Best Exercise Bike Alternatives: 5 More Effective Low-Impact Workout Machines

Best Exercise Bike Alternatives: 5 More Effective Low-Impact Workout Machines

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The exercise bike has become a staple of modern home gyms but it’s not always a viable option. This is why more and more people are starting to look at alternatives on the open market. It’s essential to understand what these alternatives are and what they have to offer.

Here are the best exercise bike alternatives being sold, their advantages, and which ones are the right fit for your needs.

Top 5 Alternatives to Indoor Cycling

  • Rowing Machine
  • Smart Home Gym Mirror
  • Treadmill
  • Boxing
  • Elliptical

1. Rowing Machines

hydrow is our number one cycling alternative

  • Full-Body Movement

Full-body workouts are what you are going to crave when using any type of cardio machine.

With a rowing machine, the movement is going to require you to engage different muscle groups at the same time. It is not just going to be your legs that are moving as would be the case on an exercise bike.

Instead, you are going to be working out on a machine that pushes you to pull against resistance with your entire body including your legs and back. This is impressive and a lot of fun for those who want to engage as much of their body as possible.

  • Higher Calorie Burn

Calories are what you are going to care about when it comes to any type of cardio. You want a machine that is going to allow you to burn as many calories as possible without compromising your health. This is a natural requirement.

With a rowing machine, you are going to see an increased burn of 200-300+ calories per hour in comparison to an exercise bike.

There are additional benefits that come along with a rowing machine and its caloric burn potential.

The benefits can include:

  • Reduced Workout Times
  • Burn Up To 800 Calories Per Session
  • Muscular Gains

With these advantages, you are going to start to realize a workout using a rower is far greater than what you would get on an exercise bike.

  • Builds Strength

The reason more and more people prefer the rowing machine has to do with the strength gains you are going to see. Riding on an exercise bike isn’t going to build a lot of muscles and only your calves are going to be under duress during the movement.

Otherwise, you are just going to be getting the heart rate up without doing much else.

This isn’t always good for those who want to get more value out of an hour of cardio. This is where the rowing machine helps as it builds strength across the body especially the back.

Our Top Rowing Recommendation: Hydrow

Our Recommendation – For those who want a world-class rowing machine, it’s time to look at the Hydrow (read review). This is a tremendous rower offering scenic rows, live classes, on-demand workouts, and refined build quality. This is the ultimate rowing machine for beginners and experienced users.

2. Smart Workout Mirrors

Echelon Reflect is the second choice

  • Unique Workouts

It all starts with doing something far different from what you would get on a traditional exercise bike and that alone is powerful. A lot of people want to work out, but they don’t know where to begin and that is what holds them back.

With a smart home gym mirror, you can install it and then follow the live classes that take place through the membership program.

This is powerful and it is a lot of fun once you start increasing your skills. This is the real beauty of using a machine such as this one at home.

  • Full-Body Engagement

You are not going to be restricted to one movement pattern as you would be on an exercise bike. This is beneficial for those who are going to want to go through a proper workout where their upper and lower body is engaged.

With this type of machine, you are going to have the full-body engaged including a long list of muscles.

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The muscles include:

  • Chest
  • Calves
  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • And More

Just having all of these muscles engaged at the same time is going to make you happy and feel like the workout was a good one.

This is something you won’t always feel with a traditional exercise bike.

  • Space-Efficient

These mirrors are great because they can be set up almost anywhere in the house. You are not always going to have the same luxury when it comes to a traditional bike and that can be frustrating.

If you are someone that is working out in a small living room and/or apartment, you may want to have this set up on the wall so it doesn’t have to be stored away later on like an exercise bike.

Just set this up and know it can be easy to use at all times.

Our Top Smart Mirror Recommendation: Echelon Reflect

Our Recommendation – The Echelon Reflect is a wonderful addition to any household as it settles onto the wall with a beautiful touchscreen, live classes, full-body workouts, and more. It is an option that is modern and different from anything else that is out there right now.

Learn more and get Echelon Reflect best price.

3. Treadmills

Echelon Stride comes in an number 3

  • Higher Calorie Burn

The number of calories you are going to burn per hour on a treadmill is going to be much higher than the average exercise bike session.

This is great for those who want to get more “bang for your buck” when it comes to a new workout session. You can end up burning 100-200+ calories in comparison to a workout on an exercise bike. This is a game-changer for those who are low on time after work and want to just get through the workout while maximizing their effort level.

The treadmill can make it easier to do this especially when you increase the incline.

  • Easier to Learn

Learning how to work out or use a machine is one of the toughest things people have to do. It is not easy to go through this part of the process because you are going to be eager to work out.

By using a treadmill, you will already know what to do and that is great. Running is a natural part of life and that makes it easier to adapt to the machine.

