best elliptical machine for bad knees

Best Elliptical Machine for Bad Knees-top 5| 2021

An elliptical machine offers a full-body, low-impact, knee-friendly cardio workout and so, can also be considered as the best exercise machine for bad knees. Elliptical machines are ideal for older adults and are the best option for people who want to do an upright exercise.

People with previous knee or leg problems find it a useful knee exercise machine to strengthen the joints as well as knees as it adjusts stance for better balance.

Again an elliptical machine gives you good cardio exercise and is better than treadmills for people with joint problems.  As it requires a steeper learning curve and little pressure in the knee, it is better to use it later in the healing process.

Usually, an elliptical machine doesn’t cause knee pain if correctly used as a balanced posture and not leaning forward on the handles. Again if you feel discomfort, follow the advice of your physician.

Harpal Paul Khanuja, M.D., (Chief, Adult Reconstruction – Hip and Knee Replacement
Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Johns Hopkins University) recommended the people with the risk of osteoarthritis or knee problem to have a lower impact exercise like using the elliptical machine

best elliptical machine for bad knees

Here we have summed up the 5 best elliptical machines for bad knees of all-time elliptical trainers so you don’t get the trouble to choose among hundreds of options.

[wptb id=1659]

best elliptical machine for bad knees

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Under Desk Elliptical – SF-E3872

If you want a perfect combination of price, quality, and additional features Sunny’s Assembled Magnetic Under Desk Elliptical – SF-E3872can be your best choice. You will love its smooth forward motion that makes a really low impact on the joints that is truly suitable for elderly people.  You will get one of the lightest ellipticals with a digital monitor, 8 levels of resistance, and Sunny’s quality within your budget

Lets check out its pros and cons at a glance.


  • A black & white LCD monitor to track your performances, calories burnt, speed, duration, and distance
  • There is a handy analog control knob to adjust the level of resistance
  • 8 level of magnetic resistance
  • Ultra-lightweight and portable. Weight is only 24 pounds
  • Makes almost no noise


  • Replacing the battery of the monitor is troublesome
  • It May become squeaky with heavy use
  • The range of motion is small

NordicTrack Elite 10.9 Elliptical

best elliptical machine for bad knees

Nordictrack is popular for ages to manufacture high-quality products at a reasonable price. The Nordictrack Elite 10.9 is no exception.

It’s a hybrid trainer. You’ll get more for your money with the 3 in 1 electrical, stair stepper & treadmill combination. The Nordictrack Elite 10.9 provides a high-intensity workout without the risks that come with high-impact exercise.

That means it is also suitable for elderly people or people with bad knees or injuries in joints. As this model comes with handlebars you will get extra support on your hips and lower back.

With a variety of program options, this elliptical is specified for those who get bored easily! This machine is auto adjustable features a comfortable center drive design and offers one the longest of any elliptical on the market.

Stride lines are up to 38 inches with a 10% incline makes the Nordictrack Elite 10.9 perfect for working for multiple muscle groups at a time.

How about a translation? Well, get ready to burn a lot of calories!

The Nordictrack Elite 10.9 is one of the most high-tech ellipticals on the market. It features a smart HD touch screen which is 7″. That’s compatible with the iFit programming. With the iFit membership, you can access the online workout library, featuring daily downloads of personalized training routines & custom workouts that you can design using google map. What does that mean for you? An endless selection of workout programs.


  1. Sturdy
  2. Easy to put together
  3. 24 resistance levels
  4. Quiet, comfortable & smooth
  5. 32 preset programs
  6. Heart Rate Monitors
  7. EKG pulse grips that track heart rate accurately
  8. Water bottle & tablet holder
  9. Music port with speakers


  1. Bit noisy
  2. Non-adjustable pedals
  3. Membership needed for iFit

Body Champ 2 In 1 Cardio Dual Trainer

best elliptical machine for bad knees

This 2 in 1 Cardio Dual elliptical by Body Champ works as both an elliptical as well as an exercise bike. It’s a sturdy machine that has 12 preset programs and two-way adjustable seats for maximum comfort during your workout. This cardio dual trainer serves as a two in one exercise machine. The advanced magnetic resistance system enhances your exercise experience creating a smoother and quieter ride. The LCD console is programmable for customizable programs and also features twelve different preset programs. The sturdy steel machine has a 14-inch stride and can hold up to 275 lbs.

