The Treadmill or Elliptical, Which is Better For You
A friend recently told me she thinks the elliptical is a joke because she never breaks a sweat on it. And I feel the same way. If I want a quick cardio workout at the gym, my go-to piece of equipment is the treadmill. It’s a guaranteed sweat-fest if you run for 20 minutes or more, so it must be superior to the elliptical, right? But that’s not what Equinox West Hollywood fitness manager Kenzee Hobson says. Her preference is the elliptical (spoiler alert). Read on to see why.
“I know some of us love our running, but truth be told, the elliptical is much easier on your joints,” she says. “Additionally, it allows you to engage your upper body with structure if you choose to use the moving arms.”
And for those of us who think it’s hard to break a sweat on the elliptical, she has one simple tip: increase the resistance. More resistance = more effort = more calories burned.
To get started on an elliptical, Hobson says to aim for 20 minutes and to create a playlist that consists of fun, upbeat music with different paces to create your own intervals. For example, one of her favorite songs to work out to is “Trumpets” by Jason Derulo.
For the intro and first verse of the song, she starts at a level six and kicks up the resistance to a level eight or nine when the chorus starts. Then she goes back down to a level six when the chorus is done, repeating the 6-8-9 intervals throughout the rest of the song.
If you follow her tips, the elliptical might just end up being your favorite piece of workout equipment. After all, high-intensity intervals are a proven method to lose weight and burn calories quickly, and the elliptical might well be the least oppressive and painful means of getting them in. (Prefer painful cardio? Then try deadmill runs. With the treadmill completely off, grip the side bars and use all of your weight to push the motor and break into a run. Run as fast as you can for 30 seconds, then rest for 15. Repeat as many times as you can.)