When it comes to ellipticals versus treadmills, which one is better? Both are highly-regarded cardio machines that you can find in any gym across the country and they both provide exceptional cardiovascular workouts. If you could only use or purchase one type of equipment, which one should you choose? Here are some of the common differences between the two that will help you decide whether you’ll be running the treadmill or taking your next step forward on an elliptical machine.
The pros and cons of a treadmill
Treadmills offer a wide variety of options when it comes to training programs. Whether you want to run up a steep incline at a fast speed or would only like to jog a small distance, it’s your choice. No matter what fitness level you are at, the treadmill offers something for everybody that wants to run as their choice of cardio training.
Treadmills have been around for many years and are a comfortable and natural choice for many. When you don’t want to figure out all the complicated dials and configurations on other machines and just want to get a complete workout done without a lot of fuss, treadmills are great. You can always count on the type of workout you’ll be getting since this is a tried and proven method for burning calories, increasing muscle mass and giving your heart the fantastic workout it desperately desires.
The problem with treadmills is they are hard on your joints and for anyone that needs extra shock absorption, they are not an option. Treadmills offer a high impact type of workout that aren’t the best for people with bad backs or problems with their joints. As well, if you have purchased a treadmill that comes with a heart monitor, you’ll always have to be holding onto the handles in order to get the correct reading. Sometimes this can be difficult especially if you’re the type of person that wants to grab a drink of water during a run.
The pros and cons of an elliptical
This is the machine that you should be looking at if you do have joint problems and are looking for something that offers less impact than a treadmill does. You’ll feel just like you’re running but without the high impact sensation that causes your bones and joints to bump around. You’ll get a smooth glide with an elliptical trainer and even people that don’t have any types of body problems prefer the smooth feel of this type of workout machine over the banging and bumping found with a treadmill.
For the most part an elliptical trainer will offer a better workout for the upper body since most now come equipped with handles that you can use simultaneously while you’re working out your lower body. The high-end ellipticals also provide a reverse stride feature giving you the opportunity to work out a completely different set of muscles. This means that you’ll be able to get a better workout with the time you have available then you would if you were using a treadmill.
The biggest downside to an elliptical machine is you won’t be able to experience the weight-bearing type of effect found in other machines because the petals are not on the ground. This means that there will be less muscle and bone strengthening in general, which can be a concern for people that are working out in order to ward off osteoporosis. Because of the position of the petals, you’ll also find that the machine is partially being powered with its own momentum, which can mean less of a workout for you.
Elliptical versus treadmills – it’s your choice
When all is said and done, you can expect to burn approximately the same amount of calories on each type of exercise equipment. The best thing you can do is try to imagine yourself exercising with either one on a long-term basis if you’re trying to choose the best type to add to your home gym. Choose the one that you feel most comfortable with since you’ll be more likely to exercise with something you like and feels right for you. This will translate into more exercise time devoted to your fitness or weight loss routine, which will ultimately bring you closer to your goals faster.