Elliptical vs Treadmill: Which is Better for Your Workout?

Are you looking to maximize your workout performance? You’re in the right place.

In this article, we’ll compare the elliptical vs treadmill to help you decide which is best for the exercise goals you have in mind. Read on to find out which machine will help you get the most out of your workout!

It is no surprise that many people are struggling to decide which machine to use when starting a new workout routine. Even with the multitude of options available, it still can be difficult to choose between an Elliptical and a Treadmill.

With this complete guide on the subject, we will provide all the information needed to make an informed decision when comparing these two machines. Knowing the benefits of both machines, as well as their potential drawbacks, will help you make the right choice for your own personal fitness goals.

After reading this guide, you should have all the information necessary to identify which machine is better suited for your own unique needs in terms of convenience and effectiveness.

Benefits of an Elliptical Machine

Elliptical machines offer a wide range of benefits that make them an excellent choice for any workout. Some of the main benefits of using an elliptical machine include:

  1. Low Impact Workouts: Ellipticals provide a great low-impact workout. This means that the stress and impact on the joints, muscles, and bones is minimized compared to other forms of cardio like running or jogging. Ellipticals also provide smooth and comfortable movements for users of all levels, making them ideal for beginners or injury-prone individuals.
  2. Ability to Tone Both Upper and Lower Body: One advantage of using an elliptical machine is that it not only works out your lower body but also allows you to tone your upper body with the moving arms. This makes it a great full body workout without having to do extra exercises such as bicep curls and shoulder presses.
  3. Increased Calorie Burn: When used correctly on the elliptical machine, you can reduce those unwanted pounds quickly due to its ability to burn more calories per session than a treadmill can offer. This is because an elliptical provides a total body workout which ultimately increases caloric expenditure overall when compared with running or jogging on a treadmill.
  4. Built-in Handles: Most modern ellipticals come with built-in handles that are designed specifically to help you move your arms back and forth in sync with your legs while also stabilizing your core to ensure good posture during your entire workout session. The handles also allow for different types of exercises since you can switch up hand positions throughout your routine for various intensities (i.e., forward & backward arm movements).
  5. Time Efficient & Space Efficient: Unlike treadmills, which require at least a 24”x60” space in order to accommodate movement from its larger belt surface area, most ellipticals need only around 20”x48” space; this allows them to fit even in smaller areas or spaces with minimal adjustments needed as far as assembly goes especially if its three feet wide at maximum length (including arms). Additionally, most modern machines are designed so that their stride lengths (18” – 24”) can be adjusted depending on user preference; this allows users of different heights and sizes to customize their exercise sessions accordingly while cutting down exercise time overall by forcing more activity out from each individual step taken while ensuring proper form technique thus increasing calories burned per minute, making it more time efficient as well!

Low-impact workout

An elliptical and a treadmill offer different low-impact exercises. The motions used on an elliptical are smooth and gliding, and you don’t have the pounding feeling of running on a treadmill. Ellipticals also require little to no coordination, whereas treadmills sometimes require some to stay balanced and adjust your speed.

An elliptical is recommended for people with joint pain because it provides a full-body, low-impact workout without any jarring or jolting movement, thanks to its design which eliminates the impact from each step allowing for a gentler, smoother form of exercise overall. This can be especially beneficial for someone with pre-existing conditions such as arthritis, sprains or strains.

Treadmills are also popular alternatives as they provide an efficient cardiovascular workout while keeping pressure off your joints. However, you may find that your feet hit harder on the belt than they would when running outside so bear in mind when setting the treadmill to higher speeds that the increased impact could lead to injuries such as shin splints if done incorrectly.

Full-body workout

An elliptical and treadmill provide a full-body workout that involve both your upper and lower body, allowing you to target multiple muscle groups in one workout. A treadmill requires more effort from the legs, while an elliptical is best for the upper body, providing a full-body experience. The motion of an elliptical also uses your abdominals, back muscles and glutes more than a treadmill.

Additionally, an elliptical machine puts less stress on the joints because you are trained in a circular motion rather than impact. For those who cannot endure high-impact exercising due to weight or other reasons, an elliptical is a great option for a more efficient and low-intensity workout.

A treadmill does offer a great way to vary your running routine but can put greater strain on your joints due to the forward momentum of running versus the circular motion of using an elliptical. That being said, treadmills are excellent for building speed as they can reach higher max speeds than ellipticals (aside from top models).

