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Treadmill Vs Elliptical

Aug 17, 2007
They're the two most popular exercise machines on the market today: Treadmills vs Ellipticals. So which exercise machine is best?

While treadmills are still the top selling piece of home exercise equipment, elliptical trainers are quickly catching up. Each one offers unique, specific benefits that would suit a specific type of exerciser.

This article lays out the benefits of both the treadmill and the elliptical trainer so you can make an informed decision and choose the best machine for you.

Treadmill Benefits:

Treadmills Are Best For Runners, Walkers & Joggers

The treadmill is still the machine of choice for those who prefer running, jogging or even walking as a form of regular exercise.

It's obviously a more valuable choice for the dedicated runner/jogger than an elliptical trainer. Plus it can help you train even in the winter months when you don't want to run outside.

Treadmills Are Suitable For All Exercise Levels

Walking is a simple form of exercise that anyone can do - from beginner to seasoned athlete. And many people actually prefer the walking motion to the elliptical motion, which takes some time to get used to.

You also don't have to be supercoordinated to figure out how to use a treadmill whereas elliptical trainers can sometimes be a little tricky to use with armbars and backward elliptical motion to master.

Treadmills Provide Workout Variety

A treadmill provides workout variety of a different kind than the elliptical trainer. A treadmill allows you to walk, run, jog, walk uphill, do intervals and workout programs.

You can even build in upper body handweights to work your arms, back and shoulders.

Elliptical Trainer Benefits:

Elliptical Trainers Offer A Lower Impact On Your Joints Than A Treadmill

What is interesting is that this lack of impact on the joints allows the user to burn roughly the same amount of calories as treadmills with the impression of putting out less effort.

So you burn the same amount of calories while feeling like you did less work. (This is called the 'Rate of Perceived Exertion')

This lower impact also makes the elliptical trainer a great choice for those with knee or hip problems, the elderly or even rehabilitation patients.

Elliptical Trainers Provide A Great Overall Body Workout

With the dual-action upper body arms as well as the foot pedals, you are getting an overall total body workout. Whereas the treadmill mostly focuses on the lower body, the elliptical works your entire system for an overall cardiovasculer workout.

Ellipticals Offers Excellent Workout Variety

One feature that is often overlooked on an elliptical is the opportunity to move in both a forward and backward direction.

When you go backward you are targeting a different set of muscles than when you go forward (hamstrings vs. quadriceps). This helps add variety to your workout and keeps you motivated.

So those are some advantages of both elliptical trainers and treadmills. Is one machine better than the other? It really depends on who you are and what YOU enjoy doing.

Here's the bottom line:

If you enjoy using a specific exercise machine more than others, you will exercise more often - which means more calories burned, more weight lost and a better body achieved. That is the best exercise machine for you.

One final note: Remember that whichever machine you choose - with exercise equipment you basically get what you pay for.

Many people buy cheap equipment and then pay for it later in the form of equipment repairs, joint problems and painful injuries. Make sure you buy a high quality brand name machine with a solid warranty that was built to last.
About the Author
K O'Neill writes for Elliptical Review & Treadmill Review

Visit the websites above for more brand reviews, buying tips and best buys.
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