Elliptical V Treadmill: Which One Is Right For You?


In this battle of the benefits we’ll be focusing on the long standing debate of elliptical v treadmill. Does one of these cardio pushing exercise machines provide a better or more comprehensive workout than the other? Should your workout routine combine the use of both of them or is it time to say goodbye to one or the other? Find out everything you’ve ever wanted to know, and then just a little bit more, about the elliptical v treadmill debate right here. Are you ready?


Elliptical V Treadmill: Round 1

In the first round of elliptical v treadmill we’ll be looking at convenience. To measure convenience we’ll be looking at a variety of aspects including how readily available access is to each of these machines as well as how well they can be incorporated into established workout routines.

You Cannot Escape Them

elliptical v treadmill

Both of these machines litter the gym floor just waiting for your energized body to give them a run for their money. While one type of machine may be more popular at your home gym thus leading to less of an availability, both can be found in any gym that supplies cardio equipment. If you prefer to work out in your own home, both the elliptical and the treadmill can be individually purchased. As long as there is a power source and space to set up, you could have your own cardio studio in any room of your house.



Time Crunch Hero

elliptical v treadmill

When you need to get in a quick workout and you know you won’t have enough time to wash your hair or possibly even shower it’s important to pick a workout option that won’t have you dripping with sweat. Whether you are working out before work, on your lunch break, or any other time when you cannot afford the sweat that accompanies a HIIT routine, choosing a cardio routine centered around either the treadmill or the elliptical then is a great option. With either of these machines you are able to completely customize and control your intensity levels.



Embrace The Add-On

elliptical v treadmill

One of the best things about both a treadmill and an elliptical is that they can easily be used as a warmup, cooldown or add-on to any type of workout. Whether you are working on strength training, interval training or cardio training you can always benefit from a few minutes pumping up your heart rate on one of these machines. Since there is no setup or tear down required to use either one you won’t have to worry about time constraints when it comes to adding this workout to your current gym routine.

Elliptical V Treadmill: Round 2

Round two of elliptical v treadmill has us focused on how easy each machine is to use. What we’ll be looking for here is whether or not one machine is more functional for a wider audience group than another as well as the fitness level necessary to benefit from each machine.

You Can Do It

elliptical v treadmill

No matter who you are, how old you are or what your fitness level is, if you’ve got two working legs you can absolutely rock the elliptical. More importantly you can do it well. Form and functionality is built right into this machine. On a treadmill you may worry about causing physical damage to your body by landing incorrectly after a stride, but that’s not a concern when it comes to the elliptical. It doesn’t matter if you are a marathon runner, a professional athlete or have never stepped foot inside of a gym before. The elliptical does not discriminate based on physical fitness, gender or even age.



Avoid Unnecessary Competition

elliptical v treadmill

The only person that you should ever be in competition with is yourself. Striving to beat the person on the machine next to you is pointless, instead just strive to be better than you were yesterday. It can be difficult to avoid this competition on the treadmill as your neighbors speed, intensity and distance traveled is all displayed out in the open for everyone to see. This may make you feel as though you aren’t working hard enough and could cause serious injuries if you overwork yourself in an attempt to keep up. The elliptical frees you from these obsessions and keeps you from engaging in unnecessary competition.

Treat Your Body Well

elliptical v treadmill

While you may get the results you are looking for on either of these cardio focused machines, your joints are more likely to take a damaging hit on the treadmill. The elliptical moves along with your body never breaking contact, which significantly reduces the amount wear and tear on your joints. The treadmill provides a more natural running surface in which the ground remains stable and your feet push off from it to establish and maintain momentum. Unlike natural terrain however a treadmill does not provide any give and is thus harder on your joints than both outdoor running and elliptical use.


Elliptical V Treadmill: Round 3

It’s finally time to look at workout efficiency in the debate of elliptical v treadmill. This is arguably the most important aspect of the debate. It is not very likely that you are working out without any expectations of becoming stronger, leaner or more fit. So it is important to know which machine is going to provide you with those results, and help you to maintain those results through your fitness journey.

Your Heart Will Race

elliptical v treadmill

Whether you are running on the elliptical or the treadmill or even on the natural terrain outside your heart will race. Don’t worry, that’s good news. One of the best ways to measure the effectiveness of your workout is to monitor your heart rate. To do this find your maximum heart rate and then periodically check your actual heart rate throughout your workout. During your workout it should land somewhere between 55% to 85% of your maximum heart rate.

Full Body Workout

elliptical v treadmill

When you’re walking, jogging or running on the treadmill there’s not much to do with your arms which means that they tend to swing haphazardly at your sides without any real gusto. On the elliptical however, moving arm bars encourage you to get in the full body workout that you deserve. Not only can you use these arm bars to encourage arm movement but you can also use them to create resistance to push your arms against, making your full body workout even more intense.




Variety Is The Spice Of Life

elliptical v treadmill

It’s also what is going to keep your workout routine from becoming stale. Switching up your intensity and speed is easy on both the elliptical and the treadmill. It’s also fairly easy to switch between walking forwards or backwards on each of these machines, although it is less likely to injure yourself while walking backwards on an elliptical than on a treadmill. So in this way the elliptical pulls out just slightly ahead.

Up The Intensity Anti

elliptical v treadmill

While it is possible to get the same workout on the treadmill or the elliptical, it is more likely that you will get a more intense workout on a treadmill. This is because of the mentality associated with each of these machines. You can increase the intensity and speed of either to match your fitness goals but it has been shown that most people coast on the elliptical and push themselves when they step onto the treadmill. In reality neither machine is more suited for a higher intensity workout, it’s based solely on the individual operator.

Elliptical V Treadmill: The Verdict


While it may seem that we favored the elliptical it’s only because it offers a greater variety of workouts to a larger audience. When it comes to your personal level of fitness and your overall fitness goals you may find that the treadmill is a much better fit for you. The most important thing to remember when you are working out is that you are the most important piece of equipment. You have to make sure that no matter what exercise you are doing or what machine you are using you remain comfortable and in control. And remember that you will see the greatest when you actually put time and effort into your routine, so you mine as well pick one that you enjoy and look forward to doing.

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