Is a treadmill or elliptical better? Here's what you need to know

First and foremost, the treadmill and elliptical are necessary machines to include in your gym. These two cardio focused machines have their pros and their cons. Maybe it comes down to personal preference for your body. Maybe you need one for your home gym or to fill a facility. When it comes down to it, both the treadmill and elliptical have great benefits for your workout but often we are left with the bigger question, is the treadmill or elliptical better?

Do you prefer a steady pace or intermittent training? Would you rather focus on a full body workout or only on your legs and cardio? Whatever the motivation, make a list of your ideal workout and see which machine is best for you. Here are more details about how they work.

Is treadmill or elliptical better? The answer depends on your needs

Your exercise needs, body, and goals should all be considered when deciding whether the treadmill or the elliptical is the best machine for your workouts. Consider what type of guided workouts are useful to you.

How the treadmill works

Treadmills are an optimal solution for your home gym. These tools give you a smooth-running experience that is perfect for your cardio workout, especially if you are focused on weight loss.

A treadmill consists of a moving platform, much like a conveyor belt, which allows you to run in one spot and in one direction while monitoring your heart rate at the same time. The belt moves along as you take each step. Treadmills are made to absorb the impact from running and make it easier on your body. It’s so easy, you won’t want to run outside anymore.

Discover Technogym MyRun

Use inclines to add resistance. This allows you to push yourself and intensify your training. You can adjust the speed to the level of your desire.

If you need a treadmill that allows you to vary the elements, the Technogym MyRun is the perfect treadmill. It provides you with personalized training programs that will improve your workouts. Give yourself the perfect lower body workout and strengthen your heart as well. So, is the treadmill better than the elliptical? The answer lies ahead.

How the elliptical works

We refer to the elliptical as a cross trainer because it is a power combo of both the treadmill and the exercise bikeEllipticals are perfect for a full body workout and strengthen your heart and lungs. The movement of the elliptical is a mix of the circular cycling motion of the exercise bike and the running motion of the treadmill. The quads, hamstrings, and calves are all worked when you push the pedals down. The upside to the elliptical: your arms get a workout too. While you hold onto the handles, you work your triceps, biceps, and shoulders. Is the elliptical good for your glutes? With the elliptical, you get a full body workout, including your glutes.

The elliptical is also great for those who want to burn calories but not feel like they’re running a marathon. It encourages workouts that feel effortless and are just as efficient. Programs are provided to help you choose your goal, whether you want to focus on burning calories, speed, or distance. You can speed up or slow down when you want, and plan periods of lower intensity for resting. You can also adjust the resistance to give yourself different workouts.

Still not sure which is better, the treadmill or elliptical? We explained how they work, now let’s go through a list of the benefits for both.

The advantages of the treadmill

  • Steady pace builds your stamina – running on a treadmill allows you to keep the same speed, building up your stamina so that you can run or walk longer.
  • Less wear and tear - the treadmill gives you the same run and walk you are used to but without affecting your joints. Say goodbye to that hard concrete and hello to low impact.
  • Get somewhere, going nowhere – you’ll be running in place, so you will feel like you’re going nowhere but change the incline settings to create more resistance and you will see the results.
  • Speed – Adjustable speed settings make walking and running on treadmills available to any experience level but more importantly allow you to get more variety out of one workout and incorporate resting periods.
  • All experience levels – this goes for the elliptical too, anyone can reap the benefits of working out with this machine.
  • Lower body workout – Focus on strengthening your legs.
  • Lose weight – you lose more weight with treadmill exercise, the treadmill is better than the elliptical for weight loss.

The advantages of the elliptical

  • Full body – The elliptical engages the arms (triceps, biceps, shoulders) and the legs (quads, hamstrings, glutes) so you’ll be moving everything, instead of just your leg muscles.
  • Intermittent – Because you always control the speed, you can easily slow down or speed up to give yourself an intermittent workout. This is useful especially if you like to take rests in between more intense workouts.
  • Resistance setting – Utilize the resistance setting when you do want to build more muscle or simply work on overall body tone. This is a game changer! Either way, you are raising your heart rate and benefitting from your cardio workout.
  • Low injury risk – One of the best benefits of the elliptical is that you don’t have to worry about it hurting your joints. There’s less risk of injury because it is non-impact.
  • Quiet and easier to store – Get the most use out of your home gym space with the elliptical because it is smaller and takes up less room.
  • All experience levels – from exercise dabbler to athlete.
  • Feels effortless – need we say more?
  • Programs – programs for calories, speed, or distance to challenge you.

Let’s sum up before the final decision between treadmill and elliptical

We have discussed all the things when it comes to treadmill vs elliptical. Let’s highlight just a few of the most important aspects when considering if the treadmill or elliptical is better. Remember, you can’t really go wrong. Both machines focus on cardio, can help you lose weight, and have been proven to be gentler on your body. Most importantly, it depends on your needs. Figure out what you want, what is most important for you, your body, and your workouts. Make a list. If you’re concerned about wear and tear, the elliptical is better than the treadmill. The treadmill has been improved to be easier on your joints, but it doesn’t beat the elliptical in that category. If you are an athletic runner who needs to maintain stamina, the treadmill is better than the elliptical. In the end, it depends on your situation. If you can’t decide on one or the other, there’s no harm in having both.

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