Gym Source is asked this question every day: Which machine is more effective, a treadmill or an elliptical trainer? Here’s our answer: While you can’t go wrong with either one, always let your goals be your guide.
If your primary goal is low-impact aerobic training, then an elliptical trainer might be best. Here’s why:
Overall, elliptical trainers can be optimal for users recovering from injury or seeking to avoid joint stress. Note, however, that while a low-impact elliptical workout can help protect tender joints, elliptical trainers lack the ‘weight-bearing effect’ inherent to treadmills. Because the pedals of an elliptical trainer are suspended off the ground, they can’t-and don’t-go as far as a treadmill does to strengthen bones and muscles (achieved every time your feet pound the belt), which can be important to older users.
If your training goals involve higher impact activity-and perhaps even some road races-consider a treadmill. The benefits are easy to see:
Today’s top-quality treadmills are designed to maximize your comfort, calorie burn, and workout enjoyment. Then again, so are today’s elliptical trainers. The bottom line is this: To truly determine the best machine for you-treadmill or elliptical-get to a specialty fitness retailer like Gym Source and try out a few for yourself. Once you’ve experienced the feel and features that today’s innovative treadmill and elliptical machines have to offer, you’ll know what’s right for you.
Source credits: Kevin Deeth, CPT, and Dr. Edward R. Laskowski