Treadmill Or Elliptical: Which Is Better?

I’ve spent a lot of hours writing on this site, per request, answering to the best of my professional abilities about what the best whatever it was I was asked about. People are always wanting to know what the best form of cardio is, whether they have any real intentions of doing it, or not. There are many different ways to perform cardiovascular exercise. We have stair steppers, but they can be rough on the knees and hips. We can always take off running, but that too, can be tough on the joints. Swimming and bicycle riding not withstanding, the 2 most popular types of cardio are the treadmill and the elliptical machines. Which is the better of the 2, the treadmill or elliptical?

Before I can safely answer the treadmill or elliptical question, I would have to know for whom it is that I am answering the question. For example, when comparing the treadmill vs elliptical, we have to consider how much impact is advisable for that particular trainee. As a longtime Austin personal trainer, I can assure you, that we come in all different shapes and sizes, so a generic, one size fits all answer won’t be of much real world value. If the client has tightness in their hips or knees, it would be more advisable to go in the direction of the elliptical, as there’s is generally a lot less impact on the joints, depending upon the settings. If the client is perfectly healthy and could stand a light jog, or even running full tilt, the treadmill would be a perfectly good option.

When wondering what you should do, treadmill or elliptical, you might want to consider doing both, as opposed to looking to exclude one over the other, provided they are both a good option for you. There are different advantages to each machine. For example, you can replicate a stair climb on an elliptical machine, but conversely, you can walk, or run, on a flat, yet forgiving surface on a treadmill. One advantage to doing both, however, is that it breaks the monotony of doing the same thing over and over. Granted you can change resistance and inclines on either machine, but often times, it’s refreshing to simply do something a little different.

Asking yourself should I do the treadmill or elliptical today is fine, but I would strongly recommend that you don’t ask yourself if you should buy the treadmill or elliptical. Only very serious and dedicated fitness enthusiasts should be equipping a home gym. What happens over and over is that brand new treadmill or elliptical, which you had every intention of using daily and becoming a lean mean machine on, is now a very expensive and cumbersome coat rack. In the decade or so that I’ve been a gym owner, I usually get at least one phone call per month from someone looking to cut me a great deal on their home exercise equipment. Gyms don’t want your home exercise equipment any more than a zoo wants to take in the pet you now find too difficult to care for.

Either way, treadmill or elliptical, so long as there are no health concerns such as tightness or imbalances to consider, you’ll be fine. Keep it fresh by varying the parameters of the exercises so you’ll have a better chance of sticking with it, and have fun with it.

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My name is Andy Bruchey and I founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition and sports specific training.
Treadmill Or Elliptical: Which Is Better?
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Treadmill Or Elliptical: Which Is Better?
Longtime Austin personal trainer Andy Bruchey compares cardio machines and offers his opinion on which is superior. The treadmill or elliptical.
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Andy Bruchey- Complete Fitness Design
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About Andy

My name is Andy Bruchey and I am a longtime Austin personal trainer having founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition, and sports specific training for professionals. Contact me today to see how I can help you!
3100 W Slaughter Ln Austin , Texas 78748 512-484-2270