Treadmill Vs. Elliptical: Which One Is Better?

When it comes to indoor exercise, many experts and gym trainers recommend using either a treadmill or an elliptical trainer. But people feel confused between both the fitness devices or machines, and if you are also feeling confused about using the right type of fitness machine/device as per your needs, then this post is going to be all about you. Both treadmill and elliptical are the best options for cardiovascular conditioning of the human body; in short, you can use them for aerobic exercise. The only problem is that there are two different groups present, one says that you should always prefer the treadmill over an elliptical trainer, whether the second group says that you should only prefer an elliptical trainer for indoor exercising.

Both parties are right, but in specific cases, and if you want to know which one is the best-suited one for you, you can easily identify this by taking a look at the pros and cons of both treadmill and elliptical exercising devices. We have listed and explained every single advantage and disadvantage of these two devices/machines so that you can conclude on your own.

Treadmill Vs. Elliptical

Pros of Treadmill

  • Impressive Controls

No one can neglect the fact that a basic treadmill comes with great versatility, and there are many factors present that are making it more versatile than a typical elliptical trainer. The first and foremost reason is that with a basic treadmill device, you can perform different walks like uphill walk and brisk walk actions. This special and versatile feature is not available in a cross trainer and elliptical trainer. Therefore, if you prefer the uphill walk or brisk walk instead of proper plus intensive running, you should consider a treadmill over an elliptical trainer.

Not only this, but there is another impressive feature present that you can’t expect in an elliptical trainer, and here we want to address the importance of fitness/training programs. Unlike typical ellipticals, some modern treadmill manufacturers offer various preset fitness/training programs that ultimately are present to help you achieve your fitness goals. Talking about the high-intensity interval workout, so it is possible to use a treadmill for a high-intensity interval workout for muscle building and better cardio health.

  • Best Option For Leg Muscle Strength

When you ask advice from a gym trainer and expert fitness trainer, then surely most of them recommend the treadmill for better leg muscle strengthening. Mainly professional runners prefer to use a treadmill over an elliptical for better leg muscle strengthening. If you are thinking of building lower body muscles like quadriceps, hamstring, and calves, you should always use a treadmill for indoor exercise.

On the other hand, a typical elliptical trainer doesn’t play a significant role in leg muscle development; thus, the treadmill option automatically becomes important in building lower body region muscles.

  • Pretty Easy To Use

There is nothing too complicated about the treadmill for indoor exercise; even a beginner feels quite comfortable with a treadmill for the first time. Behind the easy use of a treadmill, there are two significant reasons present; the first is that the treadmill doesn’t come with too much-complicated controls.

Therefore, it ultimately becomes super easy for a user to use a treadmill even for the first time, he/she just needs to set the ideal speed for running or walking, that’s it, nothing else included. The second reason is a natural movement, unlike the cross trainer and elliptical trainer, a user can experience more natural movement while running or walking on a treadmill.

Cons of Treadmill

  • Risk of Getting Injured

Believe it or not but, exercising with a treadmill, there is always a high risk involved to get injured, but in most cases, injuries happen because of the unawareness of people. It is a fact that treadmills usually put more pressure and stress on the leg bones than other exercising devices like cross trainer and elliptical trainer. This thing ultimately leads to injuries like a knee injury, stress fracture, and shin splints.

If you don’t want to deal with any kind of injury while exercising, you must follow the expert’s advice while exercising. And if you usually try to push above the maximum ability of your body during a workout, you should stop this from the next time. As per the health professionals, over workout and pushing the body towards or over the maximum ability can be dangerous for human health. However, it would always be great to keep the warm-up session in the starting and cool down session in the end during a high-intensity workout.

  • Only Lower Body Gets Involved In Treadmill Exercise:

The biggest con of the treadmill is that it can help you to strengthen upper body muscles, unlike other indoor trainers. It’s because while using a treadmill for exercising, only your lower body muscle participates in the exercise, but the upper body muscles stay still. This unevenness can be awkward for some fitness enthusiasts; therefore, many people usually don’t prefer to use a treadmill for indoor exercising.

Pros of Elliptical

  • Perfect For Both Upper And Lower Body Muscles:

Like we mentioned earlier, the treadmill only helps to strengthen lower body muscles, but unlike the treadmill, an elliptical trainer is a perfect option of both upper and lower body muscle exercising. But it will only work for you if you don’t use the holding arms of an elliptical trainer, in this way you can ensure the proper running or walking movement by waving hands like natural walking or running. And yeah, if you are typically looking for something that helps to strengthen both upper and lower body muscle properly, then you should also consider a cross-trainer.

  • Won’t Put Additional Pressure/Stress On Joints:

As if you know treadmills usually put additional stress and pressure on joints plus bones of human legs. Therefore, people with leg joint problems and issues can’t use a treadmill for home or indoor exercise. In this case, the best option which everyone will recommend is a typical elliptical trainer. A typical elliptical allows you to move your legs in a much smoother way; thus, the joint pressure automatically reduces.

  • Ultimately Promotes The Weight Loss:

People suggest that if you are into the weight loss process, you should try the elliptical trainer. The common reason that everyone explains is that while using an elliptical trainer for indoor exercise, you use both upper and lower body muscles for more natural movement. As a result, the human body burns more calories, unlike exercise on a treadmill where the legs and leg muscles come into play. More calorie burn simply indicates that you are going to reduce more fat, that’s why an elliptical is a perfect choice for people who want to lose weight in a more fun way.

Cons of Elliptical

  • Little Bit Awkward:

Most people indeed feel uncomfortable and awkward while using a typical elliptical trainer for the workout. The primary reason behind it is that the elliptical trainer allows you to move your legs in ellipse motion, which is an unnatural movement for the human body. That’s why there will always be a learning curve involved using an elliptical trainer, especially if you are a complete beginner. If you feel struggling to use the elliptical trainer first, you should ask for expert’s support and advice.

  • Not Good At Muscle Building

If you are thinking of gaining muscles or building muscles using an elliptical trainer, your assumption is the opposite. It’s because elliptical is a perfect option for cardiovascular conditioning, not for typical muscle building.

  • Which One Should You Use, Treadmill, or An Elliptical Trainer?

It can be challenging for some people to decide which one they should choose, a treadmill, or an elliptical trainer. But the greatest way to find it is by taking a look at each of the devices’ pros and cons, and if any of them matches your needs and requirements, you should prefer that one over another one.

But the key feature to remember about elliptical trainers before ignoring it is that it is a perfect option for those who don’t want to put additional pressure on their leg joints and bones to maintain the cardiac health. And more importantly, it can be a good option for both upper and lower body muscle exercises, making it an excellent option for full-body exercise at home. Same as elliptical, you shouldn’t ignore the key features and benefits of a treadmill that it is a perfect option for most fitness enthusiasts, and professional runners. If you are looking to gain or build leg muscles, then no other exercise equipment and device/machine can serve better than a treadmill.

It is always a recommendation for all people that you should first prefer to ask from a health professional and fitness training expert before going with any kind of fitness device or machine, especially for indoor exercising needs. It’s because it doesn’t matter which option you chose, but it shouldn’t show any type of lousy effects on your body.

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