Is Elliptical Good for Knees? (Tips Protect Your Knees)

Is Elliptical Good for Knees?

Knee pain resulting from an injury or other condition can be a major hindrance to quality of life, often preventing you from participating in activities such as running and sports. Elliptical machines have been gaining popularity in recent years as a form of low-impact exercise. As with any type of exercise, there are pros and cons when it comes to the use of ellipticals for knee health. So Is Elliptical Good for Knees?

Ellipticals provide a low-impact workout that is easier on the joints than running or jogging. Because of its smooth, fluid motion and adjustable resistance settings, it is an ideal choice for those with knee pain or injury.

The gliding motion allows you to work out without as much stress placed on the knees and other weight-bearing joints. Additionally, since the feet never leave the pedals, there is no jarring impact on the body which reduces strain on the knee joint.

With regular use of an elliptical machine, you can strengthen muscles in and around your knees while improving range of motion and flexibility. This helps to stabilize your knee joints and reduce discomfort associated with arthritis, tendonitis or other joint-related issues.

The adjustable stride length also allows you to customize your workout and target specific areas of the body for maximum benefit.

is elliptical good for knees

Overall, an elliptical machine is a great way to stay fit while protecting your knees from injury or further damage. With its low-impact motion and adjustable settings, it’s the perfect piece of equipment for those looking to improve their overall health without putting extra strain on their joints.

In this post about “Is Elliptical Good for Knees?“, we will provide helpful information about if an elliptical is good for knee health and how to use it safely so that you can still get a great workout without injuring them. Read on for everything you need to know!

How to Protect Your Knees on Elliptical?

Increase resistance

Increasing the resistance on an elliptical machine can help to reduce strain on your knees. Resistance helps to reduce the impact on your joints and muscles by reducing the speed of each stride. A higher level of resistance will engage more muscles and allow for a smoother stride with less pounding, which decreases the impact on your joints. Increasing the resistance also works your leg muscles more intensely, which can lead to increased strength and improved joint stability. This can help prevent injuries and improve overall fitness.

To increase resistance while on an elliptical machine, use the tension knob or dial located on either side of the machine. Increase it gradually until you find a comfortable level of intensity that provides enough challenge without putting too much strain on your body. You may need to adjust the resistance as you progress through different stages of your workout for optimal results.

Adjust angle

Adjusting the incline or decline of the foot pedals can also help to reduce stress on your knees when using an elliptical machine. Most machines have an adjustable platform that allows you to move the angle of the foot pedal up or down in order to reduce stress on the knee joint. Try increasing the angle to decrease strain and keep your knee joints safe while still getting a good workout. It is recommended that users keep their feet at a 10-15 degree angle relative to the ground as this will take some strain off of the knee joint and help prevent injury or discomfort.

Being mindful of the angle when using an elliptical machine can help you get a safe and effective workout, as well as protect your knee joints from unnecessary strain. By adjusting the incline or decline of the foot pedals to increase their angle, you are making sure that your knees stay healthy even during intense exercise.

Make sure you have proper form

When using the machine, keep your body upright and avoid leaning too far back or forward. Your feet should remain flat against the foot pedals with your toes pointing slightly outward. As you move, increase your range of motion without locking out your knee joints. Proper form on the elliptical is important in order to protect your knees and other joints.

Another key point is to make sure that you are keeping your hips level while stepping, allowing for a more even stride across both legs. Keeping a good posture will also help reduce any strain on the lower back which can be caused by slouching or hunching over during workouts.

Use stretching exercises

Stretching can help warm up the muscles around the knee joint and prevent injury while exercising. To stretch your knees on the elliptical, first stand on each foot and do a few leg swings in both directions. This motion will help loosen up the muscles around your knee joint. You should also perform calf raises while standing on the elliptical; this exercise helps to strengthen and stretch out your calf muscles which support your knee joints.

You can also perform hamstring stretches while standing on one foot as well as squats; these exercises help to increase flexibility in the lower legs which can reduce stress on the knee joint during workouts. Following these simple stretching exercises can help reduce the risk of knee injuries when using an elliptical.

Change up your routine

Varying the type of exercise you do can help to reduce impact on any one area of your body. Try adding strength training or other low-impact activities such as swimming or yoga into your workout routine to give your knees a break from running or elliptical use.

Wear supportive shoes

Wearing supportive shoes while using an elliptical is essential in order to protect your knees. Shoes with good cushioning and arch support can help absorb shock and reduce the impact on your joints when you exercise. Make sure that the shoes are comfortable, fit well, have a non-slip sole, and provide adequate ankle and arch support.

It’s also important to adjust the foot pedals to fit your feet securely. Using orthopedic inserts can also help prevent knee pain from occurring during an elliptical workout.

