When it comes to choosing between a treadmill and a bike for your home gym, the decision can be tough. Both machines have their perks and pitfalls.

So, which one is better for weight loss? And is there a clear winner when it comes to overall fitness? In this blog post, we will explore the differences between these two pieces of equipment and help you decide which one is right for you.

Investing in home gym equipment can be daunting. The right piece of equipment can help you to stay motivated and on track with your training plan. But if you choose wrong, it can be an expensive mistake. So, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using a treadmill or bike as your main piece of equipment.

Is a Treadmill or Bike Better

The perks of a treadmill

The treadmill is one of the most popular pieces of home gym equipment. It is perfect for those who want to focus on cardio training. You can walk, jog and run, all from the comfort of your own home.

A climate-controlled run is one of the biggest perks of a treadmill. You’ll never have to worry about battling the wind, rain or blazing sun again. It’s also perfect for women who might not feel safe running outdoors alone, particularly in the early morning or late evening.

Many treadmills also offer the option to adjust the incline, allowing you to increase the intensity of your workout with an uphill run.

What muscle groups can you hit on a treadmill?

A treadmill primarily works the lower body muscle groups and the cardiovascular system. Regular use of a treadmill will hit your quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves. You can increase focus on the glutes by increasing the incline.

What workouts can you do with a treadmill?

A treadmill is perfect for walking, jogging and running. Many people use a treadmill to run for a specific distance or time. It’s also suitable for HIIT, whereby you would sprint for a short period, followed by a recovery period.

You could also enjoy a low-intensity steady-state (LISS) cardio workout using your treadmill. This involves doing low to moderate-intensity exercise for a continuous period. An incline walk would be the perfect example of this.

The perks of a stationary bike

A stationary bike or spin bike is another popular piece of home workout kit. You can adjust the resistance of the bike to make it harder to pedal, simulating the sensation of riding uphill in an outdoor setting. Like a treadmill, you can enjoy all of the benefits of outdoor cycling without any of the risks.

 Is a Treadmill or Bike Better

You don’t have to invest in an expensive Peloton bike to enjoy the group spin class experience from the comfort of your home. You can use any stationary bike or spin bike and follow along with online workout classes. You could pay a small monthly subscription for access to Peloton or Les Mills classes. You could also search YouTube for free spin classes.

What muscle groups can you hit on an indoor bike?

An upright stationary bike workout offers a little more flexibility than a treadmill. When pedalling, you’ll hit your calves, hamstrings and quads. Standing up while pedalling will allow you to hit your core, back and glutes. And pushing your weight forward onto your arms will also work upper body muscles, including biceps, triceps and shoulders. You’ll also work your cardiovascular system. 

An indoor bike workout is a low impact exercise, so it could be preferable for those with knee and hip problems.

What workouts can you do with an indoor bike?

Like a treadmill, an indoor bike is suitable for HIIT workouts, which will challenge your strength and endurance. You can also cycle for a target distance or time, keeping the resistance the same throughout.

Following along with a video workout class will help you to target different muscle groups and make the most of your workout.

Which is better for weight loss?

If your primary goal is weight loss, then both will help you to achieve this. The best option will be the one that you are most likely to stick with for the long term. In order to lose weight, you need to take a consistent approach to exercise and diet. 

So when choosing between a treadmill and a bike, you will need to consider which one will keep you motivated to workout. Using your home gym cardio equipment as part of a wider training programme is a great way to achieve this.

By this, we mean that you should use the treadmill or bike as a way to improve your stamina, endurance and cardiovascular fitness. This could be in preparation for a race, event or another challenge. This shifts the focus away from weight loss (which is admittedly quite boring) and puts the focus on something that will sustain your interest for longer.

Which is better for building muscle?

Both will help to increase muscle volume and definition. However, if your primary goal is to build muscle, focusing on cardio workouts is not the best way to achieve this. Cardio can be an effective part of a strength training programme, but it shouldn’t be your only focus. Combining cardio workouts with resistance training would be ideal for this goal.

Should I buy a treadmill or an indoor bike?

The easiest way to answer this question is to think about which one you are most likely to use. Either workout will be better than no workout, so when deciding between a treadmill and an indoor bike, this should be your primary concern.

You should also consider how much space you have in your home. While some treadmills will fold up so you can store them upright, not all of them have this feature. If space is a concern, an indoor bike or a folding treadmill would be ideal.

Your budget will also determine if you choose a treadmill or an indoor bike. Treadmills tend to be more expensive than bikes as they can be larger and contain more moving parts. And both machines will require care and maintenance, but a treadmill is more likely to require professional repairs due to the electrical components.