Improves cardiovascular health

Exercising on an elliptical machine or a treadmill can both help improve overall cardiovascular health if done at the appropriate intensity. A study conducted in 2019 showed that those who worked out on an elliptical machine significantly increased their maximum oxygen intake by 8-15%.

Scientists all over the world agree that utilizing either of these machines during your workout can improve the body’s oxygen uptake and increase its overall capacity, while lowering your risk of developing heart-related diseases. This is because exercise leads to an increase in blood flow, as well as strengthens the muscles in and around your heart, thus helping to improve its efficiency.

Furthermore, both machines have been shown to lower cholesterol levels and decrease inflammation. Therefore, if you wish to improve your cardiovascular health, using either an elliptical or a treadmill could potentially provide you with great results.

III. Benefits of a Treadmill Machine

Treadmill machines offer several benefits when compared with other, more traditional forms of exercise. They can be used to increase the intensity of your workouts and to maximize calories burned in a shorter timeframe. According to the Harvard Health Publishing, using a treadmill for 45 minutes can burn over four hundred calories, depending on weight and exertion level.

Cross Trainer vs Treadmill for Weight Loss | Orbit Fitness

Another benefit of using a treadmill is that you can complete an entire workout without leaving the house or gym. In addition, it is possible to find treadmills that feature dozens of built-in workout programs or apps for you to choose from. This diversity encourages individuals to adhere to their exercise program more regularly and may help reduce boredom levels on longer workouts.

Furthermore, due to the large number of adjustable features such as incline and speed levels, you can target specific muscle groups by changing your stride length if you are training for a specific event such as running a race. Additionally, as you become better able to sustain comfortable walking speeds over long periods of time, it will be easier maintain a steady pace leading up to any event that involves running or jogging distance.

Versatile workout

The ability to provide versatility in your workout is a key advantage of using an elliptical machine or treadmill. Both options are low-impact cardiovascular machines that allow you to walk, jog, sprint and adjust effort levels as desired. In addition, you can also increase the incline level to provide added resistance training while simulating walking or running up a hill in the process. Ellipticals also have arm motions and resistance levels that can be adjusted, adding another dimension to your workout.

Ultimately, both machines provide beneficial exercises with the ability to customize them according to individual needs and fitness goals.

Weight-bearing exercise

Weight-bearing exercise is any activity that puts stress on your bones and muscles, making them work against gravity. Popular forms of weight-bearing exercises include running, walking, jogging, climbing stairs and aerobics. Weight-bearing exercises are beneficial for strengthening our muscles and bones, increasing our metabolism and reducing the risk of injury.

There are two common pieces of equipment used to do weight-bearing exercises at home or the gym: the treadmill and the elliptical machine. Each form of workout offers unique benefits to suit different goals.

Treadmills are popular pieces of gym machinery that allow users to simulate running without sliding forward on an added surface such as a belt or track. This helps to develop balance, strength endurance and control for increased intensity in a workout by targeting both muscular power and speed.

Ellipticals are similar in shape but much more dynamic than treadmills. They involve backward-forward gliding motion while also incorporating upper leg motion with its handle bars as well as lower leg motion through its pedals with great range of motion motions which helps create a unique full body workout how it targets most muscle groups at one go along with aerobic benefits easily adjustable inclines make it easier for users to ramp up their workout intensity based on their level of fitness.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Elliptical and Treadmill Machines

When shopping for the right machine, it’s important to remember that not all elliptical or treadmill machines are created equal. Consider the following factors when deciding which type is best for your needs.

Price: Price is always an important factor when making a purchase, and machines can range in price from low to high. The type of machine you will buy as well as additional features may affect the cost significantly.

Intensity: You should also consider how intense you’d like to work out on either machine—or both! Moderately intense exercises such as jogging or walking are perfect for a treadmill, while elliptical machines offer more intensity with higher-intensity interval training sessions.

Features: Take some time to review all the features available on both types of equipment before deciding which one might be best for your home gym. Compare the number of preset programs, digital displays, integrated sound systems, or other bells and whistles that might make a difference in your workout experience.

Comfort level: Above all else, you want to be comfortable while exercising! Try out each machine before committing; pay close attention to the incline options and grip handles if offered on each machine—it’s important that these features suit your needs properly before investing in a particular model.

Fitness goals

When making the decision of whether to use an elliptical trainer or a treadmill for your workout, one of the most important considerations is to evaluate your fitness goals. Different types of exercise offer different advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important that you select the machine that will best help you reach your physical objectives.

If you’re focusing on building muscle mass, then an elliptical may be a better option because it provides an overall body workout. On the other hand, if you’re looking to increase endurance or shed pounds then a treadmill might be the more beneficial choice. Treadmills also offer an efficient way to burn calories due to their running motions and steeper slope settings to mimic outdoor terrain.

