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Which Is Better Treadmill or Elliptical for Weight Loss?

04th May 2022
treadmill or elliptical for weight loss

Maintaining an optimal weight is of paramount importance if you want to be healthy and enjoy a wholesome life. Unfortunately, this task seems to be getting more and more tedious, due to a number of factors. Busy schedules, lack of physical activity, and unhealthy eating habits are just some of the most common ones.

Today, about 40% of the population in the United States is obese and another third is overweight. These figures are unprecedented and speak for immediate action. One of the best steps we can take for addressing the issues with the extra pounds is regular physical activity. Among the easiest and most beneficial approaches in that matter is the treadmill or elliptical for weight loss.

But which is better treadmill or elliptical when it comes to losing weight? In the following lines, we are going to explore this question in greater detail. Without further ado, let’s move on by examining first the elliptical machine.

Can an elliptical burn belly fat?

The elliptical machine is a piece of fitness equipment that is suitable for the gym or home use. The device comprises pedals and hand bars that are somewhat interconnected. All you need to do is push and pull the bars while at the same time keeping the pedals going. Scientific research reveals that this type of exercise is ideal for strengthening a large area of your body, including your legs, arms, buttocks, back, and front.

In other words, the elliptical offers a whole-body exercise that comes with a vast range of fitness and health benefits. It keeps your cardio level elevated and helps reduce your belly fat. It is an ideal means for maintaining an optimal level of physical activity, boosted metabolism, and a healthy fat percentage range. The equipment comes with a myriad of settings and is suitable for beginners and intermediate fitness enthusiasts.

Obviously, you can achieve similar results on the treadmill, even though this type of fitness device is predominantly focused on the lower part of the body. Nevertheless, you can benefit from both a treadmill or elliptical for weight loss, depending on your personal circumstances and fitness goals. But which is better treadmill or elliptical in that aspect? Let’s find out!

Is it better to use a treadmill or elliptical for weight loss?

Perhaps you will agree with us if we told you that the treadmill is one of the most popular and widely used fitness equipment worldwide. Similar to the ellipticals, treadmills can be used either at the gym or purchased for home training. Another similarity between the two pieces of equipment is the low to medium type of exercise impact they offer.

Nevertheless, the two devices have their dissimilarities and offer different fitness outcomes. While both of them will give you a good cardio workout and will tone up your muscles, the elliptical will strengthen your lower and upper body muscles too, while the treadmill will train predominantly your lower extremities.

When it comes to the question of whether to use a treadmill or elliptical for weight loss though, both machines are pretty similar, and yet one of them is better. Which one? According to scientific data, it is the treadmill. Obviously, here comes the question: why?! Because you can burn more calories on a treadmill compared to an elliptical. How much more?

  • You can expect to burn on average 250 – 300 calories for 30 minutes of exercising on a treadmill
  • You can expect to burn on average 200 – 250 calories for 30 minutes of exercising on an elliptical

As you can see, the treadmill is superior to the elliptical when it comes to losing body mass and burning fat. Having said that, keep in mind that this depends on a number of factors, such as your gender, your overall body mass, your age, level of physical activity, and of course the settings you are training at. Another important aspect that needs to be mentioned is that both devices carry a certain amount of risk and are not suitable for everyone. So, proceed with caution!

Is 30 minutes a day on the elliptical enough to lose weight?

Losing extra body mass is a steady and complex process that can be influenced by many factors. As previously mentioned, among the most common factors are your age, weight, fitness level, hormonal balance, and even your gender. In other words, you can expect to lose fat by burning more calories, but you need to be regular, persistent, and fully committed.

As you progress on your weight loss endeavor, you might notice that the process is starting to slow down. The main reason being here is that your body notices the decreasing amounts of fat and mobilizes various self-preservational mechanisms in order to prevent further mass loss. There is no room for disappointment though – this is a normal biological reaction that aims at keeping the fat stores at sufficient levels.

This is why you need to regularly review your weight loss program and avoid getting too comfortable with it. Just because something worked well during the first several weeks, it doesn’t mean it will still be working 2 months later. That means you might need to extend the duration of your weight loss exercises or change the activity altogether.

To summarize, 30 minutes a day on the elliptical might be enough to lose weight in the beginning, but might not be sufficient later on as you progress. And while some of you may extend the duration of your training in order to keep losing weight, others might not have the possibility to do so due to busier schedules. Another drawback of this approach is that the longer the training on the elliptical, the bigger the impact on your joints. Similar is the case with the treadmill.

Is there an option that offers greater weight loss benefits in less time, with less effort, and in a safer manner? Sure there is! It is known as the vibration plate or the whole body vibration machine.

How to use a vibration plate to lose weight?

So, what is the vibration plate, and how to use a vibration plate to lose weight? The vibration plate is a type of innovative fitness equipment which uses a vibrating platform at its base. The platform produces high-frequency vibrations that travel through your body, benefiting almost every area of it. The activity performed on the machine is best known as whole-body vibration (WBV).

treadmill or elliptical for weight loss

Stronger bones, more powerful muscles, accelerated physical recovery, better circulation and reduced chronic pain are just some of the numerous benefits offered by the plate. But that’s not all! According to science, one of the biggest health benefits of the vibration plate is its ability to promote weight loss. 15 – 20 minutes a day, 3 – 4 days a week are perfectly enough to get the body shape you have always strived for.

The machine achieves this by emitting mechanical oscillations with a frequency of up to 40 Hertz. These oscillations stimulate your muscles to contract at a rate of up to 20 times faster, compared to conventional physical activity. This in turn leads to a greater metabolic rate, much faster fat burning rate, and reduced overall body weight.
Here’s how to use a vibration plate to lose weight:

  • You can stand, sit, or lie down on the plate or target a specific bodily part by placing it directly on top of it;
  • You can combine the vibrations with the performance of various exercises on the plate thus further accelerating the fat burning process;
  • The most suitable exercises you can do on the machine for weight loss are squats, lunges, push-ups, sit-ups, planks, you name it;
  • The number of calories you can expect to burn on average in a 30-minute WBV training session is 350 – 400;
  • Make sure you start slowly and progress gradually;

Final words

Obesity and overweight in the US are at their highest levels ever. These pathological conditions open the gates to a myriad of other detrimental illnesses some of which carry serious health risks. This is why you must always aim at maintaining an optimal weight and keeping a healthy lifestyle.

While you can use the treadmill or elliptical for weight loss, these devices might be too time-consuming, effort-demanding, and even dangerous to your joints. Luckily you can avoid all the drawbacks and accelerate the weight loss process by implementing the body vibration plate. Train wisely, effortlessly, and safely!

References (in order of appearance)
Damiano, D. L., Norman, T., Stanley, C. J., & Park, H. S. (2011). Comparison of elliptical training, stationary cycling, treadmill walking, and overground walking. Gait & posture, 34(2), 260–264.

Ghafar, M., F. (2016). Effect of Treadmill Training on Ventilatory Functions and Physical Performance in Obese Children. International Journal of Therapies and Rehabilitation Research 5(4), p. 70.

Omidvar, M., Alavinia, S. M., & Craven, B. C. (2019). The effects of whole-body vibration therapy on reducing fat mass in the adult general population: A systematic review and meta-analyses. Journal of musculoskeletal & neuronal interactions, 19(4), 455–464.

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