Getting the right elliptical for your body and budget!

Ellipticals vs. Bikes: How to Shred the Most Belly Fat with Cardio Equipment

(Last Updated On: July 6, 2022)

Ellipticals vs. Bikes: The Cardio Equipment Showdown

Excess belly fat possesses huge health risks, and it may shorten our lives too. Men are more susceptible to serious health issues if their waistlines are bigger than 40 inches (102 cm). On the other hand, women are regarded as obese if they have a waist measurement of 35 inches (89 cm) or more.

woman holding her belly fatThe higher the circumference of our waist is, the more belly fat is present to make fatal health conditions creep up. Belly fat increases the risks of having high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and even certain liver problems. So, it’s important to work diligently to keep our belly fat down.

If you’ve ever tried to lose belly fat, you know that it’s the most stubborn and difficult to get rid of. It’s something that we really have to work hard at. The most effective way to burn off fat in the abdominal area is cardio. But, you don’t have to kill yourself with crazy exercises in the process.

Experts suggest that it is best to have an elliptical or bike for belly fat reduction goals. These low impact cardio machines can help you shred off the fat, without performing insanely intense exercises. (Like – Burpees. No thanks. Enough said.)

In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of using an elliptical vs. a bike for burning calories so that you can decide which machine will be the best fit for your body and your budget. 

The Elliptical Machine

The elliptical training machine is widely used by low-impact-loving people across the globe. It is also popularly known among people as a cross-trainer machine. This is a stationary workout machine that is used in commercial settings, but also perfect for residential use as well. People who are too busy to hit the gym, or don’t want to pay sky-high membership prices, should consider opting for an in-home elliptical. 

The machine is built in a way that it can replicate different movement patterns at the same time like stair climbing, walking, and jogging without placing unnecessary stress on the joints. Since this machine offers a low-impact workout style, the chance of getting injured or aggravating existing injuries is very low. The best elliptical machines are equipped to help people with calorie burning, abdominal or belly fat reduction, and body toning. 

Benefits Of Having An Elliptical Machine

#1. Caloric Expenditure or Burn

ProForm Carbon EL EllipticalIf its your goal to reduce belly fat, the primary objective of your workout routine should be to burn the max amount of calories. Using an elliptical machine to perform cardio exercises is a great option to burn calories. According to an online calculator, the average 200 lb. person exercising on an elliptical at just a light resistance of level 2, can burn around 215 calories in 30 minutes. 

#2. Complete Body Workout

Despite having a belly fat reduction goal, its still important to focus on all-over body weight loss. Ellipticals are a great choice for this because they also help in performing a full-body workout involving arms, shoulders, and leg muscles (hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes).

#3. Low Impact

If you’re suffering from knee or joint ailments/injuries, performing strenuous cardio exercise becomes a bit risky.

Ellipticals are designed to exert very minimal pressure on the joints and keep you safe. So, this means that you can crush your fitness goals without having to worry about putting stress on your joints and muscles.

Drawbacks of Having an Elliptical Machine at Home

  • The most common complaint for ellipticals is that the movement is unnatural for some people. Some people just don’t like the movement patterns of ellipticals, or their body can’t quite get the hang of it.
  • Although low impact is a benefit for most people, there are high-intensity loving folks out there. If you’re looking for a really high intensity workout style, an elliptical is probably not the best choice for you.
  • If you want a wide variety of workout styles, you’ll likely feel that working out on an elliptical can be pretty monotonous.
  • Ellipticals can also be pretty heavy and bulky, so if you’re limited on space they might not be the best option.

The Exercise Bike

In the height of the cycling era, exercise bikes have become really popular. Understandably so, because cycling is one of the best cardio exercises to burn extra fat. However, if you do not have time to go outside for cycling, an exercise bike or stationary bike is will give you the option to reduce belly fat at home. 

If your goal is to burn extra calories to reduce belly fat, riding an exercise bike is not only efficient but also an effective technique. Performing exercise on bikes also helps to build up a healthy cardiovascular system, lungs, and toned muscles. A stationary bike offers an aerobic workout, while putting minimal strain on your joints.

Benefits of Having Exercise Bike at Home

#1. More Variety 

Bowflex Exercise BikeWith bikes, you have more variety and choices. All ellipticals regardless of the brand are pretty much designed the same, with the same movement pattern. With exercise bikes, you can choose between a few different styles to incorporate into your home. 

  • Cycling Bike – This style of bike is the kind you would expect to see in a studio class. It requires special shoes to latch into the bike pedals.
  • Recumbent Bike – A recumbent exercise bike allows you to sit in a sit with a backrest and simply pedal your legs. This is the most low impact choice, and great for those with serious injuries, pain, or the elderly.
  • Upright Bike – An upright bike mimics more of a bike that you would ride outdoors. You sit on a bicycle style seat in an upright positions and hold on to handlebars. These are more space friendly than recumbent or cycling bikes.

#2. Low-Impact

Just like the elliptical, exercise bikes are also a great option for a low impact workout. On the bike, you’re sitting down as opposed to standing on the elliptical. So, a bike would likely be a better choice for people who have more serious injuries or pain, or even those working through physical rehabilitation programs.  

