Treadmill vs Elliptical: Which One Is Right for Me?
If you’re looking to boost your cardio you may find yourself debating between two popular types of workout equipment.
Embracing the elliptical and the treadmill are just a couple of the most common ways to work on your cardio, burn calories, and move towards your fitness goals. While both of these machines have a lot in similarity, there are also some differences between the two as well.
For over the last three decades Akfit has provided quality fitness equipment for multiple needs, whether for personal or commercial objectives. But aside from offering a wide range of high caliber workout equipment, Akfit is more than happy to provide professional advice and help our clients find the answers they are looking for.
One of the most common questions we hear from our clients is: Should I invest in an elliptical? Or should I look into a treadmill?
Whichever it may be, it ultimately depends on your personal fitness goals and the equipment you feel most comfortable using. To help reach the best possible conclusion it’s important to know how the treadmill and elliptical benefit you and the disadvantages of both types of workout equipment.
In this article:
- What Is a Treadmill?
- The Pros of the Treadmill
- The Cons of the Treadmill
- Cost of a Treadmill
- What is an Elliptical
- The Pros of the Elliptical
- The Cons of the Elliptical
- Cost of an Elliptical
- Purchasing Your Treadmill or Elliptical
What Is a Treadmill?
A treadmill is a modern exercise machine that is used for running, walking, or even climbing while remaining in the same place. It allows the individual to bring their potential outdoor workouts inside on a mobile belt beneath their feet. With these machines the user can set the speeds and inclines they wish to walk or run on to achieve their fitness success. Treadmills may even feature other tools such as a heart rate monitor, an HD console, and different workout programs.
The Pros of the Treadmill
A High-impact Workout
The biggest difference between a treadmill and the elliptical is that the treadmill will strengthen your bones and joints while avoiding the unpredictable elements the great outdoors can present. Running on a treadmill is considered a high-impact workout which promotes stronger muscle development and includes different pacing and interval variables for your session.
With a treadmill you have the ability to change your speed to create either a sprinting-based workout, or you can simply work towards your pacing success.
Different Incline and Speeds
You have the ability to manually change the level of your incline as well as the speed of the belt on your treadmill. Depending on what workout program you're on, the versatile options with speed and inclines will come in good use.
Bone and Joint Strength
Since using a treadmill is a high-impact workout. Using your treadmill will strengthen your bones and muscles because both are taking on your weight with every step you take.
Increasing Your Lifespan
Running can also reduce your risk of heart disease, it can be used as a form to relieve stress, and can help you improve your sleeping habits. Ultimately taking up running could work towards increasing your lifespan.
Remarkable Sources of Data
Treadmills are also some of the most honest machines on the market. If you input the exact speed you want the belt under you to move, it will move at that exact speed. They are very enlightening tools for data which can help you track distance and time making the procedure very easy for you to log your progress. Some treadmills even allow you to track your heart rate, and have different workout programs that will keep track of your progress the whole way.
The primary muscles that are involved while exercising on a treadmill include the hamstrings, quadriceps, as well as your calves and glutes depending on your increase with the incline on the treadmill. The abdominals are also put into work, especially when you run.
The Cons of the Treadmill
Risk of injury
The biggest concern while investing into a treadmill while compared to the elliptical is the risk of injury. Running on a treadmill comes with a higher risk of potential injury because the repetitive and constant movement of running combined with the high-impact workout that running provides. This can increase the chance of hurting your knee, ankle, or hip compared to using an elliptical.
It’s not quite the same as running outdoors
While the treadmill is designed to bring your cardio working indoors, it isn’t the same as being outdoors. The belt on a treadmill may provide a more comfortable surface than the concrete sidewalk outdoors, but if you are more of a cross-country athlete you may be inclined to keep your high-impact workouts on different types of terrain.
Working out different muscle groups
The treadmill works less muscle groups than the elliptical. When you are running or walking on your treadmill you are working out more of your lower-body and not receiving some of the benefits to your upper body that the elliptical may provide.
