Are you ready to open your home gym? Having trouble deciding which piece of equipment is right for you? Elliptical machines, treadmills and stationary bicycles all help people lose weight. They are convenient and easy to use. However, most people only have room in their home and budget for one piece of equipment. Here are the pros and cons of each piece.
Elliptical Machines – Pros
Elliptical machines allow users to experience the benefits of a weight-bearing workout without the impact. Weight bearing workouts help to build bone density. However, using an elliptical machine does not impact the knees, hips and back as much as a using a treadmill. The handles at the top allow users to get both a lower and upper body workout. The machine is adjustable. You can get a full body workout, or focus on isolate certain muscles. In addition, you can pedal the machine backwards, which works different muscles in the legs. The smooth motion of the machine allows users to feel less exertion during their workout than using a treadmill.
Elliptical Machines – Cons
The elliptical does not burn as many calories as using a treadmill. The weight-bearing part of the workout may cause joint pain for people with arthritis or other bone problems.
Treadmill – Pros
A workout on a treadmill burns more calories than using an elliptical or stationary bicycle. Because you are bearing the weight of your body, using a treadmill builds bone density in the lower body. For the same reason, people who use treadmills will build muscle faster in the lower body. Treadmills are adjustable. You can differentiate workouts by using the incline and decline features.
Treadmill – Cons
In general, running or walking on a treadmill impacts the lower body. The force of body weight repeatedly hitting the belt can create joint stiffness and pain. These days, most treadmill makers design them to soften impact. Using a treadmill is better on bones than running on asphalt or pavement. However, using an elliptical or stationary bicycle creates much less impact in the body. Using a treadmill only works the lower body.
Stationary Bicycle – Pros
When you use a stationary bicycle, you do not bear your own body weight. Because of this, there is very little impact on joints. In general, stationary bicycles are less expensive than treadmills and elliptical machines. They are adjustable. A stationary bicycle also offers many workout variations. You get all the benefit of riding a bicycle without experiencing road hazards or bad weather.
Stationary Bicycle – Cons
Using a stationary bicycle burns the least amount of calories per hour. Some users may experience hip or knee-joint pain using these machines as well.
Which piece of equipment is right for you?
If you have arthritis or any other kind of joint pain, you might consider a stationary bicycle. Because using a bicycle does not create impact, you can get the cardiovascular benefits of working out without the hip, knee or back pain. If you are looking to maximize your time working out, a treadmill may be right for you. Using a treadmill burns the most calories per hour. Elliptical machines are a good fit for someone who wants an efficient, full body workout.
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Jessica Bosari blogs about home gym equipment for Orbit Fitness.