Indoor workouts are a big trend this year. People are buying machines of all kinds to work out at home and commit to cardio sessions at least a couple of times per week. It seems like treadmills and elliptical trainers are getting the most attention among all machines, which is reasonable.
For one, both of these machines allow you to move and burn calories while staying at home. They feature a moving belt where you can control the speed, as well as the incline. With an elliptical, your feet are put on a platform and move in an ellipse (an elongated circle) while with a treadmill, you are walking or running or a flat surface.
While there are many similarities to these two machines, there are differences as well. Both types of the machines have their unique advantages and disadvantages when it comes to working out. Below, we are comparing them in detail and telling you which one would be better for your needs.
Treadmill: Advantages And Disadvantages
Treadmills have been here for decades, known for their efficacy and the perfect practice of running. Whether you are walking or running on a treadmill, chances are that you will get a chance to burn calories while putting less stress on your body (compared to walking or running outdoors).
Below is a list of pros and cons that treadmills have, as well as a quick elaboration.
As you can see, a treadmill is great to have if you are used to running to maintain a good shape and burn calories. It provides less impact than running on a pavement, is perfect for the bones and muscles, and gives you plenty of control over when you want to walk, and when you want to run.
Plus, treadmills are used by expert runners and professionals who train on them before important events. Despite the bad rap that they receive for being easier compared to running outdoors, the lower impact on the body makes them great for training.
However, if you are prone to injuries in your hips or knees, as well as joint issues, it might be a good idea to also see the pros and cons of an elliptical trainer and do a full comparison of these two.
Elliptical Trainer: Advantages And Disadvantages
While an elliptical is a great option if you have issues with your joints, hips or knees, there are some things to carefully review as well. One of the biggest drawbacks of this machine is that it is easier to run onto it, as your legs are moving in a circular motion and there is not a very high impact. If you hold onto the rails with your hands, the actual workout is even easier and with lower impact.
However, if you don’t use the handlebars to push and pull against resistance, you will get a great full body workout. Your arms will move enough to strengthen your upper body and core. If you want to boost this, just increase the resistance or add in some arm-only intervals.
However, we absolutely recommend this machine as a great option for people who want to prevent injuries in the future, or minimize the pressure they will get on their already-damaged hips, knees or joints.
How Safe Are These Machines?
Both the treadmill and the elliptical have some safety guidelines, which usually come written within the instruction manual. If you follow these guidelines, you will see that they are very easy and safe to use.
However, some people (usually ones who are new to both machines) worry about their safety when walking or running on a moving belt. The elliptical might be more complicated in this manner, which is why you should first try using it without the arm handles. Doing this will help you establish a natural position and once you have the movement, you can add the arm handles.
Treadmills are generally safer, and they also come with a safety clip that can be attached to your clothing. With that on you, you can rest assured that the machine will stop by itself if you ever trip, slip, or fall from it.
With both of these machines, we recommend warming up and cooling down properly before starting any workout. This can help activate your muscles and joints before they are put to work, and lower your risk of injuries. Also, you should stretch after your workout.
Note: If you ever feel faint, dizzy or lightheaded while exercising on a treadmill/elliptical, stop your workout immediately. Also, drink plenty of water throughout your workout.
The big battle of the treadmill vs. the elliptical dates back to the origins of cardio machines as we know them. So, every time these two calorie burners are compared, the focus is put on the high-impact workout (found in the treadmill) versus the low-impact workout (found in the elliptical).
Ultimately, while the high-impact workout is better for burning calories, the low-impact one does wonders when it comes to preventing injuries while still getting calories burned by doing cardio.
We recommend everyone considering either of these machines to combine their workouts with a healthier diet as the perfect accessory to guaranteed weight loss.