Treadmill Running vs Elliptical Machine

Is The Elliptical Machine Just As Good As Running?

 If it is for the first time that you need to purchase fitness equipment you may have many questions regarding the elliptical machine.

Some of the people end up asking themselves whether this machine is as good as running.  Before we find out whether or not it is as good as running, let’s first define what the elliptical trainer is.  This is basically as machine that stands on the floor.


It has some similarities to the treadmill.  However, where as the treadmill machines uses flat  track that rolls backwards, the elliptical  trainer as foot pedals which are  designed in  a way that  thy move in patterns that  are coordinated and which simulate running.  Some of the elliptical machines also feature hand grips which move forth and back simultaneously with the foot pedals so as to replicate the cross-country skiing.

The modern elliptical machines also have excellent programming that is built in to the dash board not to mention the heart rate monitors and the variable resistance programs.


The elliptical trainer has very many benefits.  It is a great choice for those people that may in one way or another may have limited capacities because of their physical activities.

It is also recommend to those people that are at the risk of developing some other conditions later in their lives.


The elliptical training does not have high impact as running by the road or at the field.  In this regard, it has the effect of protecting the joints while at the same time strengthening the muscles and bones.  The elliptical machines however provide activity that is more guided than the treadmill machine or running.

This means that the machine is good for those people that may have problems of coordination and balance.


I for those people that do not like the high impact to the muscles because or running in the field, the elliptical machines may not be the ideal choice.

This is so because; while the elliptical machine offers protection to the joints, it at the same time provides reasonable amount of resistance.  This makes it possible for the more burning of calories in only one single workout.


The people that like the challenges of the high resistance can increase the level of resistance of the elliptical trainer by simply pressing some few adjustment buttons.

Most of the people that routinely work out love the versatility and challenge of the variable resistance.

Some of the modern elliptical machines have incline features that are variable such that the machine slant goes downwards and upwards.


Various studies have been conducted so as to find out the similarities and differences of the elliptical machine and running. It has been found that there are some similarities as well as some differences.

The main difference is that the elliptical machine does not offer the great impact as the real running out there in the field or by the road.

Because of this reason, you should not engage in full time exercises on the treadmill.  You should engage in the outdoor running of you need to get the high impact.

The 4 Best Upper Back Exercises For Any Fitness Level

Training your upper back should be approached very carefully. Your back is a delicate structure and you need to choose upper back exercises according to your fitness level to avoid injuries. Once you feel comfortable with your current level of back exercises, you can move on to the next. This will keep your body guessing and will prevent an exercise plateau.


To help you do so, here are some of the best upper back exercises according to different fitness levels.

You can approach these exercises in 2 different ways

  1. The normal way – Do 3-4 sets of these back exercises with about 12-15 reps each.
  2. The superset way – For faster results, do one upper-back exercise and then another immediately after that another one. Rest and repeat 2-3 times.

Beginner upper back exercises

Some of the easiest beginner upper back are Shoulder Shrugs and the Seated Row. Here’s how you do those exercises.

Shoulder shrugs

You begin by standing with your feet hip width apart, your arms at your sides and your knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in your preferred weight in each hand with palms facing in Slowly shrug your shoulders up towards your ears, keeping your abs tight. Hold for 3 counts and lower your shoulders to starting position. Repeat for 10-15 reps.

Seated machine row

Select the seated row machine at the gym. It’s an effective and easy to do beginners back exercises. Just select the weight load that you are comfortable with and slowly row the machine handles to the back.

Intermediate level exercises for your upper back

If you are a little more fit than just a beginner you can include this exercise into your upper back/body exercise routine.

One arm dumbbell row

You will need an exercise bench and a dumbbell to perform this exercise. You start with your right foot flat on floor and left knee on the bench. Lean forward so that you are supporting your upper body weight with your left arm. Reach down and pick up a dumbbell with your right hand. Slowly row the dumbbell up towards your your chest, ending parallel to your torso. Make sure not to hunch or round your back; keep it flat.

Advanced upper back exercise

If you feel up to it, you can add this more advanced move to your upper back training routine:

Dumbbell pullovers

You start the exercise by lying across a flat bench with only your upper back on the bench. Lift the weight over your head and hold it straight at arms length over your face. To do the movement – lower the dumbbell slowly without raising your hips. Hold that position for one count and raise the weight back to the start position. Repeat for the remaining reps.


All these upper back exercises will give you excellent results and will tone and sculpt a beautiful upper back. Just pick the exercise that’s suited for your fitness level and include it into your upper body training routine for best results.

Treadmill Vs Outdoor Running

Is Running On A Treadmill Better Or Worse Than Running Outside?