The seat adjusts horizontally and vertically and is very comfortable. This machine comes with a one year manufacturer’s warranty. The company is a proud manufacturer of quality made products. We believe you are getting a sturdy well priced two in one machine that will last for years to come.

Also, Amazon is giving a huge discount on the original price. This is certainly the best exercise machine for bad knees. 


  1. Versatile
  2. Easy assembly
  3. Heart rate monitor
  4. Heart Rate sensor
  5. Adjustable intensity 
  6. Programmable workout
  7. Multi usage option
  8. Lightweight


  1. Not good for taller user as stride length is only 14 inches
  2. No incline capacity
  3. Lacks comfort features

 ProForm Hybrid Trainer

best elliptical machine for bad knees

Not only this one’s an elliptical but also it can be transformed into a stationary bike in just 3 easy steps. Users absolutely love the versatility of this product and report this machine delivers a high-power workout time after time. The Proform Hybrid Trainer also offers a low-impact cardio workout decreasing the amount of stress in the knees and joints. 

The Proform Hybrid Trainer features a 15-inch stride length and 14 digital levels of resistance which can be adjusted throughout the workout session for your increased calorie burn. It contains 16 workout apps and heart rate monitoring options too. This elliptical also features upper body grips which help to strengthen & tone muscles.

Additionally, the total body workout allows you to burn maximum calories in a short period of time. The Proform Hybrid Trainer allows you to customize each and every workout. The target pacer technology features an indicator light that helps you to speed up or slow down based on your desired weight loss goals. 

Its cushioned seat, adjustable stride, smooth movements make it perfectly suitable for the people with knee pain.

This elliptical is also compatible with a very easy ProForm workout app providing 14 preset workout options that automatically adjust the resistance of elliptical or recumbent exercise bikes to enhance your workout. 


  1. Effective and versatile
  2. Double functionality in one machine
  3. Sturdy Frame
  4. iFit-enabled
  5. Tablet, water bottle holder & smartphone-compatible
  6. Easy transmission from elliptical to recumbent
  7. Watts Power Meter for tracking final output
  8. Heart rate monitoring
  9. Transportation wheels
  10. Low price


  1. Light flywheel
  2. No folding capacity
  3. No cooling fan

Schwinn Compact Elliptical Machine

best elliptical machine for bad knees

This elliptical machine is durable, high-tech options & surprisingly affordable with 22 training programs, 20 levels of resistance & settings for up to two users. It’s a good option for your home. It is a fixed stride elliptical machine that provides 20 levels of resistance aligned with a high speed, high inertia, perimeter weighted flywheel which delivers a smooth & quiet workout time after time. The Schwinn 430 features a dual track two LCD window system that contains 13 different goal tracking at one go. This elliptical also comes programmed with 22 different workouts, 2 user settings, and goal tracking. All these are designed to keep your fitness goal on track.

Additionally, the dual-monitor features a USB port and data exchange, allowing you to stay connected throughout the entire duration of your workout. 

This elliptical is budget-friendly but the design is not ergonomic and becomes weak after one or two years. 


  1. Strong and solid 
  2. Computer with numerous benefits
  3. Size is home friendly
  4. Data export via Bluetooth
  5. Shelf for mobile devices along with charging port
  6. MP3 player capacity
  7. Multi-speed cooling fan
  8. Water bottle holder
  9. Transport wheels


  1. No chest strap
  2. No adjustable pedals
  3. Not ergonomic 

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E905 Elliptical Machine Cross Trainer

best elliptical machine for bad knees

The Sunny Magnetic Elliptical Trainer is one of the most popular, safe, and solid fitness equipment of all time. It provides low-impact cardiovascular training from the comfort of your home at a reasonable price point.

Also, it is built to ensure both, a smooth upper and lower body exercise without any high impact directly on the knee joints. It provides large, anti-slip foot pedals for ultimate safety & stability. Again its dynamically moving arms are ready to engage your upper body as a whole.

This elliptical trainer’s other feature is its scan mode that shows your improvement to help you in tracking all your objectives of good physique at once. The machine will show you the time, speed, distance, calories & total distance stats.

