Is A Treadmill Better than an Elliptical in Losing Weight?

Ever since the elliptical trainer burst onto the fitness and training scene a few years ago, people looking to shed weight have often asked themselves this question whenever they hit the gym, whether to go for a treadmill or an elliptical trainer?


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 But before we go into the pros and cons of each of these cardio machines, exercisers need to grasp this basic principle: equipment aside, how much you’ll gain from a workout depends largely on its duration, intensity and how often you do it. Maximizing your gains can only be achieved by working out regularly (at least four times a week) for a minimum of 30 minutes. 


And this is not just half an hour casually plodding about on the treadmill; we’re talking intense training that will have you sweating and get your heart racing. So, much as selecting a beneficial machine is important, don’t get hung up on arguments about which is right and which is wrong. All the same, here are some questions that can guide you into deciding which machine is better suited to your needs.


1. Which machine is more effective for a full body workout?


The honest truth is that both the treadmill and the elliptical trainer involve muscles in both the lower and upper body. Running on the treadmill will require you to move your arms and for balance, your lower back and abdominal muscles will be recruited into the movement. However, the cross trainer is especially designed to give your upper body, and more specifically your arms and shoulders, a thorough workout. While increasing the intensity (speed or incline) on the treadmill will mostly impact only your quads, hamstrings and glutes, you will feel quite a bit of additional strain on your upper body when you increase the levels on the cross trainer.


2. Which is easier to use between the treadmill and elliptical trainer?


The movements you use on a treadmill are similar to those you use every day when walking around the estate or rushing to the subway. Nothing complicated; simply turn on the treadmill, set the duration of the workout and start walking, or jogging.The motions on an elliptical trainer are not quite so simple. Before you can enjoy the dual benefit of a simultaneous upper and lower body workout, you need to learn how to coordinate the pumping of your feet and the forward and backward movement of your arms. This might take a while for some of us. Nevertheless if you persist, you’ll get the hang of it in less than fifteen minutes.


3. Between the elliptical trainer and the treadmill, which offers more training programs?


Well, I haven’t counted them, but both these machines, treadmill and elliptical trainer, offer a variety of programs to match the varied fitness goals of different users. Whether you’re just getting started and want something not so strenuous or you’ve been training for a while and want something a little more intense, all you have to do is select from the range of preset programs. You can also set the speed and incline level of treadmill or even elliptical trainer manually in the course of your session.


4. What if I’m recovering from an injury or have chronic joint problems, which machine is best?


Using treadmill or elliptical trainer is better than jogging on hard tarmac as both of these machines are designed to lessen the impact of training on your joints. The elliptical trainer was actually crafted to eliminate the lifting up and landing of the feet from the ground when exercising which aggravates joint problems, and same goes for treadmill.

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