Treadmill or Elliptical for Weight Loss

​Most of us are familiar with both treadmill and elliptical though not clear with each of their specific functionalities. Treadmill mostly impacts on our joints, and elliptical overstates the calories that we burnt. You can find these two machines in almost all the gyms and health clubs since they serve the purpose of cardio machines.

Both of them are designed in a way that they help you to lose weight by cardiovascular workout. Now the question arises, which one out of these two is more effective in terms of losing weight? Well, the answer cannot be given in just one word. Hence, I am going to write details about each of them and justify which one is better than the other.

What is a Treadmill?

This is one of the most well-known equipments for exercise since the 1800s. It is a stationary cardio machine that lets you jog, walk and run staying indoor. It comes with a feature that allows the users to set the speed accommodation according to their own needs.

A treadmill is simply a blessing for those who want to go out for running yet cannot do so due to traffic, weather conditions and several other reasons. No matter whether the machine is manual or electrical, it always serves the purpose of a device that helps you stay active and fit.

jogging outside vs elliptical

Benefits of Treadmill

Needless to say, there are tons of benefits this machine has to offer; some of them are:

  • Imitation of Usual Movements

With the advancement of modern technology, new devices are getting developed which are pretty hard to operate. Yet, the treadmill is such an equipment which is familiar to every one of us as it is being used for a long time.

Henceforth, it assists on emulating natural movement for sprinting, running and jogging without even putting on too much effort. You do not have to use your brains much to understand how to operate it.

  • Vers​​​​atility

It has many options for incline, speed and many other training programs letting you do casual uphill sprint and brisk walk based on your mood, requirements and necessity.

  • A Well-Developed Product

For weight loss, it is undoubtedly one of the oldest equipment that has been used by many who want to lose weight. You can find it in all the gyms and a lot of houses as well. As it is a common and handy machine in our day to day life, many studies have been done, thereby, ensuring it has been developed based on a lot of research to meet perfection.

  • Weight Bearing Effect

Walking and running help in strengthening your bones and muscles, which eventually helps in building up an apt posture and sustainability as you keep growing in age.

  • Control Over the Machine

Almost all the options available in this device like warm-up period, speed, incline, energy speed and down period, all these can be controlled by the user.

  • Allows To Do Multitasking

Users, while using the machine, can perform other tasks like reading a novel or watching television so that the exercise gets interesting. 

Cons of a Treadmill

There are few drawbacks of a treadmill as well. And before using one, you must know about them too:

  • Safety Issues

If you want to increase the intensity of your workout, you have to have enough skill to do that. Doing that abruptly without practices beforehand can be dangerous for your body.

  • May Impact the Joints

Even though some treadmills have shock absorption ability yet running on a treadmill can sometimes make a harmful impact on your body. For example, stress on the knee, hips, ankle joints and spine when you are not into stretching much or maybe not doing a warm-up session before starting your daily workout.

  • Difficulty in Running

Running on it is usually tough, and it gets more complicated if the surface is inclined.

  • Causes Problem in Posture

Just like the quality of the treadmill varies, the shape and size of the belt differ as well. It has been claimed that the size of the belt can make changes to the way people usually walk or run; henceforth, causes an imbalance of our muscles and create problems for other postures.

What is an Elliptical Trainer?

An elliptical trainer, which is also known as cross-trainer is one of the most hyped machines for fitness. It was first launched in 1995. This machine is motionless, and it helps you to burn calories to tone the muscles of your body.

While you are working on the elliptical trainer, you will feel like climbing stairs, running and walking. The machine is consists of 2 pedals and 2 hand-levers. You can move the pedals up and down, also forward and backwards just like an oval-shaped path for the workout of your legs.

At the same time, you will never touch the ground for which you will not feel the jerk of any hard surface.

lose body fat diet

Excess fat around the waist isolated on black with clipping path

Benefits of an Elliptical Trainer

This equipment is a bit new to the market in comparison to the treadmill, yet it quickly gained its popularity in a very short time. That is because it offers a lot of benefits and some of them are as follows:

  • Lower Perceived Exertion

It is believed that people work more than what they perceive while working out with an elliptical trainer. This way, they can lose a good number of calories yet with less effort.

  • Reverse Stride

This option is offered by the elliptical trainer to activate some muscles and offers different kinds of mid-workout to focus on the quads.

  • Non-Impact Conditioning

When you are working on your elliptical, your heels are almost always placed on the pedal for which your feet remain stabilised. This keeps the body away from getting strenuous impact on your joint that is in most of the cases, caused by a treadmill. This is the reason behind elliptical being safe for people of every age.

  • Cardiovascular Benefits

Elliptical assists to strengthen your heart and increments the aerobic ability of your body, which results in having a heated-up system along with healthy lung and heart functioning.

  • Easy to Operate

You do not even have to go through the catalogue to figure out how to operate this machine. Also, it does not require a lot of space and lets you do a lot of workout within a minimal amount of time.

Cons of Elliptical

Even though it is a very competent and useful machine yet like them other ones, it has some disadvantages as well:

  • Less Dynamic

It does not have the feature of incline. Even if it has, the feature is not that effective. And it makes the machine less dynamic.

  • Less Weight Bearing Effect

Weight-bearing exercises help our body to strengthen bones and muscles though the elliptical machine is designed in a way that does not have much weight-bearing effect in it.

  • Hard to Start

Since the pedals are not on the ground, often it needs a good amount of forwarding push to make the pedals move. Hence, it is difficult for many to instigate the motion.

Benefits of Elliptical Over Treadmill

Both the machines are designed for losing weight, yet there exist some differences between them which you need to consider before purchasing any one of them. Elliptical lets you do upper body workout which is not possible with a treadmill.

Besides, elliptical puts less impact on your joints and knees. As mentioned before, you do not have to put much effort into working out on an elliptical. Nevertheless, there is less possibility of getting hurt while using an elliptical.

Moreover, while operating, treadmill makes a lot of noise as motors function it but it is the other way round for an elliptical.

Benefits of Treadmill Over an Elliptical

Just like elliptical is better than treadmill in terms of some aspects, the treadmill is more efficient than elliptical based on some other factors. Sometimes elliptical overestimates the amount of calories burns though this sort of false picture is not provided by a treadmill.

However, as the treadmill is machine-controlled, you can do a better workout on it. It also lets you have your natural movement unlike elliptical. In inclusion, you can customize the machine according to your necessity.

Lastly, it has to be mentioned that you can burn more amount of calories if you use a treadmill regularly as it involves strenuous exercise.


Both machines are beneficial for weight loss and allow you to burn calories. Both of them have almost the same kind of functionalities despite some small differences. You cannot choose one over another based on effectiveness as both serve the same purpose.

Regardless to some extent, each of them provides some different facilities, and if they match with your requirement, you should get the one which is more fitted for you.

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