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TOPIC: Elliptical or treadmill

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March 4, 2013 8:03 AM
Which burns more calories? I have a basic treadmill that I use daily but I see people posting their elliptical workouts and they burn 2-3 times more calories than I am burning for the same amount of time. Would it be beneficial to own both? Maybe alternate daily?
  35230854
March 4, 2013 8:06 AM
You can burn a lot of calories using both, it just depends on how you use them i.e what level the elliptical is on or walking vs. running on a treadmill. Its also important to vary the type of cardio you do so I use a variety of machines to get my work-outs in plus its more fun to mix things up.
March 4, 2013 8:09 AM
I don't there is any point to owning both a treadmill and elliptical. Unless your treadmill is really crappy.
March 4, 2013 8:10 AM
In my experience, the elliptical burns at least 2x the calories burned on the treadmill. The elliptical was my machine of choice for about 2 years...until I got the nerve to get on the Cybex Arc Trainer. It burns even more calories than the elliptical because the main muscles used on the arc trainer are the thigh muscles. Thigh muscles are the biggest muscles on the body. Bigger the muscle, the more calories burned drinker
March 4, 2013 8:11 AM
If you're looking for a calorie burn, the elliptical burns more. However, running on a treadmill can burn just as much in the same amount of time. On a lazy day, I definitely go for the elliptical because I feel like I can burn more with less effort.
  7194041
March 4, 2013 8:12 AM
I mix it up as well.... Variety really keeps the body working hard.. Arc Stepper is my go to, but use all three.

The earlier point about how you set your workout up will really make the calorie burn difference
  7606502
March 4, 2013 8:14 AM
I like both but the elliptical is much easier on my knees...so I stick to that most of the time.
  14793149
March 4, 2013 8:14 AM
depends on useage, if you do high interval training on either you'll get roughly the same effects but again you'll get the same effect if you bimbling along on either. Figure out which one you enjoy the most and work harder on it.
March 4, 2013 8:16 AM
I find the elliptical to be easier than the treadmill. I can go longer and harder (ha ha) on the elliptical, but I always feel like I'm actually working harder running on the treadmill. I don't see the point in owning both, unless you have a home gym and can afford it. Personal preference.
  21528093
March 4, 2013 8:16 AM
The short awnser is the treadmill will burn more for the same amount of time for the same amount of effort versus a elliptical. I don't know how you could burn more calories on an elliptical than a treadmill. On the elliptical the mechine does some of the work for you, that's part of the reason its low impact.

Its dangerous to compare your calories burned to others. They may be way over estimating their calories burned, which ellipticals are known to do, or they could be much heavier than you, they could be sprinting on the elliptical and burning more. I'm a runner, so I run. I use the treadmil almost daily. but I will use the elliptical if I'm sore and want to get in a easy second workout or its a nonrunning day.
  12347200
March 4, 2013 8:16 AM
QUOTE:

If you're looking for a calorie burn, the elliptical burns more. However, running on a treadmill can burn just as much in the same amount of time. On a lazy day, I definitely go for the elliptical because I feel like I can burn more with less effort.


Same. I love running on the tread though and get a good calorie burn that way.
  12463148
March 4, 2013 8:18 AM
If you use one of the elliptical machines that includes the arm resistance mechanism, you can get your heart rate up faster and avoid a lot of bouncing and putting as much strain on your legs. I have knee problems and like to have the arm action to avoid putting so much more stress on my knees. I used a treadmill for many years and they are good. Now, I prefer the elliptical.
March 4, 2013 8:20 AM
There's nothing like a run outside to kick both of those machines asses! With an actual run outside, you burn waaaayyy more calories due to the fact that you are actually propelling yourself forward. There's wind resistance as well as changing terrains. And let me tell you, it is way more motivating to actually see yourself going somewhere!
As for some of the comments on here, choosing the eliptical because you burn more calories with less effort?! Really? That's going to get you no where. You actually need to push yourself to make a change. That's just laziness and poor attitude.
March 4, 2013 8:21 AM
According to http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=77422

For the same level of perceived exertion (i.e., the work feels the same during both activities), running will burn more calories than the elliptical, although it's pretty close (about 100 calories per hour difference). Some of the difference is due to the pounding of running and the fact that you propel your body through the air so that both feet are off the ground simultaneously. This kind of movement takes lots of energy. Both the elliptical and running burn substantially more calories than the bike at the same level of perceived exertion (about 200-240 calories per hour more).

They go on to say to be equal, you really ahve to push yourself on the elliptical.
  12347200
March 4, 2013 8:23 AM
QUOTE:

There's nothing like a run outside to kick both of those machines asses! With an actual run outside, you burn waaaayyy more calories due to the fact that you are actually propelling yourself forward. There's wind resistance as well as changing terrains. And let me tell you, it is way more motivating to actually see yourself going somewhere!
As for some of the comments on here, choosing the eliptical because you burn more calories with less effort?! Really? That's going to get you no where. You actually need to push yourself to make a change. That's just laziness and poor attitude.



