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Freestrider vs Treadmill – Which is Best For You?

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nordictrack Freestrider vs treadmillTrying to compare the Nordictrack Freestrider vs Treadmill?

The Freestride Trainer is a very popular machine that goes beyond a traditional elliptical trainer.

Instead of one set stride length, you get an adaptable stride – of up to 32 inches.

So you have a lot more freedom with the Freestrider than traditional elliptical trainers. You also get a lower impact exercise machine.

But treadmills have advantages too.

How does the Freestrider compare? And which is best for you?

This is kind of like comparing apples to oranges – it really depends on your preference.

However here are a few of the main benefits of each one to help you decide:


Freestrider vs Treadmill: Price


Freestride trainers are premium, specialized elliptical trainers with heavy-duty construction.  So they tend to start a bit higher than many starter treadmills or elliptical trainers. (Although the price has come down in recent years).

For example, Freestride trainers start around $1999 with Free Shipping here and go up to about $2999 for the premium model.


freestride trainer vs treadmill comparison


Treadmills vary in price – they’re all over the board. But if you’re looking for a well built starter treadmill, it will run you about $1299 to $1499.

If you’re a runner however, you’ll need more from your treadmill – like a tougher motor, stronger deck and better construction overall.  So you should expect to spend at least $1800 or more if you want something that’s going to last you – and won’t kill your knees or hips with cheap cushioning.


nordictrack treadmill vs freestrider
Nodictrack 1250 Treadmill


Nordictrack treadmills for example start around $1299 and range up to $2499 with Free Shipping here – and you can find a range of starter to runner-friendly and commercial grade treadmills to suit your tastes.



Freestrider vs Treadmill – Motion

These two machines give you very different types of motion. For example, on the Freestrider you can run forward and back. You can also change your stride length and do short, stair-climbing strides, longer jogging strides or even longer hurdling type strides.


freestride trainer vs treadmill


You can also go backwards as well. And there’s even incline to change the slope of your elliptical pathway. So you have a LOT of options here to change it up and crosstrain.

The treadmill gives you options too however. You can walk or run. You can go at an incline or flat plane. However the treadmill is the better choice for walkers as the Freestrider really is meant to mimic a running motion.



So while both machines give you lots of different motion options – it really depends on whether you prefer walking to running.

The treadmill is best for walking. However the Freestrider might have the slight edge when it comes to crosstraining and challenging your body with different motions.


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Freestrider vs Treadmill – Upper Body

The Freestrider does beat out the treadmill here as it allows you to work your upper body with the moving arms. You can even grasp the handlebars in multiple places to train different areas.

With a treadmill, you can still work your upper body – but you’ll need to add some 2 or even 5 pound handweights as you walk.




Freestrider vs Treadmill – Calories Burned

When comparing the Freestride trainer vs treadmill, you probably want to know which burns more calories.  Unfortunately there is no set answer.

Why? Because it really depend on you.

For example, there are ways to burn more calories with both a Freestride trainer and a treadmill. It all comes down to how many muscles you use (especially lower body muscles which are calorie hogs), how long you workout and how hard you work.

nordictrack freestrider vs treadmill comparison


For example, you can walk on a high incline on a treadmill at 2.5 MPH and you’ll burn a lot more calories than if you run on the lowest setting of resistance on the Freestrider without using the arms.

However if you want to burn more calories on your Freestrider you’ll want to build in high intensity intervals (by increasing the resistance levels up and down) and also try using incline to work different muscle groups.

If you want to burn more calories on your treadmill, you’ll want to build in high intensity intervals by walking at high inclines – or even consider buying an incline trainer – seen below – which burns up to 5 times the calories at 40% incline vs 0% incline.


nordictrack freestrider vs treadmill



Click to Compare All Nordictrack Incline Trainers



Freestrider vs Treadmill – Impact

While many treadmills today have much better cushioning systems than in the past, unfortunately they still do cause some impact on your joints.

Because the footpedals on the Freestrider ride on belts, rather than the traditional rails attached to the crank, it gives you more of a feeling of “running on air” and is smooth with nearly zero impact.


freestride trainer vs nordictrack treadmill


So if you’re prone to injury or shin splints, the Freestrider is obviously the better choice as it’s lower impact on your joints.


Click To Compare All Freestrider Trainers



Freestrider vs Treadmill – Footprint

Most treadmills have a larger footprint (in other words, they take up more space when you’re using them) than the Freestride Trainer. However treadmills can also be folded up and rolled away.


nordictrack freestrider vs treadmill



The Freestride Trainer does not fold up. And because it’s heavy, you may not want to move it out of the way on a regular basis.

So from that perspective, the treadmill has an advantage.

However if you want a smaller machine when in use, then the Freestrider has the advantage vs the treadmill.


Bottom Line?

Both the Freestride trainer and the treadmill have benefits. The Freestride trainer gives you a lower impact workout and it’s better for those who want a better crosstraining whole-body workout.

However you can’t walk on it like you can on a treadmill. And treadmills come in all kinds of price points with all kinds of different consoles.

The Freestrider takes up less space when in use – making it better if you have a smaller workout area. But you can fold up a treadmill and move it more easily out of the way.

So at the end of the day it really comes down to your goals, activity level, budget and workout preferences!

Want to Learn More?


Click Here for Free Shipping on all Nordictrack Treadmills




Click to Save on Nordictrack Freestride Trainers


freestride trainer vs treadmill


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