Take breaks

Taking regular breaks throughout your workout can help to decrease the impact on your knees and give them time to recover before you start up again. Listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard in order to avoid injury or excessive strain on your joints.

Read more: 3 Reasons Why Elliptical Workouts Are Good for Your Knees

Is Elliptical Good for Knees?

An elliptical machine can be an excellent form of low-impact exercise for people with existing knee problems. As a low-impact cardio workout, using an elliptical puts less strain on the joints than running or jogging. The smooth, sliding motions of the pedals help reduce pain and discomfort in the knees by taking some of the pressure off them.

When used correctly and with proper form, the elliptical provides a low-impact workout that allows you to get a great cardio workout without putting too much stress on your joints. This makes it an excellent choice of exercise equipment for people with knee issues or those looking to protect their knees as they age.

The elliptical’s motion is based on circular pedals which move in an oval pattern, this pattern has been designed to minimize strain on sensitive joints such as the knees and back. In addition, because an elliptical does not require the user to bear their full body weight like running does, it requires less force at each point in the stride which leads to less stress on the knees.

In addition to providing a low-impact workout, ellipticals can also provide excellent results in terms of calorie burning and strengthening the muscles of your lower body, including the quads and glutes which support your knees.

Overall, an elliptical is a great choice for people looking to get an effective cardio workout that won’t cause their joints any undue strain or pain. If you have knee issues or are looking to keep your knees healthy and strong as you age, then an elliptical machine could be an excellent choice for you. Just remember to use proper form while working out on your elliptical and consult with your doctor if you have any concerns about using one.

Why Do My Knees Hurt When I Use The Elliptical?

It is common for people to experience knee pain when using an elliptical. Knee pain can be caused by improper form, excessive weight-bearing or too much force being applied to the knees during exercise. Improper alignment of the feet on the pedals can also cause knee strain and irritation.

One possible reason why your knees hurt when you use the elliptical is because of a technique issue. You may be using incorrect form or have not adjusted the machine to fit your body properly, which could place additional strain on your knees. Other causes can include overuse injury, lack of muscular strength around knee joint, biomechanics issues, and improper footwear.

Is Elliptical Good for Knees?To minimize knee discomfort, make sure you adjust the settings on your elliptical machine so that your feet are properly aligned with your body. You should also keep your posture upright as leaning forward could put additional pressure on the knees. Additionally, it’s important not to work out beyond your limits; if you feel any sharp pain or discomfort in your knees while using the elliptical, stop and rest until it subsides before continuing with exercise. Finally, stretching your legs both before and after your workout can help reduce tension in the knee joint.

Read more: Why Do My Knees Hurt After Elliptical?

Tips for Protecting Your Knees While Using an Elliptical

  • Keep your feet at a 10-15 degree angle relative to the ground.
  • Maintain proper form with your body upright and avoiding leaning too far back or forward.
  • Make sure your toes are pointed slightly outward when stepping onto the platform.
  • Increase your range of motion without locking out your knee joints.
  • Warm up your muscles and perform stretching exercises before each workout.
  • Vary your routine with other low-impact activities such as swimming or yoga.
  • Wear supportive shoes that fit properly and provide adequate ankle and arch support.
  • Take regular breaks throughout your workout to give your knees a break from exercise.
  • Listen to your body, reduce intensity levels when needed, and don’t push yourself too hard.

Which Type of Elliptical Is Best for People with Knee Problems?

which type of elliptical is best for people with knee problems

For people with knee problems, an elliptical trainer with a recumbent design is best. This type of machine has a seat and back support which allows for a more comfortable and stable workout experience. It also takes the load off your knees, so you don’t have to worry about putting too much strain on them during your workout.

Recumbent elliptical machines are often adjustable in terms of stride length, resistance levels, and incline angle, so you can customize the settings to fit your needs.

Many recumbent ellipticals also feature adjustable inclines and resistance levels, allowing you to tailor your workout specifically to your needs. Plus, the motion of a recumbent elliptical is typically smoother than that of an upright one, so it’s easier on the joints.

If possible, look for elliptical that features such as adjustable stride length, handlebar and pedal height, and cushioning on the pedals to reduce the amount of pressure on your knees. Additionally, look for machines that have an incline setting so you can adjust the intensity of your workout and take some of the strain off your joints. Ultimately, any elliptical that is adjustable to fit your individual body type will be beneficial in reducing knee discomfort during exercise. Try out different types of machines before committing to one so you can decide which type works best for you.

What Exercises Strengthen Knees on Elliptical?

Knee strengthening exercises on an elliptical trainer include ingle-leg squats, backward stepping, reverse lunges and side lunges.

Single-leg squats are a great exercise for targeting the quads and glutes while also providing extra support to the knees. To do this exercise, stand with one foot on the base of the elliptical and hold onto the handles for balance. Squat down as far as you can go, then return to standing position. Repeat 10-15 times before switching legs.

