Discussion: Treadmills versus elliptical machines?
in: Adventure Racing; General;
Anyone know how the workouts compare on the two machines? The elliptical claimed to be burning about 10 percent more calories for what felt like 10 percent less effort... Maybe because it estimates that you are using the arms more. I'm training for some long ultra trail races, so I'm guessing that whatever is closest to real running is best, but if I'm doing back to back training days to get lots of training volume and fatigue, it feels like it would be nice to give the knees etc SOME break from all the pounding (although I'm guessing I also NEED to give the body SOME exposure to the pounding so that it is ready for this abuse on race day.
Ultimately, I realize that getting lots of time on actual trails will be key, but somedays during the working week, it is easiest to sneak in some time on the machines in the gym at my office.
I don't have any scientific background, but I've been doing a fair amount of elliptical the past couple years due to injuries and here's a couple thoughts I've come to:
- elliptical is great for avoiding injuries, or maintining endurane during injuries.
- I had heard training with the treadmill on an incline is good (think I posted a question on another fourm in AP about that). I think its true, but when I when to orthodics, the doctor said thats horrible for you to do.
- I wouldn't think the ellipcital is any less of a workout, because you can always crank the resistance on it, whereas you only really have the treadmill speed to increase intensity.
I am no expert either and don't do much running on treadmills or ellipticals unless I am injured but I don't think it is quite the same. I have wondered about the comparisons myself though.
I imagine you will get a similar work out cardiovascularly but I think it is focusing on a different set of muscles so you are strengthening and putting more miles into those muscles instead of the ones you focus on while running. When I use an elliptical I feel like different muscles are doing the heavy lifting and I don't feel like I am using the same motion as running.
Doesn't mean that it wouldn't be good cross training and good for giving your other muscle set a break. Just feel like it isn't quite the same as running.
I did a bit of reading cause you got me interested in this. What I found out was that treadmills apparently burn more calories, is more like running, but is harder on the joints than the elliptical. The elliptical apparently misses a muscle set but going backwards helps. If it was in the internet it must be all true.
Personally, I can't do elliptical. It kills my knees.
A couple good points in there. On the elliptical I use, you can change the height, and I notice a very big difference when I do that. The flatter I go, the greater the distance travelled, and also works the lower legs more.
Interesting about missing a muscle set. I believe it. If not more.
I have been using the elliptical recently due to an injury and have had another realization that it really limits your stride. I am 6'3" and the stride on the machine is much shorter than my typical stride. Not sure how that affects training but it was an interesting realization.
Haven't tried backwards yet but will today.
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