Workout with Exercise Bikes and Elliptical Machines
Stationary CycleA stationary cycle lets you hold on to the handles, be seated on a special seat and move the legs to pedal the cycle. The exercise intensity can be adjusted by tightening the wheel and the speed can be increased by pedaling fast. This means that you can use only your lower body to workout.
These exercise bikes provide an intense workout for thighs and buttocks. They are also good to get the heart pumping faster and burn calories. Further, adjusting the handles can determine how much you want to lean forward. Leaning forward makes the cardiovascular workout more intense, though it still does not provide any workout for the hands.
If you want to exercise your arms on a stationary bike, you can choose some hand exercises and perform them along with the pedaling movements. Doing this can increase the heart rate and make the workout more vigorous.
Elliptical MachineElliptical trainer or cross-trainer is a machine that is primarily driven by legs, by standing on a pedal that is attached to two handle-levers. The handle levers also provide support to move the pedals, while simultaneously working out the arms as well. The push and pull movements with the hands in a criss-cross manner are coordinated with those of the pedaling movements in elliptically shaped paths. The motion is similar to climbing stairs or running in slow-motion, with hands being used for support.
Elliptical trainer goes smooth and soft on the knees. The user does not lift his or her feet away from the pedaling floor, thus does not impact the foot surface. Using the hands gives extra support for pedaling and provides a workout for the arms as well. Most of the elliptical trainers have a stationary handle too that can be used when the user wants to rest his hands.
The elliptical trainer also provides excellent weight bearing exercise. Weight-bearing exercise is one of the best bone-building exercises as it forces your bones and muscles to work against gravity. Regular weight-bearing exercises help the bones to adapt to the impact of weight and muscle pull. More bone cells are produced and the bones become stronger. This helps in prevention of osteoporosis.
|Elliptical Trainer||Stationary Cycle|
|Cardio workout||Increases heart rate and metabolism||Increases heart rate and metabolism, but slower than elliptical machine|
|Weight bearing||Excellent weight bearing exercises resulting in stronger and well-built bones. Prevents osteoporosis.||Does not provide weight bearing workout but improves the strength of the leg muscles.|
|Muscles that are worked||Upper body - Chest, shoulders, back, triceps, biceps|
Deep core muscles of abdomen
Lower body - Glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calf muscles, lower shin
|Thighs - Glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps|
Lower leg - Calf muscles, ankle muscles
|Impact on joints||Goes soft on joints, but not recommended for those with severe knee problems or osteoarthritis||Low impact on joints and recommended exercise for people suffering from knee pain|
|Strain on Back||Not recommended for those with back pain as exercised in standing position||Less impact on the back, hips and knees as the person is seated|
|Ease of exercise||High intensity and whole body workout so can be done for a lesser duration.||Low impact exercise, so can be done for longer time, improving endurance and stamina|
|Aerobic exercise||The use of arms improves the aerobic effort. Hence better transport and use of oxygen||Lesser levels of aerobic activity as only lower part of the body is used.|
|Pedaling in reverse direction||Helps in working out the calf muscles, without changing the resistance of the workout||Helps maintain the increased heart rate while the muscles rest for a while as there is no resistance in reverse pedaling|
|For beginners||A beginner can start with pedalling action first then go on to holding the handles and workout the hands||Recommended for beginners, start with low resistance and increase the speed and resistance with time|
|For weight loss goal||Elliptical machine can be too strenuous for a beginner who is overweight by 30 kilograms. But elliptical trainers can be used effectively after getting used to the workout sessions||Excellent option for beginners with weight loss goals. But has to be used only as a part of the regime and workout arms, strength training – Health Video and other physical activities to lose weight.|