Almost everybody blames technology for making us sluggish and lazy. The fact is true but only partly!
Yes! Technology has lent a helping hand in every chore of ours. Luxurious cars make our commute, snatching away our habits of walking. This lack of activity perpetuates different medical conditions. To cover up for the decreased number of steps outdoors, we now have treadmills inside our houses.
Treadmills are efficient ways of maintaining and losing weight by walking/jogging. These electronic devices come in handy for leg and knee patients. Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a highly prevalent aging condition that leads to pain and stiffness in the knee joint. To live a healthy life, OA patients are recommended to walk daily. But how?
So, if you have a bad aching knee and want to stay active, we have brought for you the best treadmills for bad knees (after a lot of research!)
- 10 Best Treadmills for Heavy People 300 lbs to 500 lbs
- Best Treadmills with 400 lb Weight Capacity
- Best Treadmills For Seniors
- 9 Best Heavy Duty Treadmills
What To Look For In A Treadmill Easy On Knees?
In general, we would suggest you go for a multitude of features, a sturdy build, and a compact design when searching for a treadmill. However, the requirements are slightly different when looking for a treadmill that is easy on the knees.
Knee pain patients often ask the question, “Is an incline treadmill better for knees?”
Well, yes, incline plane walking has proven to be effective for bad knees. As per an NCBI study, the decrease in the knee-abduction movement during incline walking has positive effects on knee health. It alleviates pain and reduces cartilage degeneration.
Therefore, an incline plane option on a treadmill can surely be beneficial for your achy knees.
Soft Cushioning and Shock Absorption:
You can find ideally designed treadmills that offer excellent shock-absorption and thus, have a very low impact on the knee joint. A cushioned treadmill should be your first priority when choosing a treadmill for bad knees.
Handrails are almost always present on a treadmill. However, this is a much-needed feature for knee patients. As patients with knee pain need to shift weight from time to time, a robust handrail to support body weight is ultimate.
Ideal Candidates: Best Treadmills For Bad Knees
Following is a list of the best treadmills for aching knees:
|1. NordicTrack 6.5 Si Treadmill||Check price on Amazon|
|2. XTERRA Fitness TR150 Treadmill||Check price on Amazon|
|3. Sunny Health And Fitness SF-7515||Check price on Amazon|
|4. Bowflex Treadmill T22||Check price on Amazon|
|5. Horizon Fit T101 Treadmill||Check price on Amazon|
|6. Sunny Health And Fitness SF-T7857||Check price on Amazon|
|7. Schwinn Fitness 810 Treadmill||Check price on Amazon|
|8. Proform Performance 300i Treadmill||Check price on Amazon|
|9. Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill||Check price on Amazon|
|10. Lifespan Fitness TR3000i Treadmill||Check price on Amazon|
1. Nordic Track 6.5 Si Treadmill
The T Series treadmills from NordicTrack offer a superb solution for enthusiastic exercisers having bad knees. The Nordic Track 6.5 Si treadmill has a design tailored for people with sensitive knees. Salient features of the treadmill include:
- OneTouch easy control of incline
- 10% incline option with ten mph speed
- Flexselect deck cushioning.
The NordicTrack device is a sturdy piece of machinery ideal for people planning to alleviate arthritis pain in the knee. We (and many users) liked this particular treadmill’s incline option. You get a 10% incline that too while maintaining a 10 mph speed. The incline is easily controlled by a one-touch button option.
Another appealing feature is the Flexselect deck cushioning which indicates that the running machine was designed by keeping bad joints in mind. The cushioning prevents the delivery of obnoxious forces to your joints, thus, making it ideal for bad knees.
As most OA patients spend a stagnant life, most patients are plagued with obesity. Therefore, more room is required to fit the humungous and heavy bodies (300-pounds). This treadmill does the job excellently as it offers plenty of space.
You also get a 30-day iFit membership (workout sessions and classes), and the option to control the treadmill via a smart Bluetooth connection. Getting a fancy screen, auxiliary music port, and speakers is a great plus at such a budget-friendly price point.
- Light on the pocket
- Great for yetis, and Big shows
- Great incline for knee relief
- FlexSelect deck cushioning keeps the joints safe
- Foldable design
- Maximum speed is 10 mph
2. XTERRA Fitness TR150
XTERRA’s folding treadmill is a marvel of technology that lets you stay active and fit while keeping the joints free of fatigue. With some elegant looks and handy features, the treadmill shall surely win your heart.
