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A client of mine addressed me with a question about her feet going “numb” / feeling tingly or hot when she was using her elliptical.

Although, my initial answer would have went something like this, “Oh yes, I know how we can fix that,  throw your elliptical out your window and put a cardboard sign in front of it that reads, FREE” – I instead took a more professional approach…..

While answering her, I thought I would share with you as well.

If you experience the same feeling, the please read on.

So you feel the dreadful “pins and needles when you are on your elliptical? No worries, if you are experiencing this ONLY while using your elliptical, then this post may apply to you, however if you frequently have this feeling when not associated with elliptical training, then I would contact your doctor to rule out any major circulation or nerve disorders.

This feeling is quite common. I originally assumed it had to do with the nerve endings or “messengers” in our feet because they were always touching the pedals. I was just about right – but I wanted to add some details. There is constant pressure on those nerve endings the whole time we are working out which is not the same as walking, jogging, etc. Those are single leg exercises/movements (one foot on the ground at once) and at some point, even though it might be for a split second your foot is off the ground and pressure is not an issue and in addition to that, your foot is in constant motion from heel to toe with each step we take.

See if the following possibilities help you:

-Move your foot in the same heel to toe fashion as you would during normal gait. Let your weight shift from back to front (heel to toe). Do not over-exaggerate this motion, but instead just try to replicate a normal step.

-Mix up your workout. Work the pedals forward and backward. Make an interval training session out of it. For example, 1 minute pedal forward, 1 minute back, 30 seconds forward, 30 seconds back, repeat. You can also switch up the inclines as well. You can also switch gears by staying on your elliptical for a few minutes and then interval off to do stair climbing, jump rope, side steps, quick hops, etc in your house. Try not to spend prolonged time on just the elliptical itself. “Hitting” the elliptical for shorter amounts of efficient time with higher intensity levels as opposed to excessive, moderate pace may also be a way to help combat the pins and needles.

-Make sure your shoes are comfortable and not tied to tightly and you have proper support in them.

By incorporating these methods, monitor your workout to see if those feelings subside.

If none of this helps, then just go with my initial, knee – jerk reaction answer listed above 🙂

Happy Training!