Both the elliptical cross trainer and the treadmill are effective for weight loss! Indeed, to lose weight, you need to burn calories and these two cardio machines will allow you to burn a lot of calories.
Which cardio machine burns the most calories: the treadmill or the elliptical trainer?
The answer is straightforward: it depends;) Indeed, the calories burned depend on the intensity and the duration of your workout. For example, you'll burn a lot more calories by doing an HIIT interval training on your elliptical cross trainer than if you walk or run on your treadmill at a medium speed. However, at equal heart rate, the treadmill wins over the elliptical. Why ? Because the elliptical trainer always accompanies you in your movements and therefore provides some of the effort while you have to move your entire body and weight on the treadmill.
Here are the approximate values of the calories burned on the elliptical machine and the treadmill.
|1h of exercise||Calories burned|
|Elliptical cross trainer, low to high intensity||500 to 880 kcal|
|Treadmill, low to high intensity||455 to 830 kcal|
Another important factor to be taken into account in the calculation of calories burned is your weight. While it has little influence when you exercise on an elliptical trainer since the machine carries you and accompanies your movements, it does matter when you run on a treadmill. For example, a 60 kg person will burn on average 470 kcal per hour on a treadmill for an average speed of 8 km/h. A 70 kg person will burn 560 kcal and an 85 kg person 690 kcal.
That being said, is the cross trainer more effective than the treadmill to lose weight?
Sure, the treadmill helps you burn more calories. However, the elliptical cross trainer seems more effective for weight loss for several reasons. First, the elliptical trainer allows you to follow high intensity workout routines (HIIT) and burn a lot of calories in a short time, which is still possible with the treadmill by increasing its incline but in a much less flexible way. Secondly, it is possible to target certain muscles such as the thighs, buttocks or arms with the elliptical bike, especially during an interval training (HIIT) by increasing the resistance of the machine, as we will see in the following chapter, and tone specific parts of your body. Finally, the elliptical trainer is more accessible than the treadmill and easier to handle.
When you want to lose weight, you should also work out your muscles to strengthen the weak parts of your body in order to have a more athletic body. That's why it's important to know which muscles are used on the treadmill and on the elliptical cross trainer.
The treadmill wins over the the elliptical bike in terms of calories burned. However, the difference is not that big and you will manage to lose weight with either machine if you exercise regularly at a medium or high intensity. You need to work out hard if you really want to burn calories!
The elliptical trainer and the treadmill are not strength machines but cardio machines, which means that they will help you tone your muscles, especially in the legs, thighs and butt, but not to inflate them. If that's your primary goal, then you should look for a strength machine or lift weights.
The elliptical trainer and the treadmill both work the muscles of the lower part of the body:
- the gluteal muscles (or the butt)
- the muscles of the thighs (quadriceps and hamstrings, located respectively at the front and the back of the thighs)
- leg muscles (calves and anterior tibial)
The advantage of the elliptical cross trainer over the treadmill is that it also works the muscles of the arms, belly and chest. When you actively pull the handlebars, you work your biceps and abdominals, and when you push the handlebars, your triceps and pecs are targeted. On the elliptical machine, you can also pedal backward to work the hamstrings which are the muscles located at the back of the thighs.
The treadmill particularly targets the legs, thighs and calves. Your legs will work more on the treadmill than on the elliptical trainer since the shocks induced at each stride on the treadmill are more demanding for the body and also for the muscles whereas your movements are accompanied by the machine on the elliptical bike.
The elliptical cross trainer or the treadmill to work the thighs?
Both fitness machines are effective for strengthening your thighs. On the elliptical trainer, HIIT workouts are easier since the machine responds much faster than the treadmill. To work the thighs on the treadmill, you will need to increase the incline. On the elliptical trainer, hold the handles in the middle, put your butt back and do an interval training during which you will increase the resistance of the elliptical as well as your speed for 20 to 30 seconds, then recover for 30 to 40 seconds and repeat 8 to 10 times. It is a very effective exercise to strengthen your thighs and glutes.
To sum up, if your goal is to work your thighs and strengthen your buttocks, then the treadmill and the elliptical trainer are both effective. For that purpose, we have a little preference for the elliptical trainer since you can more easily target specific muscles during an interval training with an increase in the resistance. However, if you want to strengthen your arms, then we definitely recommend the elliptical bike.
The treadmill stresses the joints more and causes shock at each stride. Running on a treadmill can cause very small injuries called microtrauma in the hips, knees and ankles because of the weight of the body absorbed with each stride (the feet absorb 2 to 3 times the weight of the body with each stride). If you have problems with the joints or the knees, it is recommended to choose an elliptical trainer rather than a treadmill. On the elliptical bike, there is no shock and the movements are smooth, making it a very gentle fitness machine for the joints. For this reason, the elliptical trainer or even the exercise bike is more recommended for the elderly than the treadmill.
However, for the knee rehabilitation for example, the elliptical can in some cases be contraindicated because the knees continuously work (see with your doctor in this case), the exercise bike can in that case be a better option.
The treadmill and the elliptical machine are cardio machines that offer the following benefits: they help you work your cardiovascular system and heart, improve your endurance and maintain your fitness, burn calories and therefore lose weight, and finally tone your muscles, especially the legs, thighs and glutes. However, these fitness machines correspond to different types of use we are comparing in the table below.
Comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of each cardio machine:
In general, the elliptical trainer is appreciated by all those who wish to stay in shape, lose weight, strengthen the muscles of the thighs, legs and buttocks, without being professional athletes while people who are already jogging or running tend to favor the treadmill to find the sensations they already know and continue to track their performance when they train at home. To learn more, read our article about the 10 criteria to consider when choosing your elliptical trainer.
Keep in mind that you should at least exercise for 10 minutes per session on your elliptical cross trainer or treadmill, ideally 30 to 45-minute sessions to maximize the benefits of exercise on your body and health!
The DKN XC-140i Crosstrainer with Bluetooth offers a full body workout. With its Bluetooth connection, you can connect your iPad, tablet, iPhone to your crosstrainer. * EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Get a 12-month subscription to the Vescape App for free, with interval and cardio workouts, training stats as well as a video game which is interactive with the speed...
The DKN XC-160i Bluetooth Crosstrainer is the absolute high-end elliptical machine with an extremely fluid movement (flywheel: 20 kg). * EXCLUSIVE OFFER: A 12-month subscription to the Vescape Training App is offered to you with the DKN XC-160i, including cardio workouts, HIIT, training stats and a video game which is interactive with the speed and the...
The DKN AM-3i Exercise Bike with Bluetooth is the very new DKN bike with an attractive design. With its Bluetooth connection, you will be able to connect your smartphone or tablet (iPhone and iPad also) and download compatible apps for making your workout more engaging and more interactive!
The DKN AM-5i Ergo Exercise Bike with Bluetooth has a very attractive design and comes with an app. The Bluetooth connection allows you to connect your mobile device, iPhone and iPad, to your exercise bike.* EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Get with your DKN AM5i Bluetooth exercise bike a 12-month subscription to the Vescape App for free, with cardio, interval trainings...