Weight Loss
Moderators: devilish_patsy, spoiled_candy, coach_k, nycgirl, Mollybygolly

Elliptical or Treadmill?

Quote  |  Reply
Which one do you think is better for toning and getting good leg/butt muscle definition?

And this would be uphill with the steepest grade on the treadmill and speed walking at about 3.6 - 3.8 or about 60 rpms (I think that's what  it's called...lol) on the elliptical.

Each for about 35-45 minutes at one time.
12 Replies (last)
Toning?  Neither.

Both are cardio.  To tone, you need some weights or resistance training. 

Kickboxing style workouts, or weight training with light weights is what you need for toning.

You also need the cardio to burn the fat that is covering those muscles, so when you tone, you can actually see them. 
Quote  |  Reply
I asked the trainer at my gym this question and he said for the best work out do both each day.  Start with 15 minutes each and graduate to 30 minutes each.  They tone different parts of the body.  
I heard that an elliptical is better on your joints/knees.  I have one and I can definitely see a difference in my leg muscles.  My fiance says my butt is looking better!
Quote  |  Reply
Sorry, I respectfully disagree with bigtwinky.  Have you ever seen runners thighs, calves and butts?  Of course the treadmill and eliptical tone.  
with some elliptical machines, you can adjust the crossramp incline so that you can choose to target any of the following muscles: gluteals, quads, hamstrings, calves.
I used to use the elliptical because I convinced myself I hated the treadmill... then I gave it a try and much prefer it.... I do 20 mins of running and then 5 mins of 15% gradient walking at around 3.5 mph... and my bum has definitely changed shape.  In fact I'm nearly at the point where I love my bum - and that has never happened before!  So I will definitely stick to the walking up hill, as that is the bit where I can really feel it working, even though it doesn't burn as many calories as running..... my thighs are also better toned, but they were heading that way on the elliptical as well....
Have you ever seen a runner train for only 30 mins a day on a treadmill?  Runners with toned muscles have been running for a long time.  Those who are training will often use weights (both upper and lower body, and ALOT of core work) to suppliment their running training.

I'm not saying that it won't help.  Of course any physical activity done with your legs will help build the muscle.  The more you do, the stronger and leaner your muscles will be.

But if you truly want to tone your muscles, it is much more effective to do it via weights and not with cardio.

Its all about having a complete package.

And no need to respectfully disagree with me.  I'm just a regular joe with my regular joe opinions here.  heh. 
Pretty much what I want is my butt to get in shape more and the back of my legs.  Plus I want to use these to burn fat as well.  We all need cardio.
Squats and lunges

Squats and lunges

Goes together like soap and sponges
The elliptical is a great machine for cardio. It is easy on the joints and will mostly work your thighs and calves.

If you really want to get a good workout for your posterior you will have to see what works best for you. As I'm sure you know everyone's body reacts differently to exercises. I would recommend going to your local book store and looking at some workout books. Write down the exercises and try them out the next time you go to the gym. Some words of caution; use light weights and really focus on form. The right technique will help you gain max result and avoid injuries. Once you've got the form down and your confidence is up then increase the weight. If your unsure of what your doing always ask for help.  

One other thing, I don't recommend using a belt to support your back when doing these exercises. If you've ever noticed most people let their form go when they use the belt because they think they will not hurt themselves. Put simply the belt encourages bad habits(my opihion). I say this because I don't believe you are going to be powerlifting, if your were then it would be a totally different story.
I love the eliptical have some joint issues.  So it is better for my knees.  I've lost more on there than anything else.
Running does tone & build muscle, you should see my legs and butt... and no, I have not been running a long time. I started in October and I run 3x's per week, less than 10 miles per week. No weight lifting at all. I have some pretty awesome definition in my legs now.

Another consideration is building bone mass to protect against osteoporosis. If this is a concern, then stick with running on the treadmill, as it is a high-impact, weight-bearing exercise and will do a better job building bone mass than the elliptical will.

Also remember that it's not necessarily speed or time, but hills - uphill and downhill -  that are the secret to carving out leg and butt muscles.
12 Replies