Elliptical vs. Treadmill and other Fitness Equipment

How does an Elliptical compare to a Treadmill and other fitness equipment?

Making the most out of your exercise time can be done by finding the most efficient way to burn calories and get in shape. Compared to an elliptical machine, some types of physical activities can provide different benefits such as building muscle and improving cardiovascular health. Let’s take a look at how an elliptical compares to a treadmill and other types of fitness equipment.

1. Elliptical vs. Spin Bike

The spin bike is built for a high intensity exercise routine. The elliptical machine, however, can provide a variety of intensity levels. The elliptical trainer also uses more muscles during a workout. The bike primarily concentrates on the core and the legs while the elliptical will work those areas as well as the arms. In particular, the elliptical will work more efficiently the quadriceps and glutes. Ultimately, how many calories are burned with both pieces of equipment is dependent upon time, speed, and the resistance used.

2. Elliptical vs. Recumbent Bike

The recumbent bike allows you to sit on a bucket shaped seat with a backrest. Both the elliptical machine and the recumbent bike provide low-impact exercise that works several muscle groups. In general, you’ll burn more calories on an elliptical trainer because you’re standing and supporting more of your own weight. A recumbent bike, however, may be a good choice for those who have had back problems.

3. Elliptical vs. Stationary Bike

A stationary bike sits upright and is the most similar to a bicycle that you would ride outdoors. A stationary bike, like other types of bikes, doesn’t offer arm movements to work the upper body muscles. Many elliptical trainers, however, will give you a full body workout. Both the stationary bike and the elliptical will offer different levels of resistance so you can make your workout easy or more difficult. Both provide a good cardiovascular workout.

4. Elliptical vs. Stair Climber

A stair climber, which is sometimes referred to as a stair mill, is basically a revolving staircase or a small escalator. Both the elliptical trainer and the stair climber require users to be on their feet. The stair climber can be used at various speeds and provides a great incline. This means you can use the stair climber at an extremely slow pace, run up the stairs, or create a workout with a speed that falls somewhere in the middle.

5. Elliptical vs. Treadmill for Distance

Depending on the speed an individual runs, running on a treadmill has the potential to burn an enormous amount of calories. As far as calorie and fat burning capacity, an elliptical and a treadmill can both produce great results. One of the major drawbacks of a treadmill is that this is normally considered a high-impact workout and produces a lot of stress on bones and joints. There also isn’t the potential to work the arm muscles like there is on an elliptical trainer.

6. Elliptical vs. Stepper

An elliptical provides motions that are a combination of stepping and running. A stepper is a machine that has pedals and allows you to workout with just stepping motions. Both of these machines offer low-impact exercise. They also both provide a good workout for a variety of muscles. However, when exercising on an elliptical trainer you have the potential to burn more calories. If you’re considering purchasing either a stepper or an elliptical for a home gym the costs of both machines are very similar. Low-end steppers and elliptical machines can be purchased for a few hundred dollars. High-end steppers can cost $5,000 or more, with an average cost for both around $1,500.

7. Elliptical vs. Cross Trainer

The elliptical and the cross trainer are basically the same machine with a few differences. Both types of machines will work your leg muscles in the same way. Most elliptical and cross trainers allow you to go both forward and backwards. The primary difference is that the cross trainer is an elliptical that has moving arm handles. The cross trainer more closely mimics the natural stride of the body.

8. Elliptical vs. Treadclimber

A treadclimber is considered a hybrid of at least two other types of machines. Its design is similar to a combination of a treadmill and a stair climber. The feeling of working out on a treadclimber is sometimes compared to walking uphill through sand. When comparing a treadclimber to an elliptical machine it’s important to note that both provide low-impact exercise with the primary emphasis on the leg and hip muscles. The benefits of an elliptical trainer is that there is the potential for more modifications than a treadclimber. The treadclimber has shorter belts than an average treadmill which doesn’t allow for jogging or running.

9. Elliptical vs. Arc Trainer

These machines both have foot pedals that appear to move in similar fashion. The names of each, however, describe their distinct differences. The arc trainer moves your feet in the shape of an arc while the elliptical moves elliptically, or in a way that is similar to an oval shape. Both machines will usually offer different incline and resistance levels. While the benefits and workout routines are similar the arc trainer is currently more expensive than an elliptical machine. This is primarily due to the fact that there are more elliptical trainers on the market and the prices are thus more competitive.

10. Elliptical vs. Bike

There are several factors to take into consideration when comparing a bike to an elliptical trainer. For starters, you can ride a bike outdoors in urban as well as rural areas. This means there’s less chance to get bored with your workout routine. Riding outside also means choosing between a slow pace on an even sidewalk or riding at high speeds over hills and bumpy terrain. How many calories are burned is therefore dependent on how long you ride, how fast you travel, and how difficult the terrain.

11. Elliptical vs. Rowing Machine

A rowing machine mimics the motions of rowing in a boat and is one of the oldest types of exercise machines. Elliptical trainers and rowing machines have a primary focus on different areas of the body. The rowing machine primarily works the muscles in the back and the arms. The elliptical trainer focuses more on leg muscles and glutes. The rowing machine doesn’t offer as much for the bones as working on an elliptical will. The weight bearing on an elliptical would help an individual who was suffering from osteoporosis. The overall amount of calories burned, however, will likely be higher after an intense workout on the rowing machine.

12. Elliptical vs. Stairmaster

The Stairmaster is a brand that usually refers to different types of stair climbers and stepper machines. There are many similarities between each of these machines and the elliptical trainer. You would be standing during each workout routine and the main focus would be on the lower part of the body. An elliptical would provide a high cardio, low-impact workout. Most of the machines associated with Stairmaster would provide a similar workout.

Written by Treadmills & Ellipticals