Elliptical Machine Benefits - The Advantages Of Elliptical Vs Treadmill Workouts

Elliptical Machine Benefits – The Advantages Of Elliptical Vs. Treadmill Workouts

By: - Health & Fitness - June 30, 2011
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A workout on either a treadmill or an elliptical machine benefits the entire body through its engagement of a variety of muscle groups and its cardiovascular impact. However, people new to working out are frequently confused about the benefits of elliptical vs treadmill workouts and whether there is a reason to prefer the newer elliptical machine.

One of the obvious benefits of elliptical vs treadmill workouts is that elliptical machines are designed to provide a workout to the upper body as well as the lower. Unfortunately, many people use it without actually employing the upper body element, instead choosing to hold on to the stationary handles near the monitor. Unfortunately, that choice results in a less effective workout that has failed to take advantage of one of the biggest elliptical machine benefits! When used correctly, the elliptical offers a whole body workout that can only be gained on a treadmill if one is doing arm exercises while walking/running. However, if done correctly the workout on both machines is nearly equivalent in terms of burning calories.

Although treadmills are great for someone who loves running or walking, when determining whether to choose an elliptical vs treadmill workout one should consider whether their body is better suited to a low- or mid-impact exercise. Although treadmills are lower impact than running on city sidewalks, they are much higher impact than the elliptical. The elliptical machine is designed to put minimal stress on knees and other joints, making it preferable for people who have knee and ankle problems or arthritis.

If you get bored easily, an elliptical is a preferable choice as it allows variety not possible on a treadmill. On a treadmill you can only change speed or incline, or walk backwards or sideways to vary your workout. An elliptical, however, offers various settings to adjust incline, resistance, and other factors in order to simulate a stair-climbing machine, cross-country skiing and other experiences. If you take advantage of these features you can cross-train more effectively, giving your body a more varied workout that keeps your muscles challenged.

People are often surprised to learn that home elliptical machines are about equivalent in cost to treadmills. There is a wide range of models in terms of quality and price, starting at $300-400 for a low-end model and rising to $4000 or more for a gym-quality model. Price should not be a factor in making this choice. Instead, you should consider the impact level your joints can handle, whether you are a runner or someone who prefers more variety in their workouts, and which piece of equipment will be more likely to encourage you to actually work out. Assess both treadmill and elliptical machine benefits and shortcomings to choose the equipment that works for you.

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