I have been in this industry for going on 16 years now, WOW! I am and will always consider myself an athlete and I use that as the foundation and share my experiences with my body, my injuries, and how I react to different styles of training. I use this to relate to you – my client. I want you to lean on me for advice in choosing the right machine for you and your goals.
Treadmills VS. Ellipticals
This is likely the most common question I hear from my clients. I will tell you exactly what I say to anyone in the store, there are Pro’s and Con’s to absolutely everything. In a perfect space situation we’d recommend getting yourself options (2 to 3 Cardio pieces and a strength piece), BUT this is not always the case and in most home situations we need to find you 1 machine to help reach your goals, leading back to which is better between the Treadmill and Elliptical.
- Impact! Impact is a necessary evil, obviously we are not trying to create a situation or aggravate an existing injury, but impact is required to help keep your bones strong and it reduces the risk of osteoporosis. This impact increases muscle activation, which in turn allows you to burn more calories in the same time compared to other categories. Shock Systems are key but vary from brand to brand. I find that the Landice and Life Fitness line ups will allow us to find you the best treadmill for you.
- Versatility, Walk, Jog, Spring, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). The treadmill allows for just about everyone to find the proper stride length for themselves.
- The stress on a treadmill is not necessarily created by impact, it is often the simple fact that the user is moving across a belt that is moving the opposite direction and creating force and stress on both the user and the machine. This is unavoidable in a traditional treadmill. The self-powered treadmills are an option if the traditional treadmills are creating too much stress.
- Weight barring, NO impact. This is important because it still provides benefits with improving bone density and bone growth.
- Perceived exertion rate is lower than the treadmill, allowing your workouts to be longer and less taxing on your body.
- Upper body and Lower body movements recruit more muscle groups.
Octane, LifeFitness, and Cybex are among the best biomechanics patterns for the user
- This is the most common misconception with ellipticals. They are NOT one size fits all! The elliptical will force you to move the way the machine was designed to move, IF this is not how you move, you will alter your natural biomechanics, and you will add stress to your body and increase risk of injury down the road. Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because there is no impact it is good for you.
There is not a blanket correct answer to this question, but with your help I can help you decide if the treadmill, elliptical, or both would be the right decision for you. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions about your options or would like some guidance into what the best direction for you is.