21 May 2015

Compare Treadmills vs Elliptical Trainers

Two cardio machines most commonly found in gyms are treadmills and elliptical trainers. While both provide a good workout and help burn calories, each machine provides different benefits and each are useful in their own way, depending on the user. When comparing and researching the two types of cardio equipment, you soon realise that elliptical trainers have only been around for a fairly short time when compared to treadmills which have been around for a long time. Treadmills are therefore better known and more common. However, just because you might be more familiar with a treadmill, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the better cardio equipment for you when compared to the elliptical trainer.

Treadmills and Elliptical Trainers Compared

The obvious difference between the two cardio machines is that the elliptical trainer allows your body to imitate a running motion without causing the vigorous impact on your joints that occurs on a treadmill. There is limited impact through your feet, knees and back, which may appeal to people who need a lighter workout because of joint problems or pain.

Elliptical trainers provide users with a total body workout, with dual action handlebars for your arms and foot pedals for your legs. Treadmills focus more on your lower body as they stimulate the jogging motion. According to recent studies, the lack of impact on the joints allows the user to burn almost the same amount of calories as treadmills while using less effort.

According to the Harvard Medical School website, “An hour of regular elliptical exercise burns 540 calories in a 125-lb. (56 kg) person and a 185-lb (84 kg) person expends 800 calories.” Also the ability to stride in reverse can activate different muscle groups and put more emphasis on your quads - something most treadmills cannot do. If you are someone that does not have joint or pain problem in your legs and you don't mind or even enjoy running, treadmills offer more impact and can help strengthen your bones.

Ellipticals provide a better training experience for a dedicated runner or jogger, simulating the running motion with less stress on your joints than running outside on the pavement. If you are someone that likes distance running and don’t want to go outdoors too often during the colder months or the blistering summer heat, then a treadmill may trump the elliptical in terms of your needs. From a brisk walk to an uphill sprint, treadmills offer a wide range of options in terms of speed, incline and multiple training programs. Propelling your body weight requires a significant amount of effort. As a result, your body will burn calories at a higher rate. According to CalorieLab, a 125-lb (56 kg) person running at a speed of 11.2 kmh would burn 588 calories in and hour (48 calories more than the elliptical) and a person that weighs 185-lb (84 kg) would burn 882 calories in an hour at the same pace (88 calories more than the elliptical). Finally, working out on a elliptical trainer at a lower level can allow you to use the machine’s momentum to power it and you may not ultimately burn the number of calories you'd like when using an elliptical at a low speed.

Therefore, the elliptical trainer is the cardio equipment for those who want to improve their cardiovascular health with minimal impact on feet, ankles, knees and back. If you are a more experienced exerciser and/or enjoy running, the treadmill offers the most calorie burn on average because you are supporting your own body weight and mostly working harder to run than you are to move the elliptical. All of this being said, if you don't have joint pain and are looking for exercise equipment that will help you to stay fit and healthy and equipment that you can use indoors when you don't have time to head outside to work out or run, both types of cardio equipment will suffice, you just have to commit to getting one and then using it as part of your daily routine.

Read more about these treadmills and elliptical trainers that might suit your exercise needs:

The Horizon Adventure 1 Plus Treadmill

This is a full size treadmill with plenty of features for beginners and workout enthusiasts alike, from its commercial grade motor and ample running are to simple controls and programs. It will get up to 16 kmh as well as a 10% incline. Find out more about the Horizon Adventure 1 Plus Treadmill.

The Healthstream HS3500T Treadmill

This treadmill has everything you could ask for in a mid-range running machine. It has a massive range of pre-set programs, mp3 input with built-in speakers and a great console. The outstanding reliability of this range of treadmill has a proven record of trouble free use. It can get up to 18 kmh and has 15 levels of elevation.

Healthstream Force Treadmill

With 15 levels of automatic incline and a top speed of 20 kph, the Force will make you feel like you are training in your own health club! To keep your training interesting, the Force has 30 pre-set programs plus Heart Rate Control featuring speed, incline and speed and incline combined.

Horizon Andres 6 Elliptical Trainer

Enjoy the benefits of 16 electronically adjustable resistance levels and a 41cm stride length with extra small spacing between the feet, and non-slip footpads provide a safe and comfortable workout. It will provide unique One-Step Folding to allow for easy storage and maximum space saving.

Infiniti Fitness Elliptical Trainer ST1200EMS

This trainer includes 6 preset programs, 4 HRC and body fat programs to mix up your work out and burn those extra calories. It also comes with horizontal foot pedal adjustment, adjustable depth of stride and dual action plus stationary handlebars.

Spirit Victory Elliptical Trainer

This features a bio-mechanically correct action for safer workouts, a console fan and water bottle holder. It has 13 programs including HRC as well as a 1-16 electronically controlled magnetic resistance system.

Shop more fitness equipment and exercise equipment online here at onsport.com.au: Cardio Equipment.