Treadmill vs Elliptical Cross Trainer

If you are into fitness, then you must have come across both these fitness equipment sooner or later. These are the two popular choices of equipment which helps you burn calories. However, both machines have different abilities and inabilities as well. The treadmill offers you a good cardio workout on it, whereas the cross trainers help you do a full-body workout.

There is a conflict between which machine is more beneficial and works better for you. Let’s take a deeper dive into the matter and see what the differences are and which one is better.


A treadmill is an equipment that can be used in gyms, or you can also have one at your home. Before you compare both the pieces of equipment, you have to know about them in detail to understand it more appropriately. Let’s discuss some advantages and disadvantages of this machine.

Advantages –

  • A decent treadmill will offer you more than just walking or running. They will provide you with different programs to choose from so that you can complete your fitness goals.
  • You can control the speed you want to walk or run.
  • You do not have to go outside of your house to have a good cardio or jogging session. Regardless of the weather outside, you can complete your workout inside.
  • The incline height of the treadmill can be adjusted.
  • Exercising on a treadmill covers the area of thighs, glutes, and leg muscles.
  • Walking or running on a treadmill is harder than it seems. You need to push yourself a lot more to burn a higher amount of calories.

Disadvantages –

  • If you have arthritis or joint pains, then this machine will only make it worse.
  • Without proper skills, running on incline mode can be very risky at times.
  • You will need the appropriate position and balance before you can start working out on this machine.
  • Cardio training on a treadmill is not recommended.
  • If you are not a runner and using a treadmill for the first time, you might face some difficulty. (Not for beginners)

Elliptical cross trainers

Technically you do not run on an elliptical cross trainer, yet you are on the motion. It is perfectly safe from any injuries that might harm you in any way. Like the treadmill, it also has its advantages and disadvantages that we are about to discuss down below.

Advantages –

  • Unlike a treadmill, working out on an elliptical cross trainer counts as a full body work out.
  • You can go forward or go back in the reverse direction in a cross-trainer that works great for your calves.
  • This machine is very easy to handle.
  • The movements that you can do on this machine may include your hands or may not, according to the program that you select.
  • Exercising on an elliptical cross trainer will cover the area of thighs, glutes, muscle legs, and arms as well.
  • This type of equipment is perfectly safe for people with joint problems.
  • It is perfectly suitable for beginners.
  • The price of an elliptical cross trainer is way lesser than a treadmill.

Disadvantages –

  • You need quite the strength to work out in an elliptical cross-trainer.
  • An elliptical cross trainer can consume up to 10% more electricity than a treadmill.

Treadmills v/s Elliptical cross trainer calories burned

These equipment are rated based on their calorie-burning potential. Is an elliptical cross trainer is better for burning more calorie or a treadmill? Some physical fitness institutes conducted research which showed that an elliptical cross trainer could burn an average of 773 calories per hour. On the other hand, a treadmill can burn an average of 866 calories per hour.

cross trainer versus treadmill calories burned

The data indicate that the treadmill is more effective for burning calories than an elliptical cross-trainer. A 3-month study has shown these results.

Which one is better? – Treadmills or Elliptical cross trainers

The treadmill and elliptical cross trainer machines both are good for a cardio workout session and effective as well. Both of these machines are easy to use. You can get injured on a treadmill but not on a cross-trainer. Your foot is always on the pedal of the trainer, eliminating the force required to pick your foot up and placing it back down with your body weight (like you have to do in the treadmill). While treadmills may be a higher impact than the cross trainers in burning calories, it has a lesser effect on the body, knees, and hips.

In case of saving some money, an elliptical cross trainer would cost you much less than a standard treadmill.


In the end, it depends on your efforts and fitness goal. As for weight loss, the difference between the treadmill and an elliptical cross trainer is almost negligible. If you plan to stay fit, then prioritize your workouts, then go for any of this equipment.

Megha Kothari

Megha leads the content strategy and oversees an amazing team of writers, editors, and designers, all having one goal in mind – to create brilliant content that helps people make the right purchase investment. When she is not working, you can find her enjoying making delicious food and planning her next travel.

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