You may have noticed how the elliptical machine looks and functions differently from the treadmill. So, how can you know which one is a better workout for you? We have prepared an elliptical machine vs. running debate to answer this question.
You’ll learn all about the elliptical machine and how it differs from running (on a treadmill or outside). Hopefully, with our help, you’ll be able to make an informed decision.
What You'll Learn
- A Definition of Elliptical Machine and Running
- The Pros and Cons of Elliptical Machine
- The Pros and Cons of Running
- To Sum Up the Pros and Cons
- How to Decide Between the Elliptical Machine and Running
- Final Thoughts on Elliptical Machine vs. Running
A Definition of Elliptical Machine and Running
An elliptical machine, or elliptical trainer, is a stationary machine for an exercise similar to running and stair climbing combined. It was first produced in the 1990s by one of the most famous gym equipment manufacturers – Precor.
When exercising on an elliptical machine, you use both your upper and lower body muscles (although there are some models without the upper body function). By placing your feet in the two footholds, holding the handlebars, and pushing them back and forth, you move by producing a gliding motion. This creates no impact since your legs aren’t hitting the ground. It is a very popular part of cardio gym equipment and can sometimes be found in homes.
Running is an exercise that doesn’t require equipment but can also be done on a treadmill. Depending on the pace and tempo of running, it can be classified as jogging or sprinting. There is also long-distance or endurance running, which is more demanding than casual running.
Both are great exercises to get your blood pumping, but which one is more beneficial and suitable for your fitness goals? We’ve compiled a list of pros and cons to find the answer.
The Pros and Cons of Elliptical Machine
Pros of Elliptical Machine
Cons of Elliptical Machine
The Pros and Cons of Running
The Pros of Running
The Cons of Running
To Sum Up the Pros and Cons
Still can’t decide between the elliptical machine and running? Check out this infographic below to better understand all the similarities and differences.
How to Decide Between the Elliptical Machine and Running
First, consider your fitness goals, preferences, and overall possibilities. Next, think about where you want to exercise, the time you are ready to devote, how much money you are willing to spend, how fit you are, and what you want to achieve.
If you are a beginner and want to slowly work your way up to more demanding exercises, either the elliptical machine or the treadmill would be a solid start, depending on how accustomed you are to the elliptical’s unnatural movement. It would be a good idea to join a gym in this case. There are many strength training machines in the gym that you can use to make up for the elliptical’s lack of muscle utilization.
If your goal is to lose weight as soon as possible, and you don’t suffer from weak joints, then running would be a great exercise, along with a proper diet, of course.
Use an elliptical machine if:
Go running if:
Final Thoughts on Elliptical Machine vs. Running
Both exercises are great ways to maintain your health and lose weight.
While running is readily accessible and effective in burning calories, poor weather conditions can prevent you from doing so. On the other hand, exercising on the elliptical machine may be safe and beneficial for beginners, but it is costly and requires you to join a gym.
If you don’t want to join a gym but still want to improve your health through cardio exercises, be sure to check out our running guide for beginners.