Elliptical vs Treadmill – Which Is Best?

Comparison Between Treadmill And Elliptical

They’re two of the most popular gym machines in the world, but many people still don’t know the difference in benefits between the elliptical trainer and the treadmill. Although the treadmill was first, many people now prefer the elliptical as it offers more enjoyment to use.

Each machine comes with its own unique advantages and benefits to the user, so it depends on what you’re looking for in a cardio machine. As every user look so for something different from their daily workout, whether it’s to build strength, improve stamina, or lose weight, there’s never going to be one device that’s fit for everyone.

Elliptical and Treadmill Comparison

Although the elliptical is newer and more exciting to use, there are many reasons why people still trust the treadmill for all of their cardio workouts. However, when looking at weight loss, there seems to be one machine that can offer a little more than the other, and many argue both can beat the benefits of an exercise bike.

Benefits Of The Elliptical Trainer

Elliptical trainers can be found nowadays in gyms everywhere across the country. These fun machines give users an enjoyable floating motion when used, which some people might find confusing to operate at first. However, this machine is packed full of benefits to the user including:

Total Body Workout

Unlike some gym machines which focus on one area, an elliptical trainer can give you an all body workout. A standard workout on an elliptical might seem as though it’s using your legs, but you’re also engaging your core, working arms and shoulders, as well as back too. Just 20 minutes on this trainer can give you a full body workout like no other.

How To Get An Effective Elliptical Workout


One of the main reasons these machines have enjoyed so much popularity is due to their fun factor. While it might take users a while to get used to the cycling motion of these trainers when you consider elliptical vs stationary bike there’s really no comparison for enjoyment. This enjoyment can turn into motivation to exercise, as it’s something people want to keep coming back to.

Low Or No Impact

The design of an elliptical means there’s no need to put your body through any strain, so it’s perfect for people who need a low impact workout. These trainers are great for all fitness levels and especially for anyone suffering an injury, and they’re the best low impact cardio machine available.

Calories Burned

According to Harvard Health Publications, just 30 minutes on an elliptical trainer when used correctly can burn 400 calories. The more the user weighs, the more they will burn, which is why this is great for weight loss.

Our Top Pick:

Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine

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Elliptical Machine By Schwinn

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Benefits Of Treadmill

There are many reasons why the treadmill still remains the most popular piece of cardio equipment at the gym, and it’s usually the first choice for people looking to invest in their own trainer for home. When deciding what’s better elliptical or treadmill, you need to look at what the treadmill can bring to the table too.

Easy To Use

One of the most appealing things about the treadmill is that you don’t need to learn how to use it, and you’re allowed to go at your own pace. Whether you want to walk or run, you just jump on the deck and start to move.

Top 5 Treadmill Workout Plans

Bone Health

A 2008 study into treadmills found that regular exercise on these machines can increase your bone density and reduce your risk of certain diseases. This might be particularly useful for the elderly or those who want to strengthen more than just their muscles, with just 30 minutes of exercise a day.


A treadmill is one of the most versatile pieces of gym equipment, as there are a number of ways you can use it. Whether you want to walk, run, do interval training, perform squats and jumps, use hand weights, and more, there are so many inventive ways to change up your workout each day.

Low Impact

When comparing the elliptical vs treadmill, this machine isn’t quite as low impact but it is close. Provided you shop for a quality product, a treadmill’s deck should be cushioned enough to provide your joints with more relief than walking on the pavement.

Our Top Pick:

NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill​

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NordicTrack T 6.5 S Treadmill

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Which Is Best For Weight Loss?

So, what burns more calories: elliptical or treadmill? While it’s true that with a standard workout the elliptical can give you a greater fat burn, there are ways to adjust your workout on each of these machines to get great results.

An elliptical burns around 400 calories in half an hour, versus the treadmill which burns around 300. However, if you add in some interval training to this and just a few short bursts of jogging you’ll be able to burn even more calories than the elliptical.

Depending on how you use them, both machines are exceptional choices for weight loss. But if you’re looking for variety in your workouts, the treadmill will help you achieve this. With so many different ways to enjoy it, you’re given far more choice for the types of exercise you can perform with a treadmill vs bike or elliptical.

The Verdict

When considering the elliptical vs treadmill weight loss abilities, you’ll be able to effectively achieve this with both. The elliptical can burn more calories in half an hour, however, there are plenty of ways to lose weight with a treadmill too. If you’re looking for something low impact, though, the elliptical is the clear winner.

Elliptical Machine Next to Treadmill

To choose the right machine for you, it all comes down to which one you enjoy more. When you find a workout that you love doing, you’ll never feel that exercise is a chore again. Both ellipticals and treadmills can offer you a unique workout, so it all depends on your personal preference.

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