Stationary Bike vs. Treadmill: Which Is Better Workout For You? 2022

Treadmill Vs Bike: Which Is Better Workout For You? 2022

When choosing between treadmill vs bike, there are a few things to consider. Both have their own set of pros and cons, so it depends on what your priorities are.

If you’re looking for a workout that is low-impact and easy on the joints, then a treadmill might be the better option. However, a bike might be a better choice if you’re looking for something that will give you a more intense cardio workout. Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference and what you’re looking to get out of your workout.

What Is A Treadmill?

What Is A Treadmill?

A treadmill is a fitness equipment that enables you to walk or run indoors. It does this by moving a movable platform by feeding a short belt over the instrument’s top. You may change the speed manually.

Treadmill belt platforms often feature grips on both sides. Some models enable you to slope the whole platform for a more difficult exercise, similar to jogging uphill.

While the majority of treadmills are motorized, nonmotorized versions are gaining popularity. Nonmotorized models usually have a slightly curved running surface and need you to move the belt to get the correct pace manually.

According to research, jogging on a nonmotorized treadmill bike is more difficult than keeping the same pace on a motorized one.

Treadmills, both motorized and nonmotorized, may be used to develop walking and running gait patterns.

Treadmills have become a normal addition to any fitness environment due to their many advantages. However, there are certain restrictions and drawbacks to consider.


Treadmills are a wonderful method to include walking or running into your training routine. You won’t be restricted by external variables such as excessive heat or cold, rain, or a lack of appropriate jogging roads or trails.

They also allow you to choose your own pace. This may push you to maintain a specific speed to stay up, which may serve as a motivator throughout your exercise.

If your bicycle treadmill includes an inclination setting, you may increase the difficulty of your exercise significantly. When combined, the ability to manage both the pace and the elevation may make treadmill progression simpler than running.

While a timer may manage your pace while jogging outside, a treadmill delivers quick, solid statistics on your activities. This makes exercise tracking easier and might help you appreciate your progress more.

Although treadmills may not provide the sights and fresh air that conventional jogging does, they enable you to add a television or other digital experience to your exercise.

Furthermore, treadmills have improved postural control, such as balance, in older persons. As a result, they may be used for rehabilitation and aerobic exercise.


Cons of treadmills

Treadmills have a few drawbacks to consider, despite their numerous advantages.

Even though they imitate static surfaces, research has revealed that treadmill walking and running vary from those employed on conventional ground surfaces.

For example, a 2017 research on younger persons healing from ankle sprains found that walking on typical surfaces enhanced ankle range of motion and lower limb muscular strength more than treadmill walking.

Furthermore, recent research discovered that professional running athletes’ running economy was poorer when they ran on a treadmill vs. a conventional track. This suggests that the athletes ran slower on the treadmill for given workout intensity.

This might imply that treadmill-trained movement patterns aren’t as transferrable to outside jogging as you would imagine. This is particularly important for elite runners who routinely train on a treadmill.

Similarly, a recent study discovered that although the biomechanics and general movement patterns of the treadmill and outside jogging are comparable, the foot striking mechanics may vary significantly.

As a result, if you want to participate in non-treadmill running, you must still run on ordinary surfaces regularly to learn the ideal running patterns.

Another disadvantage to bear in mind is the possibility of going off the belt’s end if you cannot keep up. Fortunately, most treadmills include a safety leash that shuts the machine off if you approach too near to the platform’s edge.

Another disadvantage is that treadmills are utilized indoors. As a result, you lose out on the outside running experience that many runners like.

What Is An Exercise Bike?

What Is An Exercise Bike?

Exercise bikes include a seat and pedals that simulate cycling. Several varieties target distinct training objectives.

Spin bikes, for example, resemble ordinary road cycles. This facilitates the transfer of your talents from indoor training to real road riding.

Meanwhile, reclining exercise bikes offer a more comfortable, larger seat and pedals placed farther front. This shifts the weight away from the pedals and toward the seat.

On the bright side, this decreases the impact of the workout, making it less taxing on the joints. On the negative, it makes reaching high intensities more difficult and is less transferrable to outside riding.


Treadmills are for indoor jogging, whilst stationary cycles are for indoor riding. Treadmills may be motorized or nonmotorized, and bikes can be configured for spinning or a more relaxed posture.


A substantial amount of evidence supports using stationary bikes to enhance fitness.

A 2017 research on young women, for example, found that 16 weeks of spin cycle exercise enhanced muscular strength, body fat, resting blood pressure, and blood sugar levels, among other health and fitness markers.

Surprisingly, stationary spin biking improved these parameters more than regular outside cycling.

A 2019 evaluation indicated that indoor cycling increased aerobic capacity, blood pressure, blood fat profiles, and body composition, whether used alone or in combination with other exercise and dietary therapies.

Furthermore, a 2014 research on older women found that stationary cycling improved general gait and balance more than treadmill use. However, this outcome is paradoxical, and further study on the subject is required.

Furthermore, while treadmills affect your joints with every stride, indoor cycling may be a better option if you have joint problems and need low-impact exercise.

