Is Treadmill Running Bad for Your Knees? 5 Revealing Insights

The idea that running is hazardous to the knees has been refuted by a number of recent studies. As evidenced by studies that have demonstrated the reverse, it really appears to be preventive against knee arthritis.

But outside running can be hazardous, looking at the uneven surface, potholes, rain, cold, etc.

Does treadmill running harm your knees?

Is treadmill running bad, this is a question asked by many people, especially those who are starting once again after their childhood.

A treadmill is less hazardous to your knees than outside. Your knees are put under extra pressure when running outdoors on varied terrain due to the various degrees of impact. Running on a treadmill reduces knee impact and stress compared to running on the ground. Good treadmill posture and slope settings help prevent knee injury and misuse.

Is treadmill running bad

Is treadmill running bad for the elderly?

Running on a treadmill is great for folks over 60 because they can go at their own pace and it’s easier on their knees. Even on softer pathways, which put less stress on your knees, they may twist.

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Is jogging on a treadmill easier on the knees?

According to studies, jogging on a treadmill is easier on the knees than outside. Treadmills had less vertical displacement than earth runs. Jogging on a less stiff treadmill surface is sometimes better for recovery than running on hard ground. It’s ideal for knee training or rehab.

Stress-fracture sufferers who want to strengthen their gastrocnemius and soleus muscles may try this. Jogging’s effect on knees depends on surface stiffness, so in comparison to other surfaces, the treadmill is easier on your knees.

Benefits of Running on a Treadmill

There are various benefits of running on a treadmill that is not available outside.

  • Running on a treadmill is easier on the knees because the belt speed stays the same and the knees don’t have to work as hard to stop.
  • Treadmill decks reduce the knee impact in the same way as rubber running tracks. The top of the treadmill belt is made from high-quality PVC rubber, and the bottom is cotton and monofilament.
  • Cotton on the treadmill belt may lessen knee strain during jogging. So if you’re worried about your knees, a treadmill is better than grass or concrete for running.
  • If you don’t run properly on a hard surface like concrete, your knees may be harmed. When you run on grass or dirt, your knees are less stressed, but you can be hurt if the surface is uneven or improperly maintained. A rubber jogging track provides good traction and is easy on the knees.

Treadmill belt selection

Correct treadmill belt selection can add cushioning to knee and leg joints so choose a thick belt. A runner’s foot touches the treadmill belt fully while running.

Consider how much grip the treadmill belt has or how much knee joint impact it will have while choosing the right thickness. Three types of treadmill belts are there based on thickness:

  • One piece of rubber is utilized to make a single-ply treadmill belt.
  • The 2-ply treadmill belt’s bottom is cotton, polyester, and monofilament, and the top is PVC rubber. 2-ply treadmill belts are good since they are made of high-quality PVC rubber and contain cotton on the underside.
  • The 3-ply design has a rubber cushion. A 3-ply treadmill belt adds weight to the motor, which reduces its lifespan. With extra cushioning, a treadmill’s belt may be too soft. This makes it tougher to sustain a normal posture, which strains your knees.

Adding cotton to the treadmill’s deck reduces noise.

Knee pain on a treadmill

Some people get knee pain on a treadmill but not when running outdoors, though a treadmill is safer and more shock-absorbing than other surfaces for running.

  1. Due to the fatigue from jogging at a continuous pace on a treadmill, calves may tighten. In rare circumstances, fatigued muscles can cause or worsen knee discomfort.
  2. People who jog on treadmills tend to restrain their lead leg from fully extending, which might cause knee pain. While jogging on a treadmill, the foot should fall beneath the torso, not in front.

Does the treadmill incline hurt your knees?

A treadmill going uphill may cause knee pain. Yes and no. Your knees and legs will hurt if you use the treadmill at zero or low incline. A person’s tendency to land with their foot in front of their torso when using a tread belt may cause knee injury from locked knees.

Scottish specialist Philip Riches confirmed that using a treadmill without elevation may induce runners to run with straight knees. Knees can’t absorb impact when straight.

To avoid this, adjust the treadmill’s incline to 1 or 2 percent to resemble ground running. For proper form, let your knee fall underneath your body. Because of this, jogging on a treadmill at 1-2 percent won’t hurt your knees.

Treadmill running myth

Overuse knee injuries are a worry for many treadmill runners. – Jogging on a treadmill is better for your knees than running on the road. The treadmill belt absorbs shock to protect the knees.

A treadmill’s cushioned belt is better for knee joints than concrete. Running over grassy or filthy fields will strain your knees and may cause your knees to twist.

Tips to Protect Your Knees

Experts say adding an incline to your treadmill run may help your knees. There is no one-size-fits-all treadmill setting for simulating natural overground jogging. So long as the range is fair, try several treadmill incline settings to determine the optimal one for your knees.

A treadmill with no incline is like jogging downhill, which is hard on the knees and patellar tendon.

A treadmill makes jogging easier than outside since it handles all the labour. Your muscles will have to work harder to keep you from falling if the treadmill’s incline is zero. Overuse knee injuries can be caused by muscle stress.

Treadmill running rules

  • Slope the treadmill between 1% and 2% to simulate jogging outside.
  • Reduce the noise you make. Less noise implies less knee pain.
  • Shoe shock absorbers make running easier for muscles and knees.
  • Before you start treadmill jogging, warm up and cool down. This can assist in sending blood to your legs and knees and make stopping less uncomfortable.


The cold makes it hard to work out outside, but a treadmill can help. Running on a treadmill may reduce knee stress due to shock absorption. To avoid knee pain when jogging on a treadmill, keep the elevation between 2% and 3%.

Repeated weight-bearing and motion in running are good for your knees. Maintain knee health by jogging with proper posture on a treadmill belt or track.

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