Exercise Equipment

Treadmills vs. Elliptical Trainers - Which is The Correct Choice?

Elliptical trainers and treadmills are amongst the most popular exercise and fitness equipment these days. Both are exceptionally good tools for providing indoor aerobic workouts. If you compare treadmills with elliptical trainers, you will realize that elliptical trainers have recently become a trend, whereas treadmills have been popular for a long time.

Treadmills have been more widely known and are commonplace. If you think of exercise equipment, then a treadmill is the first thing that comes to mind. However, before you make a final decision, do consider an elliptical trainer as a serious contender to a treadmill as your equipment of choice.

A brief comparison:

An elliptical trainer compared to a treadmills, is considerably impact free. Elliptical trainers have no impact on the ground, and do not cause any stress or injury to the lower joints.

 Even though treadmills provide mats that are better for the knees than a cemented floor, there is a significant impact on lower body joints.

One obvious advantage in favor of treadmills is that they provide better training to dedicated joggers or runners than elliptical trainers. If you are training for a marathon or even a long run, and you do not want to spend too much time outdoors especially during bad weather, then a treadmill is a better choice.

If you are looking for fitness device that can give you extensive cardiovascular workouts, then the elliptical trainer is the better choice. Most elliptical trainers provide a complete body workout especially those that have dual action handlebars for arms and foot pedals for legs. On the other hand,  treadmills as a rule focus on the exercising the lower body as they are meant for walking, jogging or running.

Even more interestingly, according to some recent studies, the lack of impact on the joints allows users to burn the same amount of calories approximately as treadmills with the feel of putting in considerably lesser effort and strain.

It is not surprising that elliptical trainers are preferred for the elderly or people who have arthritis or knee problems. Physiotherapists who rehabilitate clients from injury or fractures also prefer the elliptical trainer.

A famous exercise physiotherapist  has reportedly confirmed that the physiological responses linked to exercises with elliptical trainer are almost identical to those associated with treadmill exercises. He concluded that both such exercise machines were effective for increasing the calories burned and for improving and maintaining cardio respiratory health and training benefits.

You should not overlook the fact that elliptical trainers add a lot of variety to the workout routine as the range of exercises that can be performed on them is more extensive than treadmills.

For anyone working on an exercise plan, the biggest challenge is to continuing to remain interested and stay motivated. In the case of treadmills, the ability to alter the incline and the intensity are positive factors, which have contributed considerably to their popularity over the past decades. The elliptical trainers also match these features but also have some additional ones of their own.

The most critical feature that separates the elliptical trainers from most other exercise machines is the forward and backwards reversible feature on their foot pedals. When one is going forward, one gets the feel like a cross-country skier on a long slope. However, when one reverses the pedal motion, one can target the lower body in a very intensive manner.

It is premature to conclude that elliptical trainer will replace the treadmill as the favored exercise equipment, but you can bet that elliptical trainers will give the treadmills a good run for their money. If one just looks at the health clubs and rehabilitation clinics these days, one would soon realize that elliptical trainers are here to stay and are more than just a passing fad.