You can adjust the resistance up to your choice so your workout may remain both challenging and effective throughout your workout session. The adjustable leg stabilizers assist to stave off tipping, rocking and swaying on uneven surfaces.

On the other hand, the wheels allow the user to move their bike from one place to another with ease if needed and stored away out of sight. The maximum weight limit of the user is 220 lbs. The hand pulse monitoring system allows you to control your heartbeat. 

It is a wonderful piece of equipment for your home gym. So, buy it today and shake off your excuse for not exercising in the rough weather!


  1. Compact size suitable for small space like home uses
  2. Enough resistance for a good quality workout
  3. Easy to move
  4. Quiet workout
  5. Solid machine
  6. Inexpensive


  1. Stride length is not enough for tall people
  2. Somewhat squeaky 
  3. Lack of warranty

Remember one thing, knee pain can be caused because of so many reasons. Take it seriously. A little consciousness can give you a better life. Can read this article on knee pain. and if you are suffering from acute back pain these home exercises for the back can help you out.

What can cause knee pain without injury?

What can I do to relieve knee pain?

Is walking is good for knee pain?

What to look for when buying an elliptical machine?

best elliptical machine for bad knees

Among hundreds of brands of elliptical machines with thousands of models, you might be confused to choose the right one for you. 

But don’t be panic! We are here to give you the right guidelines to buy the best elliptical machine for  bad knee with the best quality for giving perfect care of your injured knee. 

Before buying an elliptical machine, you should keep in mind some basic rules to buy the appropriate one! Let’s have a look at the following section.

Focus on your goal:

Though elliptical is good for the whole body workout, you should focus on your purposes before buying an elliptical machine. It’s helpful for low-impact aerobic activity as well as good for a bad knee. 

Set your goal before buying and then use it according to your need! You can transform some of them into a stationary bike or use it as an alternative for walking or jogging as well.

Research online:

It’s a good practice to research online before buying something new. When it comes to an elliptical machine, you should go through honest customer reviews or review articles like this one

It will be helpful to choose the right and appropriate one with all functionalities at an affordable price range.

Quality of products:

1st noticeable and considerable factor is product quality. We try to choose all quality full best elliptical machines for bad knees that contain all the necessary features and technology so that you can take care of your bad knees perfectly.


Different types of elliptical machines are available in the market with various types of functionalities and purposes. Among Rear drive elliptical, Front-drive elliptical, standard elliptical trainers, Center drive elliptical, you can choose one of them according to your purpose and affordability.

Similarly, setting space also matters in this case. Decide where you want to place it at home or the gym before buying an elliptical machine.

Customer service:

Always buy an elliptical machine in which the company has great customer service. Somehow your elliptical does not work well, you can simply go to them otherwise it will be a great hassle.

Warranty card:

Usually, good companies provide warranty cards for 1 to 3 years along with the elliptical machines. So go for them so that you can protect your investment and use it without any tension of damage and repairing!


The last one but the most important is your budget. There are lots of ellipticals available at a higher price with poor quality and vice versa. It’s a challenge to find out the best one within your budget.

We try to pick the 5 Best elliptical machines for bad knee from the low-end to the high-end price range. You should not compromise with quality while buying an elliptical machine as well as try to buy within an affordable price range.

You may also like:

Food for knee strengthening

Essential oils for knee pain and swelling

Prevention of knee pain

Must have features:

The basics and necessary features of an elliptical machine are as follows:

Adjustable Incline system: Some elliptical has an automatically adjustable incline system and some have to be done manually. Automatic or manual, this is an essential feature for an elliptical machine.

An adjustable incline system is helpful to enhance motivation and provides a way to change and add something new to the routine. It is beneficial to reduce boredom as well as reduce knee pain.

Adjustable Resistance availability: Adjustable resistance systems are good for enhancing strength and endurance. Almost all good-quality elliptical machines have a broad range of resistance that is easy to adjust. Look for a simple and electrical resistance system so that you can easily incorporate it with your routine.

Smooth Motion:  Smooth elliptical motions add variety and challenges to your workout. Choose an elliptical that has a smooth forward and backward motion system. The range of motions will help you to avoid any kind of injury. Our reviewed all best elliptical for bad knee have a smooth elliptical system.

