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The use of ellipticals has grown rapidly.
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An elliptical machine simulates movements like walking, jogging, running or stair climbing. This equipment was designed to help with low-impact, weight-bearing cardiovascular exercises, without straining or impacting the joints. Since the machine's settings and speed can be adjusted, its use may be beneficial for people with bad knees who still need to exercise.
Exercises Benefit Bad Knees
According to the Mayo Clinic, an elliptical machine provides a less stressful way for people with bad knees to get a regular workout compared to using a treadmill or jogging and running. Most elliptical machines also come with handles or poles that stabilize your position when you move, so you won't have to worry about losing your balance or falling on the floor and aggravating your injuries.
To strengthen bones and muscles, people with bad knees are usually instructed to do regular exercises and not slow down their physical activities. A study in the journal Rheumatology indicated that regular exercises helped alleviate episodes of knee pain among seniors who did cardio at least five times a week.
A good cardio workout also triggers better blood flow, which nourishes the cartilage and tissues around the knees. According to OrthoInfo, this prevents inflammation and other pain common to arthritic patients.
Get a Proper Diagnosis
As knee injuries and conditions are different for every person, the use of an elliptical machine might not always work for some patients. The best way to determine if this exercise equipment could make your knee injury worse is to get a proper diagnosis. Your doctor may also advise you regarding which exercises to avoid and which to follow, so you can improve your condition rather than aggravate it.
If you get your doctor's approval to use an elliptical machine despite your bad knees, you'll need to find the right equipment that fits your requirements based on your doctor's recommendations. You also have to learn how to properly use an elliptical, as faulty mechanics might result in displacement, lack of control and unequal weight loading on your knees.
Use Ellipticals the Right Way
When you use the elliptical, you typically need to swing your legs forward and backward, just like when you walk or run. But since your feet are firmly on the platform of the machine, your natural gait changes and affects your muscle movements.
If you're not positioned properly while using the elliptical machine, you could strain your knees. Before you get on this equipment, make sure that everything is aligned to your size and movements. If you're using the machine at the gym and you have bad knees, ask a trainer to assist and guide you on the proper posture and techniques when using an elliptical.