The cross trainer and treadmill are two of the most common and popular pieces of fitness equipment found in any health club across the world. Both machines are designed to improve your aerobic capacity and your cardio vascular system. Understanding the pros and cons to these machines may help you tailor your workout to help you the most.

Treadmills are great as you can vary what you do on them. An incline power walk, sprinting, jogging, fast or slow, everyone is also used to the walking and running action making the treadmill an easy movement for us. You will also burn a high amount of calories due to the nature of this exercise. Usually high impact and total body creates a fab calorie burner. Although the impact of running and walking on a treadmill may not suit everybody some impact in your routine will actually strengthen your bones and muscles. Commercial treadmills found in clubs are strong and robust. Due to strict daily and monthly maintenance checks even after thousands of miles the treadmill will be reliable. We would always recommend a used commercial treadmill to a home use machine for these reasons.

Treadmills are improving all time. Some have better shock absorbers than others. Remember that running can put a lot of stress on your spine, knees and hips. Putting the treadmill on a slight incline will also act as a shock absorber.

Interval training on a treadmill using speed for some people can bring greater risk. A moving belt without hitting the emergency stop button can fly you off the back. There are safer machines to use if you are not confident running at faster speeds.

The elliptical movement of a cross trainer allows you to copy the running action without the impact. You can find two types of cross trainer; One with just the lower body and the other which will have arms as well creating a total body workout. Another great factor with cross trainers is the ability to reverse the movement. You have the choice to work forwards or backwards which will concentrate on working different muscles. Many people do not get as tired using a cross trainer compared to a treadmill. However research has indicated that you can actually burn pretty much the same amount of calories than a treadmill does.

Like the treadmill you can still vary your workout by using the pre set programmes or by increasing/decreasing your speed. The cross trainer can also be used to help improve running fitness without the risk of injury to the knees hips and ankles. Many injured runners can maintain their running fitness using a cross trainer as an alternative.