Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Treadmills vs. Ellipticals

Oh the choices we have at the gym! Do I run/walk on a treadmill or do I go for the elliptical?! Both pieces of cardio equipment offer a great workout. In fact, Thomas Altena, an exercise physiologist at the University of Missouri-Columbia concluded that the physiological response to treadmill and elliptical training is identical. That being said, there are advantages and disadvantages to both treadmills and ellipticals.


Treadmills provide a very functional exercise…walking and running. We do at least one every single day…hopefully a lot. Treadmill workouts are the best indoor training equiptment if you are training for a walk or run. They provide various programs with speed and incline to get your heart pumping plus treadmills control your speed so you can’t start slacking without turning down your mph. Treadmills are not low impact, however, so if you have knee and joint issues, you need to be careful. Just like you would pound it out on the pavement…you’ll pound it out on a treadmill.


Ellipticals can come equip with moving handle bars that you can push and pull with the upper body making this exercise a full body workout. They come with various programs based on resistance and incline but you control your speed. Elliptical machines are also low to no impact which means that they are great for people with joint issues such as knee problems.

On both machines you should practice good poster and do workouts that are challenging to you…you shouldn’t feel like you’re going to keel over and die, but you should be working hard for the most benefits. If you prefer one over the other, use the one you like. It’s hard to stick to a routine when you hate the exercise you are doing J

Also, if you like both machines, use both…cross training is a great way to jolt your body into better shape!


  1. I think both of these pieces of equipment have their place, though I loathe the elliptical (personal preference). If you want a great weightloss/body transforming work out though, check out
    alexandra demetriou,OTR/L CHT

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