Treadmill vs. Recumbent Bike- Which bike has more benefits?

Treadmills have long been the workout machine for a good cardio workout. Nowadays, recumbent bikes are up on the list because they also help you burn calories, tone your muscles and even boost your mood levels. So, which between the two is the best?

When you walk into a gym, it can be so easy to get overwhelmed with all the shiny, fancy fitness equipment. I know I was. Two of the most common equipment that I found in every gym I went to was the treadmill and recumbent bike. After using them, I found that they are both effective and worth your time. They will both help you burn the calories and get your cardio workout in.

While you can incorporate both treadmills and recumbent bikes in your fitness routine, you cannot use them at the same time. This is where I come in. I have tested and researched on both these equipment to help you figure out which one is the best for you.

What are the key differences between the Treadmill and Recumbent Bike?

Recumbent Bike
73″ L x 36″ W x 54″ H
60â€L x 25.5â€W x 52â€H
Weight Capacity
Display Size
5-14 inches
Mini sized
Workout programs, dual speakers for your music, SMART Response Motor
Arm exercisers, pulse sensors

Treadmill vs. Recumbent Bike- How do they differ?

Riding Experience

The treadmill comes with a platform you can stand on and choose from the console the kind of workout you want. For instance, you can choose a high inclination and fast speeds to mimic running up a hill.

Contrarily, a recumbent bike has a more laid back design. You get to sit on a comfortable chair pedal and even watch your favorite series as you get your workout in. If you are looking for a more challenging workout, changing the resistance is simple with the flick of the dial resistance. A recumbent bike is also designed with a backrest and can be used with arm exercisers.

If you are out for a relaxed riding experience, the recumbent bike is for you as you get to sit while working out. A treadmill on the other hand has you standing as you walk or run. It wins out by delivering on a challenging riding experience.


Are you a fitness die-hard? Do you like pushing your body really hard at the gym? A treadmill is designed for novices as well as fitness enthusiasts who are out for a really challenging workout. The ProFormtreadmill for instance comes with sixteen workout programs, automatic incline and up to 10mph speeds. With such a treadmill, you can focus on specific muscle groups as well as ramp up the performance according to your skills.

On the flipside, a recumbent bike offers a gentler workout experience. For example, if you are recently recovering from an injury or usually have joint/back pains, then the recumbent bike is better suited for you. A recumbent bike is also a better pick if you are overweight. Also, if you prefer a less strenuous exercise that you can even watch your TV while at it then the recumbent bike is for you.

If you are extremely fit, a treadmill is a better pick as it delivers on a highly intense workout when you need it.

Calorie Burn Potential

Another stark difference between the treadmill and recumbent bike is the number of calories you can burn with each. For the recumbent bike, a rather moderate workout for 30 minutes can help you lose up to 260 calories. On the other hand, if you go on a moderate jog on the treadmill, you can lose up to 300 calories for the same amount of time. Keep in mind that for both, going faster or adding more resistance can help you burn the calories more.

You are assured of the toned muscles, tucked in tummy and calorie burn whichever machine you settle for. They both have impressive calorie burn potential.

Treadmill vs. Recumbent Bike – A Comparison Overview

Treadmill- Overview

Treadmill vs. Recumbent Bike

A treadmill is an indoor workout machine that simulates walking or running outdoors depending on what you are out for. With average speeds of around 15mph and inclination options, you can really burn the calories as if you were running up a hill. You are assured of a lot of variety with your workouts because you can go on a casual walk on your treadmill as well as train for a marathon.

With a treadmill, you are also assured of a lower body workout as well as your upper body muscles like the heart. If you love running, a treadmill is definitely made for you. It is designed to work with a moving belt. Once you get your balance and pace right, the treadmill keeps you on the move.

The only downer with using a treadmill is that it does put you at risk of many injuries like on your calves or knees because of how strenuous it can get. Also, if you miss your step you can easily fall if the belt was moving fast. They also do take up quite some space.


  • Burns more calories especially when on a steep incline
  • Easily customizable workouts
  • Good fit for a wide range of people


  • Needs regular maintenance
  • Relatively high risk of injuries

Recumbent Bike- Overview

[amazon box=”B072JHYQGC” template=”horizontal” ]

A recumbent bike is like a stationary bicycle only that it comes with abackrest and pedals that are way in front of your body. Coupled with the handlebars that naturally extend in front of the shoulders, a recumbent bike is all you need for a low-impact workout that will still help you keep fit. At low injury risk, you still get a whole load of strengthening and fitness benefits.

Recumbent bikes are also designed to keep you comfortable throughout your workouts. It comes with a high enough backrest and comfortable seat for your ease of use. Once you start riding, this bike helps you work your lower body muscles like your glutes, quadriceps and hamstring. Another plus is even if you ride for a long time, you will be much less fatigued with a recumbent bike.

The only downer with recumbent bikes is that they may not be challenging enough for everyone. This is especially true if you do not get a bike with many resistance levels.


  • Requires minimal maintenance
  • Low-impact and low risk workout
  • Takes up minimal space especially if foldable


  • Can get monotonous

View Price on Amazon

Conclusion: So, which is better- Treadmill vs. Recumbent Bike?

After reviewing both, the treadmill proves to be the best value for your money. As long as you use it regularly, you can easily hit your fitness goals with this machine. Treadmills also offer a wide range of workout options to make them a good fit with anyone. Just be sure to not overwork yourself as like with running, a treadmill can put too much strain on your body.


  1. Which exercise equipment is better for people with back pains or bad knees?

Recumbent bikes are better because they do not exert a lot of pressure on your joints and muscles. For treadmills, they get that jarring motion on your knees going. That can be bad especially if you are at high risk for injuries.

  1. Which one is more expensive?

It all depends on the model you go for but treadmills tend to be more expensive.