Elliptical vs Treadmill – Which is the Best Option for Fitness?

By Chuck | Elliptical Trainers

Treadmill vs Elliptical for fitness

Which exercise machine reigns supreme in the battle of elliptical machine vs treadmill? If you have been seeking answers for this question for a very long time with no success, today is your lucky day.

Elliptical machines and treadmills are some of the most popular cardio equipment in the world today.

The truth is any of the 2 options can be a great way to stay fit and get your dream body. However, each one has its own subtle differences so it’s important to be aware of them before making a buying decision.

Let’s take a look at the differences between those two.

Elliptical vs Treadmill : Versatility

Elliptical vs Treadmill for fitness

From warming up with brisk walks to intensive uphill sprints, treadmills give you a wide range of workouts to choose from.

With several training programs making use of different inclines and multiple levels of speed, these machines always give you something new to look forward to.

Most high-end elliptical trainers feature built-in programs which also offer users a wide range of workouts. However, elliptical machine exercise sessions tend to be one-sided when compared to treadmills.

Therefore treadmills ace it when it comes to flexibility and versatility of workouts.

Impact on the joints

Treadmills are designed to give your body the same benefits as natural walking and running. This can result in a wide range of cardiovascular benefits to your heart by improving blood flow to various areas of the body.

Unfortunately, running up and down on treadmills can have major impact on your knee and ankle joints. This can lead to soreness for many days especially for older users.

The natural elliptical design focuses on powering up core muscles of your body during physical activity. However, elliptical movements are low impact meaning they are extremely gentle on the knees and joints.

You can pedal an elliptical as intensive as you want without worrying about ending up with sore joints.

This makes this equipment perfect for senior citizens, middle aged users, and of course, anyone recovering from injuries.

Cardiovascular Activity

Running regularly can give tremendous benefits to your cardiovascular health. This is why treadmills are the first piece of equipment that comes up when cardio exercises are mentioned.

They enhance the body’s aerobic activity levels and power up your endurance to skyrocket your fitness levels.

Elliptical trainers are another important piece of equipment that can improve your heart rate with its accompanying benefits. The heart becomes stronger as you continue pedaling back and forth while holding the handles.

There is no clear-cut winner here because each of these machines can have a huge impact on your cardio.

It is up to you to plan and execute your workouts to keep challenging yourself and strengthening your heart.

Full Body Workouts

Exercising on an elliptical machine allows you to workout full areas of your body. The forward and backward movements with the aid of the handlebars work out your upper body areas.

The pedaling on the other hand helps your thighs, legs, and ankles achieve completely challenging workouts that keep them in shape.

Treadmills are designed to mimic natural body movements such as walking, running, and sprinting.

These movements are known for getting every area of the body working to fitness.

Calories Burned

Any type of physical activity can lead to an increased number of calories burned. Exercising on a treadmill requires you to propel your body weight on your own, which can be a daunting task.

This therefore allows you to burn significant amounts of calories especially as your intensity levels increase.

No wonder treadmills remain one of the best machines for weight loss.

Elliptical machines also help you burn lots of calories when you exercise regularly. Sure, they may have less weight bearing effect, which can give the perception that your workouts are actually less strenuous.

However, studies have shown that at the same levels of intensity and similar time frames, you are likely to burn more calories on elliptical machines than treadmills.

Muscle Toning

Who says walking, running, and jogging has no effects on the body’s muscle toning? In fact, these activities are some of the most rewarding when it comes to toning muscles in the body.

They also improve your posture and sustainability as you advance in age. Treadmills give you the ability to walk, run, and jog as much as you can, making sure you don’t lose those benefits.

Elliptical trainers enhance your body’s ability to engage in a running motion just like treadmills.

However, the handlebars and pedaling parts allow you to focus on several core muscle groups across the body during simultaneous movements while working out.

This results in faster toning of those muscles with minimal stress. We believe that elliptical machines have an advantage over treadmills when muscle toning is concerned.

Budget

elliptical vs treadmill- what is the best option?

Elliptical trainers are truly awesome for staying fit and losing tremendous amounts of weight. While high-end models can sell for as much as $2,000, there are some decent compact models out there for beginners.

If you have about $500 to spend, you can find some top-notch mid-level models at that price. Just don’t tell anyone about it. Lol

There are a wide range of treadmills available on the market with price tags ranging from $200 to over $3000. This means no matter your budget, there’s a model out there for you.

However, in our experience, the lower-end models in the elliptical market seem better constructed and therefore more durable than the treadmills.

Conclusion: Elliptical vs Treadmill

The elliptical machine is the best cardio equipment for beginners, the aged, and everyone who wants effective workouts with minimal strain on the joints.

The elliptical can be effective tool in burning excess calories in order to stay fit.

However, to achieve weight loss on steroids, it is recommended that you introduce high intensity interval training into your elliptical sessions.

The treadmill is however the better option if you want to transform your body and won’t mind a few sore joints along the away.

For those with high levels of endurance, the treadmill is the best way to leverage your workouts for effective calorie burning and muscle toning.

However, keep in mind that the extra calories won’t come off without the risk of injuries.


About the Author

Chuck is a lazy fitness enthusiast committed to sharing the latest tips and comprehensive gear reviews to help you work out smart instead of hard.

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