Treadmills Vs. Ellipticals: Comparing Today’s Top Two Exercise Machines

Having your own piece of exercise equipment at home is a great way to stay in shape: It’s there whenever you need it, you won’t have to deal with traffic on the way to the gym and, if you buy the right one, it can provide you with a total-body workout leaving you feeling refreshed and fulfilled.

While there are many different types of home exercise equipment, two of the most popular choices are the elliptical machine and the treadmill. Both are great ways to stay healthy and stick with an exercise routine. Both also have their pros and cons that make deciding which one to go with pretty tough. Here are the pro’s and con’s of both machines. Nancy Moore, from FitnessGrams, gives us a breakdown on a few options for home equipment.

Elliptical Pros

Elliptical machines are a little different from most other home workout machines. They use a motion that is a kind of a cross between climbing the stairs and cross-country skiing. You place your feet onto pedals and, rather than walking or running heel-toe, heel-toe. You walk as if you are sliding up a set of stairs, in a smooth motion that raises one leg after the other in an “elliptical” motion.

The benefit of this elliptical motion is that it is virtually a ‘zero-impact’ workout. This means that you can use the machine with ease even if you have joint or back problems, as there is no “jarring” impact like with running. You can move as slowly or as quickly as you want and it’s as if you are gliding on air rather than standing on a machine.

Ellipticals also have hand poles that you hold onto while performing the walking or running motion, giving you extra stability. The machine has varying resistances that you can adjust, so you can get a total-body workout with the resistance levels that suits your fitness goals.

Elliptical Cons

The big issue with using an elliptical machine is that it can be tricky for beginners. The motion used on an elliptical is not the same as running or walking, so it may take time to get used to it. You can lessen the learning curve by using the stationary handles at first, until you get the motion right.

If you have a history of hip troubles, you may want to try one out before buying it, because overuse of an elliptical can aggravate your muscles and tendons.

Another concern with an elliptical is the space it takes up in your house. While it’s not as bulky as some other home exercise machines, like rowers and treadmills, it is still too large to stow in a closet or under a bed, so you need to make sure that you have a dedicated space for it.

Visit this site to read the latest elliptical reviews and ses what others are saying about these machines before committing to one.

Treadmill Pros

Running is one of the best exercises you can do to stay fit and lose weight. It challenges all of your muscles and promotes a healthy cardiovascular system which can help you live a longer, fuller life.

Treadmills work by having a conveyor belt that moves around a stationary frame. You can adjust the speed at which the belt moves so you can simulate walking, running and even sprinting. The learning curve for a treadmill is easier than on an elliptical, so you can start getting a good workout right away.

Many treadmills also allow you to adjust the incline of the frame, giving you the sensation of running up gentle hills or climbing steep slopes. This lets you really work your leg muscles while at the same time increasing your heart rate and thereby promoting weight loss.

Treadmill Cons

Treadmills have several drawbacks for some.

The first is that, as with the elliptical machine, it’s bulky and not easy to store, so you will need a space specifically for the machine.

Other concerns have to do with the exercise that a treadmill offers. A treadmill will not give you a full-body workout, where as an elliptical does. However, you can supplement the lack of an upper body workout by running with small weights in your hands. The most important concern is that running is a high-impact workout, meaning that you will experience a jarring sensation every time you step. This means that people with joint and back pain should go easy when using the treadmill.

As with any workout, you should consult your doctor before commencing a new form of exercise and before using any kind of exercise equipment. Both treadmills and elliptical machines provide a great workout, so look into each before choosing one.

Libby McLean turned her life around 4 years ago; she used to be very overweight, the only exercise she got would be walking to the car. A personal health scare changed her life around – for the better. She is now at her target weight and helping to motivate other women to get fit by reviewing the best treadmills for home use.