Cross Trainer Vs Treadmill: Benefits, Advantages, Disadvantages

Cross trainer and treadmill are both commonly used cardio machines. If you want to keep yourself fit without going gym and plan to go for any of the above workout machines. It would help if you were perplexed whether to choose treadmill or cross-trainer.

No worries! This article will provide you with complete information about the pros and cons of both machines. By reading this article, you can easily compare and select the one that suits you.

The fundamentals of cross trainer and treadmills

By now, there is no denying the need for cardiovascular exercise and the many benefits that go along with it. Cardiovascular exercise burns many calories, strengthens our heart muscles, gives us more energy, and even gives us a mood boost. One of the most popular ways to achieve a good cardiovascular workout is being through a cross-trainer.

Fundamentals of a Cross-trainer

Cross Trainer

Let’s first discuss the basics of a cross-trainer. Cross trainer is stationary equipment consisting of foot pedals and two long handle bars. They provide an amazing low-impact workout. Your legs on the foot pedal are moving against resistance, but your feet never leave the surface of a foot pedal. It gives you a full-body workout like you can tone your legs and arms simultaneously. The handlebars in the cross trainer provide you with arm movement. 

Also, the cross trainer provides you with the opportunity to get multiple workouts on one machine. 

Fundamentals of a Treadmill

Treadmill mimics the movements that we experience while running and jogging. This equipment consists of an endless belt on which you usually walk or run. In most treadmills, you are also able to plug your headphones in. It has a speed control button to adjust the speed of the treadmill either you want to slow down or speed up. The accurate way to do this is to start with a walk. Once you are warm-up, and then speed up the treadmill.

Treadmill Vs. Cross trainer- a full-body workout

Cross trainer differs from the treadmill; while performing cardiovascular exercise on a cross-trainer, your entire body works. It gives you a whole complete body work out eventually causing more calorie burn compared to treadmills.

Another factor that makes cross trainers more preferred is that we feel less energy while working on the cross trainer than on a treadmill. Cross-trainer makes you feel less tired while having the same outcome as making you more exhausted like a treadmill; you will choose a cross-trainer. For this respective reason, cross trainers are preferred over treadmills.

We enjoy working out on cross-trainer as we have to put in fewer efforts and get some good results. In contrast to the treadmill, the cross trainer offers you ease during a workout. Herewith the same calories-burning outcome by both the equipment, we conclude that cross-trainer is a good choice.

Treadmill VS Cross trainer, Preventing from joint damage

The great thing about cross trainer is that it protects your joints. In cross trainer, your feet remain on foot pedals, so it is very little to no impact on your knees, your ankles, your hip joint, or on your back like there might be when you go on the treadmill. This feature of cross trainer has drawn many, whether by choice or by necessity.

Many arthritis patients or people with joint issues can go for cross trainer option as there is no jogging or running.  Another factor that overshadows treadmills is the risk that treadmills may lead to injuries. Motors generally drive treadmills. There are chances that you can fall off a treadmill. In contrast, your energy drives cross trainers, so there lay no odds for you to fall off the cross-trainer.

Treadmill Vs. Cross trainer- Best for race training

There is a complete win for the treadmill when it comes to running or jogging. It’s the best option for runners, athletes, and race trainers. The treadmill is proven to be a game-changer in building up stamina, increasing endurance, and strengthening legs and muscles. 

Suppose you are the one who prefers running to achieve fitness goals rather than another cardio workout. You will swap cross trainer by the treadmill.

On the treadmill, while walking or running, you push lower limbs, giving them a thorough workout. It results in giving leg muscles, thighs, glutes, and calves more firmness and defined shape. 

While on the cross trainer, whole body muscles are involved, but your gluteal muscles and calf are not strenuously exercising as your foot remains on pedals. Your legs are involved in work out but not in the way as treadmill offers.

On a treadmill, you completely lift off your foot from the belt relating to outdoor running. So, if you’re a serious runner or want to train yourself for running, you must opt for a treadmill.

Treadmill Vs. Cross trainer- Versatile and flexible workout

It’s a bit hard to conclude which cardio equipment provides a more flexible workout. 

Let first have a quick look at cross-trainers. You can incorporate various exercises into your daily workout. There is a different way you can use your cross-trainers involving all the major muscles group. Like in a forward motion workout, your hands are on moving handlebars. It provides the push and pulls of arms and engagement of chest and back muscles. 

Backward motion is another technique that concentrates mostly on your quadriceps, calves, and gluteal muscles. In short, you can customize workouts on cross-trainers. You can go for forwarding and backward legs workout by placing your hands on fixed handlebars, concentrating mainly on lower limbs workout. 

Treadmill also provides more varied workouts. We can jog, walk and run. On the treadmill, we have a speed control button through which we can adjust speed. Some high-end treadmill also possesses incline facility. You can incline the running deck manually or automatically. Most of us get bored even if we have the best playlist or watching television. Running inside is boring because you are not covering any ground.

Treadmill Vs. Cross trainer- home gym

In the pandemic, you cannot go to the gym simultaneously you want to remain fit. At home, it’s impossible to buy all the workout machines. So you always prefer to buy a cardio machine that is less roomy or occupies less space. This treadmill is the winner. The treadmill occupies way less space than the cross-trainer. In cross trainers, you pedal forward and backward like you do while riding a bicycle. So it would help if you placed it in a roomy area. 

While on the treadmill, you run or jog on the endless belt of running deck with no backward, forward movements. The treadmill can sit well in any corner of your house.

Another amazing feature that makes the treadmill more appealing is the fact that you can fold it. Once you are done running, you can easily fold the running deck and place it under the bed. In this way, the treadmill doesn’t create any mess. It is easily foldable after use.  

Now, if you see cross trainers, they occupy more storage space and, after folding, they hold almost the same space. Foldable cross trainers are available in markets. Foldable cross trainer almost takes the same horizontal space after folding up the top section over the flywheel. 

Treadmill Vs. Cross trainer- Quietness/less noisy

If we are a gym person, then we always prefer exercising quietly. It’s difficult for you to perform your cardio workout in noise. Well, if you are of such kind, then the cross trainer is a clear winner. Any motor does not require a power cross-trainer. 

Your energy operates it, so there is no sound. Whereas motors drive the treadmill, and there is a continuous sound hitting the running deck. Cross trainer is much less noisy than treadmills.

Before giving the final verdict on these cardio pieces of equipment, let’s first have a quick look at the treadmill and cross-trainer’s pros and cons.



  • The difficulty level is the same
  •  You can simulate a race environment
  •  Less roomy, easily foldable
  •  Best for race trainers
  • Adjustable speed and incline


  • Expensive and high maintenance
  • Noisy
  • Higher risks of injury
  • Doesn’t engage all major muscles
  • Boring

Cross trainer


  • Easy to use
  • Provide full body workout
  • Protect from joint damage
  • Prevent injuries
  • Smoother and enjoyable


  • Occupy more space
  • Affordable
  • Less strain

Everything comes with its cons and pros so do treadmill and cross-trainer. The advantages and disadvantages mentioned above will help you out in deciding what will go best for you. Go for the one which suits your terms and conditions.

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