#3. Improved Strength 

In comparison to the elliptical, exercise bikes really engage your core. You have to keep an upright posture, which will keep your abdominal muscles firing throughout the whole workout. Not only are your legs getting a good workout challenge by cycling against resistance, but you’ll be able to strengthen many parts of your body. A study completed showed that cycle training resulted in muscle growth and strength gain.

Drawbacks of Having an Exercise Bike at Home

  • Sitting on a bike for long periods of time probably sounds boring to a lot of people. While exercising on a stationary bike can be monotonous, keep in mind that you can use this time to easily catch up on your favorite binge-worthy shows. Or, blast your favorite workout playlist to help the time pass faster.
  • Stationary bikes can aggravate low back pain.
  • Exercise bikes don’t really do anything for your upper body. Although they challenge your core, your upper body isn’t doing any work.

Elliptical vs. Bikes: Which is Better to Shred Belly Fat?

Calories Burned

If we evaluate both the elliptical and bike’s performances in terms of calorie burn, a rough calculation states that the elliptical is slightly better at shredding away extra calories. Since the elliptical engages more muscles throughout your entire body, the caloric burn will be greater. 

Weight Loss

Elliptical vs. Bike ComparisonThe elliptical and bicycle equipment can both offer sufficient low-impact cardio workouts that can unquestionably aid in weight loss and belly fat reduction. The overall result after exercising on the elliptical and bike has been able to provide the same result in terms of weight loss. The most important factor in whichever machine that you choose is consistency, as well as good nutrition.

Cardiovascular Health

Both the elliptical and the bike are excellent for your cardiovascular health. The aerobic workout provided by the exercise bike and elliptical helps you and your body experience several cardiovascular and other medical benefits.

Core Strength and Abdominal Muscle Toning

When the goal is belly fat reduction, it requires core strengthening and abdominal muscle toning to achieve a top-notch result. Our research has specified that although both the elliptical and the exercise bike are beneficial for performing core strengthening, the exercise bike delivers a little better result due to having to maintain an upright posture.

Bottom Line: How to Shred Most Belly Fat With Cardio Equipment

The first step to starting the belly fat reduction journey involves opting for the right fitness equipment for your body and your budget. If you are looking for a low-impact fitness machine that helps reduce abdominal obesity, both ellipticals and stationary bikes work well. Our research shows that ellipticals are slightly more equipped when it comes to getting rid of extra calories, resulting in you losing belly fat faster.

Although, it should be noted that exercise alone is not enough to burn belly fat. You can’t just hop on your elliptical or bike everyday, go through the motions, and expect to see results.

Here are a few extra tips to help you be successful in losing the excess belly fat.

Prioritize Your Nutrition

Exercise is important, but what you put in your body is even more important. Studies have shown that what you eat is more important than what you do for exercise when it comes to keeping the weight off. Focus on eating a well balanced diet, with a majority of whole foods including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and protein.

Challenge Yourself

As we mentioned earlier, you don’t have to kill yourself while exercising to achieve results. But, with that being said, it is important to challenge yourself. If you get on your elliptical or bike everyday with no resistance and never challenge yourself, you probably won’t get the results that you want.

A good way to measure if you’re challenging yourself enough is heart rate monitoring.

The American Heart Association advises determining your maximum heart rate to know your targeted heart rate zone. Take 220 and deduct your age to determine your maximal heart rate. Aim to keep your heart rate between 50 and 85 percent of your maximum heart rate during cardio exercise.


An often neglected factor in shredding belly fat is sleep. Studies have shown over and over again that people who don’t get enough sleep tend to gain weight, particularly in the abdominal area. Make sure that you’re setting sleep goals, getting to bed early enough, and aiming for at least 7 hours of sleep per night.

Get Rid of the Stress

Reducing stress in our society today seems like an impossible task. But, it’s necessary to get rid of the fat in our belly area. Stress results in increased cortisol levels, which shows up in storing excess belly fat. Engage in activities that can help reduce your stress, like low impact workouts on our elliptical or bike. You may also want to consider trying out yoga or meditation.


If we compare closely, both ellipticals and bikes have their benefits and drawbacks. They also have some common advantageous features too.

So, if you want to start your weight loss journey but are confused about the product choice, rest assured that with either option you choose you’ll be getting a great cardio workout. Remember, losing weight and shredding belly fat is a journey that requires a well-rounded approach, not just focusing on your exercise.


Which is better an elliptical or a bike?

In terms of caloric burn, ellipticals recruit more muscles throughout the whole body and burn more calories in comparison to exercise bikes. This will aid in muscle growth, weight loss, and overall cardio health.

Which burns more fat elliptical or bike?

Ellipticals involve more muscle activation than bikes, which results in more calories burned, and more fat lost.

Does the elliptical work your stomach?

The elliptical doesn’t target the stomach directly. If you want a piece of cardio equipment that will target strengthening your abs, opt for an exercise bike. Bikes help to engage your core.

Which gym machine is the best for belly fat?

Ellipticals and bikes are both great low-impact options for cardio workouts that will help you burn calories and lose belly fat.

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elliptical vs bike

(Last Updated On: July 1, 2022)

Elliptical vs. Bike Comparison

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