Difference Between Stationary/Exercise Bike vs Treadmill

Exercise bike vs treadmill which is the best choice? Whilst being very easy to use, a stationary bike/exercise bike is a great method to tone your muscles and lose weight. Similarly a treadmill is also very easy to use and is a great way to exercise during bad weather.

 If you’re struggling to decide between a stationary bike and a treadmill this article will make that decision quick and simple for you. In this article you will be able to understand between what is a treadmill and a stationary bike, difference between them, how each of them help to lose weight, losing weight for cycling, pros and cons of a stationary bike and a treadmill...etc.

What are Stationary Bikes and Treadmills?

A stationary bike also known as an exercise bike is a type of exercise equipment which is very similar to a normal bike. If you haven’t seen a stationary bike before, imagine a normal bicycle without wheels.

 Features that are very commonly seen in a stationary bike are; pedals, handles and a seat. This type of exercise machine is used mostly for weight loss and as a method of training for cycling events.

A treadmill is used mainly for indoor walking or running. If you haven’t seen a treadmill before imagine running on a machine without moving forward. Some very common features of a treadmill are; belt, handlebars, and a screen.

Exercise Bike vs Treadmill- Difference?

Stationary bike


  • Sitting position – low chance of tripping.
  • Low knee impact exercises- not hard on your joints.
  • Burns 300 calories at 10mph for 40 minutes.
  • Cannot change inclines.
  • Standing position- High chance of tripping.
  • High knee impact exercises- harder on your joints.
  • Burns 750 calories at 10mph for 40 minutes.
  • Can change inclines.
  • What Areas In The Body Do They Focus On?

    The treadmill is a great exercise machine that’s suitable for any level. Whether you are looking for a normal healthy walk or if you are an experienced runner, it will adjust to your needs. The main parts in the body that the treadmill works out are the lower body and the cardiovascular system.

    Other parts in the body that are involved are the thighs, hamstrings and the quadriceps, calves and glutes. The more you increase the incline the more these areas are impacted. And when you run your abdominals are also used.

    Furthermore, at a lower intensity the shoulders, back, pectorals and arms are also used. However, if you would like to use your upper body at a much higher intensity then try using hand weights.  

    Whereas, the exercise bike similar to the treadmill, exercises the cardiovascular system. Along with that it also focuses on working out the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and core muscles.

    When it comes to the upper body the stationary bike does not impact it much. However, in some cases it may seem as if the upper body is more toned. But this is due to the body losing weight overall.

    Nevertheless, it has been proved by the American Council of Exercise that a user who wants to focus on losing weight or toning a certain part of the body must use resistance workouts.

    Exercise Bike vs Treadmill for Weight Loss

    The main question of anyone who purchases an exercise machine is how it helps in weight loss. In that case exercise bike vs treadmill which is most suitable for weight loss?

    It is true that treadmills as well as exercise bikes are fat burning machines. However, in comparison to each other, treadmills burn more calories than exercise bikes. This is because of your position when working out.

    In an exercise bike your weight is supported because of the seat. But when running on a treadmill you’re carrying your entire body weight. There is also very limited movement in your upper body when you use an exercise bike.

    Treadmills are great for home gyms. It is one of the best cardio machines you will come across. No exercise machine can help you burn calories unlike the treadmill. Models that have an incline of 10% or more will help increase the amount of calories burnt. This will help to quicken your weight loss.

    However, the stationary bike too has certain points in its favor. Whilst being less demanding in comparison to a treadmill it too offers a thorough cardiovascular workout. Similar to a treadmill it’s easy to use and helps to strengthen muscles and lose weight.

    Furthermore, it is proved that 600- 700 calories will be burnt when you use a treadmill. Whereas, when you use a stationary bike only 400- 500 calories are burnt. Therefore, stationary biking for weight loss is less effective in comparison to treadmills.

    However, if you’re wondering ‘cycling how to lose weight?’ an assault bike workout such as the following will be very helpful in losing calories.

    Assault bike workouts

    Workout #1

    1 minute on: 2 minutes off

    You should aim maximum amount of calories during this session.

    Workout #2

    Minute 1: 2 calories

    Minute 2: 4 calories

    Minute 3: 6 calories

    Exercise Bike vs Treadmill for Toning Legs

    One of the main questions that you are probably thinking right now is: Stationary bike vs treadmill which is best for toning legs?

    Before we get to that point lets focus on ‘what is toning of legs?’ When we are born the muscles in our body has a natural shape to it. However, with time our muscles begin to shape according to the work we do.

    Such as if you are a person who works a job such as heavy lifting, you will begin to realize that your upper body is  more shaped than any other part in your body. This is because in this job you use your upper body a lot. This eventually gives it a good shape.

    The point is that, the muscles in our body can be shaped by the way we decide to work them. In this case you can use a treadmill or a stationary bike to do it. But what is the best option?

