Treadmill Vs. Bike – Which Cardio Machine Is Better & Why?

Some people use bikes, others use treadmills. There are lots of them in local gyms, so you probably ask yourself – which one is better? When into losing calories, burning fat, and pushing your cardio condition, you obviously want the most effective machine. Alternating between exercises is definitely a good idea, but then, which one of them is more effective?

Comparing the treadmill vs. bike machines will give you a lot of valuable insights and some detailed information on how each of them works. Moreover, they often target different parts of your body. In theory, both runners and bikers have great physical conditions, so they both work. But then, which one is better? Whether you want to exercise in a gym or you build a home gym, here is what you need to know.

Treadmill or exercise bike for belly fat

In theory, a treadmill will allow you to burn more belly fat. You will burn more calories. This is because of your position. When using a bike, your weight is supported by the seat. When you walk or run, you carry the weight and push it forward, so you make a bigger effort. The upper body will not move too much on an exercise bike either.

However, while treadmills burn more, bikes are easier to use. Without so much effort, you can work out for much longer. Eventually, you will balance them – time versus effectiveness. There is no pressure on joints, so you feel comfortable for longer. But then, this is not about burning calories – there are more ways to do it. This is about burning belly fat.

While a bike will, indeed, help a little with the belly fat, the actual activity of walking or running will give you better results. The bike is more efficient for the lower body. The treadmill works wonders on the whole body. Overall, running is one of the best-rated activities for weight loss, regardless of the condition – therefore, the treadmill is king against belly fat.

Treadmill vs. bike for weight loss

Weight loss is basically a fat loss. You want to burn calories while retaining muscle. The term is often used the wrong way. You are not trying to lose weight, but fat. You want to look lean, fit into your clothes, and show off a great figure. At this point, you need to lose fat and burn calories. The good news is both cardio machines will work wonders in the long run.

Their operating principles make the difference again. The treadmill uses your whole body. You use the top, as your arms will obviously balance. You use the lower body as well in order to walk. Things get even better if you run. Sure, you will get tired faster. The bike supports your weight, so there is less effort involved. You will burn less calories, but you will go on for longer.

No one wants to work out for three hours. If you can use the treadmill for an hour and burn 1,000 calories, you would rather do that. It is more efficient than using the bike for a couple of hours to burn the same amount of calories. Therefore, if you are after shedding fat throughout the whole body, running is the best exercise when comparing the treadmill vs. bike.

Treadmill vs. bike for glutes

Now, you want to work on your butt. You want it rounder and firmer, rather than flabby. Exercises for glutes and thighs work wonders. The good news is you can also use cardio exercises to work on your glutes. If you can do more things at once, why not? Now, walking inevitably works on your butt, but so does cycling.

Running on the treadmill is a high-impact exercise. It will work on your joints as well – especially the knees. It is not sustainable, meaning you cannot do it for hours. It offers both lower and upper body benefits though. The constant activity of walking or running will affect the glutes and reshape them in the long run.

On another hand, a bike is normally more efficient. It is focused on the lower part of the body. There is not too much going on above the waist – sure, pushing knees up will work on the abs a bit, but this is pretty much it. But then, if you are after a round and firm butt, a stationary bike will give you a better workout for calves, thighs, and glutes.

Treadmill vs. bike for seniors

Treadmills could be seen as intense workout machines because your whole body is needed to walk or run. Bikes are lighter and mostly affect the lower body. You sit down as well. While it may not be as efficient overall, the bike has a lower injury risk than a treadmill – it is also great for those recovering after injuries.

However, treadmill manufacturers have noticed this trend among seniors. At the end of the day, the upper body is just as important, and walking – or running if you are able – is a great overall workout. These days, seniors can also find specific treadmills specifically designed for them. They are not that sophisticated and they are less likely to cause any injuries due to a bunch of safety features.

Best treadmills on the market

There are lots of options to choose from and some treadmills are just better for seniors than others. For example, Goplus has designed a small treadmill that folds and does not require an actual installation. It is quiet, comes with more speeds, and features a nonslip running belt. On the other hand, Weslo’s Crosswalk treadmill provides arm support to prevent falls. It is easy to set up, use, and adjust.

SereneLife’s Smart Electric unit is worth some attention too if you are after multiple training modes. It is not too sophisticated, so you can set it up without too much hassle even if you are not tech-savvy. Finally, Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7515 is compact, has more connectivity options, a pulse monitor, arm support, and more modes.

Best exercise bikes on the market

Harison’s recumbent bike is a great choice for seniors. It is quite compact and features a superior resistance system to ensure a smooth ride. It has a step-through design, so there is no need to do gymnastics to get on and off the bike. The take’s under desk alternative is just as handy. It is solid and you can sit in your favorite armchair while pedaling.

Marcy has also created a durable piece of equipment with a step-through design. While simple, it does have a few handy features to monitor your results. Most importantly, it has a power pulse sensor and a heart rate monitor. Finally, if space is an issue in your bungalow or apartment, Xterra’s Fitness FB350 is foldable and ideal for home gym uses – it comes with a decent screen as well.

Is a bike or treadmill better for belly fat?

When it comes to belly fat, the treadmill is a better choice and for some obvious reasons. You work on your whole body. You need to push your body forward and stay straight. Whether you run or walk, these are some of the best exercises to keep stubborn fat away from your belly. The faster you go, the faster the results will be – simple as that.

It makes common sense. A bike mostly works on the lower body. Sure, pedaling will push your knees up towards the abs. You will get some decent results on the belly fat too, but such workouts are mostly recommended for calves and thighs. If you need to lose fat fast, walking or running will be a better choice, so go for a treadmill.

Which is better for cardio treadmill or bike?

Cardio implies boosting your cardio function and burning fat. You get rid of calories and reshape your whole body. When comparing treadmill vs. bike, both of them can give you some good results. However, the bike is mostly aimed at the lower part of the body. On the other hand, the treadmill will burn more calories throughout the whole body. It is more efficient, despite being less comfortable.

Is a treadmill or exercise bike better for your knees?

The exercise bike works on the lower body. If you need to work on your knees, this is the better choice. A treadmill will imply pushing your body forward all the time. Whether you walk or you run, there will be extra pressure on your knees, as well as other joints in the lower body. Therefore, if your knees are a bit weak, an exercise bike is a much better option.


Bottom line, there is no such thing as an obvious winner when comparing treadmill vs. bike. It depends on what your goals are, as well as your fitness level. Some people will do better with a treadmill, while others will find better results with an exercise bike. Your current condition and long-term plans dictate the final decision.