Is it better to use a treadmill or an elliptical machine?

When it comes to working out, cardio exercises are the most popular among gym-goers. Two of the most common machines for cardio workouts are treadmills and elliptical machines. Both these machines offer their own unique benefits, making it difficult to choose which one is better. In this blog post, we will compare the pros and cons of treadmills and elliptical machines so that you can make a wise decision about which one will suit your fitness goals.

Should I use a treadmill or an elliptical machine?

The short answer, is that for most people a treadmill would probably be better. But let’s dive int the pros and cons of each so you can decide what’s best for yourself.

Free An on Treadmill Stock Photo

Pros and Cons of a Treadmill

Treadmills are perhaps the most common cardio machines at the gym. They simulate walking, jogging, or running, making them a great option for runners who want to work out indoors. One of the biggest strengths of treadmills is that they help you burn more calories per hour as compared to elliptical machines. This is because when you run or jog on a treadmill, you are using more muscles than you would on an elliptical machine. Additionally, treadmills also help improve your bone density and cardiovascular health. On the downside, treadmills can be repetitive and put a lot of pressure on your knee and hip joints. This can cause injuries over time, especially if you have poor form or pre-existing joint problems.

Treadmills allow you to run or walk in a familiar way, replicating the movement patterns of outdoor running or walking. This can help in building specific muscle groups and improving overall running mechanics.

Pros & Cons

  • Higher calorie burn
  • Simulates natural movement
  • Weight-bearing exercise
  • Variable intensity
  • Versatility
  • High impact on joints
  • Limited upper body engagement
  • Monotonous workout

If you’re thinking about buying a treadmill but don’t know which one to choose, check out our Top 5 Best Treadmills for Home Use.

Pros and Cons of an Elliptical Machine

Elliptical machines, on the other hand, are designed to simulate running without putting too much pressure on your joints. This makes them an excellent low-impact alternative to treadmills. Another major advantage of elliptical machines is that they work out both your upper and lower body muscles. This results in a full-body workout that burns calories while toning your muscles. The downside of elliptical machines is that they are less effective at burning calories per hour as compared to treadmills. Additionally, elliptical machines are not ideal for runners who want to prepare for marathons or other outdoor running-related events.

Pros & Cons

  • Low-impact workout
  • Full-body workout
  • Varied resistance levels
  • Less weight-bearing exercise
  • Limited impact on running mechanics
  • Lower calorie burn

If you want to buy an Elliptical but you need help picking one, check out our list for The 5 Best Compact Elliptical Machines For Home Gym.

Other factors to consider when choosing between a treadmill or elliptical machine


Another factor to consider when comparing treadmills and elliptical machines is the price. In general, treadmills are more expensive than elliptical machines. This is because treadmills offer more features and are usually designed to last longer than elliptical machines. However, it is important to consider your budget when choosing between these two machines. Elliptical machines, while less expensive, might not offer the same level of durability and features as treadmills.


Finally, another factor to consider when choosing between treadmills and elliptical machines is the amount of space available. If you have limited space in your home gym, an elliptical machine might be a better option as they tend to be smaller and take up less space than treadmills. Additionally, elliptical machines usually come with transport wheels, making them easy to move around.

Closing Thoughts on Treadmill vs Elliptical

In conclusion, both treadmills and elliptical machines offer different benefits, and the choice between them ultimately depends on your fitness goals, budget, and space available. Treadmills are great for runners who want to work out indoors and want to burn more calories per hour. On the other hand, elliptical machines offer a low-impact full-body workout and take up less space. Ultimately, whichever machine you choose, make sure you are using proper form to avoid any injuries. So, the decision is yours – choose wisely!

Check out this video if you’re still unsure

Feel free to also check out this article by Healthline going over the same topic.