    Exercise bike for Toning Legs

    The main muscle that’s used when using an exercise bike is the quadriceps. If you want to modify your legs then make this muscle your target. Nevertheless, when you push the pedal your hamstring muscle begins to contract strength over your other muscles. Therefore, at a time you are working out your soleus, calf muscle and gastronomies.

     Nevertheless, the following are few steps that you can use in order to tone your legs:

    • Warm up- warming up your body for 10 minutes before working out is important for proper blood circulation. This helps to avoid any injuries.
    • Resistance level- Start with a simple resistance and gradually increase it.
    • Lose weight- first start off by focusing on losing weight. Do not rush it. Higher the resistance, higher the weight loss.
    • Time- it is important that you exercise at least 10 minutes every day. Within the last five minutes you should increase the speed. This will exercise your entire body whilst toning your legs. Do this for 3 months and you will begin to see results.

    Treadmill for Toning Legs

    When you walk or run your legs begin to tone and create a beautiful shape. This is because when you’re running on a treadmill your quads, calves, glutes and your hamstrings are impacted. Other than this, the treadmill is a fat burn machine that’s very helpful for your entire body.

    Nevertheless, follow the following steps in order to tone your legs.

    • Intensity- Start with a simple intensity and always begin with a 10 minute warm up.
    • Speed- begin with a speed of 3.5 or 4 mph. This is very important as starting at a high speed is not good for your heart.
    •   Increase speed- once you get used to the normal speed start increasing the speed by 3% or 4%. Do this every 5 to 10 minutes.
    • Time- do this for 3 months in order to see results.

    However, saying this which is the better option for toning legs?

    Both the treadmill and the stationary bike are equally good for toning legs. However, depending on its use they both have certain side effects. You can deal with these if you follow the proper guidelines.

     But stationary bikes are low impact knee exercises. Therefore, in comparison to treadmills they are less prone to side effects concerning the knees.


    Exercise bike

    • Low risk of injury
    • Not difficult to use
    • Gives lower body strength
    • Low impact exercise bike knees


    • In comparison to a stationary bike, the treadmill burns a higher number of calories
    • Easy to use
    • Consists of different inclines and speeds


    Exercise bike

    • Does not burn many calories in comparison to a treadmill.
    • Upper body is not used when using a stationary bike.
    • High chance of back pain due to the sitting position


    • High risk of injury on the back and knees
    • It is a high impact workout
    • There is a high fall risk due to the standing position

    Common Mistakes

    • Do not be deceived by pictures- Most people buy products by just looking at pictures. However, be aware that pictures can be edited to make it look good. But in reality you will be paying a high cost for gym equipment that does not look as good as the picture.
    • Overly cheap- be aware of overly cheap gym equipment. They may save a lot of money but chances are high that it’s of low quality. In that case you might have to spend more on repairs and breakdowns.
    • You can buy a branded treadmill or a stationary bike. Even though it’s expensive it is going to save money in the long term. As quality is guaranteed, breakdowns will be less frequent.
    • Avoid quick purchases- in the first few minutes of using fitness equipment it always seems fine. But it takes a proper workout of couple of hours in order to notice certain issues in the treadmill or stationary bike. Therefore do not be too quick in purchasing equipment always do a proper inspection before buying.

    Money Saving Tips

    • Internet shopping- Buying a product through the internet is one of the best ways to save money. As you will be able to purchase them at a much cheaper price. But always remember to read customer reviews, discussion forums and blog posts in order identify if the product is of high quality as they have honest opinions written by previous customers.
    •  Check for after sales services- always make sure to check for the warranty. This will help you to save money in case the machine breaks down. Furthermore, check the return policy and restocking fees.
    •  If you purchase equipment and later come to realize that it’s not suitable for you, or if you don’t like the quality then options such as return policies will be very important.
    • Make sure not to overbuy features- Many people make the mistake of buying equipment with the best features, they spend large amounts on this. But couple of months later these features go unused thus being a complete waste of money.
    • Always make sure to evaluate if you will be actually taking advantage of the features. If the answer is no then don’t buy it.


    Overall, the Exercise bike and treadmill are great exercise equipment especially for losing weight. They both are suitable to help solve certain issues such as obesity. If you are looking to tone your body these two exercise equipment are very beneficial.

    However, in comparison to each other, the treadmill is a better cardiovascular exercise equipment than the stationary bicycle. This does not mean the stationary bike is not suitable for losing weight but the treadmill does a better job at it.

    Nevertheless, in order to effectively lose weight stationary bicycle can be used with the help of certain workouts. This will help to lose weight much faster. In this case assault bike workouts will also help to lose weight at a much faster rate.

    But when it comes to the question exercise bike vs treadmill which is the better choice? The answer may vary according to certain areas/goals. Such as, if your goal is to cut down on calories then the treadmill wins out. But if your goal is to tone your legs then the stationary bike wins out.

    Just like that depending on certain areas one is better than the other. However, they both make great exercise equipment. So if you are looking to buy either one of them, always look into your goals and that decision will be made much easier for you.

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