Recumbent Bike versus Elliptical Bike which is the Better


If you are looking for low impact equipment for training, you will have to make an in-depth inspection of the recumbent and elliptical bicycles. I thought it is good to come up with an article on the recumbent bike vs. elliptical bikes. Some people use these machines in the gym while others have them in their homes, making it easy to exercise.

Therefore, it is good to know more about recumbent bike vs elliptical bikes from this link. Whereas both bikes train the same lower body muscle groups, they differ slightly in features and how they work.

These machines can work on some of the same lower body muscles, including calf muscles, hamstrings, glutes, core, and quadriceps. Remember, these bikes are also essential for warming up your body before heavy exercises such as lifting weights.

What is a recumbent bike?

A recumbent bike is a type of exercise bicycle that requires the rider to sit in a reclining position. This type of bike is tremendous and exercising with it is incredible for many people.

Exercise bikes are practical because they don't consume too much space compared to other machines. Therefore, you can install a recumbent bike in your home and carry out your workout right there instead of going to the gym.

A recumbent bike is suitable for seated exercise as you can pedal it for body comfortability and reduce weight. Some people enjoy doing cardio exercises while standing, others while sitting. Moreover, a recumbent bike can support your back through its comfortable seat; it works on your upper body muscles by relaxing them and concentrates on lower body muscles and your cardiovascular system. This design will provide you with full support for your back.

What is an elliptical bike?

We can also refer to an elliptical bike as a cross-trainer. Indeed, this cross trainer is a practical machine for cardio exercises such as the cardiovascular system, i.e., your blood vessels for blood circulation in your body and the heart. Using this type of exercise bicycle can reduce the risk of contracting cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and hypertension.

Some examples of elliptical bikes include compact elliptical bikes, long stride elliptical bikes, and stepper ellipticals.

Difference between recumbent bikes vs. elliptical bike

Again, these two types of exercise bicycles are suitable for exercising the lower body, especially the glutes, flexors, hamstrings, and quads.

Below are some of the critical differences that exist between the two types of bikes.

The engaged muscle groups

Elliptical exercise bikes can offer both your upper body and lower body support because it comes with handles. Therefore, it involves both your hands and legs while using it; therefore, you can strain, but the whole body gets fit.

Moreover, this type of exercise bike offers an excellent workout for your back muscles by concentrating on the core muscles and boosting the lower back.  Because of doing exercise while standing, you will involve both the glute muscles and the arms.

On the other hand, recumbent exercise bikes are suitable for lower body fitness only. This type of bike is the right choice strengthening your hamstrings compared to an elliptical machine.

The reason behind this is the capability of a recumbent exercise bike to stretch your legs horizontally and not vertically. With this type of bike, there are small chances for a rider to engage different muscles because of its seat design that cannot allow you to stand.

Therefore, abdominal muscles can't benefit from this type of machine because of the seated position and slight recline.

Burning Calories 

As a result of a recumbent bike's comfortability, many people prefer using recumbent bikes to elliptical ones. Furthermore, the rate at which you will be pushing the pedals will be more challenging and faster with a recumbent bike. This will cause more calories to be burned. The level of effort plays a pivotal role when burning calories.

On the other hand, experts attest that using an elliptical bike can burn up to 30% calories, which is more than recumbent bikes. Due to this reason, this type of exercise bicycle is more effective equipment for a warm-up and cardio exercise than its counterpart. Besides, the machine involves both lower and upper body exercises.


When differentiating the two types of exercise bikes, you will find that a recumbent bike is more convenient when using it because of its comfortable seat, which reduces pressure and offers support to your back. The elliptical exercise bike has no core, and you can only exercise in a standing posture.

However, sometimes the position of the seat in a recumbent bike may cause unwanted injuries and stress. So, if you decide to use such an exercise bicycle, remember to position the core well.

Injury risks

When we talk about the risk of injuries, an elliptical bike might be uncomfortable because of its smaller seat than recumbent. On the other hand, recumbent bikes offer maximum support and safety because of their comfortable and safer seat.

You don't have to stand while using the machine, and therefore you will experience minimal injury risks with a recumbent exercise bike.

Considering user-friendliness

Unlike elliptical bikes, the recumbent type of exercise bikes provides you with comfort, support, and easy-to-use design, enabling you to exercise for an extended time. Recumbent bikes also don't require any experience than its counterpart.

You need to be careful when using an elliptical exercise bike than recumbent because if you miss the peddle, it results in an injury.

Comparison table between Recumbent bike vs. Elliptical bike


Elliptical bike: Offers both upper and lower body workout.

Recumbent bike: Suitable for lower body workout only.


Elliptical bike: Less convenient.

Recumbent bike: More convenient.


Elliptical bike: Some risk due to smaller seats.

Recumbent bike: Offers maximum safety thus minimal risks.

Ease of Use

Elliptical bike: Requires some experience.

Recumbent bike: Easy to use.

Frequently asked questions

What is the similarity between recumbent and elliptical bikes?

These two types of exercise bikes are suitable for exercising for the lower body, especially the glutes, flexors, hamstrings, and quads. Moreover, the machines are essential for warming up your body before heavy exercises such as weight.

Between recumbent and elliptical bikes, which one is more comfortable?

Comfortability depends on the rider; however, many people prefer using recumbent exercise bikes rather than elliptical ones because of their comfortable seats and minimal injury risks.


From the above report, we can conclude that both recumbent and elliptical bikes are useful for body fitness and fat reduction. Thus, recumbent bike vs. elliptical becomes out today's topic, developing some critical differences between the two exercise bikes.

I recommend you go for a recumbent bicycle for comfortability and an elliptical exercise bike for cardiovascular body exercise.