What’s Better: Treadmills or Ellipticals?

Image via tonodiaz/depositphotos

With all the cardio machines like treadmills, ellipticals, stair machines, rowers, and bicycles, how do you decide which one to use? Treadmills and ellipticals improve your aerobic fitness and they come with pros and cons, here’s what you should know about each machine before choosing what’s best for you.


You can walk, jog, or run on treadmills while controlling the speed, incline, pace, and tracking your distance. Treadmills mainly target your lower body and sprinting hits your calves, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and abs. For runners, treadmills are a great alternative to running outside and they control pace and speed while avoiding the high impact of running on concrete. But, if you’re dealing with ankle, knee, or hip injuries, treadmills put more stress on your joints compared to other cardio machines.


On ellipticals, you can go backward or forward and increase the resistance. Ellipticals target your lower body including your hamstrings, quads, and glutes. If you push and pull the handles, you’ll get a full-body workout. For overtrained or achy joints, ellipticals are amazing low-impact cardio options. If you’re looking for functional training, to log your mileage, or to increase the incline ellipticals are not the best cardio machines for you.

Final Thoughts

Both ellipticals and treadmills are good for exercising, but it depends on what you’re training for, your body, and the movements you enjoy. Mix it up from time to time and try both machines!