If you have bad knees, you need to incorporate cardio into your everyday routines in safe and smart ways. Low-impact workouts can be as effective as high-impact workouts, especially when exercising arthritic workouts. With the right treadmill, you will have full control over your exercise’s intensity and make adjustments in seconds.
Modern treadmills have become an all-in-one solution to exercise challenges. They are equipped with cushioning underneath the conveyer belt, which reduces the impact on the feet and helps prevent any kind of leg injury.
However, choosing the best treadmill for bad knees can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for. Fortunately, I’ve compiled a list of the best treadmills on the market that anyone with bad knees can trust.
Why Most Treadmills are Bad on Your Knees
Most treadmills on the market are designed to handle high-intensity workouts, and the decks lack extra cushion to absorb impact. Every step that hits the treadmill deck sends a wave of force up your body, starting from the ankle up to the spine.
Some people say that the impact force on a treadmill deck is double that of your weight. This can cause more harm to your joints, especially if you already have an injury. All you need is a treadmill with a sufficient shock-absorbent cushion that can absorb some, if not all, impact.
How to Use a Treadmill with Bad Knees
Running on a treadmill is different from running outdoors. Individuals who don’t take the necessary precautions to keep themselves safe end up hurting themselves. Here are some safety tips to keep you safe from knee pain when exercising on a treadmill:
- Treadmills have several control buttons and switches, and you should be familiar with these before exercising.
- You should walk on the treadmill instead of running to avoid further knee injuries and pain. You can opt for brisk walking at a speed of 3 to 4 mph as it provides an effective cardiovascular workout that strengthens your legs, knees, and glutei.
- Use high-quality shoes that minimize the impact on the knees and joints. It is advisable to use low-heeled and athletic shoes to maintain proper balance while on the treadmill.
- Shorten your stride so that your feet will hit the ground directly under the body. Additionally, a short stride allows you to walk efficiently and increase the speed of the pace.
- Use good quality knee braces to prevent your knees from repeated injury. It also supports and stabilizes your bad knees.
- Socks can also offer sufficient cushioning to pad your feet. Wearing high-quality socks minimizes the impact of running.
- Avoid looking sideways, down, or backward. Always look forward to maintain balance.
- Adjust the machine’s inclination and speeds to the lowest levels. Start slowly and gradually increase the workouts’ intensity so that your body can adjust.
- Don’t hold the front of the side railings or handlebars since they can throw the balance off.
- Before you start exercising, ensure that the safety key is attached to your shirt.
- Begin your routine with 7 to 10 minutes of warm-up workouts.
Best Treadmill for Bad Knees: Buying Guide
There are some main features that you should look for when buying a treadmill for bad knees. You do not want to spend your hard-earned cash on a treadmill that will not work for you. Here are some factors you should consider before making the final decision.
Running Surface Area
The running area should be ideal for your stride width, gait, and stride length. A small surface area restricts your walking style, which adds stress to your knees. So, before choosing the best treadmill for bad knees, ensure that the running surface suits you.
If the treadmill’s deck is not too lengthy or heavy, it can be transported and stored easily. This is an important element available in all treadmills for bad knees out there. A small deck size also makes it highly portable.
The inclination shows the downhill and uphill movement and helps burn 40% more fat than flat trainers. However, you should consult your doctor to determine how much inclination your knees can handle. Check the degrees of inclination offered by your favorite treadmill. Sometimes, even level-1 inclination can hurt your knees.
Although speed should not be the main factor when you have bad knees, it’s worth considering when you recover. In fact, most therapists use variable speed walks to help in recovery. Most high-quality treadmills have variable speeds ranging from 0 to 10 mph. Other models can run up to 12 mph, which is a great choice for those who like HIIT sprints and workouts.
Treadmills come with safety features like a safety key, handrails, and an automatic slow start. These features are crucial for transitioning smoothly from one speed to another and maintaining stability. If you find a treadmill with these features, now that it’s designed to help minimize the risk of injuries.
Shock Absorption and Deck Cushioning
A treadmill with excellent shock absorption is important, especially when you want to improve the health of your knees. Deck cushioning also acts as a buffer between you and the treadmill’s belt.
Ease of Assembly
Assembling your treadmill isn’t as time-consuming and strenuous as you might think. Mostly, treadmills arrive partially assembled with simple directions attached. You can set up your treadmill in an hour.
