Using an elliptical is a great way to get a consistent cardio workout to work toward your fitness goals. Whether you’re going to the gym or have an elliptical at home, there are many benefits to using it since it is considered low impact and still works the entire body.
An elliptical is often recommended to anyone with joint pain that has a hard time tolerating high-impact activity or has been told to avoid it altogether by their doctor.
One common pain complaint that many people deal with is knee pain. If you are suffering from knee pain, you may wonder if using an elliptical is good for you. Today, we will dive into this topic.
Best Types of Exercise for Knee Health
The knees, like all joints in the body, are made to move. Thus, regular exercise is so vital for them even if you are dealing with pain or degeneration. Having bad knees is not an excuse to skip a workout.
In fact, it makes it even more important to stay active. If you are concerned about knee dysfunction due to pain, weakness, and other symptoms, below is a list of highly recommended exercises by orthopedic doctors and physical therapists alike:
- Low impact cardio- such as water aerobics, using an elliptical, cycling, or walking. Cardiovascular exercise promotes blood flow to affected joints to nourish cartilage and other damaged connective tissue. Plus, it promotes an overall sense of well-being and helps you keep your weight at a number that reduces strain on the joints too.
- Regular core and leg strengthening. Keeping the lower body muscles strong, coordinated, and in balance does wonders for joint health. Specifically for the knees, movements like functional squats, hip strengthening, and abdominal exercises are essential parts of a balanced routine.
- Anything that makes you feel good. There are no cut-and-dry answers to what activities you should be doing for your knees. If you enjoy an exercise, tolerate it, and do it while keeping good form, you can probably do it. If you’re not sure, discuss and get clearance from your doctor first.
How an Elliptical Can Benefit Your Knees
When an elliptical is used correctly, it can be an excellent option for keeping the knees moving and strong. With the use of the moving handles, you can practically get a full-body workout too. Plus, it keeps the glutes and thighs strong, which is essential for knee health. It’s why many people that prefer (or need) low impact exercise turn to use an elliptical. If you have knee pain, it’s worth trying an elliptical.
If you’ve tried an elliptical before and experienced knee discomfort, you may need to adjust your mechanics. Since your feet are on a footplate throughout the entire stride, your mechanics will be different compared to other activities like running and walking. Thus, it’s essential to make sure your mechanics are optimized by keeping your spine, hips, knees, and feet well aligned and in good posture.
You may also need to adjust your stride length, level of resistance, cadence, and other factors that can help you feel your best while on the machine. Plus, some elliptical machines simply fit different body types better than others, making it worth trying different models if you don’t have good luck with a particular one.
Keeping Your Knees Strong and Healthy
We need our knees to function daily without feeling limited or frustrated. Don’t take them for granted. Finding exercise that feels good and helps you stay fit is crucial for living a life free of unnecessary knee issues. An elliptical is a great potential choice, especially when combined with other forms of exercise, to keep your knees in the best possible shape for years to come.