Elliptical vs Treadmill: Which is Best for You?

Are you looking to purchase cardio equipment but aren’t sure whether an elliptical or treadmill is best for you? The following might help you decide if you only have the option for one piece of equipment.

You will find that both a treadmill and an elliptical cross trainer deliver a great cardio workout and provide an effective means of training. If you're looking for an exercise to build bone density, using either machine will suffice. They are both also great for getting your heart rate up and burning calories when the weather is less than ideal. There are, however, advantages and disadvantages to each, so it’s important to find your best fit. For example, using an elliptical is a good workout because it's low impact and provides a full-body workout, though an elliptical is not better than a treadmill, necessarily.

elliptical vs treadmill

Elliptical Machine Benefits

  1. One of the primary benefits of using an elliptical is that it provides a low-impact cardiovascular workout, allowing you to avoid the pounding associated with other activities, such as running. If done correctly, there is minimal impact on the hip, knee, and ankle joints. Along with an elliptical, an exercise bike and rowing machine will provide a low-impact workout as well.
  2. Unlike a treadmill, an elliptical can deliver a full-body workout, provided you use the handles. To do so effectively, you will want to actively push and pull on the handles while engaging your core muscles. This, done in conjunction with the movement and power generated from your legs, will provide all-around muscle toning. If you are looking to target your lower body mainly, you can focus most of your muscle exertion on your legs and core.
  3. Generally speaking, an elliptical may be slightly safer than a treadmill since your feet never leave the pedals. This eliminates the potential misstep resulting in a potential fall or loss of balance.
  4. Depending on the type of treadmill, some treadmills will require periodic maintenance, whereas an elliptical does not require regular maintenance. While treadmill maintenance generally involves lubricating and centering the belt,  it can still be too much maintenance if you're looking for a no-maintenance machine.
  5. Depending on the model, some elliptical machines will let you pedal backwards allowing you to more directly target a different set of leg muscles.

Treadmill Benefits

  1. Running on a treadmill provides you with a more consistent workout when relating to running outdoors. Targeting your calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, and hip muscles. Treadmill running provides a great means of training for your outdoor runs and races in the comfort and convenience of your home or gym. When the weather outside isn’t ideal or if your schedule doesn’t permit the time, running on a treadmill may be the perfect alternative.
  2. Unlike an elliptical, running on a treadmill allows your feet to completely lift off the treadmill belt. In doing so, you are required to engage your ab muscles more to keep your body stable and centered on the treadmill.
  3. While both a treadmill and elliptical have roughly the same footprint, treadmills are generally shorter and easier to fit within an average-sized ceiling height. Not only is an elliptical machine taller, but it also requires more room due to the ocular rotation of the pedals. Furthermore, people tend to “bounce” while using an elliptical, especially at the apex of the rotation requiring additional available head space. All things considered, if you have limited available space, a treadmill may be the best fit.


Weight Loss: Elliptical Machine vs Treadmill

For the most part, all forms of cardio exercise equipment have the same potential for weight loss. It all depends on the amount of effort you are willing to put into it. The more you crank up the resistance, incline, or speed, the more you will maximize your caloric burn and weight loss potential. So if your end goal is weight loss, both a treadmill and elliptical will help you achieve your goal.

The bottom line: Choose which option best fits your needs, and remember that fitness equipment is only beneficial if you use it! If a treadmill seems like a better option, use this handy treadmill buying guide for your home to get a better idea. Set attainable goals and create a circle of health for yourself for today and the future!

Level Up Your Lifestyle With LifeSpan Fitness Equipment

Both elliptical machines and treadmills offer valuable benefits for cardio workouts, weight loss, and improving your overall fitness. The choice between them ultimately depends on your personal preferences, fitness goals, and physical condition. Whether you're seeking a low-impact workout that engages the whole body or a high-intensity run to prepare for outdoor races, one of these machines will meet your needs.

As you decide on the best fit for your fitness journey, consider how each machine aligns with your health goals and the space available in your home. Remember, the effectiveness of your workout equipment hinges on its use. Whichever option you choose, make it a staple in your routine to see tangible results.

Ready to take the next step in your fitness journey? LifeSpan Fitness offers a wide range of high-quality, durable treadmills and elliptical machines designed to help you reach your health and fitness goals. Whether you're just starting or are looking to upgrade your home gym, LifeSpan Fitness has the equipment to level up your lifestyle. Explore our selection today and find the perfect fit for your workout needs. Your path to a healthier, more active life is just a click away with LifeSpan Fitness.