Which one is Better – Elliptical or Treadmill for Workout?

Which one is Better – Elliptical or Treadmill for Workout?

When we talk about a cardio workout, then Ellipticals and Treadmills are two important machines that come to our mind. No doubt, they are also beneficial and is helpful for your cardiovascular health. They help in burning the extra calories and getting your waistline to shape.

They improve the body’s fitness levels to a great extent. Also, note that choosing one over the other depends on your specific fitness goals. Like, if you are a runner/jogger and want a machine which mimics that, then a treadmill is your answer.

And for people who want to cross-train and have resistance training, then elliptical is their choice. So, keep in mind the purpose of your workout and then decide.

But, each machine has its pros and cons, which we will be discussing further in this article. We did some research on this and are happy to share our reviews and study.

Lets up Find out: Which one is Better – Elliptical or Treadmill for Workout?

Pros and Cons of an Elliptical Trainer

An elliptical trainer is the one which makes use of the motion of arms and legs, both. It has gained a lot of popularity and a preferred machine for home as well as a gym. In this machine, there is a flywheel which gives adjustable tension.

The pedal provides a gliding foot motion that is smooth and constant. It also has two bars which are movable and moves the upper body as well. It is a cross-trainer which gives the feeling of a cross-country skiing stride.

Apart from cardio, ellipticals also work on your strength. There some best elliptical trainers in the market which will fulfill your fitness needs.


  • Total Body Workout – Ellipticals give a full body workout because handle movement moves the upper body and the core, whereas the pedals work on the lower body.
  • No-Impact Workout – Ellipticals do not put stress on your joints, bones, or ligaments because your foot is always attached to the pedal while exercising. So, it does not put strain like it happens while running.
  • Natural – The beauty of ellipticals is that they burn the same amount of calories as treadmills, but without any impact. It seems you are putting fewer efforts while working on an elliptical and thus seems more comfortable.
  • Natural Movement – An elliptical moves the body in a natural motion as if riding a real bike while standing. So, you do not feel as if you are working on a machine because the movements come out natural.
  • Variety – An elliptical machine gives a variety workout like you can adjust the resistance of your exercise to less, medium, or intense. In this, you can also go backward in motion which is impossible to do on a treadmill.
  • Cost – The cost of a good elliptical is much lesser than a good quality treadmill. But, the features and uses it provides are more than a treadmill.


  • Numb Feet – If you are working for long hours on an elliptical, you may feel numb feet, because your feet are stuck with the pedal all this while. So, it is advisable to move your toes and circulate the feet to keep the circulation moving.
  • No-Impact Workout- The elliptical puts no impact on the bones, but to keep the bones and joints strong some level of influence is needed.
  • Burning Legs- When you are a starter, you may feel burning sensation on legs because ellipticals make use of your quadriceps to the maximum. But, after some exercise sessions, the muscles get used to it and do not burn.

Pros and Cons of a Treadmill

A treadmill is a machine which comes with a moving surface for walking, running, or jogging. It is also an excellent cardio machine which can accommodate beginners as well as experts. It has varying speeds which the user can choose as per his use and need.

But this is not it!! Modern treadmills come with various features like a heart rate monitor, LCD windows which show the workout progress. This feature also helps in interval training.

It comes with handles to give you support during brisk walks and also comes with incline functionality which replicates the motion of walking uphill. There are some of the best treadmills for home use in the market.


