Elliptical trainers and treadmills are two of the most commonly used fitness equipment at the gym. Thanks to their exceptional ability to burn calories while toning your legs, core, and glutes. In most cases, people train on only one of these machines for various reasons. For instance, treadmills are preferred by people who want a more impactful workout since they burn more calories than elliptical machines.
Unfortunately, training on the same cardio equipment daily tends to become boring. So, why not perform an elliptical and treadmill combo workout? This will make your workouts more interesting while allowing you to target various muscle groups in a single workout!
In this post, I'll show you how you can combine elliptical and treadmill workouts to accomplish your fitness goals and the benefits you may miss!
Let's get into it!
Benefits of Combination Treadmill and Elliptical Workouts
Using both an elliptical trainer and a treadmill in your workout regimen offers some benefits you may not get from using one piece of equipment alone. However, some people find one machine more beneficial than the other for specific fitness goals or needs. Combining both machines provides a more well-rounded workout routine since each machine offers certain benefits over the other. Therefore, using both pieces of equipment combines those benefits.
To start, elliptical and treadmill workouts will help you burn calories, thus leading to weight loss over time. This is because combining workout machines eliminates boredom. As a result, you can exercise for a longer time and burn more calories.
In addition, the treadmill and elliptical offer the same objectives in some categories. According to a 2010 study published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning, people exercising on the treadmill and elliptical trainer had the same energy expenditure and oxygen consumption. Although the elliptical workouts led to higher heart rates, these machines can be interchangeable for energy and oxygen consumption goals.
Moving on, elliptical trainers provide gentle low-impact workouts on your back and joints. Therefore, combining treadmill and elliptical workouts will help you avoid injury since you can move from one machine to another to give your joints a break.
At the same time, you can pedal backward on the machine to engage your hamstrings and calves, which are rarely targeted when going forward on a treadmill or elliptical. In addition, most elliptical trainers are equipped with moving handles to add upper body workouts to your routine. Contrarily, treadmills help train for a race and allow you to move more naturally compared to elliptical trainers.
Using both a treadmill and an elliptical trainer also provides cross-training to ensure you get a more balanced exercise. According to a 2009 research published in the Physical Therapy Journal, ellipticals and treadmills work out the body in various ways. For example, an elliptical trainer offers more flexion in the hips, pelvis, knees, and trunk than walking on a treadmill. On the contrary, treadmill walking provides more flexion in the ankle than an elliptical trainer does. Better still, cross-training will prevent you from overworking some body parts.
Another benefit of combining these cardio machines in your workout routine is that they help to prevent a plateau. Put, elliptical and treadmill cardio workouts engage your lower-body muscles from different angles. This helps you to avoid plateaus by preventing the body from getting used to any one type of workout.
The only potential drawback of combining multiple cardiovascular equipment is that they might cause your heart rate to go down during the transition. However, you can prevent that by doing most of the hard work on one piece of equipment before switching over to the other.
Treadmill Workout Plan for Weight Loss
As mentioned, treadmill workouts are more effective at burning calories than elliptical machines. However, running on a treadmill subjects your joints to impact forces almost four times your weight than when you're walking. For that reason, it's important to learn how to make your treadmill workout more effective in weight loss without causing injury.
To accomplish that:
- Start with a 2-minute brisk walk, and lightly increase the speed to a jogging pace.
- Jog at that pace for 2 minutes and increase by 1% every 30 minutes.
- Continue jogging until you can no longer maintain the pace with the incline.
- Reduce the incline to 0% for 2 minutes, and finish your workout with a 2-minute light jog.
When training with an ellip[tical trainer, the lower body imitates a running motion. However, this happens in a lower-impact way since you don't have to lift the legs up & down. All in all, an elliptical workout can help you burn calories and work out your entire body. Specifically, exercising on the machine for about 30 minutes can help a 145-lb person burn up to 300 calories.
To make your elliptical workout effective:
- Start with a 5-minute warm-up at an incline of 3% and a resistance level of 4.
- Reduce the incline to level 1 for the next 5 minutes, but raise the resistance to level 6.
- Increase the resistance and incline to level 7 for 5 minutes.
- For 5 minutes, increase the resistance to level 8 and incline to level 10.
- Increase the intensity by raising the incline to level 15, but reduce the resistance level to 7 for 5 minutes.
- Continue increasing the resistance level to 10 and incline level to 20% for 2 minutes.
- Finish your workout with a 3-minute cool down at resistance level 4 and incline level 3.
Best Treadmill Elliptical Combo Workout
Doing a combination elliptical and treadmill workout is one of the best ways to avoid getting bored while exercising and continue burning calories. More importantly, combining the cardio machine provides a full-body workout since it involves switching up the equipment in the middle of the exercise.
To do a treadmill elliptical combo workout:
- Start by walking on the treadmill at an easy pace for 5 minutes.
- From there, increase the pace and jog for 2 minutes and increase the speed even more to perform a 1-minute run.
- Reduce your pace to a jog and repeat the fast-slow interval for about 15 minutes.
- Reduce your pace to a walk and cool down for 1 minute before shifting to the elliptical trainer!
Once you get to the elliptical, start at a moderate intensity and exercise for 3 minutes. Increase to vigorous intensity for 2 minutes and switch back to moderate intensity. Repeat the easy-hard interval until you reach 25 minutes and move back to a treadmill.
On the treadmill, brisk walk for 2 minutes and run for 2 minutes. Repeat the run-walk interval for 35 minutes, and finish your workout with a 5-minute walk to cool down.
2 in 1 Treadmill and Elliptical Workout Machine
Alternatively, instead of using 2 separate workout machines, you can perform your combo workout on a treadmill and elliptical combined into 1 machine. The NordicTrack Stair Climber treadmill elliptical is a good example of such a machine. This machine has a stair stepper elliptical that combines the movements of an elliptical and treadmill. To be precise, it features separate moving pedals like an elliptical trainer, and each pedal has belts to imitate a treadmill. In addition, this machine provides a climbing movement, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of a stepper elliptical treadmill combo workout all at once.
To sum up, combining treadmill and elliptical workouts offers some incredible benefits. However, it's important to adjust the time you spend on each piece of fitness equipment based on your fitness level. Also, you can slightly reduce the resistance as you boost your cardiovascular endurance. More importantly, you should aim to keep your heart rate up as you shift from one machine to the other to optimize your results. If you still wish to train on one of this equipment, ask yourself; is it better to run on the treadmill or elliptical?
1. Is it good to work out on the elliptical every day?
You should not work out on an elliptical every day. Instead, experts recommend using an elliptical trainer about 3 to 4 days per week. This reduces the risk of overtraining by allowing your body to take a one-day break between the workouts.
2. What burns more belly fat; treadmill or elliptical?
Although both machines will; help you get leaner, a treadmill burns slightly more calories than an elliptical trainer. According to research by the Wisconsin Medical College, jogging on a treadmill can help you burn about 705 - 866 calories. On the other hand, Health Status claims that exercising on an elliptical machine for an hour burns around 773 calories.
3. Can I use both the treadmill and elliptical?
Exercising on either a treadmill or an elliptical provides an effective aerobic workout. However, you can combine both training to get a more balanced overall fitness level.
4. Should I go on the treadmill before or after a workout?
You can run on a treadmill before or after a workout, depending on the type of exercise you're doing. For instance, if you want to build aerobic capacity and endurance, you can run after a workout. But if you wish to build muscle, you can run before the workout.
5. How to get the most from a treadmill workout?
Various techniques will help you get the most out of your treadmill workouts. This includes warming up and cooling down before and after the workout, performing different treadmill workouts, and incorporating weight training in your routine.