Should I buy a treadmill or an elliptical trainer? Which equipment will help you burn more calories? Do I exercise more than muscle areas with a treadmill or an elliptical trainer? Which trainer is easier on my joints?
You are not the only one asking these questions. Many of our customers have the same dilemma when choosing a cardio machine – treadmill or elliptical trainer. Both have their staunch supporters. We will try to answer your questions in this guide.
- Treadmill is a running simulator with a prominent role among cardio fitness equipment. Treadmill allows you to simulate walking or running perfectly. These are the two most natural means of movement. Thanks to the suspension of the running deck, running on a treadmill is easier on your joints than running on tarmac or other hard surfaces. The first treadmill for medical purposes and heart disease diagnostics was used in 1952 at the University of Washington. Treadmills are suitable for both home and commercial use. Compared to elliptical trainers, treadmills have a slight disadvantage in their size, weight and price. Learn more in our treadmill guide.
- Elliptical trainer was developed as a way to most effectively exercise as many muscle areas as possible. The movement is not completely natural and you need to get used to it first. Basically, your legs simulate an elliptical movement while your arms move along. This way, you exercise muscles in your entire body. Exercising on an elliptical trainer is more similar to cross-country skiing or Nordic hiking than running or walking. The engagement of your arms is much more intense. The movement is smooth and extremely easy on your joints. That’s why elliptical trainers are recommended for people with joint problems, for whom walking or running isn’t a suitable way to exercise. Read more in our elliptical trainer guide.
To sum it up, treadmills are more suitable for intense walking or running, or if you just like to run but outdoor conditions are unfavourable or you don’t want to be dependent on them. Elliptical trainers are suitable for use as multi-purpose fitness trainers that will help you strengthen your figure, burn fat and improve your physical fitness, as well as coordination. The more compact elliptical trainers with lower prices are ideal for maintaining your physical fitness at home, the more robust trainers can be often found even in commercial fitness centres.