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Numb feet during elliptical exercise

The main benefit of elliptical training is that you can exercise with minimal impact on your knees and joints. During the entire workout, you will not have to lift your feet off a surface and lower them back down. But that’s where some people have trouble with elliptical workouts. Keeping constant pressure on your feet for longer periods of time will cause them to become numb.

Because you don’t have to move your feet or toes while exercising on an elliptical machine, you may start to feel numb within 10 minutes of your workout due to a lack of actual foot movement. This can be a major hassle for some, for others it is never a problem and for most it can be easily fixed.

Some people will experience numbness on an elliptical and others will not, even on the same machine. It all depends on the design of the elliptical and if it was for you. Sometimes stride length doesn’t suit you, and other times you can benefit from jointed pedals.

Numbness may not appear until after you’ve been exercising for a long time, or it may appear early, but you can usually identify the onset of numbness before you feel completely numb. When you start to feel the warning, the tingling signs, or even long before you notice that numbness may be approaching, you can try moving your feet around a bit to prevent or relieve numbness.

Prevents elliptical foot numbness

  • try to wiggle your toes
  • reposition your feet on the foot plates
  • Shift your weight onto the balls of your feet or your heels, or rock back and forth between the two
  • Try not to put too much weight on the balls of your feet.
  • loosen your shoelaces or get better arch support shoes
  • change direction by going backwards on an elliptical
  • use an elliptical cross trainer with pivoting (articulated) pedals

If you find that numbness is a problem when using an elliptical machine, try to focus a little more on your feet before the numbness begins. Focusing on preventing your feet from falling asleep before it happens can prevent numbness from setting in at all. You may be able to prevent the tingling or numbness from starting even if you try to maintain the same amount of pressure between the front and heel of the foot, while mixing in a few minimal movements during exercise.

If numbness is something that comes on at the end of your workout and trying to avoid it or alleviate it doesn’t work, try breaking up your workout into shorter periods of time or getting down for an occasional spin from room to room.

I have found that, over time, my experience with the tingling and numbness in my feet during elliptical exercise has focused on one foot. But over time, I have almost been able to eliminate the feeling of numbness from my workouts and apply great focus to ensuring that my elliptical posture and foot position are correct. Over time, you too should be able to see a reduction in the problem, and if it gets progressively worse, you may have another medical problem, such as a neuroma of the foot.

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