Is Elliptical Good For Achilles Tendonitis?

Slow treadmill workouts can help you resume your activity.

Training is challenging under the best of circumstances, but if you have Achilles tendonitis, it can be downright painful. 

A common abuse trauma 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 right 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.


Stick with the treadmill on 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 move, the less they support your foot.

 This can cause strain as you flex your foot towards your shin while pedaling the pedals.


Inclination and resistance

According to podiatrist Dr. Stanley Beekman, using an incline on the treadmill can increase the chances of developing or exacerbating Achilles tendonitis. 

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

Whether you are using a treadmill or an elliptical, avoid working too often for too long.

 Both types of cardio machines involve repetitive motions that contribute 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.

 Give yourself 24 to 48 hours of recovery between a treadmill or elliptical workout.



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

Cycling, whether outdoors or inside a stationary bike, offers many of the same cardiovascular benefits 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.

Leave a Comment