Which exercise equipment chalks up a better reputation – an elliptical or treadmill? This has been one of the most mind-boggling questions that have plagued fitness lovers from all walks of life. With both pieces of machinery offering an excellent workout that not only sheds off that unsightly spare tire wrapped around the waist but also helps to tone up existing loose muscles, one often queries which one of this dynamic duo provide a more productive health investment in the long run. Well, we’re here to help you clear the cloud of confusion fogging your mind.
The most notable difference between the elliptical and treadmill resides in its exercise function. If you are wondering whether the elliptical or treadmill provides a good workout – then don’t fret, they both do, just in different ways. The elliptical for example, strives to provide a ‘no impact’ form of exercise that also aids in shaping up your upper body muscles. The treadmill on the other hand, provides an ‘impact’ and gives you a realistic approach as you take to its belt, making it a useful tool for training aspiring runners.
However, the treadmill has the added advantage of allowing you to time the movements of your hips, knees and ankles by allowing your strides to overlap and remain within close contact, thus providing a solid workout for all your leg and foot muscles. The elliptical underscores this by operating on an affixed back-and-forth stride movement that keeps your legs apart, thus limiting the biomechanics of your working muscles – especially the ones lying in your feet. Since the treadmill emphasizes on a realistic running experience, it has been perceived that utilizing this equipment greatly improves the lymphatic circulation due to the contraction and relaxation of the leg muscles. But the flipside of using a treadmill is that the impact of your feet might increase the stress on your kneecaps and joints, which is of course greatly reduced should you try out the elliptical.
The question of whether the elliptical or treadmill provides a good workout for people with a history of sports injury can be easily answered based on the contact nature of the user with the surface of the machine. The treadmill generally provides a natural ‘walking’ experience that can be beneficial to people who have suffered from stress fractures or shin splits, should the individual walk backwards. The elliptical however, provides a greater sense of balance that allows a complete workout of the buttock, thigh and leg muscles. Experts have suggested attaching cross-crawl tubing whilst using the treadmill to eliminate any balance issues whilst providing a solid upper body workout. But no matter how much difference or similarities envelope the elliptical or treadmill’s core functions, both machineries are only advantageous to your body should you choose to exercise regularly.