Backward stepping is another effective knee strengthening exercise that can be done on an elliptical trainer. To perform this move, start by placing both feet on the pedals and pushing them back until your legs are almost straightened out (but not completely straight). Then, while keeping your back flat against the machine and your arms close to your body, push one foot back at a time. Alternate feet for 10-15 repetitions.

Reverse lunges are a great way to target the quads and hamstrings as well as provide extra support for the knees. To do this exercise, stand with both feet on the base of the elliptical and hold onto the handles for balance. Step backward with one leg into a lunge position, then return to standing position. Repeat 10-15 times before switching legs.

Side lunges can help strengthen your knee joints by targeting the outer glutes and adductor muscles that help keep them stable. To do this exercise, stand with both feet on the base of the elliptical and hold onto the handles for balance. Take a large step out to the side, then lower into a lunge position. Return to standing position and repeat 10-15 times before switching sides.

When performing these exercises, it is important to listen to your body and respect your limitations. Additionally, always warm up and stretch before starting any strengthening routine to prevent injury. With regular practice, these knee strengthening exercises can help improve overall knee stability and strength while also preventing further damage down the line. 

Sample Exercises You Can Do on The Elliptical That Won’t Hurt Your Knees

Reverse Pedaling: This exercise is great for engaging your quads and hamstrings and takes the pressure off of your knees. Simply pedal in reverse, making sure to keep your feet close to the pedals and using a slow, steady motion.

Cross Country Skiing: This elliptical exercise mimics outdoor skiing but without the impact on your joints that comes with skiing outdoors. To do this exercise, stand sideways on the machine and move your arms as if you are cross-country skiing while also moving your legs back and forth in an alternating pattern.

Hill Climb: Hill climb exercises simulate climbing hills by increasing the resistance of the machine while keeping a steady pace throughout the workout. Doing this exercise on an elliptical, rather than outside, will help protect your knees from the impact of running or hiking.

Sprints: Add bursts of speed to your workout by doing sprints on the elliptical machine. Start with a slow warm-up pace, then increase the resistance and speed for 30 seconds before returning to your original pace for one minute. Continuously alternate between these two speeds for a challenging and beneficial workout that won’t hurt your knees.

Standing Glutes Exercise: To target your glutes while avoiding knee strain, stand on the side rails of the elliptical with one foot planted firmly on each side rail. Begin pedaling at a slow but steady pace, keeping shoulders back and head up. Make sure to activate the glutes and core as you pedal for a targeted, low-impact workout.

Single Leg Exercise: To work on building leg strength without impacting your knees, do the single leg elliptical exercise. Begin with both feet planted firmly on the pedals then lift one foot off of the pedal and hold it in place while continuing to move at a steady pace. Alternate legs after 30 seconds to complete this low-impact exercise.

Incline Workouts: Varying incline levels can be used to boost your workout intensity while protecting your joints from feeling strain or discomfort. Increase the incline level slowly over time and make sure to keep a slow but steady pace throughout the workout. This exercise targets your glutes and hamstrings while also engaging your core muscles.

By incorporating these exercises into your elliptical routine, you can get a great workout without worrying about hurting your knees.


Can wearing a knee brace while using an elliptical machine help reduce stress on the joints and muscles around my knees?

Yes, wearing a knee brace while using an elliptical machine can help reduce stress on the joints and muscles around your knees. A knee brace provides stability to the joint by supporting ligaments and tendons in the area. This helps ensure that you are able to perform your exercise with proper form and prevents injuries from occurring due to over-stretching or over-extending. Furthermore, it can help absorb shock from any impact that may occur during your workout, thereby reducing the overall stress on the knee joint.

By providing support for your knees as you use an elliptical machine, you can minimize any potential damage or pain that could otherwise result from intensive exercise. It is important to note, however, that a knee brace should not be worn for extended periods of time and should only be used when needed. Proper rest and rehabilitation is also essential in order to ensure that your body recovers from any strenuous activities.

What exercises should i avoid with bad knees?

It is important to understand the root cause of your bad knees before attempting any kind of exercise. Generally, high-impact exercises such as running and jumping should be avoided if you have knee pain or instability. Instead, try lower-impact exercises that are safer for your knees, such as swimming, biking or using an elliptical machine. Other gentle aerobic exercises, such as walking and tai chi can also be beneficial for those with bad knees.

Strength training is also important for supporting knee health; however it is best to avoid squats and lunges which can put extra pressure on the joints. Instead opt for upper body strength exercises that do not require a lot of weight bearing through the lower body.

It is important to pay attention to how your body responds during exercise, and if you experience any pain or discomfort then stop immediately. It is also a good idea to warm-up with light stretching before starting any type of workout in order to reduce the risk of injury.  Finally, it may be beneficial for those with bad knees to consider using assistive devices such as braces or canes which can provide extra support and stabilization while exercising.

