These two machines often vie for our attention when we walk into the gym, and it’s hard to know which machine to use.
Let’s take a look at elliptical vs treadmill. You can make up your mind about which is better for you.
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Facilities of Treadmill
Let’s check what facilities treadmill offer.
Treadmills offer a lot of versatility. You can choose from a number of different programs from a quick jog to an uphill run, and there are multiple options when it comes to different training programs, incline, and speed.
Treadmills emulate natural movement. Technology still gets better, and fitness gurus are starting to develop machines that might be confusing or awkward to the average user. The treadmill is a tried-and true machine that has been working well for decades and that people are comfortable with. All people are familiar with the treadmill, and it emulates the natural movement we have when running, sprinting, jogging, or walking. It’s just like you’re outside with your own two feet on the ground, except you’re staying in one place on the treadmill, usually in a gym.
Tough work output is part of what the treadmill is all about. Moving your body weight forward necessitates a ton of effort. Because of this, your body will burn a lot more calories at a much more substantial rate than other exercises.
Weight bearing effects are very important with treadmills. As opposed to what most people think, walking and running can actually have a strengthening effect on your muscles and bones, and that can help your sustainability and posture as you age.
These are well-researched machines They’ve been around for hundreds of years, and they’re staples at almost every gym you go to. They’ve been perfected, developed, and researched a lot more than any other type of cardiovascular equipment.
What are some of the downsides of treadmills though?
Impact on the joints
Treadmills can be impactful on the joints, which is why elliptical machines are better in that regard. Working out on a treadmill can put pressure on your ankle joints, knees, hips, and spine. It can be even worse if you don’t run on the treadmill all the time, stretch, or warm up. Some treadmills are more suited to shock absorption, but the impact is still heavy.
Is Treadmill Safe?
There are safety issues with treadmills too. If you run at a high intensity at an incline, it can present a danger if the skill level you have isn’t up to the task to doing these exercises.
Some treadmills have unnatural handles too. Oftentimes, people want to know what their heart rate is and find out what the heart zone target is that they’re shooting for. Trying to grip the handles while you’re running can be awkward and challenging.
Elliptical Machine Benefits
What are the benefits of elliptical machines over treadmill machines?
Elliptical machines give you non impact workouts that let your body start emulating what a natural running motion is without the tough joint impacts that happen with a typical treadmill.
Elliptical machines also give you cross training opportunity. Most elliptical machines now have moveable handles that enable you to do exercise on your lower body and upper body at the same time.
The option to have a cool reverse stride on the elliptical machine lets you use several groups of muscles and puts more focus on your quadriceps and also gives you an adjustable variety.
Less Perceived Work
The perceived amount of exertion with an elliptical machine is also lower. Studies show that people are doing more work than they think they are when they’re using an elliptical machine. Study subjects were asked to give a rating for the output they perceived when they were on an elliptical machine, and most of the research showed the test subjects were underestimating what their actual output was based on the heart rate they have. The elliptical burns about the identical amount of calories with a lot less effort.
What are the cons of elliptical machines though?
Elliptical machines have less dynamic options than a treadmill. You can adjust the speed and incline on a treadmill, and you can get some astounding variations in intensity, but most elliptical machines lack the incline option, or they’re not as effective at all.
There’s less of a weight-bearing effect with elliptical machines less impact means fewer injuries, but there’s also a downside. The elliptical machine pedals get suspended from the ground, and they don’t have the “weight-bearing effect” that you get when running. Weight-bearing exercises will have a strengthening effect on the muscles and bones, and they are especially important for elderly people who are trying to prevent osteoporosis.
There is the momentum too. Working out on an elliptical, when you’re on the lower levels, can let you use the machines’ momentum to get it going.
Elliptical vs Treadmills – Which Is Better?
So, what’s the last words? Which is better? The elliptical or treadmill?
Well, the elliptical is probably a little safer on your muscles and joints. It’s a low impact machine, and it’s actually fun to use. The fun factor is something that’s underestimated with an elliptical machine. You actually feel like you’re doing less work than you really are, and that’s something to look forward to when you wake up in the morning and have to get on your elliptical. It’s just like biking is a lot more fun than running, but you probably lose a lot more calories with intense biking; however, you wouldn’t notice it because you’re having so much fun.
Elliptical machines work out your upper body and lower body so they have a decided advantage over treadmills that only work out the lower body. Also, if you want to work out your hamstrings and calves, with more than what a forward leg motion offers, you can always do a reverse pedaling motion.
Depending on whether the foot pedal on the machine is located right beneath you or not, or slightly behind or in front of your hips, you could experience different kinds of hip, shin, and knee discomfort.
So, in the battle for the treadmill versus elliptical machine, the elliptical machine really wins. It’s a much more versatile machine.