Treadmill vs Elliptical for Cardio & Fat Loss: Choosing the Best Equipment for Your Fitness Goals

Treadmill vs Elliptical for Cardio & Fat Loss: Choosing the Best Equipment for Your Fitness Goals

Key Takeaways

  • With features like incline and speed adjustments, treadmills offer a high-impact cardio workout that can simulate outdoor running. 
  • Ellipticals provide a low-impact, full-body workout with less strain on the joints—ideal for people with certain injuries.
  • Both machines can be effective for fat loss and cardio, but the choice depends on your personal fitness goals and physical condition.
  • Space-saving features, workout programs, and resistance levels are key considerations when choosing between a treadmill and an elliptical.


At SOLE, we provide top-quality treadmills and ellipticals designed for cardio strengthening and weight loss. Our equipment facilitates shock-absorbing workouts, making them perfect for individuals of all fitness levels seeking effective, low-impact exercise solutions for improving cardiovascular health and achieving weight loss goals.

Featured Products

  • SOLE Treadmills: Starting at $1199.99, SOLE treadmills excel in ergonomic design, durability, and value. Equipped with advanced cushioning to minimize joint impact, powerful, quiet motors, and wide running surfaces, they suit any fitness level. Our intuitive consoles track progress, and the extensive warranties highlight their quality.
  • SOLE Ellipticals: Priced from $1,199.99, SOLE ellipticals are known for their ergonomic design, durability, and affordability. They provide a quiet, smooth workout with intuitive consoles, adjustable stride lengths, incline options, and heart rate monitoring, ensuring a comprehensive exercise experience.


Treadmill vs Elliptical for Cardio & Fat Loss

Treadmills are generally better for intense cardio workouts and burning calories. They offer a higher-intensity workout due to the impact of your feet striking the surface, which can lead to a higher caloric expenditure. 

For example, running on a treadmill at a high intensity can burn up to 606 calories per hour, compared to 365 calories per hour on an elliptical with moderate effort.

On the other hand, ellipticals are better for low-impact workouts and those who need to reduce the stress on their joints. They provide a smooth, gliding motion that reduces the impact on the joints. They’re generally recommended for individuals with joint issues or those recovering from injuries. 

Ellipticals also engage both the upper and lower body, targeting various muscle groups such as the quadriceps, obliques, and triceps. While they may burn fewer calories per hour than treadmills (e.g., an average person burns about 350 to 450 calories per hour at moderate effort), ellipticals offer a significant cardiovascular challenge and can contribute to weight loss goals. 

Top Features of Treadmills for Cardio & Fat Loss

  • Multiple Speed and Incline Options: With a treadmill, you can mimic sprinting through a forest trail right in your living room. With a variety of speed settings, you can switch from a light jog to an all-out sprint within seconds. The incline feature adds another layer of intensity, simulating uphill treks that will make your muscles sweat it out and increase your heart rate and respiration. For example, our SOLE TT8 has 15-level incline and 6-level decline options.

  • Pre-Set Workout Programs: Treadmills often come with pre-set programs that take the thinking out of your training. Whether you're aiming for fat loss or endurance, these programs adjust the speed and incline for you, so all you need to do is keep up. For instance, our F85 includes 10 pre-programmed incline workouts that automatically adjust the incline throughout your training, enhancing your cardio strengthening and weight loss efforts.

  • Heart Rate Monitoring: Keeping an eye on your heart rate is crucial for effective cardio workouts. According to Harvard Health, for moderate-intensity exercise, your target heart rate range is 64% to 76%  of your maximum heart rate (e.g., 99 to 118 beats per minute (bpm) for a 65-year-old). Fortunately, most SOLE treadmills come with heart rate monitors that help you stay in the ideal zone for burning fat or improving cardiovascular health. 
  • Cushioning System for Impact Reduction: Take care of your knees—choose a treadmill with a cushioning system. It absorbs the impact of each step, reducing the stress on your joints compared to running on hard pavement. All SOLE treadmills come with the patented Cushioned Flex Whisper Deck design that can reduce up to 40% of impact when compared to running on asphalt. 


Top Features of Ellipticals for Cardio & Fat Loss

  • Adjustable Resistance Levels: Resistance levels can be gradually increased over time to challenge the muscles and promote progressive overload, which is necessary for losing fat and building strength. Our E98 model has the highest resistance level at 40!
  • Stride Length and Pedal Adjustment: Ellipticals with adjustable stride lengths such as SOLE E95S and pedals ensure that you can find the perfect fit for your body, reducing the risk of discomfort or injury.

  • Built-in Workout Programs: Like treadmills, ellipticals often feature built-in workout programs. These programs guide you through various levels of resistance and simulate different types of terrain for diverse and engaging workouts.
  • Upper Body Movement Integration: Why limit your workout to just your legs? Ellipticals with moving handlebars such as the E25 engage your arms, shoulders, and back for a full-body workout that burns more calories and improves overall fitness.
  • Reverse Motion Capability: The reverse motion on an elliptical targets different muscle groups such as the rectus femoris, spinal, and calf muscles. This adds variety to your workout. One of our models—the E95—functions in both forward and reverse motion. 


An Overview of SOLE Treadmills & Ellipticals for Cardio & Fat Loss


SOLE F85 Treadmill

SOLE TT8 Treadmill

SOLE E35 Elliptical

SOLE E98 Elliptical


High-intensity workouts, incline options for endurance training

High calorie burn, afterburn effect, targeted lower body, glutes, and legs toning.

Commercial-grade, suitable for serious runners looking for aerobic exercise 

Moderate calorie burn, suitable for HIIT workouts

Adjustable 20-level resistance and incline for powerful fat-loss exercise

High flywheel weight for high-intensity fat loss exercise

Impact Level





Resistance  / Incline range

15 incline levels

15 incline levels

20 resistance levels

40 resistance levels






Choosing the Best SOLE Equipment for Cardio & Fat Loss

If you prefer a high-intensity workout and are looking to burn more calories, treadmills such as the F63, F85, and ST90 may be the better choices. However, if you need a low-impact workout that still provides an effective cardiovascular challenge, ellipticals such as the E25 and the E95 models could be the better options.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Are the Price Ranges of SOLE Treadmills and Ellipticals? 

SOLE treadmills have a price range between $1,199.99 to $3,999.99 while SOLE ellipticals are between $1,199.99 to $2,899.99.

Which Burns More Calories – Elliptical or Treadmill?

The answer to this question isn't straightforward, as it depends on the intensity of your workout and your body weight. Generally, a treadmill may burn slightly more calories due to the high-impact nature of running or walking. However, an elliptical can also offer a substantial calorie burn, especially if you take advantage of the full-body workout it provides.

Can I Achieve a Full Body Workout on a Treadmill?

While treadmills are primarily used for lower body and cardiovascular training, you can incorporate upper body exercises like dumbbell curls or shoulder presses while walking to create a full-body workout. Just be sure to maintain proper balance and safety.

How Does Elliptical Motion Promote Fat Loss?

The elliptical motion engages multiple muscle groups at once such as quadriceps, obliques, and triceps which can lead to higher calorie burn. The adjustable resistance also allows you to increase intensity as you get stronger, continually challenging your body and promoting fat loss.

Is a Treadmill or an Elliptical Better for Joint Health?

Ellipticals are generally better for joint health due to their low-impact nature. The gliding motion creates less stress on the knees, hips, and back.

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