Is Elliptical Good For Plantar Fasciitis? (Training Tips)

Ellipticals are great low-impact exercise machines that simulate walking and running. They present an effective alternative to treadmills for those with joint issues, and they can help you burn a massive amount of calories. 

If you’re suffering from foot pain, though, you might be wondering, “can plantar fasciitis and elliptical trainers work together in recovery?” We break down the facts below. 

Is an elliptical good for plantar fasciitis? That depends on how severe your injury is. It is possible to use an elliptical with this condition, but we recommend following the guidance of your doctor and physiotherapist.

Once you get the approval of your doctor to start, make sure to stretch your calves and feet out thoroughly before and after exercise. Once on the elliptical, work yourself up to a longer workout over time and be patient with your body as it heals. 

Ellipticals are a great way to get in some cardio, but not using the proper form could make your plantar fasciitis worse. Proper form on an elliptical means keeping your feet flush with the pedals, not pushing off too hardand staying upright.  

Also, using smoothrolling movements should be the most comfortable for you. If you experience any pain or discomfort, stop using the elliptical immediately and contact your doctor.

Is Elliptical Good For Plantar Fasciitis?

Elliptical Vs Treadmill (Which Is Better For Plantar Fasciitis?)

Which is better for plantar fasciitis: treadmill or elliptical? Treadmills are high-impact machines that simulate walking and running; this means that they put a lot of stress on your joints, as well as the underside of your foot. Ellipticals are a better option, especially in recovery, to ensure that you do not put additional stress or injury on your feet.

As ellipticals are easier on the joints, follow your stretching and training regimen with them carefully and work your way back up to using a treadmill. This process can be frustrating for active people, but your body needs time to heal before you can dive back into marathon training.

home gym with elliptical and treadmill

What Exactly Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a degenerative condition that affects the thick band of tissue at the bottom of your foot; this band stretches from your heel to your toes. This inflammation of the tissue is painful and ranges from mild to debilitating.

However, it's a relatively common complaint, and you can treat this condition under medical supervision. Treatment can involve resting and icing the area, taking anti-inflammatory drugs, injections of corticosteroids, and physical therapy. In rare cases, plantar fasciitis can be treated with surgery or shock wave therapy.

Plantar Fasciitis

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • High-Impact Activities Like Running 
    As we briefly touched on earlier, high-impact activities like running and jumping put a lot of stress on your joints and feet. This makes them highly unsuitable for plantar fasciitis recovery. Avoid performing these activities and working out on hard surfaces to ensure maximum comfort during your recovery process.
  • Poor Foot Mechanics During Physical Activity 
    Using proper form during your workouts is an important factor in recovering from plantar fasciitis. Make sure to stretch properly to avoid working out with tight calves or heels but be aware that overstretching the sole of your foot could be detrimental. The benefits of stretching are unmatched. Jump over to our guide on all the benefits!
  • Worn or Insufficiently Supportive Athletic Shoes 
    Having proper arch support is key to keeping proper spinal and foot health. Wearing worn shoes or ones without any arch support can cause plantar fasciitis as the bands of your feet are put under additional stress. If you need new shoes, check out our guide to the best shoes for flat feet!
  • Long Hours Spent Standing 
    Standing on your feet for hours at a time is a major factor in plantar fasciitis and can work in tandem with the above entry. Factory and medical workers are just some who are more likely to encounter this condition due to the nature of their work putting extended pressure on the bands of their feet.

Frequently Asked Plantar Fasciitis Questions

How long should I exercise on an elliptical with plantar fasciitis? 

That depends on how severe your plantar fasciitis is. We recommend following the exercise regimen given by your doctor and physiotherapist carefully. While working out, listen to your body and stop immediately if you are in pain or uncomfortable. 

What exercises are best for relieving plantar fasciitis? 

The best exercises for plantar fasciitis involve little time on your feet and no jumping or running around. Things like cycling, swimming, rowing, yoga, and Pilates could see you staying fit while in recovery.

Does going barefoot help plantar fasciitis? 

We would not recommend going barefoot when walking around outside. Wearing proper footwear with supportive internal structures ensures that your feet have support throughout recovery. 


Can I use an elliptical with plantar fasciitis? In short, yes, you can. By carefully following medical advice, stretching, and listening to your body, you can keep moving without aggravating the inflammation.

If you're ready to buy an elliptical, you can check out our complete review guide to the best budget elliptical machines!

Last Updated on February 22, 2022

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Andrew White

Andrew White is the co-founder of Garage Gym Pro. As an expert fitness professional (gym building nerd) with over 10 years of industry experience, he enjoys writing about everything there is to do with modern fitness & the newest market innovations for garage gyms. When he isn’t testing out products for his readers, he’s usually out surfing or playing basketball.