Is it possible to overwork my knees when using an elliptical machine?

Yes, it is possible to overwork your knees when using an elliptical machine. The lateral forces generated by stepping on the pedals can put additional strain and stress on your knee joints. If you feel any pain or discomfort in your knees while exercising, take a break and adjust the settings of the machine. Make sure that your feet are firmly planted on the footpads, and fasten them securely if they have adjustable straps. Additionally, if your range of motion is limited due to injury or other factors, be sure to keep the resistance settings low and minimize the impact on your knees.

What types of injuries or conditions can be improved with elliptical training?

Elliptical training can help improve a wide range of conditions, from joint pain and inflammation to obesity and poor cardiovascular health. It is an effective tool for both rehabilitation after injury or illness as well as preventive care. Elliptical training strengthens bones and muscles, increases flexibility, reduces stress levels, increases endurance, improves coordination and balance, boosts self-confidence and helps maintain healthier body composition.The low-impact nature of the machine makes it ideal for people with arthritis, osteoporosis or other debilitating illnesses.

Elliptical training also offers a great full body workout that targets all major muscle groups in a fraction of the time it takes to complete traditional exercise programs. The combination of upper and lower body movements also provides an aerobic workout that strengthens the heart and lungs while burning calories. Elliptical training is suitable for all ages, abilities, and fitness levels. It can be adapted to accommodate more difficult or advanced workouts as well. With adjustable resistance levels and a variety of programming options available on many models, elliptical trainers can provide an effective workout that meets a person’s individual needs. 

In summary, elliptical training can provide a safe, effective and convenient exercise option for people of all ages and abilities. It is an excellent choice for rehabilitation after injury or illness as well as preventive care. Elliptical trainers also offer a great full body workout that can help to improve strength, flexibility, endurance, coordination and balance. The low-impact nature of the machine makes it suitable for users of all ages and abilities. With its adjustable resistance levels and programming options, elliptical machines provide an effective workout that meets individual needs.

How can I rebuild my knee strength?

Rebuilding your knee strength is a process that should not be rushed. It will take time, patience and dedication to gain knee strength after an injury or surgery. A few key steps you can take to rebuild your knee strength include:

Gradual Increase in Activity – Start slowly with low intensity activities such as walking, swimming, biking and light weight training. As you progress, slowly increase the intensity of your activity and add more exercises that specifically target the muscles around your knee joint.

Strengthen Your Knee Muscles – Focus on strengthening all the muscle groups around your knee (such as quadriceps, hamstrings, calf muscles). This will help to improve stability and reduce stress on the knee joint.

Rebuild Your Joint Mobility – Improving the range of motion in your knee is essential to rebuilding its strength. Perform exercises such as squats, lunges and leg extensions to improve flexibility and range of motion.

Utilize Supportive Aids – If needed, use devices such as braces, crutches or other supports to reduce stress on your knee joint when performing activities.

Seek Professional Advice – Consult a doctor or physical therapist for guidance regarding safe and beneficial exercises for rebuilding your knee strength. They can also provide you with appropriate advice on how to progress from one stage of activity to another safely and effectively.

How can I restore my knee cartilage naturally?

The best way to restore knee cartilage naturally is by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This means eating a balanced diet that is full of vitamins and minerals, exercising regularly, managing stress levels, and getting enough sleep. Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, walnuts, flaxseed oil can help with joint repair and relieve inflammation. Other natural remedies for restoring cartilage include glucosamine and chondroitin supplements which may reduce pain and enhance flexibility in affected joints.

Another option is to apply hot or cold compresses to the affected area or taking daily walks as they can increase blood flow around the damaged joint. Finally, it’s important to rest when your knee hurts and to not overdo it when you exercise. If the pain persists, it is best to consult a doctor for further advice. With patience and dedication, these natural remedies can help restore mobility in your joints and reduce any discomfort associated with damaged cartilage.


So Is Elliptical Good for Knees? Elliptical may be good for knees if used properly. People with weak or damaged knees should take care while using ellipticals and always consult a doctor before starting an exercise routine.

Using an elliptical can be a great way to get a good workout while protecting your knees from excessive strain. Those who use ellipticals regularly can follow some tips to protect their knees, such as avoiding high-impact activities, maintaining proper form, and stretching after workouts.

By adjusting the incline or decline of the foot pedals, maintaining proper form, stretching before and after workouts, varying your routine, wearing supportive shoes, and taking regular breaks throughout exercise sessions you can help keep your knee joints safe while still achieving your fitness goals. When done correctly, elliptical training can provide many benefits without damaging the knees.

Thank you for reading! We hope this article helped answer your question. Don’t forget to check out our other articles for more useful information.

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