Cost of a Treadmill
Finally another con of the treadmill compared to the elliptical is the cost. Treadmills generally tend to be more expensive than the elliptical, however it can vary depending on the workout equipment you intend to invest in. On average our top notch Akfit treadmills can range anywhere from $1498 to $4998. To help you narrow down your selection you can check out our top 5 selling treadmills.
What is an Elliptical?
The elliptical is another stationary cardio machine that allows users to walk, run, or even stair climb on a low-impact workout which doesn’t cause the same excessive pressure to your joints, muscles, and bones like a treadmill might. When using an elliptical you move in an elongated circle with your feet placed on a platform with ability to go forwards or backwards while also having the opportunity to work out your upper-body with the arm handles. Some ellipticals will also feature adjustments in incline and resistance levels.
The Pros of the Elliptical
Less Stress on Joints and Bones
Even though a high-impact workout may be a pro of using a treadmill, that doesn’t mean it is for everyone. Using an elliptical for your cardio workout will typically put less strain on your joints and bones. This ultimately leads to less chances of injury and is a safer option to use if you suffer from lower back pain, knee or hip pain, or other health conditions such as osteoporosis and arthritis.
Maintain Your Fitness While Recovering from Injury
While using this exercise machine you can still enjoy and maintain a high-intensity session on this lower-impact machine which can help you maintain your fitness levels and help you stay on track to reach your fitness goals while safely nursing an injury.
You Can Also Enjoy an Upper-Body Workout
Many elliptical machines have arm handles which you can comfortably move back and forth along with the movement of your legs at the same time. Utilizing these handles help work out the muscles in your shoulders, back, and chest.
The Reverse Direction
While using an elliptical you can also move in a backwards motion. This change of direction can also provide another great benefit of the elliptical which can help you strengthen your calves and hamstrings.
Cons of an Elliptical
A Learning Curve
The elliptical is a bit more of a complex exercise machine than the treadmill. It requires an elongated circular motion and is quite different from your casual jog. If you have never used an elliptical before it could take some time to become acquainted with these machines. The good news however is that our experts at Akfit are here to not only help install your equipment but will also show you how to use it.
Less Muscle Development
Even though the elliptical will provide you with a delivering low-impact exercise, you may not notice the same amount of muscle development compared to using a treadmill due to the lack of pressure applied to your muscles.
The Elliptical Does A Lot of Work For You
At first some may think this isn’t a bad thing but if you want results you don’t want to rely on workout equipment to do some of the work for you. The elliptical is designed to create a lot of motion from the force of your movement on the pedals. This creates a lot of your movements from momentum alone and as a result could potentially not be developing parts of your body or health as quickly as you’d like.
Developing Your Abs
You might think that with the elliptical would impact your abs more than running considering you can also work out your upper-body. However the fact is the elliptical does not actually engage your abs as much as running on a treadmill would.
Cost of an Elliptical
As addressed above, purchasing a treadmill can be more expensive on average than going with the route of an elliptical investment. While both machines provide different benefits, it can be hard to ignore more cost friendly options. Our Akfit ellipticals can range anywhere from $1198 to $2848.
Choosing Your Brand New Elliptical or Treadmill
When comparing the two different types of workout equipment it is important to know your body and what your fitness goals may be. While the treadmill vs elliptical debate may be one that will last until the end of time, both machines have different benefits that may apply to whichever your personal needs and wants may be.
Whether you decide to invest in bringing your running exercises indoors or if you decide to circle around to picking the elliptical, Akfit is here for you to help you walk away with a satisfying product and provide you a service that will help you feel more knowledgeable and confident in reaching success with your exercises. We have a wide variety of ellipticals and treadmills for you to choose from.
We encourage you to reach out to us. You can easily book a virtual meeting with one of our fitness experts to help you narrow down what piece of fitness equipment that works best for your needs, and within your budget.