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Elliptical Cross Trainer vs. Treadmills: Which Should You Buy?

Treadmills and elliptical cross trainers are the two most popular fitness items available on the market. But if you're on the lookout for a single piece of kick-ass cardio equipment, how do you decide between the two? The decision to buy a treadmill or a cross trainer really comes down to the type of training you’re planning to slay on the equipment, any pre-existing health issues you may have, and other considerations about what each piece of equipment can offer.

Which should you choose - Treadmill | Gym and Fitness


Treadmills are a great way to get some cardio in and are the go-to for many for their simplicity. Maybe predictably, treadmills are more suited to those who are training for running, and in most cases, is solely what the machine will be used for. However, they are also suitable to train for walking on the slower settings, or even hill climbing on certain models that offer the feature.

Now, if you’re the kind of person who feels like the running motion on a treadmill is less natural than you’d like, don’t worry, a treadmill could still be the solution for your at-home cardio fix. A curved manual treadmill to be specific, designed to more accurately emulate running in the great outdoors. There are many benefits to these manually curved treadmills, the most notable being they encourage efficient running technique and for that reason are a great tool for those looking to up their all round running game! 

Which should you choose - Elliptical cross trainer | Gym and Fitness


The elliptical cross trainer has one major benefit over other cardio machines or even classical training that can be summarised in two words; low impact. While treadmills do provide features to reduce impact significantly, cross trainers provide an even lower impact cardio workout to protect the joints of those with pre-existing injuries, arthritis or other problems impacting their movement such as neck pain. They are particularly popular for older users who do not want to put too much pressure on their joints. 

Ellipticals also work more than just the lower body. The arm movements mean you also work your arms, back, shoulders and core making them an excellent option for getting and staying fit. The hand placements also help you to maintain good posture throughout a workout.


Both treadmills and cross trainers burn the same amount of calories in an equally challenging workout; however, because the treadmill pushes the user to keep speed, people often find they work harder. The elliptical cross trainer is more likely to keep the user within a comfort zone which can be good or bad depending on your fitness goals. This becomes less of an issue if you choose smart equipment with inbuilt software that connects you to virtual fitness classes and coaches. Smart models are available for both types of machine and will help you keep pushing through individual workouts and maintain motivation on your fitness journey.

Other considerations are that usually cross trainers are cheaper to buy, however tend to take up more room in your home. In the end, both are great options, it really does depend on your fitness goals and personal preferences as to which would best suit your needs. So go forth with this information in mind and choose the piece of equipment you most see yourself using to dominate those fitness goals!

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