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When you head into a gym, two machines that you would find most commonly is an elliptical and a treadmill. This is because both machines are capable of providing impressive cardiovascular workout results. They help burn calories while bringing about an improvement in your aerobic capacity. However, both machines carry their own set of pros and cons.

It is quite common for people to wonder which machine would prove to be a better option for them. What should they spend their time and money on? We are going to provide you with the benefits that both machines have to offer along with their disadvantages so that you can reach a conclusion.



You will find a treadmill to be highly versatile since it is equipped with a number of training programs. It is up to you to decide the type of workout that you want to use it for. It can be used for both casual and rigorous workouts.

This machine is not difficult to understand and is not complicated. It comprises of natural body movements which make it easier to use.

It is capable of burning calories at a fast rate since quite a bit of effort goes into propelling the body due to which the calories are burned at a faster pace.

Apart from weight loss, it also proves to be effective in strengthening the bone and muscles along with improving your posture.


At times, treadmills can put a strain on your joints. This usually happens if you fail to warm up before using the machine.

Some high-intensity programs that these machines have can be quite dangerous if you are not skilled enough to perform them.

At times, holding onto the handles as you run can be quite a bit of a challenge.



This machine is designed in a manner that sets your body in a running motion without causing any strain on your joints.

It is provided with a moveable handle, which allows you to indulge in a workout for the upper body as well as the lower body at the same time.

The elliptical also offers you the option of striding in reverse. This leads to the activation of different muscle groups, thereby providing you with an effective mid workout.

While using an elliptical, you do not feel that you are working very hard despite the fact that a lot of hard work is being done. As a result of this false perfection, you can exercise for a longer duration and burn more calories.


The machine does not offer you much versatility. Most of the elliptical machines available on the market do not provide you with the incline feature, and those that do offer it are not very effective.

As mentioned before, the machine is designed in such a manner that it prevents strain on your joint. However, this also carries a disadvantage. The pedals of the machine are devoid of the weight-bearing effect which comes into play when you are running and serves to strengthen the bones and muscles.

Sometimes, when you are operating the machine, the machine’s momentum can power it, thereby reducing your effort and, thus, your results.

The more effective option

According to studies, the calories burned by running on a treadmill for an hour amounts to around 705 to 855. On the other hand, working out on an elliptical for the same duration burns around 773 calories. If we take these studies into account, it is the treadmill which appears to be more effective in terms of burning calories.

Ultimately, it comes down to what you are looking for. If you are looking for a cardiovascular workout machine that would allow you to indulge in a workout with negligible impact, an elliptical is the option for you. If you want to lose weight while using an elliptical, you will need to get high-intensity interval training.

If you want more versatility in your workouts and require a machine that forces you to indulge in some rigorous exercise, it is a treadmill that you should use. Once you get used to the machine, you will find it highly impressive when it comes to burning calories.

If you have already sustained an injury which can be worsened if exposed to the weight-bearing effect of running, you would be better off with an elliptical. Both machines have a lot to offer. If you cannot use both, you need to focus on the features that are important to you.

Tags : Elliptical vs. Treadmill

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