Treadmill Vs. Elliptical – which one would be the best for your workouts?
Is the treadmill truly superior to the elliptical? Or is it the other way around?
If you are deciding which machine is the best one for you, you may want to consider what muscles are primarily worked and if there is any danger to either machine. The treadmill Vs. the elliptical might be what you want, but do your research and figure out which is best for you.
The elliptical motion is similar to running and cross country skiing. A treadmill however, is only for walking or running. The Elliptical uses the arms and the legs, so it is more of a whole body workout than the treadmill. The elliptical motion glides and is a mixture of running, climbing and cross country skiing. One advantage of the elliptical is that the directions can change from forward to backward. Don’t count the treadmill out, while it may not work as many muscles as the elliptical is is best for those who are not currently physically active or who are starting at a less experienced level.
The Muscles that the Treadmill Works
Workouts on a treadmill primarily work the legs and don’t work out as much of the body as the elliptical. Treadmills can increase the incline making the workout on the legs more intense than that of the elliptical. The treadmill works the heart muscle and muscles found in the legs, such as hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes and the calf muscles.
The Muscles that the Elliptical Works
The elliptical works the heart muscle and respiratory system. Muscles in the rest of the body are also worked. Since the elliptical gives a full body workout, more muscles are worked in the arms and legs. Though the primary muscles that are being worked are muscles found in the legs- hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps and calf muscles- the heart and the lungs.
Impact on Your Joints
Running on a treadmill is similar to running on a sidewalk. Joints can get impacted while running and the risk of injury is increased on a treadmill. Making sure that good shoes are worn can help reduce the risk of injury. On an elliptical the feet remain stationary on the pads so there is no impact on the joints.
The risk of injury or harming the joints is dramatically reduced whereas the treadmill does impact the joints. You can help to reduce the impact on your joints during a treadmill workout if you use a treadmill that has a cushioned running surface. While many older models do not have cushioning almost all new models have good cushioning and when you read over the product description it will tell you what type of cushioning it uses and also how much less joint impact you will have due to the cushioning.
Calories being burned
If you think that because working out on a treadmill Vs. elliptical is slightly harder that you are burning more calories. This is incorrect. It takes the same amount of time on both the treadmill and elliptical to burn 100 or 1000 calories.
It all depends on the programs that you use, the product’s incline or decline and how much energy you put into your workout. While you may see charts or graphs that show that one piece of fitness equipment burns more calories than the other, it will really depend on how much you enjoy using your equipment.
If you don’t enjoy your workout you won’t put your heart & soul into it and you will also find yourself skipping workouts. So while an elliptical trainer workout may involve more muscle groups if find that an elliptical workout is too strenuous for you it’s best to go with a treadmill. Then as you get more fit you can increase your incline and start using the more advanced programs. Some of the interval training programs for the treadmill as very strenuous and rival any elliptical machine workout.
If you are looking for something more similar to running you may want to get a treadmill since it is running and the elliptical is more similar to cross country skiing. But the elliptical does work out more muscles in your body and doesn’t impact your joints as much. But both are great workout machines that will make you healthier.