I absolutely love elliptical trainers.  The smooth, non-jarring motion feels tremendous on my joints.  Yet I can be poring sweat and breathing hard at the end of my workout– just like when I run on the treadmill.  For me, ellipticals are a win-win machine. 

Some simple tips to deal with numb feet while on an elliptical trainerBut I have come to discover that some folks experience tingling or numbness in their feet at five to ten minutes into their elliptical training.    What is going on here?

Turns out that an elliptical puts constant pressure on the toes and ball of the foot.   So does walking and running, but with those activities, the foot lifts up with each step, giving the foot a “break” in pressure.  Without that break, tingling and numbness can result.

If this is a problem for you, then try some of these simple little tips to keep you training on your beloved elliptical trainer.

  1. While moving on the elliptical, think about shifting your weight back onto your heels.  Try to avoid leaning forward, as this shifts your weight more onto the toes and ball of foot.
  2. Every 5 or 10 minutes, come to a stop and travel in reverse direction.  This reverse position automatically shifts your weight off the front of your foot and onto the back.  Travel in reverse 30 to 60 seconds, then take it back forward again.
  3. Loosen the laces on your shoes.  Remember, your feet swell while exercising, which can further exacerbate pressure on the foot.  Some folks have found that simply loosening the lacing was all it took to stop the numbness.
  4. If your elliptical has an incline option, then add some incline.  Like the loosening of shoelaces above, this simple step can sometimes totally eradicate all tingling and numbness. 


A seated elliptical trainer is a comfortable alternative.If you try these tricks and are still plagued with numbness, then fear not.  You can still use an elliptical trainer.  But make it a Seated Elliptical Trainer.  I’ll bet you didn’t even know such a thing existed.  Octane Fitness has developed a series of seated elliptical trainers that have all of the benefits of an upright elliptical trainer, but in the seated position.  It is particularly suited to those who cannot train for an extended period of time in the standing position – whether this is due to hip/knee issues, balance issues or numb feet. 

Come into BGi Fitness North (Dean Road at 82nd Street, Indianapolis) or BGI Fitness South (997 E. County Line Road in Greenwood),  and try out an Octane Fitness Seated Ellipitical.  I think you will be impressed!