Stationary bikes and indoor riding provide a regulated, dependable indoor setting unaffected by weather. This enables you to work out at night or in inclement weather.

Finally, stationary bike settings, like treadmill settings, enable you to modify the intensity and measure your effort.


Cons of exercises bikes

One significant disadvantage of exercise bikes is that they do not provide the advantages associated with weight-bearing exercise.

Weight-bearing workouts, such as squats, bench presses, and leg presses, for example, promote bone mineral density (BMD) more efficiently than stationary cycling.

BMD loss is a sign of osteoporosis, a chronic illness that raises the likelihood of fractures and other bone damage. It may significantly impact your health, particularly as you age.

Indoor cycling, however, does not give adequate stimulation for long-term muscle gain, which necessitates greater intensity training with weights or comparable equipment.

It would help if you combined cycling with resistance and weight-bearing exercises to improve your BMD and gain muscle.

Finally, like with treadmills, if you prefer to exercise outdoors, an indoor stationary bike may not be as enticing.

Treadmill vs. Exercise Bike: Which Is a Better Workout for You?

Treadmill vs. Exercise Bike: Which Is a Better Workout for You?

Calorie Burn

Many individuals base their decision on how many calories they can burn when utilizing a piece of workout equipment. Both machines are wonderful for burning calories and muscle conditioning, says Jessica Mazzucco, a certified fitness trainer in the New York City region and the creator of The Glute Recruit, a personal training program.

A treadmill and an exercise cycle may reach comparable burn rates, but since a regular treadmill requires standing up and carrying your own body weight, the actual calorie burn may be greater.

For example, if you’re jogging on a treadmill at 5 or 6 miles per hour, Mazzucco estimates you’ll burn four to six calories every minute. She claims that pedaling on a stationary bike may burn three to six calories per minute, depending on your resistance and how quickly you’re performing.

According to Matt Camargo, director of ProSport Performance at ProSport Physical Therapy and Performance, which has sites across southern California, those calories may quickly build up over an hour.

Individuals may burn 600 to 800 calories per hour on a treadmill, compared to 400 to 500 calories per hour on a bike. However, there is a major caveat: calorie burn rates vary substantially depending on age, genetics, weight, gender, and other variables.

Calorie burn rates are mostly determined by the amount of effort you put into them, Mazzucco says.

Your Level of Experience

Here’s some good news if you’re new to working out: The treadmill and exercise bike are ideal for beginners in terms of mechanical simplicity of use and the workout they deliver.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises 150 minutes of cardiovascular activity every week to prevent chronic disease. While this may seem daunting, breaking it down to a daily 30-minute brisk walk on the treadmill or modest bike ride is a highly practical method to begin exercising.

Typically, the calories burnt per hour for a walker or leisurely rider would be around the same, says Jenny Harkins, a certified group exercise teacher, and proprietor of Treadfit, a Chicago training center. A distinction is made when the walker becomes a runner. Running on a treadmill burns more calories than riding a stationary bike.

So, once again, it boils down to whether weight reduction and calorie burn are part of your exercise objectives. And, like with any new exercise, go carefully at first to prevent injury.


Exercise Bikes vs Treadmill: Mobility

Another element to consider is your ability to do a workout on certain equipment. For example, if you have knee arthritis, riding a bike may be more comfortable than walking on a treadmill since you are sitting and the exercise is not weight-bearing.

Similarly, if you have foot issues like plantar fasciitis, sitting on a bike may be a better alternative than full-body weight-bearing walking or jogging on a treadmill.

Because of the capacity to sit while exerting energy, the exercise bike is often more suitable for older people, Camargo explains. On the other hand, a standard treadmill is definitely the preferable choice for persons who do not have any ailments or mobility concerns and want a more strenuous exercise.

Because you’re not simply sitting on the treadmill, more energy is necessary to be successful during movement, Camargo explains.

However, selecting the perfect equipment for your mobility requirements isn’t always a black-and-white, either-or choice. As a hybrid of both, more technologies have started to appear in the gap between treadmills and exercise bikes.

Treadmills that can be used while sitting, in particular, have grown in favor as many individuals shifted to working from home during the epidemic.

According to Joanna Medin, CEO and co-founder of Onthemuv, Inc., the Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of the miniTREAD seated treadmill, the portable treadmill was initially created to enable older persons with mobility issues to receive some exercise where they are, gently and efficiently.

During the pandemic, however, the firm, selling to nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and other congregate living facilities using a business-to-business approach, shifted to selling their little gadget to the hordes of individuals suddenly working from home.

Though the miniTREAD was initially meant to fit beneath a wheelchair, its size has made it excellent for anyone trying to incorporate a bit extra physical exercise into their hectic workdays or while homeschooling.

Because you’re sitting, the stretch (in the legs) is similar to what you’d experience riding a treadmill bicycle, Medin explains. You’re using your hamstrings and quads. And since you can use it while sitting on the sofa or in a comfy chair, it removes the need for an uncomfortable bike seat. Because it is non-weight-bearing and has little impact, it is an excellent choice for persons with restricted lower limb movement.

