Moderators: melkor

Increase the Treadmill Incline to Save your Knees

Quote  |  Reply

I never thought of it before, but it makes sense!! Thought I would share with all my treadmill-running friends!

(from LifeScript article)

Did you know that running on a flat treadmill may actually harm your knees? Treadmills simulate running by pulling a moving belt across an immobile surface, which doesn’t perfectly replicate running on level ground. In fact, this motion actually translates into running slightly downhill. As you probably know, running downhill is harder on your knees and shins than running uphill. An easy solution to this pesky problem is to increase the incline setting on your treadmill to just a 1% incline. This small increase levels out the surface below you as you run, taking the pressure off of your knees and refocusing the workload to your glutes and hamstrings. If your knees have been bothering you because of the treadmill, experiment with the 1% incline for a few days before you decide whether the change is helping you or not. If your knees are still giving you trouble, it might be a good idea to take a break from the treadmill and hop on the elliptical trainer, which will give your knees a rest while allowing you to stick with your cardio plan. As soon as they feel better, hop back on the treadmill and don’t forget to set your incline to 1%. Or better yet, get outside for a jog and enjoy some fresh air.

8 Replies (last)
I'm guessing that it would be the same thing for walking on the treadmill too?
Yeah.. I would think so
I completely agree. I tore a ligament in my knee back in February, and it still hurts sometimes. I've notice that walking downhill makes it hurt almost instantly, and regular walking will hurt after a while, but a steep incline is by far the best. I even use my treamill to do walking lunges on a high incline. It's really firmed up my backside, and it doesn't kill my knees. I still can't run, but the walking lunges lets me do interval training.
I just got a pair of Earth shoes that have a natural 3% incline because of a negative heel.. they feel a little wierd at first but hopefully will be good on my knees/butt-firming without me even realizing it. 
Quote  |  Reply
thanks for posting this.  i had quit using a treadmill b/c of the impact on the knee!  Will have to give it a shot with a slight incline.
I'm glad it helped!!!
Thank you so much for the advice, I used to run on a flat treadmill and my knee was sore for a whole week! After that I just used the bike...but now I can go back on the treadmill again minus the sore knee, yay!
I've noticed an incline helps my knees too. Unfortunately, I had a trainer about 4 years ago tell me that using an incline is bad for your knees, so I spent a long time torturing my knees before realizing how wrong she was!
8 Replies