Elliptical vs. Treadmill: Which is the better choice for your fitness routine?

When it comes to choosing the right fitness equipment, two of the most popular options are the elliptical and the treadmill. 

Both machines offer great cardio workouts, but which one is the better choice for your fitness routine? In this article, we’ll compare the benefits and drawbacks of each machine to help you make an informed decision.

Benefits of the Elliptical

  • Elliptical machines are low-impact, meaning they are easy on the joints. This makes them an ideal choice for people who are recovering from an injury or have joint problems. 

  • Additionally, ellipticals offer a full-body workout. The machine’s arm handles allow you to work your upper body while the pedals work your lower body. This results in a more effective calorie-burning workout.

  • Another advantage of ellipticals is that they offer a variety of workout options. Many machines come with pre-programmed workouts that allow you to vary the intensity and resistance of your workout. 

  • Additionally, some models come with incline settings that allow you to target different muscle groups.

Drawbacks of the Elliptical

  • One of the main drawbacks of the elliptical is that it is less effective at building bone density compared to weight-bearing exercises like running. 

  • Bone density is important for preventing osteoporosis, especially in women. While the elliptical provides a low-impact workout, it may not be enough to maintain bone density.

  • Another disadvantage of the elliptical is that it can be difficult to get a high-intensity workout. While the machine does provide a full-body workout, it may not be as intense as running on a treadmill or doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts.

Benefits of the Treadmill

  • Treadmills are popular for a reason – they provide an effective cardio workout that burns calories and builds endurance. Running on a treadmill is a weight-bearing exercise that can help build bone density and strengthen your muscles. 

  • Additionally, running on a treadmill can burn more calories than an elliptical workout, making it a better choice for weight loss.

  • Treadmills also offer a high level of customization. You can adjust the speed and incline of the machine to create a personalized workout that meets your fitness goals.

  •  Additionally, many treadmills come with pre-programmed workouts that simulate outdoor running conditions.

Drawbacks of the Treadmill

  • While running on a treadmill is an effective workout, it can also be hard on the joints. The repetitive motion of running can lead to knee and ankle problems, especially if you run on a treadmill frequently. Additionally, running on a treadmill can be boring, which can make it difficult to stick to a regular workout routine.

  • Another disadvantage of the treadmill is that it only works your lower body. 

  • While some treadmills come with arm handles, they are not as effective as the arm handles on an elliptical machine. 

  • This means that you may need to do additional exercises to get a full-body workout.

Which Machine Is Right for You?

  • Ultimately, the machine that is right for you depends on your fitness goals and your personal preferences. If you are recovering from an injury or have joint problems, the elliptical may be a better choice. 

  • If you are looking to build bone density or burn more calories, the treadmill may be a better option.

  • It’s also important to consider your personal preferences. If you find running on a treadmill boring, you may not stick to a regular workout routine. 

  • On the other hand, if you enjoy using the elliptical and find it easy to use, you may be more likely to stick to a regular exercise routine.

  • If you are still unsure which machine is right for you, consider trying both. Many gyms offer a free trial period for new members, which allows you to try out different machines before making a commitment. 

  • Additionally, many fitness stores offer a similar trial period for home equipment.