The benefits include:

  • Easy Motion
  • Can Be Customized Through Incline
  • Multiple Speeds

Anyone that is thinking about working out and want to use a good machine should take a look at this exercise bike alternative.

  • Improves Stability

The reason more and more people venture towards using a treadmill is as simple as the stability of running on the belt. Yes, it is much easier to move on the belt because you are going to be running at the speed you have set.

Running is something most people know how to do from a young age. It is something that comes naturally to you regardless of your build or experience.

Taking this into the world of working out is something anyone can do and that peace of mind is what you are going to get here from day one.

Our Top Treadmill Recommendation: Echelon Stride

Our Recommendation – The Echelon Stride is a masterpiece when it comes to modern-day treadmills. It is sleek, well-made, remains easy to fold, and provides access to a long list of features. It is the perfect option for those who want to stick to a traditional cardio machine such as the treadmill without compromising on quality.

See Echelon Current pricing and features.

4. Boxing

FightCamp's boxing app is our fourth choice

  • Improves Posture

Your posture is going to improve with boxing and that is something you will not get with an exercise bike. Your posture will improve because you are going to be working the entire body and it is going to begin to adapt to your movement patterns.

This is essential when it comes to feeling good about how you are moving and the value you get from the experience.

Your posture is going to become more positive and in line with what a healthy person should be. This is just as important as anything else while working out.

  • Customized Movement Pattern

Boxing is unique because it teaches you how to optimize the session based on your movement patterns. Some people tend to hop a little bit while others are going to be more impactful with their punches.

Boxing ensures you don’t have to worry about getting fixed to a specific spot like biking makes you do.

The benefits include:

  • Ideal for All Levels
  • Fun-Filled Sessions
  • Engaging

Just taking advantage of boxing in this manner is wonderful and it is something that is going to make the sessions more fun over time.

Anyone serious about burning calories while wanting to be entertained should look into boxing because each session is different from the rest.

  • Heightens Hand-Eye Coordination

Boxing is a wonderful sport because it builds your hand-eye coordination. Everything has to be working in harmony or you are going to remain a step behind in a fight. While in this case, you are not going to be fighting, the idea remains the same and that is to get the hands and feet moving at the same time.

Everything has to be balanced and that is something boxing teaches out right off the bat. It is something you are going to adapt to and it will help get the heart rate up.

Our Top Boxing Recommendation: FightCamp

Our Recommendation – FightCamp is the ultimate boxing alternative for those who want to get their fight on. This machine offers an interactive at-home boxing solution for those who want to go through a boxing session from the comfort of their living room. Power through a workout and follow the workout lessons to burn a boatload of calories.

Learn more and see current FightCamp prices.

5. Elliptical

The Horizon Elliptical rounds out our top 5 list

  • Low Impact

While the exercise bike is a low-impact machine, it is even easier to work out on an elliptical when it comes to getting more value out of the machine. The elliptical is made to make sure everything happens with your muscles rather than putting a tremendous amount of stress on the joints.

This can be empowering for those who don’t want to get hurt and still want to get their heart rate up.

With the help of something as unique and refined as this, you are going to burn a boatload of calories without compromising your joints along the way. This is a major plus that is a must for those who are serious about finding a world-class alternative.

  • Activates More Muscles

Activating your muscles is not as easy on the exercise bike. However, with an elliptical machine, it’s easier than ever before to activate both your upper and lower-body muscles right away. Being able to do this can be a game-changer when it comes to getting a proper workout in.

These muscles include:

  • Glutes
  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Chest
  • And More

If the goal is to burn a lot of calories but also work out the entire body, it is best to take a look at what the exercise bike has to offer. It is a unique way to work out and do things the right way.

  • Improves Mind-Muscle Connection

By using an elliptical machine, it’s possible to improve your mind-muscle connection. The movement is unique and requires everything to be in harmony from start to finish. This is the only way to complete the movement and that develops your reaction time and overall balance on the machine.

Our Top Elliptical Recommendation: Horizon

Our Recommendation – When it comes to the best elliptical machine on offer right now, it has to be the Horizon. This is a top-rated elliptical that has simple control, Bluetooth technology, 3-Zone Variable Response Cushioning, and an exceptional build. It’s the perfect addition for your home gym as an exercise bike alternative.

Learn more and get latest Horizon pricing details at their website.


For those who don’t want to bike and want to do something different, the alternatives listed here are going to bring a smile to your face.

Whether it is boxing, running on a treadmill, or working out with a smart home gym mirror, everything about these machines will offer a unique way to burn calories.

Find the one that works best for you and know it is going to be a life-changer right off the bat. This is the beauty of finding a home gym machine that is in line with your requirements and is going to work out the way you want it to.