Should I Buy A Elliptical or Treadmill?

Home exercise machines are great for maintaining a workout routine. In terms of cost, it is way cheaper to have a machine at home than to go to the gym.

Walking outside is good for the heart and mind too, but if you have a busy lifestyle or are home bound, a treadmill or an elliptical can be really handy. The big question is, what’s the story being the elliptical vs treadmill debate? It all boils down to which is best for your physical abilities and the space in your home.

There are several things that you should consider before pinning down an exercise machine. One of these is space. Make sure that you have space in your house for a machine.

Therefore, first make the measurement of the exercise area. Ideally, the exercise area will be in the same room as the TV. Boredom is the toughest problem in keeping you on the machine.

If you are not fond of the TV, make sure that you have music playing.

After considering exercise space, check your storage space if you plan to keep the machine out of the way. Most treadmills are compact and can be folded.

You should also assess your skill level. If you are an experienced jogger, then you might want a machine that can handle intense workouts.

If you get a machine that is designed for beginners, you might get bored and not break a sweat. People who suffer from joint pains must consider using a stable treadmill with handles.

More senior users might want to use a treadmill instead of an elliptical.

However, if you are to buy a machine, what should you get? A treadmill or an elliptical is great and can easily fit in the house.

Both are good in burning calories, improving muscle control and shedding off fat. Both machines are good for your health, but what’s the advantage of one over the other?

What are the benefits and disadvantages of using a treadmill?

Treadmills have been around for many years and more people are familiar with it. It is versatile and can burn calories easy because it only requires walking or jogging.

It can also be used by various types of people – even people with arthritis or back injuries. Treadmills can also be inclined to imitate uphill walking.

Most people prefer it because it only requires natural movement. It forces the body to exert extra effort and this makes you burn calories effectively.

In the process, your muscles and bones are strengthened. It can even help improve posture.

Since the treadmill has been around longer, there are more high-tech products which are also available. The machine has been developed to cater to specific needs.

However, there are several downsides to using a treadmill – for example, it may be hard on the joints and legs. If you are not used to walking on an inclined surface, your legs and knees will have to put more effort.

There are treadmills with good suspension but the effort level will be the same. If you are holding on the handles to monitor your heart rate, running will be uncomfortable and awkward. The task of jogging on an incline is even harder and may cause accidents for inexperienced users.

A good thing about the treadmill is that it’s compact and can be transported easily. There are manual and foldable products that take little space.

What are the benefits and disadvantages of using an elliptical?

While a treadmill makes you walk, the elliptical will make you run. The machine enables you to make a running motion.

It can mobilize legs, feet, and arms. Stability is maintained and enables you to have the entire body moving. Studies show that using the elliptical will make you burn more calories, but the rate is basically the same as the treadmill.

The moveable handles will allow movement of the upper and lower body that is usually not used when using the treadmill. You will use more muscles and make them stronger. In addition, there is a wider variety of exercises that can be done on an elliptical.

However, the elliptical is a machine that not all people can use. If you have arm muscle tearing or back problems, you might be discouraged from using the machine.

It does not have an incline like the treadmill, but the impact on weight is lesser. This means that less effort is exerted and there is less resistance for building muscles on the legs and arms.

As for portability, the elliptical is very heavy and it can only be used in one place. If you do not have an exercise room, it is not wise to own an elliptical.


An elliptical is a good machine for burning fat and for people who do not have muscle problems or spinal conditions. It is great for toning muscles but can only be done in a longer amount of time because resistance and impact are lesser with the elliptical.

People with arthritis are also discouraged from using this machine because they might suffer from discomfort.

The treadmill, given that it has been around since the 1800s, is a more reliable and dynamic exercise machine. It does not take great effort to use it, and even if you don’t have a good sense of balance, you can still keep yourself stable on it.

Treadmills are now made more durable and stable, that even people with various health conditions are able to use it. But if you have joint issues caused by excessive running, an elliptical might be a better option.

Both machines are great for burning calories and strengthening muscles and bones. However, the treadmill is better at flexibility and comfort while using.

The elliptical requires more effort because it needs you to move arms and feet at the same time. First timers might not have it easy when tackling an exercise machine for the first time.

The elliptical might be good because toning of muscles in the arms and upper body can be achieved while you are running. However, take note that muscle toning and core development can be done mainly by lifting weights.

Our Recommendation

Select the best quality treadmill your budget will allow. In our opinion the benefits greatly outweigh the cons compared to an elliptical. To get the other upper body workouts you’d get with  an elliptical, we highly recommend following a non-machine exercise routine, such as one that Ace Fitness describes here.

Be sure to check out our article on the best treadmills under $600.

4 thoughts on “Should I Buy A Elliptical or Treadmill?”

  1. I bought an Elliptical several years ago and on resistance setting No.3 thought it rather hard work . When the Lockdown came and I had to stay at home , I determined to make use of it . I am 83 , 84 in April , I do a sort of interval training 100 paces on No.5 , rest then another 100 , in all 400 each day . I make a special point of pull and push with my arms and soon found that I was developing abdominal muscles which really spurred me on to keep it up every day .
    My paunch has gone , I have lost 17 lbs in weight now after about 9 months to my correct body weight . I prefer the short bursts of very vigorous exercise better than slower more time consuming exercise .

  2. Virginia Alvarado

    Which is better currently walking between 4 and 5 miles daily outdoors but it’s getting to cold.

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