Looking for the best treadmill for bad knees?
Walking on a treadmill with aching knees can be extremely painful.
And if the treadmill is cheap with no give or shock absorption and poor cushioning – it can be downright agony.
So what can you do?
Just give up walking? Forget getting in shape? Give in and settle in to the life of a couch potato?
No my friend – there’s no need for that.
Because you have some great options when it comes to the best treadmill for bad knees – including a few you may not have considered before.
While I’m partial to Nordictrack treadmills (hence this blog) – this post will also touch on another option you have as well – with the pros and cons of each.
Best Treadmill for Bad Knees – 2 Great Options:
The Nordictrack Incline Trainer is unique in that it looks and works exactly like a treadmill – but it also adds in high inclines of up to 40%!
Why does this help for bad knees?
Because incline walking is easier on the knees than flat-surface walking. Because the treadmill rises to meet your feet, you’re not pounding down as much on a flat surface – continually jarring your knees.
High incline walking incinerates calories – you can burn up to 5 times more calories on an incline trainer than on a treadmill. Now that’s great – but what does it mean if you have bad knees?
Well basically it means that you don’t have to walk at a really fast pace if you’re walking on an incline in order to get an effective workout.
You can walk at a slower pace and burn just as many calories as you would during a running workout on a regular treadmill!
This alone will take the burden of stress off your knees (since you’re going slower) while still ensuring that you’re getting a great cardio workout.
There are currently 3 different Nordictrack Incline Trainers – the X11i, X22i and X32i. They all give you up to 40% incline and even up to 6% decline. They just tend to vary based on the size of the console and the strength of the motor.
While the X22i is flashy with a huge 22 inch, touch-screen console, it might be a little more than many people need.
The best option, in my opinion, is the Nordictrack X11i Incline Trainer.
It’s the most affordable incline trainer and still gives you lots of fun entertainment options like the Full-Color, touch-screen console, iFit world trails and Reflex Cushioning (which is very easy on the knees)
The next option is a treadmill-hybrid called the Bowflex Treadclimber. You’ve probably already heard about this beast of a machine.
Instead of one main treadmill belt, it has two smaller treadbelts. These rise to meet your feet as you walk. Because they rise to meet your feet, there’s less impact on your knees and it’s very gentle.
A lot of people have compared walking on the Treadclimber to a feeling of walking in sand – so it’s going to be a lot less jarring to your knees.
The only real downside of the Treadclimber (vs the Incline trainer or a regular treadmill) is that these machines are only made for walking. You can’t run on them.
While this may not matter to you (if you have bad knees, you probably aren’t planning on running anytime soon), it’s still something to be aware of.
Like the incline trainer above, since you’re burning more calories walking on an incline, you don’t need to run in order to get a good workout on the Treadclimber.
You can just walk and burn up to 2.5 times more calories than on a regular treadmill (according to Bowflex).
Plus if you use the link below you can get a Free Promo Code to save on any Bowflex Treadclimber.
If you have bad knees, you’re not just limited to a treadmill (although if you love walking like I do, you’ll still probably prefer a treadmill).
There are other options like the Nordictrack Freestride trainer elliptical for example – which has almost ZERO impact on your knees. Because of the unique design of this elliptical (it rides on belts rather than traditional rails), training on this elliptical feels like you’re running on air – and it’s very easy on your knees.
Plus you can set your own stride on the Freestride elliptical – so you can choose the most comfortable stride for your body.
So that’s another option you have.
So those are 2 of the best treadmill for bad knees options that you have – and a third that’s a little more out of the box. Regardless of what you decide remember that good cushioning on a treadmill is essential to protect your knees, hips, back and ankles.
The above two machines have excellent quality cushioning – but even if you decide on a different treadmill, remember to get one with high-end cushioning. That will save some of the strain on your knees. And listen to your body when walking – only do what you can!