When it comes to thinking about home gym ideas, there are so many different options. Two of the most popular at the moment are the cross trainer and the exercise bike. The exercise bike has been around for a while longer than the cross trainer and the familiarity is what draws a lot of people to it for the home gym.
Although the exercise bike does have its benefits, one question that pops up fairly frequently is whether to choose the cross trainer instead of the exercise bike for their home gym. In order to answer this question, it is important to figure out which one is better. To do this, it is important to look at the pros and cons of each machine to make a decision.
To help you decide on the best option for you, please read on below to find out more about the pros and cons of the exercise bike and the cross trainer.
The Cross Trainer
A cross trainer looks like a cross between an exercise bike and a stepping machine. These machines are powered by a flywheel and allow the user to mimic the movements of walking, running, climbing and more. Generally they have adjustable resistance levels and built in programs which allow you to really push your fitness.
If you have yet to use one of these machines at home or at the gym, then you are probably not aware of the many cross trainer benefits. Read on below to find out more.
- Suitable for All Fitness Types – The best thing about cross trainers is that they are suitable for all fitness types. Whether you are a complete beginner with poor fitness or a fitness fanatic who works out on a daily basis, you can benefit from using a cross trainer. The versatility of these machines allows you to work at your own pace and really build your fitness.
- Not Harsh on the Joints – One of the problems that you will find with a lot of workout machines is the fact that some of them can be very harsh on the joints, particularly the treadmill. If you have arthritis or any other joint condition then you are going to find it difficult to use these types of machines. The great thing about the cross trainer is that it is not harsh on the joints in the slightest so it is perfect for those with joint conditions.
- They Are Incredibly Versatile – If you go for a mid-range to high-end cross trainer then it is likely that it will come with a number of programs which allow you to mimic different movements such as walking, running and even climbing. The versatility of these programs allows you to keep your training regime interesting and really push your body to its limits.
- They Work Every Muscle Group – Another issue that you might face with certain types of work out machines is that they will only work specific areas of the body such as the back and shoulders or the legs. The cross trainer is different because it works all of your muscle groups in one work out from the gluteus maximus to the shoulders and everything in between. Different programs will allow you to focus more on specific areas.
- They Can Be Customised for a Better Work Out – Another of the great cross trainer benefits is that you are able to add different things to the machine to intensify your work out and target specific muscles, if you have bought a fairly high-end machine. For example, some cross trainers have fittings that will allow you to add something like a resistance band to work your back and shoulders more.
- They are More Effective than a Treadmill – Finally, there is the fact that a cross trainer is actually more effective than a treadmill, when it comes to burning calories. With a 30 minute work out on a cross trainer you are able to burn more calories than you would with a 30 minute workout on a treadmill, so if you are aiming to lose weight then a cross trainer is the machine that you need.
As you can see, there are a lot of benefits that come with using a cross trainer. Now let’s take a look at the exercise bike to see what benefits it has to offer.
The Exercise Bike
As we mentioned earlier, the exercise bike has been around for decades and along with the treadmill it is one of the most popular types of exercise machines. Whilst they do have their benefits, the cross trainer is generally a better option, but let’s take a look at what the exercise bike has to offer as it may still be a better option for you.
- They Are Great for Toning the Legs – When it comes to toning, there aren’t that many machines which allow you to get a cardio work out whilst toning at the same time, but the exercise bike is one of them. Because of the adjustable resistance levels, you are able to tone your legs as you get a good cardio workout.
- Good for Those with Low Fitness – One of the exercise bike benefits that might interest you is that they are particularly good for those with lower fitness levels. They are fairly low impact and the adjustable resistance levels allow you to start right at the bottom and gradually improve your fitness.
- They Are Especially Safe – One of the things that you will find with a lot of people is that they are put off using certain fitness machines because they worry about their safety. This is especially true of machines like the treadmill where injuries are easy to pick up. One of the good things about the exercise bike is that it is a fairly low risk machine. If you are worried about your safety then this is one machine that should definitely be considered.
- Compact – Another of the cross trainer benefits that is certainly worth keeping in mind is that these machines are generally quite compact. So, if you are low on space in your home gym then it is definitely worth considering the exercise bike as your next purchase.
As you can see, there certainly are some benefits of the exercise bike. However, overall, the cross trainer is the winner here and has to be the best option for the home gym because of its versatility, suitability for everyone and the fact that it works the whole body. If you are looking for home gym ideas then you should absolutely consider purchasing a cross trainer.