The comfort of Upper Body: Elliptical workout is beneficial for cardio as well as builds muscles of the upper body. Make sure your upper body movements are comfortable while workout on an elliptical machine. You can test it at a shop or gym before buying it!

The Quiet operation: A good brand and quality full elliptical are relatively silent at all intensity levels and functionalities. They are generally quiet in operation. You will definitely not like noisy sounds while working out. Quite elliptical makes your mind sound and you can concentrate on your work out perfectly.

Length and Weight: Length and weight are two considerable factors before buying. We have picked the 5 best elliptical machines for bad knees these all are light-weighted with standard length. Weight can be between 100 to 150 pounds.

Length is related to your height: For 5 feet 3-inches height, the stride length is 16 to 18 inches is perfect. 18 to 20-inches of stride length is standard for more than 5 feet 3-inches height. 14-inches is not recommended.

Generally, ellipticals might be of different sizes and weights. But it’s good to avoid large and heavy elliptical machines for a workout.

Safety features: The most important and noticeable thing is the safety features of your elliptical. To make your elliptical workout effective, you should not compromise with the safety features.

When buying an elliptical, make sure it has a warm-up and cool-down facilities. Handles are covered with a soft foaming pad so that you will feel a comfortable touch feeling during the workout. You should choose an elliptical with an easy-to-read console that will help to understand your effort and work out details easily. Also, some ellipticals have a pin lock that locks the pedals and screen operations so that kids are not able to play with them.

Handlebars: Having handlebars along with your elliptical machine is a good thing. It will give you support to your hips and lower back which is crucial for effective workouts for people with knee pains. Five out of 4 of our reviewed best elliptical machines for bad knees are with handlebars.

Extra features: A Heart rate monitor is included with some elliptical machines as an extra feature. Many of them have both the pre-set program and customized program that you can create for yourself. You also get a tablet, water bottle holder & smartphone-compatible, MP3 player, Multi-speed cooling fan with an elliptical machine.

Motivation software, wi-fi attachment, fitness tracker app, etc are offered with high-end elliptical machines. But if you make your workout effective with them, then it is worth it.

Best Exercise Machine for Bad Knees

How to lose weight on an elliptical machine?

best elliptical machine for bad knees

Are you passionate to lose weight? When the purpose is weight loss, what else can be better than an elliptical machine workout?

An elliptical workout is best for whole body weight loss as its low-impact option is helpful to lose weight effectively. For rapid weight loss, you should go through a routine elliptical workout like:

Creating a weight loss plan: Doing work out without creating or maintaining a proper workout routine, will not help to lose weight effectively. Eventually, it can be harmful to your health. So after buying an elliptical machine, create a proper routine, and follow it strictly.

Weekly 3-4 day work out for 30 minutes is enough to lose weight. It can burn up to 400 calories easily. If you are overweight then you can extend your workout time day by day with a proper diet.

Adjust High-Intensity Interval Training: Our reviewed 5 best elliptical machines for bad knee have High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) option. Some have an automatic HITT option otherwise you need to adjust your elliptical machine manually as it is widely proven that HITT is beneficial to rapid weight loss. It can increase the periods of acute exertion approach as well.

Increase the Incline and Resistance system: If you want to lose weight only by an elliptical workout, it’s a good idea to increase the incline and resistance system. You need to increase your effort and attention to maintain and handle it when you increase the incline and resistance capacity of an elliptical machine. Your extra effort helps to burn more fats and lose weight effectively.

Use the Handles and pedals: As ellipticals are re-known for both upper body and lower body weight loss, so if you use both handle and pedals at the same time, it will be more helpful to lose weight. So during the workout, you must use the handle and pedals simultaneously so that it helps to burn your body fat quickly.

Readers also love reading this:

How effective is elliptical for weight loss?

Elliptical benefits for weight loss

Are 15 minutes on the elliptical enough?

How to use an elliptical machine?

For beginners, the Elliptical machine’s functionalities seem quite difficult to operate or understand.

But proper use of the elliptical machine for a workout is essential to get the most effective result as well as avoiding injuries. Let’s begin the discussion to use the elliptical machine properly.

