When it comes to working out indoors, making the most of those extra 15 minutes you have in the afternoon, the two most popular aerobic machines are the elliptical and the treadmill. Both stimulate the action of walking or running and can boost your cardiovascular fitness.
Ellipticals or low-impact machines which are better for those who have joint problems. The low impact exercises put less stress on your joints compared to running or walking especially on a hard surface. This makes it safer for people with:
- Knee or hip pain
- Low back pain
Even though it is low-impact, it can still improve:
- Physical fitness
- Cardio health
- Body composition
Another advantage is the ability to recover from an injury and maintain your Fitness even if you can’t do a lot of other exercises.
The elliptical gives you an upper body workout and a lower body workout with the arm handles that you can push back and forth along with your leg movements. This gives you an overall workout in areas like your shoulders, your chest, and your back.
You can also switch between the forward or the backward direction to change up which muscle groups you are using.
Treadmills give you lots of control and versatility. You can do anything ranging from a brisk walk to an arduous uphill run. You can change the exact speed and incline of your workout minute by minute.
Treadmills have a variety of training programs so you have better control over your workouts. Treadmills are also better suited to high intensity interval training workouts which:
- Improve cardiovascular fitness
- Reduce body fat
- Burn more calories
Treadmills build a lot of leg strength including your hip flexors and your glutes, your quadriceps, your calves, and your hamstrings. These workouts can help strengthen your legs to improve things like balance and flexibility.
So which should you use?
It really comes down to what your needs are and what your exercise routine is going to incorporate. If you have any of the physical issues mentioned above, the elliptical is better, if you prefer the high intensity interval training and you want to build leg strength in particular with more flexibility in the programming, the treadmill is better.
Don’t forget to stretch!
A lot of people think that they should start first thing with stretching, that stretching takes the place of a warm up but it doesn’t. Your muscles need to be warm already before you can optimize your stretching to improve your performance, your range of motion, and her flexibility. So incorporate some stretches right after your warm up, right before you hop on the elliptical or the treadmill, or right after your elliptical exercise.