So you’re ready to invest in a new piece of fitness equipment for your home gym. Great! But you might be asking yourself whether you should buy an elliptical trainer or a treadmill. You’ve seen them both and have likely tried them, but can’t decide which is going to give you the best benefit. We at Fitness Specialists want to make sure you’re making the right decision when purchasing workout equipment, so we’ve put together some guidelines to help you make a decision.

Do You Want a Low-Impact or High-Impact Workout?

This is one of the key questions you should start with. If you have bad ankles, knees, or hips running is likely not going to be the best place to start your fitness journey. A treadmill is used to simulate walking and running, both of which are high-impact activities.

An elliptical trainer has a smooth, circular motion, providing great low-impact exercise while still working your legs and core muscles. You can even use the handles and get some exercise for your upper body, too!

Do You Have Balance Issues?

If you have vertigo, unsteady ankles, or are generally clumsy, a treadmill might not be the safest route to go. You run the risk of falling off while you’re working off calories, and while treadmills do have safety measures built in, the best thing to do is prevent accidents.

Elliptical trainers could be a safer option for those who have issues with balance because your feet never leave the pedals. And if you’re using the handles, you’re gaining an even better hold on the equipment, reducing the risk of a fall.

Are You Training For a 5k or Marathon?

An elliptical machine is excellent for all over cardiovascular exercise, and to engage your core muscles. If you’re training for a running/foot race, getting this type of exercise certainly isn’t going to harm anything. However, if you’re training for a foot race, you’re probably going to get the best bang for your buck by training on a treadmill. This will give you the best simulation of the event, and will especially come in handy if you run into inclement weather and can’t run outside if that’s what you normally do.

Do You Want to Lose Weight?

All right, we admit this is a trick question! The truth is, it doesn’t matter which equipment you buy. If you want to lose weight and get into great shape, the only equipment that matters is you. Your ability to stick with a program, to show up and work out regularly and to put energy and time into making better choices for your body are dependent on whether or not you’ll see results. Sorry for the sneaky question—we had to work that in!

Fitness Specialists offers a full range of residential gym equipment. Whether you’re looking for an elliptical machine or treadmill, or want to supplement your cardio routine with weight lifting (in that case, be sure to check out our wonderful weight machines and dumbbells!), we’ve got all the workout machines and fitness accessories you need to get to your best. Stop by or contact us today so we can get you going!