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.

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.