Exercise Bike vs Elliptica

Exercise Bike vs Elliptical: What's Best for Your Home Gym?

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Ditch the gym membership and bring cardiovascular health to your front door. Exercise bikes and elliptical machines are two low-impact options for at-home fitness, with numerous health benefits to boot.

But you may be wondering: between exercise bike vs. elliptical, which should you choose?

Let’s explore the ins and outs of each machine.

Understanding Exercise Bikes

Stationary bikes are powerhouse cardio machines for low-impact workouts. Hop on between work calls, or break a sweat in a training session.

From core strengthening to joint safety, there are countless health benefits of exercise bikes. For instance, a recent study reported that indoor cycling can improve aerobic capacity, blood pressure, and cholesterol.1 Research also shows recovery and rehabilitation benefits for adults with multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, and arthritis.2,3

Types of Exercise Bikes

There are many stationary bikes to choose from based on your physical mobility, space constraints, and more. Let’s break down the most common options.

  • Indoor bike – This resembles a standard outdoor bike, mimicking the experience of cycling down the open road.
  • Recumbent bike – Rather than leaning forward to reach the handlebars, riders pedal in a more reclined position while leaning against a seat back.
  • Under desk bike – Incorporating movement into your workday couldn’t be easier with pedal exercisers like the FlexCycle Plus from Lifepro. Do under desk bikes work, or is it just a fad? Let our blog help you decide.
  • Folding bike – In first place in the space-saving category, no-frills foldable bikes can easily be tucked away in a small apartment.

No matter your choice, you can enhance productivity and tone leg muscles from the comfort of your own home.

Pros & Cons of Exercise Bikes

When upgrading your home gym, indoor bikes can pack a punch. Here are some of our favorite pros:

  • Low-impact
  • Everyday convenience
  • Mental health benefits

That said, there are some limitations to be aware of, and it’s important to consider these downsides of exercise bikes:

  • Limited upper body workout
  • Uncomfortable seats
  • Large or clunky

Don’t be discouraged—many of these cons are eliminated with an under-desk bike!

Considerations When Choosing an Exercise Bike

Are you in need of a low-impact workout? Whether you suffer from arthritis or prefer less joint impact, exercise bikes can improve cardiovascular health while keeping your hips, knees, and ankles safe.

Plus, consider the layout of your home gym. If you have extra space, a stationary bike can provide an invigorating workout. But for a small apartment or home office, under-desk pedal exercisers are the way to go.

Understanding Ellipticals

Similar to exercise bikes, ellipticals are low-impact training machines that build muscle, burn calories, and reduce injury risk.

Since ellipticals are weight-bearing, research shows that they strengthen the skeletal system without putting too much pressure on your back and joints. Plus, they provide vital conditioning and recovery days if you routinely perform high-impact activities like running.4

Types of Ellipticals

Standard ellipticals are a gym staple, but did you know that ellipticals come in many shapes and sizes? Let’s highlight a few popular models.

  • Cross-trainer elliptical – Moving handlebars promote full-body fitness as you exercise both your arms and legs.
  • Elliptical glider – Gliders lack a built-in motor, providing more resistance—and a better workout—with every stride.
  • Recumbent elliptical – Like recumbent bikes, these ellipticals allow you to sit in a reclined position while pedaling.
  • Under desk elliptical – Mini machines like the FlexStride Plus incorporate fitness into your everyday home or office routine. Learn more about an under desk elliptical vs treadmill in our blog.

To save space, you can also try foldable and portable ellipticals.

Pros & Cons of Ellipticals

Some standout benefits of ellipticals include:

  • Low-impact on joints
  • Upper- and lower-body workout
  • Weight-bearing

However, there are two sides to every story, and ellipticals are no exception. In fact, they can present a unique set of challenges. For instance, their negative features include:

  • Low-intensity training
  • High mobility and balance threshold
  • High cost

Luckily, under-desk ellipticals can help hit the middle ground between these pros and cons.

Considerations When Choosing an Elliptical

Do you have a recent injury? Suffer from chronic joint pain? Only like working out while seated? These are important factors to consider, as well as:

  • Fitness goals
  • Mobility
  • Space constraints
  • Budget

In short, the right elliptical for you may not be the same as your workout partner’s.

Exercise Bike vs Elliptical: Head-to-Head Comparison

Now that you know the basics, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of an exercise bike vs. elliptical.

Impact on Joints

Both exercise bikes and ellipticals offer low-impact workouts for hip, knee, and ankle joints. However, research shows that ellipticals place more tension on the knee and ankle joints, especially when pedaling quickly.5

Muscle Groups Targeted

Both indoor bikes and ellipticals target the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core. Ellipticals also step it up a notch with an upper-body focus on the chest, triceps, and biceps. Learn more about what muscles under desk bikes work in our blog.

Calorie Burn

On average, ellipticals burn more calories than indoor bikes—data from Harvard Medical School shows that an elliptical workout burns 60 to 80 more calories than stationary cycling.6

Space and Cost

Due to the added arm movements, ellipticals take up slightly more space than stationary bikes. However, under-desk options are equally compact.

While ellipticals tend to be pricier than exercise bikes, both provide long-term savings compared to monthly gym fees.

Discover Exercise Bikes & Ellipticals from Lifepro Today

Transform your at-home workouts with our stationary bikes, pedal exercises, and elliptical machines. These versatile cardio tools are designed to protect joints, build muscle, and reduce stress in your day-to-day life.

Plus, when you shop with Lifepro, you can try portable options, like our at-home treadmill or mini walking pad to get your steps in while at work.

Browse our complete selection of wellness and recovery equipment today to update and enhance your home gym.


  1. National Library of Medicine. Health Benefits of Indoor Cycling: A Systematic Review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6722762/
  2. National Library of Medicine. The effect of exercise training in adults with multiple sclerosis with severe mobility disability: A systematic review and future research directions. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28755682/.
  3. National Library of Medicine. Effects of a 6-Week Indoor Hand-Bike Exercise Program on Health and Fitness Levels in People With Spinal Cord Injury: A Randomized Controlled Trial Study. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26254953/.
  4. Hospital for Special Surgery. Elliptical Benefits: Advice from an Exercise Physiologist. hss.edu/article_elliptical-benefits.asp.
  5. MDPI. Effects of Stationary Bikes and Elliptical Machines on Knee Joint Kinematics during Exercise. https://www.mdpi.com/1648-9144/60/3/498.
  6. Harvard Health Publishing. Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/calories-burned-in-30-minutes-for-people-of-three-different-weights.


Joel Gottehrer

Joel Gottehrer is the Co-Founder of Lifepro Fitness and has dedicated his life to helping people transform theirs. With over 12 years of experience in the fitness industry as a personal trainer and owner of two personal training studios, Joel has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to helping transform lives. After suffering from physical injuries, Joel and his business partner, Abraham Brach, came together with a common goal to alleviate the pain caused by their injuries.

They continued to find themselves disappointed with the results stemming from various products promising to relieve their pain, and with that – Lifepro Fitness was born. Joel's mission is to have a positive impact on millions of lives with the Lifepro brand. Whether it's finding new and innovative ways to help people recover from injuries or developing products to improve overall wellness, Joel is always looking for ways to push the boundaries. Thanks to his commitment to help people live their lives free of pain, Lifepro has been able to do this for thousands of people since its founding in 2017.

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