Treadmill vs Elliptical Comparison


The treadmill vs elliptical dilemma is big for many people because both are relatively big-ticket purchases and so you don’t want to make the wrong choice.At the end of the day, both a treadmill and an elliptical are excellent choices for working out in general. The issue is what is right for you...


Treadmill is low to high impact on your joints. You can also go sailing off the back end.Elliptical is low to no impact on your joints. It’s possible to slip off a pedal, but in my view an elliptical is safer than a treadmill.

Running Simulation Treadmill

if you run, a treadmill is as close as you’ll get to training for running.Elliptical: on the other hand an elliptical offers cross training opportunities to train other muscles and offer some variety.


If noise is an issue for you because of other people in your home or you live in an apartment, then an elliptical will be a better option for you because ellipticals are quieter than treadmills – generally speaking. Think about it – motor aside (treadmill motors can be loud), the fluid motion of an elliptical is much quieter than feet pounding on a treadmill.

Cost: Treadmill vs. Elliptical

Both range in price from a low of $200 to $5,000 or more. When buying a treadmill or elliptical (or both), you should budget at least $500 or more so you get a decent level of quality.

Total Body Workout

Treadmill only works the lower body.Elliptical if you purchase one with moveable handles, offers a total body workout.Reading EaseIt’s easier to turn pages on an elliptical than a treadmill (especially if running on a treadmill).

Resistance Training Treadmill: No resistance except for incline options.Elliptical: most elliptical trainers have intensity levels offering resistance training.

Cross Training / Variety

Treadmill offers some variety with walking and incline. However, if running is your primary workout, then an elliptical offers variety to your running regimen. Moreover, many elliptical trainer offer forward and reverse pedal movement which varies your workouts as well as works out different muscles.Cross Country Skiing SimulationA treadmill simulates running and walking whereas an elliptical simulates cross country skiing.Workout


Both offer excellent cardio and aerobic workouts.


Treadmills are more popular and sell more than ellipticals.

Other Treadmill vs Elliptical Considerations

Are you a competitive runner?

If so, a treadmill may be your best bet.However, if you live in a cold climate, do you still run outside year around? One of the biggest benefits to having a treadmill and an elliptical is you can train inside. If you can run year around outside, then an elliptical may be the better choice so you can vary your workouts.

How to Decide the Treadmill vs Elliptical?

If you’re a runner or a walker and can’t run or walk outside year-around, then a treadmill is your best bet. If you can and/or do run/walk year around outside, get the elliptical. You can’t use an elliptical outside. If you can run for free outside, then vary your workout by investing in an elliptical.If you can’t / don’t run/walk year around outside, then get a treadmill (if you’re a runner). Then save up for an elliptical.If you aren’t runner or a walker then get an elliptical trainer because it trains both your upper body and lower body in a very low / no impact way.

Obviously if you have knee or hip problems, get an elliptical trainer.The most important consideration when deciding on the treadmill vs elliptical dilemma is choose what you will use. If you’ve never used an elliptical and/or a treadmill, get a 1 week membership at a gym and go use them both and see what you like more.


1. - Published on February 10,2020. Author: Carvell Edlander BSC