Treadmills vs. Ellipticals: Which Is Better for You? (Infographic)

Pick the winner of this Health Hub Knockout

Health Hub Knockout treadmill vs elliptical

In this round of Health Hub Knockout, our contenders are two popular cardio machines: treadmills and ellipticals. See if you can guess the winner!

JPGF-13-HHB-207 April Knockout Infographic_FNL

Download the Treadmill vs. Elliptical Knockout

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What is Health Hub Knockout?

Health Hub Knockouts pit two contenders against each other to determine the health and wellness champ. These epic bouts are decided by fair and impartial Cleveland Clinic refs. In each match, you’ll learn the health benefits each contender brings to the ring — and whether it’s a Knockout, Technical Knockout or Draw!

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  • Nicole Welsh

    Completely disagree. I own a professional grade elliptical and I LOVE it. I have knee issues and began using them during my treatment post injury, and since my newer ankle injury it is effective too. If I had a treadmill I wouldn’t be back to working out again quite yet. Hated my treadmill and gave it away, bought an elliptical which is here to stay!

    • Kelly

      disagree about what? they said the elliptical is better for sore joints. the treadmill just has more advantages but they didn’t say the elliptical didn’t have any advantages.

  • Karen Goeller

    Elliptical is non-impact and more challenging. You get more bang for your buck on the elliptical with less pounding on your body.

  • FitPoint Helmond

    User Friendly? Is this actually written by someone who is actively involved in the fitness industry? What a load of …! If there is one machine in the gym that has the steepest learning curve, it is by far the treadmill. People that step on a treadmill for the first time have to get used to the speed, rhythm and balance. More than ones, people will fail at this and are unable to use the treadmill safely. I have never in my 17 years as a health professional had such problems with an elliptical. Never!

    Easy to vary workouts? What about all the different programs even the simplest of ellipticals have included? You can vary your speed on an elliptical just as you could on a treadmill, only you can do it without touching a button. You can squat on the elliptical to target your glutes more, you can emphasize the calf with an extra push off, you can emphasize the upper body by using more armpower… P.s. newsflash: many new elipticals also include an extra incline setting!

    I suggest the author of this article sign up at a gym and try out the various machines for himself. Maybe then (s)he will be able to write a more valid article about the subject. As if there isn’t enough misinformation on the subject of health and fitness already on the web…

    • Dillonvale1964

      Man, you need to cut back on the caffeine or something. Take a deep breath and relax. It’s OK to disagree but why the personal attacks? Why the hostility? Why can you not just offer a reasoned, rational counter argument without impugning the source? Isn’t there room in the world for other perspectives other than your own? Personally, I would trust Cleveland Clinic over random anonymous “Person on Internet.”

      • FitPoint Helmond

        Ok. Maybe I was a bit harsh in my reply, but I happen to very passionate about fighting the misinformation that circles the internet nowadays. Especially when it applies to peoples health. Especially when the misinformation comes from ‘trusted’ companies like a health clinic! As you said, you take their word over mine and I see where that’s coming from… Now the misinformation in this particular article won’t cause any injuries or keep people from getting credible results, but it still is misinformation (in my educated opinion), and I’m still passionate about it 😉

        So, for my credentials: My name is Christian van Lierop and I’m a licensed physical therapist, medical fitness instructor and health coach. I’ve been professionaly active in the health & sports business for over 16 years. I’ve studied anatomie and physiology for more than 15 years and also specialise in food and nutrition. Does that mean I’m more knowledgable than the anonymous person form the Cleveland Clinic’s Health Club who wrote this? I don’t know. I do know that my opinion is based on many years of theoretical and practical experience and I stand by it…

        • Dillonvale1964

          I hear you. I just re-read the infographic. While Cleveland Clinic declares a winner, it does mention that there are positives for both. And I still don’t think there is any “misinformation” going on here, just information you do don’t agree with.

        • David Foster

          I agree with you Fitpoint; I’m also surprised that the Cleveland Clinic would post such incomplete or inaccurate info. Their comparison also failed to mention one of my favorite aspects of the elliptical: I believe it provides a much better upper body workout than the treadmill–if one uses the arm levers.

      • shirloo

        I agree,each person needs to find which one is for them.I am 77 yr.old and tried Elliptical,but too scary for me.I like the treadmill,I need the walking. And like this because it is even ,I hold each side and walk my mile.I also do bicycle a little for my knees.
        My main exercise is Silver Sneakers aerobics for seniors 3 times a wk. and the pool.

    • Deb Chevalier Stonebraker

      Loved your reply!

  • Deb Chevalier Stonebraker

    Also disagree. I enjoy the elliptical and hate treadmills. So, nix the points for motivation and user friendly…moot points.if you hate one. I can take a book and sit it on an elliptical for an hour, can’t do it on a treadmill. So easier to continue a linger workout, without getting bored…

    • Topaz83

      I know I am late to the party, but I feel compelled to say the learning curve for the elliptical is much more for many then a treadmill. If you don’t have rythm you may never feel comfortble on an elliptical. Even people with no rythm can walk on a treadmill comfortably from use one. Still, walking without the aid of either trumps both devices in my opinion.

  • Go Fiskit

    Nice Post! I agree with you where you said that the elliptical is awkward and having a learning curve. I own a treadmill and also a elliptical, when I bought the Treadmill I ran on it correctly within 2-3 hrs but when I get the elliptical it took more than a couple of week to learn. But both have their great value.

  • Son Gy

    Coming from somebody who had knee replacement, ellipticals all the way.

    • shirloo

      I have a bad knee,and elliptical effected me totally different.It is scary to me maybe my age.afraid of falling

  • Aaron C. Taylor

    Disagree. Elliptical is whole body exercise.