Is the elliptical or treadmill better for weight loss and for burning calories? That is the burning question of the hour. (Pun Intended)
Both cardio machines target major muscle groups in the lower body. So if you’re trying to lose weight, both will help you burn extra calories.
A study performed by Harvard Medical School found that for the average 155-pound person, 30 minutes on the elliptical burns 335 calories. On the same person, 30 minutes on the treadmill can burn 372 calories. So, if your goal is overall caloric burn rate, the treadmill outshines the elliptical by a smidge. It’s important to keep in mind that the calorie burn of your workout will largely depend on your weight and the intensity output of your exercise.
You can use the treadmill for walking, jogging, and sprinting
Studies show that consistent HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is shown to reduce total body fat mass and waist circumference.
Many studies performed give treadmills a slight edge in caloric burn when compared to ellipticals.
By using a treadmill, you’ll mimic walking or running outdoors.
Using a treadmill targets the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. That’s why it’s a great lower body exercise. If you want your lower body to get into shape and toned, consistent treadmill exercise is a great tool.
When you’re walking or running on a treadmill, your joints are getting continual impact. If you have an injury or joint pain, this can cause issues/
Walking and running on a treadmill is a great exercise for the lower body, but the upper body is ignored. A treadmill doesn’t target any muscles in your upper body.
Running at high speeds, and having to change your treadmill speed can increase your chances of falling and injuring yourself.
A treadmill may be more appropriate if:
Shop for the best treadmills
Avoid running or walking on a treadmill if:
During elliptical movement, the feet are stationary. This completely avoids joint impact.
Your arms and legs are in constant motion when exercising on an elliptical. So, not only are your leg and arm muscles active, but it strengthens your core as well.
On elliptical machines, you can use the pedals in reverse. This way you can perform mixed workouts that target other muscles.
Ellipticals are a great cross-training option if you are rehabilitating an injury.
Read more: How to Rehab Injuries with an Elliptical
Some people simply won’t like the movement pattern of an elliptical.
Although ellipticals incorporate more muscles than ellipticals, ellipticals are less impact. Less impact translates into less muscle growth. If you want to increase your muscle and bone strength, you’ll still need to add some weight-bearing exercises to your exercise regimen.
Elliptical machines can be used in the following cases:
Shopping for an elliptical? See current elliptical coupons and sales
Since ellipticals are such a low-impact exercise option, the only real reason that you should avoid elliptical use is if the movement is unnatural to you/you don’t like it, or if you’ve been instructed by your doctor to avoid exercise.
When it comes to losing weight, any type of cardiovascular exercise is going to increase your daily calorie burn, and help you in your journey to weight loss. The US Department of Health & Human Services suggests to aim for 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity.
There are pros and cons to using both ellipticals and treadmills. The choice mainly comes down to your preference. At the end of the day, the main variable in weight loss is consistency. Find the right piece of cardio equipment that you enjoy using and that you’ll be able to stick with to achieve your health and wellness goals.
Can you lose belly fat with an elliptical?
Any type of consistent aerobic exercise, including an elliptical, in combination with a good nutrition plan, can result in loss of belly fat.
What is the best type of cardio for losing weight?
A great option for low intensity cardio is the elliptical trainer, while a good option for high intensity activity is the treadmill.
Is 30 minutes of exercise a day enough?
It’s recommended to exercise moderately for 150 minutes a week, or vigorously for 75 minutes a week. 30 minutes of exercise a day is enough to maintain or even lose weight.
Can an elliptical make my thighs smaller?
Ellipticals don’t spot target fat loss, however they can strengthen the thigh muscles, making them appear smaller.
How long does it take to see results on an elliptical?
If you stick to consistent exercise several times a week, it generally takes anywhere from 6-12 weeks to start seeing results from elliptical exercise.
How often should I use an elliptical to lose weight?
In order to lose weight, it’s recommended to use an elliptical 5x per week to help in burning more calories.