Can Elliptical Cause Back Injuries?

Use the rowing machine in the gym and walk outdoors when the weather permits. 

How do you explain that back pain, and why are you still unable to button those jeans you like so much?

Exercises done incorrectly can carry the risk of muscle aches and strains, just as widespread misconceptions about calorie-burning techniques can frustrate efforts to lose weight. 

If you find yourself in a condition similar to those we have described, read what we propose. 

We give voice to the best experts who reveal the most obvious mistakes made by women and the most effective ways to get the most results from your favorite workouts.

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First mistake: holding on to the treadmill supports

Sure, doing the exercise will seem easier because you partly offload your body weight by walking. 

Still, you prevent yourself from burning so many calories, as suggested by Michele Olson, a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and a teacher at Auburn University in Montgomery, who adds, “You also risk injury by using the tool improperly.”

Tip: Stand firm and rest only your fingertips on the supports. 

If you need to hold up because of the treadmill’s incline, the level you choose is not for you, as Olson makes clear.


Second mistake: walking slowly when you walk outside

This leisurely pace does not lead to burning many calories

“Women often overestimate their calorie consumption,” says Tom Holland, author of Beat the Gym: Personal Trainer Secrets – Without the Personal Trainer Price Tag.

 “The danger is to eat a muffin and delude oneself to dispose of the calories ingested with an hour of walk “.

Tip: Pick up the pace – that’s the secret to burning a lot more calories!


Third mistake: sitting too high or too low on the exercise bike

This can strain your lower back, as Olson states, “Sitting too low can damage your quadriceps, causing you to sit with your pelvis low .” 

On the other hand, sitting too high can damage the Achilles tendon, as Olson points out.

Suggestion: With every pedal stroke you give, your leg should be almost straight, with your foot parallel to the floor, Olson says.

 If not, raise or lower the seat.


Fourth mistake: pushing and pulling with your arms on the elliptical

This emphasizes the arms and minimizes the toning benefits of leg work, says Physiologist Irv Rubenstein, who adds, “You’ll also feel tired sooner, because your arms can’t work as hard as your legs. .”

Tip: Your arms can help, but don’t let them compensate for what your legs might do if you didn’t have armrests, suggests Dr. Rubenstein. 

“For best results, start exercising with your arms once your legs are working at their maximum .”


Fifth mistake: using the lower back with the rowing machine

“The strength has to come from the legs and seamlessly transfer to the upper body,” says Holland.

 “Bending forward and pulling from the back places excessive strain on the extended lower back and the result is an injury.”

Tip: Start with knee bends and arm extension forward, holding onto the dumbbells. Then extend your legs. 

Keep your arms straight until your knees are at full extension and then bend your arms up to the elbows to bring the dumbbells to the upper stomach. 

Then move your hands away from your body as you stretch your arms. 

Your upper body now moves forward, over your hips, as your hands move in front of your knees, which bend, and the seat moves back to its starting position.


Sixth mistake: using to lightweights

“Muscle mass is primarily because of testosterone, a male hormone. Female estrogen does not allow the muscles to expand,” says Olson.

 One more reason to think about lifting heavier weights is to maintain muscles and increase bone mass, thus helping you prevent the onset of osteoporosis with the years.

Tip: “Prevent bone loss and fat accumulation by lifting weights that allow you to fatigue muscle (when you can’t do one more lift) in ten lifts or fewer, “Olson suggests. “If you can do over ten lifts, the weight is too light.”


Seventh mistake: being in the “fat burning” zone in cardio equipment

Most cardio equipment suggests a heart rhythm to be found to reach that key area, which is achieved with low-intensity exercise. 

“Yes – says Holand – you burn a higher percentage of calories from fat (60% versus 35%) at a lower intensity, but you burn more calories from fat and more total fat and calories at a higher intensity “.

Thus, you can burn 200 calories and 120 calories from fat with low-intensity exercise, but burn 400 total calories and 140 calories from fat with high-intensity exercise.

Tip: “You’ll burn a lot more calories with an alternating workout, which involves periods of alternating high- and low-intensity exercise,” says Holland. 

After two minutes of walking, try running 30 seconds and then accumulate the running intervals and decrease the rest intervals.


Eighth mistake: wearing inappropriate footwear during Zumba classes

Let’s now refer to a discipline with a great diffusion, known as Zumba, which includes a group fitness class that uses Afro-Caribbean music’s rhythms and movements, mixed with the traditional movements of aerobics.

Running or tennis shoes are likely to keep the foot firmly planted on the ground, as the knees rotate in the opposite direction when performing swinging movements.

 This can tear the anterior cruciate ligament, one ligament that stabilizes the knee.