Salient features of the treadmill include:
- 3 different levels of manual incline
- Speeds up to 10mph can be reached
- Spacious belt
- XTRASoft cushioned deck
XTERRA treadmill ticks all the boxes for an ideal treadmill for bad knees. Patients with knee pain or osteoarthritis knee find it difficult to adjust the incline of the treadmill. This machine solves the problem by offering three different levels of incline, i.e., 0.5, 1.0, or 2.0 degrees.
Those wanting to check their progress of cartilage repair by increasing the speed can take benefit from the 10mph speed even at an incline. The running belt is sufficiently long and wide, and the steel-laden frame is as solid as it can get.
The XTRASoft cushioned deck technology ensures sufficient protection to the joints. This advanced technology imparts maximum impact absorption (reduces the impact on knees by 20%), thereby keeping the joints safe and workouts comfortable.
Handgrip pulse sensors are an additional safety feature that allows runners to stay in the training zone. A large 5’ LCD is an impressive addition.
- Offers good control over incline levels
- XTRAsoft cushioning practically saves the joints
- Hand grip sensors
- The incline is not sufficient for some trainers
3. Sunny Health And Fitness SF-T7515
The Sunny fitness treadmill SF-T7515 boasts a state-of-the-art design and is a pretty solid contender to be the best treadmill for painful knees. This running machine is appealing in looks while being fruitful for knee joints. Salient features include:
- 12 levels of incline (0-12%)
- Speed range 1-8 mph
- Auto incline control with a quick button
In this list of best treadmills for bad joints, most options are overall performers and provide you with excellent features in all fields. This treadmill, however, tops the chart, not for its overall skill but for a single feature.
Sunny health treadmill offers 12 different levels of incline for people aiming to shed weight with achy joints. The levels reciprocate the angle of inclination i.e. 0-12%.
You can easily tailor the settings according to your needs and keep your knee joints healthy.
It can bear weights up to 240lb. The treadmill can reach maximum speeds of 8 mph. The speed is lesser than most treadmills on the market but as already mentioned, this is the go-to treadmill for bad knees.
A heart rate monitor is also placed in the handrails along with sensors to keep you in the normal range. Bluetooth connectivity and stereo speakers are a plus.
- Good incline options
- Subtle speed, ideal for knee OA patients
- Robust build
- Heart rate sensor
- No cushioning effect for joint protection
4. Bowflex T22: Best Premium Treadmill For Bad Knees
The next candidate in the category i.e. Bowflex treadmill T22 is for Bruce Wayne (from Dark knight rises). The secret superhero had disintegrated cartilage in the knees and was filthy rich, two qualities needed to get the Bowflex treadmill. It carries the following fancy features:
- Up to 20% motorized incline
- Extended handlebar grips for safety
- Comfort Tech deck cushioning
- Maximum speed up to 12 mph
- SoftDrop technology to safely lower the deck
- OTT platform subscription
This running machine from Bowflex is laced with out-of-the-world features for individuals with bad knees. Every feature of the treadmill is designed to aid the patients.
The treadmill offers the highest incline option amongst all contenders on the list i.e. 20% incline. The motorized incline ensures top-notch performance and maintenance of the incline even under immense weights.
In addition to the incline, you get the option to achieve a decline i.e. a -5% incline (negative incline).
Users are ecstatic over the extended handlebar grips. This safety assurance makes workouts for OA patients easier and more comfortable. The maximum speed that you can achieve here is 12 mph which is better than most of the treadmills.
Special features for bad knees include specialized cushioning technology i.e. comfort tech deck technology. It really absorbs shock like a boss.
Another beneficial feature present in this multi-functional device is the slow and safe descent from an incline. With SoftDrop technology the Bowflex treadmill 22 goes a step further to ensure complete protection of the joints and bones.
Film and serial-lovers can enjoy Netflix, amazon prime (and others) on the brilliant 22” screen of the treadmill. The heart rate chest strap is a great plus for those who love to track heart health.
- Strong cushioning
- Gradual SoftDrop from incline
- Maximum incline on a treadmill (i.e. 20%)
- Extended handlebars
- Very expensive
- You need to pay extra for OTT subscriptions
5. Horizon Fit T101: Best Treadmill For Sweaty Oldies
The Horizon Fit T101 treadmill is ergonomically designed to keep you active while keeping the joints safe from jerks and abrupt forces. There are newer versions of the treadmill too but the reliability and design of this elder brother are what we admire.
- 3-zone cushioned deck
- Strong had grips with heart rate monitors
- Soft-drop hydraulic system
- 10% incline range
- Maximum speed up to 10 mph
The highlighting feature of this beauty from Horizon is the unique cushioning effect provided. This treadmill offers a three-zone variable response cushioning system that adjusts the cushioning according to your activity intensity.
