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Guide to whether to Choose a Treadmill or an Elliptical Machine

When it comes to home workout equipment, it can be tricky finding the right machine that can be best suited for your individual needs. Because home workout machines can be expensive and space consuming, choosing the right equipment can be a decision that warrants extra thought. The biggest decision in home workout machines is whether to choose a treadmill or an elliptical machine. While both offer a cardiovascular workout, they have different features that can sway your decision.

Low impact

The major draw people have toward elliptical machines is the fact that they are low impact. The low-impact workout is not just helpful for those with muscular or structural difficulties but also help to generally prevent from any strains on joints and muscles.


Although elliptical machines are meant to mimic the proper movement of the body, treadmills offer a more life-like feature. Many people gravitate towards a more life-like machine because it can seem more rewarding to actually feel like you’re pounding the pavement. Treadmills are also great for those training for those participating in marathons.


While both machines have an incline feature, treadmills feature an incline that is reminiscent of running up a steep hill. However, elliptical machines can actually function more like a stepper when it’s put on an incline. The ski-like peddles coupled with a high incline can help work muscle groups similar to a stepper machine.

Upper body

The upper body can sometimes be overlooked when it comes to home workout equipment. Treadmills don’t offer upper body exercise but elliptical machines have the option of working out both the upper and lower body at the same time. The hand grips most often contains heart beat sensors to give you a guided informative description that coincides with the machine’s front panel and also works with a push-and-pull feature to work out the upper body.


With home gym space often being limited, taking space into consideration is an important feature in deciding on what home exercise equipment you want to purchase. Treadmills can be much bulkier than elliptical machines because of the extended track and the broader front panel. Conversely, elliptical machines can be much more compact due to the pedals instead of the track. The base of the machine is usually smaller and the front panel can be less broad. However, the hand grip moving parts can be a little vertically intrusive. If you have a home gym with limited vertical space due to low ceilings, this may be an issue.

It’s important to understand the differences between treadmills and elliptical machines when thinking about purchasing home workout equipment. Expensive equipment in a difficult economy can be an item you might have to make sacrifices for, so it’s important to choose the right machine for your needs. Take a little extra effort in making this decision and the result will be a machine you will be happy with for years to come.