Is a Spin Bike better than a Treadmill?

Fitness is an essential component of healthy living.  Treadmills and spin bikes are great to fuel your cardio blasts at the gym or in the comfort of your home. One question that nags the minds of most fitness enthusiasts is which one among the two is your best bet?

Pretty fit woman on the spin bike smiling at camera at the gym

Let’s compare the two equipment and how to pick the right one for our fitness goals. Both machines get your heart rate up and help you torch those stubborn calories.

Are you ready to move it, get sweaty and set some calories on fire?


Calorie Burn


A 30-minute running session on a treadmill can burn up to 350 calories while the same timed workout on a spin bike can burn up to 260 calories at 6mph for a 160-pound adult. Spinning classes are quite intense, and if you push yourself, you can burn up to 600 calories.

You torch more calories running on a treadmill than cycling on a spin bike. With a treadmill, you support your entire weight while with a spin bike your weight rests on the seat. Also, there is less movement with a spin bike than a treadmill.

But if you spend more extended workout periods on a spin bike, you can burn the same calories like with a treadmill.

Interval training on a treadmill builds up the number of calories you are likely to burn per session and increases your rate of metabolism even after your workout.

Motorized treadmills allow you to set the pace and intensity of your exercise while the moving belts help you to maintain your desired speed and strength. With a treadmill, you can torch more calories 25% more calorie loss than you would if using a spin bike,

Spin bikes are manual systems, and it’s up to you to keep up the pace and intensity of your workout and build up resistance to get the ideal results. This can be quite difficult, and you are more than likely to drift away and tone down on the intensity.


Joint Impact and Health


Spinning is a low impact gentle exercise on your joints than running on a treadmill.  If you experience knee, ankle or hip pain, running on a treadmill can cause greater stress on your joints because of the jarring motion on your knees and especially if you are landing heel first.

If you are using a treadmill ensure you plant your forefoot first on the floor, then roll your sole to land your heel if not you are at a higher risk of developing severe joint injuries.

Spinning bikes, on the other hand, do not affect your lower body and minimal impact on your joints. Spinning is ideal if you are prone to lower back pain because it does not put pressure on your lower back muscles.

Are you on the hunt for the ideal spinning bike? This site compares spinning bikes and it is your one-stop-shop for the ideal spinning bike for your fitness needs.


Mind your Gait


The stance you take during cycling can spell doom for your posture. As you activate your quadriceps, your hips tighten, and your back bends giving you a bad posture. It is vital you keep your spine neutral instead of hunching at the lower back to maintain a stronger and healthier spine.  Also, ensure you stretch out your legs after a workout session.


Target Muscles


Spin bikes are treadmills are ideal lower body muscle builders especially your legs, thighs, and glutes.  You get curvy, strong butt muscles and shapely legs. Treadmills work your main muscles including your quads, hamstrings, calves, shins, glutes and to a smaller extent your arms and core.

Spin cycling works similar muscles as treadmills and also strengthens your triceps, core, biceps, and lats.

Treadmills build large, thick thighs and calf muscles than spin bikes. They are an ideal option for footballers, rugby players, back racers and sprinters. They also give you powerful cardio blasts for a stronger core.


Joint Injury Rate


A treadmill puts you at higher risk of tearing your joints and developing joint injuries. You could also lose your footing and fall off the machine resulting in serious injuries.

A spinning bike presents three critical types of injuries you are likely to encounter:

Butt pain: this is a result of prolonged seating. To prevent butt pain wear padded undergarments or cover the seat with a gel seat cover to ease your discomfort.

Back/shoulder pain: you get this because of arching your back and assuming a hunched stance for a prolonged period.

Knee pain: knee pain results from the perpetual circular motion made with the legs.


Machine Maintenance


Spin bikes require relatively little maintenance. You only need to keep it clean and firmly fasten the bolts and nuts. You can replace the resistance pad every year and lubricate the chain drive from time to time. Good news is that you don’t need a skilled technician and you can DIY.

But after several years of frequent use, you need a technician to change the belt drive.

Most treadmills are motorized, and the electric motor needs extra care to keep in good shape. Treadmills are quite involving when it comes to their maintenance. The electric motor and the console require proper maintenance by a skilled technician. Also, ensure the treadmill is always clean, and the bolts and nuts are correctly fastened.

Bottom line

Whichever machine you opt for, both treadmills and spin bikes are equally valid for your fitness goals. But if you tend to experience lower back, cycling is your best solution, and if you tend to have a poor gait, running is your best bet.

Consider a cross-training regime inclusive of both treadmill and spin bike workouts to fuel your workout regime, blast off those calories and spice up your workouts to help you achieve your fitness goals.

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