides of the elliptical

The elliptical is a low impact machine that is designed to mimic the movement occurring during running. Your legs go through the same movement that they would go through while running, without ever actually leaving the ground. This imposes less stress on your ankles and knees as there is no landing impact. If your elliptical comes equipped with handles that can support the movement, you can even train your upper body in addition to your hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, calf muscles and core during the exercise. The elliptical is commonly used as a warm up exercising machine but also as the focus of certain workout schemes. Especially when it comes to losing weight and building lean muscle in the progress, the elliptical is a great machine included in many workouts developed by fitness trainers from all over the world.

Advantages of the recumbent bike

Just like the elliptical, the recumbent bike is a great low impact piece of training equipment. It is used by many as an exercise both in the beginning and the end of a workout. With its many levels of resistance that can make the peddling easier and harder, it can both help you lower your pulse in the end of a workout and get it up in the beginning. When you warm up your muscles in such way you lower your risk of injuries during weight lifting and other high impact exercises. The recumbent bike can also be used as a great cardio workout for those who are looking to burn calories and lose weight, while gaining lean muscle mass. One of the advantages of the recumbent bike over treadmills and even ellipticals is the extremely low impact level. Especially those athletes who have recently suffered back injuries can use the recumbent bike for their rehabbing process. Unlike the elliptical, you are sitting while using the bike which imposes the least amount of pressure on your back.

Now if you want to learn more about the features offered by the different models of recumbent bikes we recommend you to read our reviews.

The key differences between the Elliptical and the Recumbent Bike

Both machines are great for warming up and cardio workouts, as well as rehabbing after injuries, as they are low impact exercise machines that don’t impose much stress on the joints of the user. The elliptical is slightly more effective when it comes to losing weight and warming up, as it is used standing and even engages the upper body. As a result, the core is more involved in the workout and muscles in the upper body are more engaged as well. The Recumbent Bike on the other hand has a slight edge over the elliptical when it comes to rehabbing features as it is an even lower impact machine that protects the back and hip of the user better thanks to its big and comfortable seat, as you can see on the Schwinn 270. As a result of these differences, using the Elliptical burns about 30% more calories than using the Recumbent Bike and as a result, is a more effective exercise machine for cardio- and warm-up exercises than the Recumbent Bike.