Treadmill vs elliptical for bad knees

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Treadmill vs elliptical for bad knees: When the climate is awful or the pollen rely is high, chances are you’ll wish to take your aerobic workout indoors. The treadmill and the elliptical coach are two of the most popular cardio machines, but selecting which one is best for you might be tough. This is especially true when you’ve got arthritic knees.

Both the treadmill and the elliptical coach simulate a pure walking or running movement. On a treadmill, you run or stroll in place while a belt moves under you. On an elliptical coach, you place every foot on a platform that you simply move in an oval-shaped movement. There are execs and cons to each machines. The best way to decide on is by testing every machine and seeing how your body responds.

Benefits of exercise for OA

Osteoarthritis (OA) affects roughly 27 million AmericansTrusted Source. There’s strong proof indicating that reasonable exercise, such as walking or elliptical training, offers quite a few benefits for OA with out worsening signs or inflicting disease development. According to a report from the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health PromotionTrusted Source, adults with OA can count on important improvements in pain, physical perform, high quality of life, and mental health by participating in low-impact physical activity for roughly 150 minutes per week.

A recent study found that people who did gentle exercise more than three days every week for less than two hours per day had much more healthy knee cartilage than those that didn’t exercise in any respect. A low-impact cardio workout may help your arthritic knees in the next methods:

  • Increasing blood flow to the cartilage and delivering nutrients that keep the cartilage healthy.
  • Strengthening the muscles across the knee, which reduces pressure on the joint and lessens the wear and tear and tear on the cartilage.
  • Promoting weight loss, which reduces stress in your knees.

Treadmills: execs and cons


If you’re jogging or running, a treadmill can put extra stress in your knees compared to an elliptical coach. But walking on a treadmill exerts concerning the same amount of drive on the knees as using an elliptical machine. Treadmills are typically extra user-friendly and simpler to make use of for beginners. They could also be better for building bone density.

Problems can happen whenever you’re able to ramp up the depth of your workout. When you increase the treadmill’s velocity, you run the risk of placing extra pressure in your knees, which can cause increased pain and irritation in the knee joint.

Safety tips

If you’ve by no means used a treadmill before, ask an exercise specialist or coach for an indication or help. Before stepping on the machine, ensure you know the place the on/off swap is, the right way to work the controls, and the right way to use the emergency shut-off clip or key. Never step on or off the belt while it’s shifting, and put on shoes which might be appropriate for aerobic exercise. If the treadmill has an incline perform, take into account barely elevating the grade. Research suggests {that a} 3 % incline grade can reduce shock on the legs and knees by 24 %. However, more than 3 % incline grade can have the reverse impact and increase stress on the joints.

Elliptical trainers: execs and cons

Elliptical trainers

Using an elliptical machine is like combining stair-stepping with cross-country skiing. Instead of using a pure walking movement with the heel of the foot repeatedly putting the treadmill belt, every foot rests on a platform and moves in an oval, or elliptical, movement. This zero-impact motion means that you can increase the depth of your workout with out rising the stress in your joints. Some elliptical machines are geared up with handles that move in conjunction with the lower body. This works out the arms, chest, and shoulders and causes the body to burn extra calories. Most elliptical machines also allow you to pedal in reverse, which strengthens totally different muscle teams in the lower legs.

For beginners, elliptical trainers are inclined to have a steeper studying curve and might be awkward to make use of. They also don’t supply the same bone-strengthening benefits of treadmills.

Safety tips

Because the elliptical coach might be extra difficult to make use of than a treadmill, it’s much more important to get an indication and be taught the controls before stepping onto one. If you’re new to elliptical trainers, chances are you’ll wish to keep away from the shifting arm handles at first. Most machines have a set of stationary handles which might be simpler to make use of. And when you’ve got a alternative, choose for machines with wider foot platforms. These machines will allow you to regulate your stance for better balance and placing much less pressure in your joints.

The verdict (Treadmill vs elliptical for bad knees)

When used accurately, each the treadmill and the elliptical coach might be protected, efficient workout choices for these with OA of the knee. Depending in your particular wants and talent level, one could go well with you better than the opposite. If you’re new to workout machines or are at the next risk of OA, the treadmill is usually a user-friendly way to soundly exercise and promote bone health.

As you progress into your workout program and start to increase the depth of your exercise, the elliptical coach can allow you to take action with out rising the stress positioned in your knees.

Most importantly, take heed to your body. If you expertise knee pain or discomfort on one machine, simply try the opposite. If each choices make you uncomfortable, try different low-impact exercise choices such as a stationary bike or water aerobics.

Riding a recumbent bicycle is an alternative choice that may strengthen the quadriceps and hamstring muscles, that are extraordinarily important when going from the sitting to the standing place.

Regardless of what exercise gear you’re using, all the time examine along with your doctor before beginning a brand new health routine. If your arthritis is extreme, a treadmill could also be too difficult, painful, and even harmful to make use of.