 The running on treadmill can be likened to the making of bread by use of bread machine:  the purists are of the opinion that you are greatly missing the real essence of the experience while the pragmatists are of the opinion that the results and convenience really speak for themselves.  Even the critics admit that running on the treadmill still offers many benefits such as even packing, controlled temperature, good footing and possibly a nearby big screen TV. However, this does not inform us whether you are working on your muscles the same way you would if you were running outdoors.  

Can you for example prepare for a 10,000 road race by running on the treadmill?  According to Colin Dombroski, a pedorthist at Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic, this question is ugly. Note that the pedorthist is a person who specializes in the athletes’ footwear or the footwear for those people that have lower limb or feet problems.  Research that has been conducted for over 30 years has led to the emergence of two conflicting schools of thought on this issue.  

On e of the schools holds the view that running on the treadmill is quite different and does not have the same impact as sunning on the outside.  Their argument is based on the fact that; on the treadmill, you just whip your feet back and forth without causing any movement the center of your mass.  The other school of thought maintains that; provided the treadmill is in constant motion, there is no any difference with running on the outside except only the lack of resistance by wind.

The most recent undertaking of unraveling this mystery was made by University of Virginia researchers.  These researchers used cameras of high-speed and special treadmills that had surfaces for measuring force so as to compare the motion of the joints and impact of the same.  The results of this study were published in 2008 in various fitness and exercise journals and they showed that there are some statistical significant differences between running on the treadmill and running outside.  The greatest differences of the two include the peak force and the knee orientation.  In overall, these researchers came to the conclusion that the biomechanisms of running on the treadmill are very close to those of running over ground.  The benefits are indeed almost the same.

 This is a conclusion that has found the support of very many running coaches. For example,  Peter Pimm, a Toronto based  distance running coach  says  that there  are  some differences between running on the tread mill  and running on the outside but according to him, those differences  are very minor.  One of   things that lack in the treadmill is the wind resistance; so as to compensate it, Pimm advises that the runners should set their treadmill at incline of 1%. One of greatest advantages of the treadmill is that; they are in general softer than the roads or sidewalks.

 So in conclusion; you should not rely fully and exclusively on the treadmill.  Even if the weather keeps you indoors for many months, ensure that you begin with simple outdoor runs before progressing in longer distance races.

Will Running Barefoot Help Me Avoid Injuries?

Doctors in the United States have warned the members of the public against running barefoot.  According to them, the recent craze for the running barefoot has contributed significantly to the increase in the foot and leg injuries. Most of the converts are drawing their inspiration from ‘Born To Run’ by Christopher McDouglas which focuses mostly on a Mexican Indian tribe whose the members run for very long distances in simple sandals without experiencing pains.

This notwithstanding, the anecdotal evidence tends to suggest that the doctors have noticed serious feet injuries in consequence.  The common injuries include Achilles tendonitis and pulled calf muscles.  Some of these injuries are so serious such that the patient has to be laid up for long period of time.  Of the many victims of the barefoot running craze is the popular ultra marathoner Ryan Carter. After running barefoot for distance of about six miles by the read, he was finally diagnosed with stress fracture of the feat.

According to Carter, the pain was so intense and severe as though the foot had been hit with a heavy hammer. The foot specialists have said that most of the injuries are nowadays caused by the quick switching from the trainers in to the barefoot.  The shod runners mostly tend to have longer strides and they land on their heels as compared to the barefoot runners that are very highly likely to have shorter strides and thy thus they land on their forefoot or mid foot.


The injuries are very highly likely to occur when the people exert a lot of pressure on the foot and calf muscles, or when thy do not shorten their strides and they thereby land on their heels without padding. According to Paul Langer, a podiatrist based in Minneapolis, in the past, he used to handle or two cases of feet injuries related to running but he now handles between four and five. According to Langer, most of the people have jumped in to the barefoot running very quickly.


Bob Baravarian, another podiatrist based in Santa Monica California’s UCLA Medical Center states that there has been increase of the feet injuries in the US because of the barefoot running.  In the stated health facility, the most common types of feet injuries are the heel injuries and stress fractures.  These injuries are especially common among the fisrt-time runners that are not used to the various forces of the forefoot strikes.


The injuries occasioned by running are very common.  It is estimated that between 30% and 70% of the runners suffer frequent injuries every year.  The experts have not come in to the unanimous agreement on the way sin which these injuries can be prevented. Before the discovery and in venation of shoes, people used to walk and even run barefoot.  It is surprising how the researchers have very little knowledge about the real science behind the barefoot running.


The running shoes were invented in late 1970s. In some other parts of the world such as Africa, running barefoot is still very popular.  Although it is generally agreed that quick migration in to running barefoot increases the risk of feet injuries, it is not very clear whether running barefoot helps in the avoidance of injuries in the long term.