Ease of Storage
Foldable treadmills are perfect for small homes, apartments, and in the room of a knee patient. Ensure that the treadmill is easy to fold and doesn’t require you to sit down.
Ease of Use
You must understand the adjustments and controls of your treadmill. Ensure you know everything from assembly, maintenance, and regular usage.
Best Treadmill for Bad Knees Reviews
The NordicTrack T Series Treadmill should be your favorite choice if you want to complete your workout without joint pains. It comes with a FlexSelect deck cushioning that reduces the effect of running on the user’s joints, especially the knees. It has 30 days iFit membership that allows you to browse Google Maps and includes customized routines.
This treadmill offers five individual exercise profiles; studio, access live, and global workouts. Thus, you’ll have access to a personal trainer who will manage your treadmill inclination, speed, pace, and decline. Additionally, it has a 10-inch smart HD display, allowing you to enjoy your favorite television shows and movies while exercising.
- 2.6 CHP motor
- FlexSelect deck cushioning
- 10 mph maximum speed
- 10-inch touchscreen display
- Easy to control incline and speed
- Excellent weight capacity
- Excellent cushioning
- Allows to browse Google Maps
- A space-saving treadmill that’s easy to fold
- It doesn’t have a built-in fan
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7515 Smart Treadmill offers excellent shock absorption for low impact on the knees while walking. This treadmill is packed with state-of-the-art technology that will keep you connected and engaged. It has a large backlit LCD monitor showing distance, time, speed, incline, calories, and heart rate.
With this treadmill, you can sync your smartphone with the integrated Bluetooth and play your favorite tunes using the built-in crystal clear stereo speakers. Additionally, this treadmill comes with wheels for easy transportation and storage.
- 12 levels of adjustable automatic incline
- Bluetooth wireless connectivity
- 1.0-8.0 mph speed range
- Backlit digital LCD
- Easy to fold and store
- Easy to use controls
- Effective heart rate monitoring
- Loud motor
NordicTrack Commercial Series is a great option that outshines its competitors because of its impressive features. It comes with Runners Flex deck cushioning, which makes using it a breeze. This cushioning can withstand continuous use and abuse and perform admirably. This treadmill has a smooth surface so you can enjoy running and walking. It also has a sturdy base and heavy-duty steel frame, making it super durable.
The treadmill is powered by a 3.75Hp SMART-Response motor, making it run for a speed of up to 12 mph. Additionally, the treadmill has an incline range of -3-15%, giving you a feeling of downhill and uphill running.
- 3.75HP motor
- 10-inch HD touchscreen
- -3%-15% incline controls
- Automatic trainer control
- Ergonomic design
- Ideal for heavy patients and long stride
- Foldable design and easy to store
- It has 10 years frame. 2-year parts and 1 year home labor warranty
- A bit heavy
The Horizon Fitness T101 is budget-friendly and entry-level for light to moderate workouts. It comes with a pulse monitor in the handgrip for effective heart rate monitoring. This treadmill has a speed range of 0.5 mph to 10 mph and provides a 10% incline for fast fat burning.
This folding treadmill comes loaded with 30 workout options, including three interval workouts, 10 distance-based workouts, and 10 step-goal workouts. What’s more, it features a cooling fan, Bluetooth connectivity, and an interactive console with a 5-inch green backlit LCD monitor.
- 2.5 hp motor
- Built-in device holder
- 2.5 CHP motor
- 20”x55” belt
- 300lbs weight capacity
- Easy to store
- Ideal for heavy runners
- Short track
The Nautilus Treadmill Series is an affordable treadmill designed to suit runners with bad knees. It comes with a fully-featured console, 26 workout programs, Bluetooth connectivity, and app-based tracking tools, an excellent value for runners. It also has an interactive display that helps you monitor your distance, time, and calories burned.
This treadmill has a strong build with a 20″x60″ deck and a quiet 3.0 horsepower motor. It comes with an exclusive StrikeZone cushioning system that guarantees a smooth run and reduces the impact on your joints.
- 20”x60” running path
- DualTrack display
- Wireless heart rate chest strap
- SoftDrop folding technology
- Advance cushioning system
- Powerful and quiet motor
- Maximum comfort and digital connectivity
- High-quality and robust treadmill
- Horrible warranty terms
A treadmill designed with low-impact cushioning workouts won’t fix your joint problems but will reduce the shock impact. It is also important to purchase a treadmill that’s strong and durable. Pick from the list above and enjoy comfortable and painless workout sessions.