Two of the most common exercise machines today are known as the elliptical and the treadmill—the treadmill more so than the elliptical.
While one may hold significantly more popularity than the other, they’re both essentially staples in any home gym.
It’s mainly because both machines harbor incredible cardiovascular workout capabilities that make them essential machines for a good cardio workout.
Both exercise machines are responsible for helping people burn more calories and improving their body’s inherent aerobic capabilities.
In that respect, both machines have benefits that make people turn to them in the first place… and they also possess drawbacks that may make one machine more suitable for some people than the other.
What You Should Know Before You Decide For A Treadmill Or Elliptical
All right, so… can you tell me more about the treadmill and the elliptical? What should I know about either if I’m picking between a treadmill or elliptical?
Sure! So, do you want to know more about the treadmill first?
The treadmill is all about harnessing energy, which is interesting, since it was long used to harness power in its older application. Ever since its production as an exercise machine, the treadmill has served as one of the most effective cardio workout machines for years.
Though, that doesn’t mean that the elliptical can be ruled out either.
The elliptical takes the repetitive action of a treadmill and makes it easier for most people to use, mainly through its construction. The construction of an elliptical makes it simple for people walk, climb or run on the machine without placing excessive pressure on their joints. As a low impact machine, the elliptical is ultimately well suited for people who need a lower impact cardio-friendly machine that won’t cause any further strain on their body.
On an interesting note, you can expect the treadmill or elliptical to work both the lower body and the upper body in some way. The elliptical, however, does the best job in helping stimulate both, if not, all parts of the body in a workout. You shouldn’t rule out a treadmill, either, as it’s one of the best exercise machines out there that can help stimulate a running workout—right from the comforts of your home.
If you’re about to choose between a treadmill or elliptical, know that there are certain things or, rather, factors you have to think about before you even consider buying one or the other.
That way, you won’t be that confused if you’re just about to choose between a treadmill or elliptical.
Treadmill – The Benefits And The Potential Drawbacks
Thanks for letting me know that. Is there anything I should know about a treadmill? What are the benefits of choosing a treadmill over an elliptical? And… are there any drawbacks?
Well, to start, treadmills are said to offer some of the most versatile workout options out there.
You can power walk on a treadmill.
You can sprint like you’re dashing up a hill with a treadmill.
You can even make up your morning jogging routine on a treadmill, especially if you happen to miss your morning run that day.
Also, treadmills are known to mimic the body’s natural movements, meaning that it doesn’t place you into an awkward position when walking or running during exercise. Since you’ll be running or walking constantly when on a treadmill, using one pushes your body to its limit and helps you burn more calories at a higher rate.
Treadmills can even help people strengthen their muscles and bones, especially if they repeatedly use the machine on a constant basis.
This is said to help people maintain good muscle and bone strength into old age.
As for the drawbacks of using a treadmills, it’s going to be tough on the joints.
Treadmill workouts are known for placing a lot of stress on the spine, knee, hip and ankle joints (nih.gov) and may cause some muscle strain as well. All of that stress can get amplified if you don’t stretch properly before hopping on your treadmill, too.
You might have difficulties adjusting to the speed of using a treadmill, which can pose a safety issue if you’re not careful. Also, regularly working with a treadmill may cause some posture issues, due to the way the machine may have you positioned throughout the course of a workout.
Basically, treadmills do have their place in a workout—after all, they’ve maintained near consistent popularity for a reason.
Though, that doesn’t mean that treadmills aren’t really suited for some people, especially if they need a more comfortable workout option.
Elliptical – The Benefits And The Potential Drawbacks
So, what about the elliptical machine? Are there any good benefits to choosing an elliptical over a treadmill? What drawbacks should I expect from using an elliptical?
All right, well, ellipticals are probably the best option for people who need a lower impact exercise machine.
What we mean by low impact is the fact that these machines often don’t put a lot of impact on the joints and muscles of the body. That means you can use an elliptical without having to worry about the long term stress that such a machine may place on your body.
That’s what makes elliptical better in that respect.
You can repeat the repetitious actions of exercise (like on a treadmill) without worrying about hurting your joints. There’s also the ability to ‘cross train’ with ellipticals; many modern ellipticals have moveable handles that allow people to train the upper and lower body at the same time.
The elliptical also has the unique ability to help people workout more of their body… even when they think they’re not working out as hard.
The way the elliptical works makes this happen—people don’t need to workout more if they’re using an elliptical, since the machine’s already doing ‘double duty’ in helping the body exert itself.
Ellipticals comes in different forms and shapes, some ellipticals are more compact then others. They easily store away even if you live in a smaller apartment.
The drawbacks of an elliptical aren’t as much as a treadmill, though they may be deal breakers for people choosing between treadmill or elliptical. To start, many ellipticals aren’t as dynamic as other exercise machines, since some may lack the features to adjust into different positions or take on different speeds.
An elliptical also doesn’t have that much of a weight bearing effect, meaning that it doesn’t have the support that simulates how the body’s weight distributes when you run.
While this effect helps promote the elliptical machine’s shock absorbing features, at the same time, it’s rather detrimental in helping strengthen the muscles and bones.