Trying to decide between an elliptical vs treadmill? These are two of the most popular pieces of fitness equipment on the market.
They each give you some unique benefits. So which one is best for you? Well, this article will outline the advantages of each - so you can decide for yourself which one to choose.
#1 Low Impact
Elliptical trainers are much lower impact than treadmills. Because your feet are not hitting the platform with every step you take, you get less stress on your knees, hips and back.
This makes the elliptical a good choice for people who may be injured (or more prone to injury). Many elderly exercisers also like a crosstrainer because it's lower impact as well.
#2 Lower Perceived Rate of Exertion
The crosstrainer - because of the upper body arm bars - has what is called a 'lower perceived rate of exertion'.
What this basically means is that you worked harder than you feel like you did.
Put another way, you may feel more energetic after your workout.
Or you may just be able to workout for longer periods of time because you don't feel as tired as you would after a treadmill workout.
#3 More Workout Variety
With an elliptical machine, you get a lot more options when it comes to working out. You can go forward or back. Some ellipticals also have incline (which changes the slope of the elliptical motion), which also crosstrains and targets different muscle groups.
You can choose to use the upper body arm bars - or not. You can use the resistance - or not.
Plus, there's something completely new in the elliptical world these days - the variable motion trainer.
These give you different elliptical pathways to run - from a short step-like stride to a long hurdling-type motion.
You have so much variety that you'll never all into a rut with one of these trainers.
#1 Simple To Use
Treadmills are so easy to use - they're good for any exerciser - from the complete newbie to the experienced athlete.
Many people don't feel comfortable on an elliptical.
And if you get a poorly constructed machine, they may even be in pain after a workout - and not want to use the machine again.
But treadmills are easy to use - and have been around so long that almost everyone feels comfortable using them, regardless of age or fitness level.
#2 Great for Lighter Exercise
Some people feel that ellipticals (maybe because of the upper arm bars?) only give tough, heavy-sweat workouts. While this is not the case, if you just want a light exercise like gentle walking, then a treadmill may be the best choice for you.
#3 More Workout Toys
Treadmills, because they've been around a bit longer, tend to have more 'toys' like fitness tracking tools, carb counters, TV's etc.
Of course, this is changing. For example Nordic Track has come out with some impressive machines like the Elite 15.0 which has a built-in web browser and 2 HD Video workouts.
And many ellipticals now carry iPod docks and lots of user workout programs.
However the advantage still seems to be with treadmills here.
So those are some of the main benefits of elliptical vs treadmill. Hopefully you have a better idea of which is better for you.
Of course, it mainly depends on what you like to do for exercise. I have a friend who prefers to do gentle walks every day. So she chose a treadmlil. Another friend however loves to run, but has knee problems. So he went with an elliptical that he swears he couldn't live without.
No matter what you choose to buy, remember that there are good value (and poor value) machines in each category. So do your research, take your time and find a well-constructed machine with a solid warranty to protect your investment!
For the latest elliptical best buys, visit our 2012 Elliptical Best Buys Page.