Elliptical vs. Treadmill – The Truth About Which One Is Best

As ellipticals grow in popularity, the debate between ellipticals and treadmills grows stronger and stronger. So which one really is the best piece of exercise equipment? In this article, I will, in a concise manner, put an end to the debate by laying out the pros of each.

First, let’s begin with the treadmill. For decades, treadmills have been a mainstay in gyms and homes alike. They have had a broad appeal because of the cardio work out people could achieve without having to brave the elements of the outdoors. Although there are many health benefits that are similar when doing workouts on a treadmill or an elliptical, such as burning calories, building bone density, maintaining good cardiovascular health, and increasing energy levels, there are some benefits that are particular to treadmills. These include:

Training for marathons/races/ironman competitions
Strengthens bones
Can simulate hill/mountain climbing

Ellipticals on the other hand, are the new wave of indoor cardio exercising. They have quickly become the equipment of choice for people looking for an alternative to the treadmill. While they still haven’t made into as many homes as treadmills, some believe it’s only a matter of time before their popularity exceeds that of the treadmill. Part of the reason is the unique benefits it offers vs. the treadmill. They include:

Easier on joints
Less risk of injury
Larger variation of exercises

So which one is better? The answer to that question really boils down to exercise goals and preferences. You must first lay out your overall goals and what you would like to achieve from your workouts. Once all of that is decided, you can look at the pros (and possibly cons) of each piece of equipment and make an educated decision.