Weight loss using Elliptical Trainers VS Treadmills

by Hara Hagikalfa · 9 comments

Elliptical VS Treadmill is a popular topic among people looking for the most effective fitness equipment to use at home. We compare them in terms of cost, calories burn, joint impact and noise so that you make the decision on which is the best fitness equipment for you.

The best way to achieve your weight loss goals is to combine weight loss with exercise. Physical exercise besides assisting your weight loss efforts also offers a number of benefits to your health. In summary these are:

1. Exercise can reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke
2. Exercise can help prevent hypertension
3. Exercise can help prevent osteoporosis
4. Exercise can help prevent diabetes in adults
5. Exercise can help prevent cancer
6. Exercise can help improve nervous disorders
7. Exercise can delay aging and its consequences

elliptical vs treadmill

An easy way to exercise efficiently is by using an elliptical cross trainer or a treadmill. There has been a lot of controversy about which piece of fitness equipment is better, the elliptical cross trainer or the treadmill. Of course, it is very difficult to say which is better because it depends on personal preference, but if you take the following feature comparisons into consideration it will help you make a final decision.

Cost of an elliptical cross trainer VS Cost of a treadmill

If you are on a tight budget then a cross trainer will generally be cheaper in comparison to a treadmill, this is because the manufacturing costs to build a cross trainer over a treadmill is cheaper. Treadmills have more complex electronics and parts, as a result they cost more to manufacture. However, do not sacrifice money over quality; a low budget cross trainer or treadmill will cost you more in the long run.

Calories Burned

This is probably the most controversial subject between a cross trainer and a treadmill, which one burns the most calories? The answer of course is not that simple because it depends on which type of cross trainer and treadmill you compare, for example lower budget cross trainers usually have a smaller stride length. The shorter the stride length the less your body actually moves therefore the less calories you burn. Secondly, the belt length of the treadmill: smaller belt lengths mean you cannot reach a big stride, which again means you will burn fewer calories. It appears from most test performed the calories burned are about the same, some test seem to favor the cross trainer whilst other tests favor the treadmill. My conclusion is that it is down to personal preference.

Calories Burned on a treadmill and elliptical trainer for 30 minutes
Weight: 155 pounds, Duration: 30 minutes

24 min/mile – 101 calories
5% incline 24 min/mile – 187 calories
10% incline 24 min/mile – 227 calories

Elliptical Trainer
30 minutes workout – 300 calories

Joint Impact

The joint impact on a cross trainer is much less than the impact created by running on a treadmill, however some treadmill models come with orthopedic belts which actually help cushion the impact. Brands such as Life Fitness also use a cushioning absorption system on their running decks which helps soften the impact. If you suffer from joint injuries or want to burn calories without putting too much pressure on joints then I suggest a cross trainer.


The noise created by a treadmill will be louder compared to a cross trainer, the noise comes from the motor and the person running on it. A cross trainer is much quieter because you are not hitting a deck. If noise is an issue then a cross trainer wins hand over fist.

Elliptical VS Treadmill – Summary

To summarize a treadmill will cost more due to higher manufacturing costs, the calories burnt between the machines is almost identical, the joint impact on a treadmill will be greater compared to a cross trainer and finally a cross trainer will be quieter compared to a treadmill. So there are the facts, you should analyze and then make up your own mind as to which one you will be purchasing.

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Hara Hagikalfa
About the author

Hara Hagikalfa completed her BSc(Hons) in Health and Exercise Science, Sports Science and Medicine. She is a certified Personal Trainer and Pilates instructor. You can learn more about Hara and connect with her on Facebook