  • Engages the Abs – When you run on a treadmill, you make use of your core, which further activates the abs. This keeps the body balanced and keeps it engaged. Regular working out on a treadmill results in a strong core gives immense stamina and a great posture.
  • Versatile – A treadmill is a versatile machine which helps you to run, walk or sprint on it. It also lets you make use of the incline option to add some resistance to your exercise.
  • Natural Feel – Walking, running or jogging is a natural process, and treadmill does the same. It is just that you are doing it on a stationary machine but with a walking surface. Within a few seconds, you will follow the machine’s stride and feel natural.
  • Calories Burner – Treadmill is an effective way to burn the fat and lose weight. The rate at which you will lose depends entirely on your weight and the speed and incline you are using to run or jog. It is calculated that it is ideal to use an incline of a minimum of 3 degrees and run sporadically.
  • Lower Body – Since the treadmill engages only the lower body, it works great on the hamstrings, calves, glutes, abs, quadriceps, and heart muscles. It works great on the lower body and helps in losing the extra flab.
  • Bone Strength – Treadmills strengthen the bones of your body because your legs take up the body weight one by one while running or jogging. Each leg takes the weight alternately and gains strength. Moreover, when you run on an incline, the legs take more weight which in turn makes them firmer.
  • Heart Health – It is said that walking is the best exercise for the heart. So, using a treadmill helps in pumping the heart rate and making good use of the lungs. While walking or running, the heart muscles work more and increase circulation. Gradually, with daily practice, you will find you can run more with each passing day without going breathless.


  • Not Easy on Joints – When you run slow or fast for a longer time, it can be hard on your knees because they have to take your body weight for a longer time. The joints also absorb the shock when your feet touch the treadmill base while working.
  • Only Lower Body – It is clear now that a treadmill works excellent just on the lower body. Although it does work on your abs too, still lacks in giving a total body workout.
  • Posture – The size of the tread belt may have you change the way you run or walk, and over some time it can lead to bad posture and lower back pain.
  • Muscle Loss – Muscle loss is familiar with people who do excessive running or jogging. This is because, with excess activity, the cells break the protein down and converts them to glucose. So, you should have an excellent protein-rich meal after the workout and do strength training as well. This way you will not lose the muscle mass.
  • Not Safe – Running on a field as compared to that on a treadmill is more natural. Running on a treadmill might make you dizzy and then changing the speed belt in between running can make you prone to falling by losing balance. So, maybe for some people, it is not a safe option.

Treadmill vs. Elliptical?

Having discussed Treadmills and Ellipticals with their pros and cons, we will now focus on the central question here – Which is better of the two? This is evident that you can get a good workout from both the machines, but used separately.

It all boils down to your preferences and fitness goals which will determine which one to choose. If you want resistance and low-impact training, then ellipticals are the solution. Whereas, if you’re going to have a cardio workout without much involvement of the upper body, then buy a treadmill.

For calories burning, ellipticals have the upper hand because they offer resistance and work on major muscle groups. Ellipticals are considered to be the best cardio machines for losing weight and people who are looking for challenging incline running and jogging then treadmills are the best.

The market is full with best elliptical bikes as well as best incline trainers. But, one must know how to use any machine for getting optimum results efficiently. Like, while using an elliptical if you do not turn on the resistance, then you will be merely moving your muscles without actually working out.

Also, avoid using phones or watching tv while exercising because if you can do so, it means your workout is not that challenging.  So, in my review, it is clear that no machine is better than the other, but your specific use decides which one you must purchase.

There are some best commercial treadmills as well as the best treadmills for home use like Matrix TF30, Weslo Cadence G 5.9, ProForm Pro 2000, etc.

We also have commercial ellipticals and home use ellipticals, like Life Fitness X3 Elliptical Cross-Trainer, LifeSpan E2i Elliptical Cross Trainer, Best Fitness E1 Elliptical Trainer, etc.


In conclusion, I would like to say that only calorie burning doesn’t define the effectiveness of the machine. Your personal preference is the main thing. If you have joint problems and want a low-impact workout, then you will like ellipticals whereas if you wish to run/jog every day for a cardio exercise, then you will like treadmills.

One is perfect for running, and the other is perfect for upper and lower body workout. But, from the market survey, both Ellipticals and Treadmills are very popular and customer’s preferred choice too.

They fit in comfortably at home, and there are some of the best compact ellipticals and best folding treadmills in the market. Once you decide which machine you want to buy, you will see a whole lot of variety in those machines depending on various factors.

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