Elliptical vs. Treadmill Which is Better

Elliptical vs. Treadmill: Which is Better?

Congratulations on finally deciding to use that gym membership! You must be raring to get in shape and live a healthier lifestyle!

And if putting on your running shoes and jogging for a few miles around Singapore isn’t your thing, we’ve got a couple of gym equipment to discuss today.

Can’t decide between elliptical and treadmill machines? With this guide, you can read the different contributions of each to your cardio fitness and hopefully help you pick the best one. 

User learning curve

User learning curve

Ellipticals are often recommended for those who often get gym-related injuries and who have knee or joint conditions. Most elliptical machines do have some learning curve to them especially for new users. 

Treadmills are simpler in that you can walk or run on them while simply controlling the speed and incline of your workout. 

But then again, that’s what video or gym instructors are for, as well as manuals for the machines themselves. Either piece of equipment can be mastered in just a few hours or days compared to the more complex cross trainers that combine functions of several machines.

Muscle development

Muscle development
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Because most elliptical machines allow users to switch directions, there’s a wider menu of options for muscle development. You can choose to go forward or backwards to strengthen your hamstrings while building calf muscles.

On the other hand, treadmills can also build leg muscles while working on your quadriceps and glutes. In comparison, however, ellipticals target more muscles of the body because they can also come with upper body poles.

So both machines can do wonders for your lower body, but it’s still a good idea to do some squats, lunges, and work out your core with exercise balls to prevent injuries before an intense machine workout.

Workout intensity

Elliptical machines can put less stress on your back, hips, and knees compared to a treadmill. Running or high-impact walking on a treadmill is more stressful on the joints and bones and could lead to knee injuries or shin splints if you aren’t careful.  

But a treadmill workout supervised by a personal trainer can be quite beneficial for you, too. They can help you adjust the number of miles to run per week or have you alternate between walking and running to prevent injuries.

Upper and lower body workout

Unlike typical exercise bikes that offer only lower body workouts, elliptical machines often have arm handles to help you work on muscle resistance on your chest, back, and shoulders. These can help you tone your arms while you exercise your lower body.

Treadmills don’t target as many muscle groups as elliptical machines can because the latter can help you isolate and target specific muscles. Treadmills are better at burning more calories, though.

But it’s also a good idea to integrate simple tools like resistance bands and pull up bars in your routine to develop more upper and lower body strength and muscles. They’re great additions to your regular cardio routines, too.