No matter which option you choose, consistency is key— If realistic and achievable goals are put in place alongside consistent activity throughout each week, no matter what piece of gym equipment one uses, results will eventually follow.

Physical limitations

When comparing elliptical vs treadmill, physical limitations should be taken into consideration. For individuals with joint issues, the elliptical offers a low-impact workout that maintains a minimum degree of stress on the joints. The support available for elbows and feet of the person makes it an ideal choice for those with muscle or joint issues.

On a treadmill by contrast, every step carries more force as the body weight is used to push against the belt and reduces shock absorption. Additionally, those with medical conditions affecting the heart, lungs or other internal organs should seek medical advice before engaging in any exercise routine.

Personal preferences

Personal preferences often have the most significant impact on which exercise machine you select. While we’ve discussed the physical differences between elliptical trainers and treadmills, ultimately it comes down to the individual user’s experience. Consider noise level, size, cost, features and convenience. For instance, if you don’t like the feeling of a treadmill belt moving beneath your feet then an elliptical trainer may be more appealing. Equally, if you prefer to run indoors, then a treadmill may be the better choice.

Elliptical or Treadmill | Commercial Fitness | Octane Fitness

It also helps to consider what type of exercise program you prefer as that can also help determine which machine is better for your workout. If variety is important or aerobic capacity is your primary goal in working out, then an elliptical trainer might be preferable as it gives a user more options and provides a full body workout with minimal impact on joints. However if running is your preferred type of exercise, while incorporating various terrains such as hills or intervals into your routine will require additional settings than what is built into most ellipticals, so you might want to opt for a treadmill instead.

No matter which piece of equipment you decide upon for your workout routine the key factor for success remains consistency — so make sure that whatever piece of equipment you pick fits with both your personal preferences and fitness goals!


To summarize our comparison of elliptical vs treadmill, it’s clear that both machines have pros and cons which must be weighed when making a decision of which is better for your fitness goals. Treadmills are lower impact and typically easier to use while ellipticals may give a more challenging workout as they force you to use more muscle groups simultaneously.

Ultimately, the best machine for your workout depends on your goals and fitness level; if you are looking to lose weight, a treadmill will likely provide the most benefit. However, if you are looking for an intense cardio session or strength-training workout, the elliptical may suit you best. Ultimately, it’s up to personal preference and one should experiment with several machines before investing in one permanently.


Which is better treadmill or elliptical for losing weight?

Both treadmill and elliptical can be effective for weight loss. It ultimately depends on personal preference and which machine you are more likely to use consistently.

Is an hour on a treadmill better than an elliptical?

Not necessarily. Both machines can provide a great cardiovascular workout and burn calories. It’s more important to choose the machine that you enjoy and can stick to.

Is treadmill or elliptical better for belly fat?

Both machines can help to reduce overall body fat, including belly fat. However, spot reduction of fat is not possible, and overall weight loss is necessary for reducing belly fat.

Is elliptical good for belly loss?

Yes, an elliptical can be a good tool for reducing overall body fat, including belly fat, when used as part of a comprehensive weight loss plan.

Will elliptical burn belly fat?

Yes, an elliptical can help to burn calories and reduce overall body fat, which can lead to a reduction in belly fat. However, spot reduction of fat is not possible, and overall weight loss is necessary for reducing belly fat.

Why is treadmill harder than elliptical?

Treadmills can be harder than ellipticals because they require more impact on the joints and a greater range of motion. Ellipticals provide a low-impact, full-body workout that can be less strenuous on the joints.

Is 30 minutes on the elliptical better than walking?

Both 30 minutes on the elliptical and walking can provide cardiovascular benefits and burn calories. The elliptical may provide a more intense workout due to the resistance settings, but walking can be easier on the joints.

Is 30 minutes a day on the elliptical enough to lose weight?

30 minutes a day on the elliptical can be a great addition to a weight loss plan, but it may not be enough on its own. A combination of regular exercise and a healthy diet is necessary for effective weight loss.

What does 30 minutes on the elliptical do?

30 minutes on the elliptical can provide a great cardiovascular workout and burn calories. It can also help to tone and strengthen the legs, glutes, and core muscles.

Which cardio machine burns the most fat?

The cardio machine that burns the most fat depends on individual factors such as weight, fitness level, and intensity of the workout. However, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on any cardio machine can be an effective way to burn fat.

See Also-

Leave a Comment