When it comes to indoor cardio workouts, few machines stand out more than treadmills and indoor cycles. These two types of machines are going to give you different workouts and you’re going to feel very different after finishing your exercise.
In regards to indoor cycles, they try to mimic actual bikes as much as possible without the need of having to go anywhere. Riding on a bike and running on your two feet are very different experiences. They work different muscle groups but both require a mental fortitude in order to build up your stamina. As with all indoor cardio machines, there are advantages and disadvantages to purchasing one type of machine over the other. Here we will explore the differences between treadmills and indoor cycles to help you determine which machine is best for you.
Keep in mind that these comparisons will most look at the benefits to your body, as we all know they are accessible machines. While you’re at it, check out our other guides where we compare treadmills and ellipticals, and ellipticals and indoor cycles.
- Closer to an actual biking experience and allows for different levels of resistance training.
- Works a variety of muscles due to the positioning of your body.
- Built primarily for endurance enhancement.
- Since treadmills give you a more accurate “running” experience than ellipticals, they may be preferable to people looking to gain as close to an experience with outdoor running as possible when outdoor running isn’t feasible (injury, weather, etc.).
- The platform a treadmill operates on can be raised or lowered to mimic certain terrain.
- If outdoor running is too strenuous on your knees and ankles, a treadmill can be a setting where stress isn’t as big of a factor.
- Still not the same as riding on an outdoor bike (tires on the ground and turning).
- Stationary positioning gives the body an unnatural feeling when switching between indoor and outdoor bikes.
- Running on the treadmill is not the same as running on actual gravel, sidewalks, concrete, etc. The even conveyer belt your feet impact can give your body a false interpretation of what actual ground is like (injury!).
- This is a big one. A treadmill may seem like a safer option since it is indoors and relatively easy. However, if your body is more accustomed to running outdoors, you should try and stick with that as much as possible.
- If you’re looking to simply gain a new experience with cardio, the treadmill can become repetitive and boring.
- Not ideal for training for competitive running.
We might have a clear winner in this case—indoor cycles. The disadvantages posed by indoor cycles aren’t exactly harmful to your body unless you plan to alternate between indoor and outdoor bikes after spending a long time on either one. Treadmills are certainly accessible running machines but indoor cycles are going are going to give you a more authentic outdoor experience (not by much, but still a clear distinction).
There is a clear difference between biking and running and both are going to give you a good cardio experience. As usual, it depends on the type of workout you want to get out of these machines as both are going to work different muscles.