Joggers, walkers, or beginners having knee problems can benefit from the flex and joint support of the treadmill. 10% incline keeps your exercise sessions fun and fatigue-free.
Users have commended the incline control that they get (0.5% to 10%). The incline and the cushioning effect make it a natural choice for people having bad knees.
What’s unique about this particular candidate is the working sound which is almost negligible. The horizon t101 has a very quiet motor that makes it impressive. The 20X55” belt can bear up to 300 pounds of weight with ease.
You also have built-in speakers, an LED screen, and Bluetooth connectivity. The handgrips are strongly built and house the heartrate scanner. It also has a cooling fan to keep your body temperatures in the normal range.
- Got control over incline
- Strong shock absorption with 3-zone cushioning deck
- Cooling fan built-in
- Some users have complained of lack of volume control on Bluetooth speakers
6. Sunny Health And Fitness Treadmill SF-T7857: Best Budget Treadmill For Bad Knees
Next up is another treadmill device from the renowned company Sunny. The Sunny Health and Fitness Treadmill SF-T7857 is specially designed to aid exercise for the senile members of the society who have balance issues to bad knees. Some noticeable features of the treadmill include:
- Extensive handrails for maximum grip
- Low step height
- Advanced shock absorption
- Maximum speed of 5 mph
It is a very simplistic device that is designed to target the oldies who want to keep their joints mobile and pain-free. The greatest advantage of this particular piece of machinery is the extensive handrails that ensure maximum grip. The handrails extend through the length of the treadmill, providing walking confidence even to the feeble ones.
This is, without a doubt, the best treadmill for arthritis patients. This is because it offers everything an old adult would want to have in a walking device.
It is a walking device (and not a jogging/running device!) as it offers a maximum speed of 5 mph, which is just perfect for keeping the muscles and joints in balance. The low step height is a great feature that allows easy mounting and dismounting.
To ensure a smooth experience, the treadmill from Sunny health provides special shock absorption technology that greatly reduces the impact of the movement. Had it come with an incline option, the treadmill would have been ideal for bad knees.
Well, we can’t complain much, keeping in mind the price tag!
- Long handrails ensure excellent grip
- Superb shock absorption
- Low running speeds
- No option of incline
7. Schwinn Fitness 810: Best Treadmill For People with Arthritis
The Schwinn 810 treadmill is highly liked by users. It makes it to our best treadmills for bad knees list due to its super good looks and its sterling performance. The most evident features include
- A 10% motorized incline
- SoftTrack cushioning system
- Maximum speeds of up to 10mph
- SoftDrop folding technology for gentle descent
- Charging USB ports for phones
We are all praised for the design language of this treadmill. The running machine is sturdy and boasts plenty of useful features for bad knees.
You get a solid 0-10% motorized incline option that will ease your knees of the exercise burden.
Getting off the treadmill is not an issue for the young and athletic ones; however, for the fragile oldies, this is indeed a big concern.
The treadmill’s incline feature, paired with the SoftDrop technology, makes exercising and descending from the machine uneventful.
The SoftTrack cushioning system is there to save your knee and leg joints from impactful running and to walk. We found the cushioning system to work perfectly. A maximum of 10 mph speed can be reached on the Schwinn treadmill 810.
With this device, you also get heart rate sensors in the handgrips, the ability to charge your phone (via USB), Bluetooth speakers, and two good quality backlit LCD displays.
- Good cushioning system
- Motorized incline option
- Phone charging USB ports
- Strong build
- Bluetooth connectivity issues
8. Proform Performance 300i: Best Fancy Treadmill For Painful Knees
Proform’s Performance 300i treadmill is a pretty choice for knee patients. It is an efficient machine that is fancy and practical at the same time. You get all the required features to keep yourself running and away from injury.
- 0-10% incline
- 10 mph maximum speed
- ProShox cushioning
- 30-day iFit trial membership
Running on a straight plane is strenuous on the knees and increases your chances of getting injuries. Therefore, the Proform performance treadmill offers up to a 10% incline for walking, jogging, and running. The incline makes it a treadmill easy on the knees.
The ProShox cushioning technology is aptly designed to keep the leg, knee, and hip joints safe from abnormal pressures and jerks. People with OA knee tend to have inflammation in the joint making it more sensitive to pressure. The ProShox technology ensures a safe workout session.
You can run up to speeds of 10 miles per hour which is more than enough for most people with bad knees. The quick one-button control of the incline and speed makes it easy to use.
