Recumbent Elliptical vs Recumbent Bike – You know you need to work out. But you don’t want to go outside. Maybe it’s too hot. Perhaps it’s too cold, or maybe you’d just rather binge a TV show while you get your heart rate going.
But which one do you need? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at each of the pros and cons and try to tackle some of the decision points to help you make the right choice.
Table of Contents
What’s the Same?
Both devices allow you to sit back comfortably while you exercise. By providing back support, a recumbent setting allows for more ergonomically, efficient exercise.
Both devices come in a few different styles. Some have swinging handlebars, which allows for some upper body exercise, while others have stationary handles focusing on legs and cardio.
Outside of the basic structure, both ellipticals and exercise bikes offer users the opportunity to spend big for feature-rich units or keep it simple for more cost-effective devices.
In either case, recumbent ellipticals or bikes work wonders for improving or maintaining fitness. Providing a safe, low-impact means to get the blood moving, recumbent machines work well for fitness buffs seeking a little more recovery, or people who need to take it easy on their joints.
Recumbent ellipticals and recumbent bikes engage slightly different mechanics. An elliptical seeks to recreate a running motion, with a full swing of the arms and legs, and a little roll of the foot with each “step.”
A recumbent bike has a motion more like… well, riding a bike, and designs with toe straps allow you to pull.
Recumbent bicycles, on the other hand, put more focus on the knees and hips. They can significantly aid recovery for issues with those areas, while still providing a fantastic cardio workout. Some units come with arm exercisers, providing an even more full-body experience.
Benefits of a Recumbent Bike
The stationary recumbent bike suits an incredible range, from beginners to elite athletes. Beginners can quickly get in long workouts without overstraining, and elites can find enough programming variety and resistance to get some severe burn.
A recumbent bike also has a little more “field testing,” with their elliptical cousins being relative newcomers. That’s given bike designers more time to perfect their equipment’s comfort, performance, and technology.
Stationary recumbent bikes come with a wide variety of features to tailor your workouts and keep you entertained. Those seeking to get their legs back under them without stressing the rest of their body can find a great outlet with a recumbent bike.
Benefits of a Recumbent Elliptical
The recumbent elliptical does the best job of approximating the body’s natural running or walking motion without the impact. These machines have become incredibly popular with physical therapy facilities due to their ease of use and a more comprehensive range of motion than recumbent bikes.
The full-body movement works every system, from the upper body through the feet and ankles. That allows the elliptical to strengthen or tone systems for a wide range of activities.
Recumbent ellipticals take all of the pressure off your back with a comfortable seat and back support. As a result, many users have found that they can work out longer on the recumbent elliptical – even with the increased calorie-burning.
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Factors to Consider
While the two machines seem very similar, you should consider a few different variables before picking either one. Is elliptical or recumbent bike better?
First and foremost, what are your goals? Do you need to strengthen a weak knee? Get your full-body strength back after an injury or surgery? Your goals will go a long way in determining which piece of equipment would do the job best.
Secondly, what do you need? Do you need a device that tells you every piece of data it possibly can? Do you need something with moving arms, or do you just want some cardio for a while each day? Sometimes your decisions may be limited by what’s available. You might care more about the experience than the type of workout, which works okay with such similar exercises.
Lastly, what would you enjoy? Exercise is all about consistency. Some people just prefer pedaling a bicycle to running. Some people find a particular type of recumbent equipment more comfortable. Some people just have more fun making one motion than another. Whatever will keep you going is the right machine for you.
Great workouts abound with both recumbent ellipticals and recumbent bikes. For more general purposes, the recumbent elliptical has a slight edge, thanks to its versatility and efficiency. Not to say, recumbent bikes don’t have their place, and the two are undoubtedly similar, but all things equal, the elliptical offers all the same benefits, with just a little more.
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