Spin Bike vs Elliptical

When it comes to working out, there are many different options to choose from. You can go for a run, hit the gym, or take a spin class. 

But what is the best workout? 

Is it better to ride a spin bike or use an elliptical machine? This blog post will compare the two and help you decide which one is right for you!

Elliptical vs Spin Bike: Muscles Worked

From treadmills to stairmasters to stationary bikes – there is often a lot of debate about which one works your muscles the best or gives you the biggest fitness gains. 

Tl;dr: Both spin bikes and ellipticals work out many muscle groups. 

However, when targeting specific areas like the quads, glutes, calves, or core muscles, some machines may be better than others. It all depends on what you’re looking for.

In general, an elliptical offers a smooth range of motion that is less likely to cause injury compared to the jarring experience of a spin bike, making it ideal for building strength in the lower body. On the other hand, a spin bike may be preferable if you want to build strength in your core and upper body. 

Ultimately, choosing a spin bike or an elliptical as part of your workout routine depends on your fitness goals and personal preferences. But either way, you can rest assured that these popular cardio machines will help you get fit and stay healthy!

Calories Burned

elliptical compared to spinning bike

Which burns more calories: a spin bike or an elliptical cross trainer? The answer may surprise you. While both cardiovascular exercises offer a great workout, studies have shown that ellipticals can help you burn more calories in the same amount of time. 

Yes, even though they’re low-impact.

Let’s look at the numbers:

People burn an average of 260 calories in 30 minutes on a spin bike, while they torch 270–378 calories in the same amount of time on an elliptical. 

While both machines tone your muscles and improve your endurance, reach for the elliptical for a calorie-burning cardio workout that will leave you feeling sweaty and satisfied.

Cross Trainer vs Spin Bike: Belly Fat Burn

There is no doubt that burning fat is an essential component of staying healthy and maintaining a healthy weight. But which exercise machine can help with this goal? 

Some people swear by spin bikes, while others are more inclined towards using ellipticals. 

Ultimately, which of these machines is most effective for burning belly fat depends on several factors, including: 

  • Your fitness level 
  • The intensity of your workout
  • Your individual body type

For example: 

  • Someone with limited time may be better off using a spin bike since it can provide a high-intensity workout in a relatively short amount of time. 
  • Someone who is just starting with exercise may be better off choosing an elliptical or other low-impact option that is easier on the body and causes less strain. 

Remember: People respond differently to exercise based on their body composition and body fat percentage. Thus, some trial and error may be necessary before finding what works best for you.

Pro tip: If you want to burn deep-tissue abdominal fat, purchase an elliptical or spin bike with built-in HIIT programs. HIIT is scientifically proven to assist long-term visceral fat burn from all body areas, including your abs.


spinning vs elliptical

One key difference between the two is adjustability. 

Spin bikes typically have more adjustable features than ellipticals, which means they can be tailored to fit a broader range of body types. 

This difference makes spin bikes a better choice for people of all heights, from petite to tall. 

In addition, spin bikes usually have more resistance levels than ellipticals, so you can tailor your workout to your fitness level. 

Elliptical vs Spin Bike: Joint and Back Impact

While both of these machines provide an excellent workout for your cardiovascular system and muscles, they place different strains on your body. 

Spin bikes are considered more intense than ellipticals when it comes to impact on the joints and back. 

Because of their angled design, spin bikes tend to put more pressure on the knees and ankles than ellipticals. Additionally, the up-and-down motion that occurs with spinning is harder on your back than an elliptical’s smooth gliding motion. 

Don’t forget about the pressure on your shoulders.

But, if you’re sitting instead of standing, spin bikes become gentler on your knees, back, and shoulders than ellipticals. That’s because you’re using them as a regular stationary bike in this position.

Here’s the problem:

Sitting for long periods on your spin bike may give you some epic tailbone pain. These indoor cycles are explicitly designed for alternating sitting and standing as well as for speed. As a result, they have narrower seats with less padding.

Remember: If you’re planning to sit on your spin bike for longer, choose a model with more seat cushioning. 

Related: Why does My Bum Hurt after Indoor Cycling?


Spin bikes tend to be more affordable than ellipticals due to their simple design and construction. While higher-end models may offer additional features, such as digital displays or magnetic resistance, the basic structure of a typical spin bike is much less complex than that of an elliptical. 

On the other hand, ellipticals are typically larger and more expensive due in part to the fact that they generally have multiple moving parts. Overall, when considering cost alone, most people would choose a spin bike over an elliptical for home use. 

However, there may be situations where it makes more sense to invest in an elliptical instead. 

For example, if you’re looking for a low-impact, total-body machine that torches a lot of calories with low perceived effort, an elliptical is likely better. 

So while the price difference may be significant in some cases, it should not be the only factor you consider when making this decision. Ultimately, which machine is right for you will depend on your individual preferences and fitness goals.


cross trainer or spin bike

Spin bikes take up considerably less room than ellipticals, making them a better choice for small apartments or home gyms. In addition, spin bikes tend to be more compact and lightweight, meaning they can be easily moved around if needed. 

You can even find some fantastic foldable spin bikes.

However, ellipticals’ larger size means they offer more stability during workouts. As a result, ellipticals are typically the better choice for people who have the space for them.

Pro tip: You can always find a compact or even foldable elliptical if you’re reading the right articles.


So, which is better – a spin bike or an elliptical? 

The answer to this question depends on your individual fitness goals, needs, preexisting conditions, and preferences. 

If you’re looking for a machine that offers a great workout with minimal impact on the joints, an elliptical is a good choice. On the other hand, if you’re looking for an intense workout experience, a spin bike is the way to go. 

Whichever machine you choose, try it out at your local gym or fitness studio before purchasing. That way, you can be sure you’re getting the best possible equipment for your needs. 

Mary D. Brown

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