Runners know they have to cross train and are always in search of the best way to do that. Swimming, spinning, stair-master and elliptical are the most popular options. Some of them are more effective than others to mimic oxygen consumption, power and other physiological adaptations. The elliptical bike was made famous by Meb Keflezighi who uses an ElliptoGO during marathon training for cross training.
A study was recently published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research that looked at the physiological differences between running and elliptical bike training. There were 12 subjects in this study that were divided between an elliptical bike training group and a traditional running group. The researchers looked at maximal oxygen compensation, running economy values and a 5000m time trial to compare the two groups. The results of these variables were compared pre and post training. The results were just as significant in the elliptical bike group as in the running the group. The groups were then switched and the experiment was repeated, again the elliptical bike and running groups showed the same results.
An elliptical bike v.s. a regular elliptical machine allows you to use your full body for steering which is similar to navigating traffic when running outside. You also have to balance on the bike, similar to when you are running. The best part about the elliptical bike, you have every right to use the bike lanes in the city!
Klein I, White J, Rana S. Comparison of Physiological Variables Between the Elliptical Bicycle and Run Trining in Experienced Runners. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. November 2016. 30. (11) 2998-3006.
Kathleen Leninger, PT, DPT, NY Custom PT & Performance 295 Madison Avenue #1026 New York, NY 10017 212-682-7860