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Which Burns More Calories Elliptical or Stationary Bike

Which Burns More Calories Elliptical or Stationary Bike
Written by Thomas Bailey
Last Update: December 9, 2022

It is necessary to be aware of the benefits and the dis-benefits of having an elliptical machine versus the stationary bike if you need a gym machine. The elliptical machine is a great arm and leg workout devices, while, the stationary bikes will give you a steady core and leg workout without adding stress to your joints. They are the perfect machine for an excellent cardiovascular exercise.

Elliptical vs. Stationary Bike: Which Cardio Workout Machine Is Better?

Which Cardio Workout Machine Is Better

Stationary Bikes

The stationary machine is also known as an exercise bike. As earlier said, they are great for an excellent cardiovascular exercise. They do not require excess coordination, and you can manually adjust the resistance to ease your Workout or even make them heavier.


  • The faster you cycle, the more the calories that you burn. For instance, a 75 kg man can drop as much as 360 calories if they are pedaling at an average speed for half an hour, according to the Harvard Medical School.
  • At the fastest rate, an average-sized man can burn as much as 391 calories in the time frame mentioned above. This is significant when pitted against the elliptical.
  • They do not stress your joints. The stationary bikes would strengthen your core and legs without stressing the joints. Cycling can be therapeutic for people with osteoarthritis.
  • Finally, they are convenient. You can cycle from the comfort of your home, the public convenience of a gym, and for those who enjoy group exercise, you can attend a spinning class.


  • The bike seats can get uncomfortable. However, this can be fixed by installing a pad on the seat.

Elliptical Bikes

The elliptical machines are a common choice because they are a mix of a ski machine and a stair stepper. These machines will work your leg in a circular up and down motion and as you work your arms simultaneously using the movable handles. With these machines, you can add resistance to make your workouts more difficult and to give your muscles an added challenge.


  • Elliptical machines burn calories. According to Harvard Health Publishing, an average weight man would lose about 335 calories with the elliptical machines. For those who are more resilient to continue for an hour, they can drop about 670 calories.
  • They will put your entire body to work. The movable handles will put your arms and shoulders to work, while the lower body gets its own share of the work simultaneously. \
  • If the Workout is getting too repetitive, you can also decide to spin the machine in a backward motion. They will give your calves more challenge according to the Mayo Clinic.
  • The core muscles are not left out.
  • As against running, the elliptical will not give your joints as much stress as running would. This can be an ideal alternative for people with specific joint conditions like arthritis and hip injuries.
  • This is also useful for cross-training for people who run long distances as it can reduce the chances of having a stress fracture.


  • For people with weak balance, this is not a good workout machine.

Elliptical vs Stationary Bike

  • Staying Fit

Elliptical and stationary bikes will both get you a cardiovascular workout, which essentially lowers your chances of getting cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension.

They are safe to exercise machinery for the joints. They are recommended than running which can increase the risk to a knee, hip or ankle injuries because the feet absorbs the most fo the body weight as you cycle.

None is better when it comes to staying fit; they are just different machines. The elliptical, however, is more tasking, because it involves the whole body, while the stationary work out the lower body while sitting.

Stationary bikes are great for older people who want to stay fit. Also, there are cases wherein knee rehabilitation, the elliptical is not recommended.

  • Injury Risk

They both reduce the risk of you getting injured ad can serve therapeutic purposes.

  • Muscle Toning

They both can help you to tone your legs and also your buttocks. However, they do not build body mass. They are not for bodybuilding though.

Stationary bikes will work the thighs calves specifically, while the arm and the biceps work and if the core is essential to you, you can hold the handles as you contract your muscles as you cycle.

The elliptical works 80 % of your body mass from the legs to the back muscles and the arms. It is advisable to pedal backwards also, to work some other muscles.

  • Fat Burning Capabilities

It all depends on how hard you have been working and what machine fits you the most.

If you are not comfortable with a machine, it can be challenging to lose weight with that machine.

  • Total Body Workout

The elliptical is a well-rounded machine that gives a well-rounded result. With resistance, you can work all of your key muscles, while stationary bikes only work the lower body mostly

  • Weight Loss

One can burn more fat, using the elliptical against the stationary, but it is not much. What is most important is that they are both effective in helping you lose weight.

At the end of the day, what matters the most, is how bad do you want to lose the weight.

  • Ease of Use

It is preferable for beginners to feel comfortable with their equipment, or they will not take long before they stop the program. The boke is better in this instance because using the stationary bike is very natural and would require less struggle in figuring it out.

  • Space-Saving

If space is an issue for you, the exercise bike, will be convenient. Though there are smaller sized elliptical. The bike will fit into smaller spaces

  • Maintenance

Since these pieces of machinery are used at home; one might want to take into consideration how easy it is to maintain these pieces of equipment. The stationary machine is simple and would require less maintenance, so if this is necessary for you, then you might want to pick a stationary bike.

  • Variability

This is important because it lets you know how likely you are to drop from one program. The elliptical is better in this instance because of the variety of motions you can have with the machine. There are simply not enough movements to make the exercise interesting.

  • Cost

The minimum price to pay for the elliptical is around $1000, while you should be able to get a bike for about $400 dollars to $600.


They are both great equipment, good for beginners, therapeutic and are endurance builders, so either will be perfect for you.


1. Can you lose belly fat on a stationary bike?

Ans. Yes, you can lose belly fat from stationary bikes. Burning any amount of fat in your body would drop some belly fat with it.

2. What burns more calories spinning or elliptical?

Ans. The elliptical burns 15% more fat than the stationary bike. This might look small. However, they might make a difference to some.

3. Is riding a stationary bike better than walking? 

Ans. Walking burns fewer calories than stationary bikes in the short term. If you want to lose some of that extra fat quick, then you might want to do more strenuous exercises like riding the stationary bike.

About the author

Thomas Bailey

A Gym Equipment Expert

I’m Thomas, a healthy guy as people often say. During the 90s when I frequented local gyms, I used to experience an issue that few people could tell knowledgeably when and which piece of equipment to use or work with for which specific part of the body. I won’t tell ‘nobody’ could, but there was lack of perfect guidelines and decisive mentorship when it comes to weightlifting, exercise, and bodybuilding. Since then, I spent so much of my time and patience in finding out the reality about the different tools, exercise units, and equipment that anybody would tell it was going to be my profession, but that’s not really going to happen. However, it has been my pursuit for half the decade. I help, guide, and talk to people who I come across. You’re welcome to take a look at my posts.

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