  • Step onto the machine surface facing the monitor: First, you step forward to the elliptical surface carefully. The pedal may begin to move and you might lose your balance. So don’t forget to grab the handle properly when stepping on it and stand stably.
  • Turn it on by pedaling: By taking a few steps forward like walking, the machine will power up the display. Otherwise, press the start button.
  • Start pedaling with an even pace of step: At first your arm should swing with the handles. When the right foot goes down for steps, your left handle should be pulled toward your body, and repeat this one for the left foot by pulling your right handle toward your body.
  • Never lock your knees: Remember that do not lock your knees while doing an elliptical workout. It’s like bike riding, make sure your knees are slightly bent at each stock.
  • Resistance turns up: It’s good to turn up the resistance with time to get a more effective workout with strong muscles. You need to push harder than before on the pedals to match the steps if you turn up the resistance. But make sure it will not be too fast that can cause injuries
  • Change the direction on the pedals: Both forward and backward moves can be possible on an elliptical machine. Even backward stocks are more effective and improve your hamstrings and glutes as well. But remember, backward pedaling may be harmful to a bad knee. If you have a bad knee, try forward pedaling. 
  • Use the swing arms with handles: Some elliptical have movable swing handles, some have fixed. If you focus on the only lower body workout, then a fixed handle elliptical is appropriate for you. Otherwise, go for a movable handle for an effective full-body workout.
  • Increase the incline and resistance system over time: Increasing incline and resistance over time is a good habit. Take a 5 minutes interval after turning up the speed of incline and resistance each time. Do workout for 2 minutes for the same speed. Then increase the incline speed for the next 2 minutes. Do it at a slow pace at the last 1 minute. And repeat this pattern for resistance also.

How many calories did I burn on the elliptical machine?

170-320 calories for 30 minutes workout, 645 calories for 60 minutes

An elliptical workout is the best workout for burning calories of the whole boy. If you run for 30 minutes on the elliptical machine, you are able to burn approximately 170-320 calories easily. If you increase your workout time, you can burn more along with the blood flow. If you work out for 60 minutes, you are able to burn around 654 calories.

Think about how effective a single elliptical workout is to burn calories rapidly!!

What muscles does the elliptical machine work?

Short answer: Chest, glutes, quads, back, hamstrings, biceps, triceps, and other core muscles

An elliptical workout is highly recommended and beneficial for muscle building. We already picked the 5 best ellipticals for bad knees, they are also good for your muscles. An elliptical workout is a full package of all exercises. It helps to build up your whole body muscles especially Chest, back, glutes, hamstrings, biceps, triceps, and other core muscles. It works not only for your upper body parts by swinging handles but also for the lower parts of your body by pedaling on it at the same time.

Glutes and Hams improvement: Hamstrings and Glutes muscles are part of our lower body part. Elliptical workout effectively improves both of them.

Glute muscles are directly involved with our hip extension. When the elliptical machine places an incline, hip extension is the major and basic movement during the workout. It develops your three glute muscles for the time being.

Hamstrings muscles directly perform knee flexion as it is situated at the back of our legs. Forward and backward movement on the elliptical can easily build up your Hamstrings that strengthen your knees and legs muscles.

Arms, Chest, and Back: Elliptical is the best for our cardio muscles. It takes part to improve our arms and back muscles as well.

The combination of the triceps that are placed at the back of the arm and the pectoral muscles that support our chest is known as the pushing muscle. And the pulling muscles contain biceps on elbow flexion and the rhomboids that help to shoulder blades together in the back.

During an elliptical workout, you need to swing the handles so that it develops your pulling and pushing muscles properly.

Calves development: The calf with gastrocnemius and soleus is taking part in plantarflexion. When you go backward against the pedals, it helps to develop the claves. If you perform incline, this will be more beneficial.

Works for Quads: We have focused on knee health and workout in our best elliptical machine for bad knee review.

An elliptical workout can develop your quadriceps that is a combination of four muscles in front of your thigh. Quadriceps are activated during knee extension on the elliptical workout. As knee extension is a prime part of the elliptical workout, so it works for improving your Quadriceps as well.

Improve your Core muscles: If you do elliptical workout in a proper manner, it will help to improve your core muscles also. It can strengthen both your abs and back. An Elliptical workout maintains your balance and keeps you upright and strong. To improve your core muscles, you should carry proper weight balance handles.

Similar Posts