- Are Treadmills Bad for Your Knees?
- What are the External Factors that May Damage Your Knees While Running?
- What are the Internal Factors that May Damage Your Knees While Running?
- Is Running on Treadmill Better for your Knees than Running Outdoors?
- What are the Important Things to Do Before Running on a Treadmill?
Treadmills are a boon for those who like to run in all seasons. Come rain or hail, if you have a treadmill at home or a gym membership, you are all sorted. Running on a treadmill is easier as compared to running outdoors. It provides an extra push the body and the floor board provides a cushion for all the impact the comes towards the knees with every step.
Are Treadmills Bad for Your Knees?
Treadmills are not bad for your knees. Running is an impactful and rigorous exercise and it is not for everyone. You cannot start running out of the blue and expect your body to come out of the experience without any pain or injury. Running is infact one of those workouts that need years of practice and training. If you want to run in order to exercise, start with talking to your doctor. Check if your body is ready for running. The very next thing to do will be to find an experienced trainer who knows how to build up the pace for running. If you have a knee injury or arthritis, you have to be extra cautious.
What are the External Factors that May Damage Your Knees While Running?
There are several external factors that may be hurting your knees when you run on a treadmill. Let’s discuss them one by one.
- Poor Running Skills
Yes, there is something called running skill. It may be difficult to believe that you can go wrong with something as basic as running but it’s true. Not everyone is blessed with a good running posture. Running posture is very important to avoid injuries while running on a treadmill. You need to run properly so as to divide your and the impact of running in a proper way. You need a proper running posture.
- Too Much Running
Everyone has a certain running capacity based on their body type and their preparedness. If you push your body beyond its capacity, you are bound to injure your knees and cause long term problems.
- Running too fast too soon
Running needs proper preparation and training. If you think you can run in a race without practicing for it, you are bound to fail and injure yourself. You cannot become Usian Bolt on day 1 of your workout on a treadmill. You have to take it slowly, build your pace over time and then you can run 7 mph on your machine without feeling any pain in your knee.
- Bad Shoes
More often than not, bad shoe selection leads to knee injuries. You have to understand that running shoes are different than your normal sports shoes. They have special pads to give your legs the cushion they need when they land on a surface. Further, there are different running shoes for treadmill and outdoors. So, be mindful of your shoes. If you are not sure which shoes to buy, talk to an expert like a gym instructor.
What are the Internal Factors that May Damage Your Knees While Running?
- Poor Muscle Strength
Every one has a different body. Not everyone is made to run. If you have a poor muscle strength, chances are you will never be able to run without hurting your knees or other muscles in your legs. It is possible to improve muscle strength but that process needs time and is difficult to achieve after a certain age. You can work around this problem by changing your training style. An expert trainer can help you manage your workout with your body type.
- Poor Balance
If you have a poor balance, you will automatically have a bad running posture and this may result in knee problems. So, rather than blaming the treadmill for your knee problems, you should focus on improving your balance. Adjust your workout plan accordingly to avoid knee injuries or pain in the knees after running.
Obesity is one of the primary reasons behind knee problems. Our knees take a lot of impact when we run and when an individual is overweight the knees have to take extra impact while running on a treadmill. In case of obesity, the best solution is to first reduce some weight through other effective workouts and then gradually start running.
- Flat Foot
Flat foot is an anatomical issue that results in knee issues. This problem can be fixed with the help of special shoes. If you have a flat foot, you should reconsider your treadmill workout plan. Adjust your pace and inclination according to your comfort and focus on reducing the impact on the knees.
- Weak Calf Muscles
Calf muscles are very crucial for running. Infact these are the muscles that facilitate running. If your calf muscles are weak, your knees will have to work extra hard to push your weight forward. If your knee hurts after a running session on the treadmill, take a break and try to understand the reason behind the pain. Most people write off the treadmill as the culprit, when in reality there are a number of things that can go wrong.
Is Running on Treadmill Better for your Knees than Running Outdoors?
Running on the treadmill is better for the knees as compared to running outdoors. This is because running on the treadmill is less impactful to the joints. The design of the treadmill ensures that you do not hurt any of your joints while running and the impact of running is managed and distributed well. A good pair of shoes can further increase the benefits of running on a treadmill.
What are the Important Things to Do Before Running on a Treadmill?
If you plan to run on a treadmill to get healthy or reduce weight, you have to take care of a certain things. Here is a list of the most important things you should do before you start running. All of these points will help you to have a productive workout session without causing any harm to your knees.
- Talk to your doctor and get yourself thoroughly checked. Ask for muscle examination and get a clearance for the workout. You can also meet a strength coach or a therapist to ascertain that you are ready to run.
- Find a good trainer for yourself. It is fine to workout without a trainer only if you know how and what to do. In all other cases, it is best to train under a professional instructor.
- Learn how to run properly before you pick running as your core workout. Get in touch with running coaches who can guide you with your posture.
- Set realistic goals for yourself. Never go overboard with the amount of weight you want to reduce. Too fast, too soon or too much, too soon can both hurt your knees.
- Invest in good quality running gear. Also, make sure to change your running shoes every year or every time you notice a change in your comfort.
There are a number of factors to consider before you start running. It is a tactful exercise that needs attention to detail. So, rather than being naïve and getting on the treadmill the very first day you hit the gym, take it slowly. Get the help of an expert and build your body’s stamina and gradually make it habitual to running. Furthermore, if you are lucky, you will have a good posture, if you are not, you may have to start right from getting your steps right and your shoulders in appropriate position.
Be mindful of the fact that exercising takes a physical toll on your body. When you are young you may recover faster but it is not an intelligent thing to make mistakes and expect your body to cover it up. If you are not following the points discussed in the above article, you cannot blame the treadmill for the pain you have in your knees. Be smart, do it right