How to Protect Your Knees While Using an Elliptical Machine

Last Updated on May 24, 2020 by Sam Corbin

bowflex bxe216 elliptical

Many people who exercise on an elliptical machine frequently complain of their knees feeling weak and sore after their workouts. Many also state that their feet are sore. These types of pain are common when exercising on an elliptical machine, but fortunately, there are some things you can do to protect your knees while using an elliptical.

You May Be Pushing Too Hard

the bowflex bxe216 elliptical

When you work out, you may be pushing yourself too hard and that might be causing much of your pain. Many individuals believe they can exercise for 60 minutes on an elliptical machine two times per week. They think this is a good workout. However, that might be what is causing their knees to hurt and making their workouts less enjoyable. Exercising for 60 minutes might be doable for some people, but it may hurt your body instead of helping it.

So rather than exercising for 60 minutes two times per week, you should try splitting your time up and exercise for just 30 minutes per session in four days instead of two. That will help to reduce the chance of your getting injured and definitely will be easier on all of your joints. Individuals who work out for longer than 30 minutes are the ones to tend to start experiencing pain, especially their knees. Splitting things up is a smart thing to do so that your body doesn’t take on too much at one time.

A clicking feeling is one of the main things you need to watch out for. If you experience this feeling in your knees, make sure to scale back on your workouts. This clicking sensation happens when too much stress is placed on your knees and this is a big red flag that is telling you that you need to workout less and to slow down.

It Could Be Your Machine’s Fault

If you are certain that you aren’t pushing yourself too hard during your workouts, then your machine might be what is causing your knee and joint pain. There are many machines that are poorly built and use low-quality parts, and that can often result in increasing your knee pain. Frequently, older elliptical machines will start to run down and may cause some type of pain. If that is the case, then the best thing to do would be either to get your machine repair or get a newer model.

Some companies design their ellipticals with the pedals spaced too far apart in order to have a good workout. When the pedals are too far apart this can cause serious damage to your knees and result in you being in pain while you are working out.

In addition to the spacing of the pedals, the degree that the pedal is set out can have an impact as well. When you are working out on an elliptical machine, your heels shouldn’t lift away from the pedals. The pedals need to provide you with full support in order to have a good workout. When angled properly, the pedals mold to your feet and instead of working against you, help you during your workout.

If you purchase a high-quality machine, it is unlikely that your elliptical will have a big separation between the pedals or have a poor pedal angle.

Your Body Alignment Could be a Problem

The Nautilus E614 Elliptical Machine

Your knee pain may be caused by how your body is aligned while you are exercising on an elliptical-type machine. Many times knee pain is self-induced and may be corrected by straightening your posture.

When exercising on an elliptical machine, you should not hang over the front of the machine. That results in bad posture and your entire body is impacted, and not only your knees. If you hang over the console long enough so that it becomes a habit, it may have a lasting impact.

Rather than hanging over the machine, make sure that your body is properly aligned and straighten up. For the best results, make sure all parts of your body do not slump.

You may also discover that you get knee pain when you use the balls of your feet to pedal. You should avoid doing this since it can hurt your knees as well as your legs. Pedaling using the balls of your feet places lots of unnecessary stress on the knees.

Final Thoughts

These are the three major overall causes of joint and knee pain when working out on an elliptical machine. If you find yourself suffering from lasting knee pain, try some of the above solutions since they can help to resolve your issues.

If you make sure your elliptical is well-maintained and don’t hang over it when you are working out, most likely you won’t end up in too much pain. However, if your knees are still in pain, you should consider getting a higher quality machine. Bowflex makes our top-rated¬†elliptical of the year – read our review here.


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