Is it Better for Your Knees to Run on a Treadmill or Outside?


Both environments have their own pros and cons when it comes to running. Here are a couple of things to consider when you determine what’s better for your knees: running on a treadmill or running outside.

Considerations for Running Outside

Running outside may lead to a number of disadvantages for your knee’s health. For starters, you are most likely going to run on uneven surfaces so this can increase the risk of injury. Common knee injuries for runners include damages to the articular cartilage, ligaments, and tendons.

Running outside also means that you are likely to run on hard surfaces like concrete. The hard surface doesn’t do a good job of absorbing the impact when your feet lands on the floor. The pressure rebounds and affects your joints, which again increases the likelihood of injuring parts of your knees. Part of this pressure can be mitigated by wearing high-quality running shoes that have the ability to absorb pressure.

Considerations for Running on a Treadmill

With treadmills, you don’t need to encounter the many risks associated with the outdoor elements. That said, there are some disadvantages that may not do a favor for your knees. Runners who don’t have good running form for example may increase the impact on their knees and heels. They may, for example, bounce up and down a lot while they run on the treadmill.

Some treadmill runners may also extend their legs too far forward, especially when running at a high speed. This again introduces unnecessary pressure on your knees and joints. The risk of damaging your knees can be mitigated by maintaining proper form while running or jogging.