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|Elliptical Trainers Vs Treadmills: Which One Is The Better Buy?|
|by Kathryn O'Neill|
So which exercise machine is better: the treadmill or the elliptical trainer?
While treadmills are still the #1 piece of home exercise equipment, elliptical trainers are quickly catching
up. This leaves many people wondering, "Should I buy an elliptical trainer or a treadmill?"
(Article continued below.)
While there are definite differences between the two, it really boils down to you — the buyer. This
article will lay out the benefits of both the treadmill and the elliptical so you can make an informed decision
and choose the best machine for you.
- Great for runners, walkers and joggers:
The treadmill is still the machine of choice for those who prefer running, jogging or even walking.
It's obviously a smarter choice for the dedicated runner/ jogger than an elliptical trainer. Plus it can
help you train even in the winter months when you don't want to run outside.
- Anyone can use it:
Walking is a simple form of exercise that anyone can do — from beginner to seasoned athlete. It doesn't
take much coordination.
You don't have to be super-coordinated to figure out how to use a treadmill whereas elliptical trainers can
sometimes be a little tricky to use — especially for beginners.
- Provides workout variety:
A treadmill also provides workout variety of a different kind than the elliptical trainer. A treadmill
allows you to walk, run, jog, walk uphill, do intervals and programs. You can even build in upper body hand
weights to work your arms, back and shoulders.
Elliptical Trainer Benefits:
- Lower impact on your joints than a treadmill:
What is interesting is that this lack of impact on the joints allows the user to burn roughly the same
amount of calories as treadmills with the impression of putting out considerably less effort.
You burn the same amount of calories while feeling like you did less work. (This is called the "Rate of
This lower impact also makes the elliptical trainer a great choice for those with knee or hip problems, the
elderly or even rehabilitation patients.
- Provides an overall body workout:
With the dual-action upper body arms as well as the foot pedals, you are getting an overall total body
workout. Whereas the treadmill mostly focuses on the lower body, the elliptical works your entire system for
an overall cardiovascular workout.
- Provides workout variety:
One feature that is often overlooked on an elliptical is the opportunity to move in both a forward and
When you go backward you are targeting a different set of muscles than when you go forward (hamstrings vs.
quadriceps). This helps add variety to your workout and keeps you motivated.
So those are some advantages of both elliptical trainers and treadmills. Is one machine better than the
other? It really depends on who you are and what YOU enjoy doing.
Here's the bottom line:
If you enjoy using a specific exercise machine more than others, you will exercise more often —
which means more calories burned, more weight lost and a better body achieved. That is the best exercise
machine for you.
One final note: Remember that whichever machine you choose — with exercise equipment you
basically get what you pay for. Many people buy cheap equipment and then pay for it later in the form of
equipment repairs, joint problems and painful injuries. Make sure you buy a high quality brand name machine
with a solid warranty that is built to last.