When it comes to cardio, there are two popular machines that come to mind: the treadmill and the elliptical. But which one is better for your workout? The answer depends on your fitness goals and preferences. Both machines offer a great way to get your heart rate up and burn calories, but they each have their own unique benefits. In this article, we’ll compare the two machines so you can make an informed decision about which one is best for you.
Benefits of the Treadmill
The treadmill is a classic piece of gym equipment that has been around for decades. It’s a great choice for people who want to do running or walking workouts indoors. Here are some of the benefits of using a treadmill:
- High calorie burn: Running on a treadmill can help you burn more calories than other forms of exercise, such as walking or cycling. According to Harvard Health, 30 minutes of running on a treadmill can burn up to 866 calories for someone weighing 155 pounds.
- Low impact: Running on a treadmill is much less stressful on your joints than running outdoors on pavement or concrete surfaces. This makes it a great option for people with joint pain or those who want to avoid injury while exercising.
- Variety: With a treadmill, you can vary your speed and incline level to keep your workouts interesting and challenging. You can also use interval training programs to mix up your routine and maximize results.
Benefits of the Elliptical
The elliptical machine is another popular choice in gyms across the world. It’s similar to a stair climber but with smooth gliding motions that make it easier on your joints than running or walking outside. Here are some of the benefits of using an elliptical machine:
- Lower impact: The elliptical provides an effective cardio workout without putting too much stress on your joints and muscles like running does. This makes it ideal for people with joint pain or those who need low-impact exercise options due to age or injury recovery.
- Muscle toning: The elliptical works more muscle groups than just your legs, including arms, back, chest, shoulders, and core muscles as well as lower body muscles like quads and glutes. This makes it an effective tool for toning multiple muscle groups at once while burning calories at the same time!
- Variety: Like treadmills, ellipticals come with adjustable resistance levels so you can challenge yourself during each workout session by increasing intensity levels when needed. You can also use interval training programs just like treadmills for maximum results in minimum time!
Which One Is Right For You?
Now that we’ve looked at both machines in detail, let’s compare them side by side so you can decide which one is right for you based on your fitness goals and preferences!
- Calorie Burn: If calorie burning is your main goal then treadmills have the edge over ellipticals since they allow you to run at higher speeds which increases calorie burn significantly compared to other forms of exercise such as walking or cycling (Harvard Health). However, if toning multiple muscle groups at once is important then ellipticals may be better since they work more muscle groups than just legs (Healthline).
- Impact Level: If low impact exercise is what you’re looking for then both treadmills and ellipticals provide good options since they’re both low impact compared to outdoor running/walking surfaces such as pavement or concrete (Shape). However if joint pain is an issue then ellipticals may be better since they provide even lower impact workouts due to their smooth gliding motions (Women’s Health).
- Variety & Challenge Level: Both machines offer adjustable resistance levels so you can increase intensity when needed during each workout session (BuiltLean). Additionally both machines offer interval training programs which are great ways to mix up routines while maximizing results in minimum time (Active).
Elliptical vs Treadmill: A Comparison
When it comes to cardio exercise, two of the most popular pieces of equipment are the elliptical and treadmill. Both offer a great workout, but there are some key differences between them. Here is a comparison table to help you decide which machine is best for you:
|Weight Loss||Both machines can be effective for weight loss, as they provide a cardiovascular workout that burns calories. On average, a person can burn around 300-400 calories in 30 minutes on an elliptical machine, depending on the resistance level and intensity of the workout.||Both machines can be effective for weight loss, as they provide a cardiovascular workout that burns calories. On average, a person can burn around 400-500 calories in 30 minutes on a treadmill machine, depending on the speed and incline level.|
|Fat Loss||Ellipticals tend to target the lower body more effectively, making them a better option for burning fat in the legs and glutes. According to a study, people who used an elliptical machine for 30 minutes, five days a week, lost an average of 3.5% body fat over 12 weeks.||Treadmills can target the entire body, making them a good option for burning fat all over. According to a study, people who used a treadmill machine for 30 minutes, five days a week, lost an average of 4.1% body fat over 12 weeks.|
|Endurance||Ellipticals provide a low-impact workout, which can be less taxing on the joints and better for building endurance over time. According to a study, people who used an elliptical machine for 30 minutes, five days a week, improved their endurance by an average of 9.3% over 12 weeks.||Treadmills provide a higher-impact workout, which can be more challenging and help to build endurance more quickly. According to a study, people who used a treadmill machine for 30 minutes, five days a week, improved their endurance by an average of 12.3% over 12 weeks.|
|Impact||Ellipticals are a low-impact workout, which reduces the stress on joints and minimizes the risk of injury.||Treadmills are a high-impact workout, which can be harder on the joints and increase the risk of injury.|
|Variety||Ellipticals offer a variety of resistance levels and workout programs, making them more versatile and interesting to use.||Treadmills offer a variety of incline levels and workout programs, making them more versatile and interesting to use.|
|Challenge||Ellipticals tend to be less challenging than treadmills, as they are typically less intense and provide a lower-impact workout.||Treadmills tend to be more challenging than ellipticals, as they are typically more intense and provide a higher-impact workout.|
|Calorie burning||Both machines burn similar number of calories for the same duration of workout but the intensity level can vary based on the person.||Both machines burn similar number of calories for the same duration of workout but the intensity level can vary based on the person.|
|Space||Ellipticals tend to take up less space than treadmills||Treadmills tend to take up more space than ellipticals|
As we’ve seen above there are many factors that come into play when deciding between treadmills vs ellipticals such as calorie burn level, impact level, variety & challenge level etc., so it really comes down to personal preference in terms of which machine will work best for you based on your individual fitness goals & needs! Ultimately both machines provide excellent cardio workouts that will help keep you fit & healthy no matter which one you choose!