By Jennifer Gruenemay, ACE-Certified
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.