^^^^^ Love this

You do not burn more on the elliptical.
Running out side is the best for calorie burn
  12347200
March 4, 2013 8:30 AM
Like anything, it depends on the amount of effort you put into it. I do intervals on my elliptical and really push when I hit the higher resistance level. It's really helped to save my knees and lower legs while still enabling me to run reasonably well when I get outside.
March 4, 2013 8:30 AM
The calorie burn depends on the speed and resistance/incline you are using for either. I prefer the elliptical because a treadmill hurts my knees and shins. I don't seem to be able to make it through 15 mins on the treadmill without needing to stop due to pain. This is likely something that will change as I become stronger and adjust to daily workouts.

My Y has added Precor AMT machines which I LOVE. It is similar to an elliptical in the pedals, but allows for greater range of motion so you can mimic running on the treadmill without the impact. It also allows stair-stepping motion, so I feel like I am getting a broader workout in one session. I can burn 400+ calories in 45 mins depending on how high I set the resistance and how fast I pedal.
March 4, 2013 8:38 AM
If I am working out inside, it it on the elliptical. Otherwise, if I am going to walk or run I go outside. So, this time of year there are a lot more elliptical workouts, but as soon as it is above 40F when I get off work the dog and I head outside to walk/run.

Personally, I find the treadmill aggravates my foot and hip issues way more than running outside or the elliptical. I also find to be dreadfully boring, even more so than the elliptical. I think if you don't have joint issues though, and want to work out inside, the treadmill forces you to exert more energy than the elliptical and is a better overall workout.
  10935744
March 4, 2013 8:43 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

There's nothing like a run outside to kick both of those machines asses! With an actual run outside, you burn waaaayyy more calories due to the fact that you are actually propelling yourself forward. There's wind resistance as well as changing terrains. And let me tell you, it is way more motivating to actually see yourself going somewhere!
As for some of the comments on here, choosing the eliptical because you burn more calories with less effort?! Really? That's going to get you no where. You actually need to push yourself to make a change. That's just laziness and poor attitude.



^^^^^ Love this

You do not burn more on the elliptical.
Running out side is the best for calorie burn


Agreed. Assuming the same level of exertion your calorie burn would be outside-treadmill-elliptical.

Reverse that for the level of impact on your joints.

If your goal it to burn calories, outdoor running is the best. If you want to burn calories and reduce impact, elliptical is the way to go.

For me, I run 3 times a week and do elliptical in between as a nice low-impact calorie burn.
March 4, 2013 8:44 AM
Elliptical definitely burns more if you are using the arms at the same time - that is why you burn more than the treadmill. If you don't use the arms on the elliptical then it is about the same as the treadmill. Interval training is best, and it helps alleviate the boredom. I tend to use all the machines in the gym and always set myself a calorie burn target for the session and don't stop till I get there.
March 4, 2013 8:44 AM
QUOTE:

The calorie burn depends on the speed and resistance/incline you are using for either. I prefer the elliptical because a treadmill hurts my knees and shins. I don't seem to be able to make it through 15 mins on the treadmill without needing to stop due to pain. This is likely something that will change as I become stronger and adjust to daily workouts.

My Y has added Precor AMT machines which I LOVE. It is similar to an elliptical in the pedals, but allows for greater range of motion so you can mimic running on the treadmill without the impact. It also allows stair-stepping motion, so I feel like I am getting a broader workout in one session. I can burn 400+ calories in 45 mins depending on how high I set the resistance and how fast I pedal.


Those Precor machines are excellent, although in my sneakers my toes tend to go numb on them. In my Five Fingers, no such problem. I think varying your stride also helps avoid repetitive stress injuries so that is a nice feature as well.
March 4, 2013 4:40 PM
Thanks for all of the great answers.
I have decided to have both here at home. That way I can do the elliptical one morning and treadmill the next. I use my machines in the morning and take a walk outside in the evenings, weather permitting. Having the machines in my home, taunting me, helps to keep me motivated. Driving to a gym just doesn't work for me as far as staying motivated.
  35230854
March 4, 2013 5:35 PM
Really depends on your body. What is probably a big thing with their caloric difference is their different weight, height, and perhaps heart rate. I know I did an elliptical workout with 3 miles earlier, and burned about half the calories of the guy next to me, because he's a much bigger dude, even though he was on there for less time than I was.

I use ellipticals for cross-training, since I have bad knees, and adding that helps reduce impact while still getting good cardio workout. I mix it up with treadmill running in the winter, and outdoor running when it's not muddy and snowy. Generally speaking, caloric burn has everything to do with exertion, and not what machine you're using. I can burn more calories running outside or on the treadmill, if I focus on keeping my heart rate higher than my elliptical workouts. There are a lot more factors than just what machine it is.
March 4, 2013 5:42 PM
I actually have both, and use both. My treadmill is actually an "incline trainer", and I use it primarily walking with a steep incline. I don't feel like one is "easier" than the other necessarily.
  122266
March 4, 2013 5:46 PM
Nothing burns more than running, but in the long run, its really tough on your knees. Ellipticals are easier on your knees.

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