Is Elliptical Good For Achilles Tendonitis?

Slow treadmill workouts can help you resume your activity.

Even when things are going well, training is hard, but it can be excruciating if you have Achilles tendonitis. 

A common injury among athletes, Achilles tendonitis, occurs when the tendon that connects the heel to the calf muscles becomes swollen and painful because of repeated exertion. 

Your doctor may encourage you to take a break from exercise to allow your Achilles to heal, but when it’s time to get back into motion, the proper gym workout can help you get back into your athletic routine. 

Training safely and correctly on the treadmill or elliptical can help you get back into shape after an Achilles tendonitis injury if allowed by your doctor.


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Stick with the treadmill for the most comfortable workout for your Achilles tendon. When you start running again, could you not do it? 

Coach Dean Hebert recommends breaking runs into intervals, taking walking breaks every few minutes, and running slower than average speed. 

Watch your speed, even when using an elliptical. 

The faster the pedals are on the oval, the less they support your foot.

 This can cause strain as you flex your foot toward your shin while pedaling.




Inclination and resistance

Dr. Stanley Beekman, a podiatrist, says that using an incline on the treadmill can make it more likely to get Achilles tendonitis or worse if you already have it.
Running or walking up a steep slope—or increasing the angle too quickly—puts additional strain on the Achilles tendon.

Setting your elliptical to too high a resistance level can have the same effect.
When starting a new workout routine or getting back into exercise after an injury, start with a low incline or resistance level, gradually increasing the intensity over several weeks.


Duration and frequency

Avoid working out too often for too long, whether you are using a treadmill or an elliptical. Both cardio machines involve repetitive motions contributing to overuse injuries such as Achilles tendonitis.

Train for no more than 30 minutes at a time when you get back into shape after an Achilles injury. Allow yourself 24 to 48 hours between treadmill or elliptical workouts.



Exercises that do not strain the Achilles tendon are a safe alternative to the treadmill and elliptical workouts. 

Outside or on a stationary bike, cycling offers many cardiovascular benefits, such as stress-free running.

 You could also try swimming or rowing to stay fit while you recover and prevent Achilles tendonitis. 

Replacing one treadmill or elliptical workout per week with a low-impact alternative can also reduce the risk of Achilles tendon injury.


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