Says David Geier, director of sports medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, who has treated many anterior cruciate ligament injuries produced during Zumba classes: “You can also tear the anterior cruciate ligament in a Zumba class if you jump and then land with your leg fully extended.”

Hint: the raised arch of a dance shoe can reduce the risk of injury if it prevents the sole of the shoe from sticking to the ground when you change direction. 

Another useful tip is to land after a jump with your knees flexed and learn the correct way to turn while performing the movements.

So use the most appropriate strategies, and the efforts made to be fit will give the desired results!


Elliptical trainers and back pain

Back pain comes in two forms: acute or chronic. The big difference is in the duration. 

It usually lasts for a few days, and the chronic duration can last up to three months, reports the National Institutes of Health.

 For treatment, I used corrective exercise with conventional medicine. We can use an elliptical machine as part of this treatment plan.


Being sedentary is a risk factor for back pain to develop. When you sit for long periods, your vertebrae do not receive an adequate supply of blood and nutrients. 

According to the Spine Universe website, they have found aerobic exercise to deliver nutrients to structures in the spine. Elliptical training is an aerobic exercise

As an added benefit, it also burns calories and reduces weight. Having excess fat in the abdomen can exacerbate or cause pain in the lower back.


Elliptical training is a low impact type of exercise. 

This is valuable for back pain. High-affected exercises, such as running and rope jumping, cause excessive stress throughout the spine. 

I eliminated this jarring impact with elliptical training, which many back pains find beneficial, according to the Spine-Health website. 

Once you place your feet on the pedals and start gliding, there is virtually no impact.


When doing an elliptical workout, start with a gentle warm-up. Start gliding slowly and accumulate your speed over a five-minute time frame.

 Get to the point that you are breathing heavy and sweaty. Stay there for the rest of your workout. 

If you get on the elliptical and start gliding quickly, you risk injury. Your body needs time to get used to exercising.

Time frame

To get favorable results with the elliptical, aim for at least 30 minutes of training, three to four days a week.

 If you have excess weight, aim for at least 60 to 90 minutes. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends this for weight loss.

 If time is an issue, divide your workouts into smaller sessions and do it throughout the day.


Core exercises can also help relieve back pain. Consider adding planks. Hip raises an arm and leg raise, and pelvic tilts to your schedule. 

Abdominal and back exercises help condition the core muscles to work together as a natural back corset, according to



The back is a complex and fragile area on the body. Even the slightest wrong move can cause back pain or increase current back pain. 

Before starting a new exercise program, make sure you get your doctor’s clearance. This is true, especially if you’ve never used an elliptical before.


Problems with ellipticals sitting ellipticals

Seated elliptical trainers are a variation on standard elliptical machines that simulate the action of running, biking, and climbing.

 Simultaneously, a seated elliptical may be more useful for people who have difficulty exercising while standing. 

Machines require a certain coordination level that some individuals don’t have. 

This can cause an improper fit on the machine, resulting in pulled muscles and other injuries.

Moving and assembly

An initial problem that many buyers of an elliptical seated face are a safe and correct unit assembly. 

The average sitting elliptical is between 180 and 200 pounds. As a result, it is heavy to lift and move. 

According to Octane Fitness, care should be taken when moving and positioning the seated elliptical unit. 

Assemble the unit with several friends or professionals, making sure to fully bend and use your legs to lift all the heavier aspects of the machine itself. 

Besides using caution when moving the item, proper assembly is essential to correctly use the product. 

While some ellipticals come pre-assembled, others require a complete assembly.

Improper positioning

Adjustable seats and backrests are standard on seated elliptical trainers. 

While the variety of angles that the seat can be locked offers the potential for increased comfort and mobility, improper seat positioning can cause back injury and additional muscle strain.

Your seat should be far enough away from the pedals that your feet fully extend when you push the pedals away from your body. 

Holding the seat too close to the pedals can cause cramps and additional leg pain.

 As for the backrest, the angle change depends entirely on the height. 

If the angle is too severe, you can injure your back or leg muscles by entering an uncomfortable position.

Back support

Seated elliptical trainers are often used by individuals who wish to exert a less impact on their knees and lower back while exercising. 

Many of these people are elderly or recovering from previous injuries. Despite the need for adequate back support, some seat ellipticals do not have backrests.

 This can cause additional strain on the lower back and other core muscles. It is important before purchasing a seated elliptical to research which one has the most support.


While a seated elliptical improves cardiovascular health and endurance levels, it is important to consult with your doctor to ensure you are in good health by exercising on a seated elliptical machine.

 Suppose you experience symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, or excessive sweating. , immediately stop exercising on the seated elliptical machine.

 Pushing too hard on the seated elliptical can cause physical injury and dehydration.

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