Which Burns More Calories Elliptical or Treadmill?

Last Updated on April 15, 2023 by Justin Harris

Which Burns More Calories Elliptical or Treadmill: No matter if you are just about to get started or you are intermediate, this is a question bound to strike your mind at some point. The question is more common among people who are about to get started as they want only to buy the equipment that will help them burn more calories. To understand that, we have to first look into the way ellipticals and treadmills work.

Which Burns More Calories Elliptical or Treadmill

Both ellipticals and treadmills are extremely popular among fitness enthusiasts. Both offer excellent cardio training and also help you burn calories. An elliptical machine comes with two kinds of movements which include rhythmic striding and stair-stepping. On the other hand, a treadmill is pretty much like walking, running, or jogging and can offer you a speed from 1 to 15 miles per hour.

Ellipticals Vs. Treadmills – Which One Is The Best

Ellipticals have a low impact on the knees and back. Besides offering excellent cardio workouts, these machines do a great job of targeting the muscles of your legs, triceps, biceps, and your core. Besides, the reverse pedal can help you target other muscle groups as well. As far as the calories burned per hour go, you can burn around 250 to 350 calories every hour, depending on your body weight.

The treadmill engages your core muscles and abs. Running on a treadmill can also largely help you with building calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, alongside cardio. You could burn about 300 calories in just half an hour running on a treadmill. Further, running on a treadmill gives you more of a natural feeling of running or walking outside.

As far as choosing between an elliptical and a treadmill goes, people with bad knees or lower back issues prefer ellipticals over treadmills. With ellipticals, you can work out for hours without hurting your knees or your lower back. Besides, you can adjust the level of difficulty in an elliptical. Further, ellipticals allow you to target different muscle groups in your body.

Burning calories largely depends on your body weight and the intensity of your workout. However, it has been seen that people working out on treadmills burn calories faster and burn more calories than on ellipticals in a given time. Besides, with a treadmill, you have the advantage of choosing between various speeds while you can’t adjust the speed to that level with ellipticals. Having said that, ellipticals are good for beginners as they are much more convenient to use.

Does a Treadmill Really Help Burn More Calories Than an Elliptical?

A treadmill does help burn more calories than an elliptical. However, as pointed out above, a lot depends on your actual requirements and, of course, your body weight. If you need a low-impact workout over burning more calories in less time, the elliptical is the best to go with.

You also have the advantage of targeting different muscle groups with an elliptical, which is not possible with a treadmill. However, if burning more calories is more important, you can certainly choose treadmills over ellipticals since you can make the most out of their wide range of speed.


We understand how difficult it can be to choose between a treadmill and an elliptical. To do it, you have to have an obvious picture of how the two workout machines work. However, we are sure that now you have a clear understanding of both the machines and you should choose between the two without any difficulty. Most importantly, you have to consider your actual requirements and see which one of the two helps you better.

For burning calories, you can use any of the machines unless you need to burn a high amount of calories in less time. We understand that some people may have an urgent need to do it. However, if you are just starting, choosing an elliptical can get you a more comfortable workout.

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