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Elliptical machines VS treadmills for muscle toning

Both treadmill and elliptical machines are best suited for cardiovascular exercises and are known for toning body muscles. There has always been an ongoing debate as to which machine is better in toning muscles.  There is no clear answer to this question because it depends on person’s fitness goals. Muscle toning can be achieved both by working out on a treadmill or on an elliptical machine, but the ways are a bit different. Given below is a comparison detailing the pros and cons of both the machines, which may help you analyze and choose the best fitness machine.

  • Lower body muscle toning through treadmill :

If you want to tone leg muscles, hips and gluteus muscles, treadmill is a better choice as walking or jogging on a treadmill engages 50 percent of the body. The various types of options that are available in treadmill that helps to tone muscles are controlling speed, managing resistance levels, balancing inclinations and others.

  • Lower body muscle toning through elliptical:

Since elliptical provide gliding motion to the person who is working out, the impact on lower body is less as compared to working out on treadmills. A person running or jogging on an elliptical engages 32 percent of his body. Elliptical prevents the happenings of strenuous impacts on your joints which may occur when you exercise on treadmills.

  • Upper body muscle toning through treadmill:

When it comes to toning the muscles of the upper body, treadmill has a lower hand because running on a treadmill only makes a person swing his arm while the rest of the upper body remains unmoved comparatively. Treadmills have excellent weight bearing effect that is helpful in strengthening bones and toning muscles and therefore helps to maintain the complete body posture.

  • Upper body muscle toning through elliptical:

Elliptical machines are best suited for the purpose of toning hands and the upper body because entire body moves along with the movement of arms. Elliptical machines have a lower hand in “weight bearing effect” because its pedals are suspended off the ground. 

  • Ways to improve muscle toning through treadmill: 

In order to improve muscle toning while using treadmill is by increasing its intensity. By increasing the incline of your treadmill you will have the running uphill effect and this will make the muscles of your lower body like quads and hamstrings work harder. Even glute muscles get toned while working on inclined position on a treadmill. There are various types of treadmills like horizon treadmill that comes with multiple setting options for incline and others features. You can select among these machines as per your requirement.

  • Ways to improve muscle toning through elliptical:

In order to improve the toning of muscles while exercising on elliptical you need to increase the resistance of the machine. As the resistance increases, it becomes harder to pedal and thus this makes your leg muscles like quads and glutes work more and get toned. Increasing the incline option of elliptical is not as effective as it is on treadmill. If you want to learn more about ellipticals go here.



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