Remember, the worst factor you are able to do for your arthritic knees is to stop exercising altogether. Before giving up, discuss to your doctor about methods to adapt your exercise plan to work for you.


  1. Low-Impact Exercise: The elliptical is like the ninja of cardio machines – it’s gentle on your joints, making it a great option for those with bad knees. Say goodbye to the knee pain and hello to smooth, gliding movements.
  2. Reduced Risk of Injury: Treadmills can be a bit unforgiving on the joints, like running on hot coals. The elliptical, on the other hand, provides a safer workout environment, with less risk of tripping or falling flat on your face.
  3. Full-Body Workout: Ellipticals are like multitasking machines – they work your arms, legs, and core all at once. It’s like getting a three-for-one deal at the gym!
  4. Customizable Resistance: Want to crank up the intensity without wrecking your knees? The elliptical lets you adjust the resistance level to suit your fitness level and goals. It’s like having your own personal fitness genie – but without the questionable fashion choices.
  5. Improved Cardiovascular Health: Get ready to pump up that heart rate! The elliptical provides a killer cardio workout without the joint pain, helping you build endurance faster than you can say “sweatpants.”
  6. Smooth, Fluid Movements: Running on a treadmill can feel like pounding the pavement, but the elliptical offers smooth, fluid movements that are easier on the knees. It’s like gliding across the dance floor – minus the awkward two-step.
  7. Versatility: From forward motion to reverse pedaling, the elliptical offers a variety of workout options to keep things interesting. It’s like having a personal trainer with a bag of tricks up their sleeve – you’ll never get bored!


  1. Limited Impact: While the elliptical is easy on the knees, it may not provide enough impact for some users. It’s like trying to start a fire with a damp match – you’ll get some sparks, but not enough to light the whole bonfire.
  2. Lower Caloric Burn: Treadmills have a higher calorie burn per hour compared to the elliptical. It’s like choosing between a salad and a cheeseburger – one might be healthier, but the other is way more satisfying.
  3. Lack of Weight-Bearing Exercise: Ellipticals are great for cardio, but they don’t provide the weight-bearing exercise needed to build bone density. It’s like skipping leg day at the gym – your muscles might thank you, but your bones won’t be too happy.
  4. Limited Muscle Engagement: While the elliptical works multiple muscle groups, it may not target specific areas as effectively as other exercises. It’s like trying to hit a bullseye with a blindfold – you’ll get close, but not quite on target.
  5. Boring Workouts: Let’s face it – elliptical workouts can be a bit monotonous. It’s like watching paint dry, but with less color options.
  6. Space Requirements: Ellipticals can take up a lot of space in your home, like a giant elephant in the room. If you’re short on space, it might not be the best option.
  7. Resistance Limitations: While you can adjust the resistance on an elliptical, it may not provide the same level of resistance as other machines or free weights. It’s like trying to lift weights with a rubber band – you’ll get some resistance, but not enough to really feel the burn.

People also ask:

Is elliptical better for knees than treadmill?

Absolutely! The elliptical is like the gentle giant of cardio machines – it’s kinder to your knees than the treadmill, like wrapping them in a cozy blanket instead of tossing them into a pit of lava. Say goodbye to knee pain and hello to smooth, gliding movements! It’s like trading in your high heels for a pair of comfy slippers – your knees will thank you for the TLC. So lace up those sneakers, hop on the elliptical, and get ready to glide your way to knee-friendly fitness! Happy elliptical-ing!

What is the best exercise machine for bad knees?

When it comes to finding the best exercise machine for bad knees, the elliptical takes the crown! It’s like the superhero of cardio machines – gentle on your knees while still delivering a killer workout. Say goodbye to knee pain and hello to smooth, gliding movements! It’s like trading in a bumpy roller coaster ride for a leisurely stroll in the park. So hop on that elliptical, crank up the resistance, and get ready to glide your way to knee-friendly fitness! Your knees will thank you for the TLC!

Is elliptical bad for bad knees?

Contrary to popular belief, the elliptical is actually a friend to those with bad knees! It’s like the gentle giant of cardio machines – giving your knees a break from the pounding they might endure on other equipment. Say goodbye to knee pain and hello to smooth, gliding movements! It’s like trading in a bumpy roller coaster ride for a leisurely stroll in the park. So hop on that elliptical, crank up the resistance, and get ready to glide your way to knee-friendly fitness! Your knees will thank you for the TLC!

Can I use treadmill if I have knee pain?

Sure, you can use a treadmill if you have knee pain, but tread carefully – pun intended! It’s like navigating a minefield with your knees as the bomb squad. Proceed with caution! While some people find treadmill walking or gentle jogging manageable with knee pain, others might feel like they’re tap dancing on hot coals. It’s all about listening to your body and knowing when to hit the brakes. So lace up those sneakers, start slow, and if your knees start protesting louder than a toddler in a toy store, it might be time to switch to a gentler option. Happy trails!

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