Adaptive Motion Trainer vs. Treadmill

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The Adaptive Motion Trainer (AMT) is a piece of cardiovascular equipment made by Precor. A combination of treadmill, stair climber and elliptical, the AMT offers a variety of body motions. At any time during your workout, the AMT allows you to alter the height and length of your strides. This variability gives you the option of mimicking natural movements of walking or running. Despite the adaptability of the AMT, it does not totally replace the treadmill and both machines still have their pros and cons. Which is is best for you will depend on a number of factors.

Type of Movement

  • The AMT has the ability to adjust both stride length and height at any point. Specifically, you can select a stride length anywhere between 0 and 36 inches and a step height between 6.8 and 10 inches. By adjusting these factors, you can simulate different activities. For example, a length of 0 inches combined with an extended height will mimic stair climbing. Treadmills are limited to either walking, jogging or running, and you adjust your stride length naturally -- striding longer or shorter on the belt as you would outdoors and as you adjust the speed of the belt.

Other Features

  • While the features available on treadmills vary from model to model, most have a console that provides feedback on your workout. Usually, this information includes distance traveled, heart rate, calories burned, time and speed. The AMT includes all of these features as well. Additionally, the AMT offers 20 levels of resistance that can be used to adjust the intensity of your workout. While treadmills do not have resistance settings, many allow you to increase the incline of your run for an added challenge. For your upper body, the AMT includes handles that provide resistance on your arms, similar to an elliptical.

Impact on Your Joints

  • Because the AMT utilizes pedals, the impact on your joints is extremely low. Treadmills mimic a natural environment and exercising on them can place the stress of impact on your knees and ankles if you run or jog. Some treadmills offer slightly padded surfaces to try to reduce the impact, and walking on treadmills offers a low-impact workout.

Selecting A Machine

  • If you have knee problems or other medical conditions that make high-impact activity unsafe, the AMT may be a good choice. If you tend to get bored during your cardio sessions, the variability of the AMT might also be appealing. Treadmills, however, offer you a greater freedom of movement and a longer stride. Also, AMT machines can be much more expensive than treadmills.

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