EXERCISE BIKES AND CROSS TRAINERS: POINTS IN COMMON
The similarities between an exercise bike and a cross trainer first lie in the way they function: a cyclical motion. What is their shared goal? Help you get in shape.
- Working out the heart: exercise bikes and cross trainers strengthen your endurance and help improve your cardiovascular health.
- Losing weight: exercise bikes and cross trainers help you burn fat. When combined with a balanced and healthy diet, or a suitable weight-loss programme, they help you slim your figure.
- Injury-free muscle building: these machines are low impact and therefore present no risk to the joints.
In terms of how they work and their impact on the body (and therefore your training goals), the two machines have little in common.
EXERCISE BIKE AND CROSS TRAINER: THE DIFFERENCES
While the exercise bike and cross trainer have some benefits in common, you'll find they have some notable differences; knowing these will help you narrow down your choice.
POSITION AND MOVEMENT
On an exercise bike, you are seated and therefore do not work out the upper body. On a cross trainer you exercise standing up. This upright position forces the body to continuously maintain its balance and coordinate its muscles.
TONING THE BODY
The fixed handlebars on the cross trainer, its upright position, and the movement which your body reproduces on this type of machine works out your muscles more. As a result, it helps tone your entire body: a cross trainer works out 80% of the muscles in your body. This also means you burn a greater number of calories for the same amount of effort, compared with an exercise bike.
A cross trainer allows you to pedal backwards, something that most exercise bikes do not. On a cross trainer, this type of training balances the strength of the muscles surrounding the joints, whereas on an exercise bike, there is less effect on these muscles.
TO HELP YOU CHOOSE:
As you can see, an exercise bike and cross trainer are different both in their operation and their impact on the body. They meet different training objectives: an exercise bike improves your general physical condition and builds endurance, while a cross trainer delivers the same benefits but also provides a broader workout of the entire body. Does this mean that the cross trainer is better than the exercise bike? No!
An exercise bike is best suited for people seeking to complement other fitness/exercise routines which already provide them with a full body workout. It's also perfect for people doing physiotherapy or with reduced mobility. An exercise bike such as the VM Fold is very useful for exercising at home since it easily fits into small spaces.
You now have everything you need to help you choose the right fitness equipment for you. The rest is up to you!