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Group with senior people on elliptical trainer in gym

What Are The Benefits Of Elliptical Machines Vs Treadmills?

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If you’ve ever stepped foot in a gym, you are likely well aware of how popular both treadmills and elliptical machines are. Many people stick to using a treadmill and some swear by using an elliptical. Below, we will be going over some of the benefits that elliptical machines have over treadmills.

Some Of The Benefits Of An Elliptical Over A Treadmill

Running on a treadmillLow Impact Exercise

Perhaps one of the biggest negatives associated with treadmills is the amount of impact it causes your lower body. A lot of people can become injured while running or suffer from repetitive stress injuries associated with running. This is due to the fact that running causes a lot of impact from the force created with constantly picking up your foot and slamming it down on a hard surface with your entire body weight. As a result, it can be detrimental to your joint health whether you have knee, ankle, or joint issues or not.

An elliptical machine offers the benefit of not having any of this impact at all. The way an elliptical machine is designed, it is a much safer way to get in the kind of cardiovascular exercise you need to enjoy optimal health. In fact, elliptical machines are such low-impact devices that they can be effective when used even if you have various kinds of pre-existing injuries in your lower body.

Related: Read our review of the Schwinn 480 Compact Elliptical

Offers The Ability To Get In A Full Body Workout

Another major benefit that you are able to get with using an elliptical is the ability to have something that offers a complete body workout. Rather than using something that is only going to work out your lower body, an elliptical will target not only your lower body but your upper body at the same time. This is due to the way the elliptical was designed. The person using the machine is supposed to use their upper body to swing the handlebars in a push and pull motion in order to get in a full-body workout. Therefore, it forces not only your legs to work (learn more about what an elliptical does for your legs), but also your arms and your entire upper body including your shoulders. This means that you can get in a good and comprehensive workout by just using an elliptical machine. You can work out your legs and arms in separate intervals which will help you build strength and muscles in both. Although ellipticals are designed to work multiple parts of the body, you can also get a full-body workout from a treadmill as well. You just have to practice a little creativity.

Generally Cheaper

An elliptical machine is generally going to be cheaper and more affordable than a treadmill. This is primarily due to the fact that elliptical machines don’t really need a full motor in them. Unless you are getting a manual treadmill machine that places even more stress and strain on your joints, you will have to spend money on a machine that has a motor in it for an automatic belt. With an elliptical, you aren’t going to have to spend nearly as much because the cost to manufacture an elliptical is not nearly as expensive. This is reason enough to at least consider getting an elliptical if you are someone that is looking to buy workout equipment on a budget.

Small elliptical in gymRequires Less Room

In general, you will be able to find that an elliptical will take up less room. This is important if you are dealing with a limited amount of space as it is (see Tips for Working out in an Apartment). For those without the kind of room that is needed for a full-scale treadmill, you can get an even better caloric burn from something that is more compact in an elliptical machine.

If you’re interested, take a look at our comparison of some of the best ellipticals for those with limited space. Additionally, we have rated some of the best compact treadmills for apartment living.

It Offers Workout Variations and Versatility

Not only is it going to target both your upper and lower body, but it is also going to offer you a lot of other variations and versatility that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to get with a treadmill. You will be able to use the elliptical machine backwards which can help you target both your hamstrings and glutes. For many, this might be a big benefit considering not a lot of exercise machines or equipment will make it easy to do this.

Wrapping Up

Overall, there are a lot of different benefits that you will be able to get if you make the decision to purchase an elliptical over a treadmill. An elliptical is going to give you a very comprehensive workout that isn’t going to put you at an increased risk for suffering stress injuries or other kinds of joint-related injuries. It is going to take up less space and is commonly more affordable than an automatic treadmill. Because of this, it might be a better option for a lot of people who are looking to invest in only one piece of home workout equipment. With an elliptical machine, you will be able to get something that can be used to give you a total body workout each and every time you use it.