What Is a Better Exercise on the Butt & Thigh, the Elliptical or a Bicycle?

Elliptical machines use a circular motion to work your muscles.
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Elliptical machines and exercise bikes have a lot in common. They both use a circular motion to work out your body, they're both machines that you can use at home or in the gym, they both provide you with adjustable intensity levels and they both burn calories. One of them, though, can be a better choice for working out the butt and thigh area.

Muscles Worked

The elliptical provides a full-body workout that engages the hips, torso and arms, if you choose one with movable handles for working out the arms. While the legs and buttocks are used to move the machine, they aren't the primary muscles that are worked with this machine. A stationary bike, on the other hand, mainly works the lower half of your body, primarily your butt and thighs.

Losing Weight in the Butt and Thighs

If you want to loose weight in the thigh and buttocks area, using either of these machines is not a guarantee to success, since losing weight relies on how many calories you burn and where your body typically looses weight. In this case, elliptical machines and stationary bikes are closely matched. On an elliptical, you can burn around 250 calories in 30 minutes if you weigh 150 pounds. On a stationary bike you can burn 225 calories in 30 minutes if you are 150 pounds and ride the bike at 10 miles per hour. Of course, if you set your elliptical machine to a faster setting, choose an incline setting or speed up your pedaling, you will burn more calories.

Elliptical Machine Pros and Cons

An elliptical provides a low-impact workout, which means it applies less stress on joints than high-impact exercises. The problem some people find when using ellipticals is that they are large and take up a lot of room. If you have a small space allocated for your workout area, an elliptical may not be the best choice.

Stationary Bike Pros and Cons

Stationary bikes, on the other hand, can be more compact and fit in smaller exercise areas. Some people may like that you can sit down while exercising with a stationary bike. This can be a pro and a con. Larger people may find that sitting on the seat can be uncomfortable.


If you are looking to lose weight, either an elliptical or a stationary bike can help you reach your goal. If you want to specifically tone your thigh and butt area, a bike may be the better choice.

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