Treadmills Vs Other Cardio Machines

Treadmills Vs Other Cardio Machines

When you go to the gym, you don’t want to make the rookie mistake of picking a random cardio machine to workout with. You should know the names of these machines as well as the proper body motions required to operate them.

Before you even step foot in a gym, it would be wise to equip yourself with the information below to ensure you make the most out of every workout session.

List Of Go-to Cardio Machine

List Of Other Cardio Machines

  • Exercise Bikes
  • Rowing Machines
  • Elliptical machines

Treadmill Pros

First let's go through several positive sides of using treadmills.

Easier On The Joints

You often witness people who prefer to run on outside pavement, but don’t limit yourself since that isn’t your only surface option. In fact, a majority of fitness enthusiasts are now refusing to run on hard pavement.

Joints on a treadmill.

The problem with running on hard pavement is the harsh impact it can have on your joints, which can reach severe levels if you have a preexisting medical condition.

Doctors always warn patients against running on pavement during the recovery stage of an injury for that very same reason.

Instead, a large portion of workout fanatics have switched to running on a more agreeable floor that conforms to their movements and doesn’t work against them.

Over 80% of North Americans have come to the consensus that you should maintain your body to operate at pristine levels, so running on a treadmill would be your ideal alternative. You can easily find a treadmill to use at your local gym, or you can set one up in your home.

Treadmills rank superior to the hard pavement because the chances of you damaging your joints on treadmills remain extremely low. Since the treadmill belt, you'll be running on is a cushioned, smooth belt, it can readily absorb any built up shock.

Some treadmill belts feature a design that specifically functions to lessen the pressure gathered on your feet. The enhanced blood circulation will allow you to run further distances without feeling as if your feet were weighing you down.

Treadmills Make Precise Workouts A Reality

Since outdoor running forces you to interact with a diverse set of external factors, performing the same workout twice becomes impossible on your end. This makes training for races and triathlons a much more difficult task than it needs to be, so people opt to train on another surface.

Treadmills have advanced technologically over the past couple years that you can easily simulate the specific course that you’re training for. If you aren’t training, you can still use this feature to mimic terrain from anywhere in the world.

Keep in mind that regardless of weather, temperature, and wind conditions, a treadmill will always be there to help you train whereas you can’t say the same about running outside.

Treadmill Cons

There are, however, some drawbacks.

Muscles Don’t Receive Same Intensity Workout

For the belt to operate, the treadmill relies on its motor to provide the power. Since the belt receives power from another source, your muscles react differently than if you were running on solid pavement.

People using treadmills.

When you run outside, your hamstrings are doing a majority of the work to keep your legs constantly active and running in a cyclical manner. On the flipside, running on a treadmill doesn’t require as much effort from your hamstrings as pavement does.

The treadmill belt propulsion gives your legs an extra boost that reduces the work intensity of your hamstrings. You’ll end up using your quads to push off the treadmill, which neglects to workout the muscles located on the back of your leg.

Running outdoors works out more muscle groups in your leg than running on a treadmill would. This is a flaw you have to account for if you decide to use treadmills.

You can create a more wholesome workout by incorporating some cross training along with the treadmill, so you workout out your entire leg rather than just your quads.

Now that you have a more in-depth comprehension regarding the positives and negatives of treadmills, you can expertly compare them to other gym equipment. Keep reading for a detailed look comparing treadmills to other standard gym equipment you may have already used in the past.

Treadmill vs Elliptical

If you’re looking for a cardiovascular machine that requires minimal impact on your part, then the elliptical is the one for you. Since the elliptical functions differently from treadmills, you have to approach planning out your workout sessions with a different mindset as well.

High-intensity interval training is mandatory if you're relying on ellipticals to burn off a majority of your body fat. Unfortunately, there isn't much more an elliptical can offer you

Treadmills surpass ellipticals in regards to forcing you to perform effective workout sessions. When you combine the increased versatility with the motor of a treadmill, you end up experiencing a more strenuous workout than an elliptical can provide.

Calories: Treadmill vs Elliptical

In regards to calories burned, treadmills again surpass ellipticals since the former guarantees the most calorie burn (up to 1200 calories) while the latter offers some calorie burn.

Including arm movement with your elliptical workout will burn about 700 calories per hour, but that number goes down when you don't use your arms. You want to increase the elliptical's resistance level to experience a more effective fitness session that would be slightly on par with running on a treadmill.

Keep in mind that calorie burn calculators on ellipticals aren't accurate and overestimate, so you burn a lot fewer calories than what you think is true.

Treadmill vs Bike

When it comes to bikes, you have the option to perform either indoor or outdoor cycling. Since we are comparing bikes to treadmills, it’s only fair that indoor cycling is the only form of a bike workout we refer to.

Woman on an exercise bike.

Bikes force your legs to move differently than they would on a treadmill, but it doesn’t mean that it’s more draining as a workout. Your legs have to follow the bike’s pedaling motion to feel your muscles burning.

Pedalling isn't a motion associated with treadmills, which is why riding an indoor bike isn't as draining as running on a treadmill. You'll end up burning a maximum of 1,000 calories per hour after a session on the bike while running on a treadmill burns 1,200 calories per hour.

Treadmill vs Rowing Machine

For a full body muscular endurance and cardio workout, you can expect a rowing machine to deliver but only at 1,000 calories burned per hour. Even though rowing machines came close, treadmills still burn more calories, which solidifies its place as the number one cardio machine.

Unless you have experience using rowing machines, the average person incorrectly performs the rowing action, so they don't even receive the full workout. Treadmills are considerably more natural to use since they rely on a basic leg motion that's impossible to mess up.

You want to use your legs, arms, and torso to operate a rowing machine, which is a combination that’s hard to follow through with. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll realize that running on a treadmill is a much more entertaining experience than rowing on a rowing machine.

Why Treadmill Is The Best Choice After All?

Since working out has become a luxury only a few can afford, you have to make the most out of each session. Training on a treadmill burns more calories than any other cardio machine, and never fails to leave out a particular muscle group.

Three people using treadmills.

Personal trainers recommend incorporating a variety of the cardio machines that are listed above to your fitness regime. The use of diverse cardio machines will cause your body to transform within a matter of weeks.


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