Has anybody used or is using an elliptical cross trai... - NRAS

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Has anybody used or is using an elliptical cross trainer?


I'm in my early thirties have had RA for about 10 years. I'm desperate to find an exercise that is safe to do if you have RA. I used to run quite a bit but that's impossible now due to my weakened knees and hips. I find swimming so boring which is always the first thing doctors suggest. I also do tai chi, but would love to do something aerobic that has little or no impact, hence my cross trainer question.

Can anyone help or advise?

8 Replies

when well enough not a moment I use one at gym it is non weight baring I CANT see a problem so I use when be guided by a) your own body and b) if in any doubt a physio?

My physio suggested it too but as yet I haven't managed to try one out. I'd be interested to hear how you get on so do please blog if you have any comments x

Have you thought of trying a rowing machine? I've had RA a year or so and am still using a Concept II ergo, which I've been using for 20 years or more for general fitness esp cardiovascular, and which is low impact and very kind to my extremely dodgy knees. Very good for setting precise targets and adapting to day to day fluctuations in condition, too.

I use the elliptical trainer several times a week and find it very good. The first couple of times I found the bottoms of my feet hurt but new trainers sorted this out. I have to use the static hand bars as the rowing action gives me tennis elbow. I also get on very well with the exercise bike. Personally I find the rowing machine too much strain on my hands.


Used to have one and I used it and had no problems, but my knees can get bad so I was careful to keep an eye on how sore i would be afterwards. Now I use my Wii Fit Plus a lot and go on walks (can't/won't swim!) The Wii Fit is good as you can tailor what you do to suit your body - I do some of the yoga and the cycling and jogging apps - my problem is anything that involves floor exercise as i can't get down on the floor (and if I did, couldnt get up again!) - I dont think you will have a problem with the cross trainer - it gives you an good workout and ours had an attachment to check your heart rate. the only reason we sold it was it was taking up too much room in the spare bedroom and we got the Wii Fit which suits us better. Did tai chi a few years ago and plan to take that up again as it is good for us lot isnt it?

As the advice above says, go for it and ask advice from your dr. or physio (if you have one) but i think it would be fine. Rowing machine is also not good for me cos of the wrist and elbows but everyone is different so just have a try at it. Wear supporting splints if you need to to protect hands and wrists. But I never found it a problem.

Best of luck.



Yes. I have had RA for 20 years and I recently bought a cross trainer combined with an exercise bike. It is the best thing I have tried. I keep it on low tension so I can't damage myself. And I sit down on the saddle from time to time. I like the way I can strengthen my bingo wings as well as getting some aerobic exercise.

It wasn't too expensive as I bought it online from a supermarket and used some club card points.

I like the fact I can just do 5 minutes occasionally, or do a long session to music.

Have never tried this, but have found spinning classes really good. You can adjust the amount of effort to suit how you're feeling and it doesn't put too much strain on joints.


Thanks ever so much everyone for responding, it's been really helpful. I'll let you know how I get on :-)

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