Elliptical vs. Treadmill
The first piece of equipment that people often turn to when they make the choice to get into shape is the standard treadmill. This may currently be the front runner with many fitness enthusiasts, but research shows that it is not the best option for total body fitness. Where there are good points to working out with a treadmill, an elliptical machine is often a better option for a variety of reasons. According to the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, the benefits of running on an elliptical far outweigh any negatives.
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Effects on The Body
One of the largest drawbacks to a treadmill is the fact that running on one can be damaging to your joints. Joints can wear out later in life, but there is no reason to help the process along by pounding the pavement, so to speak, on a treadmill. Elliptical works a lot differently because the round motion of the exercise enables much less wear and tear on the joints. The user is able to get the same benefits that one would from running without wearing down the cartilage between joints.
When running on a treadmill your body is only working the lower extremities, but for true fitness, the entire body has to be engaged. This enables all of your muscles to work rather than just concentrating on one specific area. An elliptical engages the entire body with a smooth motion. The act of walking on an elliptical keeps your upper body engaged the entire time.
Versatility of Use
Running in the traditional sense can allow you to see the world from a new perspective. The runner is able to change up their route to see more of what they want to, but running on a treadmill does not give you the same opportunities. Apart from the ability to set the speed, there is little versatility within the treadmill. That can make for a particularly boring workout and as many of us know, humans tend to avoid boring activities.
An elliptical machine is designed to offer the user the versatility they desire. When you get tired of using the machine in the forward motion, you can switch to the reverse. This is not something that is available on a treadmill, but it gives your body the chance to exercise some of the muscles that you may not often think of such as the quads. Working such muscles not only offers versatility, but it further enhances the user’s overall running ability.
Which one better for Calorie Burn?
For anyone looking to shed the pounds by burning calories efficiently, they should probably avoid the standard treadmill. Where it does work for important muscle groups and allow you the ability to run at the pace you desire, it does not work the body in the most efficient way. An elliptical on the other hand as we discussed works the body in a less impact oriented manner. This not only can motivate the user for future use, but it can effectively burn considerably more calories due to the way the exercise takes place. With more of the muscle groups being engaged at one time, the calorie burning effect is emphasized.
Great for Beginners
The choice to workout is something that many people struggle with, but it is the lack of motivation that can keep some people new to the fitness world from achieving those goals. An elliptical machine is a great motivator for anyone getting into fitness for the first time. It not only allows the person to vary their workout anytime they desire, but they are very easy to use. The ease of use comes from the fact that even though the elliptical is versatile, it does all tasks with very little moving parts and without complicated exercises. There is no need to adjust the degree of pitch of the base like with a treadmill, so the user is able to get an expert workout every time with little mechanical effort.
Tones Your Bottom
Even if you are an expert at working out, you are not always able to work out the all-important rear end muscles. Many people have reported that even with weight loss, they are left with a saggy bottom. The traditional treadmill does not enable you to effectively tone your rear end muscles and therefore you are left with the task of finding exercises to tone that particular area. The elliptical machine offers the ability to do everything in one exercise. The motion of the petals enables the user to get an adequate exercise to tone their bottom while getting the rest of their body in shape.
Running on a treadmill cannot always improve your posture. As long as your legs are moving, the exercise is not dependent you keeping your posture in check. An elliptical is a little different because it does, in fact, improve your posture while you work out. The motion of the machine keeps your body erect and in the perfect position, thereby improving your posture when you walk and sit. With steady use, you will begin to see your posture much improved from the time of starting exercise with the elliptical.
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There are some people that will always believe that the treadmill is the perfect option for getting into shape. The fact remains however that in most circumstances the elliptical is far superior to the treadmill. Your fitness goals are important, but never discount the many advantages that the elliptical brings to your overall life.