Which is better for losing belly fat treadmill or elliptical?

Losing belly fat is a common fitness goal for many individuals, as excess abdominal fat not only affects appearance but also poses significant health risks. When it comes to choosing the right exercise equipment for targeting belly fat, the treadmill and elliptical machine are two popular options. In this article, we will explore the benefits and effectiveness of both machines in helping you achieve your belly fat loss goals.

Understanding Belly Fat

Before diving into the comparison, it’s important to understand the different types of belly fat and the associated health risks. Subcutaneous fat, located just beneath the skin, and visceral fat, which surrounds internal organs, are the two main types. Visceral fat, in particular, is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other health conditions.

Importance of Targeting Belly Fat for Weight Loss

Targeting belly fat is crucial not only for aesthetic purposes but also for overall health improvement. Belly fat is metabolically active and releasing harmful substances into the body, which can lead to chronic inflammation and insulin resistance. By reducing belly fat, you can significantly improve your health and reduce the risk of developing related diseases.

Comparing Treadmill and Elliptical for Belly Fat Loss

Now let’s explore the specific benefits and effectiveness of the treadmill and elliptical machine in losing belly fat.

Treadmill for Belly Fat Loss

The treadmill offers a range of benefits for belly fat loss. Running or walking on a treadmill engages large muscle groups, resulting in high-calorie burning. This cardiovascular exercise not only promotes weight loss but also contributes to overall fitness. With options for incline and interval training, the treadmill provides versatility in intensity and allows for customization based on fitness level and goals.

Elliptical for Belly Fat Loss

The elliptical machine is another excellent option for targeting belly fat. It provides a low-impact workout that is gentle on the joints, making it suitable for individuals with joint issues or injuries. The elliptical engages both the upper and lower body, activating various muscle groups simultaneously. This full-body workout increases calorie expenditure and promotes fat loss while minimizing stress on the joints.

Key Factors to Consider

Several factors are important to consider when deciding between the treadmill and elliptical for belly fat loss.

  • The impact on calorie burn varies between the two machines. Running on a treadmill generally burns more calories per minute compared to using an elliptical machine. However, the elliptical provides a lower perceived exertion, allowing for longer workout durations that can compensate for the difference in calorie burn.
  • Both machines offer cardiovascular benefits, including improved heart health and increased endurance. Regular cardiovascular exercise helps in reducing overall body fat, including belly fat.
  • Consider the impact on muscle engagement. The treadmill primarily targets the lower body muscles, including the glutes, quadriceps, and calves. In contrast, the elliptical machine engages both the upper and lower body, working the arms, shoulders, chest, and back in addition to the lower body muscles.
  • Take into account joint impact and injury risk. The treadmill involves more impact on the joints, especially if running is performed at high intensity or with improper form. On the other hand, the elliptical provides a low-impact workout that reduces stress on the joints, making it a suitable option for individuals with joint sensitivities or injuries.
  • Consider variety and motivation. Both machines offer various workout programs and intensity options to keep your exercise routine engaging and challenging. Choose the machine that you enjoy using the most, as it will increase your adherence and long-term commitment to belly fat loss.

Best Practices for Losing Belly Fat

In addition to using the treadmill or elliptical machine, incorporating other strategies can optimize belly fat loss:

  • High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): Incorporate HIIT workouts into your treadmill or elliptical routine. Alternating between high-intensity bursts and recovery periods boosts calorie burn, increases metabolism, and stimulates belly fat loss.
  • Incorporating Resistance Training: Include strength training exercises that target the core muscles, such as planks, crunches, and Russian twists. Building muscle mass helps increase metabolism and burn more calories, including belly fat.
  • Creating a Balanced Exercise Routine: Combine cardiovascular exercises on the treadmill or elliptical with other forms of exercise, such as swimming, cycling, or group fitness classes. This variety keeps your workouts engaging, challenges different muscle groups, and promotes overall weight loss, including belly fat.
  • Importance of Proper Nutrition: Remember that nutrition plays a vital role in losing belly fat. Focus on a well-balanced diet rich in whole foods, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. Restricting excess sugar, processed foods, and saturated fats can further enhance belly fat loss.


Does running on a treadmill help lose belly fat?

Running on a treadmill is an effective form of cardiovascular exercise that can contribute to overall weight loss, including belly fat reduction. It helps burn calories and increase metabolism, leading to fat loss throughout the body.

Can the elliptical machine reduce belly fat?

Yes, the elliptical machine can help reduce belly fat. It provides a low-impact, full-body workout that burns calories and promotes fat loss. Combined with a well-balanced diet and overall exercise routine, the elliptical can contribute to belly fat reduction.

Is it better to do cardio or strength training for belly fat loss?

Both cardio and strength training are essential for belly fat loss. Cardiovascular exercises like treadmill or elliptical workouts burn calories and promote overall weight loss. Strength training helps build muscle mass, increasing metabolism and facilitating belly fat reduction. A combination of both is recommended for optimal results.

How long should I exercise on a treadmill or elliptical to see results?

The duration of exercise needed to see results varies depending on factors like intensity, frequency, and individual fitness levels. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio per week, which can be divided into multiple sessions. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workouts as your fitness level improves.

Are there specific workouts on the treadmill or elliptical that target belly fat?

There are no specific workouts on the treadmill or elliptical that exclusively target belly fat. However, incorporating high-intensity intervals, incline training, and full-body movements can maximize calorie burn and contribute to overall belly fat reduction.


Both the treadmill and elliptical machine can be effective tools for losing belly fat. Choosing between the two depends on individual preferences, goals, and considerations such as joint health and workout variety.

Incorporating a well-rounded fitness routine, including both cardio and strength training, along with a healthy diet, will provide the best chances of achieving belly fat loss and overall weight management.

Remember, consistency and dedication are key to seeing significant results. Stay motivated, enjoy your workouts, and make sustainable lifestyle changes for long-term success in your belly fat loss journey.

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