Trying to decide between a treadmill, stair climber, or elliptical trainer? Here are 3 of the most popular exercise machines on the market, each with their own unique benefits.
Which is the best for you?
Here’s an overview of the benefits of each to help you decide.
#1 The climber
The Bowflex Treadclimber is a cool looking machine. Instead of one belt like a treadmill, there are 2 movable belts that rise to meet your feet as you walk.
The treadclimber has some great benefits, the main one being that it can burn calories very quickly. According to Bowflex, you can burn up to 3.5 times more calories than on a normal treadmill.
So you see the results very quickly, which is always encouraging!
Some of the other benefits are that the Treadclimber is slightly more compact than a treadmill or elliptical (more of a square footprint than a long rectangle). So if space is a bit limited in your home, this is a great option.
The disadvantage of this machine is that you cannot run on it like on a treadmill. Also, the motorized version starts around $2000 and up, so it’s not the cheapest option.
#2 The treadmill
The treadmill has been around for years and is a great option for runners and walkers alike.
You have a much wider range of options than with a Treadclimber, and prices also range from $600 to $3000. There are a lot of great benefits to a home treadmill.
First of all, unlike a Treadclimber, you can run with it. So there’s a little more versatility there.
Also, there is a new type of treadmill on the market, called an incline trainer that gives you many of the same benefits as a treadclimber. It gives you from 0 – 40% incline.
Walking on a high slope can burn up to 5 times the calories like walking on a flat incline treadmill.
Another benefit of the treadmill is that today’s models give you many entertainment options that you won’t find on a treadclimber or elliptical.
For example, how about a built-in web browser so you can surf the web while you walk?
How about a desktop option so you can work on your computer while you walk? Or even a built-in TV so you can watch your favorite shows while you work out?
If you want to add some fun to your workout, a treadmill gives you many great options.
One of the downsides to a treadmill is that there aren’t many options for working out your arms (unless you want to invest in some hand weights and pump as you walk).
#3 Elliptical Trainer
Elliptical trainers mimic your running pace without much jarring impact. Also, they usually have movable arm bars that will work your upper body.
So you get a great “total” body workout. You can also go forwards and backwards to work different leg muscles.
Just like treadmills, you get a range of options at many different price points. Plus, the entertainment options, while not as diverse as on a treadmill, get better every year.
You can get elliptical trainers with iPod docks, speakers, built-in fans, and different workout programs.
The downside to these machines is that they can be a little hard to get used to. Also, you need to make sure you get the stride length correct.
A shorter stride (like on a cheap elliptical) will feel extremely uncomfortable and might even give you that start-stop jerk that many people (rightly) can’t handle.
Those are some of the main differences between a treadmill, a treadclimber, and an elliptical.
Whatever you choose to do, remember to take your time and research all your options so you can be sure you’re getting the most for your money.