Is Running On A Treadmill Bad For Your Knees?

Last Update On: November 15, 2020 // Article Written By:

The treadmill is one of the most popular cardio exercises machines that you can easily use whenever you want. It is a blessing for people living in a metropolis to have made running indoors possible. They can stay fit while living a busy modern life. But then questions started to rise is running on a treadmill bad for your knees? Or does running treadmill sustain injuries?

Treadmills have received some bad reputations over the years. Running coaches these days seem to acknowledge treadmills at all. So we tried to find out the truth about treadmills. Whether the benefits or the disadvantages have the upper hand, we conducted some research and asked professionals and compiled the answers in this article. Continue reading to find out more. 

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Is Running On A Treadmill Bad For Your Knees?

On a treadmill, the conveyor belt or the surface is moving while you are walking or running. When you walk, whether outside or on a treadmill, you can absorb thousands of pounds of force with each step. Treadmills are not bad for knees; instead, it is even better for maintaining knee joints. Along with other benefits, the treadmills are very popular and widely accepted for promoting healthy joints. 

It is a proven fact that doing light exercise on a treadmill significantly improves arthritic knees. They build better bone density and increase blood flows in the cartilage. Regular light running on treadmills delivers nutrients to the knee cartilage with blood flow, which keeps the cartilage healthy. It also strengthens the muscle around the knee, which in turn reduces stress on your knees.

Some studies say that aggressive workouts and exercises make your knees prone to injuries. But that usually happens when you’re doing it wrong. The possibility of having injuries largely depends on the runner’s running style. If you use the treadmill in the right ways, you can prevent knee injuries and improve your joint strength and health by following an appropriate routine.

Why Treadmills Are Better For Knees?

The knees are positioned in between the ankle and hip joints. If something were to go wrong, the knees have a larger risk of sustaining an injury. Running on treadmills is easier for your knees and has a comparatively lower chance of getting an injury. The knees have more pressure when walking on cement and hard pavement. The treadmill has a smooth and cushioned belt that is more forgiving on the knees.

Running on treadmills have reduced impact on the knees for having a relatively soft, force absorbing surface. A huge share of treadmills runners run with head to toe style. This style allows the knees to bend on a greater extent, allowing them to absorb more force as you run. This will lower the risk of your knees getting injured. As you run on treadmills, your knees will get accustomed to regular exercise, improving the overall condition, both your knees and your body. 

How to Reduce the Risk of Knee Injury on Treadmills?

When you exercise, you should always be careful to prevent yourself from getting any injuries. Our bodies like variations, so you should keep experimenting with your running and walking style on treadmills. Here are some tips for reducing the risk of a knee injury and maintaining healthy knees:

How to Reduce the Risk of Knee Injury on Treadmills

  • If you’re using the treadmill for the first time or using a new model, ask the gym instructor or a trainer to demonstrate the functions of the model.
  • Start from walking slowly on the treadmill to gain more control over every step you take.
  • Follow the heel-to-toe method; Touch the surface with the heel of your food first. Then with your toes, lift your foot off the surface.
  • Avoid doing forceful running on the treadmill if you have shaky knees.
  • Run slowly for a long time instead of going very fast.
  • Try different striding methods to find what style puts the least pressure on the knees.
  • Never step on the treadmill while it is moving.
  • If the treadmill has the incline function, raise the grade by 3%. This will reduce shock on your legs and knees by 24%.
  • Wear shoes that are ideal for running when you are running on a treadmill. Wearing shoes can also cause injury.

As we all know, there is always some positive and negative side of everything. So the treadmill has its own drawbacks as well. However, if you can follow the proper way while using a treadmill, you can reduce the above risks easily. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you run on the treadmill every day?

Some people do not feel sore despite running every day. However, the recommended routine for people in their 20’s is every day, and people in their 40’s should run 5 days a week and let the body rest for the other 2 days.

Is 30 minutes on the treadmill enough?

Spending 30 minutes on the treadmill regularly is enough to burn overall body fat. If you’re a fit person, then it will help you retain your weight and fitness. But, if you want to lose fat from a targeted area, it will depend on your body type, speed, etc.

Is walking better than treadmill?

Walking outside or on a treadmill both have their fair share of advantages. If you walk on a treadmill, you will have better control of your workout. And If you walk outside, it will strengthen different muscles and boost your mood.

Final Thought

Every exercise machine has its fair share of advantages and disadvantages. The treadmill is no different. However, to answer the specific question ‘is running on a treadmill bad for your knees?’

in short, it is not. The truth is that treadmills don’t sustain injuries. The reason is either the user had a predisposition to an injury or the workout routine was incorrect. We suggest you be careful while using the treadmill.

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Donald Abbate

About The Author - Donald Abbate

Hi, this is Donald Abbate. I run this website “Talk For Fitness” that will inform you about all the latest elliptical, treadmills and other physical exercise tools and machinery, uses, and maintenance information. As I am a gym trainer

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