You will always see row upon rows of treadmills or cross trainers gracing the floors of the modern gym, but when it comes to burning off calories, which machine is the most efficient?
We’ve done the research and have come up with a list of features available so you can compare the calorie-burning potential of each machine for yourself:
Treadmills have a variety of settings that enable an athlete to simulate various activities such as running, jogging, walking, or even hiking. With the number of settings and the ability to set an incline, it’s possible to add plenty of different variables to a workout. More advanced treadmills have settings which can automatically vary the settings during the workout – which is great for varying the intensity without you having to think about it.
Treadmills also have the advantage of allowing you to walk or run without having to worry about what the weather outside is doing.
Elliptical Trainer Features
By combining the motion of the foot pedals and the handlebars, you can achieve a high-intensity full-body workout with the elliptical machine. There is no jarring effect from the impact your feet have as they come into contact with a treadmill, as your feet are always firmly planted on the pedals as they glide around the wheel.
Due to this low impact, elliptical machines are preferred by people who may be suffering from sore joints.
If you need more variety in your routine, or you happen to be recovering from a lower-body injury, then the elliptical machine can definitely add an intense cardio program to your workout.
Comparison Of Caloric Burn
There have been studies completed on both types of machines so let’s look at the results. For a runner running at 7 miles per hour for one hour, the treadmill and the elliptical were a close tie. Be aware that the data may be biased as not everyone is in the same class of fitness.
The best machine will generally be determined by the level of exercise, as well as the level of expertise of the operator:
The average walker or jogger is much more likely to make extensive use of the treadmill. However, if they were to use the elliptical for the same amount of time, they would burn off a few more calories due to the arms being engaged at a more intense level (providing they make use of the arm movement).
You can achieve as much calorie burn as you need from either the elliptical or the treadmill.
The treadmill is an excellent workout for the whole body but for those who are suffering from any knee or joint pain, the elliptical may be the better choice due to its low impact nature.
To relieve boredom or spice up your routines, it is recommended to make use of both machines. You will also help to reduce the chance of injury.
For more experienced runners who use faster speeds or longer distances, they may find that the treadmill will give them a greater calorie burn.