Ellipticals and treadmills are categorized as “cardiovascular” machines and on the surface they can seem pretty similar: both simulate a walking or running type of movement. However, there are several key differences in their function and effect that you should consider before making the investment in one of them.
Elliptical machines simulate a smooth, running-like motion. Unlike treadmills, the pedals never leave your feet so you’re literally supported every step of the way.
In addition to the pedals, ellipticals have two vertical handles that you pull on as you run. This both tones your arms and increases the cardiovascular effects. When compared to treadmills, ellipticals set on low resistance burn a similar or slightly fewer amount of calories.
Ellipticals offer an all-over toning experience and target both your lower body as well as your arms, core, and back. The resistance levels of both the pedals and handles can be adjusted. This means that an elliptical can be used both as a cardio machine on low settingsand for strength training and full body toning on higher settings. You can also use the elliptical in reverse to vary your workout and target different muscle sets.
An elliptical machine creates a circular, jogging-like motion that might feel strange at first but after a few minutes you’ll become used to it. Because of the low-impact design, many people feel like they’re working less hard than on a treadmill even though they end up burning about the same number of calories.
Treadmills emulate a walking or jogging motion and can be set to a wide range of speeds and inclines. Some treadmills have shock absorption but they are still considered medium to high impact exercise depending on what speed you choose.
Treadmills will burn around 100 more calories an hour than ellipticals if set at the higher speeds and inclines. These settings can be changed easily and it’s possible to program your workouts to add variety and simulate walking outside better.
Treadmills primarily tone your lower body, in particular the quads, calves, hamstrings, and glutes on higher incline settings. They also have a strong cardiovascular benefit and, because it’s an impact exercise, will strengthen your bones.
One of the biggest advantages of a treadmill is that it simulates a natural walking motion and this makes them the ideal choice for beginners. Many people also love the convenience of treadmills because they’re quiet enough to be used while talking or watching TV, and can certain models be easily stored when not in use.
Still note sure which is the right fit for your needs? Contact us today to speak with one of our specialists!