Is The Elliptical Machine or Treadmill Better for Fat Loss?

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question-icon-newIs the elliptical machine or the treadmill better for losing fat in my thighs, hamstrings, obliques and abdominal area? Which one of these machines will firm and lift my glutes so I can really tighten up my butt?

answer-icon-newBuying exercise equipment is an excellent idea. It gives you the freedom to workout whenever you want and can actually help you workout more due to the convenience. There are so many exercise machines out on the market and sometimes it can be very confusing to choose the best one for your needs. Treadmills and elliptical machines are very popular right now and the big question is which one is better for overall fat loss?

Elliptical Trainers vs. Treadmills
Treadmills have been around for many years. They are found in almost all gyms and in many homes as well. On the other hand, elliptical trainers are a newer invention but have the same popularity as the treadmill. Both machines give you the ability to perform indoor cardio and you can burn a substantial amount of calories using them.

Benefits of a Treadmill
treadmill-vs-elliptical-fat-lossThis is the perfect machine if you love running, jogging or walking. It gives you a chance to workout even during harsh weather conditions. This is the time when even the most devoted runners avoid going out for a run. A good treadmill has different speeds which allow you to jog, sprint and even walk.

The treadmill is also good for you if you are a beginner. This is because it has different intensity levels that you can increase as you get more fit. Other features such as an incline setting that simulates running up slopes and hills is included. This is fantastic equipment for an athlete who wants to train indoors or for the beginner who wants a great cardio workout.

Benefits of an Elliptical Trainer
Using an elliptical machine requires more coordination than using a treadmill since you’re using both your upper and lower body to perform the exercise. While working out on the elliptical trainer, your feet do not leave the pedals. This is ideal for those with muscle pains, joint problems, individuals recovering from injury and elderly people. It is sometimes called a cross trainer as it provides a whole body workout. It allows you to train both your legs and arms at the same time. Your legs power away as your hands grip the handles and pull one in as you push the other out. As your arms go back and forth, you are able to target all of the major upper body muscles of your biceps, triceps, chest and shoulders.

The elliptical trainer actually allows you to work a group of muscles all at once. You can consider changing the direction of your feet to the reverse direction. This will work a whole different set of leg muscles and your glutes especially!

Conclusion
Is the elliptical or the treadmill better for fat loss? Both the treadmill and elliptical trainer are excellent cardio machines you can enjoy getting a great fat burning workout from. If you enjoy running or brisk walking then the treadmill is the way to go. The elliptical trainer offers a low-impact full body workout. It will also target your entire body. Both machines help you burn fat, maintain good cardiovascular health and boost energy levels.

The key is the overall intensity level. If you’re running at a fast pace or doing high intensity sprints on the treadmill versus going at a very slow pace on the elliptical machine at a low intensity level, then obviously you will burn more calories and fat using the treadmill. If the intensity is the same on both machines, then the elliptical machine is much better. The reason is because you’re using more muscles during the exercise, as long as you make sure to use the arm movement when you’re doing the elliptical machine. The more major muscle groups you use doing an exercise, the more overall calories you will burn during the workout. This is the reason why cross-country skiing, swimming and jumping rope are such great exercises. The calories you burn during these whole body exercises is incredible.

When you lose body fat, it will come from all over your body. When I hear someone say, “I want to lose fat in my hips and thighs”, this triggers thoughts of spot reducing. The term “spot reducing” really does not work. You can’t reduce fat from one specific area on your body. You should focus on burning calories with cardio exercise and you will start losing body fat from all over your entire body.

For specifically firming and toning up your thighs, hamstrings and glutes, I recommend weight training and focusing on barbell squats for reps of 12-15. This will truly “firm” up this area because lean muscle is hard and body fat is soft, so focus on weight training to build solid muscle and cardio to burn up excess body fat!

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1 Comment

  1. I think using the elliptical machine is a good piece of gym equipment to lose weight, but the price can get pretty spendy.

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