Is Cross Trainer Better Than Running

As someone who has been an avid runner for several years, I have always believed that running is the best form of exercise. However, recently, I have been hearing a lot about the benefits of cross trainers and whether they are actually better than running. Intrigued by this idea, I decided to do some research and share my findings with you.

The Benefits of Running

Before we dive into the debate, let’s talk about the advantages of running. Running is a great cardiovascular exercise that can help improve your lung capacity and strengthen your heart. It is also a weight-bearing exercise, meaning it helps build strong bones and improve bone density. Furthermore, running can be a highly effective way to burn calories and lose weight.

The Benefits of Cross Trainers

Now let’s explore the benefits of cross trainers. Cross trainers are low-impact machines that simulate the motion of walking or running without putting excessive stress on your joints. This makes them an excellent option for people with joint issues or those recovering from injuries. Cross trainers also provide a full-body workout as they target multiple muscle groups, including the arms, legs, and core.

One of the key advantages of cross trainers is the ability to adjust the resistance and intensity of the workout. This allows individuals to customize their exercise routine and gradually increase the difficulty over time. Additionally, using a cross trainer can improve balance, coordination, and overall cardiovascular endurance.

Comparing the Two

Now that we have examined the benefits of running and cross trainers, let’s compare the two directly.

When it comes to calorie burn, running takes the lead. Running is a high-impact exercise that engages more muscles and requires more effort, resulting in a higher calorie burn compared to using a cross trainer.

However, cross trainers have the advantage of being low-impact. This makes them ideal for individuals with joint problems, as the elliptical motion of the cross trainer reduces the impact on the knees, hips, and ankles. Running, on the other hand, can put strain on these joints, especially if proper form and technique are not followed.

Another factor to consider is variety and boredom. Running outdoors can provide a change of scenery and fresh air, which many people enjoy. On the other hand, using a cross trainer indoors can be convenient, especially during bad weather or when time is limited.

My Personal Verdict

After carefully considering the benefits of running and cross trainers, I have come to the conclusion that both have their own advantages. If you are looking for a high-intensity workout that burns more calories and builds endurance, running is a great choice. However, if you have joint issues or are recovering from an injury, a cross trainer can provide a low-impact, full-body workout that still gets your heart rate up.

In the end, the best exercise for you will depend on your personal preferences, fitness goals, and any existing health conditions. It is always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or a certified fitness trainer before starting a new exercise routine.


There is no definitive answer to the question of whether cross trainers are better than running. Both forms of exercise offer their own unique benefits and can be incorporated into a well-rounded fitness routine. It ultimately comes down to what works best for you and your individual needs. So whether you lace up your running shoes or hop on a cross trainer, the most important thing is to stay active and enjoy the exercise you choose.