Why Do My Feet Go Numb on an Elliptical?

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Ellipticals are fun to use and are highly effective exercise machines where you can easily shed calories by pushing your limits. However, as you feel the calorie burn, you also start feeling a tingling sensation in your feet. This sensation begins as a mild feeling and goes into an annoying distraction.

This sudden feeling further progress is into numbing your feet, causing you to end your workout. If this is the case every time you get on an elliptical and end up with numb feet, then it’s time to understand what’s going on with your feet and how to avoid it.

The reason your feet become numb as you work on an elliptical is due to nerve aggravation. The possible cause of this condition is Due to any of the following reasons:

  • Loose or tight shoes that do not provide proper support to your feet
  • Constant pressure on the bottom of your feet
  • Consistently hitting pedals of the elliptical with your toes
  • An underlying medical condition
  • Poor blood circulation in your legs

While your feet are numb, you may or may not have sensation in your feet. In either case, there is nothing serious except the discomfort you experience. Only in rare cases does it become a sign of concern. This occurrence is reported as common by many individuals who regularly use an elliptical.

Here in this article, we discuss ways to handle this situation, either by resolving the issue or avoiding it. Once you know how to deal with numb feet, you need not leave any work out unfinished.

Do ellipticals cause any problems to your feet?

Ellipticals are flexible exercise machines with no age restriction, do not require any experience to use, and have very few to no limitations. All these wonderful qualities make it the most chosen exercise machine for use at a home gym.

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Even though you are experiencing tingling and numbness frequently in your feet, an elliptical is still good for you. An elliptical gets your blood well oxygenated and pumps it throughout the body using the cardio advantage this exercise provides, similar to running.

Compared with running, elliptical training offers you low-impact exercise where you need not repeatedly hit the ground like running. So, it helps you avoid tendon, joint, and muscle pain which is a common experience for runners.

Running is usually associated with long-term issues, which you do not find when using an elliptical, as they reduce the impact, your feet and legs need to bear while exercising. as you start working on the elliptical, your feet stay put on the pedals, which safely eliminates the effect of repeated impact

Is there a way to stop your feet from going numb during an elliptical workout?

Figuring out the cause is the first step to stop your feet from getting numb while using the elliptical. Nerve irritation is the first and foremost reason in most cases. However, it would help if you still pinpointed the reason for the nerve irritation to find a solution that avoids numbness.

Well-fitting shoes

Take time to examine how your shoes fit your feet and check if they are a correct fit or not. If you find them to be ill-fitting, then they can very well be the cause of numbness. If your shoe is too tight, it does not allow proper circulation to your feet, causing numbness.

On the other hand, if they’re too loose, the quick and consistent back and forth sliding of your feet can aggravate your nerves. So, check and fix your shoes accordingly and see whether the issue is resolved.

Tips to keep in mind to find the correct pair of shoes for an elliptical workout

Always use the shoes designed for an intense workout while you’re on an elliptical. Popular brands like Adidas and Nike offer you a large collection of attractive shoes designed exactly for this purpose and offer extreme comfort to your feet.

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There are different shoes for different purposes like weight training, running, and for cross-training. So, if you have been using the same shoes for all these purposes, then it’s time for a change. You can purchase cross-training shoes or running shoes as they are designed to support intense exercise.

Buy the proper size, and “proper size” means the one that fits right for your foot shape and which is not even half-size off of your right size. You can take help from trained professionals who are present in most shoe stores for this exact purpose.

Implement correct technique

Ellipticals are designed to reduce the impact on your lower body by keeping your feet immobile on the pedal as you work out. However, if you keep shifting your feet, your toes constantly hit the pedals, causing them to get injured and numb.

Remember to keep your feet planted consciously till it becomes your second nature and not to move them even if they are tired. This way, you will be able to check if the numbness is due to injuring your feet.

Watch your weight-bearing points

If you train on the elliptical, you need to place the complete foot on the pedal all the time, which increases the chances of numbing your feet. While running, you use your toes and balls you shift your weight from one foot to the other, and this adjustment gives some wriggle room for your foot.

As your feet do not leave the platform and maintain the same position the entire time, your blood circulation might be affected. You can counteract this effect by changing your moment after each interval as you reposition your feet differently in forwarding and backward motions.

Shake or wriggle your toes as the tingling sensation begins, and take a moment till you regain your circulation, which can avoid escalating the numbness.

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Pre-existing or undiagnosed medical issues

Few underlying medical conditions such as fibromyalgia, diabetes, plantar fasciitis, issues related to the nervous system, orthopedics, or poor circulation, and similar such issues can be causing numbness in your feet.

Sometimes these medical conditions escalate quickly and heal very slowly, so it is always better to consult your doctor before using an elliptical. Persistent numbness or tingling in your feet that does not go away even after you stop using an elliptical indicates that you need to get checked for any undiagnosed medical conditions.

Tips for treating numb feet after elliptical use

If you have followed the tips mentioned above but are still experiencing numbness in your feet, check out the below tips to treat the issue.

  • Try stopping cardio exercise for few days and do only stretching or strength training.
  • Alleviate the nerve irritation by icing your feet
  • Soak your feet for 10 to 15 minutes in Epsom salt dissolved hot water
  • Wear compression socks to improve your circulation
  • Take a break and rest your body
  • Reduce any swelling of your foot by using anti-inflammatory medicines that are available over the counter
  • Try loosening the laces for releasing the pressure on the top of your foot
  • Consult a doctor if you are numbness is sustained or getting worse


Numbness and tingling in your feet while using an elliptical is a common phenomenon. You need not worry or let this situation stop you from exercising. Rather, understand it so that you can fix it by avoiding or treating the issue.

Serious issues such as a torn muscle are a rarity but still a possibility. So, make sure you evaluate the issue properly for its seriousness based on how much time it lasts and how severe it is. Benefits provided by an elliptical are too good to pass on. Understand it and use it well.

Hope this information will come in handy when you feel that numbness in your feet and help you successfully address it. Keep exercising and get fit. Nothing can stop you!