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Treadmills and Elliptical Trainers Offer a Great Workout

December 18th 2005

Treadmills and Elliptical Trainers Offer a Great Workout


Both Treadmills and elliptical trainers are excellent tools for an aerobic workout.  Both offer the opportunity for a workout indoors at home. When you consider the cost of a gym membership for a year, both the elliptical machine and treadmill start to become a bargain.  Get yourself a set of dumbbells for the strength training portion of your workout.

So which one is better?  A good elliptical trainer can be very ďimpact-freeĒ.   This will help your knee and other joints remain free from damage due to the jarring motion of walking.  The treadmill is not quite as good in that regard.  Treadmills do have a pad underneath the rotating mat that helps alleviate the jarring.  Although better than walking / running on concrete, a treadmill is not quite as good as a superior quality elliptical.   

According to About.com the elliptical trainer will allow you to burn the same number of calories but without the impact on your joints.  Plus you can get your arms moving at the same time.  I usually like to put some weights in my hands when I walk on the treadmill.  It gives me a more competitive workout.


Treadmills have been around for a very long time.  The newer ellipticals are starting to catch on.  There is a problem though.  Not all ellipticals are the same.  The best one I have ever been on was the LifeFitness Elliptical Crosstrainer. The newer models are the 95XE, 95XI, 93X, 91X and the 90X. Those are commercial grade Ellipticals and will cost you several thousand dollars. 

Some of the cheaper ellipticals can either put impact on your joints from the start or wear-out quickly.  This is what you want to watch for:  When your right (or left) foot is in the top position, does it travel down smoothly or do you notice it moving quickly.  The effect is hard to describe, but I have found that most ellipticals donít have a fluid circular motion, even when the resistance is turned up. 

Some elliptical trainers are so cheap you feel like your motion is divided into segments.  You will feel like you are making two leg extensions per cycle.  This motion can give you more of a jar than you would on a treadmill.

You should always try the treadmill or elliptical out before you buy it. Donít be embarrassed.  This is your money; donít just take the word of a salesman.  Hopefully you use it everyday and it becomes an enjoyable part of your day.  Set up a TV and a DVD player to give yourself something to look forward to.   

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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer


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