There has been considerable controversy on which offers a better workout, treadmills or elliptical trainers. Treadmills are still the most popular fitness machines, but elliptical trainers are growing in popularity.  In this article, we will consider the pros and cons of each.

Treadmills – Pros

What makes treadmills so popular is their designed to accommodate two of the most commons forms of exercise – walking and running.  Most people prefer to walk or run outdoors, unfortunately nature does not always cooperate.  Treadmills allow people to continue their exercise in any weather.

Treadmills also reduce the impact from walking and running.  In comparison to exercising on concrete or asphalt, the shock absorption of a treadmill can significantly reduce the impact.

Most treadmills are equipped with various workout programs.  These programs can simulate different types of exercising.  For example, by alternating the incline, you can simulate walking or running up and down hills.  By changing the speed, a treadmill can simulate interval training, which is an efficient method for burning calories.

Treadmill – Cons

By its nature, a treadmill is a complicated piece of machinery that must constantly absorb impact.  In fact, when a person runs, each stride can be as much as 2 ½ times the individual”s body weight.  Consequently, treadmills can be high maintenance.  Budget treadmills are likely to require servicing with constant use.

Although treadmills reduce the impact from walking and running, the impact still exists.  Walking and running inherently is a strain on your legs and lower back.  The downside of a treadmill is the potential from injury due to the constant impact.

Elliptical Trainer – Pros

The growing appeal of elliptical trainers is the low-impact, and dual upper and lower body workout.   Elliptical trainers offer a low-impact workout due to the elliptical motion.  Your feet never leave the pedals.  There is never any reverse action or shock to your legs.  Working out on an elliptical trainer is like walking or running in the air.  This is why they are so popular with aging baby boomers.

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In addition, elliptical trainers workout both your upper and lower body.   With the dual action, you exercise more muscle groups.  In the process, your exercising becomes more efficient and you burn more calories in less time.  You also have a lower perceived level of exertion when you exercise more of your body.

Because of the reduced impact, elliptical trainers are low maintenance.  They do not take the abuse of a treadmill.   Furthermore, there are less moving parts that can breakdown.

Elliptical Trainer – Cons

There really is only one, the elliptical exercise itself.  Some people find it awkward exercising both their upper and lower body simultaneously.  For example, many walkers prefer the low-key pace of walking on a treadmill. Some people are just not comfortable with all the dual action exercising.

So which is better for your health and fitness, a treadmill or elliptical trainer?  It really depends on your preference, because the machine that you are most comfortable with is the one you are more likely to use.  For devoted walkers or runners a treadmill is the solution.  For those looking for low-impact workout that exercises more muscle groups, the elliptical trainer is the answer.

Fred Waters worked in the fitness equipment industry for a number of years. You can learn more about the benefits of treadmills and elliptical trainers by  visiting his Treadmill Review and Elliptical Trainer Review  sites.

HealthStatus Team

HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
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2 thoughts on “Treadmills vs Elliptical Trainers

  1. Harshan Taylor

    Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
    This is why the thing which has advantages has also disadvantages too .
    In this case it is known to us that normally treadmills and elliptical-trainers have very much advantages for using and also have little bit disadvantages because of using unconsciously .
    This is why it can be said that treadmills and elliptical-trainers have advantages only unless these are used unconsciously . Thank you author for bring here these important things on treadmills and elliptical-trainers so that one can use any type of treadmills and elliptical-trainers consciously .

  2. Harshan Taylor

    Every thing has cons .
    As majority percent must be granted , the cons of treadmills and elliptical trainers are not effective .
    The activities of treadmills and elliptical trainers are almost same .
    I see treadmill is more easier to use .

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