Whatever your unique circumstances, consider what motions you can accomplish and what will help you attain fitness without increasing current mobility constraints or other health concerns when choosing a piece of equipment.


How Treadmill Vs. Bike Workouts Compare

Even if you don’t have any mobility limitations, the danger of injury should be a worry for all active individuals. The treadmill and exercise bike each have distinct degrees of risk.

Running, especially treadmill running, is considered a high-impact workout. Your joints are stressed by the repeated action of your feet striking the ground. While high-impact exercise has advantages such as enhanced bone density, over-exercising or poor technique may result in knee and back damage.

It’s a low-impact workout since your feet remain securely within the petals, much as on an exercise bike. Even during a high-intensity workout, the smooth, circular motion strengthens your muscles without placing undue strain on your joints.

Any sort of workout might cause injury, adds Harkins. On both the treadmill vs stationary bike, it is critical to maintaining proper technique and a comfortable speed.

Your Goals

Mazzucco adds that another element to consider is your aim for adding a piece of home training equipment.

A treadmill may help you lose belly fat, improve your heart, tone your muscles, and build your bones. Treadmill running is a high-impact workout that puts additional pressure on your knees and other joints. It may also provide some upper body exercise advantages.

The stationary bike, on the other hand, gives more of a workout for the glutes, calves, and thighs, she says. It’s also beneficial for muscular toning, weight reduction, heart-strengthening, and lung capacity. A stationary bike normally does not provide much upper-body workout unless it has an upper-body component.

A treadmill is perhaps the most immediately beneficial buy if you’re preparing for a marathon run. If you like triathlons, any machine is suitable. An exercise bike or treadmill is perhaps the best option if you only want to get in shape without putting too much strain on your feet and knees.


The price of a treadmill or exercise bike for belly fat varies greatly. While some basic devices are available for about $200, more advanced models may cost several thousand dollars. Some bikes need a monthly membership charge to access all of the features and programs available.

Nonetheless, bikes are often less costly than treadmills. Bikes may cost between $200 and $800, whereas treadmills normally cost between $200 and $2,500, Camargo explains.

Mazzucco also suggests thinking about machine longevity and maintenance. The treadmill is more likely to need repair due to engine, belt, and inclination faults. Maintaining such upkeep may need some more funds as the equipment matures. You can read more about road bike vs mountain bike.

Exercise Classes

Is a Treadmill or a Stationary Bike Better to Lose Weight

Treadmills and exercise cycles are one-person devices, but that doesn’t mean you have to work out alone. Peloton bike vs treadmill, for example, offers live-streamed and pre-recorded spin sessions for the purchase of a bike plus the monthly charge of its accompanying app, providing the group fitness class experience at home. NordicTrack manufactures a bike treadmill with a similar design.

A class atmosphere has numerous advantages, Harkins argues, including responsibility and a good, high-energy climate. If you’re not ready to invest in such a huge piece of exercise equipment, you may always see if your local gym offers cycling vs treadmill training programs.

Space in the Home

You must also consider where you will place the machine and how much space it would need. Traditional treadmills may be rather heavy, so be sure your house can sustain the weight of the machine and your hammering on it.

Exercise cycles, on average, have a smaller footprint than most treadmills, although this is not always the case. Even though they frequently weigh less and take up less space, they still need a dedicated space in the house.

Medin recommends the miniTREAD for compact places. It is far more portable than a standard treadmill since it weighs less than 25 pounds. If you have guests coming over and don’t want to leave it out, put it in your coat closet. Most standard treadmills and exercise bikes do not allow for this.

Talk With a Trainer

Camargo suggests working with a fitness expert, such as a trainer or coach, to help you set appropriate fitness objectives and create a specific training plan. This may assist you in determining which machine will provide you with the most bang for your buck and which will help you reach your objectives effectively.

Consistency Is Key

At the end of the day, Mazzucco adds, the key to selecting the proper buy is thinking about what’s good for you and which equipment you’ll use regularly. Being consistent can help you achieve your fitness objectives faster.

Whether that means waking up for a spin class on your linked bike most mornings, recording steps throughout the day on a seated treadmill, or running miles in the evening on a full-sized treadmill in the basement, the equipment you love using frequently is the ideal one for you.

Medin observes that a treadmill might become an expensive clothing rack for some individuals when excitement for treadmill exercises fades with time. A machine that you can use while watching TV or doing anything else is one approach to minimize boredom and promote continuous usage.

Finally, Mazzucco points out that you don’t have to stick to just one kind of training. I would advocate including various activities into your regimen, rather than simply cardio. Try combining strength training, flexibility training, and other exercises to target multiple muscle groups. Using a stationary bike or a treadmill for fitness without any weight-bearing activities does not constitute a well-rounded fitness regimen.


In conclusion, the best choice for a treadmill or bike in 2022 depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you are looking for a low-impact workout that is easy on your joints, then a treadmill may be the best choice. If you are looking for a more challenging workout that will help you build endurance, then a bike may be the best choice. Thanks for reading!

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