Users also get an impressive large LCD display, an auxiliary port, and dual speakers. The 30-day iFit trial membership gives access to interactive training sessions.
- Easy one-touch control of incline/speed
- 10% incline to alleviate fatigue
- ProShox cushioning to save joints
- Budget-friendly treadmill
- Can bear weights lesser than 250 pounds
9. Sole Fitness F80: Best Treadmill Easy On Knees
The Sole treadmill F80 comes with a bigger price tag than most treadmills on the list but the more bills from your pocket mean more premium features. The most rejoiced features of the premium treadmill include:
- Cushion Flex Whisper Deck reduces impact by up to 40%
- 0-15% rack-and-pinion gear design incline
- 5-12 mph speed
- Cooling fans
- Weight-limit of 375 pounds
The flattering device is up for all sorts of your challenges. It is an overall performer with unparallel performance in the shock absorption department. The cushion flex whisper deck from the manufacturers has been proven by studies to reduce exercise impact by 40%.
The ergonomically designed device has a strong motor that is paired with a rack-and-pinion gear design incline. You can choose to reach incline level anywhere from 0 to 15% making it an obvious choice for bad knees.
You can reach speeds up to 12 miles per hour which is more than enough for most knee patients, thanks to the string 3.5 CHP motor. The handrails have pulse grip and chest strap heart monitoring is also present.
The built-in cooling fans ensure a pleasant running session that is soft on the knees. Even the bulky guys can have a fun time as this thing supports up to 375 pounds of weight.
The 7.5-inch LCD display and MP3-compatible sound system will surely impress you!
- Lowest impact on joints
- Up to 15% of incline
- Ideal for heavy exercisers
- A bit expensive
- The treadmill becomes squeaky over time
10. LifeSpan TR3000i: Quietest Treadmill For People with Bad Joints
Lifespan Fitness treadmill 3000i is a safe-to-use treadmill for people with bad joints. It essentially offers all the stuff that is ultimate for the compromised population. The quiet motor is laced with plenty of useful features:
- Offers 15 levels of incline
- Speeds up to 12 mph can be reached
- Low noise motor
- 8 compression shocks to absorb stress
- Built-in Bluetooth speakers
The list of practical features present in this solid treadmill is long. Along with 38 preset fitness programs the treadmill offers 15 different levels of incline. Every incline level represents a percentage of incline which means you can achieve 15 percent of incline.
Impressive speeds of up to 12 miles per hour can be reached on the treadmill, thus, those willing to go the extra mile will also rejoice.
What we liked the most about this treadmill is the compression shock technology provided by the manufacturer. The 8 independent compression shocks efficiently absorb the foot strike and keep the knees, back, and joints safe from injury and impact.
Users have also noted how quiet the machine is, thanks to the 2.75 HP commercial-grade motor installed in the treadmill. In goodies, you get an LCD screen (touch screen), Bluetooth connectivity, more than 30 preset fitness programs, heart sensors, and USB charger ports for smartphones.
The treadmill supports around 250 lbs of weight. It also comes with a safety feature where the belt automatically pauses 20 seconds after you step off the deck.
- Good quality
- Wide incline options
- Excellent cushioning
- Very quiet device
- Heart rate monitor is not very accurate
Final Verdict: Best Treadmill For Bad Knees
All the candidates in the list are highly adapted to do the job, thus, making the choice of best treadmill for bad joints is a tough one. However, the superior incline, strong cushioning, and affordable price bracket make the NordicTrack treadmill the winner.
Are treadmills good for bad knees?
People with bad knees can improve joint mobility by walking on an inclined plane. Treadmills that offer an incline option are very good for bad knees.
Is walking on a treadmill bad for your knees?
Slow walking on the doctor’s recommendation on an inclined plane is beneficial for bad knees.
What exercise equipment is best for bad knees?
A treadmill is both easy and safe for bad knees.
Why do my knees hurt on the treadmill?
Exercising on a treadmill while keeping the belt straight is linked to injury and excessive stress on the joints. To keep your knees from hurting you should set the treadmill belt on a slight incline.
Is walking on a treadmill good for OA of the knee?
Studies have shown that knee osteoarthritis (OA) patients can improve knee joint movement and flexibility by walking inclined plane. Treadmills that offer inclined planes are good for OA knee patients.
How can I walk on a treadmill without hurting my knees?
You should set an incline level that makes your knees comfortable. Most treadmills offer up to a 10% incline. You can adjust the incline and see which level provides a pain-free experience.
What is the best treadmill workout for bad knees?
The best treadmill workout for bad knees is slow walking.
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