Which Burns More Calories: Elliptical Trainer vs. Treadmill?

Can you burn more calories from the elliptical trainer or the treadmill? When going to workout, you want to use the machine that will burn the most calories. Especially when you’re pressed for time, your goal is to burn the highest amount of calories in the least amount of time. In general, the elliptical trainer and the treadmill are very similar in calories burned for most people. There are certain categories where one machine does beat out the other, so knowing your body and knowing the best type of exercise for your body will determine which machine to use.

Elliptical Trainer

The elliptical is one of the most popular machines used at a gym along with the treadmill. It is also one of the most sold exercise machines. This is due to the fact that the elliptical is a low impact machine and will work the entire body, giving both the upper and lower muscles a workout. 


The treadmill is another popular machine at gyms and also for sales. The treadmill is great because it allows walkers and runners alike a machine to get their cardio in, and not have to worry about the outside elements. Treadmills also create less impact and exude less pressure and stress on the knees and joints.

Calorie Comparison

Studies have been done on which machine burns the most calories. The calorie burn was about the same for a runner running at 7 miles per hour for an hour and using the elliptical for an hour. This data is a bit biased, as not everyone is the same in their abilities. The best machine depends on the exercise level of the individual. For walkers and joggers, a treadmill is the machine that is most likely used.  Because this is a slower exercise, the same person would most likely burn off more calories on an elliptical since the elliptical uses the entire body (provided the person is using an elliptical with arm movement). For faster runners and long distance runners, the higher calorie burns would come from the treadmill. 

Each machine does have different settings that can up the calorie burn as well. Treadmill users can add an incline to add to the calorie burn. The treadmill also has different workout programs that can be done to maximize the calorie burn as well. The elliptical trainer has similar programs as well. The incline can be changed, the type of program done can be changed, and there are many different options. 

When it comes down to it, both of these machines enable exercisers to burn a significant amount of calories, but they must push themselves to their fitness limits. It is also a good idea to switch up work out routines so the body does not get used to one machine. By staying on these machines for 45 minutes to an hour and challenging yourself, you will see results from both the elliptical trainer and the treadmill. 


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